this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at eight: five people have been stabbed in new york state, during hanukkah celebrations, at the home of an orthodox rabbi. a man has appeared in court. this is terrorism. it is domestic terrorism. these are people who intend to create mass harm, mass violence. the mayor of sydney says the new year fireworks display will go ahead as planned — despite a petition calling for it to be cancelled out of respect for those affected by the ravaging bushfires. we meet the uk's first paramedics trained to prescribe — in an effort to ease pressure on the nhs. liverpool beat wolves
to extend their lead at the top of the premier league to 13 points with a game in hand. bell tolls. getting ready for the new year, restoration work on london's big ben will pause for one night only, so its famous bongs can ring in the new decade. and later on i will be looking at the stories we have covered from britain's coastal towns this year. that's in half an hour, with me, simon mccoy. the american president, donald trump, has called the knife attack at a jewish celebration in new york state "horrific". mr trump tweeted to say, "the country must come together to fight, confront,
and eradicate the evil scourge of anti—semitism". five people were injured, two of them critically, during a hanukkah gathering, at the home of an orthodox rabbi. a man has been arrested. in recent weeks, police have stepped up patrols in jewish neighbourhoods, following a series of anti—semitic hate crimes. our washington correspondent, chris buckler, reports. members of new york's largejewish community had gathered to celebrate their religion, only to be attacked because of it. they were at the home of a rabbi here to mark hanukkah, when a man forced his way into the house and started stabbing people, in some cases multiple times. he pulled out a knife and he started running to the left side, and i have thrown tables and chairs and shouted he should get out of here. the injured are still being treated in hospital and this community has
been left scarred by the stabbings. monsey is just north of new york city police had stepped up patrols because of a series of anti—semitic attacks in recent weeks, and across the us, thejewish community has raised concerns about an increase in hate crimes. just over a year ago in pittsburgh, 11 worshippers were killed in a mass shooting at the tree of life synagogue. in april there was a similar attack at a synagogue in san diego. and another shooting earlier this month at a kosher supermarket in newjersey is also thought to be fuelled, at least in part, by anti—semitism. what are we waiting for? first it was just verbal and ok, but now we have people being murdered, being assaulted and stabbed. so the governor should announce an emergency in the state of new york.
the new york governor seems to be listening. he said words were not enough and that it was time for action. it is domestic terrorism. these are people who intend to create mass harm, mass violence. generate fear based on race, colour, creed. that is the definition of terrorism. many claim hate is on the rise in an increasingly fractured america where differences too often end not just in division, but violence. chris buckler, bbc news. and chris buckler has given us this update this evening, including details of a suspect‘s appearance in court. yes, strong words and pointed. he talked about there being a poisoning of the country, through bigotry, racism and homophobia and that needed to be tackled, but a lot of that will be politically pointed
because he is a democratic governor and democrats are critical of president trump and they feel he has fuelled division in this country. that will be firmly denied by the white house. but democrats have said his words on immigration and other issues, where he has been accused of flirting with white nationalism have done damage to society here. the white house says, in response even last month he signed an executive order on anti—semitism and he wants to bring the country together as best he can. but it gives you an idea of the polarising politics in this society having a real impact on communities. we should just say that grafton thomas, a 37—year—old man has appeared in court, pleading not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and one count of burglary. his bail has been set at $5 million. well, earlier, my colleague, rachel schofield, spoke to armin rosen — a senior reporter at the tablet magazine —
