welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is lewis vaughanjones. our top stories: hours before the biggest—everjoint us—south korean airforce exercise gets underway, washington says the potential for war with north korea increases by the day. we'll have the latest from seoul. theresa may comes under renewed pressure to get tough on brexit ahead of the prime minister's meeting with the eu president. cambodia's premier leads prayers for peace and unity at a lavish ceremony days after dissolving the country's main opposition party. this is the most symbolically important site in cambodia and it is to impress to the rest of the country that the nation is united despite the distraction of the opposition. and looking to the heavens for the biggest and brightest so—called super moon —
as it reaches its closest point to earth. president trump's national security advisor, says north korea's nuclear ambitions pose the greatest threat to the united states, and to the world. the comments from hr mcmaster come on the eve of the largest ever joint military exercise in the region between us and south korean airforces. pyongyang has called the drill an all—out provocation. from washington, laura bicker reports. weapons experts have described the latest north korean missile as "a beast," capable of striking the us mainland. there were celebrations in pyongyang, a staged event to declare that north korea is becoming a nuclear nation. this is something the trump administration has said it will not accept.
the greatest immediate threat to the united states, and to the world... speaking at a defence forum, the us national security adviser had this warning. china has tremendous coercive economic power over north korea. you cannot shoot a missile without fuel. there are ways to address this problem short of armed conflict. but it is a race because he's getting closer and closer. and, umm, there's not much time left. the us is keeping a show of force in the korean peninsula, and stealth fighters have been deployed to the region as part of the largest air exercise ever held with south korea. they've been dubbed as "war games." but a north korean television broadcast described the drills as provocation. the us has made it clear it doesn't want war with north korea, but kim jong—un has continued to build missiles and sanctions have not stopped him.
the international committee is running out of dimplomatic options. i'm going to urge the pentagon not to send any more dependence to south korea. it should be an unaccompanied tour. it's crazy to send spouses and children to south korea given the provocation of north korea. military experts have warned that a war on the korean peninsula would have devastating consequences and north korea would be utterly destroyed. the hope must be that the threat of action alongside stringent sanctions will force the young korean leader to change course. laura bicker, bbc news, washington. our correspondent paul adams joins us from seoul. let's start with those drills. give us an let's start with those drills. give us an idea of the size and significance of them. well, it's certainly a very large exercise, 230
planes in all including the largest gathering of stealth aircraft, american stealth aircraft, ever seen in this part of the world. including the most advanced american fighters. as for the significance, well, this is an annual drill. this is something we have seen before. the americans are being pretty tightlipped about the exact purpose. the statement announcing the drill a little while ago talked about improving operational capability and into operational capability because this is an exercise which involves american and south korean forces. there is some speculation in the media that they are going to be carrying out mock attacks on north korean nuclear targets. we then try to get confirmation of that but no one is confirming it. in one sense, it is what this part of the world is used to but it is bigger and more
advanced than we have seen in the past. we heard the north koreans describe this as a provocation. is that how they are seeing it? how dangerous potentially could this be viewed? everything that anyone does with regard to the dispute over north korea's nuclear weapons programme is north korea's nuclear weapons programme is seen north korea's nuclear weapons programme is seen as a north korea's nuclear weapons programme is seen as a provocation. when the north korean spy their latest and best missile last week, that was seen in washington as a provocation and north korea responds in kind. part of the language used yesterday by the north koreans called donald trump insane, that america was begging for nuclear war when as i recall, that is exactly what the us ambassador to the un, nikki haley, said that north korea recently. each side employs the same rhetoric. you have people like lindsey graham, the us senator, talking about the americans needing
to pull dependents out of south korea. that kind of talk, people around you would find very alarmist, frankly, because no one south of the border really feels that a nuclear war is imminent. they live with this threat for a very long time. that would sound very odd to most people here, if this is an ongoing dispute with north korea about its nuclear ambitions. it has said it has already achieved many of those ambitions. we are in a situation where the two sides, north korea and the united states, exchanged this heated rhetoric without the situation changing much at all. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. a former egyptian prime minister whose family said he'd disappeared after returning from exile has given a phone interview on egyptian television. ahmed shafik denied speculation that he'd been kidnapped.
