welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is reged ahmad. our top stories: as mainly—kurdish forces clash with islamic state fighters in syria, america's top military commander says us troops will probably start withdrawing within weeks. a video is released appearing to show abdurehim heyit, a prominent uighur musician previously reported to have died in a chinese detention camp. why russia's wild polar bears are causing alarm to their human neighbours. and pop music's most prestigious awards ceremony, the grammys, is underway in la. we'll have the latest. the top military commander overseeing american forces in the middle east says
the withdrawal of us troops from syria will probably start within weeks, though the exact timing depended on the military situation. the us—backed fighters are meeting fierce resistance from the so—called islamic state group as they clash over the last remaining is enclave in eastern syria, around the town of baghouz near the border with iraq. sebastian usher has more. yet another ferocious battle between the kurdish—led sdf and islamic state fighters is playing out in syria. as the us—led coalition adds its firepower, both in the skies and on the ground. but this time the sdf says it's their final decisive battle with the jihadists. an sdf fighter said there were no more is gangs left to fight in their region. as of today, he said, it was over and the deaths of those killed by is had been avenged. it's been a long campaign
for the sdf, which has been the most effective force on the ground in syria against is, driving it inexorably to the east after it lost its de facto capital, raqqa. in recent months the kurdish—led alliance has captured one town and village after another. with hajin being the last urban stronghold. now is fighters are reduced to a sliver of land hard against the iraqi border, and to those still there it may well be their last stand, as iraqi forces with the help of coalition troops have sealed the border, the very line that is boasted of having wiped off the map. for the anti—is forces though, there are still unfinished business, especially over the fate of is leader abu bakr al—baghdadi, who once declared a caliphate. translation: until now we have no information on the presence of al—baghdadi in syria. we do not think he is in syria. wherever al—baghdadi is, the threat posed by is has not
vanished with the territory it has lost. even though isis is degraded, it is not defeated yet. it has moved into a second phase, insurgency. few people realise that isis carries out frequent attacks in iraq, almost on a daily basis. they still have have between 10,000 and 15,000 active combatants in syria and iraq. thousands of civilians have once again been displaced by the fighting, as millions have during the war in syria, just as in iraq where shattered lives and the lack of any government to provide redress may be fertile ground for the anger and desperation that has provided jihadists groups with willing recruits for decades. sebastian usher, bbc news. a chinese state media outlet has released a video appearing to show abdurehim heyit, a prominent uighur musician previously reported to have died in a detention camp. turkey had said that it had confirmation of his death and had
called on china to close the camps where up to a million uighurs are reportedly being detained. earlier i spoke with farida deef, the canada director at human rights watch. i asked if she'd been able to confirm the authenticty of the video. no. it does raise a number of questions, certainly. we did hear earlier that there were strong allegations that he was tortured to death in detention. we now see that the chinese authorities have released this video. it's really difficult to confirm 100% the authenticity of the video. but i think it raised a lot of larger questions about the abuses that the chinese government is involved in in xinjiang. certainly, the chinese government strike hard campaign was meant to be ostensibly a campaign against violent extremism. but what you have here is the detention of poets and composers like abdurehim heyit, who really have no business being in a detention centre.
