this is bbc news. welcome if you're watching here in the uk, on pbs in america or around the globe. i'm mike embley. our top stories: a powerful typhoon tears through parts of the philippines, leaving tens of thousands stranded. after a deadly motorbike assault by islamist insurgents. burkina faso's defence chief calls for unity. seasonal messages from the pope and the queen. one calls for an end to injustice, the other for reconciliation. and this is a live shot from the uae, where we are about to witness the final solar eclipse of the decade.
hello to you. disaster agency officials say 16 people have been killed by typhoon phanfone in the central philippines. the storm, known as ursula there, has been following a similar track to typhoon haiyan in 2013 — the most powerful to hit the archipelago in a long time. at least 25,000 people have been stranded at ports, many unable to join their families for christmas. catherine karelli reports. a far from peaceful christmas in 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 7,000 people dead. and many of the areas worst hit back then have borne the brunt of this latest storm. later, we will speak to the head of the philippines red cross for an update on the situation on the ground there. in west africa, more details are emerging about a deadly attack by islamist militants in burkina faso on tuesday that left 35 civilians dead, most of them women.
the country's defence minister has said he's confident that if the people unite, they can win the fight against the insurgents. rich preston reports. the militants launched their attack on a military outpost first. officials say there were around 200 of them, many of them on motorbikes. after shooting up soldiers, they turned their guns on civilians. 35 people, almost all of them women, were killed. security forces were eventually able to fight back, killing 80 of the attackers. it happened in arbinda, close to the country's borders with mali and niger. burkina faso was once a relatively calm country in otherwise turbulent sahel region. but, as french forces have suppressed militant groups in neighbouring mali, they've spilled over the border. attacks by islamist groups have killed hundreds of people in burkina faso and displaced thousands. rich preston, bbc news. let's bring you some live
pictures now from sri lanka, —— let's get some of the day's other news. india's national human rights commission has asked police in the northern state of uttar pradesh to respond to allegations they violated protesters‘ civil rights during recent demonstrations against the controversial citizenship law. the legislation has been criticised as anti—muslim. at least 2a people have been killed, hundreds injured, in clashes across the country, in several cities, in the past two weeks. mexico's foreign ministry has requested an urgent diplomatic meeting to protest against what it calls "harassment and intimidation" by bolivian security forces. it accuses them of "excessive" surveillance and trying to impede the ambassador‘s movements. bolivia says it's only responding to threats made against the mexican mission for hosting allies of the ousted bolivian president evo morales. internet services have been disrupted in parts of iran. bbc persian audiences confirm the outages, and the internet monitoring service netblocks reports a drop in usage. there's speculation access to the internet is being cut ahead of anti—government protests
planned for thursday. more clashes in hong kong between police and pro—democracy demonstrators. officers have used tear gas and pepper spray on crowds, who gathered again in major shopping districts. the protests began back injune, against a proposal to allow suspects to be extradited to mainland china. that bill was later withdrawn, but the demonstrations have evolved into a broader movement demanding democratic reforms, and more. jon donnison reports. 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 for 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. let's bring you some live pictures now from sri lanka, where people have gathered in the capital, colombo, to observe the last solar eclipse of the decade. it's an annular solar eclipse. some just call it a ring of fire. it happens when the moon is too far from the earth to block out the entire sun, leaving the sun peeking out over the moon's disc in a ring of fire. the eclipse lasts less than two hours — it will end just after 5 gmt. these images are being streamed online by the institute of astronomy sri lanka. the maximum point of the eclipse is just about now, 4.06 gmt.
