this is bbc news. i'm joanna gosling. the headlines: japan is to resume commercial whaling next year, and leave the organisation that aims to protect whales, in defiance of a global ban. the traditional boxing day sales are under way, with bigger discounts than normal expected as shops try to make up for weak trading in the lead up to christmas. the foreign secretary orders a review into the plight of persecuted christians around the world and how much help they get from the uk. an earthquake around mount etna in sicily — several people have been injured and buildings damaged and later, join us for a review of 2018, the year in sport. what a year it's been. we have had the winter olympics, the commonwealth games and the world cup in russia when many truly believed that football was coming home. good morning.
japan has confirmed it will resume commercial whale hunting nextjuly, and is withdrawing from the international whaling commission. a government spokesman told reporters whaling would be restricted to japanese territorial waters and its exclusive economic zone. japan will be joining iceland and norway, openly defying the international ban on commercial whaling. kim gittleson has the story. there are images some viewers may find upsetting. although japanese ships hunted whales for decades, the bloody business has been officially banned for nearly 30 years. ships like this one only catch and kill whales through what the japanese authorities claimed were research purposes. but japan has long wanted to commercially hunt species
like the minke whale, which is protected by the international whaling commission, are not endangered. the japanese withdrawal from the international whaling commission means the country will resume commercial whaling byjuly 2019. according to a spokesperson, whale hunting will be restricted to territorial waters and economic zones. ships will cease whaling in the antarctic ocean and they will only hunt species with healthy population numbers. the move brought condemnation from australia and conservationists. —— brought condemnation. greenpeace said it was out of step and called on the japanese government to focus on the japanese government to focus on conservation. in withdrawing from the agreement, japan will officially join norway and iceland in resuming a business that has long been controversial. it's thought 18 million people will hit the shops today, with some analysts predicting bigger than usual discounts in the boxing day sales.
retailers will be looking to make up for weak trading in the lead—up to christmas. research from barclaycard claims men will be the biggest spenders, shelling out 50% more than women. katy austin is on oxford street in central london for us this morning. good morning. good morning. it has started to get busier on oxford street. it was quiet area as people woke up after christmas day. now i can see the street are getting pretty busy. oxford street is full of lots of high—street shops and well—known department stores whose customers have changed their buying habits especially with the advent of online. boxing day sales remain a huge moneyspinner. last year, twice as much was spent on boxing day compared to black friday, despite the hype around that. today
customers are expected to spend nearly £5 billion through both online and in—store sales, with 18 million people expected to go out onto the street to grab a bargain. here on oxford street some shops started to open as early as six o'clock this morning, with queues forming hours before that. people starting to get here early. two o'clock in the morning in some cases. we have asked some shoppers why they have come out in person to do some shopping the old—fashioned way. ican see i can see what i am buying for the children. online it takes ages for you to get what you want. i get you to get what you want. iget up you to get what you want. i get up early anyway. it is getting up i get up early anyway. it is getting up halfan i get up early anyway. it is getting up half an hour earlier. i purchased these —— io must purchased them the day before christmas, so i got a better deal. there will be lots of people out here in person in the sales. some
online sales actually started yesterday. if you had come onto the high street in the weeks before christmas you would have seen some pretty heavy discounting quite early on as shops tried to tempt people in. it has been a really tough year for retailing across the country. shops will really be hoping these boxing day sales to bring a much—needed boost. we do think there was a boost in the run—up to christmas day itself. barclaycard thinks that on average people will spend £188 each this year, with men actually spending more than women. thank you very much. katie austen. let's discuss this further with diane whirl, marketing and insights director at the retail analysis firm, springboard. thank you forjoining us. it is very different, the boxing day sales, to how they used to be. it used to be the moment when prices would get slashed but prices are being cut in the run—up to christmas as well. how
