welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: indonesia steps up the relief operation for thousands who lost their homes in saturday's tsunami. officials plan a new early warning system for next year. spotlight on the plight of migrants at the us—mexico border as an 8—year—old boy dies in custody on christmas day. chinese human rights lawyer wang quanzhang goes on trial on charges of state subversion. we'll be live from the city of tianjin. and the pope urges people to celebrate their differences, not be suspicious of them, in his annual christmas address from the vatican. hello. officials in indonesia are stepping up the relief operation for the thousands of people who lost their homes in saturday's deadly tsunami.
there's a promise too of a new warning system to try and avert future disasters. it's now confirmed at least a29 people have died. heavy rains are hampering efforts to get help and supplies to about 16,000 people on the islands of java and sumatra who've had to evacuate to higher ground. there are fears that further eruptions of the anak krakatoa volcano, may trigger more deadly waves. naval vessels deployed around the sunda strait have found some bodies washed out to sea. tsunamis this year have exposed the fact that much of the early warning system hasn't been working for years, partly because of damage by passing ships, theft, or vandalism. a new system would measure the size of waves, to detect tsunamis caused notjust by earthquakes but by undersea landslides. sameer hashmi reports from the coast of west java. three days after the tsunami struck indonesia, the country is slowly coming to terms with the scale of the tragedy.
the government has now turned its attention on providing relief to thousands of people who have lost their homes. several such centres have been set up to collect food and clothing. leading the relief and rescue operations in banten region is commander rico sirait. he says progress has been difficult. the challenge will be mostly because of the weather right now. it's rainy season, during the end of the year. we try hard to still — searching the shore, we have right now. a few kilometres away, tommy manangka was supposed to have a busy christmas, but it has turned out to be empty. his beach—facing resort was shattered when a strong wave from the sea powered its way through these doors on the night of the tsunami.
in this muslim—dominated country, tommy is from the christian minority, and on a day he should be celebrating, he is busy picking up the pieces of his retirement plan. translation: i was with my guests when i saw a huge wave that went over the yard. i shouted, "this might be a tsunami". i asked the people to move up to the second floor, and then the next wave came in so quickly that guests who were in the lobby were dragged all the way to the road. the special forces are stilljointly conducting rescue operations with the national search agency across the affected regions. we have been following the rescue team for the last hour, and they have been going from one beach to another, trying to sift through the debris to look for more survivors. but there are still many people that are missing. the team is still optimistic and hopeful, even though they realise that this has been a year of disasters for indonesia. the president has ordered the installation of a new advance tsunami warning system. in a country which has been prone to natural disasters in recent
years, this could help avoid a future large—scale loss of life. sameer hashmi, bbc news, banten, indonesia. people in areas affected by the tsunami are looking for some kind of normality in their lives, however fleetingly. some of those hit by the tragedy have been gathering in local churches in small christmas congregations. rahuljoglekar reports. shining a light during the darkest of times, a community comes together to deal with loss at christmas. but, while this brave congregation may seem defiant in the face of tragedy, almost no—one here seems untouched by it. translation: we usually celebrate it with joy and festivities, but with the tsunami, we can only pray humbly, and not celebrate much for this year's christmas. when the tsunami struck, it took the residents here in banten province by surprise. nobody could have imagined the scale of destruction, that was to take so many lives,
and leave this quiet tourist destination changed forever. translation: during the tsunami, we were in the church rehearsing and preparing for today's mass. we heard that the tsunami was coming, but we tried to find accurate information, as there was no tsunami warning from the government agency. once it struck, we tried to help whoever we could. but life must carry on for the survivors of this enormous tragedy. a stoic christmas message from a community looking to deal with their loss, at a time when they were meant to be celebrating. an eight—year—old guatemalan boy has died after being detained by united states border agents. the us customs and border protection said the boy and his father were in custody on christmas eve. it's the second instance this month of a migrant child dying after being detained. earlier this month, mexico agreed to a plan by the trump
administration that means people seeking asylum in the us stay in mexico while their applications are processed. they are now spending christmas stuck in the violent border city of tijuana, and conditions there are getting worse. from there, will grant reports. samuel's family imagined they would be building their lives in the us rather than a tent in mexico by now. but not any more. under new rules they must remain in mexico, in such flimsy accommodation, as they wait on their asylum applications. the change was a temporarily measure for humanitarian reasons, the foreign ministry said, as mexico is considered a safe third country. how safe, though? in recent days, two honduran teenagers from the caravan were killed on tijuana's streets. we saw samuel and baby madeleine often on theirjourney.
