welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: north korea accepts south korea's offer of high—level talks in the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries on tuesday. publish and be damned. the book which describes a paranoid president and a white house in chaos is being released on friday, despite attempts by donald trump's lawyers to block it. it's being called a "bomb cyclone," a powerful blizzard that's battered north america, leaving at least 17 dead and knocking out power for thousands of people. and we've an exclusive report from inside the battle for yemen, where war has driven millions to the brink of starvation. a story that has been moving in the
last few hours. north korea has accepted south korea's offer to hold talks next week. it will be the first time since 2015 that officials from the two sides have met. no coincidence perhaps that the news breaks just hours after south korea and the united states agreed to postpone theirjoint military exercises, which north korea sees as rehearsals for invasion. they'll be suspended for the duration of the winter olympics. from seoul, sophie long reports. north korea accepted the offer of government level talks through a direct fax line between the two countries reactivated two days ago. it was addressed to south korea's reunification minister. translation: north korea accepted our offerfor talks on january nine. north korea accepted our offerfor talks onjanuary nine. regarding the agenda, we will discuss thejohn
chang win the olympics and how to improve ties between south and north korea. —— pyeonchang. improve ties between south and north korea. -- pyeonchang. they are expected to discuss key issues like pyongyang sending a delegation to the winter olympics which is in south korea next month. the us and south korea next month. the us and south korea next month. the us and south korea agreed to postpone the drills for the duration of the games. the south korean president said he believes the winter games could mark a turning point. they could mark a turning point. they could reduce tensions on the korean peninsula which have reached their highest point in two decades. and sophie long joins me now. atime of a time of great tension. what are the hopes of talks if any? this is a significant development. the background to this is the north
korean leader in his new year's message said he would be open to dialogue with the south. we had the offer of high—level governmental talks with the south korean government on tuesday. for the past two days we have been waiting for a response from pyongyang. on wednesday they opened a direct line line of communication which has in shot for the last two years. this morning, we had three facts they accepted the offer of talks with the south korean government. —— through fax. that will take place on tuesday the ninth of january, fax. that will take place on tuesday the ninth ofjanuary, this coming tuesday. that is exactly a month ahead of the opening ceremony for the winter games which will take place in south korea on february. in the past, the south korean president said he felt the winter games could bea said he felt the winter games could be a turning point on the korean peninsula. tensions have been running very, very high, the highest point for a number of decades. so, there is hope this is a slight thawing of relations, potentially,
on the korean peninsula. we know they will discuss the possibility of pyongyang sending a delegation to the winter game. that will be the first priority largely because of time. now, we do not know exactly what pyongyang may want in terms of concessions in exchange for them sending a delegation, but it is certainly a significant development, and it is one people here in the one i certainly very hopeful about. thank you very much for that, so the long. —— here in seoul. a new book containing damning allegations about the trump administration is being rushed to publication on friday, four days ahead of schedule, as lawyers for the president try to stop it. they say it contains numerous false statements. among much else, the book quotes mr trump's former chief strategist, steve bannon, accusing the president's son and son—in—law of treason. the president has reacted with fury. jon sopel reports from washington. hell hath no fury like a bannon scorned, it would seem. steve bannon, who was described
as the brains behind donald trump, is now out in the washington cold after his extraordinary attack, the warm words of last summer, but a distant memory. i like him, he's a good man. he is not a racist, i can tell you that. he's a good person. he actually gets a very unfair press in that regard. but we will see what happens with mr bannon, but he's a good person, and i think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly. but bannon was fired soon afterwards and has now had his revenge, rounding on the president's son and son—in—law over a meeting they had with a kremlin—linked lawyer at trump tower during the campaign, saying this. and that's provoked rage and fury in the white house, the president, issuing this unprecedented statement
about a close colleague. today, at the white house, they‘ re lawyering up. orders to stephen bannon to cease and desist, threats to the publisher, too. and the response from mr bannon last night? why, to declare his unfailing support for the president. and that brought this response from mr trump today. has steve bannon betrayed you, mr president? thank you very much. i don't know, he called me a great man last night, so, you know, he obviously changed his tune pretty quick. all right, thank you all very much. the white house is pushing back hard on the contents of this book, describing the author, michael wolff, as an unreliable
witness and a fantasist. that, despite him being given unprecedented access to the workings of the west wing and recording hours and hours of conversations. and even if only 50% of the book is accurate, it still paints a damning portrait of a white house that's dysfunctional and a president who's paranoid. no wonder donald trump is so angry. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. let's ta ke let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. an explosion in the afghan capital, kabul, has killed at least 15 people. the interior ministry says it was a suicide bomber, but the target was unclear. the so—called islamic state, has claimed it carried out the attack. the us state department has
announced its suspending almost all security assistance to pakistan because, officials say, it isn't doing enough to combat islamist militants. they say the payment freeze will be in force until islamabad takes more action against the afghan taliban and their allies the haqqani network. the defending women's champion at the australian open won't be entering the tournament this year. serena williams has told organisers she feels unable to compete at the top level yet following the birth of her daughter last year. in canada they tend to call it "winter," but in parts of north america, the current ferocious weather is a very nasty surprise and is being called a "bomb cyclone," its powerful effects as deadly as the name implies. a severe drop in air pressure has triggered a powerful blizzard that's battered the north—east of the united states, and canada, knocking out power for tens of thousands of people.