important are the boxing day sales? we have been tracking boxing day for the volume of activity, how many people go out to shop, for almost a decade. in the last few years we have seen declines everyday on boxing day. —— every year. that is the introduction of black friday. even though it is an online event, it has been more significant than boxing day. boxing day of old, were you would see massive queues for hours waiting for stores to open, has long passed. people can take up a lot of bargains online. but obviously people do still want to go out on boxing day. it is a great day to go out. most people are off work. it isa to go out. most people are off work. it is a great opportunities to socialise. retailing and shopping as pa rt socialise. retailing and shopping as part of that. in terms of spend, it's not as important as black friday. how tough is it on the high
street for retailers? we know 2018 has been a difficult year. it's been a really tough year. we are looking at foot fault across the year, not just december. over the year last year, from january through to 2017, foot fault dropped by 0.7%. this year we're looking at a 2% drop across the year from 2017. that decline has accelerated. that is for a host of reasons. people macro —— people's confidence lower. the weather in march and the hot summer, actually, really didn't help retailers in the long term. it has been a tough year for retail. what can shops do to try to improve their fortu nes can shops do to try to improve their fortunes other than slashing prices, which obviously make their margins much tighter? yeah, slashing prices is the road to nowhere. it is a race
to the bottom. ultimately, retailers sell not much more. the values are somewhat lower, so we see sales as a whole drop. spend as a whole drop. their profits are lower. they need to return to the true element, the key elements of retail, great customer service, having the right stock in at the right times. make sure shelves are not empty. make sure shelves are not empty. make sure you can get what you want. if you can't, make sure there is greater synergy between online offer and store offers. if you can get in online in 2a—hours, you should be able to get it in the store in the same time. that will help them drive sales. also shoppers' expectations will be kept high. what are your predictions for 2019? it will be a really tough year. unless something u nless we really tough year. unless something unless we get a greater degree of certainty around our economic and political situation, consumers‘ confidence will remain low. that is a key driver in spend. if people
don‘t feel confident around their employment, theirjob don‘t feel confident around their employment, their job prospects, interest rates and inflation, they we re interest rates and inflation, they were not spent as much as they want to. but also, shoppers are used to discounting. that is a conundrum for retailers. 20 to 30% off is nothing to shoppers now. they are looking for increased discounts. somehow retailers have to find their way out of that and return to full price products. thank you. the foreign secretary, jeremy hunt, has ordered a review looking at the way britain could help persecuted christians around the world. the review, led by the bishop of truro, will look at government efforts to help some of the 215 million christians who faced discrimination and violence last year there are people in very poor countries, themselves very poor, who can suffer terribly for no other reason than their faith, and when that faith is christianity, that is not a reason to do nothing. we need to do something, just as we would if they were muslim or buddhist and being persecuted for the same reason. the french authorities say there‘s
been another operation to rescue a migrant boat overnight. it comes after authorities on both sides of the channel picked up a0 migrants yesterday. they were trying to cross to britain. four boats were intercepted and several people were discovered by british officials in folkstone. aid organisations in indonesia are urging people in the sunda strait area to move to higher ground amid fears of more tsunamis caused by volcanic activity in the region. at least a29 people died and 150 are still missing after a giant wave struck beach front areas at the weekend. the bbc‘s sameer hashmi gave us this update from banten in western java. the rescue efforts have been going on for a few days since the tsunami struck indonesia. it has been affected by bad weather. we travelled with one team yesterday from one beach to another.
the biggest challenge they face is the bad weather. there has been a lot of rain and strong waves and it has been very windy, which has made thejob difficult. there are still quite a few people missing. over 100 people still missing. most of the people being rescued have been put in temporary camps across the region. and there is still a tsunami warning in place. this morning we heard three volcanic explosions and we moved away from the beach. the reason is that the government authorities are not sure as to when and how the next tsunami will hit. that is why they have advised people to stay from the beach area or the coast. i visited a couple aid centres were agencies are collecting things like food, clothing and medicines, and trying to take them to people who have been displaced. a lot of international agencies have also come in. the red cross are trying to help on the ground.
