welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is duncan golestani. our top stories. france's so—called "gilets jaunes" movement brings protesters onto the streets. for a seventh weekend. organisers blame the festive season for a slight drop in numbers. voting has begun in bangladesh, following an election campaign plagued by violence and complaints of intimidation. with more than 200 people arriving in the past two months, the uk government defends it's handling of the increase in migrants crossing the channel. after the christmas chaos at gatwick, local police say some of the drones seen over the british airport may have belonged to their own force. the actress damejune whitfield has died at the age of 93. she was best known for her roles in the british sitcoms terry and june and absolutely fabulous. hello, and welcome to bbc news.
france's so—called ‘gilets jaunes‘ movement is blaming the festive season for a drop in protestors on the street. across the country roads were blocked, barricades and vehicles were set alight as some marches became violent. in paris demonstrators camped outside media outlets as they vowed to continue fighting for better living standards into the new year. georgina smyth has the story. the seventh saturday of yellow vest protest, and the streets of france are still burning. this scene, filmed by onlookers on the streets of paris, the latest in a movement
that ignited with fuel tax increases and exploded into so much more. an olive branch of tax and salary concessions was offered by president macron earlier this month, but anger is still high across france. in bordeaux, police barricades were hijacked by demonstrators, stacked high, and satellite. further north in nantes, canisters of teargas were deployed as peaceful demonstrators turned violent. translation: we will continue until we win, until macron backs down and gives us what we deserve. more purchasing power. less taxes, a healthy life, without having to tighten and tighten our belts at the end of every single month. in the capital, yellow vests converged on the steps of media outlets, ensuring the movement stays firmly on the news agenda. translation: i don't think we are slowing down. i think there is
a desire to discredit the movement, a willingness to say the yellow vests are slowing down, but that is not the case. organisers of the capital's new year's eve fireworks and light show say that operations will continue for the event, despite plans for more protests on the night. a message for the government that the movement will not fade for 2019. and you can find much more about the yellow vest protests on our website, including this analysis on whether president macron‘s concessions have been enough. head to our website, bbc.com/news. you can also download the bbc news app. let's get some of the day's other news egypt says it has killed forty people it accuses of planning attacks against tourist sites and state institutions. the country's interior ministry says it happened on hideouts in giza and north sinai after it received intelligence that attacks
were being planned. police launched the raids a day after the deadly bombing of a tourist bus near the pyramids outside cairo. flights at germany's hannover airport have resumed after they were suspended when a man drove a car onto the tarmac. police were able to overpower the man and stop the car. police say there's no evidence of a terrorist motive. italy's parliament has approved a revised budget for the next year amid complaints from the opposition that it was dictated by the european union. the budget proposals were passed with 327 votes in favour and 228 against. the new budget watered down earlier big—spending measures to avoid disapprovalfrom the european union. the uk government has insisted it is
working effectively with france to tackle an increase in the number of migrants crossing the english channel and small boats. more than 200 people have arrived since the start of november and there have been calls for more patrol boats off dover. earlier the immigration minister held talks with border force officials. richard lister reports. you're iranian? you have to be desperate to make this journey. these migrants were picked up crossing the channel earlier this month. others arrived yesterday — part of a growing number using ill—equipped boats to flee war zones, persecution and poverty. in dover today, the immigration minister met border force officials to consider their response. the home secretary, sajid javid, cut short his christmas holiday to tackle what he is declared a major incident. the government says french cooperation is vital. what we want to make sure is that we continue to work with the french, so that people are prevented from leaving beaches
in northern france, to make sure that we are providing joint operations, both in terms of intelligence and policing. the number of migrants heading for these shores is minuscule compared to the million or so who tried to cross the mediterranean three years ago. but the figure is rising — up from about a dozen or so who successfully crossed the channel last year to more than 220 who have made the crossing since the beginning of november alone. so why the sudden surge? in the autumn, french police intensified efforts to clear migrant camps around dunkirk and calais, leaving large numbers of people looking for ways to leave france. secret filming by the bbc a few weeks ago revealed that people smugglers have now become increasingly organised in helping migrants cross the channel. translation: a boat, it will cost you £3,000—4,000. it is border force vessels like this one that have to intercept them. there is only one on active
patrol here at the moment, and some say there should be more. there is no resilience within border force. we've got no spare capacity to increase and put resources into trying to stop this, trying to deal with these large numbers as they arrive. we are stripped to our bare bones. there is nothing more that border force has got to give. the government is weighing up whether deploying more patrol boats would deter migrants and save lives, or if it would give these desperate people more of an incentive to make the crossing. richard lister, bbc news, dover. the 2—year—old boy whose yemeni mother fought for a us visa to visit him in hospital, has died. abdullah hassan was on life support by the time his mother was granted a us visa to visit him. she was initially prohibited from traveling to the us because of president trump's ban that restricts yemeni nationals from entering the country. thousands of people have marched
through the serbian capital, belgrade, in the latest mass protest against president aleksandar vucic and his governing serbian progressive party. opposition groups accuse mr vucic of being autocratic and establishing total control over the media. the protests against him began after an opposition leader was beaten before a political gathering in central serbia last month. british police have acknowledged that some of the sightings of drones over london's gatwick airport may have been devices belonging to the force. an estimated 140,000 people had their travel plans ruined before christmas as experts tried to find the illegal drone operators. police say they have not yet found the drone that caused the runway closure. gatwick airport is offering a large reward for any information leading to the arrest of those responsible. our correspondent andy moore has been following the story.
