tv BBC News BBC News December 30, 2019 2:00am-2:31am GMT
welcome to bbc news, i'm james reynolds. our top stories: a gunman opens fire in a texas church, killing two people before being shot dead by members of the congregation. the evil walked boldly among us, but let me remind you, good people raised up and stopped before it got worse. a man is charged with five counts of attempted murder following a knife attack at the home of a rabbi in new york state. the us military carries out air strikes against iranian—backed paramilitaries in western iraq, killing at least 18 fighters. tens of thousands of people in the australian state of victoria are told to leave their homes as bushfires intensify. emotional scenes at kiev airport as ukraine and pro—russian
separatists complete a long—awaited prisoner exchange. a man armed with a shotgun has opened fire inside a church in texas. two parishioners are now known to have died in the attack. the gunman was then shot dead by members of the congregation. the police in fort worth say they're still trying to determine the attacker‘s motives. gareth barlow has the latest. grief grips fort worth, texas. two of their own killed when a gunman began shooting at west freeway church of christ, before parishioners returned fire. today evil walked boldly among us. but let me remind you, good people raised up and stopped it before it got worse. members of the congregation dived for cover as the gunman began
shooting. in footage seen online, as the church service was streamed on youtube, three shots ring out. he entered the church and sat down with parishioners. he got up from that position, pulled out a shotgun and fired it at a parishioner. that parishioner is deceased. there was a security team inside the church and they eliminated the threat. tragically, like i said, there are two people that were shot and they died at a local hospital. as we say, the suspect is deceased. officers from the fbi and local forces are investigating the incident. no motive has been given for the attack. gareth barlow, bbc news. president trump has urged americans to come together to fight anti—semitism after five people were injured in a knife attack at a rabbi's home in new york state. the suspected attacker — grafton thomas — has appeared in court. he denies five counts
of attempted murder. the state governor, andrew cuomo, called for tougher domestic terrorism laws and said anti—jewish sentiment had become an "american cancer". chris buckler reports from washington. members of new york's largejewish community had gathered to celebrate their religion, only to be attacked because of it. they were at the home of a rabbi, here in monsey, to mark hanukkah, when a man forced his way into house and started stabbing people, in some cases multiple times. he pulled it out from the thing and he started to run into the big room, which was on the left side. and i threw tables and chairs,that he should get out of here. grafton thomas was arrested 30 miles away, in manhattan. reporter: mr thomas, why'd you do it? he's already appeared in court, where he pled not guilty to five counts of attempted murder. police in new york had stepped up their patrols in response to a series of anti—semitic attacks in recent weeks and, across the us, jewish leaders
are concerned about what they say is an increase in hate crime. just over a year ago in pittsburgh, ii worshippers were killed in a mass shooting at the tree of life synagogue. in april, there was a similar attack at a synagogue in san diego. and another shooting earlier this month at a kosher supermarket in newjersey, is also thought to have been fuelled at least in part by anti—semitism. what are we waiting for? you know, first it was just verbaland ok, i mean, now people are being murdered, now people are being assaulted, now people are being stabbed. so the governor should announce an emergency in the state of new york. new york's governor seems to be listening. he said words were not enough, that it was time for action. it is domestic terrorism. these are people who intend to create mass harm, mass violence, generate fear based on race, colour, creed — that is the definition of terrorism.
many claim hate is on the rise in an increasingly fractured america, where differences too often end, notjust division, but violence. chris buckler, bbc news. the united states says it has carried a series of strikes against an iranian backed paramilitary group in retaliation for attacks on us forces in iraq. the pentagon says five sites linked to kataib hezbollah were struck in iraq and syria, including sites in the qa'lm district. at least 15 fighters have reportedly been killed. us secretary of state mike pompeo gave further details of the strikes at a news conference. the attacks that took place against an iraqi facility threatened american forces. this has been going on now for weeks
and weeks and weeks. this was not the first set of attacks against this particular irawi facility and others, where there are american lives at risk, and today what we did was take a decisive response that makes clear what president trump has said for months and months and months which is that we will not stand the islamic republic of iran to take actions that put for american men and women in jeopardy. we will always honour that commitment to take decisive action when that takes place and we continue to demand the islamic republic of iran act in a way that is consistent with what i laid out, back in may of 2018, for what it is that we expect iran to do so that it can rejoin the community of nations. parts of australia are facing another testing day as bushfires intensify. at least 15 fighters have reportedly been killed. officials are warning of extreme danger caused by temperatures of a0 celsius or above, combined with thunderstorms and changing wind directions. phil mercer's report contains flashing images from the start.
