i'm sharanjit leyl in singapore, the headlines: turkish troops advance into northern syria, targeting an area held by kurdish groups which have been fighting against islamic state. turkey has clearly committed militarily to this operation and has a widespread popular support here. but if the turks suffer losses or civilian casualties grow, that could change. us senators hold a rare sunday session to try to end the budget stalemate that has closed down the federal government. i'm kasia madera in london. also in the programme: at least eighteen people are now known to have died in saturday's attack on a hotel in kabul. witnesses describe the terror. translation: the attackers were knocking on the door of each room, trying to reach their targets. they killed ordinary people and officials. they were also targeting foreigners. some pop diplomacy from north korea, as it sends a girl band singer to inspect south korea's winter olympic preparations. good morning.
it's 8am in singapore, midnight in london, and two in the morning in north western syria, where turkish forces are carrying out a major military operation. ankara says it is targetting kurdish fighters who control territory along the turkish border in syria's afreen province. but that risks putting turkey on a collision course with its nato ally, the us, which has been backing the kurdish forces as they took on the group calling itself islamic state. however, the turkish government sees the kurdish groups as terrorists, with links to militants inside turkey. our correspondent mark lowen sent this report. as if syria needed more of this.
artillery fire from turkey, launching a new ground and air offensive. it's called operation olive branch, though it's anything but a gesture of peace. from the air, turkish f—16s struck yesterday. their target — the syrian kurdish militia, or ypg. turkey sees them as terrorists, linked to the outlawed pkk, who have long fought an insurgency in turkey on behalf of the kurdish minority. and it wants them pushed back from the border town of afrin. turkey's president has his own troops fighting for their hero. and with elections next year, war rallies his support base.
translation: this is a national struggle, and in this national struggle, we will crush anyone who stands against us. that's a message that resonates in border villages, where grape grower omer gazel and his friends watched the jets. translation: we felt proud and happy as they took off. everyone came out to bid them farewell. but the ypg has backing, too. both in syria, where kurds rallied today, and beyond. translation: we condemn the attack on afrin, and we tell our brothers there that they are in our hearts, and that we are with them. because of the bravery of the ypg heroes, we will win the battle in afrin. the us armed them in the fight against the islamic state group, infuriating turkey. france too voiced support for them today, calling on turkey to pull back. but the turks are ploughing on. this unverified footage posted
on pro—government media aiming to prove turkey's military might. in the hills beside the border we found a further build—up, as the offensive shows no sign of ending. reinforcements are perched here, a show of strength, ready to back up the ground troops and fighterjets who are ready inside syria. every few minutes, you hear the thud of an artillery strike. turkey has clearly committed militarily to this operation, and has widespread popular support here. but if the turks suffer losses or civilian casualties grow, that could change. and the risk is clear. this border town was hit by a rocket, said to be from the ypg, killing one and injuring more. turkey is on dangerous ground, and a likely long, costly offensive is onlyjust beginning. we will hear more about this.
let's take a look at some of the day's other news. and in washington, it's been an usually busy weekend for the senate, which is still trying to strike a deal to end the us government shutdown. their failure to reach agreement on friday meant that much of the federal government was shut down. both sides have blamed the other. sunday's debate is still going on, but this is how the republicans and democrats laid out their their arguments at the start of the session. this is day two of the senate democrats government shutdown. day two since the democratic leader made a political calculation to do something that, according to a recent survey, even most democrats don't support. to shut down the government to appease a portion, a portion of his party's left wing base. it makes youd shake your head. who comes up with ideals like this? —— ideas.