it's interesting that china felt the need to respond to the criticism from turkey and from others about this musician. does it show that china is a sensitive to international pressure? i think china is sensitive to sort of co—ordinated international pressure. there has been, you know, when countries to get together and do some joint action, there has been some response by the chinese government that has been favourable. initially, xinjiang was really, there was no real access to it. and slowly the chinese government allowed highly controlled access to xinjiang by members, sort of beijing diplomats, those from the islam etc corporation, the eu, journalists, but what we are calling for right now is an international independent fact—finding mission to go to xinjiang to really get
to the bottom of so many of these cases, whether it is the abdurehim heyit case or the upwards ofi million people who may be detained in these political re—education camps. do we have a sense of the actual scale of these camps? and you mention how many you think are detained. but how many are there of these camps and what's happening inside? we have very little information in terms of the scope of the camps. we have interviewed individuals who were detained in those camps and we certainly know that there are very credible and strong allegations of mistreatment, of torture. these are, you know, completely legally baseless detention centres in which people are arbitrarily and indefinitely detained, where uighur muslims and other turkic muslims are detained indefinitely for so—called political re—education. so completely legally baseless camps. we don't have a sense
of the full numbers. again, you would need an international fact—finding mission of investigators to have access to the camps in a way that was credible and transparent, to really get to the bottom of the scale and the scope. but certainly what we've seen is a real increase in the level of oppression in the xinjiang as a whole. over a number of years there have been very serious allegations of intimidation, surveillance, torture against the uighurs in china. but certainly since 2016 we have seen an increase in oppression. let's get some of the day's other news. the british prime minister, theresa may, has questioned an opposition call for britain to remain in a customs union with the eu after brexit. mrs may made her comments in response to opposition leader jeremy corbyn‘s letter setting out his conditions for giving parliamentary support for the government's brexit deal. the venezuelan opposition leader juan guaido has called for protest marches across the country to remember the people who have been killed in anti—government demonstrations
over the last three weeks. he also repeated his call for the armed forces to abandon president nicolas maduro. the first funeral has been taking place for one of the teenagers who died in a fire at the training ground at one of brazil's most famous clubs, flamengo. friends and family of 15—year—old goalkeeper christian esmerio, cried and chanted as he was laid to rest. he was one of ten boys killed when a fire spread through the dormitory at the training ground. us senator amy klobuchar has officially launched her presidential bid — adding her name to the list of democrats hoping to oust donald trump in 2020. ms klobuchar is the fifth democratic senator to launch a white house bid. 0ther hopefuls include senators cory booker and elizabeth warren. here is amy klobuchar speaking a little earlier. we are tired of the shutdowns and the showdowns, of the gridlock
and the grandstanding. today, on this snowy day on this island, we say enough is enough. cheering. our nation, our nation must be governed not from chaos but from opportunity, not by wallowing over what's wrong, but by marching inexorably toward what is right. tens of thousands of spanish nationalists have staged a rally in madrid, to demand new elections and a tougher stance against catalan separatism. the centre—right oppostition parties who organised the protest, oppose the minority socialist government of prime minister pedro sanchez, and his attempts to negotiate with the pro—independence regional government in catalonia. guy hedgecoe sent this report. cheering. those who gathered in madrid's columbus square
were demanding a general election, claiming that the minority socialist government is not legitimate because it didn't win an election. pedro sanchez took power lastjune, after ousting the previous government through a parliamentary confidence vote. translation: we ask for his resignation, and we want him to call for elections. now, we want this president to leave. he is betraying spain, and we think that spaniards don't deserve him as the president of the government. protesters were also angry at what they see as a soft approach by mr sanchez to the issue of catalan sovereignty. his recent attempts at staging talks with the pro—independence regional government of catalonia have been particularly provocative for many unionists. translation: we want the government to stop talking with the catalan separatists, and that the law and constitution gets fulfilled. nothing else — just the laws to be applied. the spanish government insists
