welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is duncan golestani. our top stories: bangledesh's prime minister, sheikh hasina, is declared the winner of the country's general election amid claims of vote rigging. the opposition calls the vote ‘farcical‘ and is demanding fresh polls. concerns are raised over the ability of a shipping company to run extra ferries in the event of a no—deal brexit — the uk government insists it was carefully vetted. the parents of a british man murdered by his chinese wife win custody of their six—year—old granddaughter, but are forced to leave their grandson behind. written out of history — why many black argentinians feel they're living in a country that doesn't recognise their cultural identity. in bangladesh the party of prime minister sheikh hasina has
been declared the winner of the country's general election. but the main opposition parties have condemned the result and demanded a new vote, amid accusations of vote rigging. at least 18 people have been killed in violent clashes. our correspondent yogita laymaye is in the capital, dhaka. her report does contain some flashing images. clashes outside a polling centre in dhaka. they spot a reporter and try to stop him from filming. it was just one of the many violent incidents in bangladesh on election day. others were more deadly. but, in large parts, polling did go off peacefully. bangladesh's prime minister, sheikh hasina, has already been in powerfor ten years.
tonight, the election commission declared yet another victory for her. she has been credited with bringing development to the country and tackling islamist militancy, but her government has also been accused of cracking down on the opposition. two days before the polls, i asked her to respond. look, all the allegations they are making, but they couldn't prove it. on the one hand, they are placing allegations. on the other hand, they are attacking our party workers, leaders. the opposition has now called for a fresh election. people are being killed, people are being arrested. candidates are being arrested, and one candidate... which is unprecedented. unprecedented. these are workers from prime minister sheikh hasina's awami league, standing outside a polling booth, and this is something we have seen across the city of dhaka today. behind me, all the political posters you can see are also from the same party. in contrast, the presence of the opposition on the streets is really hard to find.
translation: i was a bit worried that my vote might have been stolen, but i did get to vote. translation: all the parties did not get equal opportunities to campaign. that is why i did not cast my vote. in one part of bangladesh, the bbc saw ballot boxes which had been filled even before polling began. those and all the other boxes were opened and counted, taking ms hasina towards a historic victory. but it is also a controversial one. yogita limaye, bbc news, dhaka. earlier i spoke to michael kugelman. he is deputy director of the asia program at the wilson center. i asked him for his reaction to the election result. well, it was a very lopsided victory, a suspiciously lopsided victory. i think that one has reason to be concerned is that the ruling party received more than 90% of the vote, particularly for a ruling party that had been making systematic efforts to crack down on the opposition over the last few years,
and to sideline the opposition. so i think that this is going to be a very difficult and volatile next few days for bangladesh, given that the opposition has already rejected the results. it has called for a new election, which is clearly not going to happen. so i think that bangladeshi politics could be on a bit of a collision course over the next few days. but this ruling party certainly has strong constituencies, it has strong supporters. but to think that it could get 92% of the vote, 92% of the seats in parliament, to me thatjust seems to be a bit hard to believe and a bit suspicious. when you talk about seeing a collision course in the next few days, what do you mean? are you talking about violence on the streets? well, i mean, i imagine that the opposition will demand some type of recount or some type of new election from the ruling party, and i imagine the ruling party will reject that request. and when that happens, then certainly, yes, i think we do have to worry about street protests, which could perhaps get violent. but then again, the opposition
has already been, in many cases, dismantled. it's really a shadow of its former self, given what's been done to it over the last few years. you have a number of top leaders, opposition leaders, injail, so it will be difficult for them to mount a major campaign, a major street campaign, even if they wanted to try. but i do think that we could have protests that could turn violent over the next few days. so that will be a big test for bangladesh, for sure. the opposition parties are appealing to the electoral commission. what do we know about that body and its ability to handle this? well, there's a lot of fears that the election commission is essentially with — connected to or leaning towards the views of the ruling party, and that it would not necessarily be very helpful. but i think that, for the sake of democracy, one would assume that it would at least seriously consider any complaints or concerns that the opposition takes forward to it.