in case you have justjoined us, live pictures, i think these are from sri lanka, people gathering to observe this last solar eclipse of the decade. this is an annual —— annular solar eclipse. it happens when the moon is too far from the earth to block up the entire sun, leaving the sun, as you can see, picking out over the moon's disc in a ring of fire. it last less than two hours dental and after five gmt. these images being streamed online by the institute of astronomy, sri lanka. the maximum point of the eclipse just about now at 4.06 gmt,
01’ eclipse just about now at 4.06 gmt, orjust after 4.06 gmt. religious leaders have used their christmas messages to call once more for an end of some of the world's injustices. pope francis drew attention to the suffering of migrants, who he said endured "walls of indifference". the leader of the anglican church, the archbishop of canterbury, spoke of the "darkness" that led to last month's terrorist attack in london. 0ur correspondentjohn mcmanus has this report, beginning 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. in her christmas address, the queen has spoken of the importance of friendship and reconciliation after 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. 0ur 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 4—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. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: taking to the waves — why this year's sydney—hobart yacht race is set to make history. 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 world news. the latest headlines: a powerful typhoon tears through parts of the philippines — leaving tens of thousands stranded. more details are emerging of a deadly motorbike assault by islamist militants. at least a hundred 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 are investigating suspicions that the fire was lit deliberately. olivia 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. olivia crellin, bbc news. we ta ke we take you back to that main story breaking in the philippines. typhoon phanfone. disaster official agencies are saying 16 people have been killed and at least 25,000 people are stranded at ports with no ferry services, unable to join their families for christmas. richard gordon is on the line now — he chairs the philippine red cross. richard, thanks for your time.
richard, thanks foryourtime. i'm sure you are very busy indeed. this isa sure you are very busy indeed. this is a huge amount to deal with. what are you facing here? well, first of all it is kind of difficult, firstly it is christmas, there are people who are stranded, you have to support them, and then you have to bring the goods that you have to deliver into several provinces which have been affected. things are very ha rd to have been affected. things are very hard to come by. a lot of people have lost their homes. and they need food, they need hot meals. we are serving hot meals. it is hard enough. we're trying to do that. and then the power has been affected. there is a complete blackout in several areas, that should be solved in the next two or three weeks. the water has been interrupted in certain areas. there are an awful lot of things to be done, while the rescue phase is over. we now come in
with our support in terms of relief, food, water. we have a lot of first aid. and certainly our doctors will support those. those who have lost their buildings we will provide beds. to help those who have lost their creature comforts. we are also fighting the earthquake in mindanao at the same time and the recent typhoon in another province. we are not finish there. so definitely there is a lot to do the philippines, in addition to polio vaccination and measles and the rest ofi vaccination and measles and the rest of i know the country is still feeling the effects of the last huge storm to hit the philippines. how does this compare to typhoon haiyan six years ago? this ranks about
fourth in terms of intensity. in terms of surprise, this is a surprise. this was a sleeper. it came in and woke up everybody rudely. everybody was at christmas. it is hard in that sense. in terms of haiyan, it had really powerful winds, this was 120 kilometres per hour. and certainly it damaged a lot of homes, but i own had so many thousands of homes damaged. this does not compare close to typhoon haiyan. a lot of properties on the coast just cannot haiyan. a lot of properties on the coastjust cannot be saved. it is a majority catholic country, thousands of people very unhappy they can't get home to their families for christmas, stuck in ferry ports with no ferry is running. and apart from the deaths we are hearing about, scores of people injured. yes, you bet. in terms of the board, the red
cross is there to provide them with hot meals orfood, cross is there to provide them with hot meals or food, not very special food, i'm afraid. we were caught unawares. but we have chapters in those areas. but certainly the big problem is now those who are homeless, lost their roofs, we have to address their problems and that is why we are rushing in food trucks in the area so we can at least prepare hot meals for them right away. richard gordon of the philippine red cross. thank you so much for talking to us. all the best to you. in australia, the annual sydney to hobart yacht race is getting started. more than 165 teams are taking part in what is the 75th running of the competition. but this year sees something new — the first indigenous crew is taking part. the bbc‘s tim allman explains. some final checks for the crew of the tribal warrior. in a race steeped in history and tradition, this is a genuine first.