the week—long cold snap has left at least 17 dead, and wrecked travel plans for millions. we begin our coverage with this report from andrew plant. several inches of snow, winds up to 60 miles an hour, blocked roads, black ice, power cuts, and a storm stretching hundreds of miles. new york city like a fairytale for some. the snow, though, a serious hazard to many. we're enjoying it. we're from southern california so it's the first time my kids have been in the snow. it's nice but sometimes it's tough to be a long time outside, you have to get into the shops... just to keep warm. to keep alive. la guardia airport cancelled 95% of its flights. jfk cancelled them all. state parks closed on long island and schools shut up and down the atlantic coast. as a state of emergency was declared, ten deaths already attributed to the
freezing conditions. what is quite clear is that this is a serious, serious storm between, the very low temperatures, the strong winds, the driving snow, everyone should take this very seriously. take precautions. because of the fact that the storm has intensified in the last few hours, i am now declaring a winter weather emergency for new york city. the office of emergency management now standing by with equipment like generators, pumps and sandbags, as well as food and water, blankets and emergency shelters. there have been blizzards in connecticut. atlantic city has seen traffic at a standstill. even in florida, the sunshine state, there were snowflakes falling. for the northern part, the very first year in nearly 30 years. it meant sledging and snowmen for some. in memphis, even a game of ice hockey under the setting sun. it is being called a ‘bomb cyclone'. from florida to maine, sharp drops in air pressure bringing in low temperatures and the windchill making it feel —40 in places.
relief could still be days away, the national weather service predicting more misery through the weekend, as the storm moves towards canada. kenneth craig of cbs has been covering the weather in boston, and gave me this update a short time ago. i have been out here for 12 hours now and for the first time in 12 hours, as you can probably see right here, i can finally see the ground. but take a look behind me, and you can see the mess has been left behind by this massive winter storm which barrelled up the east coast in boston. we have a total of 13.2 inches as of one hour ago. the snow has finally petered off after about 12 hours of pounding snow. on the coast, upwards of 70 miles an hour in the wind speed. and some significant flooding in some areas, even a number of rescues in some communities. and, kenneth, of course,
snow is not new to boston, but the severity of all this, the duration of it, that is really something? it really is something. what was really remarkable to watch today was how quickly this has happened. as you said, snowstorms are nothing new for boston, but how quickly all the snow came down was incredible to watch. at times, we saw three inches of snow every hour. as you can see, this is what has been left in its path. now, really, the cleanup begins. and on top of that, over the next couple of days, this isn't over. we have this arctic blast coming in. it is about 2k fahrenheit right now. tomorrow at this time we could be in the single digits, with the windchills well below zero. and for some people, this has been deadly? it has. when you have a storm like this
which can be seen from outer space and made its way all the way from florida, you saw on that piece that tallahassee, florida, had snow for the first time in 30 years, when you have a storm like this, it is a pretty deadly situation. and, really, it's not over yet. officials in south africa say the number of people killed when a train hit a truck has risen to 18. about 270 people were injured in the crash at a level crossing near the town of kroonstad, in free state province south—west of johannesburg. lebo diseko reports. shocked and bewildered. passengers who had been on this train trying to make their way to safety as emergency services battle to bring a fire which engulfed the train under control. it's not clear exactly what happened but what we do know is this. a truck hit a train carrying around 700 people as it was travelling from port elizabeth tojohannesburg, causing it to derail and catch fire. it's thought the truck driver misjudged the level crossing. you can see for yourself
that the truck driver was taking chances. he thought that he was going to pass through. little did he know that the train was going to hit him. that has cost lots of lives. it's thought there were parents with young children on board, and there are reports of people trying desperately to save them. the train left the rails and immediately started burning. we helped as much people as we could, to get people out of the train, but some of them were stuck in their seats because the train was badly bent. the train line is popular with people going to and from their holidays. local authorities say a number of tourists were on board. hundreds of people have been taken to hospital and rescue workers are still on the scene. emergency services say they are hoping to lift the carriages later today. only then will they know for sure whether any more people were trapped or injured.
