i'm mariko oi in singapore. the headlines: the battle to control australia's bushfires, more than 100 are still raging in new south wales. another racism row for english football, as a premier league match is halted. campaigners say racist incidents are on the rise. i'm ben bland in london. also in the programme: india's prime minister defends his new citizenship law after days of protests left at least 20 people dead. special trains in france for children travelling alone during the christmas holidays have resumed, despite nationwide strikes.
voiceover: live from our studios in singapore and london. this is bbc world news. it's newsday. good morning. it's 9am in singapore, 1am in london and noon in eastern australia, where fire crews are assessing the damage from the weekend's bushfires. the weather has cooled down a little, but the political debate is raging on. the prime minister, scott morrison, returned home from holiday after being heavily criticised for going away with his family to hawaii. shaimaa khalil has the story. it feels like a deserted war zone, but this is the aftermath of the catastrophic bushfires that have ravaged new south wales. and in the village of balmoral, the devastation is everywhere. russell scholes has been a volunteer firefighter for six years. he was out with his team trying to control the blaze in the village
when his own house was burned to the ground. so many of the brigade are tired. that's the mental side of it — when you're continually battling something you can't beat. the prime minister scott morrison, appearing for the first time today after fierce criticism of his holiday in hawaii, conceded that more needed to be done to tackle global warming, with scientists saying that drier conditions brought about by climate change have worsened the impact of bushfires. the catastrophic fires have subsided but the situation is still extremely dangerous here. the roads remain closed off. balmoral was one of the worst—hit areas by saturday's fires and the community is still very much in shock. many haven't returned to see what happened to their homes and what happened to their village.
just opposite the road from russell's shattered house is a very different picture. craig hurley stayed to defend his home during the fires, using up all the water reserves he had. flames like a five— or six—storey building and just roaring all around you. just scared as hell, you don't know what to do. australia's bracing itself for a scorching summer, and many are wondering where the next big fire is going to hit. shaimaa khalil, bbc news, balmoral, new south wales. and we'll be hearing more about the efforts to bring the fires under control in a short while. let's take a look at some of the day's other news. premier league football club tottenham hotspur has promised a thorough investigation after its match with chelsea was marred by racist behaviour from the crowd. fans were warned three times during the game after monkey noises and racist chanting were aimed at the chelsea defender antonio rudiger. jon donnison has more.
well, spurs have issued a statement saying they are now conducting a thorough investigation and that will include speaking to some of the chelsea players. that statement says, "any form of racism is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in this stadium." it says they take any allegations such allegations extremely seriously and they will take the strongest possible action against any individualfound to be behaving in any such a way will be taken, including stadium bans. one would imagine with all the cameras and the technology in the stadiums like this it might be relatively easy to catch any alleged perpetrators. but, of course, this isn't the first such incident in recent weeks and months. we had a manchester city fan arrested earlier this month following a game between city and manchester united for alleged racist abuse. there have been incidents in the minor league games. we also had the england team, the black players in the england
team, facing racist abuse when they played in bulgaria earlier this year. so i think this is another reminder that if there were people out there who thought that the issue of racism in football had gone away, that doesn't seem to be the case. jon donnison there for us. also making news today: afghanistan's president, ashraf ghani, is on course for a second term. preliminary election results suggest he won a slim majority in september's elections with just over 50% of the votes. his nearest rival, abdullah abdullah, scored just under a0%. the death toll from new zealand's white island eruption has risen to 19. police have confirmed that another victim died in hospital in auckland. the toll includes two people whose bodies have not been recovered. there were 47 people, mainly australian tourists, on the island when it erupted on december 9th. 25 people are still in hospital. many still in a critical condition.
the british supermarket chain tesco has suspended production at a factory in china. it's after allegations that forced prison labour was used to pack the firm's christmas cards. a 6—year—old girl from south london found a message inside a card, allegedly written by prisoners in shanghai. the message said: "please help us and notify human rights organisations." french fashion designer emanuel ungaro known for his use of bold colours and vibrant prints, has died in paris at the age of 86. he trained under the spanish designer cristobal balenciaga and made clothes for celebrities and actresses, including jackie kennedy and catherine deneuve. in india, prime minister narendra modi is trying to calm anger over a controversial new citizenship law, saying indian muslims have nothing to fear from it.
