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tv   World News Today  BBC News  December 31, 2019 9:00pm-9:31pm GMT

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this is bbc world news today. i'm nuala mcgovern. our top stories... the us puts on a show of force over its embassy in baghdad — and sends in reinforcements — after the compound is besieged by anti—airstrike protestors. lebanon says it had no warning that the fugitive car boss carlos ghosn was intending to skip bail injapan, for beirut. thick smoke darkens the skies as australia's bushfires push thousands of people to seek refuge on the coast. and, moscow welcomes the new year with fireworks over red square. hello and welcome
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to world news today. we've been seeing in the new year here — following the celebrations around the world. let's bring you some live pictures now from moscow, where it'sjust turned midnight. the fireworks are being staged over red square and the kremlin. russia is of course celebrating the new decade over several time zones with the east of the country already into 2020. president putin is making his new year's address around now too — an address which will mark exactly 20 years since he came to power in russia. he will call on the rusisan nation to show unity and rally behind his efforts, leading the country. let's keep an eye and watch as people get ready for the celebrations that are taking place. we have been watching over the past
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hour from we have been watching over the past hourfrom dubai we have been watching over the past hour from dubai into we have been watching over the past hourfrom dubai into moscow we have been watching over the past hour from dubai into moscow as we make our way around the world. as we move make our way around the world. as we m ove over make our way around the world. as we move over from moscow, just gone to minutes passed midnight an estimable in turkey. the first firework display that is with the mayor of instanbul. let's watch. music.
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quite something isn't it? almost a mashup of moscow and istanbul. the fireworks here are illuminating the boshporus strait connecting europe to asia. now let's turn to a story that has been developing over the past few hours. the united states say they'll send additional forces to support staff at the american embassy in baghdad. it's after protesters — angry over us air strikes on iraqi militia — gathered around the compound. protestors earlier lit fires on the perimeter of the embassy — and also set fire to a guard tower. some demonstrators also managed to breach the outer wall of the compound, before tear gas was fired to disperse them. paul adams has the latest. chanting. furious crowds and an american embassy, the largest in the world, under siege.
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protesters and pro—iranian militiamen inside baghdad's protected green zone, venting their anger, attempting to breach the embassy walls. one entrance is pushed open, but the crowd is forced back by tear gas fired from inside. the sentry post is attacked, but this is a heavily fortified compound. the soldiers inside seem alert, but not yet alarmed. fires are lit outside, the air thick with smoke and anti—american slogans. but the crowd is not huge. sources inside the compound say the situation appears to be under control. no one has been evacuated. directing the protests are some of the country's leading shi'ite militiamen. they are backed by iran and deeply hostile towards america. translation: this embassy has been proved to be an embassy of plotting against iraq, the embassy of spying on iraq and the embassy of running schemes of sabotage in iraq.
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tensions rose dramatically over the weekend as american warplanes carried out air strikes against military targets in iraq and syria. at least 25 fighters were killed. the us blamed the pro—iranian group kata'ib hezbollah for a rocket attack on friday that killed an american civilian in the northern city of kirkuk. donald trump points the finger at neighbouring iran. iran killed an american contractor, he tweeted this morning, we strongly responded and always will. now iran is orchestrating an attack on the us embassy in iraq. they will be held fully responsible. he also warned iraq to do more to protect the embassy. but iraq's government is in a bind. the us is still an ally in the fight against so—called islamic state, but its relationship with iran is much closer. the prime minister condemned america's air strikes at the weekend, but when the crowd moved on the embassy this morning, iraqi security forces did not stop them. the embassy is not taught to be in any in danger but reinforcements
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arrived and they made a short journey from a base in nearby kuwait. i'm joined now by the atlantic council's iraq initiative director dr abbas kadhim. thank you forjoining us doctor. i am curious to hear how you would describe this situation right now. how significant do you think it is? thank you and i am happy to be here, it is alarming that there is a really sad turn of events. a lot of it is unnecessary because of this sort of back and forth hostilities between the united states and iran and iraq is caught in the crossfire. i think as i said in my tweets earlierfrom i think as i said in my tweets earlier from yesterday, at two today, i believe we are going to witness a new relation between the
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united states and iraq in 2020, different from what it has been and four, —— before since different from what it has been and four, -— before since 2003. different from what it has been and four, —— before since 2003. this is the first time we see demonstrations in front of the us embassy in baghdad since 2003. and i believe these demonstrators will not go away before they get what they want which isa before they get what they want which is a massive reduction of the us diplomatic and military presence. how do you think that will evolve? there are people within those buildings and we mention perhaps they reached the outer wall but not they reached the outer wall but not the embassy itself. do you see some sort of mediation and i think there will be a massive reduction of americans and that embassy but tell me what you think is going to happen. again it depends on who gets
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involved. 0f happen. again it depends on who gets involved. of the original organisers which is the popular mobilisation forces that initially organise what used to be a set and i know it is no longer a set and because they are a more active movement then they are not interested in doing any damage to the embassy or harming us personnel. as you know it gatherings and the space that iraq is these days, anybody could come and ride the wave and you would see other actors probably that would not be balanced to the original intent of the organisers. we have to be very vigilant and the iraq he government has to also do its part at the end of the day and it is responsible for protecting the embassy in iraq. i also think that the united states
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needs to tone down its rhetoric right now because the more us officials go, the more angry the crowd will be and either way i believe this will end up by obtaining a law by parliament to ask oi’ obtaining a law by parliament to ask or mandate the government to ask or force a withdrawal and i assume what started to be a massive reduction in military personnel, it used to be fred temporary basis and now i think it will be permanent. it is the largest embassy and the wealth and i do not think it will be anywhere near that. thank you so much and i will just let our viewers near that. thank you so much and i willjust let our viewers know as well that there are the us military are planning to send more troops to protect not embassy. —— protect that embassy. lebanon says it had no prior warning that the former head of renault—nissan, carlos ghosn intended to skip bail injapan and travel to beirut.
