tv BBC World News BBC News December 27, 2017 9:00pm-9:31pm GMT
this is bbc world news today. i'm sharanjit leyl. our top stories: respite at last for some of the critically—ill syrian children, trapped by a four—year government siege of ghouta. the first evacuations begin from the rebel—held suburb near damascus. but hundreds more in need of treatment remain. record snow falls on the us city of erie, burying homes and cars under deep drifts. it isa it is a bit ridiculous but i keep picking away at it. meanwhile in the uk, snow and ice cause widespread disruption to travel, on the roads and in the air. barack obama urges the responsible use of social media, in his first interview since leaving office. he's been speaking to britain's prince harry here on the bbc. hello and welcome to world news today.
aid workers and syrian volunteers have begun to evacuate dozens of critically—ill patients from a rebel—held suburb near damascus. last week, international aid agencies made an appeal to president assad to allow the evacuation of seven children with cancer. the first of the patients were taken out of eastern ghouta overnight by the red cross and the syrian arab red crescent. more patients should be evacuated in the coming days as part of a deal between the government and rebels. but hundreds more are in need of treatment. the medical situation for people living in eastern ghouta is desperate after four years under siege. martin patience reports from beirut. seven—year—old imjy is preparing for a shortjourney, and it will almost certainly end up saving her life. she is suffering from haemophilia, but last night she was among four critically—ill patients to be
evacuated to damascus for life—saving treatment. this is what she's leaving behind. eastern ghouta is one of the last remaining rebel strongholds, fighting the government of bashar al—assad. it's been bombed and besieged for four years, with fighting intensifing in recent weeks. i think it's a combination of everybody‘s efforts, that at this really low time in syria there is a ray of light, and it's the children. it's the children who are missing growing up in syria — we must sort them out, to give syria a chance of a prosperous and peaceful future. but food is hard to come by. malnutrition is now widespread. human rights groups accuse the syrian government of trying to starve the rebels into submission. this evacuation may have the appearances of a humanitarian gesture, but that's simply not the case. we've been told by two sources
that the syrian government only agreed to it as part of a prisoner exchange. the main rebel faction in eastern ghouta agreed to free 29 syrian government hostages, and in return the same number of critically ill patients are being allowed to receive urgent medical care. but the united nations says hundreds of others need to be evacuated. among them, three—month—old karim, who was injured by government shelling. his mother was killed. despite a prominent social media campaign, he is not being allowed to leave eastern ghouta. translation: karim is injured, he's going to lose his sight. here in ghouta he can't get treated. the doctor wants to perform an operation, so that he doesn't lose the sight in his other eye. for some there is now hope,
but for most, help is not coming any time soon. martin patience, bbc news, beirut. we spoke to a spokesperson from the icrs and we spoke about the challenge that they are facing. icrs and we spoke about the challenge that they are facingm is very difficult as you can imagine. in november it was clear that the situation was deteriorating and people were angry and frustrated. mothers had to leave and look for food for frustrated. mothers had to leave and look forfood for their frustrated. mothers had to leave and look for food for their children on a daily basis. now the weather has gone worse. with a lack of food and medical supplies the situation is practically impossible for the people there. the current operation being carried out by the syrian red crescent and my colleagues, it is in
early stages and we realise it cannot solve all the issues. we hope it continues but first and foremost people in eastern ghouta need access to regular aid and they need unimpeded supplies of basic items. how much of a challenge is it to get these patients out, in terms of access to ambulances and aid convoys etc? last night we've just started this operation with colleagues from the syrian red crescent and it's been a long process and finally agreement was reached by parties to the agreement. we hope that in the coming hours and days that we are able to hold to the agreement that has been reached so far and in the coming weeks we hope we can do more.
the former us president barack obama has issued a warning about the irresponsible use of social media. in an interview with the bbc by britain's prince harry mr obama said such actions were distorting people's understanding of complex issues. he did not mention donald trump, his successor, by name. but he emphasised that people in positions of leadership should exercise care when posting messages. our royal correspondent, nicholas witchell has the story. prince harry, first of all. you are very welcome to our studio. good morning. joining the today programme for the day had been a big learning curve, harry said, but he had enjoyed being the interviewer rather than the interviewed. it was quite fun, especially interviewing president obama. his principal scoop had been to persuade barack obama to give his first interview since standing down as us president. the word "trump" was never mentioned but may have been in mr obama's mind when he warned about the use of social media. all of us in leadership have to find ways in which we can recreate
a common space on the internet. one of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities. they can be just cocooned in the information that reinforces their current biases. harry had also interviewed his father — the main focus had been on climate change. the issue prince charles has championed for decades and for which he was sometimes derided. maybe now, some years later, they are beginning to realise that what i was trying to say may not have been quite as dotty as they thought. i mean, the issue really that has to go on being focused on, big time, i think, is this one around the whole issue of climate change which now, whether we like it or not, is the biggest threat multiplier we face. and then, at the end of the programme, it was time to face questions rather than ask them. first about his fiancee, meghan markle, and herfirst christmas at sandringham.