at least 20 people have been killed in days of protests over the law, which have often been put down with force by police. our south asia correspondent rajini vaidya nathan reports. days of deadly violence, as indians continue to oppose a law they say is an assault on the rights of the country's 200 million muslims. as curfews were imposed and internet was blocked in india's largest state, uttar pradesh, protesters say they've been brutally silenced. as the death toll rises, reports some victims were shot by the police — a charge authorities deny. at a rally today, india's prime minister, narendra modi, expressed his support for the country's police,
but failed to mention the civilian deaths, and defended his citizenship amendment act, the caa, which offers only non—muslim illegal immigrants from certain countries fast—track nationality. translation: muslims who were born on indian soil shouldn't be concerned by the caa order and nrc. a national nrc would introduce citizenship checks for everyone in the country, something many protesters fear could target muslims. today, the prime minister said his government hadn't discussed once since he came to power in 2014, but his close ally, home minister amit shah, has repeatedly promised to introduce an nrc, even in parliament. while the status of that is now unclear, experts say the party's wider agenda is not. there is no question that the bjp government, through its legislative agenda, is moving india in the direction of becoming a hindu state. when you introduce a law that brings religion into determining who is an indian, all indians become vulnerable. indians from all backgrounds have
taken to the streets as the movement against the citizenship law and the modi government grows stronger. we are united like never before. we will continue to fight for as long as it takes. protesters say they are fighting for the future of india's secular constitution. they believe the government's trying to divide this country, and say about this show of unity is the only way to stop that from happening. rajini vaidyanathan, bbc news, delhi. let's stay with this story and speak to sumit ganguly, professor of political science at indiana university in the united states. he joins us now from bloomington, indiana. good to have you with us, professor. what do you see the direction of this going? do you think the law will make it onto the statute books oi’ will make it onto the statute books or will these protests block it?|j can't see the protests blocking it
for the simple reason that the prime minister and the home minister has put their full minister and the home minister has put theirfull weight minister and the home minister has put their full weight behind this piece of legislation. and i think what they are anticipating is that over time, what they are anticipating is that overtime, ina what they are anticipating is that overtime, in a matter of what they are anticipating is that over time, in a matter of a few weeks, the protests will dissipate and consequently they will be able to carry through the law. india is a secular state, do you think this proposed law poses a risk to that status? i think it poses a really serious risk to that status for the simple reason that it excludes muslims from migrating from afghanistan, bangladesh and pakistan. it doesn't formally exclude them but it doesn't mention them either. it mentions six other religious communities but there is a deafening silence on muslims. and
what do you think the row over this is doing in terms of its effect on narendra modi's standing and his party, the bjp? the interesting thing is the row has actually energised his followers, who think this entire process should be carried out with even greater vigor and that the government should not relent. so one segment of the population that supports modi ‘s relentless in its views about the matter. 0n the other hand, it has unified a significant segment of india's population along religious lines, who see this as a pernicious law and one that is fundamentally harmful to india's secular status. sumit ganguly joining us harmful to india's secular status. sumit gangulyjoining us from indiana, thank you very much indeed. thank you. special trains for
children travelling alone in france during the christmas holidays have resumed service. prolongued nationwide strikes had led to the national rail operator calling them off. rhodri davies reports. oh what fun it is to ride on a french train this december, but that almost wasn't the case for these passengers. their special service for children travelling alone this christmas was reinstated amid prolonged national strikes, providing some yuletide relief. translation: i would have been very disappointed if the train had stayed cancelled because i don't see my father often. i miss him sometimes. i really want to him. he's one of 5000 children who would have been affected. sncf, the national rail operator, cancelled the service earlier this week, leaving parents bereft. translation: it was unfairfor the children. we shouldn't deprive children of christmas and prevent them from being with their families. i don't know who made the decision, but it was decided in a rush and without thinking it through.
and transport union is holding the strikes were outraged about sncf and transport unions holding the strikes were outraged about sncf calling it off. it's an outsource service unions said their strike shouldn't have affected. so the snc was forced into putting on the trains in order that the children, who may have parents living in different regions, could get home. it's all caused further disgruntlement in france over the strikes that have already lasted two weeks and caused widespread disruption. president macron this weekend appealed to unions to suspend the strike against government pension reforms over the holidays. he said in respect for families and family life, but the two sides next plan to meet in early january, meaning many people will need alternative transportation to get home for christmas. rhodri davies, bbc news.
