i'm rico hizon in singapore. the headlines: aretha franklin, known as the queen of american soul music, has died at the age of 76. bushfires in winter. australia's ongoing drought leads to dozens of wildfires in new south wales. i'm kasia madera in london. also in the programme: italian rescuers say efforts to find survivors from the collapsed road bridge will continue for two more days. and one of india's most influential leaders, former prime minister atal bihari vajpayee, has died. he was 93. good morning.
it is 7:00am in singapore, midnight in london, and 7:00pm in the evening in detroit, michigan, where the soul singer aretha franklin has died at the age of 76. she was diagnosed with cancer eight years ago, but only retired from performing last year. aretha franklin began singing as a child with a gospel choir. she went on to become a global star, selling more than 75 million records. aleem maqbool is in detroit and sent this report. # all i'm asking... # is for a little respect. # i'm about to give all of my money...# aretha franklin was peerless,
with a voice so stunning it could lift spirits, and so powerful it could, and often did, move those who heard her to tears. at the church where she first started singing, people who grew up in the same street as her have already started coming to pay tribute. i was born and raised in detroit. born, you know, on her music, raised on her music. yeah, it's a sad day. i'm going to miss her. i'm going to miss seeing her in concert. but i still have her music to the bone, so i'm good. long as i can hear, i'm good. # you make me feel # you make me feel #. she had the best voice, and when she sang, you could feel it
in your soul, and she always sang something positive and nice. i remember as a kid growing up back in the '505 and '605, and you hate for her to go. she feels like family. this is the very stage where i suppose aretha franklin started to become a star. in fact, many certainly were drawn to this church because they heard there was a young singer here, the daughter of the preacher, who had the kind of voice that only came along once in a generation. for all the moulds she broke as a singer, as a successful black woman, aretha franklin came to symbolise more than just a sensational voice. # i say a little prayerfor you #. she became heavily involved in the civil rights movement, with activists like her long—time friend reverend jesse jackson. if you are going to summarise what aretha franklin meant to you, to this country, what would you say?
a singer whose music, whose sense of social justice was global. she also fought for dr king. she fought for nelson mandela. she fought for barack 0bama. her sense of community service was as broad—based as her music. aretha sang at the funeral of martin luther king after the civil rights leader's assassination, but she provided the soundtrack to african—american history and progress long after that. # my country, ‘tis of thee... being the most straightforward of choices for barack 0bama to sing at his inauguration. as she had done a two previous presidential inauguration. he today paid tribute to the woman he says managed to convey in her voice all the power and pain of the american experience. people in her home city feel they have lost a family member, one who was generous and who helped give them a sense of worth. she released her final
album just last year, and it was clear thatjust as she had influenced countless musicians, she still allowed them to influence her, too. but the world has lost a musical giant, who made it to the top in the toughest of times. aretha franklin, the queen of soul. # you make me feel like..." stars like paul mccartney, eltonjohn and diana ross have been paying tribute to the soul singer. denise thimes is a jazz vocalist in chicago. she met aretha franklin numerous times as a child, and went on to sing at one of her birthday parties. she told me what it was like performing in front of the queen of soul. with a lot of nerves in your
stomach, and just a lot of confidence that, eno, you would take of the opportunity. but she was just like singing to family. i mean, it was like singing to my big sister. she made me feel very comfortable. what an experience, and your father knew her, so you as a little girl met her on numerous occasions. what was it like meeting such a person, asa was it like meeting such a person, as a little girl growing up in the united states in the late 1960s? as a little girl growing up in the united states in the late 19605?- nine united states in the late 1960s7l nine years old united states in the late 1960s7. nine years old i thought she was the most beautiful person i have ever seen. most beautiful person i have ever seen. i had never seen a person that looked so beautiful in hair rollers and a scarf. and at that time she was just being casuals will. she came over to her practice with my mother and my father, and we were young, and what have you, and she had come a couple of times. and then to make it full circle, to sing for her 71st birthday party at the
ritz—carlton. it was just wonderful. i get to something here that it now. and as a singer, you know what the industry is like. it is tough, it is cutthroat. what was she like hayes aretha, the personal aretha, from what i can see, was a very sweet, giving, loving, caring woman, and that came out in her music. but there was also a size of her —— side of her that was very business, and you have to be business, as a woman. and she did not play. she was very either book. she crossed the teeth and she dotted her eyes, and she was very serious about the business aspect of the industry —— crossed her ts and dotted her is. and how important is it to have that kind of role model? it is... i can't even express how important it is. but
more so express how important it is. but more so how wonderful it was to experience it first hand. as a woman, today, in this business. and so woman, today, in this business. and so you don't get a chance to see all of the stuff that happens behind the scenes. you just only admire and adore the singers and musicians. but there's a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that would make you appreciate someone like aretha even more so. we will hear a little more of aretha's unmistakable voice at the end of newsday. also making news today: one of india's best—known politicians, the former prime minister atal bihari vajpayee, has died. he was 93. seen by many as the moderate face of the hindu nationalist party, the bjp, mr vajpayee played a key role in indian politics for decades, serving three terms in the top job. we will have more on mr vajpayee later on newsday. officials in the southern indian
state of kerala say at least 100 people have died in the worst floods there for a century. the armed forces are using boats and helicopters to reach those stranded by floodwaters. they are distributing food and drinking water to tens of thousands of people who fled to higher ground. the vatican has expressed shame and sorrow in response to a damning report into the sexual abuse of children by priests in pennsylvania. a grand jury found more than 300 priests in the state had abused minors in the past 70 years. the pope said he wanted to root out the tragic horror of priests abusing children. the united nations fears that workers hired to clean up the damaged fukushima nuclear power station in japan are at risk of exploitation. three independent specialists say exposure to radiation is still a major hazard at the plant. fukushima was hit by a tsunami in 2011, causing the most serious nuclear accident since chernobyl.