that the independence movement's main demand, a binding referendum on catalonia's separation from spain, is not on the table. mr sanchez criticised the demonstration, which was led by politicians from across the political right. translation: the spanish government works for the unity of spain. and to work for the unity of spain means to unite the spanish people, and not to divide them, like the right parties are doing in plaza de colon today. the prime minister has until 2020 to call elections, but with his government struggling for parliamentary support to approve his budget, pressure is building on him to call them much earlier. guy hedgecoe, bbc news, madrid. pressure is growing for tougher rules on new mines and dams in brazil after the collapse of a dam last month left hundreds dead or missing. it wasn't the first
disaster of its kind. in 2015 a mining dam collapsed in mariana, killing 19 people. the mayor of that town says the mining companies have learned nothing since then. 0ur south america correspondent katy watson reports from mariana, where many of those affected are still living in temporary accomodation. the ghost town of bento rodrigues still haunts those who live in the shadows of brazil's dams, a once—vibrant community abandoned. the mud—stained walls left standing show how the village was devoured by the toxic sludge. in the ruins, i met edson. speaks portuguese. he was born and raised here. "this is all that remains of my house" he tells me. "i feel sad, there are so many memories. our hearts are broken". this was the aftermath of the dam collapse in mariana three years ago,
a wave of mud that travelled more than 600 km to the sea. brazil's worst ever environmental disaster, but it came at great human cost too. five—year—old manu was one of the 19 people who died. her mother, pamela, says the family's house was wiped out by the sludge. translation: my husband cried out, "daddy loves you". he put his hand out to rescue her, and then something came crashing down on them. he never saw her again. pamela now gets an allowance and rent from the mining companies, but does she think there will be justice? translation: no. i think that those who have money will getjustice, but those who don't will be treated badly. it's all about money. the local mayor says there is so much reliance on the lucrative mining industry, the community is powerless. did anybody learn anything from mariana ? translation: they've learned nothing. what's happening now makes us really frightened. cities are being evacuated. there's a risk of other dams breaking.
the mining companies said they'd help us, but they haven't. but the mining companies say they are repairing the damage that was done. this is one of three new villages being built for pamela, edson, and all those who lost their homes. it is run by a foundation created to help survivors. it's a long time, but we are taking care or trying to take care of these families, where they are now. we hope that 250 families, around 250 families, come to this resettlement. you'd think after the disaster here, mining regulations would have become tougher, but nothing of the sort has happened. in fact, just three weeks after the dam broke, they passed a law making it even easier to build mines and dams, which just goes to show how powerful the mining industry is here. the world wants iron ore, but at what cost? katy watson, bbc news, in mariana. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: a state of emergency
as a wildfire threatens the homes of over 3,000 people in new zealand. there's mr mandela. mr nelson mandela, a free man, taking his first steps into a new south africa. iran's spiritual leader ayatollah khomeini has said he's passed a death sentence on salman rushdie, the british author of a book which many muslims say is blasphemous. the people of haiti have flocked to church to give thanks for the ousting of their former president, 'baby doc' duvalier. because of his considerable value as a stallion, shergar was kept in a special secure box in the stud farm's central block. shergar was driven away in a horse box the thieves had brought with them. there stepped down from the plane a figure in mourning. elizabeth ii, queen of this realm
and of all her other realms and territories, head of the commonwealth, defender of the faith. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: as mainly—kurdish forces clash with islamic state fighters in syria, america's top military commander says us troops will probably start withdrawing within weeks. a video is released appearing to show abdurehim heyit, a prominent uighur musician previously reported to have died in a chinese detention camp. a state of emergency has been declared in a new zealand town because of a large forest fire which is threatening the homes of over 3,000 people. the entire population of the south island town of wakefield has been evacuated as helicopters, planes and more than 150 firefighters have been trying
