good afternoon. leading figures from the world of entertainment, sport, politics and charity have been recognised in the new year honours list. sir elton john receives the highest accolade — he's been made a companion of honour. olivia newton—john becomes a dame. four members of england's world cup—winning cricket team
are on the honours list — but, of the more than 1,000 people receiving honours this new year, around two—thirds are being recognised for their work in the community, as kathryn stanczyszyn reports. olivia newton—john says she is grateful beyond words to be made a dame for services to charity. a damehood too for former tv presenter floella benjamin for her lifelong work with children's charities. volunteering always features heavily in honours lists, with many who aren't household names being rewarded. i'm no hero, i was lucky. i'm here. all the heroes are dead and i'll never forget them as long as i live. thank you, darling. people like d—day veteran harry billinge, who becomes an mbe in recognition of his efforts fundraising for veterans.
when i'm doing this collection, a wonderful calm comes over me, because i'm doing something for the boys. back in 2012, rhiannon manning's one—year—old son george died. her husband paul took his own life five days later. she now runs a charity in wales to help those experiencing bereavement and is now an mbe. it still hasn't sunk in, i can't believe it. i'm pretty overwhelmed, i haven't slept very much. bittersweet in a way, but i'm extremely proud, i really am. in the world of politics, some controversy. the decision to award a knighthood to the former work and pensions secretary, iain duncan smith, has been criticised by opposition parties over his introduction of universal credit. and some questions over a damehood forformer director of public prosecutions alison saunders after a number of scandals. in entertainment, there were knighthoods for two british film—makers.
steve mcqueen, who directed the oscar winning 12 years a slave and sam mendes, who directed bond films skyfall and spectre. and in sport, eoin morgan, who captained england to victory in the cricket world cup becomes a cbe. ben stokes an 0be, jos buttler and joe root both mbes. an mbe also for england star jill scott, for services to women's football. a mother whose husband and two children drowned in a swimming pool on the costa del sol on christmas eve insists they all knew how to swim. 0lubunmi diya says they were "dragged into the middle" of the pool and couldn't get out. the hotel's operator said exhaustive police investigations had confirmed the pool was working normally and there was no malfunction of any kind. 0ur correspondent, helena wilkinson, is here. what's the latest?
it's the first time we've heard from diya since christmas eve, and she has given her version of events, contradicting spanish police. she has said in a statement that initially it had been reported that her husband and two children didn't know how to swim. in this statement, she says that is not true and all three knew how to swim. she has given a bit more detail about what happened on the day that all the family went to the swimming pool. the children got in by the steps. she says they found themselves dragged into the middle, which was deeper. her husband went into help and she went off to get assistance. when she returned, all three were under water and, in her view, when she returned, all three were underwaterand, in herview, she believes there was something wrong with the pool. the are saying that there have been extensive police investigations and there was no malfunction of any kind and the pool was working normally, but according to mrs diya, police investigation is
still continuing, and questions remain unanswered about how a father and his two children drowned so quickly in this pool. let's take a look at some of today's other news. a huge vehicle bomb has exploded in the somali capital, mogadishu. ambulance staff say more than 70 people died at a checkpoint in the south—west of the city. around 90 people were wounded, many of them university students. it's not yet clear who carried out the attack. the former labour deputy leader, tom watson, has said he stood down as an mp because of "brutality and hostility" within his party. he told the guardian that criticism from factions of the party and on social media became a "heavy load". mr watson also claimed party officials concealed a death threat towards him. two prison officers were taken to hospital overnight after violence broke out at a young offenders' institute. the ministry ofjustice said a fight at feltham in london was brought under control within 25 minutes.