a jewish news website. he's been reporting on anti—semitic attacks in new york for the past few months. nothing has really changed in the last five and a half months since i started writing about this. the official response has been lacking according to a lot of people in the community, the attacks have continued frequently and there is also no real agreed understanding as to why there has been such an uptake in these incidents. there is very little clarity on what is going on and why. that was going to be my next question, whether in the course of your reporting you had put together a theory as to what is happening with this rise of violence and intolerance? what is most important to understand about the wave of anti—semitic attacks which began in new york about two years ago, there is no proven connection between any of the attackers. there is no organisation
driving this or hate movements or activists in new york city which are seeding this. from what we can tell. these are disconnected incidents but on the other hand they‘ re clearly connected on a larger sense because of their frequency, their similarity and profile, the types of attacks, most of them street harassment, which has turned violent dozens of times in the past couple of years. there is a lot of commonalities between them but no real... it would be very hard to pin down a causal relationship between any of this. anyone who has one real clear explanation is speculating, even now. in terms of the feeling in the jewish community, how would you describe the level of concern? there has been a level of concern for the last year, year—and—a—half. i think part of the concern isjust figuring out,
and the inability to figure how to stop it. is the answer more policing, is the answer self defence, is the answer a different kind of political organisation that these communities have not done before? i don't think anybody really knows and that is where a certain amount of the anxiety comes from. here, a synagogue in london that was targeted with anti—semitic graffiti has pledged to work with people of all backgrounds, to challenge the rise of all types of hate speech. police are investigating after offensive graffiti appeared in a number of locations in north london, during hanukkah. the images include a reference to 9/11, and an anti—semitic conspiracy theory over the new york attack. the conservative councillor for hampstead, oliver cooper, said he was sickened to find such anti—semitism in his neighbourhood. in a statement to its members, south hampstead synagogue said, it was working closely with police and camden council. no arrests have been made.
and we'll find out how these stories — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:30pm and 11:30pm this evening, in the papers. our guestsjoining me tonight are robert fox, the defence secretary of the evening standard, and ruth lea, economic adviser at arbuthnot banking. the mayor of sydney says the city's famous new year's eve fireworks display will go ahead, despite a call for the event to be cancelled, because of the bushfires raging in parts of australia. more than a quarter of a million people have signed a petition, urging the authorities to spend the money on fighting the blazes instead. more than 80 fires are still burning across large areas of new south wales. this report — from phil mercer in sydney — contains flashing images. it's arguably the world's most dazzling fireworks display, but thousands of people want sydney to scrap its new year's eve spectacular.
they say it would be an insult and could traumatise some of those affected by the bushfire crisis. sydney's lord mayor, clover moore, said she shared the deep sympathies of those who'd signed the petition, but stressed that the fireworks were planned months in advance and most of the budget had already been spent. so, barring catastrophic fire conditions in sydney on new year's eve, the event seems certain to go ahead. in—between now and then, the authorities are warning of severe—to—extreme fire dangers across much of south—eastern australia. volunteers are a vital part of the emergency effort. many have been fighting the flames for weeks. the government says they will be able to apply for about £3,000 in compensation. for taking time off work to battle the blazes. good morning, ladies and gentlemen. this is a very prolonged fire season. this is putting additional demands
on ourfirefighters in particular, and it means that the turnouts and the callouts have been far more extensive than in previous years, going well and beyond and above what is normally expected of those who are engaged in volunteer service. the money and the gesture from the government are broadly welcomed by the volunteers on the front line. it's tough. the payment isjust a recognition of what we're doing. it doesn't compensate us for what we're losing, but it's recognition. it's really strenuous, hard work, you really do feel like you want to be helping, and you really do feel like you're obliged to do that. so, like, for me, it means i use my annual leave. their work is far from over. dangerous fire conditions and extreme heat are forecast for south—eastern australia from tomorrow. phil mercer, bbc news, sydney.
