welcome to newsday, on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. the headlines: has benjamin netanyahu done enough to win a fourth term as israel's prime minister? early election results suggest it's too close to call. tens of thousands are hospitalised in indonesia as huge forest fires sweep the region creating a toxic haze. ican i can smell a distinct smell of smoke coming from the burning pit land and also from the forest fire. i'm kasia madera, in london. also in the programme:
after the collapse of afghan peace talks, a top spokesman for the taliban tells the bbc it's still willing to negotiate. we are open for negotiations so we hope the other side also rethinks the decision regarding negotiations. and a taste of success in singapore — restaurants and street stalls claim their share of prestigious michelin stars. live from our studios in singapore and london, this is bbc world news — it's newsday. good morning. it's 7 am in singapore, midnight in london and 2 am in israel, where the general election has, it seems, failed to produce a clear winner. exit polls suggest both the current prime minister benjamin netanyahu and his main rival, benny gantz, could be in with a chance
of building a governing coalition. that won't be clear for a while. the final result though, will have huge consequences for an increasingly tense middle east region. our correspondent barbara plett usher is in jerusalem. what we have seen is benjamin netanyahu, what we have seen is benjamin neta nyahu, has lost, what we have seen is benjamin netanyahu, has lost, and his opposition has not one that is how an israeli television anchor put it. benjamin netanyahu's an israeli television anchor put it. benjamin neta nyahu's party an israeli television anchor put it. benjamin netanyahu's party is slightly behind his main challenger so slightly behind his main challenger so the race is too close to call and it will be protracted and there will be negotiations. this is how the drama of the day played out. israeli tv exit polls showed no decisive victory for any side. the votes will be counted through the night, but it could take weeks of coalition horsetrading before the next government
and prime minister emerge. the election has been a referendum on benjamin netanyahu's last ten years in office. he is israel's longest—serving prime minister. his main rival is retired general, benny gantz, from the blue and white party. some of his supporters fear he was politically naive not to press harder on corruption charges faced by mr netanyahu, which the prime minister denies. in opposition strongholds in tel aviv, queues of voters were waiting and hoping to end mr neta nyahu's political career. what's wrong with netanyahu? everything? what's not wrong with him? he's corrupted, he hates everyone, he rules in fear, he's too much right wing.
but mr netanyahu has reliable support from ultra religious israelis, who have their own political parties. just before the vote, they rallied in jerusalem. in exchange for privileges for their community, they've supported mr netanyahu's premierships. why am i going to vote? because that is what my rabbi tells me to do. who would you like as the next prime minister? i guess netanyahu, that's what the rabbis say. the power of the ultra religious has become one of israel's most divisive issues. mr netanyahu was, as usual, a formidable campaigner, even starring in his own commercials. in this one, he puts hikers back on the right track, while losers follow untrustworthy guides named after his opponents. israelis have been offered more personal insults than policy debates.
mr netanyahu's message was that he's the only one, with his powerful friends, to protect israelis from iran and the palestinians. in a close race, he upped the ante by promising to annex the occupied jordan valley, around a third of the land palestinians want for a state. it was an extravagant gambit to keep the votes of the israeli right. in the valley, it's harvest time for date farmers — palestinians and israelis who have settled here since it was captured in the 1967 war. khader hermeidat, a palestinian farmer, says he was scared by the prime minister's promise of annexation. translation: where is the peace that he is talking about? netanyahu, he wants to take our land and we live from it. annexation will be off the agenda if mr netanyahu cannot form a government after all the votes are counted.
