this is bbc news. i'm martine croxall. the headlines at 10pm. donald trump calls vladimir putin "very smart" after the russian leader rules out a tit—for—tat response to president obama's expulsion of diplomats in a row over claims of online espionage. meanwhile, the republican senator john mccain calls russia's alleged hacking an "act of war" and says the us must make sure russia pays the price. russia asks the un security council to consider a new resolution to endorse the ceasefire in syria that came into force last night. a post—mortem examination into the cause of george michael's death has proved "inconclusive" — further tests will now be carried out. drivers are told to take care in fog and freezing conditions, as a coach overturns on the mao in oxfordshire injuring seventeen people. good evening and
to the political theatre being played out inside. first up on stage, the foreign minister who advised president putin to expel 35 us diplomats. america had expelled 35 russians. in other words, tit—for—tat. cold war style. it seemed inevitable. but, no, vladimir putin said, he wasn't going to stoop to the level of irresponsible diplomacy. he wasn't going to expel any americans. he even invited the children of all us diplomats in moscow to a new year's party here in the kremlin. that was a surprise. but it didn't change what america's top intelligence agencies believe to be true, that state—sponsored hackers backed, by the highest levels of the russian government, had interfered in the us presidential election. with a cyber attack on the democratic party. was president putin behind it? washington suspects he was.
and last week, i got a chance to ask him myself. mr president, your country has been accused of state—sponsored hacking with the aim of influencing the result of the us presidential election. president obama revealed that he told you personally to "cut it out". so, what did you tell him, in response? the kremlin leader refused to tell me. dismissing all the talk of hacking as sour grapes from the democratic party. "the losing side always tries to pass the buck", he said. but president obama had decided there was enough evidence to merit retaliation. as well as expelling diplomats, he ordered russian government compounds in new york and maryland to be shut down. us officials believe they were being used for intelligence.
washington has announced sanctions against individuals, too. including these russian nationals, wanted by the fbi for cybercrimes. but today, president putin said he would work to restore relations with america under donald trump. what putin and trump expect from each other is a certain kind of decency. a certain kind of frankness. and no hypocrisy and no political correctness. by not expelling diplomats today, the kremlin was sending a new year's gift. to the new man in the white house. a sign that moscow wants a new relationship with washington. could 2017 be the year that russia finally comes in from the cold? and this is what us president—elect donald trump tweeted earlier. "great move on delay
by vladimir putin — i always knew he was very smart!” let's speak to kurt volker, he's a former us ambassador to nato. he's now the executive director of the mccain institute, which is part of arizona state university. hejoins us from our studio in washington. thank you very much forjoining us here on bbc news. wouldn't it have been wiser for here on bbc news. wouldn't it have been wiserfor president here on bbc news. wouldn't it have been wiser for president obama to have left these sanctions and expulsions to donald trump and let him deal with the fallout? my suspicion is that president obama felt that president—elect trump is so felt that president—elect trump is so intent on reaching out to russia he may not have followed through. in fa ct he may not have followed through. in fact throughout this autumn the president—elect has been questioned the veracity of the intelligence community's assessments about russia. he wanted to get this in while he still could on his watch.