they are deploying more people. what happened in the first few days is the scale of devastation was so high, the focus was on evacuating people to safer places. now they have turned their attention to providing them with relief. international donations are helping them. a man‘s died after being hit by a police car in liverpool on christmas night. the victim — who has yet to be identified — was knocked down on scotland road shortly before seven o‘clock. the merseyside force has reported the incident to the police watchdog, the independent office for police conduct. the us border authorities say they will conduct medical checks on all children in their custody, following the death of a second child in a detention facility. an eight—year—old guatemalan boy died on christmas eve, after he‘d been discharged from hospital. it follows the death of a seven—year—old guatamalan girl earlier this month. journalist bob moore is covering the story for the washington post. we asked him whether the holding facilities used by the us government to lock up migrant families
were fit for purpose. no, especially this case where this young boy was held. he had originally been held in holding cells in el paso, a large city on the mexican border. that began on december the 18th. on december the 23rd, for some reason, he was transferred to a highway checkpoint in new mexico about 100 miles north of here. it would be a very tiny cell designed to hold a man or a woman for a couple of hours while their paperwork is processed. it was never designed to hold children or families for several days. reports from italy say ten people have been injured when an earthquake hit the area around mount etna in sicily. several buildings were damaged by the 4.8 magnitude quake which struck at three in the morning near the city of catania. more than 150 tremors have been felt since europe‘s most active volcano erupted on christmas eve. the beauty and personal care market
in the uk is booming — fuelled by sales of perfume, aftershave and make up. more than £13 billion. the boom is attributed to the influence of celebrities online. radio 4‘s consumer reporter samantha fenwick has been finding out more. i do like to add a lot of highlighter. highlighter that is going to blind you, basically. that is what i like to go for. mitchell is a social media influencer. originally he was a make—up artist, but his dramatic look quickly got him attention, and now he has more than 800,000 followers on instagram. i think if you‘re going to slap it on at any time of year, christmas is the time to do it. as his followers have grown, so has his appeal to cosmetic brands. he gets sent loads of make—up and the companies hope he will use it in some of his online films. hi guys, so it is mitchell from the instagram page... the more followers you get,
the more doors open, and to me, thatjust gives me more incentive and more motivation to keep building a brand and keep on growing my social media. give me thatj lo glow. social media has taken a little guy like me and made him huge and all around the world kind of known, it is a really crazy feeling. there is a huge uplift in sales when a key influencer talks about our products and brands, we can see that product sell out within hours of the post. customers will come in, they will be showing us instagram stories or posts that they have seen for that product, so it is amazing how quick the uptake is. this is very different to five years ago, isn‘t it? the beauty industry was one of the first industries to latch onto influencers. it was in the press, it was all around print media, and now everyone is investing in influencers online and in building those relationships. the thing with social
media influencers is that they become your friend. you might watch them for hours online doing make—up tutorials. the problem is you don‘t always know when they are being impartial, and research for radio 4 suggests 82% of shoppers aren‘t clear about when a social media influencer has been paid to promote products. before youtube, i didn't realise how to do my make—up and stuff. i thought this was really helpful, watching a make—up tutorial. i find it useful when they suggest products, you canjust go out and buy them. do you ever think about whether they are being paid to promote those products? i have not actually thought about that. it never occurred to me. i know some of them are being paid. when we look at it, we think oh, it's nice. we never really think about the background of it, we think it is nice and we would like to get it, yeah. this issue of trust is a matter of concern to the uk‘s advertising watchdog. this is all about trust and being upfront and clear. one of our key advertising rules is that none of us should have to play detective when we are