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mr ghosn says he flew to lebanon — where he lived as a child — to escape what he described as a "rigged" justice system. it's unclear how he left japan, where he was facing trial on financial misconduct charges, as he'd surrendered his passports as part of his bail conditions. rupert wingfield—hayes has more. last march, carlos ghosn disguised himself as a construction worker as he attempted to slip past the waiting media on his release from jail. now he has succeeded in slipping out ofjapan, perhaps in another disguise. even his own defence team have been left dumbfounded, unable to explain how mrghosn did it. translation: we didn't know anything about it. it's a complete surprise. we still have all his passports. somehow mr ghosn managed to board a privatejet and last night he landed here, in the lebanese capital beirut. he said he had not fled japanese justice, but escaped from injustice.
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i am now in lebanon, he said, and will no longer be held hostage by a rigged japanese justice system where guilt is presumed, discrimination is rampant, and basic human rights are denied. this is a truly extraordinary development in what was already an extraordinary story. japanese prosecutors will say by fleeing, carlos ghosn is admitting his guilt. but many others agree with carlos ghosn and his defence team that the charges against him were essentially politically motivated. and that carlos ghosn‘s real crime was trying to force a merger between a japanese company, nissan, and its french parent, renault. in the 1990s carlos ghosn helped save french car—maker renault. in the 2000s, he took on an even biggerjob, turning around japan's moribund car—maker, nissan. he rose to become one of the most powerful figures in the global car industry. but in 2018 he was arrested at tokyo
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airport on suspicion of financial misconduct. he was held in this tokyo detention centre for more than 100 days, facing daily interrogations. this is a conspiracy. since his release on bail, carlos ghosn has angrily proclaimed his innocence. accusing his former colleagues at nissan of conspiring with japanese prosecutors to manufacture a case against him. the media injapan have been preparing for what was expected to be the trial of the decade. instead carlos ghosn is now far away in lebanon, a country that has no extradition agreement with japan. rupert wingfield—hayes, bbc news, in tokyo. we can speak to a former nissan executive who knows carlos ghosn well. she's carla bailo, president and ceo of the center for automotive research whojoins me from michigan.
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great to have you with us. you know him well, are you surprised by his appearance in lebanon?” him well, are you surprised by his appearance in lebanon? i think the whole case surprises me, from the very beginning, from the arrest through the amount of entering men in jail through the amount of entering men injailand now the through the amount of entering men in jail and now the escape. through the amount of entering men injail and now the escape. and through the amount of entering men in jail and now the escape. and the whole thing is a surprise. and unexpected event that happened in the automotive industry this year and all the countries that had supported him throughout the entire time has been lebanon. the people had supported him the government has come out and supported him sale of all the places to return and escape that would be the place. and you, know him personally as you mention, how'd you describe him as a man, to try to escape as he called the justice system in japan, try to escape as he called the justice system injapan, does that sound like something that he would
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attempt to do? there was even talk that he perhaps escaped in the instrument case of a gregorian choir? that is the latest story that leads to an elaborate plot that was put together but fundamentally he is a very intelligent and, he had the most striking memory free data, for recall of facts and figures and then being able to regurgitate those. very driven, very hard—working and very high expectations. truly driving to bring costs down to the lowest level. very businesslike all the time. so i am sure out of anybody he had the capability to look at all the facts going on his side and all the facts that had been gathered and putting together the best plan for himself personally.