it all really stems from the president, whose inability to clinch a deal has created the trump shutdown. i agree with majority leader mcconnell, the trump shutdown was totally avoidable, president trump walked away from not one, but two bipartisan deals. and that is after he walked away from a deal in principle on daca we reached way back in the fall last year. if he had been willing to accept one of these deals, we wouldn't be where we are today. that debate could continue for several more hours. but we're hearing from the white house that president trump has had several phone calls, and is working hard to end the deadlock. and one republican senator has said he's hopeful there will be a vote on sunday evening on a stop—gap bill. we will of course keep you up to date on developments from washington as they happen. also making news today:
a delegation of north korean officials is visiting south korea, to inspect sites where events from the winter olympics will be staged. the trip is being led by the girl band singer hyon song—wol. they'll take a look at venues in seoul on monday. a spokesman for south korea's president moon said he hoped the games would be a catalyst for building peace. thousands of people have lined the streets of limerick in ireland to pay their respects to the cranberries singer, dolores o'riordan, who died at the age of 46 on monday. large crowds gathered at stjoseph's church in her home city to view her open coffin ahead of her funeral on tuesday. russia's foreign minister sergei lavrov has said that the "unprecedented russiaphobia" from the west is worse now, than it was during the height of the cold war. in an interview given after his latest visit to new york, he said that at least the cold war tensions came with ‘some decorum.‘ now, if you like chocolate
and you also like shoes, then take a look at this: yes, these high heels really are made from edible chocolate. they're just some of the creations on show at a festival in rimini in italy. you can also pick up an edible viking, something more fruit—based, or even a solid—chocolate bag. wouldn't it be lovely to find out if they taste as good as they look? afghan officials say the number of people killed when a group of militants launched an attack on the intercontinental hotel in kabul has risen to 18. all of the gunmen also died, but it took the security forces several hours to bring the situation under control. from kabul, zia shahreyar reports. the final moments of a fight that had lasted all night.
gunfire and explosions, as afghan special forces battle to regain control of the intercontinental hotel. one soldier throws a grenade. he moves away, then the explosion. the room is soon on fire. evidence of the struggle that had taken place. the afghan national flag waving from the roof, proof that the building has been reta ken. we are in the area. you can see the hotel intercontinental on the hill in kabul, and as you can see, it has been burned, part of the hotel has been burned. and black smoke blackens the southern part of the hotel. more than 150 people, including some foreigners, were inside yesterday evening when gunmen burst in and opened fire. eyewitnesses said they were afterforeigners. translation: the attackers
were knocking on the door of each room, trying to reach their targets. they killed ordinary people and officials. they were also targeting foreigners. these images filmed by local tv showed people escaping by climbing down the sheets that they had tied to balconies. this telecoms engineer fell from the sixth floor as he tried to get away. translation: when the sixth floor caught fire this morning, my roommates told me to either burn or escape. i got a bed sheet and tied to the balcony. i tried to come down but i was heavy and my arms were not strong enough. i fell down and injured my shoulder and leg. this sustained and complex assault will prompt urgent questions as to how the gunmen got through. let's get more on our main story this hour,
turkey's military operation against kurdish—held territory in north—western syria. enis senardam is from the bbc‘s turkish service. it has been in the making for quite sometime. in 2016 we have heard president bird one revamping tu rkey‘s president bird one revamping turkey's security strategy. —— president of the one. he said will go to the threats where they are. . since then, they have experienced 20 attacks. —— president erdogan. so turkey and the ankara government said that something had to change. the first steps taken, were last year ‘s operation in syria, giving the turkish troops a foothold in the country and now we are seeing the
second phase of the operations with operation olive branch. how is this being viewed by the people back home, he is pretty popular at the moment. the mostly nationalist feelings are quite high in the country. we are seeing on social media many people supporting the operation but also there are groups of people who are calling for restraint and cool headedness, saying the military operation in syria will direct syria into —— direct turkey into a swamp. the syrian population are infuriated, they are seeing it as a direct attack to kurds in the area and in serious topic that is why they are failing in their operation, an attack on themselves. could we see kurdish people protesting against this? we saw a similar thing