the cabinet office is contacting all those named in the new year honours list, after their home addresses and contact details were accidentally published online. it's now apologised and referred the data breach to the regulator. the list included the addresses of politicians, military figures and counter—terrorism officials — as well as celebrities such as sir eltonjohn. our correspondent, john mcmanus, said over 1,000 address were published. some of them really need to keep their details private, for example former military people, counterterrorism officers, the former director of public prosecutions, all people who do not want their details in the public eye and also celebrities who will be unhappy about this, like elton john and ben stokes as well. the cabinet office has apologised and referred itself to the data watchdog. the ico may investigate
and could levy a large fine on the government if it so chooses. its powers were upgraded last year in 2018. they can now, as in the case of a british airways data breach, levy a fine of £183 million so it is serious stuff and it goes after public bodies as well as private. it fined the london borough of newham, £145,000, a smaller amount but significant for local government as they accidentally disclosed details of 200 people. this could be a financial headache for the government and there is another problem as well. because there are celebrities on the list, some of them, very well—heeled, if they choose to go to court and sue the government for this data breach, if several of them chose to do that, that would be an even larger bill for the government if they win, footed ultimately by the taxpayer. two very serious scenarios
for the government at the moment. iain duncan smith who is being knighted and whose details were released says it was a complete disaster. there are calls for an investigation. this list is released every year so how did it go wrong this year? it's being reported that four rockets have exploded near a base housing us troops close to iraq's capital. it follows a series of air strikes carried out by us forces against sites in syria and iraq, operated by an iraqi militia group — that's said to be backed by iran. the pentagon said those strikes were a response to a number of attacks by the kata'ib hezbollah organisation — targeting bases in iraq where us personnel are stationed.
us analyst give us more details put before the most recent attacks on us personnel. here you have the americans going after an iraqi military organisation which the pentagon says is closely linked to the iranian revolutionary guard. the pentagon said they went after this organisation in five locations, three in iraq and two in syria. they say they went after commander control centres and weapons storage sites. the aim was to deter this organisation and to limit its ability to act. the background is that the americans in their bases in iraq have been coming under a series of attacks in the last six weeks or more. the us secretary of state, mike pompeo, came out and warned that if these attacks continued there would be a firm response. two days ago there was a serious attack on a base where americans were housed near the city of kirkuk,
30 rockets were coming down and one american civilian contractor was killed and several us servicemen wounded. this seems to be a direct response to that, hitting the organisation the americans blame for carrying out this string of attacks on their personnel in iraq. the headlines on bbc news... a man appears in court after five people are injured in a knife attack, in new york state during hanukkah celebrations at the home of a rabbi. the mayor of sydney says the new year fireworks display will go ahead as planned — despite a petition calling for it to be cancelled out of respect for those affected by the ravaging bushfires. coming up shortly, we'll meet the uk's first paramedics trained to prescribe — in an effort to ease pressure on the nhs.
sport — and for a full round—up from the bbc sport centre, here's ben croucher. good evening. three of the top four were in action in the premier league today. liverpool continued their unbeaten run this season to go back to the top of the table. their 1—0 win over wolves wasn't without the customary var talking points either — as nick parrott can tell us. with the festive fixtures coming thick and fast, it is hard for teams to stay on form. both liverpool and wolves are thrilled in their last games but with such a short turn around anfield was unlikely to see a classic. wary of the threat posed by the world champions the visitors brace themselves for an onslaught, they kept them at bayjust before half—time. virgil van dijk picking out adam put aside your man through.
it was initially ruled out. but the video assistant referee said it should stand. hurt by that wolves hit back. pedrojoined should stand. hurt by that wolves hit back. pedro joined them level, that wasn't until var thought it should have a look, really it offside. it took until the second half for wolves to get over that. early in the season, liverpool often needed late goals to save or win games but here they saw at the victory to enter 2019 on a high. —— and 2019. mikel arteta is still winless as arsenal boss. they conceded twice in the last 10 minutes to lose at home 2—1 to chelsea. sergio aguero and kevin de bruyne were on target as manchester city beat sheffield united 2—0. in scotland, rangers are right in the scottish premiership title race heading into the winter break. a first old firm derby win at celtic park for the first time since 2010 means they're just two points behind the leaders
with a game in hand. lydia campbell watched this one. it's been nearly a decade of domination for celtic but their eight titles in a row mean nothing on derby day. rangers are here to keep a hold on their own title bid, but instead nikola katic took a hold of christopherjullien — penalty to celtic. up stepped ryan christie and injumped allan mcgregor to make the save. minutes later, ryan kent made celtic pay, guiding his shot in. celtic levelled shortly after, but it took a helping hand from odsonne edouard to guide callum mcgregor‘s shot home. regis was put in front again ten minutes into the second health. celtic‘s dominance of scottish football showing cracks. alfredo morelos had a quiet game by his standards, but that changed in the final seconds, shown his second yellow for diving. but that will only be a subplot, with rangers winning at celtic for the first time in ten years.