stay with us on bbc news — still to come: fashioning a new life in italy — the employment project tailor—made for african migrants. the japanese people are in mourning following the death of emperor hirohito. thousands converged on the imperial palace to pay their respects when it was announced he was dead. good grief! after half a century of delighting fans around the world, charlie brown and the rest of the gang are calling it quits. the singer paul simon starts his tour of south africa in spite of protest and violence from some black activist groups. they say international artists should continue to boycott south africa until majority rule is established. teams were trying to scoop up lumps of oil as france recognises it faces
an ecological crisis. three weeks ago, the authorities confidently assured these areas that oil from the broken tanker erika would head out to sea. it didn't. the world's tallest skyscraper opens later today. the burj dubai has easily taken over its nearest rivals. this is bbc news. north korea accepts south korea's offer of high—level talks in the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries on tuesday. the publication of a book donald trump's lawyers are trying to block has been brought forward to friday. it contains damaging allegations attributed to former presidential strategist steve bannon. one of the arab world's
poorest countries, yemen, has been devastated by a war that has claimed thousands of lives, driven millions to the brink of starvation and seen the world's most deadly outbreak of cholera. the current crisis started three years ago when houthi rebels — backed by iran, took control of territory around the capital, sanaa. they've been fighting government forces backed by a saudi—led coalition who control the south and east of the country. nawal al maghafi looks at the complex politics driving the conflict the balance of power has shifted in yemen's civil war, from the saudi coalition to their bitter rivals, iran. for years, we've watched as this proxy war tore the nation apart, killing thousands and leaving millions homeless and starving. last month, a battle took place in the capital, sana'a, that may have also killed hopes for peace. allies turned into enemies, as houthi rebels fought the forces
of former president ali abdullah saleh. civilians were caught in the middle. translation: they were firing across and into our house with rockets and with their ak—47s. it was the worst day of our lives. we were surrounded from all sides. that fighting eventually ended with the death of the former president. the houthis imposed a complete media blackout. no—one knew exactly what had happened — until now. this exclusive footage, seen for the first time, shows the battle that changed the course of yemen's civil war. houthi soldiers surround saleh‘s complex, fighting barefoot. they blow the walls and enter. the chant goes up.
"death to america. "death to israel. "curse the jews." and, "victory to islam." news of saleh‘s death spreads. translation: that's it, the show is over. saleh is dead. his guards just came out and told me the houthis have killed him. the houthis call saleh a traitor for wanting to negotiate with the saudi coalition. inside his huge complex, the aftermath of the battle. the houthis are in charge now. the former president's men are their prisoners. but not all of saleh‘s men were captured. this man was one of saleh‘s closest aides, by his sidejust minutes before he died. his family are still in houthi territory and so we're protecting his identity. translation: he was defending his home, with his aides and nephews three orfour tanks surrounded his house.
they began firing. the houthis have captured all of saleh‘s arms, but the former president's allies who fled took something potentially more valuable, their secrets. i ask his aide about iranian support for the houthis — long suspected, but never proven. translation: there are iranians by their side and they tell them exactly what to do. i saw them with my own eyes. they give them weapons, but it's the information they give that is most important. i met the iranian advisers when i was with saleh. they were always beside the houthi leaders. three other well—placed sources confirm the existence of iranian advisers. in our time in sana'a, it was a city gripped with fear.