we've just had a comment from the republican senatorjohn mccain, saying that these russian cyber operations, alleged to be linked to the election, were an act of war and the election, were an act of war and the united states has to make russia pay the price. how much at odds is donald trump going to be with his own party? there is a significant number of people on abdul hill, democrats and republicans, concerned about russia's hacking during the election. —— people on capitol hill. there are several agendas going on. obama there are several agendas going on. 0 ba ma clearly wa nts to there are several agendas going on. obama clearly wants to get this done on his watch because he's not confident about what trump will do. trump is trying to show openness and engagement towards russia. putin is playing this back to trump, trying to look beyond obama, diminishing his role. by not reacting, trying to encourage trump even further in that
direction over accommodating russia, all of this giving more concern to others in the united states who really are worried about russia's behaviour. the point about elections, i don't think that anyone really believes it will sway the outcome of the elections but it was russian activity aimed at the elections, nonetheless a source of severe concern. what future do you envisage for nato when donald trump is the president of the united states, and its ongoing relationship with russia? states, and its ongoing relationship with russia ? there states, and its ongoing relationship with russia? there seems to be a peculiar triangulation forthcoming. i think what trump has said about nato really needs to be that that for what it is, he's talked about allies paying their share. a perennial concern of many us presidents, that the us is paying too much of the defence burden, other allies too little. he's also expressed strong support for nato,
says it's a terrific alliance. having a strong nato and collective defence of existing members gives him a position of strength. where there is great risk is what happens to the countries not members of nato and that are near russia. countries like ukraine, moldova, georgia. when we hear talk about a deal between the us and russia, those countries worry it'll be a deal about their territory, or about their security. it's something i think we need to watch as events unfold. where does it leave them, this idea of the collective response? the article five in the nato treaty? where if one member is attacked all members are attacked and everybody has to support each other? it's slightly confusing with ukraine, admittedly. ukraine not being a member of nato. the baltic states are members of nato. i don't really expect any change, any change to the recently
decided pre—positioning of troops and equipment in baltic states, i don't see any questioning over willingness to defend those countries or that others would come to their defence either. the nato treaty doesn't require a political response, just that there would be a collective response. it gives nato flexibility in determining how to respond. i still see that being the operative way we will handle this. with the strength of position we have having the pre—positioning, exercising in place already. to what extent did you feel you've seen some of this before, that an outgoing president is one relationship with russia and an incoming president thinks, it would be different when i'm in charge? you put your finger on it, every president i've had the opportunity to work with, whether george hw bush, president clinton, george hw bush, president clinton, george w bush, president obama, they've all started out with some form of reset, trying to build a good relationship with russia. they
did that in part believing their predecessor didn't have it right, and that they understood the problem better, they know these people, they can work with them and get it done. in the end it hasn't been the fault of their predecessor, it was still the problem russia was behaving aggressively, and it led to a deterioration in the relationship during the course of every single one of those presidencies. the russian consul general in san francisco, sergey petrov, explained what sort of impact the expulsions would have on both russians and americans. a limited number of people will not allow us to deliver all the consular services to russian citizens and american citizens in the way that we want to do it. so our workforce will be less than we have now. but we will do our best to provide all the services for the russians who live here,
and we are speaking of, i don't know, something, our estimate is 100, 150,000 russian citizens living in the western part of the united states. they will come to us for new passports, for birth certificates, for certificates of power of attorney. all of these things. as well as us citizens who are travelling to russia for tourist purposes, for business purposes, for a different kind of exchanges. last year, maxim, our press attache was also responsible for issuing visas to us citizens. this year we issued like 25,000 visas, 20,000 visas for us
citizens to travel to russia for tourist purposes. that's what we will continue to do, and hope that we will be able to serve every one of them. let's be to washington correspondent laura bicker. we knew this would rumble on, what has the reaction beenin rumble on, what has the reaction been in the white house to the latest developments? we haven't had any official reaction from the white house, but what a stark contrast between russia and the united states today. we have vladimir putin in moscow inviting a number of american diplomats and their children to come toa diplomats and their children to come to a new year party. whereas here in the united states they are clearing out compounds in maryland and new