14 staff were treated. there were no serious injuries. a navy seal diver who helped rescue a youth football team trapped in a flooded cave in thailand has died from a blood infection he picked up during the rescue. petty officer beirut pakbara had been under medical supervision since the rescue 18 months ago, but his condition worsened. he died yesterday. campaigners are calling for a radical overhaul of britain's railways to try to improve travel. the pressure group campaign for better transport argues there should be a major fares reform, a single national railcard and more control of services given to major cities outside london. railfares are set to rise next week. 0livia richwald has the details. expensive, overcrowded and unreliable — three words which the campaign for better transport uses
to describe britain's trains. today, the pressure group is urging a radical overhaul of the way the railways are run. its report suggests that franchises should be scrapped, fares reformed and control of rail services handed to cities and regions to improve the service. before today's report, the government was already considering big changes. within the next few weeks, the department for transport is expected to publish plans which it says will put passengers first and create a fairer and more effective system and that is something that people here in leeds think is overdue. there was a week about maybe two months ago, where i got about 14 trains that week. every single one was delayed up by about ten minutes or more. every time we've been on a train, it's either been cancelled, delayed or so busy. i mean, if it's more effective to have it brought back into the council and they have actually control over what's going on, i think that probably could be quite good. you need the service,
you can't guarantee it and that's the biggest frustration for me, personally. the mayor of greater manchester, andy burnham, has said he would like railfares to be integrated with buses and trams, like london's 0yster system. i can't integrate it with the tram and the buses, if we had more control, we could integrate it with the trams and the buses, we could make it an integrated system, and that is what a city like manchester needs to go up a city like manchester needs to go up next level. meanwhile, fares are due to increase by an average of 2.7% in just three days' time. 0livia richwald, bbc news, leeds. cricket, and south africa are in full control on the third day of the first test against england. south africa were all out for 272, leaving england needing 376 runs to win. craig templeton reports. yesterday, the cracks on the pitch exposed more cracks
in england's batting. today's question, could they deliver with the ball? it looked like sam curran had done exactly that but the review showed it was the shoulder and not the bat of anrich nortje. from then on, when the ball did hit a south african bat, it often found its way to the boundary. rassie van der dussen was looking in good nick, which is more than can be said forjoe root, who was on and off the pitch suffering from the illness that has plagued his team. time for some good news. van der dussen trapped byjoffra archer soon after making his maiden test 50. quinton de kock‘s got a few of those and soon proved why, by hitting archer for a trio of sixes. england did finally get the nightwatchman nortje, but their predicament provoked a few choice words between ben stokes and stuart broad. it seemed like they sorted it, but now they had the problem of vernon philander to contend with. it was a problem that was eventually fixed, but the total
of 376 is a daunting one. and they were given an early warning before tea, but rory burns survived — just. craig templeton, bbc news. you can see more on all of today's stories on the bbc news channel. the next news on bbc one isjust after 5:10pm. bye for now. hello. you're watching the bbc news channel. as we've been hearing, over a thousand people have been recognized in the new year's honours list. among them is the former "playschool" and "play away" presenter, actress, author and charity campaigner baroness floella benjamin . she has received a damehood
for services to charity. i spoke to her earlier. they say there is nothing like a dame and i feel that this morning, absolutely incredible and i'm looking forward to going to the palace to collect my honour and i wish my parents ready to come with me but they are not going to be here because they both passed away but my son and daughter and husband will come with me and we will celebrate all the way. you spoke about your mum very fondly on a piece about the windrush generation, what do you think she would be thinking watching you taking that trip? you got a lot of inspiration from her? she used to say education is your passport to life. you know we love you so go out and show the world what you are made of and that is just what i have done, i have given my heart and soul
to children especially to make sure they understand that they are not they understand that they are loved as well and there is so much they can do if they feel confident about themselves and were the that is what my parents did to me and my whole life is about giving unconditionally, i do not expect anything for that but when something like this happens you do feel bowled over and feel this lovely feeling in your heart, quite thrilled about the world and realise there are many things to do and put right but i am determined to make a difference and change the world with children so they feel happy and love so they feel happy and live in a better world. you arrived in britain as a ten—year—old with the windrush generation, you describe a hostile environment, bullying and violence and racism but which is true to your character, you put a positive spin on it and said it made me the person i today, character building.
if you believe what other people tell you you can go down and i had a spiritual moment when i was 14 when i realised i could not change the colour of my skin and people have a problem it as theirs and not mine and having this impact that my parents did to me and my dad told us there was a wonderful world out there to discover, mum gave us the confidence to capture that world and when you believe in yourself then you can actually push aside adversity and fears. flags are flying at half mast across kazakhstan in a day of mourning for the victims of friday's plane crash which killed 12 people and left 47 others in hospital. the plane was carrying 90 passengers and 5 crew members when it crashed into a building
in freezing weather shortly after take—off from almaty airport. the country's aviation committee has since suspended all flights operated by the budget airline bek air as well as those involving fokker 100 aircraft pending the results of an investigation. we've been speaking to one survivor who described the moment the plane crashed. it was that quick and the force was huge. and once i think it first hit the ground, then we slide and hit the two storey concrete building. and i think the concrete building stopped the plane going further. and the thing i remember is that starting from the front end of the plane, you start squeezing that especially the ceiling started falling very fastly and everything was falling apart in the plane. and it was like a tin can you like someone is like squeezing the tin can everything was squeezing. the last thing i remember
is that the guy was sitting diagonally right in front of me on the 14th row, he got smashed by all this falling ceiling of the plane. then immediately it stopped. sojust in front of my row, it stopped. but lights were on when this happened and once we stopped, lights went off. a member of the rescue team who saved 12 boys and their football coach from a flooded cave in thailand last year has died. petty officer beirut pak—bara, a thai navy seal, contracted a blood infection during the operation. the headlines on bbc news... grease—star 0livia newton—john is made a dame in the new year honours list — she's one of eleven hundred people recognised for their work. a woman whose husband and two children drowned on christmas eve in a swimming pool at a resort in spain says all three could swim. she blames a fault with the pool concerns for australia's wildlife as an extreme heatwave hits the country,
putting increasing pressure on firefighters battling the bushfires. nearly a quarter—of—a—million people have fled syria's idlib province in the past three weeks — according to estimates by the united nations. the government and russian forces are intensifying their attacks on what is the rebels‘ last stronghold. the un says the maaret al—numan region is now almost empty — as tim allman reports. before the war, more than 50,000 people lived and worked and thrived here, but now it looks more like a ghost town. the streets almost empty, the houses deserted. convoys of cars and vans and lorries snaking out of this town and others like it as the people of idlib flee for their lives.