on walkabout in tel aviv, this could be the politician the prime ministerfears most, once the coalition negotiations start. polls suggest his party, called israel our home, has made significant gains. this man, avigdor lieberman, may become the kingmaker after the election. his party might control the balance of power, when it comes to forming the next governing coalition. one important factor though, he used to be a major ally of the prime minister benjamin netanyahu, and now they are opponents, even enemies. after the exit polls, mr lieberman's supporters were the only ones that were celebrating. if the results back that up — polls are not always accurate — then the netanyahu's era in israeli politics is ending. jeremy bowen, bbc news, tel aviv. we'll get more more analysis on the israeli election
a little later on newsday. but now lets turn our attention to the uk. britain's supreme court is being asked to decide whether prime minister borisjohnson behaved lawfully when he suspended parliament, for longer than is usual. in court that decision was described as an "abuse of power", to stop parliament interfering in brexit. but those arguing for the prime minister believe he was acting in a political capacity which has nothing to do with the law. dominic casciani explains. all afternoon we have been hearing from the advocate general from scotland, the government top lawmen in edinburgh and in effect what his argument has been for the last two hours is there is nothing here for the court to decide because it is effectively a political question when and how a prime minister advises the queen to prorogue of the
next queen's speech. that is in essence the nut of the government argument. the elephant in the room isa argument. the elephant in the room is a complete absence from the prime minister about why he prorogued parliament for five weeks. no witness statement from boris johnson explaining his thinking. they are holding that against him in his opposition. they say that is releva nt opposition. they say that is relevant because he has the power to close parliament and use that lawfully. dominic casciani there on the brexit court case. also making news today: us officials say they've identified the exact locations in iran from which they believe an attack on saudi oil facilities was launched on saturday. the broadcaster, cbs, says more than twenty drones and cruise missiles were fired. iran insists the projectiles came from houthi rebels in yemen. russian coastguards say they have seized two north korean boats and more than 80 crew members,
which it says were engaged in illegalfishing. a spokesperson for the russian federal security service said the two schooners were spotted poaching near the yamato bank in the sea ofjapan, which lies between the korean peninsula, russia and japan. isreal‘s not the only country where forming a government is complicated. spain is facing another general election, following an announcement by king felipe that no political leader has enough support to form a government. the sociliast prime minister, pedro sanchez, has been unable to reach a deal with rival parties. in more sporting news, sarah thomas, a former cancer patient, has reached her goal of becoming the first person to swim the english channel continuosly four times. the 37 year—old, from colorado, set off on sunday, and completed the stunning feat of endurance, after swimming for sa hours
and ten minutes. congratulations. this week, we're reporting on the grim situation in afghanistan, where peace talks have collapsed and there's been a spike in violence. on tuesday, there were two separate suicide attacks that killed 48 people. the taliban have said they were behind both blasts, but the organisation insists it does want talks with the united states to continue. our chief international correspondent lyse doucet has been speaking to sher mohammad abbas stanikzai, the head of the taliban central delegation. we said that negotiations is the only way for peace in afghanistan and that is why we have started negotiations with the american side and we hope the american side, they should, especially the president, should, especially the president,
should listen to the negotiation team, the report from him but there are lobbies and people against peace in afghanistan because they see their business in the war in afghanistan and we hope that mr trump will not listen to those people and continue the war in afghanistan because of the war it is not in there and our interest. the american say the negotiating process is dead. what do you say? from our side, our doors are open for negotiations. we hope the other side also rethink their decision regarding negotiations. but they say they need more proof. why not show that you can stop your fighters from carrying out attacks? why don't you make a gesture? this applies to both sides. why the foreign forces cannot stop the fighting was make every day there are tens of air raids and bombardments and target killings and
civilian bombardments and all these things, going on both sides. why are you going to russia and we understand to china, what are you trying to do now? we would like to seek their help regarding peace. we have talked to russia and discussed peace and how we can bring peace in afghanistan because of the decision by the american side was one—sided and we requested that they should work on this so russia has promised and other friendly countries, work on this so russia has promised and otherfriendly countries, they are working hard on this, this peace agreement which was finalised by both sides and should be implemented atan both sides and should be implemented at an they are trying to have peaceful negotiations. a short time ago, mike pompeo released a
statement saying that... "through these attacks, the taliban demonstrate blatant disregard for the people and institutions of afghanistan. for afghans to truly reconcile, the taliban must begin to demonstrate a genuine commitment to peace rather than continue the violence and destruction that causes such inordinate harm to the afghan people and the future of their country." any reaction to that, we will monitor and bring it to you. let's go back to the elections in israel. so far exit polls suggest there's no clear winner. so where does this leave israel? let's speak to naytan sachs, the director of the centre for middle east policy, at the american research group, the brookings institution. thank you forjoining us. we are here again in this situation and i keep stressing the exit polls could change, they are indicative rather than the final result but should benjamin netanyahu doing better given everything he has promised?
for benjamin netanyahu this would be a huge failure if the polls hold. the first inklings of real results are coming in and the data if anything is going against benjamin netanyahu anything is going against benjamin neta nyahu but the anything is going against benjamin netanyahu but the big caveat is that people tend to lie to the polls because i think it is some left—wing strategy to bring buyback down. this was a referendum on him, after ten yea rs was a referendum on him, after ten years in office. the reason they are even elections for the second time in the six months because he is trying to hold onto power. if these results hold, hibi cannot have the majority, he has failed. ——if he cannot. a national unity government would not be his own and he's in deep legal power without the prime ministership to protect him. avigdor
lieberman is as the kingmaker stop once an ally of benjamin netanyahu and outan once an ally of benjamin netanyahu and out an opponent, even an enemy. how will that work out for benjamin neta nyahu ? how will that work out for benjamin netanyahu? the irony is if we saw the same results in april, we would say benjamin neta nyahu the same results in april, we would say benjamin netanyahu one. the reason we're not saying is because avigdor lieberman has broken rank considerably from benjamin netanyahu. he was foreign minister and aid with benjamin netanyahu but they have long had a bad relationship and avigdor lieberman sees benjamin neta nyahu relationship and avigdor lieberman sees benjamin netanyahu as a week and caving under pressure and i think he would be enjoying tormenting benjamin netanyahu. the three men we should be looking at— they are all mad dash benjamin netanyahu, avigdor lieberman and benny gantz, the leader of the
opposition. some saying they should have a coalition. benny gantz is hoping to have an alliance with avigdor lieberman perhaps to oust benjamin netanyahu. there may be some rotation in the prime minister's office or with a deposed buyback and have another leader who may capitalise under significant strength but without the baggage that benjamin neta nyahu strength but without the baggage that benjamin netanyahu brings. thank you so much for talking to us. we will await for the result. thank you for your expertise in the meantime. you. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: we report from the island of borneo, as indonesia steps up its response to thousands of forest fires. also on the programme: celebrating singapore's food scene. we report on the restaurants picking up prestigious michelin stars.