but then again, the election commission has declared the awami league, the ruling party, the winner, so i think it will be very difficult for the opposition to go that route. i really fear that the political opposition doesn't really have any options to contest this election and these results as they have been announced. the uk finance minister philip hammond has been accused by cabinet meanwhile, the department for transport has defended its decision to award a contract worth millions to a shipping company that's never done any business. as part of the government's preparation for a no—deal brexit, seaborne freight has been contracted to transport goods vehicles between ramsgate and ostend in belgium. a bbc investigation has found that the company, which was formed less than two years ago, has no trading record and no significant assets. this report by our business correspondentjoe miller does contain some flashing images. these are the large ferries that will carry thousands of lorries
across the channel to relieve congestion at dover in the event of a no—deal brexit, as soon as march. but, while two large international shipping firms have been awarded contracts to provide extra crossings at locations like portsmouth and plymouth, one british business has been handed millions of pounds by the department for transport on the promise of reviving this terminal with a regular route to belgium. ramsgate‘s commercial port has been dormant for the best part of five years. currently, no large ferries depart from here. but the government has given almost £14 million to a firm called seaborne freight, which has never sailed a vessel and has no significant assets, to get a regular service up and running injust three months. as of a couple of months ago, the company's total share capital was valued at £66. and this is seaborne freight‘s website, which says it serves the needs of cross—channel freight traffic, and claims that freight ferry services operate
between ramsgate and ostend, even though there is as yet no such service in operation. one local councillor told me he believes seaborne is in no position to provide any service. as a conservative, ifeel that as a shell company, which is a company that exists just on paper, it is a complete waste of money, of £14 million taxpayers' money, to provide what will be an unsustainable service across the channel here at ramsgate. the department for transport acknowledges that seaborne freight, which was set up by seasoned shipping industry figures, is just a start—up, but insists it was carefully vetted. and the company's chief executive is adamant that it will have ships to provide a service in time for brexit day on 29 march. but, when we asked them to name the vessels it would use on the route, the company declined to do so. a campaigner who opposes the use of ramsgate as a commercial port had a simple question in response. if you have ships, you can name
them, but everybody in the industry does not believe seaborne freight has any access to ships at the moment. the government hopes it won't have to resort to contingency plans. it prefers a negotiated exit from the eu. but, regardless of whether seaborne‘s services are ever needed, it could keep some taxpayers' money. another example, say critics, of a failure to plan properly for a no—deal brexit. rescuers are hoping to find fifteen illegal coal miners who've been trapped for more than two weeks. the miners were stranded in the pit in the north eastern state of meghalaya after a nearby river flooded the tunnel. gail maclellan reports. the indian navy team being carefully lowered into the opening of the mind. emergency workers equipped with high powered pumps, ready to clear the water filling the mind. the 15 man they hope to rescue have
been trapped underground since december 13. illegal mines are known as rat holes, are common in meghalaya. it is a dangerous brett is, digging coal at a narrow horizontal scenes. most of the miners of pork migrant labourers —— are poor migrants from neighbouring states. anger has grown. so far there has been no sign of life that families are hoping the miners may have found an airport that. this rescue attempt has not succeeded. translation: divers have just come out and the water levels and depth are way beyond their expectations. our divers have been unable to touch the bottom. but they do not plan to give up on the bottom. but they do not plan to give up on rescue the bottom. but they do not plan to give up on rescue efforts. they hope to stage another attempt on monday. a british couple whose son was murdered by his chinese wife, have won custody of one of their grandchildren after a long legal battle.
ian and linda simpson are due to return to the uk later this week after reaching a deal during a court hearing over christmas in china. but they've been forced to leave their other grandchild behind. laura westbrook reports. eight—year—old jack and six—year—old alice have been at the centre of a long international custody battle. their british father, michael, seen here with them, was stabbed to death in his apartment in shanghai by his estranged chinese wife last year. weiwei fu is now serving a life sentence for murder. since their dad's death, jack and alice have been living with their chinese grandparents. they haven't been told what has happened to their parents. their english grandparents want to raise them in the uk. but, in a heartbreaking decision, they had to agree to a custody deal to bring just their granddaughter alice back, leaving jack with his chinese family back in china. they will also have
to pay them £10,000. ian simpson says bringing both of the children to the uk is what his son would have wanted. michael raised them very much in a western style. they spent a lot of time — they spent two visits a year over here. they speak english, and when... they were already talking about a divorce, weiwei, and she was — weiwei was happy that the children would go with michael, ‘cause he was the real carer. so, as far as we're concerned, that's where they should be. he has told the bbc that their campaign to have both of their grandchildren back in the uk will continue. but, for now, these two siblings will live thousands of miles apart. laura westbrook, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: we meet a man who's using a team of animals and a remote control to help people who are grieving after losing a loved one. 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. hello, welcome back.