and scarlettjohansson has become the best—paid actress in the world, according to forbes magazine. the publication's annual estimates show she earned just over $40 million in the past year. angelina jolie came in second, with $28 million, followed byjennifer aniston. the australian state of new south wales is not only in the grip of one of its worst droughts in years. firefighters are now battling more than 80 bush and grass fires which have destroyed several homes and threatened many more. authorities say the fires are unseasonal, and have been made worse by the dry, windy conditions. the entire state is drought
declared. there are a lot of dams that are going quite empty now, and obviously we have to be very careful of taking water from dams for firefighting, because farmers need it, because they are doing it very tough. so it is a balancing act. it's just very dry and very gusty winds. if you add the heat, when we get in the summer, and you start getting 35, a0 degrees days, then if we don't get meaningful rain, then we don't get meaningful rain, then we will trouble in summer. let's speak to our correspondent in sydney, hywel griffith. these raging fires, have they been contained? well, we are still seeing dozens contained? well, we are still seeing d oze ns of contained? well, we are still seeing dozens of fires through the state's north and south, and around 28 of them still uncontained. the worst fires we saw in the last a8 hours in the south—west, in bega, where two homes were destroyed completely, that has been brought under control. but the concern now is really
switching to the weekend, with high winds and more hot, dry conditions forecast, even though it is the middle of winter here. the concern is that we could see more fires spreading in new south wales, and also to the north, in queensland, as well. so what will be the next big challenge for the firefighters? well, they have got a bit of a window today, friday, to do what they call backburning. that is essentially trying to get ahead of the fire by doing controlled burns, so the fire by doing controlled burns, so that they can create a firebreak. now, if the winds do whip up over the weekend, that will certainly help their efforts. but then, longer term, we are in the middle of a very dry winter. the concern is, of course, that by summer we could see an extremely dry new south wales, which is 100% in drought, as we have heard over the last week. that will create a very, very difficult situation for them in the months going forward. so the most they can do is plan. they are used to
bushfires here, they are used to give the warnings for people to plan for themselves, as well, what would happen if their property was to come within reach of a fire. but i think eve ryo ne within reach of a fire. but i think everyone here, really, what they would like some rain. and briefly, with these bushfires still uncontained in many areas, what are the government's plans in terms of evacuation? so everyone is being told to have a plan. if you live anywhere near woodlands, even people in towns. this isn'tjust for people out in the sticks, as it were. have a plan, talk to yourfamily. what would you do in the eventuality of a fire. if you are told it was too late to leave, where would you go in the house. now, that is the kind of planning which has meant, so far, although we have seen devastation, although we have seen devastation, although we have seen devastation, although we have seen homes lost, there have been no injuries and loss of life. and that is something people want to stay. you are watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: imran khan becomes pakistan's prime
minister this weekend. one of his closest friends tells the bbc that he is a man with a plan. also on the programme: tributes are being paid to one of india's most influential leaders, atal bihari vajpayee, who has died at the age of 93. washington, the world's most political city, is today assessing the political health of the world's most powerful man. indeed a hoover did have a relationship with mr whiskey that was not appropriate. in fa ct, whiskey that was not appropriate. in fact, it was wrong. in south africa, 97 people have been killed today in one of the worst days of violence between rival black groups. 0ver one of the worst days of violence between rival black groups. over the la st between rival black groups. over the last ten days 500 have died. czechoslovakia must be free! czechoslovakia must be free! russia
