this is bbc news: welcome if you're watching here in the uk, on pbs in america or around the globe. i'm reged ahmad. our top stories: big ben strikes the hour fireworks displays have lit up the skies around the globe as people celebrate the start of the new decade. the us is sending reinforcements to help defend its embassy in baghdad, having repelled an attack by protesters angry about american airstrikes. bushfires continue to rage across wide areas of australia. emergency workers are assessing the damage while still battling to rescue those cut off by the flames. and lebanon says it had no warning that the fugitive ex—nissan boss carlos ghosn was fleeing japan, for beirut.
new year celebrations are taking place around the world, with many cities holding spectacular firework displays to welcome in the new decade. the celebrations in sydney went ahead, despite calls for it to be cancelled due to australia's bushfire crisis. and tens of thousands of people gathered in london to watch the fireworks over the river thames and hear big ben chime for the first time after a year of silence. gareth barlow reports. cheers on top of cabana bed, a carnival of colour, new year brazilian style.
big ben strikes the hour meanwhile, in london, big ben welcomed in the new decade, the iconic london eye sparkling on the south bank. in france, saluts and salutations. parisians partied along the champs—elysees. the arc de triomphe triumphantly hailing 2020 had arrived. and in dubai, the world's tallest building, the burj khalifa, was transformed into a tower of lights and pyrotechnics.
it was a similar sight in taiwan as taipei 101 sparked into a kaleidoscope of colour against an inky night sky. as parts of australia are ablaze amid relentless wildfires, a political firestorm focused on sydney's display, but the fireworks did go off over the city's harbour bridge. bright lights amid dark days. and in scotland, an alternative take on new year's celebrations. a flaming, spinning spectacular, you should not try at home. gareth barlow, bbc news. we will keep you up—to—date on all the celebrations around the world.
the united states has announced the immediate deployment of 750 troops to the middle east, after militiamen and their supporters attempted to storm the american embassy in baghdad. the demonstrators were angered by us air strikes on sunday which targeted an iranian—backed militia group in iraq and syria, killing at least 25 people. our diplomatic correspondent, paul adams, reports. chanting furious crowds and an american embassy, the largest in the world, under siege. protesters and pro—iranian militiamen inside baghdad's protected green zone, venting their anger, attempting to breach the embassy walls. one entrance is pushed open, but the crowd is forced back by tear gas fired from inside. the sentry post is attacked. but this is a heavily fortified compound. the soldiers inside seem alert, but not yet alarmed. fires are lit outside, the air thick with smoke and anti—american slogans. but the crowd is not huge. sources inside the compound say
the situation appears to be under control. no—one has been evacuated. directing the protests are some of the country's leading shi'ite militiamen. they are backed by iran and deeply hostile towards america. translation: this embassy has been proved to be an embassy of plotting against iraq, the embassy of spying on iraq, and the embassy of running schemes of sabotage in iraq. tensions rose dramatically over the weekend as american warplanes carried out air strikes against militia targets in iraq and syria. at least 25 fighters were killed. the us blamed the pro—iranian group kata'ib hezbollah for a rocket attack on friday that killed an american civilian in the northern city of kirkuk. donald trump points the finger at neighbouring iran. "iran killed an american contractor," he tweeted this morning. "we strongly responded and always will. now, iran is orchestrating an attack on the us embassy in iraq. they will be held fully responsible."