she really enjoyed it. the family loved having her there. and yeah, it's. .. there's always that family part of christmas. work element as well and i think, you know, together we have an amazing time. great fun, staying with my brother and sister in law. harry's commitment to issues he cares about like the armed forces and mental health had come through strongly. so how does he see his future? part of my role and part of myjob is to shine a spotlight on issues that need that spotlight, whether it's people, whether its causes, whether its issues, whatever it is. so i will continue to play my part in society and do myjob to the best of my ability, so i can wake up in the morning and feel energised, and go to bed hopefully knowing i've done the best that i can. not so long ago, harry admitted to having doubts about a royal role. clearly no longer. nicholas witchell, bbc news. stay with us for some analysis on how the interview is going down in the us.
we'll be crossing live to orlando, florida. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. an improvised explosive device has gone off in a supermarket in the russian city of st petersburg. the city governor's office says ten people are in hospital, one of whom is in a serious condition. they say the incident is being investigated as attempted the ukrainian authorities are transferring more than 260 people back to rebel held territory and in return 7a prisoners being detained by rebels are being freed. a court in bosnia has sentenced a croat woman — known to her victims as the "mistress of life and death" — to 14 years in prison for atrocities committed during the bosnian war in the 1990s. azra basic, a former member
of the bosnian—croat forces, was found guilty of war crimes, including murder and the torture of ethnic serb civilians. an arctic cold snap is bringing sub—zero temperatures and heavy snow to large parts of north—east america and canada. temperatures have been reported as low minus 15 in toronto. while the us lakeside city of erie, in pennsylvania, has had a record 1.5 metres of snow in 48 hours, with more on the way. demarco morgan from cbs news has the story. eight snow emergency is in effect in erie after a record 53 inches of snow in less than 36 hours. you can't even tell how bad it is. snow is piling up on the roads, burying ca i’s is piling up on the roads, burying cars and bringing traffic to a halt. all i could do was laugh, it's a bit ridiculous. i keep picking away at
it. as people try and dig out, more snow is building up over the lakes. more snow is coming. emergency management coordinators and says that plough drivers are working around the clock to clear the streets. they've been doing a fantasticjob with the elements, it's hard to keep up with this amount of snow. it is a tough commute. i could only do about 20 mph. snow and ice led to about 40 accidents in the zurich on tuesday and six people were killed in three separate crashes. —— in missouri. the wind chill could reach 40 below zero in some parts of the region today. the wind is the worst part, you can't do anything. officials aren't sure when they will be out of aren't sure when they will be out of a state of emergency but they are asking everyone to stay inside until ci’ews asking everyone to stay inside until crews clear the streets. snow and ice are also causing
disruption in many parts of the uk, with thousands of homes without power and dangerous conditions on the roads. the runway at stansted airport was closed twice during the day with a number of flights cancelled. phil mackie reports from kenilworth, warwickshire in the english midlands. horn blasts. the motorway at a standstill. it's always busy here anyway, but throw in five centimetres of snow and you've got chaos. on the a14 things were even worse. this lorry span out of control, leaving drivers stranded. good morning. it's just gone past ten o'clock in the morning. as you can see, we're stationary here on the a14, not going anywhere. i've been here for five hours, and... so have these! my name is tara, i'm on the a14 trying to go eastbound to northampton. i set off from my house in hinckley at 6am this morning, i've been on the a14 for three hours now.