from the end of april until the end of august, we had more than 400,000 people displaced at that time. so the latest displacement figures comes on top of that, so what we have is one crisis compounding another. these are desperate times, people taking what they can, what few possessions they are able to carry with them. many have fled north, heading to refugee camps like this one near the border with turkey. it's safer here, but these people have lost everything. each and every day is a struggle. translation: a lot of bombs targeted us and we didn't know where to go. we were searching for a car to take us away from the bombardment. we got out in the cold and rainy weather. we came here and they told us they would help us. now we're living in tents. we can't keep living like this. syrian government forces, backed by russia, have been bombarding idlib, trying to win back control from the rebels — the last pockets of resistance
in a war that's been raging for nearly nine years. these refugees desperate for peace and the chance to return home. tim allman, bbc news. russia says it has put into service the first batch of new strategic missiles that — it claims — can get past any existing orfuture missile shields. the ‘avangard' can travel much faster than the speed of sound and can steer an unpredictable course, making it much harder to detect. it's the latest move in what appears to be an escalating missile race with the united states. bill hayton reports. somewhere on the southern fringes of russia, close to the border with kazakhstan, a new era in missile technology begins. this was a test launch last year of russia's new avangard weapon. it's fired into space atop an intercontinental ballistic missile.
it can then glide over the atmosphere, dodging defences, until it reaches its target. translation: we have a unique situation in our recent history. other countries are having to catch—up with russia. no other country has hypersonic weapons — not to mention hypersonic weapons of intercontinental range. in truth, there are many such weapons — all intercontinental ballistic missiles travel many times faster than the speed of sound — but the russian military hopes its new system can give it an edge in a new arms race. a race that's putting pressure on the international arms control system built up over the past a0 years. in october, china displayed its own new hypersonic glide vehicle at a military parade in beijing. the us wants chinese missiles included in a new intermediate range treaty, but it's not clear whether any government is willing to agree to new controls at the moment. bill hayton, bbc news.
nasa has unveiled its latest martian rover ahead of a seven—month maiden voyage to the red planet, scheduled forjuly. fueled by a mini nuclear reactor, the car—sized rover will search for traces of past life in an area thought to have contained rivers and a lake some three and half billion years ago. briony sowden has more. meet nasa's latest rover, set to become mars‘s newest resident in 2021, unveiled in pasadena. this robotic vehicle, which doesn't have an official name yet, will sniff around the red planet and perhaps more ambitiously, lay the groundwork to send humans into deep space. this is a mission that's going to launch injuly of this year and get to mars in february 2021. and it's designed to seek the signs of life. so we're carrying a number
of different instruments that will help us understand the geological and chemical context on the surface of mars. the rover will spend two years collecting samples that will eventually be brought back to earth and later missions onboard our more than 23 cameras and equipment, which turns carbon dioxide, which makes up more than 95% of martian atmosphere into oxygen, which will be crucial to future human missions. its final destination on mars is a large crater which scientists believe could hold signs of past life forms. and with such big ambitions, extra precautions had to be taken, including a thorough decontamination for all the journalists invited. we're trying to find past signs of life, and we don't want to bring we don't find something we bring, obviously. and so we need to make sure that we're not bringing bacteria and stuff that could survive the flight to mars and thrive in that atmosphere.