he also warned iraq to do more to protect the embassy. but iraq's government is in a bind. the us is still an ally in the fight against so—called islamic state, but its relationship with iran is much closer. the embassy is not thought to be in any immediate danger but american reinforcements have already arrived. us marines, part of a special crisis response unit, making the shortjourney from a base in nearby kuwait. paul adams, bbc news. we will have a closer look at what is happening in iraq a little later in the programme. let's get some of the day's other news: president trump has said he believes kim jong—un
is a man of his word and has a signed a contract about denuclearization it follows a speech by the north korean leader in which he declared his country would abandon its moratoriums on nuclear and long—range ballistic missile tests. and he's threatened north korea could develop a new strategic weapon. president trump says the first phase of a trade deal with china will be signed at the white house on the 15th of january. in a tweet, mr trump also announced that at a later date he will be going to beijing where talks will begin on phase two. riot police in hong kong have begun the new year by firing tear gas at anti—government protesters, who blocked roads and started fires. earlier, demonstrators formed human chains at major sites across the territory. a big gathering is planned for later on new year's day. the daughter of the former president. she's been accused of involvement in the theft of a billion dollars worth of state assets from angola. she denies any wrongdoing. the australian authorities have confirmed that a third person has died, in bushfires that have ravaged the south—east of the country this week. more than a dozen ‘emergency—level‘
fires are burning across a 500 kilometre stretch spanning two states — from batemans bay in new south wales to bairnsdale in victoria. the flames are being fanned by extremely hot and windy conditions. abc correspondent selby stewart is in nowra. i asked him about the major issues authorities are dealing with in relation to the bushfires. at the moment, there is still more than 100 bushfires that are burning across new south wales and the majority of those are still uncontained. and this comes just after one of the most devastating days we've had this bushfire season. at the moment, residents here are waking up, it's the morning here, and they‘ re discovering just how devastating the last 2a hours have been. we now know that at least 200 homes have been lost, just yesterday, which of course was new year's eve, meant to be a time for celebration, have been lost yesterday. we've now confirmed three people have died on the south coast of new south wales and there are others still missing. right now, we know there are many people trapped, believed to be injured, and because they are in isolated
communities, it isjust impossible for emergency services to reach them. and, of course, despite those terrible fires that we saw yesterday, there are many that will continue to burn. and one of the big risks for these communities now as well is falling trees, much of this forest has been burnt. we've seen over 4 million hectares of land burnt now, which is larger than wales, the size of wales. it really is incredible scene down standing here in these communities that are really hurting. well a little earlier i spoke to anne clark who has been forced to evacuate from her farm with her family. i asked her to explain what made her and herfamily decide to flee. we are literally evacuating now where our farm we are literally evacuating now where ourfarm is. yesterday we are literally evacuating now where our farm is. yesterday we could not do that. we had an emergency warning coming from the
rural fire service early in the morning and we could evacuate so we are near the beach and we packed our bags and got ready to go to the beach, basically. but it was genuinely terrifying. the date never happened yesterday, there was no don, it was red and smoky and we did not know what was going to happen. it was very scary. do you have any news on the situation at your farm? a southerly wind has come through so we we re a southerly wind has come through so we were safe at the farm yesterday. fortu nately. we were safe at the farm yesterday. fortunately. 0ther we were safe at the farm yesterday. fortunately. other people were not so fortunately. other people were not so lucky. it was coming in our direction but the southerly came through and pushed a fire away so we had a safe moment to leave but we're not sure long that will last so we decided to leave. can you describe what those fires were like as you
we re what those fires were like as you were leaving? i know it is very difficult and frightening... yes, todayis difficult and frightening... yes, today is a calm day... certainly a smoky day but not like yesterday. it was very scary and very dark. we woke up to the sound of burnt leaves falling on the roof, like the pitter patter of rain but it was absolutely black and the sky was blood red and we just black and the sky was blood red and wejust did not black and the sky was blood red and we just did not know what was going to happen. australia and the state of new south wales are relatively used to bushfires but it is seen anything like this before? this is extraordinary. we have dams on our farm that have never been dry, there is no surface water, no firefighting
can be done in a way because there is nothing to fight the fire with. the bush is extraordinarily dry and it is going up in a way that people have not seen it like that before. what are your plans now in terms of evacuating and staying safe until you can go back? we are staying at my uncle ‘s place in town and we will stay here for a while and see how we go. we might head to canberra oi’ how we go. we might head to canberra or sydney ina how we go. we might head to canberra or sydney in a few days. see how we go. do you think they have been enough firefighters to deal with that? the problem is, there are so many fires. where do the firefighters go? every town has a brigade but you have 300 fires across two states, where do they all go? prioritising people's safety, i
guess, and it is really very frightening. anna clark describing the fires in new south wales. the authorities in lebanon say the former nissan boss, carlos ghosn, entered the country legally. mr ghosn was on bail injapan, awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges, and his passports had been confiscated. reports in lebanon suggest a group of musicians who played at his house in tokyo smuggled him out in an instrument case. rupert wingfield—hayes has more. last march, carlos ghosn disguised himself as a construction worker as he attempted to slip past the waiting media on his release from jail. now, he has succeeded in slipping out ofjapan, perhaps in another disguise. even his own defence team have been left dumbfounded, unable to explain how mr ghosn did it. translation: we didn't know anything about it. it's a complete surprise. we still have all his passports.