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you know injapan he will be seen as bringing justice or it's supposed to be the trial of the decade and do you think that will bother him as a man that he has this black market estimates see it again sam? man that he has this black market estimates see it again sam7m man that he has this black market estimates see it again sam? it is ha rd to estimates see it again sam? it is hard to say when you have this kind of thing happen automatically you have a black—market so to say. staying there and going through the justice system, i do not know if it would have been any mad mike better because the condition rate is so high there. i think in any case he would have left japan and never would have left japan and never would have left japan and never would have been allowed to return. this is another way to do it, i suppose. we will have to wait to see what he does in lebanon in the coming months or years perhaps as details come out. thank you so much for speaking with us today.
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stay with us on bbc world news, still to come... people in australia take to boats to escape the flames, as bushfires close in on the beaches. the most ambitious financial and political change that ever has attempted has gone under way with the introduction of the euro. and then we will be in france and again it will be the same money, just to be the way to go. george harrison the former beatle is recovering and hospital after being stabbed in his home. eight—man is being interviewed by police on suspension for suspicion of attempted murder.|j think it looks good. just good? now, fantastic. that is better.
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this is bbc world news today. the latest headlines... the us is sending reinforcements to help defend its embassy in baghdad — having repelled an attack by protesters angry about american air strikes. lebanon says it had no warning that the fugitive car boss carlos ghosn was fleeing japan, for beirut. the australian armed forces are committing more helicopters, aircraft and ships to help deal with the bushfires in the southeast of the country. more than a dozen ‘emergency—level‘ fires are burning across a 500 kilometre stretch spanning two australian states — from batemans bay in new south wales to bairnsdale in victoria. the flames are being fanned by extremely hot and windy conditions.
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this footage from st george's basin in new south wales is typical of many images shared across social media of blood—red, smoke—filled skies. 0ur correspondent shaima khalil reports. this is what uncontrollable blazes pushed by strong winds have done to towns across eastern australia. and this is what firefighters have been up against for weeks now. this crew trapped in their fire engine as they fight an impossible battle. in the coastal town of batemans bay in new south wales, residents have fled, taking shelter on the beach, desperately trying to escape the hellish fire conditions. 300 kilometres south in the state of victoria, thousands in mallacoota also escaped to the shores. at one point, people were told to jump in the water if the fire came their way.
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more than a dozen emergency level blazes, spanning 500 kilometres, have stretched across the two states of victoria and new south wales. several holiday spots along the coast have now been cut off and the main road in the region is closed. military aircraft and vessels could be sent to help rescue efforts and to bring aid to those trapped in the worst hit areas. time and time again, people have told us that the scale of these fires is unlike anything they'd ever seen before and so too is the extent of the damage. and as these blazes continue to rage across eastern and southern australia, many are dealing with the reality of going back home when they've lost everything. the village of balmoral in new south wales has seen some of the worst devastation in recent weeks. everywhere you look is a sign of how the blazes ravaged through the area. rosemary doyle lived in this house
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for 13 years with her late husband. she tells me she felt relatively safe, living just across the road from the local fire station. but nothing here has been spared. and then i stood across the road and just watched it burn, room by room, which was really, really difficult. the last room to burn was where i'd left my husband's ashes. soaring temperatures, strong winds and relentless drought have made it impossible to stop the trail of these huge fires and with no rain predicted, australians will now head into the new year with the threat of more blazes looming over them. shaimaa khalil, bbc news, balmoral, new south wales. hong kong's new year celebrations have been overshadowed by more protests. riot police began 2020 by firing tear gas at anti—government protesters, who blocked roads and started fires in the moan kok district. the annual fireworks display
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was scaled down over security fears. there've been more than six months of sometimes violent protests in the territory. a big gathering is planned for new year's day. this week we're looking at what 2020 has in store, with some of the bbc‘s specialist correspondents, across a range of areas. today — let's look at culture. hello, i'm will gompertz, the bbc‘s arts editor, and here is my must—see list for 2020. i'm going to start where i finished last year, which is with a grand egyptian museum near cairo, the $1 billion attraction was supposed to open four years ago, it was then delayed until the summer of 2019, and is now scheduled to welcome the world in 2020, with the promise of a tutankhamun display like no other, with 51100 objects from the tomb
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of the boy king displayed together for the first time. new museums are all the rage nowadays. none more so than in china, where they are popping up like tents on the campsite. june in beijing, sees the opening of a new cultural space dedicated to the work of two 20th—century european masters — pablo picasso and alberto giacometti. you know, it's not easy setting up a brand new arts institution. just ask the team at the academy museum in la. senior staff have left, delays have been encountered and funding has been an issue for the great american showcase of motion pictures. let's hope, when, if, it opens in 2020, they will take off like superman and not suffer the same fate as that costly failure, heaven's gate. talking of big expensive controversial projects, all eyes will be on the humble forum in berlin when it partially opens in september 2020. the 40,000 square metres space situated in a reconstructed prussian palace, at a cost of nearly $700 million, will focus on world cultures. over in galway, on the west coast of ireland, the city named
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but lonely planet as one of the very best, they will be inviting us all to visit it, as the 2020 european capital of culture. they are promising quite a show. and as we all know, the irish are wonderful hosts, unless you happen to be the english rugby team, of course, where different rules apply. talking of sport and hosting, 2020 is an 0lympics year, and so to tokyo where the games are being held and, with them, a cultural 0lympiad, the highlight of which will be the country—wide nippon festival. and finally, a few important 2020 anniversaries worth noting. the national gallery in london will be celebrating raphael's 500th. the great renaissance master only lived to the age of 37, having exhausted himself chasing ladies — he should have stuck to the dayjob — he really was an excellent painter. whereas beethoven was a really excellent composer. the legendary berlin philharmonic 0rchestra will be playing a 24—hour beethoven marathon to mark his 250th birthday. let's hope it's as good as his ninth! which was an absolute cracker.