most people were reluctant to speak on camera. translation: there is so much fear, even when you go out on the street and things are ok, but fear has spread. this woman was one of hundreds who took to the streets calling for saleh‘s body to be buried. the houthis retaliated. they chant translation: they hit us with wires and tear—gas canisters, electric rods. they would run after us and keep beating us. since that protest, hundreds of the former president's supporters have been detained. the death of ali abdullah saleh — the only person the saudis could negotiate with — has undoubtedly swung this proxy war in favour of the iranians, for now. what happens next is unclear. the only certainty for the people of yemen is that their suffering will continue. nawal al—maghafi, bbc news, sana'a, yemen. peru's former president, alberto fujimori, has been released
from hospital where he was being treated for low blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat. he was serving a lengthyjail sentence for human rights abuses and corruption, but was pardoned recently by the current president, on health grounds. there've been mass protests against that decision, and accusations of a political deal. many people risk their lives every year to leave their homes in africa and try the perilous journey to seek asylum in europe. even those that make it have a tough time trying to build a new life. in the italian city of bologna project has been set up to integrate new arrivals. sofia bettiza has more. the beauty of italian fashion is famous all over the world. but in the town of bologna, fashion is helping asylum seekers from africa. in this reception centre, refugees are getting training in one
of italy's finest arts — making leather bags. hi. i've come to meet one of them. translation: i left my country, burkina faso, because of a military coup. i came through libya. i was in prison. then they put me into forced labour. i rarely got any food. i was treated like a slave. but life has improved massively since then. he is the star student of the project. here, people are taught sewing, cutting and drawing, as well as how to run a business. we have seen the flourishing of a group of human beings, passing from a condition of deprivation, of marginalisation, to a condition of capacity of work, integration, full participation to life. asylum seekers in italy are often stuck in limbo. they can spend months and months doing nothing while they wait
in hope for their application to be processed. this scheme is trying to change that. all these bags have been created by asylum seekers from africa. this project is all about giving new arrivals a chance to work for a better life and crucially it's a first step towards integration in a new country. and for this man, things are getting better. he was such a talented student that after his training he was given a permanentjob making these fine italian bags. he is very good. he is absolutely precise and he is highly motivated. translation: my dream is to one day open my own atelier, work hard and share my ideas and my creations with others across the world. and if this type of project is picked up elsewhere, more people could be given the chance to make a new beginning. before we go, let's take a look at these pictures.
we've been hearing about how bad the weather is in the states and canada but it's been pretty windy here in britain too. this giant balloon is part of a festival of lights just outside this bbc studio. it came loose on busy oxford street and caused a bit of traffic chaos as well as scaring some pedestrians. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter. i'm @bbc mike embley. the wet and windy weather that we've seen to start 2018 should be easing away. much quieter weather towards the weekend. this is how we ended the day on thursday in stevenage. clear spells, a bit of cloud and fairly heavy showers that have been moving west to east overnight. they will tend to ease from the south—east on friday. still pretty windy in south—western parts of the country.
further north we have still got lingering rain and hill snow in many eastern parts of scotland. so snow accumulating here. not a bad start in northern ireland. chilly first thing, with frost and fog patches. a similar picture into the south—west scotland and northern england. further south into england and wales, there will be cloud with outbreaks of rain through the midlands and towards the south—east on friday it should be generally fine dry and fine. further spells of showery rain into the south—west
of england and wales. still strong and gusty winds, but they won't be as strong as the winds we've had on thursday. further north, less windy and more sunshine into the midlands, north wales, northern england. that cooling trend continues through into the weekend. we've got this north—easterly wind, bringing further snow showers in scotland and northern england, over higher ground. temperatures dropping to close to freezing in towns and cities by first thing saturday. through saturday the cold northerly wind will bring more sunshine in scotland, northern england and northern ireland. further south across central, southern england and wales, still cloudy, with a few spots of rain here. highs of 2—7 degrees, so temperatures are dipping. on saturday night we have some cold conditions developing a with clear skies and light winds. the odd wintry showers around exposed coasts. for most, it will be a cold and frosty start on saturday. freezing across many northern and western parts. high pressure keeps hold of our weather through the second part of the weekend. for many, sunday should be a fine day. lighter winds after the cold and frosty start. sunshine developing. top temperatures between freezing and about seven degrees. the wintry theme continues into monday, but most should see plenty of sunshine to compensate for the cold.
this is bbc news. the headlines: with tensions high over its nuclear and missile programme, north korea has accepted the south korean government's proposal for high—level talks. they'll be on tuesday, in the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries. it will be the first time the two governments have met in more than two years. a new book containing damning allegations about the trump administration is being rushed to publication on friday, four days ahead of schedule, as lawyers for the president try to stop it. among much else, it quotes mr trump's former chief strategist, steve bannon, accusing the president's son and son—in—law of treason. parts of north america are reeling from the so—called "bomb cyclone." a severe drop in air pressure has triggered a powerful blizzard that's battered the north—east of the us and canada knocking out power for tens of thousands, leaving at least 17 dead. now on bbc news, time for hardtalk.