they are typical of the migrant families — poor, exhausted, and fleeing the threat of violence. having risked everything to reach this point, they are reluctant to turn back now, but know they could spend months if not years waiting in one of mexico's most dangerous cities. translation: we cannot go back because i've had death threats from the gangs in honduras. they came to the house looking for me several times, so we had to escape. as the weeks of hardship take their toll, food is scarce and conditions unsanitary. the city has opened a second migrant shelter, but it isn't enough. there is now an increasingly large number of people who will be stuck in these conditions and this legal limbo, notjust through christmas, but well into next year. hundreds have already returned to central america, and the mexican authorities are encouraging others to do the same — to head home for christmas. this decision on asylum has caught many off guard. translation: how can you ask for asylum from one country
and be in another? it doesn't make sense. president trump hated the old system, calling it "catch—and—release. " this change is what he wanted from mexico. for those trapped at the border, though, this new agreementjust made a bleak christmas even tougher. the trial of a chinese human rights lawyer, wang quanzhang, on charges of state subversion, is getting underway in the city of tianjin, south east of the capital beijing. mr wang was detained three years ago as part of a wide—reaching clampdown on chinese lawyers and activists. he was charged last february, but was not heard from again untiljuly. the bbc‘s stephen mcdonell is in tianjin. i know there is a lot of security around the court. tell us more, if you can. 0k, around the court. tell us more, if you can. ok, i am standing across the road from the tianjin
intermediate people's court, where there is a trial on for this human rights lawyer. wang quanzhang has been held for three and a half years without trial and he is finally having his day in court. people who have been following the story will know his wife and other women, quite dramatically, shaved their heads last week, calling for a trial, and finally we are getting one. there is quite a media contingent here. we will swing around so you can see it. lots of reporters, also some diplomats here from different countries. and also, you will notice there is a lot of other people who are sort of state security, that type of thing, standing here watching what we are doing. diplomats from the swiss, german, united states and british embassies tried to get into year the trial, but they were told it is not a public hearing. —— hear the tr. so they were not able to go in. and stephen, unfortunately in these trials, the verdict is often not in
doubt, is it? i mean, we are trying to work out why all of a sudden there would be a trial. you know, in china they often heavily rely on people admitting their gills. so after three and a half years he is having his trial. he is accused of attempting to subvert state power, which can be a pretty broad thing in china. basically, anything that would threaten the communist party can be seen and interpreted in this way. so it could be quite a tough being for him to be defending himself against. of course, if he is found guilty of this, it could mean many years in prison. and stephen, this is part of a much wider crackdown on human rights activists, isn't it, and the people defending them? yeah, he was picked up three yea rs them? yeah, he was picked up three years ago at the same time that hundred of human rights lawyers and activists were all taken away in a
sort of broad sweep. now, of that group, though, he is the last one still being held. and there is some suspicion the reason for that is because he will not admit his guilt. his wife and supporters have not been able to speak to him, so they don't really know what is going on with him. they don't even know for sure where he is being held. they suspect it has been in tianjin, in this city. but even that is a secret. so you can imagine, three and a half years, no trial, being held without access to your family, to be able to tell people how you are going, and so, you know, this is the level of interest. and if you see here, you can see all these people here, as well, talking to us, so people here, as well, talking to us, so there is a lot of interest here from... excuse me, ijust lost my earpiece. lots of interest from state security and others from the
government here, wanting to know what we are saying. they have also stopped, for example, his family from coming to the trial. so his wife, she would have liked to have been here, but she is back in beijing. outside her house, there are guards and what have you, and they have not let her leave the city. stephen, you and your team ta ke city. stephen, you and your team take care there. thank you very much for that. pope francis has stressed the need for love between people of all races, nations and religions in his traditional christmas message. addressing thousands gathered in st peter's square, he appealed to worshippers to embrace other cultures, and celebrate diversity. he also spoke about the world's humanitarian disasters. james reynolds reports from rome. cheers and applause. on christmas day, a pope can often enjoy the luxury of the world stage largely to himself. at midday, in blinding sun, vatican bands heralded francis's entrance onto the balcony of st peter's basilica. the pope addressed the pilgrims and tourists in the square below. he called for a resolution
of conflicts in the middle east, africa, latin america and asia. he also sent a message to minority christian communities. translation: a particular thought goes to our brothers and sisters who celebrate the birth of the lord in difficult if not hostile situations, especially where the christian community is a minority, often vulnerable, or not taken into account. the high ceremony of the traditional christmas address is a short breather from some of the problems facing this pope. this year, francis has been criticised for his failure to understand the scope of the clerical sexual abuse crisis. the pontiff has asked bishops from around the world to come to this city early next year to work out how to respond. james reynolds, bbc news, rome.