working out whether what we are seeing is advertising. we are doing a lot of work in this area. clamping down when influencers get it wrong. mitchell says he works hard to build up trust and not mislead his followers. and now, final look, guys. but if you are unsure, then look out for the hash tag #ad or gifted at the bottom of posts. how do you feel? i feel amazing, i love it. samantha fenwick, bbc news. the headlines on bbc news: japan is to restart commercial whaling next year. conservation groups warned the move will have serious consequences. almost a third of people in britain are expected to head to the boxing day sales today is retailers attempt to make up four—week pre—christmas trading. and the foreign secretary, jeremy hunt, commissioned a review into the
plight of persecuted christians around the world, saying britain‘s effo rts around the world, saying britain‘s efforts do not match the scale of the problem. sport and for a full round—up, from the bbc sport centre, here‘s mike bushell. good morning. a great day for gathering the family and going to a local match today. the busiest day of the football year. premier league leaders liverpool are looking to protect their advantage at the top of the premier league. they are four points of manchester city in second. the liverpool boss has been urging the liverpool crowd to create a special atmosphere at home to newcastle today but says the crowd must not let the christmas period affect them. everybody is on a christmas mood, apart from us. give all that you have because we need
again an exceptional atmosphere to beat a very difficult team. take nothing for granted. don't think because we have that amount of points and they have that amount of points. if you think that, that's the moment when things go wrong. ole gunnar solskjaer‘s first home game as manchester united boss will be against struggling huddersfield. he has had some kind of effect, teams, with united winning 5—1 away at cardiff. he hopes his players can show more attacking flair against huddersfield. i‘m pleased with all of them, every single one of them. but it is a thread. when you have got the legs of anthony martial and jesse lingard and rashford up top, with paul supporting them, it‘s exhilarating to watch. as long as they keep that standard up, we will pick up points. fulham played wolves in the early kick—off. manchester city will be
looking to bounce back against leicester after their defeat at home to crystal palace. celtic will aim to stay top of the tree in the scottish premiership when they travel to aberdeen later. brendan rodgers‘ team are currently one point ahead at the top. if celtic fail to win, rangers could leapfrog them with victory over hibernian at ibrox. australia opening batsmen cameron ba ncroft australia opening batsmen cameron bancroft has confirmed david warner was the one to suggest the judge tamper with the ball during australia‘s test match in south africa earlier this year. bancroft was caught on camera trying to manipulate the ball with sandpaper and suspended for nine months. he told adam gilchrist on fox sports that warner had asked him to manipulate the ball. he readily agreed. bancroft said he did not
know any better and just wanted to fit in and feel valued. warner and steve smith received a 12 month suspension each. back home, waiting patiently, the seven—year—old, is making his comeback at the big boxing day race, the king george vi race at kempton. he beat a cue card in february. he is finally getting the chance to compete again and is relishing been back in the spotlight. brian hughes is on board. the big favourites will be thistlecrack, it might bite and native river. the race gets under wayjust after three o‘clock. finally, most footballers had to train on christmas day ahead of today‘s matters. —— matches. but some still found time to party a little bit. the tunes were turned up in paul pogba‘s house. he and his brothers danced around the kitchen with fellow professional
benjamin mendy. look at the rate they are going. keeping up the fitness levels. pretty impressive moves in sync. a well rehearsed routine, it looks like. that is the sport for now. you can keep up to date with all of the action on the bbc sport website. more after 11 o‘clock. they are so cool. i love that. they put you to shame with their moves. well, they are athletes, i suppose. a group of endangered brown bears who were living in a small cage injapan were rehomed in doncaster over the summer. they‘d never seen soil or grass before and had a pretty extraordinary journey traveling over 5,000 miles to yorkshire wildlife park. their keepers wanted to make sure this christmas they got a proper treat. fiona lamdin has more. this is what life looks like now for riku and kai, two brown bears living in yorkshire.