somehow mr ghosn managed to board a privatejet and last night he landed here, in the lebanese capital, beirut. he said he had not fled japanese justice, but escaped from injustice. this is a truly extraordinary development in what was already an extraordinary story. japanese prosecutors will say by fleeing, carlos ghosn is admitting his guilt. but many others agree with mr ghosn and his defence team that the charges against him were essentially politically motivated. and that carlos ghosn‘s real crime was trying to force a merger between a japanese company, nissan, and its french parent, renault. today in nissan... in the 1990s, carlos ghosn helped save french car—maker renault. in the 2000s, he took on an even biggerjob,
turning around japan's moribund car—maker, nissan. he rose to become one of the most powerful figures in the global car industry. but in 2018, he was arrested at tokyo airport on suspicion of financial misconduct. he was held in this tokyo detention centre for more than 100 days, facing daily interrogations. this is a conspiracy... since his release on bail, carlos ghosn has angrily proclaimed his innocence, accusing his former colleagues at nissan of conspiring with japanese prosecutors to manufacture a case against him. the media injapan have been preparing for what was expected to be the trial of the decade. instead, carlos ghosn is now far away in lebanon, a country that has no extradition agreement with japan. rupert wingfield—hayes, bbc news, in tokyo.
stay with us on bbc news. still to come: the photographer who is helping foreign workers find love in singapore. 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: it was just good?
no, fantastic! that's better! big ben strikes the hour this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: revellers around the globe have rung in the start of a new decade, with spectacular firework displays lighting up the skies. and the us is sending reinforcements to help defend its embassy in baghdad, having repelled an attack by protesters angry about american air strikes. let's stay with that story now. president trump has been speaking about troop deployments. this about troop deployments. will not be a benghazi. benghazi this will not be a benghazi. benghazi should never have happened. this will never, ever be a benghazi.
we have some of our greatest worry is there, they got into very quickly. as soon as we saw there was a potential problem they got in and there was no problem whatsoever. i also want to thank the iraqi government, they really stepped up. i spoke to the prime minister today, i thanked him, i spoke to the prime minister today, ithanked him, but i spoke to the prime minister today, i thanked him, but they stepped up very nicely. international lawyer david tafuri was a former state department official and he worked at the us embassy in iraq. he described what it was like. the embassy is in baghdad, it is in the area that was formerly the green zone. it is still a somewhat protected area. the us embassy is a fortress. it was built in 2008, 2009, it was built in order to anticipate attacks like this, knowing that iraq is a fluid place and there are some dangers that us personnel can be targets. but over the last several years, us personnel have not been targets stop so this is surprising that this has happened over the last few months, it
certainly involves iran and the iranians back she militias. they organise these demonstrations in the attack on the embassy, they were also responsible for the rocket attacks that killed one us contractor, which caused the trump administration to respond with airstrikes against these militias. so we have rising tensions in baghdad, in part because of these iranians back to militias and also because iran and the us have such a strained relationship right now and iran is using iraq to strike back at the us. iran obviously denies any involvement in the embassy is dark. but i wonder, the 750 additional soldiers, given the fortress that is the us embassy, what are those soldiers going to do? well, the embassy is the largest embassy or the us in the world. it's a huge compound. we spent billions of
dollars in order to build it. we aren't leaving iraq, so we need to stay in iraq and continue to have diplomats in iraq in the future. so we need to protect that compound in order to go back into it, in order to engage in diplomacy with iraq. so mainly they are protecting the embassy grounds and the personnel that are there. notably the ambassador and the high—level state officials who have been evacuated. but there are some officials there. ioo but there are some officials there. 100 marines went into protect it and 110w 100 marines went into protect it and now we have 750 additional soldiers. again, these forces were created as a result of what happened in bank gaza, where a mission in bank because was overrun by islamic — radical islamists —— benghazi. because was overrun by islamic — radical islamists -- benghazi. do the iraqi government have any agency
to stop this from happening in their own country? as you reported, president trump spoke with the prime minister. the prime minister though, has resigned. he isjust the acting prime minister. this goes to the heart of what is happening in iraq. iraq doesn't have a government right now, it's been engulfed by protests and protesters which cause the prime minister to resign. the government in baghdad is divided. many in the government are pro iranians, even some of the party officials, political party officials were at the protest, at the embassy. but then there are others like the president who put out a really strong statement today damming the protesters, who are still pro—us. so this raises a division within the government of iraq that is going to play out as we see who is going to be the next by minister. will it be a pro iranians candidate or someone more palatable to the us government?