stay with us on bbc world news, still to come: the queen delivers her annual christmas message, saying goodwill to all is needed "as much as ever." the world of music has been paying tribute to george michael, who's died from suspected heart failure at the age of 53. he sold well over 100 million albums in a career spanning more than three decades. the united states troops have been trying to overthrow the dictatorship of general manuel noriega. the pentagon said that it's failed in its principle objective to capture noriega and take him to the united states to face drugs charges. with
the hammer and sickle was hastily taken away. in its place, the russian flag was hoisted over what is now no longer the soviet union, but the commonwealth of independent states. day broke slowly over lockerbie, over the cockpit of pan am's maid of the seas, nose down in the soft earth. you could see what happens when a plane eight storeys high, a football pitch wide, falls from 30,000 feet. christmas has returned to albania after a communist ban lasting more than 20 years. thousands went to midnight mass in the town of shkodra, where there were anti—communist riots ten days ago. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: indonesia has confirmed it will buy a new tsunami warning system, after the number of people known to have died in the latest disaster rose to nearly 430. let's stay with that story now. rudy pinem is christian aid's emergency programme manager.
he's been telling me the latest about aid efforts in lampung, which was one of the hardest hit areas. right now, we're reaching 360 households. so we have a medical team there right now. and what are your team is finding when they get there? the people there, because in lampung, it is not like in bandung, close to jakarta. so our team is going to where there is not a lot of assistance. so right now, they are still giving medical assistance with doctors and nurses there, and also assessing about what is needed in the next coming days. the government says
it is stepping up the operations, are you finding that you are getting everything you need to get to the people? yes, it is quite manageable right now and also, it is still accessible, it is a practical location. so far, i think we are quite safe right now, but let's see after two weeks of the operation, we will see if there are other needs. i know because of the fears of another big wave or plenty more big waves possibly, a lot of people have evacuated to higher ground, presumably that makes it a lot harder to reach them, to get help to them? yeah, because right now, the government, they do not have any tsunami warning system, caused by the volcanic under the sea, because it is not working right now.
the sea, because it is not not clear right now if it was an eruption ora landslide under the sea but we do not have a system to avoid devastation. the government already released the warning to people to avoid the beach until the end of the year, so i think it is better right now to stay away from the beach because anak krakatau is still on level 2 warning right now. witnesses reported a attack in the
middle east. lets get more on this now. you are a jerusalem post journalist, can you tell us more about this incident? the israeli government and media have reported that israel's air force has struck military installations attributed to run, ammunition against installations, and as a result, israel has triggered its air defence installation in the north. but that has not been confirmed. you expect
it to escalate? it is part of a pattern. israel does reserve the right to do this, doesn't it? pattern. israel does reserve the right to do this, doesn't mm does. as well as initiating over hundreds of strokes within syrian territory to target the eu and us classified terrorist organisation hats below which israel considers an enemy as well as iranian forces. the israeli prime minister has also confirmed that it is israel's right and they will continue to target threats to israeli security. as you may have read or listeners have seen over the last week, hezbollah has entered israeli territory through a number of tunnels that have now been blown up. looking bigger picture, how does the announcement from president trump about the withdrawal of us troops from syria impact on this? from the perspective of the israeli defence,
it isa perspective of the israeli defence, it is a terrible mistake. because it will create a vacuum that will allow vladimir putin, as bullard, it rhyme and the syrian dictated to intensify their presence and it a sickly means that the us government has subcontracted its policy to the president of turkey who has not been a stabilising force in the region. he is moving into north—eastern syria to conduct a massacre against kurdish fighters who have been the most courageous and disciplined fighters in stopping the islamic state. so from any perspective, donald trump osmond new policy to withdraw troops will create more volatility in the middle east region. you expect this to be an announcement that is carried through? in the past, the president has already lost two senior advisers
over the decision and in the past he has declared some things that the military has quietly not carried out. he has been feverishly tweeting that american troops will be withdrawn and this was a troops will be withdrawn and this wasa campaign troops will be withdrawn and this was a campaign promise. i thought that general mattis, who resigned, i thought he would be up to sway him and appeared to do so for a while but now donald trump is welded to a disastrous middle east policy. are much rupee will reserve the make reverse the. netanyahu neta nyahu appealed and netanyahu appealed and he was fobbed off. the region needs a larger contingent and i applaud the french president for keeping troops there with the help of the germans and the