30 hours after the earthquake that devastated mexico city, rescue teams still have no idea just how many people have died. there is people alive and there is people not alive. we just can help and give them whatever we've got. a state funeral is being held for princess grace of monaco at the church where she married prince rainier 26 years ago. it looked as though they had come to fight a war, but their mission is to bring peace to east timor, and nowhere on earth needs it more badly. the government's case is being forcefully presented by monsieur badinter, the justice minister. he's campaigned vigorously for the abolition, having once witnessed one of his clients being executed. elizabeth seton spent much of her time at this grotto, and every year, hundreds of pilgrimages are made here. now that she's become a saint,
it's expected that this area will be inundated with tourists. the mayor and local businessman regard the anticipated boom as just another blessing of st elizabeth. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. thank you for staying with us. i'm kasia madera in london. our top stories: has benjamin netanyahu done enough to win a fourth term as israel's prime minister? well, early election results suggest it's too close to call. a top spokesman for the afghan taliban tells the bbc that despite the breakdown of talks, it's still willing to negotiate. let us go live to israel where benny gantz is speaking. he is the main challenger to benjamin netanyahu, at
the moment election results are a bit too close to call. let's listen to what he has to say. translation: finally, iwant to what he has to say. translation: finally, i want to thank the people who we spent a lot of time with, who, how this unbelievable organisation from the north to the south. the volunteers, who worked day and night, in some places to build from the ground and unusual organisation, which is on separable to our achievement, all of the branch managers of blue and weight, and if i've forgotten anybody, i apologise. weight, and if i've forgotten anybody, iapologise. —— weight, and if i've forgotten anybody, i apologise. —— white. weight, and if i've forgotten anybody, iapologise. —— white. i just want to say to everybody, it was a privilege to be with you and
to serve you, you work with you and to serve you, you work with you and to be with you, and i salute you all. thank you. so that was benny gantz of the blue and white party speaking live, a press conference after those initial exit polls at the moment. it isjust to —— too close to call at the moment. these are exit poll results and our gas from brookings institutions is often these are very unreliable. so we will await those election results —— oui’ will await those election results —— our guest. there will be a lot of negotiating as well to work out who will be leading the israeli government. but this was as many commentators were saying, a referendum on benjamin netanyahu's leadership, so this is a really important election to watch. if we get more, we will bring that to you. now, let's crossover to indonesia.