last weekend, police said they found a damaged drone near the perimeter of gatwick airport, and they thought this may well be the drone that had caused problems for about 140,000 people. well, today giles york said that in fact two drones have been found near the airport, but he was ruling both of them out of police enquiries. again last weekend, a senior officer from the force said there was a possibility there were no drones over gatwick. mr york said today that was not the case. he said, "i'm absolutely certain that there was a drone flying throughout the period that the airport was closed." now, he also said, for the first time, i believe, that police drones were launched to survey the area, to search for suspects. he said they could have
caused some confusion. 115 sightings of this rogue drone, at least 93 of them credible, say the police, but no video footage. voters are preparing to go to the polls in the democratic republic of congo's presidential election. the build up to the vote has been marred by unrest and the head of the country's electoral commission has said key opposition candidates have refused to sign a statement which spells out terms to avoid violence during the polling. caroline rigby has more. tensions have been rising ahead of this long overdue election. delayed for two years, their run—up has been marred by unrest. on the eve of sunday's vote, the three front—runners smedts to agree on terms on how to avoid further violence. translation: we have just signed this accord which says that we are committed to not having any violence. we call on the congolese to go and vote massively, without violence or protest, in favour of these elections, to elect the new president. we have just signed but there are no more problems. optimism for president joseph kabila's
favoured successor was tempered both is from two key opposition figures. they both refuse to sign the statement after officials reject that there suggested changes to the text. for the first time, electronic voting machines will be in operation, despite concerns they could be used to read the vote. some worry these elections might not be free and fair, but after significant delays, many are eager to cast their ballots in what could mark the country's first democratic transition of power after decades of authoritarian rule, coups and civil war. yet more than a million people will not get to take part in sunday. the electoral commission has postponed voting in three districts until march, blaming insecurity and the ongoing ebola outbreak for its decision. despite this, authorities still plan to swear injoseph kabila's replacement next month. stay with us on bbc news,
still to come: the heartwarming tale of how a puppy who had become trapped in a frozen lake was rescued by a turkish police diver. the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got underway with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow in holland, we're going to use money we picked up in belgium today and then we'll be in france, and again, it'll be the same money. it's just got to be the way to go. george harrison, the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed at his oxfordshire home. a 33—year—old man from liverpool is being interviewed by police on suspicion of attempted murder. i think it looks good.
just good? no, fantastic. that's better. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: for the seventh weekend in a row, france's so—called ‘gilets jaunes‘ movement brings protesters onto the streets. organisers blame the festive season for a slight drop in numbers. in the democratic republic of congo, the candidates fail to agree over how to avoid polling day violence. voting has begun in the general election in bangladesh, where the prime minister, sheikh hasina, is seeking a third successive term.
heavy security is in place after an election campaign marred by opposition complaints of intimidation and violence. more than a hundred million bangladeshis are eligible to vote. bbc bengali service correspondent, shahnaz parveen, is in the capital, dhaka. polls have opened, how are we expecting the rest of the day to one false? good morning. iwill start expecting the rest of the day to one false? good morning. i will start by saying this is the most important and late on in ten years. bangladesh since they did not have an election that has been participated by all parties so now all the major political parties are taking part and there is a lot being expected. but the last couple of days there has been a lot of fear among the people about possible violence.
