a very warm welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: london gatwick airport's shut down for a second day — as ongoing flights by illegal drones leave a hundred thousand passengers in limbo. we have on site the police, supported by the security services and the military, looking at every opportunity we have to disable this drone and get gatwick airport reopened. us defence secretaryjim mattis says he'll quit hisjob — hinting that his views aren't in line with president trump's. reunited with their rescuers. an emotional return for the thai boy footballers trapped in a cave last summer. and we meet the "fortnite crackers". teenagers making a fortune by exploiting the world's most popular video game. hello.
british police are now considering shooting down the drones that have been causing chaos at london gatwick airport since wednesday evening. while thousands of would—be passengers wait in frustration, there've been at least 50 drone sightings in the past 2a hours. gatwick is staying closed overnight, but restrictions at other airports have been lifted, allowing more planes in and out of the uk. kim gittleston has the latest. it's been over 2a hours since a plane last landed here in gatwick airport. inside, scenes of chaos as flight after flight was cancelled. now thousands of stranded passengers are trying to make sense and adjust to a remarkable situation. you know these things... well, not really. well, it's not weather, it's some idiot with a drone. it has come over your head! over your head! the small device causing massive mayhem has yet to be found. was this it in the sky?
20 british police unit spent the day on a fruitless search, eventually even the army was called in. but while officials have ruled out terrorism as a motive, they say this chaos are certainly isn't an accident. now they are asking the public for their photos. someone may have an image of the drone. we don't yet know what type the drone is. and, of course, in terms of our tactics and what we do operationally, that is really significant for us. authorities say they don't know when flights will resume. already 760 flights have been cancelled, stranding 110,000 passengers. many of the flights have been diverted elsewhere, like charles de gaulle airport in paris. i was asleep and i woke up and found out we were in paris. very upset that anyone would want to do this just to disrupt people going away for christmas. i'm just try to get home for christmas. the continued closure has exposed
potential vulnerabilities at airports around the world, in addition to threatening further disruption on what would be the busiest travel day of the year. that's why tonight, here at gatwick, all eyes are trained on the sky, with thousands of holiday plans up in the air. kim gittleson, bbc news. let's get some of the day's other news. a shutdown of the us government appears more likely after the house of representatives passed a spending bill that included funding for president trump's wall on the border with mexico. democrats have insisted that it's a "non—starter". it's unlikely the new bill will be approved by the senate. president putin has accused the british political establishment of "disrespecting" the public by not wanting to implement the result of the brexit vote. at his end of year news conference, the russian president suggested democracy would be undermined if theresa may did not see brexit through. he also praised donald trump's move to withdraw us troops from syria. according to media reports in france, a fugitive french
extremist linked to the men who attacked the charlie hebdo magazine offices in 2015 is now in the custody of french police. it's reported that peter cherif — also known as abu hamza — was arrested in djibouti earlier this week and is now awaiting extradition. another member of president trump's cabinet is resigning. the defence secretary, jim mattis, is quitting — citing differences of opinion with the white house. his abrupt decision came the day after mr trump announced he was withdrawing us troops from syria — a decision which general mattis is understood to have opposed. in his resignation letter, general mattis said the president had the right to have a defence chief whose views were more aligned with his own. mr trump said the general would leave hisjob in february. this was how a former us defence secretary reacted. i think he was upset with the fact that the president chose to send our troops, pending thanksgiving, to the border, and is keeping them there, some of them there. and i think this was just a straw too heavy for him to bear,
namely to reject the recommendation about keeping a sufficient force to really defeat isis, as opposed to this false declaration that we won, they're defeated, and now it is, well, we're tired of fighting somebody else‘s burden. i think that was just one bridge, one mile too far for him to walk. given his courage, his battle experience, and his scholarship, he could not take it. william: speaking to us earlier. —— william: speaking to us earlier. —— william cohen. earlier, i asked jonathan schanzer, senior vice president of the foundation for defence of democracies for his thoughts on general mattis‘ resignation. my thinking is exactly the same as what everyone is thinking right now in washington. this is a man who has endured quite a bit. there have been decisions that have been made by this president that he likely disagreed with.