as you can see, there's nothing going in the other direction. i'm a bit cross, i'm canadian so i'm used to this kind of weather. i know you guys are not. in the end, they were stuck for seven hours before the road was cleared. there have been problems all day here at this interchange, which is where the m6, the m1 and the a14 alljoin. it's the snow that has caused accidents and jackknifed lorries which has led to long delays, notjust here but elsewhere on the motorway network. and it wasn'tjust the roads. stansted airport had to close twice to clear snow from the runway. birmingham airport had to do the same for a short while too. and the weather kept ground crews busy, as planes had to be constantly de—iced. a swathe of central and southern england was worst affected, from gloucestershire, to warwickshire, to the chilterns. and it didn'tjust lead to hazardous driving conditions. thousands of homes lost power, too. obviously the snow came in, it settles on our overhead conductor. then, with the cold wind chill, it freezes into ice and therefore
that takes the conductors down. likewise, it's the same with tree branches. normally they would not be near the line but they've taken our conductors down. as the snow started to melt, there was a new danger... flood warnings followed the thaw as streams became swollen and rivers started to rise. that meant more hazards to negotiate, and not everyone made it... and tonight, there's another warning as temperatures have fallen, snow and slush is beginning to freeze. coming up: berto van dijk —— virgil van dijk moving to liverpool in a deal that makes him the world's most expensive defender. we saw this enormous tidal wave
approaching the beach and people started to run. it was complete chaos. us troops have been trying to overthrow the dictatorship of manuel neuer jaeger. overthrow the dictatorship of manuel neuerjaeger. the overthrow the dictatorship of manuel neuer jaeger. the pentagon overthrow the dictatorship of manuel neuerjaeger. the pentagon said the operation was 90% successful but failed to capture general noriega and taking to the us to drug charges. the hammer and sickle were taken away, the russian flag was hoisted over what is no longer the soviet union but the commonwealth of independent states. they broke slowly over lockerbie, over the cockpit of the pan am flight. you can see what happens when a plane falls from 35,000 feet. prisoners return to albania after a coming is banned lasting many years. thousands we nt banned lasting many years. thousands went to midnight mass where there we re went to midnight mass where there were anti—communist riots ten days ago. syrian volunteers have evacuated
the first group of critically—ill children from a rebel—held suburb near damascus. snow has fallen on the us city of erie, burying homes and cars under deep drifts. more now on barack obama's first interview since leaving office. he spoke to britain's prince harry here on the bbc. for some analysis of how is being perceived i'm joined from orlando by julia manchester from the perceived i'm joined from orlando by julia manchesterfrom the hill. they spoke about many different things but the focus has been on the president, the former president's comments about social media, specifically about misinformation.
how significant an issue is it and even though obama never mentioned him, how much of those comments are targeted at the current president? it's very notable that he didn't mention trump. we've heard president obama say this in the past since he's left office, constantly warning about the dangers of social media and people staying in their own microcosm and not looking at outside information. it is safe to say that it was clearly focused on president trump. president obama talked about people staying in their own social media niche, and he warned about the danger of that. that is something that president trump has done in his presidency, we see him constantly tweeting about a programme in america called fox and friends, which is quite favourable to him, co nsta ntly which is quite favourable to him, constantly mentioning stories they put up there. that is an example. how many americans have watched this
interview between the prince and the former president? what has the reaction been committed there i say, on social media and otherwise?” think americans were very interested given the upcoming royal wedding with meghan markle and prince harry. americans were interested in obama's comments, i think a lot of americans look to president obama's comments which seems to be geared towards trump as interesting. there is a bit ofa trump as interesting. there is a bit of a former presidents club and former presidents tend not to talk about the current president in office. it is seen as a ticket —— it is etiquette. george w bush did not say anything about barack obama even though obama man against his platform in 2008. however this rule seems to have been broken because so many personal things have been set between obama and trump. you hinted
at it, this fixation with meghan markle, prince harry's fiance. we know that this is obama's first interview since leaving office but how much interest is there from americans on meghan markle and prince harry. there obviously is, americans are fascinated with the world family, it's something we don't have and i think a lot of americans probably wish we had something like that. however with meghan markle it is interesting because she is american. the political side of things, before her relationship with the prince became public she was very critical of president trump. she said in an interview over a year ago that he was mrjinnah stick and divisive. she obviously won't be able to say that —— saying he was a misogynist. that is getting some attention in
the country. thank you forjoining us. mark edwards has all the sport. well, we've got one game on in the english premier league on wednesday. newcastle welcoming manchester city to st james's park. pep guardiola's league leaders, on the hunt for an unprecedented 18th straight win in the league. they‘ re currently 1—0 up, courtesy of a raheem sterling goal after half an hour. a win for city would see them go 15 points clear of manchester united at the top. it isi-o it is 1—0 withjust it is 1—0 with just over ten minutes to play. meanwhile it's the milan derby in the quarterfinal of the coppa italia at the san siro. ac milan on an appalling run of form with just1 win in 6 matches in serie a while inter are challenging for the title. there is no reprieve for ac milan, it is currently goalless with just over 15 minutes left. liverpool have finally got their man after announcing this evening that
southampton's virgil van dijk is joining the club at the beginning of the year in what will be a world record dealfor a defender at £75 million. the dutch international was expected to make the move to anfield last summer after he handed in a transfer request. but a move eventually collapsed when liverpool had to apologise for making an alleged illegal approach for the 26—year—old. vitaly mutko has stepped down from his role as chief organiser for next summer's world cup in russia to concentrate on government work. it's been a turbulent month for russia's deputy prime minister, he temporarily left his post as the russian football union presidentjust two days ago, this comes off the back of his life ban from the olympics at the start of december after having been accused of running a huge "state—directed" doping programme. finally, a bit of christmas cheerfor england as former captain alastair cook made his first ashes century for almost seven years. the visitors finishing on top after day 2 of the fourth test. cook's knock helping
england close on 192—2, after stuart broad had earlier returned his best figures of 2017 taking 4—51 to spark an australia collapse. patrick gearey was in melbourne for us. this wasn't the day we were expecting. we thought we'd come to the mcg to see steve smith get a huge score. he hadn't been dismissed at this ground in a test match in three years so imagine the surprise when he played one onto his stumps after half an hour, giving tom curran his first test wicket. mitchell marsh went next in the same way to chris woakes and then stuart broad and jimmy anderson, england's most successful bowling partnership of all time, took charge. broad particularly bowling with great skill for four wickets, answering those asking to have him dropped. australia lost their last seven wickets for 83 runs.