york to make sure those russian diplomats, russian officials they have told to leave, will indeed go. we are told those compounds, these places, where these russian officials will go to holiday, to play tennis, to relax, they will not be open for the foreseeable future. those sanctions well underway. then we need to look at the contrast between a sitting president and a president—elect. the words both are using could not be in stark contrast. president obama just 2a hours ago slapped sanctions on russia, described their actions as something that should alarm every american. today we have a president—elect to his tweeting, saying vladimir putin is a very smart man and he always knew it. heaping praise on vladimir putin. this goes against normal protocol during this transition phase, where it goes from one president to the next president elect. it'll be
interesting to see how donald trump finds himself over the next few weeks, because his own party, senior leaders in his own party, believe president 0bama's actions are correct, that he's done the right thing. there will be a hearing in congress next week, led by senator john mccain, senior republican, who says he wants to listen to all of the intelligence. what does donald trump do? does he dismissed the intelligence as he has in the past, and find himself at odds with his own agency? 0r and find himself at odds with his own agency? or does he risk continuing with the sanctions and have a frosty rather than fresh start with vladimir putin? at odds with his own party. senatorjohn mccain said in a tv interview in kiev, when you attack a country, it's an act of war. the us must make russia pay the price. what pressure will donald trump be under from the republicans? it's notjust john mccain, the house speaker paul ryan,
the most senior republican here in the most senior republican here in the united states, praised the action. saying russia should not be allowed to interfere in us democracy. he said it was a little bit too little action by obama, too little too late. he praised the action nonetheless. there is a distinct feeling within the united states that russia may have gone too far, crossed the line. that intelligence has also been published. the fbi, the cia, have taken an unusual step of publishing the information online. it's been disseminated to various big businesses and government departments, to try to avoid hacking any further by russians. there is suspicion amongst people within the us that something has definitely gone on, and we're hearing from intelligence agencies, 17 of them, it was the russians. therefore, donald trump is going to come under an increasing amount of pressure to at least say something, to either
condemn or perhaps find a way to at least talk to intelligence officials. we're told he's going to meet with intelligence agencies over the next couple of weeks and we'll wait to see what he has to say after that meeting. laura bicker in washington. and we'll find out how this story, and many others, are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 11:30pm this evening in the papers. our guests tonight are benedicte paviot, uk correspondent at the french broadcaster, france 2a, and susie boniface, columnist at the daily mirror. 0ur headlines at a quarter past ten. donald trump calls vladimir putin very smart after the russian leader rules out a tit—for—tat response to president 0bama's expulsion of diplomats. russia asks the un security council to consider a new resolution to endorse the ceasefire in syria that came into force last night. a postmortem examination into
the cause of george michael's death has proved inconclusive and further tests will be carried out. russia is asking members of the un security council to consider a new resolution that would endorse the ceasefire in syria that came into force last night. the ceasefire agreed by the syrian government and some opposition forces appears to be holding, despite reports of sporadic fighting in parts of the country. this was the moment when the tide of syria's devastating civil war turned. buses lined up earlier this month to evacuate thousands of rebel fighters, defeated in their key stronghold in aleppo. a huge blow to the opposition movement, leaving the syrian regime in a commanding position. and giving the regime an opportunity to negotiate a ceasefire from a position of strength. and giving the regime an opportunity to negotiate a ceasefire
from a position of strength. translation: this reflects the reality that after aleppo's liberation the situation is now different. there is a real opportunity to reach a political solution for the crisis and giving the regime an opportunity to negotiate a ceasefire from a position of strength. translation: this reflects the reality that after aleppo's liberation the situation is now different. there is a real opportunity to reach a political solution for the crisis in syria that ends the bloodshed and establishes the roots for the future of the country. but it is syria's key ally, russia, which is leading this push for an end to the five—year civil war. a chance for president putin to portray himself as a peacemaker, although he admits the ceasefire is fragile. and giving the regime an opportunity to negotiate a ceasefire and already some rebel groups are disputing the terms of the truce. 0sama abu zeid of the free syrian alliance insisting that the ceasefire applies to the whole country and all rebel groups, including islamist extremists, which the syrian army says it will continue to target. two ceasefires agreed by russia and the united states earlier this year did fall apart quickly. but this time the americans and other western powers have been
completely excluded, with russia working instead with turkey and iran. and so far this latest ceasefire has held in many parts of the country, although there have been some government air strikes. this lull a welcome respite for a country, so much of which has already been destroyed. richard galpin, bbc news. a post—mortem examination carried out as part of the investigation into the death of george michael has proved inconclusive. further tests will now be carried out. police are treating the singer's death in oxfordshire on christmas day as unexplained but not suspicious. fog and freezing conditions have caused difficulties on the roads and severe disruption at several airports. a coach overturned on a slip road of the mao in oxfordshire. 16 passengers and the driver