we don't want to find that. if successful, the mars 2020 rover will become nasa's fifth probe to land on mars, and it does already have a companion. it willjoin the agency's curiosity rover, which has been roaming the landscape since 2012. nasa will ship the rover to its kennedy space center in february, where its three sections will be assembled before take—off, scheduled forjuly. one of the world s rarest birds — the spoon—billed sandpiper — has been successfully reared in captivity for the first time, raising hopes the species can be saved from extinction. it's taken almost a decade, from rescuing eggs in russia 5 far east wetlands, to breeding two of the birds at the wildfowl and wetlands trust in gloucestershire. victoria gill reports. the first sign of a conservation breakthrough. these spoon—billed sandpiper chicks hatched from eggs collected
in the far east of russia and brought into captivity in the uk. that rescue mission was eight years ago. now, at last, those critically endangered birds have reared their own chicks — the first captive—bred spoon—billed sandpipers. we have to cover up our outdoor clothes so everything from rubber boots that we can wash on the way in, to overalls, to this very attractive hairnet, because we do not want to be taking anything in there, into the aviary, where these very precious birds that are that might hurt them or make them sick. this is their breeding aviary that they now live in. i guess they're kind of still babies, or are theyjust a few months old? they're classed asjuveniles now. they would've been on their migration now, really. they would? yeah, yeah, so... but we still see them as babies. your babies. yeah. this long mission, though, has been punctuated by highs and heartbreaking lows. chicks first hatched here back
in 2016, but they survived only a few days. it's taken just under ten years and what feels like a lifetime of no sleep to find the recipe, or close to the recipe, for breeding spoon—billed sandpipers in an arc, in a captive situation. there are about 50 million other waterbirds that use the same place as the spoonies, so if we could save it — and we're starting to do so — we can save a lot of other birds and plants and people who depend on the wetland sites where those animals survive. 2019 was the year that scientists put a very big number on the extinction crisis. a global report published this year estimated that around a million species of animals and plants are at risk of extinction. the loss of natural habitats in our human—engineered environment is an increasing threat, so conservationists hope this will go much further than one
charismatic little bird. and that protecting the spoon—billed sandpiper and the wetlands it depends on will prevent many other species from being lost. victoria gill, bbc news. 60 years after ivor the engine first steamed onto our television screens, his creators want to shunt him out of the retirement shed and onto the silver screen. the tales of the small steam locomotive were inspired by the poetry of dylan thomas and created by hand in a cow shed. tomos morgan reports. snow was falling in the top left—hand corner of wales. ahead of its time, it was one of the uk's first tv cartoons. are you ready, ivor? ivor toots his horn. some may remember the adventures of the small green steam locomotive who worked for the merioneth and llantisilly railway traction company limited in north wales. snowdrifts lay deep on the railway
line, but ivor charged through them and split them like meringues! the programme was the brainchild of the late legendary animator oliver postgate, who wrote the scripts, filmed the scenes and voiced many of the characters, along with artist peter firmin for a budget ofjust £10 a minute. my dad would put them together, using blu—tack. you'd — you'd move the foot along, take a photograph... nowadays, digital animation costs a fortune with high—tech computers and sophisticated software bringing creations to life in 3d. ivor the engine, however, was made using paper and cardboard cut—out watercolours in a farmhouse barn in rural kent. he wanted to find a way of animating which didn't involve too much of people walking around, because that was difficult to animate. so ivor was quite good, because he had wheels. edwinjones, we have an emergency! eli the baker is out of flour! a friendship with a welsh fireman fondly described how steam engines
came to life when you rode on them, and there were strong welsh influences throughout. ivor toots his horn. he came up with the idea that there was a steam locomotive who wanted to sing in the welsh choir, and that was the starting point. he loved dylan thomas and he loved the whole magic and feel of how he felt about wales. oh, dear! although he probably wasn't the most famous cartoon train that graced our tv screens, ivor was the inspiration for oliver postgate‘s more successful titles... yawns. ..such as bagpuss. bagpuss gave a big yawn and settled down to sleep. after the success of daniel's recent remake of the clangers — another of his father's classics — on the 60th anniversary that ivor first hit television, could there finally be a comeback — but this time to the silver screen?
i was interested in the idea of a live—action story of ivor, because i think although it is a children's programme, it also has a lot of interesting characters but you need to find lots of money to do things like that! ivor felt really happy. so, after over half a century, it may not quite be the end of the line for ivor, jones the steam and dai the station. ..as he pounded down the line. tomos morgan, bbc news. now it's time for a look at the weather with phillip avery mild and dry? i've got nothing left to say no. i'm giving the authorised version, but rather mild, things not moving very fast, she was right.
further north isobars squeezed together, further south the weather favoured few you might get some sunshine, and the north—east of wales, as mild as yesterday. overnight the front not moving very faror overnight the front not moving very far or fast overnight the front not moving very far orfast to overnight the front not moving very far or fast to the rain as they are across the north and west and not overly cold anywhere, really mild across the far north—west, further south these guys make the rich can bea sign south these guys make the rich can be a sign of something slightly different tomorrow in lincolnshire and the south—east, little less cloud but want do a lot for temperatures but this could be sunshine, not the case in the far north—west of scotland.