this is bbc news — i'm kasia madera. our top stories: a powerful typoon tears through parts of the philippines — leaving tens of thousands of people stranded. pope francis delivers his christmas message to the world, calling for a softening of "stony and self—centred hearts", and for conflicts to end. a fast moving fire engulfs the chilean city of valparaiso. the government declares a red alert with at least 200 homes destroyed. and after what the queen calls a "bumpy year", she highlights the need for reconciliation as part of her annual christmas message.
hello and welcome to bbc news. in the philippines typhoon phanfone has caused major floods and destruction. more than 25,000 people have been stranded at ports, many of them unable to join their families for christmas. the typhoon, known as ursula in the philippines, has been following a similar track to typhoon haiyan in 2013, the most powerful to hit the archipelago in a long time. catherine karelli reports. afar a farfrom a far from peaceful christmas and the central philippines. typhoon phanfone has brought sustained winds of almost 200 kilometres an hour. terrifying local people, and leaving a trail of destruction. heavy rain has left many homes flooded. more
than 16,000 people had to spend the night in improvised shelters and at least 100 families have been left homeless. in this majority catholic country, the typhoon, which has damaged infrastructure, stopped many people visiting their families for christmas. filipinos are well used to tropical storms and typhoons with around 20 hitting the island nation each year. the most deadly in recent times was typhoon haiyan in 2013, where a massive storm surge left more than 7000 people dead. and many of the areas worst hit back then have borne the brunt of this latest storm. religious leaders have used their christmas messages, to call for an end of some of the world's injustices. pope francis drew attention to the suffering of migrants, whom he said endured "walls of indifference,"
while the archbishop of canterbury spoke of the "darkness," that led to a terrorist attack in london last month. 0ur correspondent, john mcmanus, has been listening — his report begins in bethlehem. midnight mass at manger square — the place where, for christians, it all began just over 2,000 years ago. and this year, a special link to the past — a wooden fragment which the church says is from the manger ofjesus, back in the holy land after 1,300 years. the holy family famously became migrants, fleeing from king herod to the relative safety of egypt. and at the vatican city today, pope francis once again repeated his concern for the plight of those forced to leave their homes. translation: it is an injustice that makes them cross deserts and seas that become cemeteries. it is an injustice that forces them to endure unspeakable forms of abuse, enslavement
and every kind of torture at inhumane detention camps. # 0 come all ye faithful... in his sermon this morning at canterbury cathedral, the archbishop of canterbury — who was recently in the war—torn democratic republic of congo — drew a link between the suffering there and the recent terror attack in london. darkness is a monster that lies. its growling claims seem to call out with a louder volume than the love—filled whispers of light. we see the shadows out of the corner of our eyes — they may be violence, as in the congo or on london bridge. they may be political. they may be purely personal — from family feuds, relationship problems, illness, the darkness within us.
and there's one more christmas message — from grime artist stormzy, reciting part of st luke's gospel on bbc one. for you was born this day in the city of david, the saviour, who was the messiah... the story of the first christmas. john mcmanus, bbc news. the queen has spoken of the importance of friendship and reconcilitation in her christmas address, following a year of deep divisions in the uk over brexit. she led members of the royal family at a church service on the sandringham estate. prince andrew, who stepped away from royal duties last month, wasn't present, he went to an earlier service. but prince george and princess charlotte were there to greet well wishers, as our royal correspondent nicholas witchell reports. morning service at sandringham. notable for who attended and who was absent. making their first appearance, 6—year—old prince george and 11—year—old princess charlotte. absent from the main
service, prince andrew. he decided to attend an earlier private service for the family. after the 11 o'clock service, the queen headed back to sandringham house, where prince philip had remained after his discharge from hospital yesterday. that left the cambridges to lead the royal party greeting the crowds. a little daunting for george and charlotte, who haven't done this sort of thing before. unsurprisingly, they stayed close to their mum and dad as they received flowers and, for charlotte, a hug. god save the queen plays. in her christmas message, the queen spoke of her delight at the birth of her eighth grandchild, archie, who is currently in canada with his parents, the duke and duchess of sussex. turning away from family matters, she acknowledged the efforts being made by young people to protect the environment. the challenges many people face today may be different to those ones faced by my generation