today there is no transport allowed in the entire country. all sorts of transport has been banned. there is also no internet. you can understand there is an atmosphere of fear will stop the poll has started about an hour ago. ——an atmosphere of fear. the poll had started. there has been a report of a low turnout. usually there is a huge festive atmosphere but we do not see that today, this morning. what we have heard is that there are is only the ruling party can be seen and the opposition agents are not allowed to enter inside. even the posters that we see in the cities, we haven't seen that many posters belonging to the opposition party. our correspondent
sent us a video that shows in that particular area, the polling boxes are already filled with ballots. polling hasn't even started. the morning always starts the day and there is a lot of fear about how this will happen and how it is going to be. i know we will be speaking more as the day progresses but for now, thank you. brazil's president—elect jair bolsonaro says he will issue a decree to allow brazilians without criminal records to own guns. brazil's president—elect jair bolsonaro says he will issue a decree to allow brazilians without criminal records to own guns. it's welcome news for his core supporters who are in favour looser gun laws. throughout his campaign, mr bolsonaro promised to dismantle the current gun legislation. he'll be taking office on the first of january. police in morocco say they've
arrested a swiss national who has residency in morocco in connection with the murder of two scandinavian tourists earlier this month. the two young women, from denmark and norway, were found dead at an isolated hiking spot in the mountains south of marrakesh. the arrested man is also suspected of recruiting moroccans to carry out terrorist attacks. he's the nineteenth suspect to be detained over the killings. pakistan's national airline has suspended 50 employees for faking their academic qualifications. the group includes three pilots. pakistan international airlines said it made the decision after a supreme court ordered an investigation into pilots holding fake degrees. it still needs to verify the cases of more than 400 other employees. the comedy actress, damejune whitfield, has died. she was 93. she was best known for her roles in the bbc comedies
absolutely fabulous and terry and june as well as starring in a number of carry on films. her career began in the i940s and she was still working up until a couple of years ago. sarah campbell now looks back on her life in entertainment. kiss me, kiss me, bite me! bite me! i can't, dear, i'm a vegetarian! in a career spanning seven decades, june whitfield played alongside some of british comedy‘s greatest talents. what's it like, living in the jungle? well, it's... drums play. it's rather dull and boring, really. i realised very early on that i was never going to play the glamorous, you know, leading lady roles. and serious roles, i always thought, ooh, i'd better not do that. they might laugh at me.
and laugh they did. as a comedy performer, she first found fame on the radio in the 1950s, appearing in take it from here opposite jimmy edwards. but june whitfield's unfailing ability to conjure characters seemingly at the drop of a hat saw her become a foil for benny hill and frankie howerd. in the 1970s she teamed up with her regular comedy partner, terry scott, in terry and june. hello, darling. i'm having awful trouble deciding what to give you tonight. well, you can start on an explanation. i'm talking about food. what about eating out? what about the garage? 0h, i'd much prefera restaurant. but to younger audiences, june whitfield will be best known as edina's mother. in absolute and that it is. inside of me, there is a thin person just screaming to get out. just the one, dear? and, even in old age,
she continued to delight audiences on programmes like radio's news huddlines. a versatile and reliable performer to the end. earlier i spent —— spoke to mike grady. she was a thorough professional, of course, she had come up from rada as a young woman had got into the repertory system and she had done it all, she'd done all the things we had done. she was kind of very famous, very young, because of take it from here. she was a huge name already when i was growing up. so to meet her was meeting a legend. she didn't behave like the legend, she didn't act out being a legend, shejust turned up knowing her lines, knowing the situation, knowing how to be amiable, how to be in a company, as she was saying earlier in that interview, she never considered
herself as the ingenue, the leading lady. and she certainly never behaved that way. she was great company, good fun to be with. we had a lot of good times together. it was generally a very happy company. and she came into something that was already an established show that had been going for 30 years. and the people there just welcomed her with open arms. nobody was surprised, in the last couple of years, when she was made a dame. because she was of that class. she had worked with noel coward, she had worked withjudi dench, she had worked with oscar wilde, she had a tremendous cv behind her. she was unassuming and professional. and very lovely.