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and so, where better to finish this look ahead than in deepest, darkest somerset, in the west of england, on a glorious summer's evening, standing in a field, surrounded by 100,000 fellow music fans and raising a toast, probably a glass of cider, to glastonbury festival's half—century. whether you're sweating buckets in the pyramid stage mosh pit, or indulging yourself in the naughty corner over the hill, you ‘ll be part of one of the world's most magical musical festivals. vive les arts! just an update on the us embassy in iraq, donald trump has tweeted that the us embassy is and has been for hours safe and he says he thanks everyone for the rapid response upon request. we will have
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more on that story coming up in the coming hours. stay with us on bbc world news. hello there. the early days of the new year will bring in some mild air across the uk. it will turn quite windy at times. right now, it's quite cold where we've had the clearer skies, and the earlier sunshine across parts of northern england and indeed for scotland. well, we've got more cloud further south. it's been an altogether different looking day across wales, much of the midlands and southern england and that cloud is moving northwards. still maybe some pockets of light rain or drizzle mainly affecting the channel islands if you're out at midnight. elsewhere, it's generally dry. quite chilly though for the north—east of england and the north—east of scotland, a touch of frost here. and there may be some patches of mist and fog around too, particularly across parts of yorkshire and lincolnshire. as you move into the first day of 2020, we're going to find the winds picking up in the north—west of the uk ahead of those weather fronts. that one there still bringing some pockets of rain
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in the channel islands, should be moving away. elsewhere, it's probably going to be dry. a lot of cloud mind you. there may be some brightness at times but the best of the sunshine i think will be towards the north—east of scotland where we are more shelter from those freshening breezes. may make double figures in the north west of scotland, likewise in the south west of england where it should be a drier and brighter day than today. and we're tapping into some very mild air at that's coming all the way from the azores on thursday. that's ahead of these weather fronts here and those will bring down some rain from the north—west. so, we're going to find some outbreaks of rain affecting northern ireland into scotland, that rain can be quite heavy actually over the hills of western scotland on thursday. and this band of rain heading down towards the western side of england and wales later. ahead of that, it's dry, bright, some sunshine at times but a windy day mind you. everywhere, we've got strong to gale force wind, but it's going to be mild everywhere. temperatures 11—12 degrees, typically. that mild weather may not last too long because as those weather fronts take any remaining rain across the uk overnight, the wind direction changes and we draw down some
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slightly cooler air. there still may be some cloud, may be a few spots of rain to clear away from southern england and through the channel islands in the morning. elsewhere, plenty of sunshine and we pick up a few showers as you head further north. most of those across the northern half of scotland. quite frequent. a touch wintry over the highest ground but it's not particularly cold air — 7—8 degrees for the northern half of the uk. and into the weekend, well we could see some rain across the far north of scotland. otherwise, it's likely to be dry. some sunshine at times, and still mild for the time of year.
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this is bbc news, the headlines. thousands of people in south—eastern australia have been forced to seek refuge on the coast after becoming trapped by advancing bushfires. the us is to send more troops to protect its embassy in baghdad, where there's been an attack by thousands of iraqi militiamen. lebanon says the former nissan boss carlos ghosn entered the country legally and will not face any legal consequences, after he fled japan where he was awaiting trial. from today — mixed—sex couples in england and wales can finally enter into civil partnerships. and many countries have seen in 2020 with spectacular fireworks displays — while here, there's a promise that


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