this crew represents the indigenous people of australia, who are, in a way, travelling with them. very, very exciting. and it's brought people from broome, at lightning ridge, at bourke, at coonabarabran, they're all — all the communities are talking and they're all saying that's our boat — and that's very proud. eight of the 11 crew are aboriginal, representing 800,000 indigenous people of australia. some are hoping this race, this experience will write a new page in their history. it's just an opportunity of a lifetime for us to represent our people and, you know, show our youth out there that if there's anything you want to do, you put your mind to it, you just say yes, and don't let fear or doubt stop you, you go ahead and do it. the crew claims certain natural advantages, indigenous people are, they insist, instinctive sailors. something they will get the chance to prove in the coming hours
as they race into history. see you in hobart! tim allman, bbc news. allee willis, who co—wrote the theme song for the sitcom, friends, has died, aged 72. she won grammies for other work, but is still best known for penning the theme song for that fantastically—successful series. danny aebarhard looks back at her life. # dance, boogie wonderland...# 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...# 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. # do you remember...# 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. allee willis who has died at the age of 72. thank you for watching. hello there. christmas day brought us a fine settled spell of weather but it was short—lived and we are expecting more wet and rather windy weather to move through for boxing day. very gradually, those temperatures will lift. it will turn milder across the south, initially, and then to all areas as we head on into friday, and certainly over the weekend. here it is, next area of low pressure bringing the wetter and windier weather here, but still further north and east, it's going to be a largely dry start to boxing day. quite chilly in places. a touch of frost across central, northern and eastern scotland. compare that to 7—10 degrees in the south and the west. so quite a contrast in weather conditions to start boxing day. chilly, fairly bright across the north and the east. the winds continue to pick up here. wetter and windier weather across the west will slowly spread northwards and eastwards. we could see a little bit of snow over the highest ground of the pennines and perhaps southern scotland later in the day.
a bit of brightness moving in behind. one or two showers within the next batch of rain moving into the south—west. temperatures here will be in double figures. a blustery day for all but certainly windy further south and west that you are. so as we head for the evening period, that next batch of rain starts to move northwards and eastwards again. maybe some heavier bursts in it. it will be quite misty and murky as those temperatures continue to rise. 9—11 degrees in the south and west. six or 7 in the north—east. so turning milder for all. this is the weather front bringing that next batch of rain, high—pressure beginning to establish itself over the near continent, and we are going to continue to draw up this south or south—westerly wind, with very mild air reaching all areas by the time we reach friday. so all areas will be
milder on friday. a rather cloudy picture, with outbreaks of rain, across scotland, north—east england. slowly clearly northwards. it may remain quite cloudy and murky further south. a few glimmers of brightness here and there. but if the sunshine does come out, with highs of 12 or 13 degrees, it will feel very mild indeed. but even double—figure values there in central scotland. there's that area of high—pressure over the near continent, establishing itself, trying to keep these weather fronts at bay but they will try to squeeze in at times, parts of northern ireland, northern and western scotland as we head on into saturday. i think many places will be dry. variable cloud could see a bit of sunshine. perhaps some fogginess across the south—east to start saturday. and just some rain and stronger winds pushing into the far north—west but temperatures for most will be in double digits. like i mentioned, it stays mild throughout sunday and indeed into the start of next week. it could be mild into the run up to new year's eve. but could turn quite windy across the north and the west.
the headlines: typhoon phanfone has caused major floods and destruction in the philippines. the storm, known as ursula in the philippines, has killed 16 and left tens of thousands stranded, spending the night in improvised shelters. homes have been wrecked and roads littered with fallen trees. more details have emerged of the insurgent attack in burkina faso that left dozens dead and the west african country in two days of mourning. a security source says up to 200 insurgents attacked, many on motorbikes, but were pushed back by the armed forces. people in sri lanka have been gathering to observe the last solar eclipse of the decade, which some call a ring of fire. it happens when the moon is too far from the earth to block out the entire sun. the eclipse will end in around half an hour.