the latest headlines now: the main opposition party in bangladesh is calling forfresh elections, after prime minister sheikh hasina secured a third term in power. however, there have been widespread claims of vote rigging. fears raised over the ability of a shipping company tasked with running extra ferries in the event of a no—deal brexit have been dismissed by the uk government. polls have officially closed in historic elections in the democratic republic of congo, but the vote has been marred by long queues and broken voting machines. four people are also reported to have been killed in election—related violence. voters have been choosing a successor to presidentjoseph
kabila, who has been in office for 17 years. this poll has finally gone ahead after a two year delay, but it could now be the drc‘s first peaceful of transfer of power since independence. louise dewast has the latest from kinshasa. a warning: this report does contain some flashing images. these people came to vote, but were turned away. this polling station wasn't ready, yet the country's electoral commission has had two years to prepare. presidentjoseph kabila himself was able to vote. people desperately want change. in kinshasa, a sprawling city of 12 million people, most live with no electricity or water, despite the country's immense mineral wealth. the election means the future to me, so i have voted for the candidate who will bring for us a bright future, as he promised us to fight
the poverty and to bring back the justice in the country. people here are very aware that this election could be flawed, that the vote could be rigged in favour of the ruling party's candidate. presidentjoseph kabila has repeatedly said that these elections will be free and fair, but not many here believe him. the fear is that president kabila wants his chosen successor to be in power, so he can keep pulling the strings behind the scenes and then run again in the next elections. translation: we have always been afraid of vote—rigging, but we don't have a choice. we come to vote, but i really don't know if my voice will count or not. if these long—awaited elections are not seen as credible, this could trigger violence, and ultimately worsen the humanitarian situation in this conflict—ridden country. a lack of stability here
could destabilise the entire region. louise dewast, bbc news, kinshasa. the outgoing white house chief of staff, john kelly, has given a wide—ranging interview to the la times. in it, he defends his sometimes rocky tenure and says it is best measured by what the president did not do when he was at his side. mr kelly is leaving the white house on wednesday. earlier, we got some analysis from the bbc‘s danjohnson in washington. there are some interesting insights here that shows where he differed from the approach of the president and is perhaps the key to why he is leaving the white house next week. he said, talking about the border wall, john kelly's assessment was that it was not a wall.
he said very early in the administration, going back almost two years now, they dropped the idea of a continuous solid concrete wall across the border, and even though the president still uses john kelly says the reality is that border security will be improved by increasing technology, putting more border agents on the border, and by improving fencing in some areas, what the president referred to as "steel slats". but certainlt, the idea of one continuous concrete wall, john kelly has shut down as he leaves the white house. other issues he confronted — he defended the tough stance on immigration but said he does have compassion for the migrants coming to the wall, something the president certainly hasn't shown in his tweets over the christmas period, and he's said that really his time in the white house should be assessed by what the president hasn't, has threatened but not carried off, like perhaps withdrawing
from nato, something that john kelly strongly argued against and the troops being withdrawn from syria and afghanistan. he had opposed it, but it was then quickly announced, soon after, he announced he would leave the white house. the woman announced as the next chief executive of the premier league has told the organisation she's lindsey graham was one of the high—profile pop and senators who criticised's donald trump's decision to re m ove criticised's donald trump's decision to remove us soldiers from the middle east, arguing it could hurt national security. there have been widespread landslides and flooding in the philippines. people were trapped by
those landslides. police in morocco so those landslides. police in morocco so they have arrested a swiss national in connection with the murder of two european tourist earlier this month. the two women we re earlier this month. the two women were found in an isolated sites south of the mountains in marrakesh. the man had also been charged with recruiting people to carry out isis attacks. 200 years ago, around a third of argentina's population were black, but today very few people admit to being of african descent. despite their huge and historical influence on society, black argentinians still face racial discrimination and are often treated as foreigners in their own country. our correspondent celestina olulode reports now from buenos aires. there's nothing more argentine than tango, but many are unaware its roots are african. for the afro—argentines whose families descended from the slave trade, they often feel like they've been written out of history, and invisible to their fellow argentines. mistaken as foreigners, these are the people who face racism today.