but i have been struck by how new generations have brought a similar sense of purpose to issues such as protecting our environment and our climate. for the 75th anniversary... the main theme of the broadcast was the need for reconciliation. the queen recalled the 75th anniversary of d—day lastjune. there was a lesson to be learned from it. by being willing to put past differences behind us and move forward together, we honour the freedom and democracy once won for us at so great a cost. the queen said the need to seek harmony and understanding was at the heart of the teaching ofjesus christ. many of us already try to follow in his footsteps. the path, of course, is not always smooth and may, at times this year, have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference. and it is those small steps, the queen said, which can bring
about the most lasting change. that description of a bumpy year is almost certainly a reference to the divisions caused by the brexit debate. but there's no denying it's been a difficult year, too, for the royal family. the queen, doubtless, will be hoping for a smoother passage in 2020 — both for the country and for her family. nicholas witchell, bbc news, at buckingham palace. let's get some of the day's other news. a peace group in afghanistan says 27 of its members have been abducted by the taliban as they were travelling in the west of the country. a spokesman for the people's peace movement said the group began their march from herat province two weeks ago demanding a ceasefire but lost contact after entering farah province. the japanese prime minister shinzo abe has told his chinese counterpart li keqiang that, although bilateral relations are improving steadily, they will continue to suffer
unless tensions reduce in the east china sea. but mr li said their efforts to improve relations were back on track. internet services have been disrupted in parts of iran. bbc persian audiences confirmed the outages, while internet monitoring service netblocks said there was a drop in usage. some reports suggest that access to the internet is being cut off ahead of planned anti—government protests on thursday. there have been more clashes in hong kong between police and pro—democracy demonstrators. 0fficers fired teargas and used pepper spray on crowds, who'd gathered in major shopping districts again. the protests began injune against a proposal allowing the extradition of suspects to mainland china. and although the bill was eventually withdrawn, the protests have evolved into a broader movement for reform. jon donnison has this report. not much christmas cheer
in hong kong as security forces once again clashed with pro—democracy demonstrators. plain—clothed undercover officers using pepper spray on protesters who'd occupied a shopping mall, and all this on christmas day. we are trying to let everyone to know that we won't celebrate christmas because we want to protest, even on this joyful day. 0utside, police used tear gas as they fought running battles with demonstrators — a far cry from the winter wonderland presented on tv by hong kong's beijing—backed leader carrie lam. in her festive message, she wished everyone a safe, happy and peaceful christmas. but the protesters are demanding she quit, and later on social media, she called them "selfish and reckless". they are certainly prepared to take risks. this young man charges at police before throwing himself over a balcony.
lucky to be alive. the demonstrators have forced the government to make some concessions. but there are now demands a much broader reform, including an investigation into allegations of police brutality. these protests have been going on for seven months. and as the year comes to a close, there is no end in sight. jon donnison, bbc news. more than 100 homes have been destroyed by a fast moving forest fire in chile, prompting a mass evacuation during christmas eve celebrations. high summer temperatures and strong winds are whipping up the flames. authorities in valparaiso say they're investigating suspicions that the fire was lit deliberately. 0livia crellin reports. christmas day up in flames. this was the scene that residents fled in the middle of celebrating christmas eve festivities, after a nearby forest fire swept through two districts of valparaiso, destroying 150 homes.
while others awoke to gifts and good cheer, those affected spent the night in shelters and returned to their homes to find their belongings reduced to ash. 2,000 residents were without electricity. translation: i managed to get the pets and the tv out but i couldn't take more because the police took me away as there was nothing that could be done. families are returning to find their houses destroyed. translation: a cousin and uncle, we all have houses on this street. this is the house of my mother, where she was meant to grow old, where i was born, my brother was born. now all of it is destroyed. warm, dry conditions, coupled with strong winds, whipped the fire into the touristy port city, known for its colourful wooden houses. the fire, which the city's mayor believes was started intentionally, continues to burn away from built—up areas and 12 firefighters have been injured trying to bring it under control.