were injured in the accident early this morning. 0ur correspondent helena lee reports from the scene. it was in the early hours of this morning in thick fog the coach veered off a slip road off the m40, before rolling into a ditch and on its side. its mangled remains and the damage done clear when it was turned back over. 16 passengers were on board, travelling from heathrow to oxford. remarkably, none were critically injured. but all were treated in hospital, some for broken bones, others for cuts and bruises. the bad weather made the recovery operation challenging. all three emergency services attended. with 17 people on board in total, very intensive for the paramedics and the ambulance crews that attended, assisted by fire and the police services as well. 0bviously probably a chaotic scene to start with. and dense fog not helping that. the oxford bus company said
the driver was very experienced, and had been doing overnight shifts for a number of years. now the coach has been taken away, the investigation turns to how it happened. was the thick fog to blame? and why did the coach come off a junction earlier than it should have done? well, for drivers in parts of southern and eastern england and wales, conditions on the roads today have been challenging. heavy fog has meant visibility has been poor — in some places less than 100m. and the fog is expected to linger throughout this evening. it's been causing problems too at airports. at heathrow there have been cancellations and delays throughout the day. the same at city airport in london, and gatwick, with thousands of passengers' plans before new year's eve disrupted. the advice? to check with the airline before travelling to the airport. helena lee, bbc news, 0xfordshire. the government is giving renewed consideration to allowing learner
drivers to have lessons on motorways in england, wales and scotland. other changes affecting motorcycle learners are also being considered. the lessons won't be compulsory, and driving instructors will decide when learners are ready. ministers hope the move will make roads in britain safer, as our correspondent daniel boettcher reports. turn right at the end of the road. 17—year—old hannah spicer is practising driving with her mum today. she started in september and has had 20 lessons. she hopes she will be ready to take her test soon. she will not be allowed to drive on a motorway until she passes, but there are plans to change that. the government is considering proposals to allow supervised learners onto the motorway for the first time, and hannah is in favour. coming onto the motorway for the first time with your instructor next to you would be easier, and you have a second pair of eyes looking at everything that is around you. if you go on your first time alone, it's going to be a daunting experience.
learner drivers would only be allowed on motorways in certain circumstances. they would have to be with an approved driving instructor, the lessons would be voluntary, and the instructor would decide if they are ready. they would also have to be in a car with dual controls. you can't make it compulsory for practical reasons. large bits of the country have no motorway access. and if you allow it to happen, the people who are nearest the motorways, those most likely to be using them, will get to learn how to do it properly. this would covering england, scotland and wales. northern ireland has its own plans to allow learners onto motorways. the government says britain's roads are already among the safest in the world but these measures could improve that record further, and it proposes changes not just for drivers but for novice motorcyclists, too. they would have to take a theory test online and those holding a provisional licence could have their compulsory basic training certificate revoked if they get more than six penalty points. hannah expects to have passed before any of the proposed changes come in.
this is a consultation at the moment. it will also consider a target number of hours before a test can be taken, and some argue that could make learning too expensive, but the government insists there are no plans to make that target compulsory. daniel boettcher, bbc news. the latest files to be released by the national archives shed new light on the political turmoil of 1989 and 1990 as margaret thatcher's period as prime minister came to an end. the files reveal attempts by mrs thatcher to modify the community charge, widely known as the poll tax — her controversial plan to replace local authority rates. the policy led to rioting and was a key factor in her downfall, as nick higham reports. it was the biggest political misjudgement of margaret thatcher's career. the poll tax provoked outraged opposition. even riots. the files show her normally self—confident government
on the defensive. these are all files dealing with the poll tax over a period of 18 months, hundreds of pages of documents. it's an indication of how much time mrs thatcher herself spent worrying about the problem, how complex it was, and how difficult it was to find a way out of the mess. many of the documents are covered in mrs thatcher's characteristically spidery handwriting. the government tried some desperate expedients. at one point she herself floated the idea of letting councils put an extra penny on a gallon of petrol to raise more cash. the poll tax was meant to force labour councils to spend less. instead, the government got the blame when millions found they were paying more, and mrs thatcher realised it was hitting what she called the conscientious middle, her natural supporters. 0ne turning point came with this letter in march 1990, from an elderly conservative voter in norfolk.