but the decision to remove 2000 troops from syria where they were playing a significant role not only in combating isis but holding off the iranians as they tried to establish a land bridge across the avant, a decision that would effectively spurn our kurdish allies, our israeli allies, jordanian allies, this was something that mattis could not stand. there are trump loyalists, many people who voted for him, who voted for america first and will be glad to see american troops out of harm's way. i think that's right. but i think the fact that we were able to draw down so many troops in the middle east and to have such a small contingent based there in syria, i think affectively vindicated the president's perspective on the use of military power. this was not a significant deployment. it was a small one proving that we did not need to have large wars in order to have a major american presence. what does it mean now, do you think, for the president's foreign policy, he has had six high—level departures in just the past few weeks? i think the president's foreign policy right now is beginning to trouble a lot of people who were perhaps willing to give him be benefit of the doubt. the chief among those are the so—called hawks.
we looked at 12 different points raised by mike pompeo, the demands he was making, the secretary of state, was making of a run, and it had a lot to do with the regional interference with iran and the like. those points have been eviscerated. there is very little that the us can effectively demand from the iranians right now. it calls into question the entire strategy on sanctions, the decision to withdraw from the iran nuclear deal of 2015. none of this seems to be holding up. there is concern right now in washington, even among those who give him the benefit of the doubt, that obviously includes some of his senior advisers, those that he refused to listen to when they were giving him their advice. just briefly, if you don't mind, what does it mean for the kurds, who have been so strong american allies, powerfulfighters against the so—called islamic state. turkey is talking about an onslaught and burying them in their trenches. that's right.
first of all, all the work they have done with the united states, on behalf of the united states, it has been a thankless job for them. they are trying to defend their own territory. that will become a lot harder with a very aggressive turkey looking down the barrel at them and certainly we expect some conflict to come in northern syria. jonathan scha nzer of the foundation for defense —— jonathan scha nzer of the foundation for defense of democracies. president trump has defended his decision to withdraw us troops from syria and has called on other countries to take up the fight. the move has been met with criticism from america's allies and republican lawmakers but so far it hasn't made an impact. turkey is one of america's key allies in the fight against the islamic state group — mark lowen reports from the turkish capital. today's military flourish in ankara was all the more upbeat. the turkish and iranian presidents
have got what they wanted — the us out of syria. donald trump's withdrawal frees them up to extend their influence and pursue their own aims in the war—ravaged country. president erdogan insisted he wants to bring syria's fighting to an end, and establish peace, but he has got other targets too. the syrian kurdish militia, or ypg, have fought side—by—side with american troops, battling and dying against so—called islamic state. the turkish government says they're terrorists, linked to banned kurdish militants in turkey. the us presence protected them, until now. they face an imminent threat of a turkish offensive against them. we followed turkey's last offensive against the kurdish ypg back in january. well, we're patrolling the front line now with turkish troops, the closest position of the ypg kurdish militia just a few hundred metres in that direction,
from where they fire artillery. then turkish troops drove the ypg out of the syrian town of afrin. now turkey will see the us withdrawal as a green light to expel them elsewhere. some of mr trump's own senators say that is no way to treat a partner. it is in our national security interest not to withdraw at this time, in my view, because if you do so now, the kurdish fighters, the kurdish forces, will be decimated by turkey, assad, or maybe isis. the move will also allow russia to consolidate its control in syria, bolstering the assad regime. hosting his annual end—of—year press conference, vladimir putin knows syria is going his way. translation: is the presence of american forces necessary? i think not. let us not forget that their presence is not legitimate, so if the us decided to withdraw their forces, that is correct.