and i'm really sorry she is gone. we used to talk a lot about football. she was very involved with wimbledon fc, which if you knewjune was quite was quite proper, wimbledon fc was the crazy gang and pretty crazy they were, too. on the idea of her being involved with them is a wonderful comedy in itself. our reporterjust made the point that she played alongside some great talents, she was in ensemble casts like yours, i want it with her talented she had been born later or were starting out now, do you think she would have her own show? undoubtedly. she could sing and dance. i mean, she could do all the things that concert parties would require and variety would require. as well as doing sketch shows. as well as doing sketch
shows on the radio. i think she was probably the best of all the margaret thatchers that we had, and there were some good ones. and in a very unassuming way one day she decided, they were looking for a margaret thatcher soundalike, and she did not really push herself forward. she just became margaret thatcher. in a tea break she just became margaret thatcher. and they were like eureka, we have got her. so for the next few years she was margaret thatcher on that show and many other people. she was a great impressionist. a puppy has been saved from a frozen lake by a police diver in turkey. the rescuer feared the worse but said it was miracle that she survived. lets take a look. new year's eve is fast approaching
and one of the biggest celebrations is in new york where they've been rehearsing. confetti blew across the crowds in times square, but it was just a practice run for the big bash itself and the confetti went everywhere. let's hope the strong winds subside before the real thing! hello. we've had some fairly quiet weather over recent days, with high pressure mostly in charge. has been a little bit wet and windy across some northern parts of the uk, but this picture was taken on saturday afternoon by one of our weather watchers in sterling. and i think as we head through the next couple of days, the last few days of 2018, that mostly dry theme will continue. fairly cloudy, certainly mild. there will be a bit of rain, mostly across the northern half of the uk, particularly for parts of scotland over the next few days. we've got a weather front which is just pushing its way west to east across parts of scotland and england at the moment, but it's high pressure that is
largely dominating the weather. a fairly chilly start to sunday morning, especially across some southern and eastern parts where we have the clearer skies for longest overnight. so we start with a lot of cloud, some drizzly outbreaks of rain, particularly in the north and the east. now, most of that rain will clear. it'll linger longest for the northern isles. best of the sunshine, then, will be for eastern scotland and eastern england too. further west, thicker cloud is likely to bring a little bit of drizzle, perhaps some low cloud and mist over the hills in the west, too. but temperatures 10—12 degrees — still reasonably mild for this time of year. and then we keep with that reasonably mild and largely dry theme through the course of sunday evening, and overnight too. still a bit of light rain and patchy drizzle for some northern and western parts. clearer skies for a time towards the east. so i think monday morning, this is the dawn on new year's eve, we should see largely frost—free conditions, but perhaps some fairly chilly weather first thing across some eastern areas with those clearer spells. now, looking through the day on new year's eve, monday, high pressure well and truly in the driving seat. we have got weather fronts to the far north—west and tighter isobars here.
so breezier conditions, certainly, for northern and western scotland, with a bit of patchy rain too. but for much of the uk, new year's eve monday is looking pretty much the same as the last few days — largely dry, fair amount of cloud, and the best of any sunny spells will be for eastern counties of england and eastern scotland. temperatures around ten or 11 degrees for new year's eve on monday. if you've got plans to see in the new year overnight new year's eve night, most of us should stay dry. fairly cloudy conditions, but there could be a spot or two of rain, particularly across part of scotland, perhaps northern ireland too. so that's all courtesy of this fairly weak weather front which is just slowly slipping south as we head into new year's day but for most of us, high pressure still in charge of the weather. so a largely dry, still mild picture on new year's day, but then things are turning colder, a little more wintry, as we look ahead into the first week of 2019. bye— bye. this is bbc news.
the headlines: for the seventh weekend in a row, france's so—called gilets jaunes movement for better living standards has brought protesters onto the streets. across the country, roads were blocked and barricades were set alight as some marches became violent. organisers blame the festive season for a slight drop in numbers. on the eve of the presidential election in the democratic republic of congo, opposition candidates have refused to sign an agreement aimed at preventing violence. they say officials failed to make changes in the text that they had requested. tensions have increased after the electoral commission postponeed polls in several regions. the uk government has insisted it is working very effectively with france to tackle an increase in the number of migrants crossing the channel in small boats. more than 200 people have arrived since the start of november. local politicians have called for more coast guard boat patrols. now on bbc news: 2018 marked 50