you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: another christmas in makeshift churches. we report on the plight of christians in the indonesian province of aceh. also on the programme: a safe landing for boeing's starliner space capsule after its failed mission to the international space station. the world of music has been paying tribute to george michael, who's died from suspected heart failure at the age of 53. he sold well over 100 million albums in a career spanning more than three decades. the united states troops have been trying to overthrow the dictatorship of general manuel noriega. the pentagon says it's failed in its principle objective to capture noriega and take him to the united states to face drugs charges. the hammer and sickle was hastily taken away. in its place, the russian flag was hoisted over what is now no longer the soviet union, but the commonwealth
of independent states. day broke slowly over lockerbie, over the cockpit of pan am's maid of the seas, nosedown in the soft earth. you could see what happens when a plane eight storeys high, a football pitch wide, falls from 30,000 feet. christmas has returned to albania after a communist ban lasting more than 20 years. thousands went to midnight mass in the town of shkoder, where there were anti—communist riots ten days ago. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm marika oi in singapore. i'm ben bland in london. our main headline: firefighters in australia are struggling to control raging bushfires. more than 100 are still burning in new south wales. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. dubai's gulf news is leading
with the reaction to india's controversial new citizenship law. they claim indian prime minister modi is seeking to "pacify muslims," following deadly clashes sparked by the bill. the japan times runs with a fresh push by shinzo abe to resolve tension between the us and iran. they report that the japanese prime minister spoke to president trump over the weekend, shortly after hosting iranian president hassan rouhani in tokyo. and the phillipines star runs with a holiday ceasefire between government forces and communist insurgents in the country. they write that president duterte sees this as a prelude to a lasting peace process. in the past few hours,
a series of explosions left at least 20 people injured on the southern island of mindanao. no one has claimed responsibility for that attack. let's get more now on our top story, the bushfires in australia. phil mercer is in sydney with the latest. on sunday and today, monday, we have seen cooler temperatures here in new south wales. that is most definitely helping the firefighting effort. what is happening now is that authorities are building containment lines. they are building containment lines. they are conducting operations called backburning. this is when fires are deliberately lit to burn in to the mainfire deliberately lit to burn in to the main fire fronts. the aim is to deprive those main blazes of the fuel they need to rage as we have been seeing them in recent days. i think in new south wales we are seeing a lower, the danger is certainly not over. there were catastrophic conditions for saturday
forecast. fortunately conditions are a lot more benign today, but we are 110w a lot more benign today, but we are now hearing about a hundred homes that have been lost here in new south wales since friday and also in the adelaide hills near adelaide in south australia. at least 86 homes have been lost in fires down there. so this is very much a nationwide crisis. phil, what do we make of the prime minister's latest comments? do we see that as a shift in his position on the connection between climate change and extreme weather events like this? it has been a conversation but prime minister scott morrison has been reluctant to have. a few weeks ago he criticised local council leaders for linking deadly bushfires in their areas to climate change. the prime minister 110w climate change. the prime minister now acknowledges that global warming isa now acknowledges that global warming is a factor in the bushfire crisis.
he says that climate change cannot be directly linked to any individual blaze. will we see australia's climate change policies being altered? i don't really think so. mr morrison, the prime minister, says australians expect him to keep the election promises he made in may regarding emissions and the environment. so i think australians, if they are hoping for the government to embark on ambitious new climate change policies under the current government, i think they will be disappointed. christians in the indonesian province of aceh are preparing to celebrate christmas in makeshift tents in the jungle. their churches were destroyed four years ago by islamic vigilante groups and the police. church leaders say they want to rebuild, but they've been stopped from doing so by the local authorities. the bbc‘s asia editor rebecca henschke reports.
this is the last service martina berutu's community were allowed to hold in their church, built in the 1960s. the next day, she had to stand by and watch authorities destroy it. we were all afraid. we felt so sad. it was heartbreaking. now we have nowhere to pray. a week before angry mobs burnt down this thereby church after holding protests calling for all churches in the region to be demolished. someone threw a molotov cocktail from a car and everything caught on fire. they also threw a bomb at the cross. then people came from everywhere. the police tried to hold them back but they couldn't.
the president, joko widodo at the time, called for the violence to end, saying it was against the country's founding principles of unity and diversity. but four years on, new places of worship have not been built. the services now take place here, in makeshift churches in the jungle. the only province in indonesia that has islamic law brought in regulations two years ago that require at least 100 non—christians to support the building of a church. something christian leaders here say is impossible, but a law, the local mayor defends. there should be an agreement from both sides if the christians aceh, the only province in indonesia that has islamic law, brought in regulations two years ago that require at least 100 non—christians to support the building of a church. something christian leaders here say is impossible, but a law, the local mayor defends. there should be an agreement from both sides if the christians want a church permit, then permission from the muslims. in my opinion just follow the rules. that's the right way.
indonesia, once known for moderate islam and multifaith society, has seen growing intolerance in recent years, and rights groups say that 200 churches across indonesia have been shut down in the last 12 years. with no hope of getting permission to rebuild the church, the minority christian community here is preparing to celebrate christmas here in the forest. nasa says it's pleased with the performance of its unmanned starliner capsule, even though it failed to reach the international space station. the capsule successfully landed in the desert in new mexico on sunday. our north america correspondent peter bowes reports.