but he said he was now reconsidering his plan to run in next year's presidential elections. the saudi—led coalition has reportedly launched air strikes on yemen's capital in support of the former president, ali abdullah saleh. mr saleh had been allied to houthi rebels, but their three—year rebel alliance appears to have collapsed into what's described as a "street war" in sanaa. new york's metropolitan opera has suspended its longtime music directorjames levine after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. the us opera house said levine would no longer appear at the met this season and they've hired a former us prosecutor to investigate the accusations. mr levine is reported to have denied wrongdoing. pope francis has left bangladesh after completing a six—day visit to asia. on friday, he used the word rohingya for the first time on his trip, having avoided using it in myanmar. speaking to journalists on the plane back to rome from bangladesh, the pope said if he'd used the word in his speech,
he would have seen the door slammed shut. britain and the european union are coming closer to an agreement over brexit. 0fficials coming closer to an agreement over brexit. officials have told the bbc that deals have been reached on the bill britain must pay on citizens rights as well. the outstanding issueis rights as well. the outstanding issue is the border with ireland. theresa may travels to brussels on monday for talks with the president of the european commission. when these two meet it will take more than polite greetings. his verdict will be crucial in deciding if they have edged close enough together on key issues for eu leaders to agree to start talking trade when they meet later this month. meanwhile, a handful of brexit—backing conservative mps have increased the pressure on the prime minister,
signing a letter setting out their demands, including a promise that the european court ofjustice will cease to have any jurisdiction over the uk. for some, this goes to the heart of the brexit debate. the european court ofjustice is there to rule on all matters to do with the european union. we will have left the european union, and therefore, the simple point is that we should not therefore have to look to the european court ofjustice, or to havejudgements made by them bound directly back here into the uk. when it comes to this court, theresa may has signalled it will have a role during any transition, a possible two—year period to prepare for new systems. but some brexiteers fear there could be compromise beyond that, as the eu wants it to keep overseeing citizens' rights. 0ne cabinet minister said there'd have to be cooperation between legal insisted systems, but european law wouldn't hold sway over british law, and he had a warning for some mps.
the supreme court will decide what the law of the country is in this country as voted on by parliament. that is the big thing that theresa may has achieved. and i think there's an even bigger point here. ina the choice we face now is not between this brexit or that brexit. if we don't back theresa may, we will have no brexit. but there are competing views over several aspects of these talks. the island of ireland will be where the uk meets the eu. all agree there should be no hard border. the irish government is not being unreasonable here. we're simply asking questions that need more credible answers before we can allow the process to move onto phase two. here, the government said they have made headway on the irish border, as well as citizens' rights and the financial settlement, but say nothing's agreed until everything's agreed.
there are still outstanding issues in these key areas in which the eu had wanted progress before agreeing to talk trade. the meeting is a crucial step in deciding whether or not enough has been done. the outcome is vital, but it's still far from certain. there has been another protest in the romanian capital, bucharest, against government reforms to both the country's justice and tax system. on saturday, dozens of people stopped a christmas fair from being built at the square where they have been demonstrating. the government will try to push the reforms through parliament in the coming days. the anti—government protesters are backin the anti—government protesters are back in victories where. the issue
is the same. the government alleges the country's anti—corru ption is the same. the government alleges the country's anti—corruption agency is too big for its boots and it wa nts to is too big for its boots and it wants to cut it down to size. these people have come out to defend it. it's going to take more than that to make them change their mind. i'm sure we can but we have to get out of the house and into the streets, that's all we have to do. the protests are inspired by a loose alliance of groups linked on social media. this the reason have died, our children don't have good schools that our public money, our public budget has been going to private pockets and this country, instead of growing, is going down. on december one for celebrations for many‘s national day, officials stayed away, angry at the support the president
has given to the currentjustice system. a parallel state has been alleged to have been forming. both sides in this dispute say there are defending romania's constitutional orderfrom defending romania's constitutional order from attack. romanians defending romania's constitutional orderfrom attack. romanians have defending romania's constitutional order from attack. romanians have a habit of protesting just when the weather turns cold. massive crowds in the square and others in february this year forced the government to back down. the question now is whether they can do it again. stay with us on bbc news — still to come: over the moon: skywatchers celebrate as the december "super moon" graces the skies. it's quite clear that the worst victims of this disaster are the poor people living in the slums which have sprung up around the factory.
i am feeling so helpless, that the childrens are dying in front of me and i can't do anything. charles manson is the mystical leader of the hippy cult suspected of killing sharon tate and at least six other people in los angeles. at 11am this morning, just half a metre of rock separated britain from continental europe. it took the drills just a few moments to cut through the final obstacle. then philippe cozette, a minerfrom calais, was shaking hands with and exchanging flags with robert fagg, his opposite number from dover. this is bbc news.