all of today's scores and reports can be found on our website. cricket next — and england captain joe root admitted it had been a tough week in centurion after losing the first test to south africa by 107 runs. another batting collapse, coupled with a bug that's swept through the squad, did little to help their cause. jo currie reports. in a year full of special moments for england cricketers, could they squeeze in one more high before the end of 2019? 376 runs would be england's highest ever successful run chase, and joe denly set about putting a dent in it. but the man that south africa really wanted, rory burns, they were not farfrom getting him. his innings yesterday had given england a chance but with a swipe and a grab he was out. no century, but still a valuable 8a. like a lot of his team, joe root has been struggling with illness, but he looked
on the road to recovery. he was about to lose his fellowjoe, joe denly, trapped lbw by dwaine pretorius. that meant the arrival of ben stokes, but what was left in the tank? it turns out just fumes. from the reaction of the south africans, and stokes himself, it shows how crucial this was. jonny bairstow following, it was starting to feel like south africa's day. joe root‘s dismissal only made that feeling stronger. with the captain gone, england put up little resistance. the result was confirmed. a difficult week on and off the field for the captain. we had to deal with a lot of things around the game itself, but we stood up, especially in the last two days, and we've really come up and shown a lot of character. it's very frustrating that's all we've got to take from the game.
england move on to cape town for the second test on friday. that's all the sport for now. mmre on the website, including news on exeter‘s win over saracens in the premiership, at bbc.co.uk/sport. i'll have more after 9pm. the family and friends of a british man and his two children who drowned in a spanish resort‘s swimming pool have expressed their devastation. gabriel diya, 52, his daughter, comfort, who was nine, and 16—year—old son, praise—emmanuel, died on christmas eve. spanish police believe the deaths happened after they got out of their depth, but mr diya's wife, olubunmi, says all three could swim, and she believes there was a fault with the pool. people who know the family have been speaking to the bbc. we're very devastated because ijust broke the news to my own sister this morning. she has made a u—turn from where she was going and she's
coming to see her as well. the family is upset. my mother is 93 years old. i can't tell my mum. we are in a devastated state at the moment, very devastated. i saw the name diya and it didn't immediately register that it was my friend. i saw the name diya and i said, ok, this has to be a nigerian family, most likely a british minority family, so i went to look for gabriel diya on google, and then i saw the twitter account, and when i clicked on the twitter account, i saw this picture and i saw my friend right beside him, and immediately i was just broken. i was broken, i was upset, i was sad, i was weeping. and i was angry. i was really angry, that no, this can't be happening
to someone so close to home. as the nhs braces itself for the new year period, often its busiest time, a pioneering scheme in wales is aiming to take the pressure off hospitals and doctors' surgeries. five members of the welsh ambulance service have graduated, to become the uk's first advanced ‘prescribing paramedics' — and the team can be deployed across the nhs. our health editor, hugh pym, has been on the road with some of them. it enhances the role greatly and it makes our role a lot more flexible. patients don't always phone 999 because they think they have a life—threatening emergency. so we probably see on average 19 or 20 patients a day and deal with them and the gp will have time for those more complex patients. we can speak to them and say rather than put them in the back of the ambulance and take them,
how about we get one of our cars to attend? mike is one of a new breed of prescribing paramedics, one of the first five. theirjob, where possible, is to keep people out of hospital. here, he is called to a diabetic patient with an infected wound. so you are an insulin—dependent diabetic, yeah? he checks her medication and is able to adjust her pain relief so she can stay at home. a less qualified ambulance team might have had to take her to a&e. 0k? it was sore last night. georgina is helping take the strain off gps. her shift on this occasion is in a surgery, seeing a range of different patients. with her new qualifications, she can write them prescriptions. previously, i would decide what they need and i would have to go and wait, knock on the doctor's door, wait for them to finish with their patient. whereas now it's my decision, i'm an autonomous,
independent prescriber. very impressed with the paramedics. it's like seeing a doctor. exactly like seeing a doctor. they are qualified people, use them. here at this ambulance control centre in south—east wales, around 700 calls come in every day. some will be life—threatening cases, but the challenge is to identify those patients who can be treated closer to home and who won't need to be taken to hospital. you see that call in pontypridd... elton, another of the prescribing paramedics is deployed here to make help staff make the most efficient use of resources. he says with huge demands on the system, this new approach was essential. years ago, anyone calling 999 we would take them to one of the emergency departments in the hospital, but now we have overwhelmed the service, so in response to that we have had to change the way we approach these patients and signpost them more appropriately.