while most of the trump administration and us allies weren't forewarned about this plan, turkey perhaps was — president erdogan pressuring donald trump last week. but is still has an estimated 20,000-30,000 fighters, and the fear is a premature american withdrawal on turkey's terms might allow the jihadists to rear their head again. mark lowen, bbc news, istanbul. much more to come for you on bbc news. including this: the texas police officers hailed as heroes after rescuing a man from a burning car. 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 3.5 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: one of the uk's busiest airports — london gatwick — remains shut down, as the army and police hunt
the drone operators who've disrupted hundreds of commercial flights. us defense secretaryjim mattis is to quit hisjob, after president trump decided to withdraw us troops from syria. china has rejected accusations by the united states and britain that it's involved in cyber hacking in at least a dozen countries. the usjustice department says hackers obtained unauthorised access to the computers of at least 45 government agencies and companies, including the us navy and nasa. here's america's deputy attorney general. whether through computer hackers operating from china, or chinese nationals recruited to steal trade secrets from companies in other countries, the goal is the same. to dominate production in important industries by stealing ideas from other nations. it is as if they have broken into american companies and taken data out physically. they are doing it through cyber means. today's charges mark an important
step in revealing to the world china's continued practice of stealing commercial data. the deputy attorney general there. a man in texas is very lucky to be alive — although he was badly burned — after a crash east of houston. he was dragged out of his flaming vehicle by two officers who are now winning widespread praise for what they did. chambers county sheriff's office has released bodycam footage showing how the rescue unfolded. the bbc‘s freya cole has the story and just a warning, some viewers might find the following pictures upsetting. without a second of hesitation, a police officer sprints towards a burning vehicle in order to save a life. flames billow from the wreckage, causing thick smoke and intense heat, but despite the precarious conditions, deputy braedon boznago finds the driver unconscious and trapped inside. sir.
give me your arms. hurry. carlton, i need your help. his partner, deputy carlton carrington, arrives just in time. they battle the growing flames and manage to drag the man through the car window, but the danger is not over. the lower half of the driver's body is well alight and spreading fast. the quick thinking officers manage to pull the man to a nearby ditch, filled with water, to extinguish the flames. police checked with witnesses if there was anyone else inside the vehicle. is there anybody else? no, i didn't see anybody else. 0k. let's try to get him over, away from the car, in case it goes. the victim has suffered more than 60% burns and is in a critical but stable condition. come on, buddy. while his saviours downplayed their actions, saying they were just doing theirjob. freya cole, bbc news. sheriff brian hawthorne joins us live from texas.
good to talk to you. thank you very much for your time. the officers we re very much for your time. the officers were very brave and quick to respond. yes, they beverley heroes in my eyes, and i hope most everybody in texas, the united states and the world. they had no idea who they were going to save and he is alive today because they risk their lives. are they 0k, where they hurt? thankfully, the only thing they really did was a sinister hair on their hands on their face and their eyebrows, but they were able to pull him out and to give you an idea of how intense the heat was, braedon bozango's bodycam are actually melted, because of the heat of the fire. that they just get going, they trained to do this kind
of thing. —— singed. going, they trained to do this kind of thing. -- singed. well, i would like to tell you yes that you just do not have the ability to change about. we train for active shooters, which ran the family disturbances, we trained for a lot of things that we trained for a lot of things that we do not train for car fires so it is just true bravery and heroism to say this man's live. and how is the man they pulled out of the car? well, there is some rules and regulations in the state of texas united states, cannot give a whole lot of information i will tell you that he is alive and he is improving, but is still in a critical, stable condition. —— life. understood. just to be clear, with a call to this incident or did they just happen to be driving down the highway and the go or get flagged down? no, they were called. we had to citizens, two ladies that watched the accident happened and they got out of their car ran over help them and they realise that they couldn't. they called 911, our emergency system, and the deputy is just