czechoslovakia must be free! russia russia is czechoslovakia must be free! russia is observing a national day of mourning for the 118 sub mariners who died on board the submarine. we are all with them now, within our hearts. the pope has celebrated mass before a congregation of more than 2.5 million people in his hometown crack of. stay with us, stay with us, chanted this ocean of humanity. well, well. joked the pope, so you wa nt well, well. joked the pope, so you want me to desert rome? this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. i'm kasia madera in london. our top stories: there has been an outpouring of tributes to the soul singer, aretha franklin, who has died at her home in detroit aged 76. the drought affecting large parts of australia is fuelling unseasonal winter bushfires and is expected to get worse. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. the south china morning post reports on the ongoing trade war
between china and america. a delegation of chinese officials is being sent to the us later this month, but analysts think the chances of a major breakthrough are slim. india's business standard newspaper has a photo of former prime minister atal bihari vajpayee, who's died at the age of 93. the paper describes him as a beloved leader and extraordinary orator. and the international edition of the new york times looks at the political challenges facing imran khan who's due to be sworn in as pakistani prime minister on saturday. they include a balance of payments crisis, and how to establish security, with terrorism an ongoing problem. those other papers. about 600 people in the italian city of genoa, living near a bridge which collapsed two days ago, have been moved from their homes because of safety fears. 38 people are known to have died, and officials believe up to 20
could still be buried under the motorway viaduct. they say the chances of finding survivors are slim. james reynolds has more. in genoa, a single terrifying moment is now frozen. more than two days on, these vehicles are stuck in the exact positions which they were abandoned when the rest of this bridge collapsed. nearest the edge is the basko food company truck. its driver, luigi, had the narrowest of escapes. the sampierdarena neighbourhood is right underneath the structure. relief workers have cleared the area. the homes may be knocked down. this morning, locals queued up to collect some of their possessions. these residents are prepared to wait patiently, but they also want answers. many say they always believed the breach was unsafe. translation: it's been years we have been saying this bridge was dangerous. we talked about it almost every day.
grazia di benedetto and her husband carlo were desperate to get home. translation: they are not letting us in, i need to pick up my medicines. this is awful. she took a moment to recover. it's too early to say what caused the collapse. among the factors that investigators will consider are: the quality of the concrete in the towers and supports and whether these had weakened. the diagonal cables that carried the road, known as stays. these were encased in concrete, making it hard for accurate checks to be carried out. and the metal connections that anchored the stays to the platform. the private company which operated the bridge autostrada has insisted it followed all safety procedures,
but this doesn't satisfy italy's government. translation: we must ensure that everything is done according to standards, and i declare that in this story autostrada cannot reassure us of anything. here, at the scene of the collapse, rescuers continue to search for bodies. amid all the arguments, italy doesn't yet know exactly how many deaths it will be investigating. james reynolds, bbc news, genoa. let's get more now on the death of the former prime minister atal behari vajpayee at the age of 93. he was being treated for age—related illnesses at a hospital in delhi. our correspondent, nick beake, looks back at his political career. india conducted three underground nuclear tests... the high point in the career of atal behari vajpayee came in 1998, with india securing its status as a nuclear power. there wasjubilation and pride across the country,
and a second successful test which confirmed india's membership of the nuclear club. but a year later there were deadly clashes between vajpayee's india and pakistan in disputed kashmir. for the first time in a generation india launched air strikes against militants. a time of tough talk from the prime minister. we are not waiting, we are fighting. and we are determined to throw them out. despite the bloodshed of the war, prime minister vajpayee was determined to improve relations with pakistan, meeting successive counterparts in the hope of reaching a deal over kashmir. but in the end it failed. the religious violence in gujarat state was also a low. in three days of bloodshed, more than 1,000 people died — most of them muslims. as a teenager, atal behari vajpayee was briefly put in prison for opposing british colonial rule, but rose to the highest office in the land.