valparaiso, which is home tojust over a quarter of a million people, sits in the central part of chile, an area of the country which has been affected by a severe drought for more than a decade. chile's government has committed $165 million to combat the difficult fire season. but for the families affected, it's too late to rekindle this year's christmas cheer and, more tragically, to save their homes. 0livia crellin, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: the woman behind one of the most well—known tv theme songs of all time dies at the age of 72. the world of music's 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, nose down 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 shkodra where there were anti—communist riots 10 days ago. this is bbc news.
the latest headlines: typhoon phanfone is causing major floods and destruction in the philippines, where tens of thousands of people are stranded. pope francis uses his traditional christmas message at the vatican to draw attention to the suffering of people on the move around the world. a post—christmas heatwave is forecast in parts of australia where bushfires continue to devastate the country. the australian prime minister scott morrison has praised firefighters, many of them volunteers, in his christmas message. the public have also been showing their gratitude to the fire service. in a moment, we'll hearfrom one family who've lost their home but first, this report from our correspondent shaimaa khalil. taking a brief christmas break before heading back to the fire front lines. many of these firefighters have been working non—stop for weeks. despite a lull in the weather, with cooling temperatures and predicted rain in some areas,
the risk is not over as teams brace themselves for hot conditions later in the week. the new south wales rural fire service is the world's largest volunteer organisation, with more than 70,000 members. most are local volunteers who have taken on the task to protect the rural communities and many have been overwhelmed by how people responded to their work. just overwhelming support, like. 0bviously, all the presents and stuff for the kids. that's just what they need at the moment. i haven't even gone christmas shopping or anything for my daughter. she's about to turn one in january, on the 11th. just thank you, thank you very much. last week's catastrophic fires have been fuelled by record temperatures of more than 41 degrees as an extreme heatwave swept across the country, combined with strong winds and dry conditions. australia has been fighting
wildfires for months. the early start to the fire season is stretching already scarce water resources. pictures of a thunderstorm in the north—eastern city of brisbane showed some respite in the hot weather but firefighters say a lot more rain is needed in many more places, with not much forecast over the next few weeks. shaimaa khalil, bbc news, in sydney. kaya yongen lives in nymboida, in new south wales, and told me how her and her mother's homes were destroyed by the fires. in were destroyed by the fires. november, early novt fires in november, early november, the fires were in september as well but november is also early for the bushfire season. there was a fire that was burning in the mountains
behind this area. it had been burning for a few months, actually, and it came down — this is not uncommon at the moment — is a massive firestorm. definitely australia has bushfires but the firestorms are a whole new thing. big firestorms with 50 metre high balls of fire and if they create their own weather and it roared through this whole village, this whole area and took out over 80 homes, over half the homes in the area. yes, it is devastating. we have heard of the two firefighters who have lost their lives battling these bushfires. how does the community, how do you rally around and support each other given these temperatures are not going down and we are expecting high temperatures once again to come up we are expecting high temperatures once again to come up over we are expecting high temperatures once again to come up over the weekend? yes, here in nymboida, it
has been so bad that, at the moment, the fire is not so scary, the temperatures, yes, but this is where i grew temperatures, yes, but this is where igrew up temperatures, yes, but this is where i grew up and i had a home here but i had been living in the blue mountains in sydney, i had come up to be with my family here for this holiday season but also to clean up and rebuild and i actually left the blue mountains with valuable things because there is a fire there as well and down in the blue mountains, and that whole greater sydney region, it is still very, very real. the fire is still coming, five kilometres from my house and how the community rallies together, itjust does stop in times like this, it is where the leadership has to come from the community. the important
stuff co m es from the community. the important stuff comes from the community and comes from the firefighter and the community supports the firefighters so community supports the firefighters so much more than the government does. allee willis, who co—wrote the theme song for the sitcom, friends, has died at the age of 72. ms willis won grammies for other work, but she's still best known for penning the long—running theme song. danny aeberhard looks back at her life and work. it was the late 1970s, and though they might not have known it, people across the world were strutting their stuff to allee willis. boogie wonderland, the disco anthem she co—wrote for earth, wind and fire. she also worked with the band members on another of their classics, september. allee willis was born in detroit, the motor city of motown fame. a white girl who spoke