translation: i belong to an ethnicity that has been systematically denied. it hurts. it's deep, and it remains with you throughout time. translation: it makes me feel angry to have to explain that i'm argentine, because my ancestors did a lot for this country. argentines are always trying to be white and european, and this is why they feel that everything black is bad. jose delfin acosta died whilst in police custody 22 years ago. his brother, angel, who is of mixed heritage, says jose was beaten to death by racist police. the government says the case is being investigated. it's also been referred to an international court. translation: racism didn't end with the death of my brother, racism is still around. and ifeel very lonely when i'm defending my brother because the organisations
don't do anything. 200 years ago, a third of the people in this city were black. now, official estimates claim that argentines of african descent make up less than 1% of the population of this country. although many people dispute this, something i put to the government. how can you do yourjob effectively when so many people here, that i've spoken to, say that there are no afro—argentines here? translation: for a long time, society was not educated or informed, and did not value the contribution of afro—argentines. we are changing this trend. we need to recognise we come from a history. it's a hard task, but one which will help this country redefine its true national identity and celebrate its african heritage. celestina olulode, bbc news, buenos aires.
to thailand now, and a man who has made it his mission to help those grieving after losing loved ones. he helps console people at funerals with his team of animals. take a look at this. new year's eve is almost upon us, with cities around the world vying for the most spectacular welcome to 2019. that includes new york, where they've been practising for the iconic ball drop ceremony. five, four, three, two, one, happy new year! event organisers did a mock countdown and flipped a giant switch that lit up the flashy ball, made up of more than 2000 waterford crystals. you're watching bbc news. hello. as we head into the final hours of 2018, the weather is looking pretty quiet with high pressure dominating. this was the scene as the sun set on sunday in st andrews, beautiful colours there.
and as we head through the final day, that high pressure keeps us largely dry and settled during new year's eve, quite a bit of cloud on offer. there could be a bit of rain in the north—west, particularly for north—west scotland. now, here isthe area of high pressure that's holding onto our weather, the weather front approaching the north—west. fairly tightly packed isobars in the north, so quite a windy spell of weather developing in parts of scotland on new year's eve. some rain developing in the west, but it will become increasingly light and patchy as it moves its way further south across scotland. elsewhere across the uk, we're looking at a largely dry day, spells of sunshine breaking through after a misty, murky start to the day, and again, it is still mild, so temperatures around about ten to 12 degrees during monday afternoon. if you're heading out new year's eve evening then, most of us again dry, with a few clear spells, there could be the odd spot of rainjust pushing into parts of central scotland, but that rain will be easing.
so if you're hoping to catch the fireworks, it is looking dry for the majority of the uk. pretty cloudy conditions for a time, but as that band weakens as it pushes south, it will just be a band of cloud sitting across parts of northern ireland and wales first thing on new year's day morning. for most of us, it is still going to be mild. but things are turning colder from the north and that is all down to the fact that this cold front is pushing its way south during new year's day on tuesday. it will be fizzling out, so reallyjust a band of cloud, not much rain on that front. high pressure still the dominating force, but it's not really until monday night into tuesday that we see all this cold air packing in from the north and things will feel quite different then. this is new years' day on tuesday, more sunshine will develop across scotland, northern ireland and northern england. further south, some slightly cloudy skies. that breeze coming in from the north introducing some cloud across north—east scotland and northern england too.
temperatures in aberdeen only around 11 or so. we're still looking at ten to 11 degrees celsius down towards the south and south—west of england. moving through then into the overnight period and that's when we see some frosty conditions developing. the blue colours on the map indicate where we will see the lowest of the temperatures tuesday night. not quite as cold for eastern parts of england with a little more cloud around, but as we start 2019, things are set to turn colder, the frost returns, but there will be plenty of sunshine on offer during the day. bye— bye. this is bbc news, the headlines: sheikh hasina has secured a third term as prime minister of bangladesh in what is being described as a landslide victory. the main opposition has called the election ‘farcical‘ as claims of vote rigging emerge, and is demanding a fresh poll. questions have been raised over the ability of a shipping company to run extra ferries in the event of a no—deal brexit. the uk government insists it carefully vetted the company, despite it having never run a ferry service before. a british couple whose son
was murdered by his chinese wife have won custody of one of their grandchildren following a legal battle lasting nearly two years. however, they must leave the girl's brother with his maternal grandparents in china. now on bbc news — there's no doubt britain's shopping habits are changing — and the impact on our high streets has been