as rico mentioned earlier, indonesia is stepping up its response to thousands of forest fires on the islands of borneo and sumatra, which are sending thick smoke across the region. the army has been deployed to tackle the blazes, which have led to thousands of people receiving hospital treatment for smoke inhalation. the bbc‘s refund diced honours sent this report from poulenc awry on the island of borneo. some locals are wearing masks, but most of them prefer not to. and i'm taking off my mouth to feel the air, andi taking off my mouth to feel the air, and i can smell a very distinct smell of smoke that is coming from the burning heat land and also from the burning heat land and also from the forest fire. —— peat was that some have chosen not to wear the mask, despite the government advising locals to wear masks. even the government advised it not to leave their houses unless they have two. actually, the air quality here
is that the worst level possible. it is that the worst level possible. it is in hazardous levels. that's because of the substances it contains that can actually affect their health. so far, tens of thousands of people are reportedly rust to hospital due to the illnesses they suffered from the heavens but they breathed in —— rust to hospital. the government has already tried to put out the fire with volunteer help, but they already told the press it is a very difficultjob to do. locals are praying for the rain to arrive soon because they think it is the ultimate juror for the fire because they think it is the ultimatejurorfor the fire in because they think it is the ultimate juror for the fire in the haze. —— cure. well, that report from borneo. last night, the creme de la creme of singapore's culinary scene got togetherfor a gala dinner to celebrate the launch of this year's prestigious michelin guide. in total, 44 restaurants in the food—mad city—state received stars, and two of them,
‘les amis' and ‘odette' got three stars. but it's not all about fine dining — local street food stalls were recognised too. with me is gwendal poullennec, the international director for michelin guides. well, japan has the most new zealand stars in the world. but why is singapore one of the rising stars in the culinary world? the culinary scene in singapore is booming. we use the same criteria to make sure three stars in singapore is worth three stars in singapore is worth three stars in japan, three stars in singapore is worth three stars injapan, paris or new york. what made these restaurants winners? what do you look out for from these restaurants that will give them one, two or three missal and stars? our international team of anonymous inspectors just focus on the quality of the food. so for us, we stars means incredible food worth
a special trip. we stars means incredible food worth a specialtrip. does we stars means incredible food worth a special trip. does anybody know who these people are who give the one, two or three missal and stars? nobody knows. have you met one of them? yeah i am the only public face of the famous and anonymous inspectors. so you have the likes of japan, macau, hong kong and singapore. other up—and—coming places in asia right now, cities, you are excited about? definitely asia is booming in regards to the culinary. it is blossoming everywhere, but singapore is very strong. within four years, a level of the culinary state has dramatically increased. new three stars are a real achievement. tomorrow we will release the new selection for shanghai, and we just recently announced that we will expand the missal and go to beijing, china. is interesting, apart from
fine dining, you are also including walker's styles, food courts, food that you and i, well, only myself can afford. what made you go into this? the missing missal in -- missal and guide allows us to look at the local strengths and advantages —— missal —— micehlin. what about india, and other south—east asian countries? could they be on the micehlin guide in the future? to be on the gastronomy weld map, definitely. but the region go, we do it step—by—step. map, definitely. but the region go, we do it step-by-step. all right, thank you so much forjoining us from micehlin i, the international director, gwendal poullennec. thank you so much forjoining us on newsday, i'm getting hungry, kasia madera! you're so lucky to live in
singapore, the centre of amazing people is that that was a fascinating interview, rico. thank you for watching newsday. i think rico and i are off to eat something now. bye—bye. hello, there. some more late summer warmth in this forecast but also a hint of some rain where it has been so very dry over the past few weeks. that said, until the weekend, most places will stay dry and that high pressure in control and that will be the case as we go on to wednesday. wednesday starts and silly note. and a few mist and fog patches around. also a lot of sunshine across much of england and. alias goes in
scotland, outbreaks of rain, including a burst in the north for the time. braiding up during the day, some patchy cloud filtering through northern england towards north wales in the midlands. south wales in southern england staying mostly sunny and this is where we will see the higher temperatures around about 20 celsius. now, as are going into wednesday evening and night, a lot of clear weather around the northern ireland, much of england and well into southern scotland. some patchy car but also some patches of mist and fog developing as it turns gradually once again. the exception will be northern scotland, holding onto car, attempt sitting in double figures and still some light rain or drizzle to be had. but for most, there sta rts to be had. but for most, there starts gradually, some poor visibility around places, bear that in mind. some of the fog may be slow to clear in some spots. drier in northern scotland, turning brighter here during the day, and elsewhere there will be good, sunny spells around, any patchy cloud or slow to clear fog. the temperatures edging
up clear fog. the temperatures edging upafew clear fog. the temperatures edging up a few degrees, that is a sign things to come for friday and into the start of the weekend. why? i press is still with us but moving is woods, a flow of warm air to come in from the south, that is going to temperatures more widely, even for some spots in the mid—20s, though particularly by saturday that will be on particularly by saturday that will beona particularly by saturday that will be on a freshening wind coming of the south or south—east. now there isa the south or south—east. now there is a weather system coming our way over the weekend, it isn't here on friday, though. again there would be some mist and fog patches around, slow to clear on friday, but the most slow to clear on friday, but the m ost pla ces slow to clear on friday, but the most places they will be a lot of sunshine, turning busier in the west and it will feel warm in that sunshine. now, into the weekend, for many we will start dry and use is a for some places down east, 25 celsius in london. but as the weather system moves eastwards during sunday, more cloud around by then and the chance of seeing some rain out of that cloud was the temperatures come down a little.
i'm kasia madera, with bbc world news. we are interrupting our normal programmes because in israel benny gantz has ta ken programmes because in israel benny gantz has taken to the polls. this is benny gantz who is a challenging benjamin netanyahu. is benny gantz who is a challenging benjamin neta nyahu. let's is benny gantz who is a challenging benjamin netanyahu. let's hear what he has to say. translation: to my wonderful children who supported and accompanied me and saw me very little at home. they controlled me from afar. you are the most dear thing to me out of everything. thank you. i want to thank my partners, the leadership of blue and white