he and his wife were paying twice as much under the poll tax. he accused the prime minister of behaving like a dictator, riding roughshod over opposition. michael portillo was the local government minister who had thejob of trying to make the poll tax work. he says there are lessons to be learnt today. well, there are lessons to be learned, of course, but i don't think they are learned. i think the conservative government's commitment to introduce a poll tax in the 1980s without thinking it through is quite strongly paralleled by david cameron's commitment quite recently to hold a referendum without thinking through what its consequences might be. as for mrs thatcher, the poll tax ended her career, but not before the files reveal westminster council threatened her with a fine if she didn't complete her own poll tax registration on time. nick higham, bbc news. let's ta ke
let's take a look at the weather forecast. the fog never cleared from some parts of central and eastern england, it'll be thickening through the evening and quite dense places overnight into the morning. disruption to travel more than likely. local radio will keep you up—to—date if you're on the move. very poor visibility overnight and some of the fog in the south—east will be freezing. no problems further north, more of a breeze, no for problems. quite mild, 10 degrees at glasgow and belfast. rain in northern scotland slipping south through the day on new year's eve. south of that fog should lift into low cloud, quite grey for many there something bright in the afternoon, parts of northern england, north wales, 9—10d through the evening the weather front moves south. across northern england, parts of wales, south and east of that it should be dry, mild, and cloudy. to the north,
increasingly cold with some wintry showers. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines: donald trump has called vladimir putin "very smart", after the russian leader rules out a tit—for—tat response to president 0bama's expulsion of diplomats in a row over claims of online espionage. meanwhile, the republican senator john mccain calls russia's alleged hacking an "act of war", and says the us must make sure russia pays the price. russia asks the un security council to consider a new resolution to endorse the ceasefire in syria that came into force last night. a postmortem examination into the cause of george michael's death has proved "inconclusive". the singer was found dead by his partner at home on christmas day. drivers have been told to take care in fog and freezing conditions, as a coach overturns on the mao in oxfordshire, injuring 17 people. the new year's honour‘s list has just been revealed,
and includes familiar names from the world of entertainment, arts and sport. there are honours for britain's olympics and paralympics champions, with jessica ennis—hill and katherine grainger being made dames, and mo farah, lee pearson and andy murray receiving knighthoods. lizzie greenwood hughes will be joining us with a closer look at the sports stars on this year's list in a moment. but first, let's look at some of the other famous people who have been honoured, along with some of those who've been rewarded for charitable and community service. the entertainer ken dodd received a knighthood this year for his services to entertainment and charity, more than 30 years after being made an 0be, and said he was "highly tickled". 0verjuana! —— honour. you know, it came as a complete surprise, and
it's a wonderful feeling. i'm not quite sure what award the tickling stick hot, but no doubt it will go with him to the palace! adventurer sir david hempleman—adams said he was "astonished" to find he had been made a knight commander of the victorian 0rder, but said recognition also belonged to many who had accompanied him over the years. the qualities of an adventurer i think certainly have to be slightly stubborn, i think you actually have to be very selfish as well. and that's got pros and cons of course. but really this award is for all my other friends i've been but really this award is for all my otherfriends i've been on expeditions with, it's notjust a solo trip, i've been on lots of expeditions over the years and they've all helped me, all pulled me or mac to me. it really is an eclectic award. —— or nagged me. and recognition has been given to one of the most prominent figures associated with the hillsborough campaign for justice — the right reverend james jones, who now becomes a knight commander. 0bviously great pride. but mixed
with sadness, because of that injuring sadness of the families, who have continued to feel the loss of the loved ones at hillsborough. and a delighted young army cadet, 17—year—old jeremiah emmanuel, was one of the youngest honoured this year for his community work. he says he hopes it will inspire others. it's a bittersweet moment. it's bitter in the sense that, you know, letitia went out on a new year, she lost her life from being murdered. the sweet moment is that, yeah, there is a reward at the end to say that all of work and effort that i have put into trying to make a change has actually been recognised. let's get all the news now on the sporting honours. here's lizzie greenwood hughes. as is becoming the norm in an olympic year, this year's new year's honours are dominated by british stars from rio. but the headline, andy murray has excelled all year. he is now sir andy murray