it's arguably the world's most dazzling fireworks display but but thousands of people want sydney to scrap its new year's eve spectacular. they say it would be an insult and could traumatise some of those affected by the bushfires crisis. the city's lord mayor, clover moore, said she shared the deep sympathies of those who've signed the petition but stressed that the fireworks were planned months in advance and that most of the budget had already been spent. so, barring catastrophic fire conditions in sydney on new year's eve, the event seems certain to go ahead. in between now and then, the authorities are warning of severe to extreme fire dangers across much of south—eastern australia. volunteers are a vital part of the emergency effort. many have been fighting the flames for weeks. the government says they will be able to apply for about £3,000 in compensation, for taking time off
work to battle the blazes. this is a very prolonged fire season. this is putting additional demands on ourfirefighters in particular, and it means that the turn—outs, and the call—outs have been far more extensive than in previous years going well and beyond and above what is normally expected of those who are engaged in volunteer service. the money and the gesture from the government broadly welcomed by volunteers on the front line. it is tough, it's tough. the payment is just a recognition of what we're doing. it doesn't compensate us for what we're losing but it's recognition. it is really strenuous, hard work, you really do feel like you want to be helping, and you really do feel like you are obliged to do that. so like, for me, it means i use my annual leave. their work is far from over. dangerous fire conditions and extreme heat are forecast for south—eastern australia from tomorrow. phil mercer, bbc news, sydney.
let's go live to sydney and speak to our correspondent shaimaa khalil. she has the absolute latest. bring us up—to—date with what is going on in new south wales, victoria and so on. the stories in victoria and so on. the stories in victoria at the moment, with the area of east gives lynn, that is on the is coast of victoria, being under most threat —— area of east gippsland. a warning has been issued and we know two of the three fires in east gippsland have merged into a mega blaze. all through the morning we have seen videos on twitter of
sirens sounding in some of these towns, residents posting pictures of them leaving the area, of that main highway, being really crowded as tens of thousands of people aim to leave east gippsland. authorities are saying it is too late for people to leave area and they should take shelter where they are. we have the triple threat here, if you will, soaring temperatures of above a0 celsius as you mention, with that are very strong and could change direction, and dense, dry bushland, driving the keyword. the other concern is this is a very popular holiday destination. there are about 30,000 holidaymakers now in this area, including 9000 that have been camped for a music festival that has been cancelled because the authorities and the organisers have said it isjust authorities and the organisers have said it is just too dangerous. as authorities and the organisers have said it isjust too dangerous. as it stands in victoria alone, three emergency fire warnings. authorities have said people should take shelter where they are. what kind of shelter might people have? well, look, i think people who have chosen to
stay, who have chosen either to defend their homes were chosen not to leave because of concern about congestion, they take shelter either in their own homes, they take shelter as far away from the coming fires as possible. but i think what the authorities are saying, any movement given how unpredictable the fires are, and if you've got lightning striking in very dry bushland unpredictable wind directions, that could actually block that main highway and make the situation even worse. that's why people are discouraged. many people we spoke to in the past and in other areas have basically taken shelter in their own homes. they try to water around, try to be as away from the fires as much as possible. either way, it is a very risky situation. briefly, sydney is famous for its new year's celebrations. will everything go ahead? we heard from officials in the sydney city council, as you heard from phil's
report there, many people think it is too risky given the fires and fire warnings in new south wales. if this is a saying look, the ship has sailed on that one, preparation is already under way and officials are saying it is time for togetherness and for the city of sydney and all the tourists coming together on new year's eve to come together. so, yes, the fireworks are still going ahead. shaimaa khalil in sydney, thank you so much. let's get some of the day's other news: the russian intelligence agency says a tip—off from the us has helped foil what it called "new year terror attacks" in st petersburg. the kremlin said president putin had thanked donald trump in a phone call for passing on us intelligence. it said this had led to the recent arrest of two russians alleged to be planning to attack large crowds of people. the authorities in the philippines say ai people are now known to have died as typhoon phanfone
devastated several islands. tens of thousands of residents are still sheltering in evacuation centres where many celebrated christmas. a dozen people are missing. votes are being counted in the presidential election in the west african state of guinea bissau. 0bservers praised the peaceful conduct of the poll. both candidates — domingos simoes pereira from the ruling party, and the opposition‘s umaro cissoko embalo, are former prime ministers. the two men have promised to bring stability to guinea bissau, which has suffered nine coup attempts since independence from portugal in 197a. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: the man teaching children confidence through medieval battle. the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow in holland, we're going to use money we picked up in belgium today. and then we'll be in france