happened to be nearby and were able to respond and then what you see is exactly what happened. —— deputies. they pulled up and they sprang into action, and literally, i tell people all the time, you never know how you are going to react with these two reacted with terrorism. you can see from the pictures, moments really mattered. any later, it would have been too late. heroism. absolutely. there is no question in my mind and anybody else's mines, that if they had not pulled him out, he would have perished. thank you forjoining us. have perished. thank you forjoining us. thank you i am proud of them, i appreciate you it. a town in the north of thailand became the focus of attention around the world this summer, when 13 boys and their football coach got trapped in a cave with what seemed like precious little chance of rescue. what followed, for the wild boar footballers and the people trying
to save them, still seems pretty amazing. 0ur south east asia correspondent jonathan head has been back to the cave and the community around it. the boys are back. along with a new statue. this tribute to thai diver saman kunan, the sole fatality in an otherwise miraculous rescue, is also a reunion between the boys and their saviours. three of the foreign volunteers who helped to get them out of the caves are also here. well, this is such a contrast with what we saw here just five months ago. the boys are paying their respects to the statue of a man who lost his life trying to save them. five months ago, this was a sea of mud, there were rescuers everywhere, and no—one had any idea whether they would come out alive. that extraordinary three—week operation has put this previously little—known site onto thailand's tourist map. from just a handful of visitors a day, it now gets thousands. drawn notjust by the boys' story,
but also by their good fortune. it's become a lucky place, somewhere you buy a lottery ticket. so, all these lottery tickets, which one's the lucky number? "13", she says. "that's the number of the boys and their coach, who went into the caves." this man's pineapple field was flooded during the rescue by all the water pumped from the caves. these days, though, he's actually making more money by selling the oranges from his orchard. "0ur pineapple crop rotted", he explained. "we couldn't get in to harvest it because of all the vehicles back then", so he stopped farming and volunteered to help the rescuers instead. the mini—tourist boom is proving something of a bonanza for this community. and rescuers, like vern unsworth, have become local celebrities. to be perfectly honest, i prefer a quieter life.
i don't think you're going to get it though. i'm not the one for going out and seeking, you know, people treating me as a hero, and i'm nota hero, just — just in the right place at the right time, really. the lives of the boys have now returned to their old routines, though not quite as before. so use the body as a shield, 0k? can you show me that? this is a coaching session offered by manchester city. the most famous young footballers in the world are still getting plenty of international attention. jonathan head, bbc news, mae sai, in northern thailand. hackers as young as 1a are making thousands of dollars a week as part of a global fraud, built around the wildly popular game fortnite. it recently launched its seventh season and now boasts more than 200
million players, but a bbc investigation has found hackers exploiting that popularity by selling details of players' private accounts in a thriving online marketplace. this from our cyber security reporter, joe tidy. since fortnite exploded onto the gaming scene, it's estimated to have made more than £1 billion. most of that has come from in—app purchases, as players scramble to update their free accounts with the latest accessories. and that's what makes these accounts both valuable and a target for hackers. they're stealing them in huge numbers and selling them online to an ever—growing and hungry marketplace, and all over social media victims are venting their frustration. this british hacker was 1a when he got into it. —— he started off after being hacked himself. he says he's mainly a middleman now,
selling on cracked accounts. he knows he's breaking the law, and says he wants to stop soon. this is how it works. crackers buy huge lists of usernames and passwords that have been stolen from previous data breaches. they use a tool to imput them into the fortnite login in bulk. when they get inside an account, they take it over. at this cyber security competition, young hackers are encouraged to put their skills to the test. 0rganisers say getting talented youngsters on a positive path is proving difficult. it's the ones that, you know, are carrying on that haven't been identified, who are perhaps not given this opportunity, who are lured and tempted by a quick buck and get taken down this path. how good are you at fortnite? this prolific cracker agreed to talk. ah, that good. but only if we met in—game. he told me he knows what he's doing
is illegal and even admits to using his skills to carry out more serious cyber crime. there's a whole thing around no skins, they call it. the national crime agency says authorities around the world are watching though, and this is a serious offence. for instance, just the compromise of a fortnite account could come under section one of the computer misuse act, which is up to two years in prison. the nca wants games makers to do more to inform their communities that their activity is illegal. epic, the company behind fortnite, hasn't commented on our investigation, but the game maker says it's working to improve security. it also encourages and rewards players who take steps to increase their account protection. with a new season of the game freshly launched, even more players