—— next prime minister. shipping companies will have to reduce their sulphur oxide emissions from the first of january. strict new international rules will limit the poisonous gases produced by ships to 0.5%. the global body overseeing the maritime sector says this will reduce the harmful effects on human health. but the international maritime 0rganization won't enforce the ban — that will be the responsibility of the countries where the ship is docked or registered. an orchestra in paris staged a free concert earlier, performing in protest against changes to pensions. have a listen. the orchestra of the bastille performing prokofiev‘s romeo and juliet on the steps of the opera house. they've been on strike for a month over changes to pensions. in his new year's address president macron vowed to press ahead with the changes which would affect all sorts of industries, extending the age of retirement by two years to 64. now, to a small business in singapore helping migrant workers
hello. we've ended 2019 on a fairly quiet note. the best of the sunshine through new year's eve was across northern and eastern england, parts of scotland we saw some spectacular sunsets to end the year and the decade. and this quieter theme continues through new year's eve underneath this area of high pressure. but notice that the isobars are closer together across northern ireland and scotland, so, a windier day here. and also, a cloudier day across the uk to start 2020. that cloud could be thick enough for the odd patch of drizzle. for most it's mainly dry through daylight hours with some brightness or sunshine across eastern counties of scotland, north—east england, perhaps north wales for a time and maybe into east anglia, too. light or gentle winds for most away from the western and northern isles of scotland, where the winds will be strengthening through the day,
perhaps gusts of 40—50 miles an hour. still, quite a cool feel to the day across the uk, 5—9 celsius, the top temperature, perhaps 10—11 for northern scotland and south—west england. cloud cover stays with us through the evening and overnight. again we could see some patchy drizzle. for most it's dry, although rain will start to approach the far north—west of scotland and the west of northern ireland as we head towards thursday morning. but underneath the cloud cover, temperatures are going to stay above freezing. and actually, as we go through thursday, it is a milder day. these yellow, and in places orange, colours just indicating the milder air flooding across the uk. but with it comes a set of fronts, and that's going to bring some wetter, windier weather initially across scotland and northern ireland, and slowly it slides its way south and eastwards through the day, but weakening as it does. but potentially some very heavy rain across the highlands of scotland, maybe 40—50 millimetres here, gusty winds as well. this front then slides its way south and eastwards, getting into northern england, parts of wales, south—west england, driest the further south and east you are, but some gusty winds, perhaps 50—60 miles an hour for northern and western scotland and 30—a0 miles
an hour quite widely. so it's a wet, blustery day across northern and western parts of the uk, but mild for most, it will be in double figures. doesn't last long as those fronts push their way south and eastwards, behind it we start to see the blue colours returning. so, we're back in the colder air as we go into friday. but what that also means is clearer conditions, much more in the way of sunshine. cloud and rain clearing away from south—east england, some showers peppering the north of scotland, perhaps wintry in nature, but for much of the uk, on friday we'll end the week dry with much more sunshine. but it will be feeling a little bit colder again. as for the weekend, it's looking mainly dry. there'll be some spells of sunshine, little bit milder but potentially turning wetter and windier into next week.
this is bbc news, the headlines: revellers around the globe have rung in the start of a new decade, with firework displays held in london and other major cities. in rio dejaniero more than a million people gathered on the copacabana beach to celebrate the new year the united states is to send more troops to protect its embassy in baghdad, which has been attacked by thousands of protestors, angry at american air strikes. president trump has blamed the attack on iran. the authorities in lebanon say the former nissan boss, carlos ghosn, entered the country legally. mr ghosn was on bail injapan, awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges. reports in lebanon suggest a group of musicians, who played at his house in tokyo, smuggled him out in an instrument case. now on bbc news it's hardtalk.