and again, it will be the same money. it's just got to be the way to go. george harrison, the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed at his oxfordshire home. a 33—year—old man from liverpool is being interviewed by police on suspicion of attempted murder. i think it was good. reporter: just good? no, fantastic! that's better! big ben bongs this is bbc news. the latest headlines: authorities in texas now say two parishioners have died after a gunman walked into a church
in fort worth and opened fire. president trump has called for unity in the fight against anti—semitism following a knife attack on the house of a rabbi in new york state in which five people were injured. hate crime in america's five largest cities rose sharply in 2019 with new york, los angeles and chicago all setting highs not seen since the terror attacks of september 11, 2001, according to a new report from california state university. george seleem is senior vice president at the anti—defamation league, and he joins us from washington. george, us from washington. inevitably, i have to mention george, inevitably, i have to mention the fact that we are talking to you after we have been covering these two attacks on a torch —— like ona these two attacks on a torch —— like on a church in fort worth and a rabbi's home in new york. we don't know the motivation of the attackers, let's step back. why i hate crimes arising in big cities. good evening from washington and
thank you for having me on the programme. there are a number of reasons hate crimes arising, they are targeting christians praying in churches or muslims playing in mosques orjewish people praying peacefully in pittsburgh or new york, part of what we have seen over the course of the past several years isa the course of the past several years is a significant increase in hate crimes and buys motivated crimes across the united states, targeting across the united states, targeting a number of ethnic and religious minority groups. this is coupled with really an increase in polarisation and very defensive rhetoric that we have seen, notjust in the united states but across the globe. when you add into this combustible mix the rate and speed in which violent ideology is spread online, you see the period in which individuals become radicalised or inspired to commit an act of violence and actually conducting it. that period of time has shrunk significantly so it is something civil society organisations have
used the opportunity to: our government here in the us as well as central governments across the globe to increase their vigilance and protection ofjewish communities and other religious minority communities who are praying and conducting services in their houses of worship. the new york mayor speaking after the attack on the rabbi home blames an atmosphere of hatred in washington in general also would you agree with that? i think i would agree with that? i think i would agree that we are in a period of unprecedented defensive political rhetoric both in the us and across the globe. i don't know if i would go so faras the globe. i don't know if i would go so far as be calling it hateful rhetoric but the online environment that we are in today coupled with the real actions that we have seen in new york and in cities across the globe that have been plagued with these types of acts of hate and terror is something that is extremely concerning and something that should give all persons of
conscious pause to think about what they are in their communities can do to intervene or really disrupt these vicious cycles of hate and violence. george, thank you so much for joining us. thanks for having me. dozens of former prisoners who were part of a swap between russia and ukraine have arrived in the ukrainian capital, kyiv. there were emotional scenes as family members met the men who were released after presidents vladimir putin and volodymyr zelensky agreed to a deal in paris earlier this month. our correspondent zhanna bezpiatchuk has more. the long day of a prisoner swap begins here on the frontline of eastern ukraine. these people have no official status. they have for yea rs no official status. they have for years been the prisoners of separatists. now, finally, they start their freedom. separatists. now, finally, they start theirfreedom. and separatists. now, finally, they start their freedom. and this
separatists. now, finally, they start theirfreedom. and this is how ukrainian prisoners were warmly greeted at the international airport at the end of the swap. the president promised to bring them home, and he did it. this aircraft brought back home 76 ukrainians that spent years in the custody of their separatists in the rebel—held territories in eastern ukraine. this isa territories in eastern ukraine. this is a highly emotional moment. people are seeing their relatives for the first time in two, three, five yea rs. first time in two, three, five years. and of course that is the best possible new year gift for these families. translation: the main thing is that the people are home. we did what we said. before the new year. they will celebrate new year with their families at home, parents or children, and it is great, iam happy. i'm sure home, parents or children, and it is great, i am happy. i'm sure are happy as well. in return for the
servicemen and civilians, ukraine has handed over to separatists five policemen charged. altogether ukraine released over 120 people. some of them were allegedly involved in terrorist attacks. for some of them, rebel—held territories can be just a transit to russia. many criticised zelensky for agreeing to the russian terms of the swap and paying such a high price. these prisoner swap was a part of the deal brokered in paris in december this year by zelensky, burton, macron and merkel. they are involved in the doctor bring peace to the eastern ukraine where government forces fight against russian backed deborah everist for over five years. but at least for the them, the war might be over.