of sitting on her lawn, absorbing the sounds of black america — the drums, the bass, the background vocals, leaking through the walls of homes in her neighbourhood. she couldn't play an instrument, but she had rhythm in her head. her career blossomed and later, awards and nominations started to flow. grammys, emmys, tonys, webbys. willis won grammy awards for the musical the colour purple and the soundtrack for the film beverly hills cop. she was also one of the co—writers for the theme for the smash tv series, friends. i'll be there for you by the rembrandts. # i'll be there for you...# her work sold more than 60 million records, small wonder she was inducted into the songwriters‘ hall of fame last year. but this party—loving, compassionate, multi—talented dynamo, described as gloriously eccentric, never lost sight of her roots. she loved her home town, detroit, embarking in later life on a mammoth musical project, commissioned
to help reinvent a city that had seemed crippled by the decline of the motor industry that had helped build it. it involved thousands of musicians, vocalists and residents from across the city. and, as with everything else allee willis did in life, it had soul! remembering the american songwriter, allee willis, who's died at the age of 72. now to an unusual bakery inside a mental hospital in china. patients can volunteer to make bread and then sell it, as a way of connecting with wider society. this is their story.
a fascinating insight into the life of that bakery. a reminder of our top story: typhoon pha nfone has caused majorfloods and destruction in the philippines. tens of thousands of people have been left stranded and had to spend the night in improvised shelters. police say at least six people are reported missing. many flights have been cancelled. we are continuing to monitor the situation there at the bbc. don't forget you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter. i'm @bbckasiamadera. it would be lovely to hear from you.
hgppy it would be lovely to hear from you. happy christmas, merry christmas if you are celebrating it and thank you for spending it with me on bbc news. christmas day brought us a fine settled spell of weather but it was a short—lived and we are expecting more weight and rather windy weather to move through for boxing day. gradually the temperatures will lift and turn milder across the south initially. the next area of low pressure bringing the wetter, windier weather but still further north and east, it will be a largely rod studd to boxing day. quite chilly in places. —— dry start to boxing day. quite a contrast in weather conditions. chilly, fairly bright across the north and east. winds continuing to pick up here.
wetter weather across the west spreading north and east. a bit of brightness moving in behind. 0ne spreading north and east. a bit of brightness moving in behind. one or two showers. temperatures in the south—west in double figures. mastery day but certainly windy for the south and west. as we head for the south and west. as we head for the evening., batch of rain moves northwards and eastwards to bringing heavier bursts and it will be quite misty and murky as temperatures continue to rise. 9— 11 degrees in the south and west. 6— seven in the north. the next batch of rain, high—pressure beginning to establish itself on the near continent continuing to draw up this south south—westerly wind with very mild averaging all areas by friday. all areas milder on friday. a rather cloudy picture. slowly clearly
northwards. you may remain quite cloudy and murky further south. a few bits of brightness here and there. highs of12— few bits of brightness here and there. highs of 12— 13 degrees. even double—figure values in central scotland. high—pressure establishing itself trying to keep weather fronts at bay but they will try to squeeze in at times. parts of northern ireland, northern and western scotla nd ireland, northern and western scotland into saturday. variable cloud could see a bit of sunshine. perhaps fogginess across the south—east to start saturday. stronger rain and winds across the west but temperatures foremost double digits. it stays mild throughout sunday and indeed into the start of next week stop it could be mailed into the run up to new year's eve. turning windy across the north and west.
typhoon phanfone has caused major floods and destruction in the philippines. tens of thousands of people have been left stranded and had to spend the night in improvised shelters. police say at least six people are reported missing. social media pictures show wrecked homes and roads littered with fallen trees. pope francis has called for the protection of migrants and refugees and an end to injustice in the world. in his traditional christmas message, the pope said people crossing deserts and seas in the hope of finding somewhere they could lead a dignified life faced a wall of indifference. the authorities in chile say that a forest fire that encroached on the port city of valparaiso has now destroyed at least 200 houses. television pictures have shown residents sifting through their destroyed and burnt out homes.