mark stoneman was caught and bowled by nathan lyon. james vince went to lbw which he should have reviewed. the evening session was all about alastair cook, getting his first 50 of the series, he was dropped by steve smith on 66 and scored his century in the last over of the day. he finished alongside the captain joe root. australia, frustrated in the sweltering heat. it may be too little and too late for the ashes but england have had their best day of the series so far. they are still fighting. we created quite a lot of pressure yesterday and we were rewarded with wickets today. we were very patient yesterday. when it reversed a bit things could have gone differently for us. today we got lucky with a couple of chop ons and a couple of wickets that australia were probably disappointed with but we are delighted with. it's been a tough couple of weeks but it makes playing and taking wickets very rewarding.
that's the sport for now. police in australia are searching for the owner of a one—metre long freshwater crocodile, which was found wandering the footpaths of melbourne on christmas day. authorities are unsure where the reptile came from and are presuming it's a pet. alyse edwards reports. working off christmas dinner with an evening stroll through the streets of melbourne. but this freshwater crocodile's festive frolic did not last for long. 9:20pm, i had a call from the police saying there was a crocodile walking through the streets of hoejbjerg. getting some alone time can be difficult at this time of year. this escapee was cornered and he was caught.” attended and found five victoria police members with a freshwater
crocodile. we presume it was a pet at some stage. it's a long way from any bodies of water. you can legally keep a crocodile is a pet in victoria and other parts of australia. i saw it on facebook, 50% off australia. i saw it on facebook, 5096 off andi australia. i saw it on facebook, 5096 off and i thought, cool. a crocodile farm sold about 100 crocodiles as christmas presents this year. but with no information about where this runaway reptile came from it may be a very lonely new year unless the owner snaps it up soon. very unusual choice of pet! we have the headlines coming up. stay with us. if you are stepping outside during
tonight or tomorrow morning, prepare for some slippery conditions because we've had some wintry weather today, some snow here close to aberdeen and as we've gone into the evening the skies have been mainly clear overhead. with clear skies we'll see a widespread frost and potentially some icy stretches as well. ice may form just about anywhere but especially where we keep wintry showers, northern ireland down into wales and the midlands and also where we had a lot of rain and snow in the south east. widely temperatures below freezing, sunspots, even where we have snow—covered, will get well below freezing. thursday starting on a cold note. there may be some freezing fog over northern ireland and if they formed they could be very persistent and stubborn to clear into the afternoon. northern scotla nd clear into the afternoon. northern scotland will see some win is
showers, sunshine is the main story. temperatures are struggling to get over freezing and if the fog lingers, in northern ireland, temperatures will struggle to get above freezing as well. englund and wales, sunshine but 2—5d is your lot. in the far south—west, more cloud and some rain. this is quite a week weather system, it will bring little bits of rain. into the early hours of friday a more active est is coming in from the atlantic bringing rain but snow over northern ireland, wales, the midlands, initially on high ground but over northern england and southern scotland the potential for snow to ake millet to low levels. a lot of uncertainty about how disruptive it will be. —— accumulate to low levels. it is the story of climbing temperatures that ta kes story of climbing temperatures that takes us into the weekend. friday night will bring another frontal system that may bring some snow in
northern areas but with these south—westerly winds, strong winds, temperatures will climb especially in the south where saturday will bring a high of 13 degrees. a mixture of sunshine and rain. still cold in the north but even here, temperatures climbing. not a bad day, a lot of dry weather and spells of sunshine. this is bbc world news — our latest headlines... the first of a group of critically—ill syrian patients have been evacuated from a rebel—held suburb near damascus. aid groups had urged president assad to allow treatment for dozens of urgent cases, including seven children with cancer. the former us president barack obama has warned about the irresponsible use of social media. in an interview with prince harry he said it was spreading misinformation. and a record—breaking snowfall of more than 150 centimetres has hit a