after receiving a knighthood — one of three sportsmen to be knighted this year. murray won his second wimbledon in 2016 as well as his second 0lympic title, and of course he ended the year as world number one after that incrtedible display in london at the world tour finals. murray is joined by the two—time double olympic gold medallist, sir mo farah, and para—dressage rider sir lee pearson, who has won 11 paralympic gold medals. i've been through so many emotions. 0nce i've been through so many emotions. once i received the letter. fear, excitement, just intrigue. i hope it doesn't change my life, i don't think it will. it won't change me. but it has taken a lot of getting used to. for me, born with a severe disability, i've had many operations to iron me out. 15 major operations, lots of breaking bones, and that was before i started riding horses and
carried on breaking bones! to be here today, receiving this nomination for a knighthood, it's just, yeah, really, really surreal. effortlessly my team members share a chunk of this knighthood, because i wouldn't have been able to got as many gold medals as we have got. but also friends, family, staff and supporters that have all contributed towards this. i love and try to enjoy every day. as i said before, making people laugh, being a little bit cheeky. i hope everybody still call smoothly. if they choose to save the other words, then that's up to them —— to call the league. i'm just leave. —— i am just liu. jessica ennis hill is one of two female 0lympians to win a damehood. the now retired heptathlete couldn't quite emulate 2012 in rio taking silver, but she stole the nations hearts a long time before that in london. she's joined by rower dame katherine grainger,
who is britain's most decorated female 0lympian. she very nearly didn't make the team for her fifth 0lympics after retiring after 2012, but came back for an emotional silver in the doubles skulls at the age of a0. imean, i mean, it's incredible. it's such a shock, genuinely, this kind of level of honour. when the letter comes through, it was a few weeks ago now. but because, it has to be a very well—kept egret, you have to keep it secret right until the end of the year. —— well—kept secret. i couldn't really sherratt with anyone. in a way it feels safer, because you haven't quite accepted this is going to happen, it gives you time to get used to it. 0bviously you time to get used to it. obviously i told my close family first, and now the word is out. what's lovely is to have faced those huge doubt and self—doubts and other peoples doubts. you can look people straight in the eye, which i did early on the summer, and then you come at the other side, looking back
now, you think, it was worth all of the blood, sweat and tears, that all of the athletes to face. but i face it more than ever really this year. you think, you know, it's amazing to have gone through that and to come out this site were wonderful things have waited. equestrians fill three of the seven sporting cbes, including the veteran showjumper nick skelton, and charlotte dujardin. cycling's golen couple, jason and laura kenny, are also honoured with a cbe. the entire british women's 0lympic hockey team were awarded mbes after their dramatic gold medal—winning penalty shoot out in rio — apart from their captain kate richardson—walsh, who is given an 0be. and max whitlock receives an mbe after becoming the first briton to win olympic gymnastics gold. it's a crazy feeling. i mean, as an athlete and gymnast you never expect it, you do the sport because you love it. i do it because i want to be the best that i can. by being recognised in this way, one of the highest ways possible, for your
achievements, it is a very proud thing. i mean, i've worked so long for these results. like i said, is never expect an award like this, and more like this to come around. but it has. and it really does motivate me. it pressures me to come off the next four years and eight years. this can hopefully help me inspired the nation to get more people involved in gymnastics as well, that's what it's all about, pushing me to make new targets. it has com pletely me to make new targets. it has completely and on the expectations of what i had, my coach had my family had. it feels amazing to be standing here, those people around me, my coach, my family, my fiancee, they are the people who have supported me. it's been an amazing journey, i'm looking forward to going ahead with positivity and a lot of motivation from this and for everybody. swimmer ellie robinson had a incredible paralympics in rio. the schoolgirl was inspired watching ellis symmonds in london, and went on to emulate her heroine in rio taking gold in the 50m butterfly. it means such a lot. because this