happened a few years ago, a critical kurdish town was besieged by islamic state. kurdish people in turkey accused ankara for not helping out, of inaction, we have seen them taking to the streets and protesting against the government and those clashes turned out to be deadly and many protesters were left dead. if the situation escalate, if we start hearing of civil casualties, the situation in turkey can get more tense. international reaction, the un security council will be meeting. what can we expect? we haven't heard much in terms of condemnation from main players. americans have been muted. the pentagon says that turkey should limit the operations and be careful with civilian casualties but also the defence secretary james mattis is saying that turkey has
legitimate concern when it comes to border security and the russians on the other hand are the most interesting part in terms of syria because they had troops in the region. they will now prevent turkey from moving in and starting with the operation, many experts saying that russia may be trying to try and create tension between the us and turkey, nato allies in this state. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the
programme: for a second day, women have marched around the world. in las vegas, they're protesting donald trump's presidency and trying to persuade more women to stand for office. also coming up, pope francis causes a bit ofa also coming up, pope francis causes a bit of a stir on his trip to peru by comparing gossiping nuns to terrorists. the people of saigon
have just heard that, at last, there is to be a ceasefire. the reaction of american servicemen was predictable. i'm going home. demonstrators waiting for mike gatting and his rebel cricket team were attacked with tear gas and set upon by police dogs. anti—apartheid campaigners say they will carry on the protests throughout the tour. they called him the butcher of lyon. klaus altmann is
being held on a fraud charge in bolivia. but the west germans want to extradite him for crimes committed in wartime france. there, he was the gestapo chief klaus barbie. millions came to bathe as close as possible to this spot, a tide of humanity that is believed by officials to have broken all records.
this is newsday on the bbc. i'm sharanjit leyl in singapore. i'm kasia madera in london. our top stories. turkey says its forces have entered a kurdish—controlled enclave in northern syria. president erdogan says he hopes the incursion will be brief. us senators are trying to reach an agreement to end the deadlock over the budget which has led to the federal government being shut down. and these pictures of a dramatic rescue from a mountain in scotland are proving popular on bbc.com. they show the moment when a coastguard helicopterfinally reached two climbers, who'd been stranded overnight in sub zero temperatures. they'd got into difficulties when a blizzard swept across them, but were eventually hauled to safety, alive and well. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world.
the japan times focuses on the displays of unity between the two koreas in the upcoming pyeong—chang winter olympics. the paper says some south koreans believe their government went too far with a so—called "political show" — and see the lull in the tensions as "meaningless" amid the olympic euphoria. the china daily reveals that china is to begin the process of selecting the next generation of astronauts. it says the new recruits will train to work on the country's planned space station, which is due to become fully operational in four yea rs. and the south china morning post carries a cheery headline on its front page— the ‘corridor of pain‘. it shows a picture ofjust some of the 62,000 runners who took part in the hong kong marathonjust
before daybreak yesterday. 32 of them, the paper reveals, ended up in hospital, where they were treated for the effects of pollution. now, a rather unusual comment by the pope has sparked some discussion online. yes — pope francis has been spending his final day in peru, telling nuns to avoid gossip. he was speaking to a gathering of nuns in lima, when he gave this bit of advice to them: a p pa re ntly
apparently the pope was telling them that they shouldn't be gossiping and he said something about terrorism as well. now, the nuns were a receptive audience, but not everyone in peru was so impressed. pope francis also mentioned what he called ‘the terrorists of ayacucho' — who were involved in an uprising in which nearly 70,000 people died or went missing at the end of the last century. a number of peruvians have taken to social media to criticise the comments as insensitive and disrespectful to the dead. and you can read more on that story on our website. the pope will be going back to the
vatican in italy in rome. a bit of trouble. back to you, sharanjit leyl science and technology are areas where traditionally men have dominated. but one woman has certainly made her mark on those fields. two years ago dr frances arnold became the first woman to win the prestigious millennium technology prize — often considered the nobel prize for technology. she pioneered a method known as "directed evolution" — a sped—up version of natural selection in the lab. well dr arnold is here in singapore — and joins me now. your prize winning concept sounds