acres to explore and lakes to swim in. but, just four months ago, it was a very different story. they were two of four brown bears living in a japanese museum, in cages so small they could only take a few steps, and this had been their home for almost 20 years. but relocating them across the world was quite some mission. the eldest bear is sedated by vets, and despite prods from his next—door neighbour, he remained asleep. huge sheets of ice, fans and watermelon kept the bears cool in 43—degree heat. two flights later, they arrived in the uk. i met them on their first day in yorkshire. they had never seen grass before, taken a bath, or eaten anything other than rice. so how are the bears finding this
slightly chilly weather? well, luckily for us, japan had a very similar winter climate, so... it is four months on, and i‘m going back to see how they‘re adapting to their new life. they will venture out, but only if there‘s food at the end of it. and at the end, they‘re very happy to sleep the day away. they have been separate their whole lives. they have still been able to see and smell each other, but they have never made physical contact. and i don‘t think they can quite believe it themselves — my goodness, i can touch you. they have taught themselves how to swim out here, which is amazing. they have never had access to water. so this is our fruit chiller. and one of the biggest changes is their diet. the bears will now eat almost anything. they have each put on six stone. bears like eggs, do they? bears like eggs. they‘re omnivorous, so they‘ll eat anything, pretty much. sweet potato? they will have one of those each. they prefer steamed — they‘ve got a bit precious. cauliflower?
never tried the cauliflower, if you want to try it with a cauliflower. the veg is chopped and steamed but the real treat is next door. so this is our meat prep room. and when they first came here, had they ever eaten fish before? never seen fish in their lives. and when we offered whole foods, like meat and fish, they generally just kicked it around the floor. they didn‘t really know what to do with it. if you have ever wondered what to give a brown bear for christmas, apparently this is it — christmas dinner, complete with all the trimmings, packed and ready for delivery. so this is a very different christmas they are having from last year, and it is devoured
in a matter of minutes. for these bears, now settled into their home, the new year promises to be their happiest yet. the seven—year—old american girl whose phone call with president trump on christmas eve went viral has insisted her belief in santa claus remains unshaken. mr trump caused outrage in the us, after he appeared to question the existence of father christmas in a conversation with collman lloyd, just hours before santa was scheduled to begin his deliveries. are you still a believer in santa? because at seven, it‘s marginal, right? well, the girl on the other end of that call has been speaking about the conversation from her home in lexington, south carolina. according to the post and courier newspaper, collman lloyd admitted she had been
left confused by the president‘s use of the term "marginal". let‘s have a listen to her side of the conversation. probably put out some cookies, and then we're hanging out with our friends, so that's pretty much all. well, that is very good. well, you just have a good time. yes, sir. are you still a believer in santa? yes, sir. because at seven, it‘s marginal, right? yes, sir. you got to say hi to mr president. collman also told the paper she was glad to be able to talk with the president. she also confirmed she had left cookies and milk out for santa, and when she woke the following morning, they were gone. now the weather with carol. hello again. for many it has been a cloudy, damp and misty start. as we go through the afternoon we will
start to see some breaks in the cloud. rain in northern and western scotland. some brighter and sunny spells developing in north—east of scotland, part of the central lowlands, north—east england, north east wales and southern counties. my love for this stage in december. tens, elevens and possibly twelves. __ my tens, elevens and possibly twelves. —— my old for this stage in december. rain turning light and patchy as it sinks south. patchy mist and fog and potentially some frost in sheltered pa rt potentially some frost in sheltered part of the south of england. tomorrow we start with sunshine. as you can see, a lot of cloud. a little bit of rain. tomorrow we expect to be sunnier than today with highs of 11. hello, this is bbc news with me, joanna gosling. the headlines. japan confirms it will restart commercial whale hunting in july, defying an international ban. the traditional boxing day sales are under way, with shoppers expected to spend an estimated £3.9 billion today.
the foreign secretary orders a review into the plight of persecuted christians around the world and how much help they get from the uk. an earthquake around mount etna in sicily, several people have been injured and buildings damaged. now on bbc news, it‘s been a memorable year of sport, with stunning successes for british stars. ben croucher and holly hamilton take us on a trip through 2018‘s sporting highlights.