zhanna bezpiatchuk, bbc news. pope francis has urged people to talk to each other at mealtimes instead of using their mobile phones. in his weekly audience in rome's st peters square, he cited jesus and his parents as an example of how families used to communicate with each other. translation: i ask myself if you in your family know how to communicate, or are you like those kids at mealtimes where everyone is chatting on their mobile phone, where there's silence like at a mass, but they don't communicate. families have to get back to talking. parents with the children, with the grandparents, everybody. right. by day, lu oi is a kindergarten teacher in shanghai. but at night, he transforms into a warrior knight when he competes in medieval combat. here's his story. the sport sees players donning replica medieval armour and fighting one another with real weapons. it's got few players in china at the moment, but lu qi and his club,
sticking with china. water is usually a pretty crucial element for any boat race. but not for these hardy competitors in china'sjinzhou city. far from letting the frozen river hold them back, they've turned ice dragon boat racing into an annual spectacle. more than 200 contestants took to the ice in boats specially designed
with skate—like blades. next stop, antarctica. please stay with me. hello. it's been a mostly dry and very mild weekend, and as we head through the final few days of 2019, that theme is set to largely continue. a bit of rain in the north—west, many places dry. this is how we ended the day on sunday — beautiful sunsets across many parts of the country. and it's a big area of high pressure that's bringing us this dry, settled weather sitting across continental europe. we have got a weather front working in from the north, so that's going to bring some patchy rain initially to the north—west of scotland as this frontal system sinks slowly further south through the day. we'll see a few spots of light rain pushing across northern ireland during the afternoon in towards galloway. scottish borders could see a few spots too. but clearer, fresher conditions working in from the north. much of england and wales staying
dry throughout the day after a bit of a murky start for some of us. there will be some sunshine breaking through during the afternoon. highs of around 11 or 12 degrees in the south and you had about 7 or 8 further north. now, for new year's eve on tuesday, it is looking like another dry day. quite a murky start to the day for central and southern england and wales where we've got a bit of low cloud, mist and fog. that should tend to break up. more sunshine, though, further north across the country. fairly light winds and a little bit cooler. many places stuck in single figures, i think, for tuesday. but a decent looking day for new year's eve. if you've got plans to head out during the evening and see any of the fireworks, then we're not expecting any particularly strong winds or any rainfall. there could just be some poor visibility for one or two places. but not particularly cold, temperatures between around about a to 9 degrees for most of us as we head close to midnight. so, new year's eve then to summarise for you is looking largely dry and settled. but there could well be some mist and some fog patches around too, but nothing to spoil the fireworks. heading on into new year's day now,
and that area of high pressure still in charge. we've got a largely dry picture in fact. more isobars on the map across the northern half of the uk so i think it'll be a little bit breezy across perhaps northern and western parts of scotland into northern ireland as well, but england and wales looking dry with light winds too. so, a fine day to come, i think, for new year's day, barely cloudy. this cloud thinning and breaking later on, so some sunny spells developing and it'll still feel reasonably mild for the time of year, although those temperatures not quite as mild as they have been over recent days. so around about 7 to 10 degrees for most of us on new year's day. a fine day if you're getting out for a walk to bring in the first day of 2020. so, early 2020 then, well, it's looking mainly dry, some rain in the far north—west, mist and fog around at times and things will turn a little bit colder than it has been too. bye for now.
this is bbc news. the headlines: police in texas have praised members of a church congregation who shot dead a gunman after he'd opened fire during a sunday service. the attacker killed two people, before being killed by a parishioner. the motive for the attack remains unclear. a man has been charged with five counts of attempted murder, following a knife attack at the home of a rabbi in new york state. the mayor of new york, bill de blasio, has announced a series of measures to tackle what he said was a crisis caused by a rise in anti—semitism. the united states military has carried out air strikes against iranian—backed paramilitaries in western iraq, those strikes killing at least 18 fighters. the strikes were in retaliation for a rocket attack on an iraqi military base in kirkuk on friday, in which an american civilian was killed.
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