to contain the blaze. katie silver reports. it has now been over a week, firefighters battling a blaze which has forced thousands from their homes. it started near the city of nelson. then, with winds of 20 km/h, it has moved south and now threatens the town of wakefield. along with efforts on the ground, 26 aircraft have been deployed, making it the largest aerial firefight in new zealand's history. firefighters have been backburning, as well, a last—resort measure where small fires are deliberately lit to stop the path of a wildfire. we're doing it in stages. that reduces the heat and the ferocity of the fire. tents have been set up to feed the hundreds of volunteer and professional firefighters, and a makeshift animal shelter erected for livestock and family pets. there's nothing worse, i think,
than being displaced as a family. and for people, these animals are their family, so it's huge, and we're feeling it for them as well. police have confirmed they're investigating two of the fires, and are appealing to speak to three young men spotted in the area on friday. many came together to pray, and with lower wind speeds predicted on monday, authorities are optimistic. but, they stress, the situation is far from over. a remote russian region has declared a state of emergency over what's been described by authorities as a "massive invasion" of polar bears. there have been reports of the animals entering buildings and even attacking residents. caroline rigby has more. imagine opening your front door to
this. polar bears are not uncommon in these parts, but the frequency and sheer number of these visitors is unprecedented. entering homes and offices, the animals are also reported to have attacked people. local officials have described the situation as a massive invasion, and as the world's largest land predators, that has led them to declare a state of emergency. the remote novaya zemlya archipelago in the russian arctic is home to around 3000 people, and since december, more than 50 bears have been reported in the region's main settlement. 0fficials reported in the region's main settlement. officials say around 6-10 settlement. officials say around 6—10 can regularly be seen in and around a local military garrison. climate change has caused arctic sea ice to melt, which has driven polar bears to spend more time on land in an effort to find food. but this change in behaviour, from hunters to scavengers, has change in behaviour, from hunters to scavengers, has seen change in behaviour, from hunters to scavengers, has seen them increasingly come into contact and conflict with humans. and with the
bears ever more present, some residents are now scared to walk down the street or even leave their homes. polar bears are recognised as an endangered species in russia, so hunting them is banned. police have tried to scare them off with signals and patrols. even local dogs have had a go. but so far, these efforts have proved largely ineffective. now the federal authorities have promised to send a commission to investigate, and a carl to control this beautiful but unwelcome visitors has not been ruled out. —— a cull. pop music's most prestigious awards ceremony is underway. the 61st annual grammy awards in los angeles. there are an awful lot of categories, but let's take a look atjust a few of the winners. the first award of the evening was handed out to lady gaga and bradley cooper, who won for best pop duo or group performance for their song shallow, from the film a star is born. song of the year, one of the most prestigious awards,
went to childish gambino for his song this is america. that's the first time a hip—hop track has won that particular award. and the grammys are nothing if not eclectic. if you need any proof, former presidentjimmy carter is celebrating after winning for best spoken word album. that's his third grammy. the bbc‘s peter bowes has been following events in los angeles. childish gambino, donald glover, of course, his stage name. he is one of the night's big winners, even though he isn't at the show to accept his award, winning for this is america in the best song category, which is one of the most prestigious categories of the lot. and of course, this is a hugely popular song. it's been seen millions of times on youtube. in fact, it won for best video, also best rap performance. so, even though he's not at the show, he's having a very good night, as is lady gaga. she is at the show. she's won in three categories, of course for the song shallow
from a star is born, with bradley cooper, and also for the trackjoanne, from her latest studio album. so lady gaga having a great time. she was one of the first stars up on the stage at the beginning of the show. but i think the highlight of the show so far has been a tribute to dolly parton. well in to her 70s now, she is still going strong, she is still performing. and a beautiful moment when she was duetting with some of the biggest female stars of today, katy perry, miley cyrus. she was performing jolene, and it was just a magical moment, the entire audience up on their feet, applauding, taking part in the singing, and it was just a beautiful moment for one of the veteran stars of the business. the historical drama the favourite lived up to its name at the uk's annualfilm awards, the baftas, collecting a string of awards — including best leading actress for 0livia colman as queen anne and best supporting actress for her co—star rachel weisz.
