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 as claims of vote rigging emerge — the opposition calls the vote ‘fa rcical‘ 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. time is running out for russia to hand over important anti—doping samples from its moscow labratory — a failure to meet the deadline could see new sanctions imposed. 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. here in the uk 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 the english port of 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. let's get some of the day's other news. a powerful storm in the philippines has killed at least 22 people. the philippine disaster relief agency said a tropical cyclone which moved through the eastern visayas and bicol regions had caused widespread landslides and flooding. local media say dozens of other people are missing or trapped by landslides.
republican senator lindsey graham says president trump has reassured him he's committed to defeating the islamic state group before all us troops are withdrawn from syria. the senator was one of several high—profile repulicans who criticised mr trump's decision to withdraw troops arguing it would hurt national security. the woman announced as the next chief executive of the premier league, has told the organisation she's changed her mind. susan dinnage was due to take charge in one of the most powerful roles in british sport in 2019, succeeding richard scudamore, who is stepping down after 19 years. she hasn't given any reasons. had she taken the job, she would have been the league's first female boss. now to india and 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 mine. emergency workers equipped with high powered pumps, ready to clear the water filling the mine. 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 practice, digging coal out of narrow horizontal seams. most of the miners are poor migrant labourers from neighbouring states. there are often acccidents and anger has grown.
so far there has been no sign of life that families are hoping the miners may have found an air pocket. 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 rescue efforts. they hope to stage another attempt on monday. the uk's home secretary says britain and france will step up action to deal with the growing number of migrants crossing the channel in small boats. sajid javid has returned early from his christmas break and said he'd discussed the situation with his french counterpart. more than 200 migrants have made the journey in the past two months. on sunday six iranian men were found at kingsdown in kent. from there, alexandra mackenzie reports. cold, wet and exhausted — iranian nationals on a beach in
kent. they arrived on an inflatable boat this morning. they received medical assessments and were questioned by immigration officials. this afternoon, the beach was busy with locals. it's fairly calm today. it is quite mild, but that's just not a crossing that people should be making. the home secretary has spoken to france's interior minister. in a statement, he said... these are the shores that migrants are desperate to reach. but what happens next depends partly on how the problem is tackled across the water in france. here in dunkirk, volunteers help the migrants. it is thought government attempts to clear camps has led to organised crime gangs encouraging many to leave france. in boulogne, locals say boats have been stolen to aid these journeys. translation: here, it's very easy
to get a boat to go to england. to steal a boat is easier than stealing a car. if you use a professional fishing boat, the maritime authorities think it's a fisherman who's going fishing. back in kent, the coastguard helicopter surveys the shoreline, as many other migrants are expected to risk their lives on this perilous journey. alexandra mackenzie, bbc news, kingsdown. russia is expected to miss monday's deadline to hand over data from its moscow anti—doping laboratory. the world anti—doping agency controversially lifted a three—year ban on the country in september —
on the condition samples were sent by the end of the year. a failure to meet the deadline would be embarassing for wada's leadership — and could see russia face fresh sanctions. caroline rigby has more. for years, russian athletes broke records and dominated medal tables. it was to love and be true. after russia was found guilty of state—sponsored doping on a massive scale, it became a country in sporting exile. clean athletes forced to compete as neutral at events like the olympics. but in september, the world anti— doping agency changed all that. it made the controversial decision to lift its ban on russia on the condition that by the end of the year it hand over data from this moscow laboratory at the centre of one of the biggest ever scandals in sport. with the deadline almost up, the chief of the anti— doping agency called on president vladimir putin to win to being. translation: we are on the
brink of the abyss and i ask that you protect the frozen to protect the present and future of sport. that russia suggests the anti— doping not fully in the loop. 7 the director, unfortunately, is not completely aware of the work thatis not completely aware of the work that is currently in progress between the russian side and wada in moscow. in the meantime, this corporation —— cooperation is going on. but now officials privately admit that the deadline is unlikely to be met and that could see further sanctions against russia and its athletes once again banned from international competition. 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 good7 no, fantastic. that's better. welcome back.
you're watching bbc news. the latest headlines: 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. and 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 transfer of power since independence. louise dewast has the latest from kinshasa. a warning: her 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. 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. happy birthday, grandpa! 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's 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. volunteers atjoshua tree national park in california have turned out in force to help stave off any chaos from the government shutdown. if the shutdown continues for five more days or five more weeks, we will be out here cleaning and taking ca re of will be out here cleaning and taking care of the park, like the government can't. they've been cleaning toilets and picking up litter to keep the park open during the partial shutdown of the us federal government. that began on december 22nd, after congress clashed over president trump's demands to fund a wall on the border with mexico. since then, thousands of officials have been temporarily laid off —
many without pay. 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 here7 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 of. 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. you're watching bbc news. stay with us. hello. as we head into the final 2a 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 is the area of high pressure that's holding onto our weather, here's the weather front approaching from the north—west. fairly tightly packed isobars in the north, so quite a windy spell of weather developing for northern parts of scotland on new year's day. 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's 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 rain just pushing south into central parts of 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 out there for a time, but as that front weakens as it pushes south, it willjust be a band of cloud sitting across parts of northern ireland, into wales and central england first thing on new year's day morning. for most of us, it is still going to be reasonably mild. but things are turning colder from the north and that's 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 tuesday night into wednesday that we see all this cold air really packing in from the north and things will feel quite different by then. this is new years' day on tuesday, more sunshine will develop across scotland, northern ireland and northern england too. further south, we keep some slightly cloudier skies. that breeze coming in from the north introducing some cloud across north—east scotland and eastern england too. so temperatures in aberdeen
only around 11 or so. we're still looking at ten to 11 degrees celsius down towards the south and the 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'll see the lowest of the temperatures tuesday night. not quite as cold around some 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'll 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. the clock is ticking for russia to hand over important anti—doping
samples from its laboratory in moscow. a failure to meet the deadline could see new sanctions imposed. the world anti—doping agency controversially lifted a three—year ban on the country in september on the condition samples were sent by the end of the year. a man who died after a minibus overturned in the scottish borders