award, it's such a prestigious award. i mean, at 15 years of age it means such a lot. how many 15—year—olds can say they have at? it's just so amazing just think that i've been awarded something like an mbe. it'sjust i've been awarded something like an mbe. it's just so amazing, i've been awarded something like an mbe. it'sjust so amazing, really unexpected. it's not just mbe. it'sjust so amazing, really unexpected. it's notjust for me, it's for my coach, friends, family, imean, it's for my coach, friends, family, i mean, everyone who has helped with my swimming. it's a really nice way of saying thank you, this is yours, too. and the headlines from the non—athlete sporting honours are an 0be for wales football manager chris coleman after their semifinal at the euros, and an mbe for the northern irfeland manager michael 0'neill. that's a round—up of the sporting honours for you. in a moment, viewers on bbc one join us for a round—up of the day's other news. i'll be back with sportsday at 10:50pm. donald trump praises vladimir putin for his response to the row over russian interference in the us elections. he says mr putin is "very smart" not to retaliate for the expulsion of 35
russian diplomats ordered by president obama. also tonight, fog and freezing conditions cause dozens of flight cancellations and problems on the roads. and crowning a spectacular yearfor andy murray, a knighthood in the new year's honours. good evening. donald trump, who becomes us president in three weeks' time, has congratulated president putin on his response to the american sanctions announced yesterday. 35 russian diplomats are being expelled from the us, following allegations of interference in the presidential election. president putin said he would not respond until he saw how donald trump would handle matters.
mr trump said tonight it proved that mr putin was "very smart". steve rosenberg reports from moscow. near the kremlin tonight, they were putting on a seasonal show, ahead of the new year celebrations. there was song and dance and some musical theatre. but that was nothing compared to the political theatre being played out inside. first up on stage, the foreign minister. he advised president putin to expel 35 us diplomats. america had expelled 35 russians. in other words, tit—for—tat, cold war style. it seemed inevitable. but no, vladimir putin said, he wasn't going to stoop to the level of irresponsible diplomacy. he wasn't going to expel any americans. he even invited the children of all us diplomats in moscow to a new year's party here in the kremlin.
that was a surprise, but it didn't change what america's top intelligence agencies believe to be true, that state—sponsored hackers, backed by the highest levels of the russian government, had interfered in the us presidential election, with a cyber attack on the democratic party. was president putin behind it? last week, i got a chance to ask him myself. mr president, your country has been accused of state—sponsored hacking, with the aim of influencing the result of the us presidential election. and president obama revealed that he told you personally to cut it out, so what did you tell him in response? the kremlin leader refused to tell me, dismissing all the talk of hacking as sour grapes from the democratic party. today, president putin said he would work to restore relations
with america under donald trump. and this evening, mr trump responded by praising him for not engaging in tit—for—tat expulsions, saying, in a tweet, "great move on delay by v putin. i always knew he was very smart". what putin and trump expect from each other is a certain kind of decency, a certain kind of frankness, and no hypocrisy and no political correctness. by not expelling diplomats today, the kremlin was sending a new year's gift to the new man in the white house. russia wants to mend ties with trump's america and come in from the cold. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. fog and freezing conditions have caused difficulties on the roads and caused major disruption at airports.
17 people have been treated in hospital, after a bus crashed on a slip road of the mao in oxfordshire. the fog has also led to flight delays and dozens of cancellations at heathrow, gatwick and london city airport. 0ur correspondent helena lee reports. it was in the early hours of this morning, in thick fog, the coach veered off a slip road off the mao before rolling into a ditch and on its side. its mangled remains and the damage done clear when it was turned back over. 16 passengers were on board, travelling from heathrow to oxford. remarkably, none were critically injured. but all were treated in hospital, some for broken bones, others for cuts and bruises. very intensive for the paramedics and ambulance crews that attended, assisted by fire and the police services as well. 0bviously, probably a chaotic scene to start with. dense fog not helping.