the latest headlines. ahead of the biggest—ever us—south korean joint military airforce exercise, washington says the potential for war with north korea is increasing by the day. theresa may comes under renewed pressure to get tough on brexit ahead of the prime minister's meeting with the eu president. cambodia's democracy has taken several steps backward recently as the main opposition party was banned, its leaderjailed, and most of its leading politicians driven into exile. long—serving prime minister, hoon sen, has also accused the united states of conspiring to overthrow him. over the weekend he ordered a lavish buddhist ceremony at angkor wat, the seat of cambodia's ancient kings, to pray, he said, for unity and peace. 0ur south east asia correspondent, jonathan head, was there. trappings fit for a modern—day king.
the man who is ruled cambodia for 32 years shows his country's most famous landmark as a backdrop for this elaborate prayer ceremony. confusing the tourists, who found their expected route into angkor wat no longer open. at 65 years old, hun sen is visibly slower than he was, but his hold on power is now complete, having just outlawed the only popular opposition party. these prayers, he said, were for peace and unity. by wrapping himself in the mantle of religion, though, and the aura of cambodia's greatest historic era, hun sen hopes to demonstrate that his legitimacy is secure. but this was a largely organised crowd.
many of them schoolchildren. it was not a spontaneous show of support. these girls had no idea why the ceremony was being held. they'd been told to come by their teacher. all of these people have been brought to this, the most symbolically important site in cambodia for one purpose and that's to impress upon the rest of the population the country is united, despite the distraction of the opposition. but the fact the prime minister has gone through all this trouble suggests he's not so sure. the party he outlawed has been doing well enough in recent elections to pose a serious threat. now its leaders are either injail or in x i'll. they believed that his drastic move against them actually shows the wily cambodian strongman is worried. if he were sure of himself he would call us back and say, let's compete fairly and freely
and justly and inclusively. do you think he's lost his confidence? he's haunted by the need to hang onto power. hun sen can command the finest performances, the most spectacular settings and the loyalty of an inner circle which with him has grown very wealthy. but for how long? within minutes of his departure, it was as if he'd never been. people were buying souvenirs and the tourists who more than anything else have enriched this part of cambodia were back injoining the wonders of this ancient temple. jonathan head, bbc news, angkor wat. since the good friday agreement was signed in 1998, ending 30 years of conflict in northern ireland, relationships between catholics and protestants have greatly improved in many respects. however, in some places peace walls are still in use to separate the two communities.
in belfast, they have become a tourist attraction for those looking to learn about the past, as helene daouphars discovered. welcome to belfast. the tour we do in the black taxis is about the trouble period. belfast looks like chess board. instead of black and white squares, we have catholic and protesta nt. white squares, we have catholic and protestant. what is the difference between the two communities? protestant. what is the difference between the two communitie57m started about religion 500 years ago, but it is not about that any more. it is about power. those gates we re more. it is about power. those gates were locked in 1969 and have never opened since. there are more than 100 balls in northern ireland separating some catholic and protesta nt areas. — — separating some catholic and protestant areas. —— walls. most of them have gates that close every night and at the weekend. some of
the walls are 50 metres high and are in economically deprived areas. the northern irish government hopes to ta ke northern irish government hopes to take the walls down by 2023, but only if tensions are reduced. this woman is protestant and her colleague is catholic, and they work to bring them together. you cannot just go in and magically fix it, but what you can do is start a process and partnership. the thing about peace walls is they can impact one street, one road. it is only when the circumstances are right for those directly impacted that you see change. a lot of people in these communities have softened a lot. sheamus is one of them. he lost one of his friends in 1994. paul was
shot dead. shortly after that attack, plans were put in place for this substantial structure to be put up. but the name tag was the million—dollar brick wall. up. but the name tag was the million-dollar brick wall. this shows tensions still exists and the pieces uneasy. many sad exit is bringing new uncertainty. —— say brexit. the majority of people in northern ireland voted to remain. but the problem we have is we are landlocked with the republic of ireland, so what is going to happen now? community workers worry about being cut off from eu funding and how it might affect the peace process. many people are concerned that brexit will bring enormous difficulty it. we currently have an international binding agreement with the good friday agreement. how can
that work and develop what is supposed to be a connected peace process , supposed to be a connected peace process, a connected system? today marks 20 years since the international convention banning anti—personnel landmines was signed in ottawa, canada. the convention has been ratified by 162 countries. but aid agencies warn that landmines still pose a huge danger. imogen foulkes reports from geneva. landmines need just an instant to cause a lifetime of damage. they stop adults from being able to work and children from going to school or being able to play. the ban on landmines, signed with such hope 20 yea rs landmines, signed with such hope 20 years ago, means that very few countries still use them. deaths and injuries have fallen from around 20,000 a year in 1997 to six and a half thousand today. but now, that