stalin are's successful landing followed a failed attempt to reach the international space station. but the international space station. but the return journey was flawless under major test for the capsule's parachutes, opening up to and the intense heat of the craft‘s re—entry into the earth's atmosphere. they successfully slowed down the capsule, ensuring a safe arrival in the white sand desert in new mexico. a cushion planning, much to the relief of ground staff. we did not make it to the international space station. we did not stock. but the spacecraft flew exceptionally well, and then of course we brought the spacecraft home, for the first time landing a capsule on land in the united states. we have not done that asa united states. we have not done that as a nation before, we have not done it. and, lift off! the rise of sta rliner, it. and, lift off! the rise of starliner, a new error for human space flight. the mission started on friday. the mission went according to plan, the capsule propelled into orbit by rocket on its journey to the space station. but when it came to separating from its engine 15 minutes into the flight, a software
problem occurred, confusing the craft‘s internal clock and causing it to burn too much fuel. it meant getting to the space station was impossible. this is both a setback and a successful boeing. a software problem to solve, but a 48—hour mission that generated valuable data stop nasa says it is too early to say whether the next style line of ﬂight say whether the next style line of flight will have us on board. —— starliner flight will have astronauts on board. you have been watching newsday. i'm ben bland in london. and i'm mariko oi in singapore. don't go away, because i'll be back with business news, including china hosting the leaders of both japan and south korea this week, as the three countries try to resolve growing tensions on a number of fronts. and before we go, wejust want to mention spain's great christmas lottery, a tradition going back more than 200 years. thousands of people have been celebrating in spain after winning a share of the $2.64 billion prize pot in the world's richest lottery.
millions of spaniards take part each year in the draw, known as el gordo or the fat one. the jackpot structure is designed to allow as many people as possible a win. i need to do that! i really need that. it would be handy at this time of year. what are your christmas plans? today is our last newsday, but i am on call this week, so i'll have my fingers crossed for no breaking news and more money on the children. i hope you at least have to have some turkey under glass of fizz, perhaps, and thus the phone does not ring. this is the last edition of newsday for 2019. from the whole team, thank you for being such loyal viewers this year. we will be back with newsday after the
new year, and in the meantime, we will have news for you around the clock with bbc world news bulletins. have a great christmas. see you $0011. hello. sunday saw the winter solstice, that means that at least from an astronomer‘s point of view, we are officially into winter. the days are also starting to get just that little bit longer. how about the weather? the start of christmas week — a bit of a mixed bag, sunshine and showers on the way. we're in between weather systems, one weather front moving out towards the east, another one heading our way for later on monday. but during the day on monday, we're in this sort of clearer slot here, but it's not completely clear. you can see some speckles of cloud. those are showers coming off the atlantic and that's exactly what's happening right now. showers across western scotland, end of the night,
start of the morning, maybe one or two further south, but generally speaking, the weather is dry and it's not particularly cold even where the skies clear. six or seven in the south, a touch of frost there, as you'd expect this time of year in scotland. here's monday's weather forecast. so the weather is approaching but it's still way to the south—west of our neighbourhood, that does mean the weather is largely dry during the daytime itself, apart from showers which may affect western scotland for a time. there could be one or two moving through the lakes, but there's more clear weather than wet weather around on monday. so i think a very decent day on the way for cardiff but birmingham, as i say a few showers there for glasgow, edinburgh, maybe carlisle. 11 degrees, so mild in the south, nine in glasgow.
we are watching the next weather front approaching the neighbourhood, the thinking is sunny after dark, it'll start to turn cloudy then wet in cornwall, devon, throughout wales, and that rain will move across other parts of the uk as well. with it also comes mild air, and it's notjust across the uk but also spreading deeper into europe too. so the weather is very mild throughout the continent at the moment. let's have a look at christmas eve. you can see the extent of the cloud early in the day, outbreaks of rain, the rain will probably come and go from thicker cloud during the afternoon as well across the south but the trend will be for the weather to gradually improve through the day on christmas eve, and that's a hint of things to come for the big day itself, because christmas day is expected to be a fine day throughout the country. high pressure is expected to build, the winds will fall light, the sun should be out for the morning on, a bit of mist start with but on the whole,
are still burning in new south wales in australia. as firefighters struggle to control blazes, prime minister scott morrison has acknowledged a link between global warming and extreme weather. he's apologised for being on holiday during the crisis. india's prime minister has accused his political opponents of spreading lies about the new citizenship law which has led to deadly protests across the country. at least 20 people have been killed. and the premier league match between tottenham and chelsea has been marred by allegations of racist behaviour. chelsea defender antonio rudiger said he was targeted by monkey chanting. tottenham have said they will conduct a thorough investigation. that's all. stay with bbc world news.