caring for an ageing population with long—term conditions and complex health needs is an immense challenge for the nhs. empowering staff like these is one response. more will be trained in the drive to cope with the rising demand on the service. hugh pym, bbc news, in south wales. tributes have been paid to the artist and writer alasdair gray, who has died at the age of 85. the first minister said he was one of scotland's literary giants, writer irvine welsh said he influenced a creative generation. our arts correspondent pauline mclean reports. art and writing intertwined from the start for alasdair gray, and glasgow, the city of his birth, fed into everything he created. from the paintings he made as city recorder for the people's palace documenting a changing landscape, to his epic novel lanark, published in 1982 after two and a half decades of work.
irvine welsh was one of those who took to twitter today. he said... the first minister said... she mourned the loss of a genius. and those who had only yesterday wished him a happy 85th also paid tribute. huge sadness obviously, because he was titan, notjust of scottish literature butart, culture, politics. alasdair had a roving mind. he was interested in everything and whatever he was interested in he tended to paint or write about, so we've lost that, we lost it, and when i started wanting to be a writer in the late ‘70s, early ‘80s, arriving at edinburgh university, we were just starting to become aware of people like alasdair gray, these writers who were writing about contemporary scotland. despite a fall which confined him to intensive care for months, he recovered and returned to work, writing and illustrating.
his images writ large around the city he called home. pauline mclean, reporting scotland, glasgow. it's been more than two years since big ben's famous bongs were paused, to allow for essential maintenance work to be carried out. but on new year's eve they'll return to ring in the new decade in london. tim muffett reports. it's one of the world's most familiar and regularly misnamed buildings. but for two years, the elizabeth tower, which houses the giant bell, big ben, has been surrounded by scaffolding. repairs that have left big ben itself largely silent. here it is, big ben. here it is, big ben, yes, indeed, all 13 tons of it. it's been quiet largely for the last few years. feels a bit odd? it does feel very odd. it's been way too quiet for my liking. this is, what, the biggest refurbishment project that's ever ta ken place since it was first built.
so, the clock mechanics are taking apart every single small piece and then putting it all back together, which hasn't been done before. so, a massive challenge for them. it's that clock mechanism which, for more than 150 years, activated the hammer that strikes big ben. so, for special occasions during the repairs, such as remembrance sunday and new year's eve, a new device has been needed. what we've got here is a tolling — automatic electric tolling motor, which obviously wouldn't have been available when this was first built. this produces the power needed to then lift the big ben hammer, which is, as i say, very heavy, 300, 400 kilograms, and strike it 12 times. last new year's eve, all went to plan. big ben bongs. are you nervous in the run—up to midnight? i think there's always got to be a bit of nerves because it shows, one, that you care, and also, that it's obviously a really, really big moment. cheering. the new speaker of the house of commons, lindsay hooyle, has said he won't stand in the way if mps vote for big ben to also be