british, who also have a large troop presence there to blunt the withdrawal of donald trump. president trump has said the partial shutdown of the federal government is going to last until he gets the funds to build a wall on the mexico border. the shutdown began at midnight friday after opposition democrats resisted the president's demand for 5 billion dollars for his mexico border wall. here's mr trump speaking to reporters earlier. i can't tell you when the government's going to be open. i can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, or whatever they want to call it. it's a barrier for people bringing to our country — it's a barrierfrom drugs. it's a problem in this world today. it's called human trafficking. human trafficking is one of the hard to believe problems, and we are not going to let that take place. we are working so hard
to catch these traffickers. they are bad people. as soon as i said i want to build a wall, they were all against it. it's like — take another example. take james comey. everybody hated comey. they thought he did a horrible job. the democrats hated him. they were calling for his resignation, they were calling for his firing, including schumer, including nancy pelosi. untilifired him. and once i fired him, everybody said, "oh, why did you fire him?" you need to look at some of those people. this is what we're doing now. take a look at some of these people. literally the day before ifired him, they said he should be fired. as soon as i fired him they said, "oh, what did you do that for? there was a terrible thing to do". it is a disgrace, what's happening in our country. but other than that, i wish everybody a very merry christmas. thank you very much, thank you. president trump they're saying some
things which are, of course, quite open to debate. president trump's in hot water with a lot of parents and, quite possibly, santa claus himself. despite the partial us government shutdown, one agency that hasn't ground to a halt is norad. on christmas eve it has a santa tracker — this is what it looks like — young and old can follow the movements of father christmas as he delivers presents around the world. american kids can also call in to talk to employees, and some of those calls get patched through to the president and first lady. that's what happened to one girl named collman. have a listen to part of her conversation with mr trump. do you still believe in santa? because at seven it's marginal, right? you can reach me on twitter — i'm @bbcmikeembley. hello.
christmas day started at —8 in north—east scotland but as the day went on in north—west scotland, the temperature hit plus 14 celsius. most of us had a mild, dry christmas day and that is how it will stay for boxing day. high pressure in control. spanning from the continent across the british isles. most of us will be dry in the day ahead, but not all of us. this weather front will change things for north—west scotland. if you are close to that, you will see rain at times. and this is how the day is starting. but very mild with it. north—east scotland still close to freezing. so this is where boxing day starts with a frost. elsewhere, a good few degrees above freezing, plenty of cloud, drizzly in places, misty for many of us as well. as the day goes on, more rain in north—west scotland. elsewhere, we will see some sunshine towards north—east scotland. parts of north—east england, north—east wales, should see sunshine developing more widely across southern counties of england during the afternoon and into the channel islands as well.
almost across—the—boa rd temperatures are into double figures for that mild unseasonal feel to things. from wednesday into thursday morning, rain in north—west scotland easing, a good deal of cloud around, a few breaks here and there but more especially across southern england, maybe into south wales, and this is where we will see the lowest temperatures as thursday begins. this is where we are most likely to see frost in places and it could be fog patches perhaps slow to clear. where they do clear, we will see some sunshine and again on thursday, north—east scotland will see blue sky in places, many other places will be cloudy but still essentially dry. the temperatures are still on the mild side but many parts of england and wales mayjust shave a couple of degrees off that compared for boxing day. high pressure is still close by, still generally in charge going into friday but we will see a weather front coming in from the atlantic.
ahead of it, southern areas of the country could start friday again with dense fog in places. a weakening spell of rain moving across scotland and northern england and nothing left of that rain as it moves further south during the day. behind that, you get to see some sunshine coming through and temperatures are still on the mild side. another spell of rain affecting parts of scotland as saturday begins, but for most over the weekend with high pressure close by, it is dry, often cloudy, but mild. that's your forecast. this is bbc news, the headlines: officials in indonesia say they're stepping up the relief operation for thousands of people who lost their homes in saturday's deadly tsunami. there's a promise too of a new warning system, to try and avert future disasters. the number of people known to have died has risen to 429. a second child has died after being taken into custody while trying to cross into america from mexico with his family. the 8—year—old boy, from guatemala,
had been complaining of a fever. thousands of central american migrants are spending christmas on the streets of the violent border city of tijuana. the trial of a chinese human rights lawyer on charges of state subversion has started in the eastern city of tianjin. wang quanzhang was detained three years ago in a clampdown on chinese lawyers and activists. he was charged last february, but was not heard from again untiljuly. now on bbc news, stephen hawking, aretha franklin, tessa jowell and ken dodd — just a few of those who left us this year, and whose lives are celebrated in review 2018: we remember.