will be signing up, and the hackers will continue to make a killing. joe tidy, bbc news. just before we go: it's santa 0bama time. the former us president paid a surprise visit to a children's hospital in washington with a sack full of presents and a hat. he spoke to chidren and their families and thanked the staff for looking after all of them over the christmas holidays. you calling it a surprise visit, presumably someone knew he was coming. i'm trying to imagine the exchange with security and rock 0bama at the gate. despite two breaking news, we're hearing that the drones causing chaos at gatwick airport have been shot down. he
and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter. i'm @bbcmikeembley. hello there. on thursday, most of the showers were across western areas, many eastern areas did manage to dodge them and actually had a fine end to the day. but as we head on into this morning, certainly for the early hours, it's looking wetter and windier as the next frontal system pushes up from the south—west, bringing outbreaks of rain to england and wales, and as far north as northern ireland, perhaps the far south of scotland. although conditions will approve across much of england and wales into the afternoon, further outbreaks of rain for northern england, southern scotland and northern ireland. it will also be quite easy in the south but a they're here. 11 to 1a celsius for they're here. 11 to 1a celsius for the afternoon but further north of that weather front, temperatures nearing normal for the time of year with one or two showers but also some sunny with one or two showers but also some sunny spells in scotland. those winners will pick up further at the end of the day across england and
wales, augustine up to 50 miles an hourfor wales, augustine up to 50 miles an hour for cornwall and devon and wales, augustine up to 50 miles an hourfor cornwall and devon and into the english channel. this pump, this richard hogh pressure should bring some fine weather for saturday. this weather feature will bring us a span of rain and strong winds for sunday. so this is the picture for saturday, largely dry, good spells of sunshine around. a breeze feeding showers into the north—west of the country. again, could be quite mild in the south, 11 to 12 degrees. dry start to saturday night that then this wet weather system is talking about will bring increasing cloud, breeze, outbreaks of rain initially to england and wales. some of that could be quite heavy and can also bring very mild air with a too. it could be quite chilly again under northern skies. very wet start in england and wales, rain will start to clear way eastwards into the afternoon, something a little bit drivers could stay quite cloudy and dry across the south. the best of
the sunshine across the northern half of the country. normal temperatures began very mild in the south. as we head on into christmas eve, could see this front bring further rain to southern england for a while. but as a big area of pressure establishes itself across the uk, it looks like things will settle down as we head on the christmas day, maybejust a settle down as we head on the christmas day, maybe just a few showers for the south—west scotland. it was son of chile with some patchy frost and fog, otherwise try and settle with some patches of sunshine. —— it will start off chile. seriously —— chilly. this is bbc news.
the headlines: police in britain say they are considering trying to shoot down a drone that has shut down one of the country's largest airports for more than 2a hours. the closure of gatwick has disrupted travel for more than 100,000 people. the airport's single runway remains closed. us defence secretary, jim mattis, is to quit hisjob in the trump administration. his departure had been anticipated in parts of the us media after president trump decided to withdraw us troops from syria, despite opposition from international allies and members of the us military. china has rejected accusations by the united states and britain that it is involved in cyber hacking in at least a dozen countries. it comes after the us charged two chinese hackers with stealing data worldwide over more than a decade. beijing has urged washington to withdraw the accusation. now on bbc news, panorama.
chanting: h52, we don't want you. after years of planning and protest, work on britain's biggest building project is underway. this is a big moment, because the project is now actually happening. those in the way of the high speed railway have to move. it's like the king's come around and slapped a notice on my gate and said, "right, you're out." ijust can't believe that they're allowed to treat people like this. i think they've overspent and the only way they can get their money back is by robbing the likes of us. the word is costs are rising. it is the most expensive railway in the world. ever. tonight, on panorama, a whistle—blower speaks out. i was absolutely appalled that numbers could be advanced in such a loose and slapdash fashion. so will hs2 stay on track?