the spanish language film roma was named best film. 0ur entertainment correspondent, lizo mzimba, was there. his report does contain flash photography. guests of honour on the red carpet — the duke and duchess of cambridge. and joining them at the ceremony was acting royalty. royal—themed film the favourite may have won the most awards, but it was the black—and—white mexican movie roma which took home best director for alfonso cuaron, and best film, the first time ever a netflix production has won the night's most prestigious prize. cuaron, born in mexico, gave perhaps the night's most political speech. retreating back to a world of separation and isolation is not a solution to anything. it's simply an excuse to hide our fear within our basest instincts. whether we like it or not,
we're all connected, sharing a space and time. and when we finally choose to embrace that connection, to show compassion towards one another, we all rise together. go back to your rooms. british star rachel weisz won best supporting actress for the favourite, which took home seven awards in total, including 0utstanding british film, best costume design, and best actress for 0livia colman. did you look at me? look at me! how dare you! close your eyes! and she paid tribute to her two co—stars, rachel weisz and emma stone. emma and rachel — must keep it together. not just for your performances, but for what you did after the cameras stopped rolling. and we've never talked about this, and i find it very emotional. but you were the best and classiest and coolest honour guard any woman could ever have, and i love you. # so you think you can stone me and spit in my eye... the best actor prize went
to rami malek for his portrayal of freddie mercury in the queen biopic bohemian rhapsody. thank you so very much to queen, to brian may, to roger taylor, to the entire queen family. wouldn't be here without you. and to the greatest outsider of them all, thank you freddie mercury again. dear dolores. d—e—a—r — this is an animal. while best supporting actor went to mahershala ali for the film green book. and the rising star award for emerging talent, won previously by the likes of tom hardy and john boyega, was won by british black panther star letitia wright. you can reach me on twitter. i'm @regedahmadbbc. hello.
well, the end of last week was pretty stormy. gale—force winds across the uk. this week, steady waters around the uk. high pressure is building. the winds will be light for most of us. we've got some sunshine and some frosty mornings on the way as well, and monday will be no different. very decent weather on the way. this is the big picture across the continent right now. this high pressure is starting to build across spain, portugal, and into france, and you can see it's nudging into the uk, and soon it'll engulf the whole of europe. now, at the moment, it's still pretty chilly because the winds are blowing out of the north—north—west. however, the milder air you can see here, that will be reaching our shores by about wednesday. so nthis is what it looks like early hours of monday morning — a couple of showers maybe affecting north—eastern parts of england and scotland, but on the whole, it's looking clear across most of the uk, and there will be a frost. the coldest of the weather, as you might expect, will be across scotland —
minus two in edinburgh, but outside of town, colder than that. and a touch of frost further south expected, as well, but not an awful lot. so monday starts off sunny. many of us will have a sunny day all day long. however, western areas of the country will turn a little bit more hazy. weather fronts are trying to get in, maybe even a few light spots of rain, but this is pretty much where they grind to a halt because of that high pressure building across many western parts of europe. and here is the high pressure across western parts of europe, as it builds a little bit further towards the east. but notice it's displaced further south away from us. that means that these weather fronts just about nibbling into the north—west of the british isles, so maybe again a bit of cloud, a few spots of rain, increasing breeze here. but really, in the western isles, the vast majority of the country, 99% of us having dry weather through the course of tuesday. and those temperatures are starting to rise, because we have those south—westerly winds. in fact, we're already expecting double figures there in aberdeen, edinburgh, newcastle, and also in belfast. so that's tuesday. by the time we get to wednesday, the mild air has well and truly arrived on our shores. in fact, it's also seeping into parts of scandinavia and western as well as eastern parts of europe. and in fact, by thursday and friday,
those winds turn to a southerly, so that means one thing — those temperatures will continue to rise. by thursday it could be around 13 or 1a degrees, notjust in the south of the country, but even in one or two spots across scotland. so the weather this week is looking absolutely fine. bye— bye. this is bbc news, the headlines: as mainly—kurdish forces clash with islamic state fighters in syria, america's top military commander says the withdrawal of us troops will probably start within weeks. the us—backed fighters are meeting fierce resistance from is as they clash over the last remaining is enclave in eastern syria. a chinese state media outlet has released a video
appearing to show abdurehim heyit, a prominent uighur musician previously reported to have died in a detention camp. turkey had said that it had confirmation of his death and had called on china to close the camps. pressure is growing for tougher rules on new mines and dams in brazil after the collapse of a dam last month left hundreds dead or missing. the mayor of a town in which a mining dam collapsed in 2015 says the mining companies have learned nothing since then.