he will be remembered by many as a moderate face of hindu nationalism. a charismatic performer who wrote his own poetry and, ultimately, his own history. turning to neighbouring pakistan. one of imran khan's closest friends says mr khan is a man with a plan when it comes to sorting out pakistan's problems after he becomes prime minister this weekend. hamza ali abbasi is one of pakistan's leading actors, and was with the former cricketer on the night he won the election. he spoke to the bbc‘s haroon rashid. it was a celebration, yes, but it wasn't dominated by celebration. it wasn't dominated by celebration. it wasn't dominated by a sense of victory that yes, we've won, its over now, no. imran khan was very sober, he had that sense of the
possibility and right after he did the whole tv thing he came out and talked to all of us and said the struggle is over, but the hard work is just struggle is over, but the hard work isjust beginning. he prayed to allah and he prayed to god, he made us allah and he prayed to god, he made us all pray, please give us the strength and the expertise to get over successfully these mammoth challenges that are in front of pakistan right now. is india nervous visit what we've seen on tv is this very confident man who is very much in control of what he's talking about, but on a personal level is he at all nervous about the scale of what's in front of him? not at all, he's a man with a plan. they said he wouldn't be able to fix this bowling action, he did, they certain two said he couldn't be the best all—rounder in the world, he did, they said he couldn't wind the world cup, he was, —— did, they said you couldn't be a successful politician, he was, he is a man with
a plan. i remember him saying, do your hard work right now believing this is the first and last time we've got this opportunity to fix pakistan. there will not be a second chance. so he has that sense of urgency. word what about the accusations that he is too conservative, those accusations you faced yourself and you come from one of there's the conservative extreme and then there's the liberal extreme, when you say anything when these two liberals don't agree, they branded as the other extreme. when i spoke with the item numbers, they said you area with the item numbers, they said you are a mother. when i spoke about ahmadiyya rights, they said i'm a liberal. —— a muller. we are not in those extremes. haroon hamza ali abbasi speaking to haroon rashid. you've been watching newsday. stay with us. the film crazy rich asians is making waves across the world, but who are the real crazy rich asians?
we'll look at some of the biggest spenders in this region, and where they're putting their hard—earned yen, yuan and singapore dollars. we are both looking forward to that film coming out. we are going to end with a tribute to the queen of soul, aretha franklin, who has died at the age of 76. here is a look back atjust a few of her incredible performances. and that stunning, stunning voice. # looking out on the morning rain. # i used to feel so inspired. # when i knew i had to face another day.
toa hello there. well, we should get off to a pretty sunny start across eastern areas of the country before things generally turn cloudy later today and that cloud will hang around into the weekend as well. weather fronts brought the rain yesterday, that is clearing out into europe, clearer skies following but then we got this in ex— area of cloud, this warm weather front that will bring warm air across the uk, yes, but also we'll have outbreaks of rain spreading in as well. so, the forecasting more detail, for the early risers, clear skies to start across england and wales but further north and west, thicker cloud and a few showers in western scotland and northern ireland. for the early risers, temperatures in double figures, but in the countryside, single figures, so a chill in the airfirst thing. quite quickly, england and wales and should get off toa england and wales and should get off to a sunny start on friday before the cloud thickens. bright across eastern areas, but late in the afternoon the cloud thicken of in southern parts into the bristol
channel to give us some light rain or drizzle. further north and west, wet weather moving into northern ireland with the rain heavy at times. that wet weather spreads to western scotland and north—west england and west wales through the day, high teens to low twenties. into the weekend, we continue to have this feed of warm air in southern parts of the uk so even though we won't see much sunshine, temperatures widely into the low to mid 20s, fresher conditions in the north. this low pressure bringing strong winds as well. a blustery start to the weekend. into scotland, exposed coasts and hills could have 50 or 60 mph gusts, quite a blowy start wherever you are. a lot of cloud around, limited brighter spells possible. the best of these heading into eastern england and the far north—east of scotland, but in between we have a weak weather front that will bring the thickest cloud across northern ireland, parts of northern england and southern scotla nd northern england and southern scotland where we could continue to seek occasional spits of light rain
or drizzle. for the second half of the weekend, we look at this, subtropical storm ernesto and this will bring some heavy rain to the united kingdom on sunday. the worst of the rain getting away across northern ireland, northern england and scotland for the first part of sunday. it should tend to clear through. in the south, cloud tending to thicken so we could see spots of rain but not amounting to much. mild, quite humid temperatures in the south, fresher air across more northern parts. to some of the weekend, we're expecting cloud and wet at times, particularly in the north—west. —— to sum up the weekend. i'm kasia madera with bbc world news. our top story: the american soul singer aretha franklin has died at the age of 76. she had a huge international following and sold more than 75 million records. tributes have been flooding in from the world of music and beyond. barack obama said her music had helped define the american experience.
in italy, authorities are extending the search operation for possible survivors of the collapsed bridge in genoa for another a8 hours. 38 people are known to have died. and this story is trending online: one of india's best—known politicians, the former prime minister atal bihari vajpayee, has died. he was 93. he was seen by many as the moderate face of the hindu nationalist party, the bjp. that's all. stay with bbc world news. now on bbc news, it is time for hardtalk.