figure is rising again. armies may not use landmines, but armed groups do. when islamic state fighters were driven out of raqqa and mosul, they left home—made devices behind them. the big problem today is non— state actors. many of these conflate what we see on the news and in the newspapers every day. they are high up newspapers every day. they are high up there. we see that much more improvised landmines, so, home—made artists —— artisinal mines, are being used than we can clear. and millions of landmines deployed decades ago still contaminate countries from cambodia to zimbabwe. many will ease the 2025 to get set
for clearance. —— miss. despite the support of the ban, the effects of landmines will be with us for years to come. bbc news. sky gazers around the world have been treated to a spectacular sight, with the moon appearing far bigger and brighter than usual. the super—moon, or "cold moon," as it's traditionally named in december, happens when the earth is closer than usual in its orbit. andrew plant's been taking a look. it has become known as a super—moon, seen it has become known as a super—moon, seen here in yorkshire in the uk. it happens when the moon reaches it closest point to earth and appears to be larger in the sky. —— it. as seen to be larger in the sky. —— it. as seen by this aeroplane in california. to ea rthbound seen by this aeroplane in california. to earthbound observers, it appears that 70% larger than normal, and that is because its elliptical orbit takes at about 16,000 miles closer than average. —— it. the effect is slight but seems
exaggerated thanks to an optical illusion. there is some gains in the apparent size and brightness of the moon as it makes that close approach and is fully eliminated from our perspective by the sun. but the difference is marginal. if you want a dramatic effect, if you go outside and look at the full moon, indeed, any full moon rising and setting, your mind actually produces an illusion which we call the moon illusion, which makes the moon look larger on the horizon. that is more dramatic than the so—called super—moon. dramatic than the so—called super-moon. nasa has called this week in's citing the first in a super—moon trilogy. —— sighting. in the next two months, there will be others, on the first and last of january next year. last year, it made its closest approach to earth since 1948, and it will not be this close again until 2034. this is bbc news.
hello once again. there were certainly enough gaps in the cloud in the first part of the night for our weather watchers to get a really good view of the night's super moon. after what had been a pretty reasonable day, especially so across parts of northern ireland, scotland, the north of england, probably the best of the sunshine here. that's not to say we start the new day with plenty of gaps around because we have weather fronts not a million miles away and there may be enough cloud for there to be the odd spot of rain across the far north of scotland, showers running through the western side of scotland and down through the irish sea. 0ut east, bit of a concern about how dense some of the fog patches will be, not first thing, some may linger in east anglia, the south—east and central and southern england but elsewhere, a cooler not start, as you would expect for the start of the year and essentially it's a dry one. that's not the case for the north of scotland, quite breezy and wet here, especially in the northern isles. elsewhere, a speckling of showers for northern scotland
and northern ireland but that's the exception to essentially a dry rule, as i say, some of the fog may take time to get away from the south—eastern quarter. there may be more low cloud than i'm showing here, giving a rather grey aspect to the day. that prospect gradually drifting from west to east. if yourfog lingers, six degrees could be your high, elsewhere, eight, nine, ten. not a great deal happening during the evening, perhaps just freshening up the wind, that's a sign of things to come, especially for northern scotland, wet and windy fare here as we get on during the day on tuesday but elsewhere not a bad day, quite a quiet start to the week. notice monday and tuesday. however, we begin to change things quite markedly as we get on into wednesday. here across northern and western parts it's either wet and windy orjust for some windy, but at least it's coming from the south, that's your mildest day of the week by some degree. notice how we've got a lot of isobars here, hence that windy nature to wednesday, it becomes more to change direction. i'm just about to show you how extensive that change becomes in the latter part of the week, looked at that, cold air right down
and across all parts of the british isles, rather like the middle of last week. i'm going to show you the effect on the temperatures, see how through the day they begin to fall away, ten in norwich at the start of the day when you've got the mild air and wet and windy weather, and brighter skies later but the temperatures fall away. so the start of the week is mostly fine, then it gets wet and windy and certainly by the latter part of the week, it turns much, much colder. this is bbc news. the headlines: ahead of the biggest—everjoint us—south korean military airforce exercise, donald trump's national security adviser says the us is in a race to address the threat from north korea. hr mcmaster says the potential for war is increasing every day. the bbc understands that britain and the european union are close
to reaching an agreement that will clear the way for the second phase of talks on the uk's departure from the bloc. prime minister theresa may travels to brussels on monday for talks with the president of the european commission. cambodia's prime minister hoon sen has accused the united states of conspiring to overthrow him. —— hun sen. over the weekend he ordered a lavish buddhist ceremony at angkor wat, the seat of cambodia's ancient kings, to pray, he said, for unity and peace. it comes after the banning of the main opposition party, and the jailing of its leader. now on bbc news, it's time to look back at the week in parliament.