the oxford bus company said the driver was very experienced and had been doing overnight shifts for a number of years. now the coach has been taken away, the investigation turns to how it happened. for drivers in parts of southern and eastern england and wales, conditions on the roads today have been challenging. heavy fog has meant visibility has been poor. in some places, less than 100 metres. the thick fog has also been causing disruption at airports. flights at heathrow, were cancelled and delayed today. city airport in london suffered too, as did gatwick. the met office has extended their fog warning into tomorrow morning, leading to more disruption ahead of new year's eve. the advice, to check with the airline before travelling to the airport. helena lee, bbc news, 0xfordshire. a postmortem examination, carried out as part of the investigation into the death of george michael, has proved inconclusive. further tests will
now be carried out. police are treating the singer's death in oxfordshire on christmas day as unexplained but not suspicious. russia is asking members of the un security council to consider a draft resolution that would endorse the ceasefire in syria that came into force last night. 2a hours on, the ceasefire agreed by the syrian government and some opposition forces appears to be holding, despite reports of sporadic fighting in parts of the country. the new year's honours list has been published, and among the many sports stars named is andy murray, the world number one, who's knighted for his services to tennis. he's joined by the olympic champion mo farah in a list dominated by britain's 0lympic and paralympic champions. andy swiss has more details. at the end of a glittering yearfor british sport, for five of its greatest stars, the greatest honours. first, a knighthood for the man
who spent 2016 scaling dizzying new heights. wimbledon champion again, a supreme performance. after winning a second wimbledon, a second olympics and the world number one spot, it is now sir andy murray, a fitting finish to a remarkable season. there's also a new title for mo fa rah‘s collection. gold for great britain again. the double double. he described his knighthood as a dream come true. having come to britain as an eight—year—old from somalia, he added, he could never have imagined it. another athletics star, meanwhile, becomes a dame. london 2012 heptathlon champion, jessica ennis—hill, who retired this year. there's also a damehood for rower katherine grainger. after five medals at five consecutive 0lympics, the perfect ending to her career. it's not something i ever thought i would get but what a great time to get it. it's the end of a 20—year career
for me in competing for my country, and it's a lovely way to bring the curtain down. and there's a knighthood for one of britain's top paralympians. dressage rider lee pearson won his 11th gold medal in rio and he told me just put becoming sir lee pearson meant to him. it means loads. i'm unbelievably shocked and honoured, excuse the pun. i hope it doesn't change my life. i don't think it will. it won't change me, but it has taken a lot of getting used to. among the other honours, two sporting couples. cbes for cyclists jason and laura kenney, while hockey gold medallists kate and helen richardson—walsh become an 0be and mbe respectively. and after their impressive run at euro 2016, wales football manager chris coleman becomes an 0be, and his northern ireland counterpart michael 0'neill, an mbe. just a few of more than 100 sporting figures honoured for a memorable 12 months.
andy swiss, bbc news. the new year's honours also feature some prominent names in the world of entertainment and the arts. the veteran comic ken dodd, who's still performing at 89, is knighted for services to entertainment and comedy. also knighted are ray davies of the kinks, the actor mark rylance and the opera star bryn terfel. 0ur correspondent lizo mzimba has been studying the list. # happiness...# he's been one of britain's favourite entertainers for more than half a century, now ken dodd has received a knighthood. the best day ever, you can't get better than this. i've played lots of big theatres, i've worked abroad, but this is it. this is the day. yes, i'm very, very proud. if there's one thing i can't stand it's snobbery and one—upmanship. patricia routledge has been made a dame.
# yeah, you really got me going # you got me so i don't know what i'm doing...# kinks frontman, ray davies, said he felt "humility and joy" to become sir ray. lady anne. a knighthood too for award—winning actor, mark rylance. bond actress, naomie harris, also becomes an 0be. wow! figures from fashion and design have also been recognised. american vogue editor, anna wintour, said she was touched to be made a dame. victoria beckham becomes an 0be for services to the fashion industry. the former bishop of liverpool, james jones, chaired the hillsborough independent panel, set up in 2009. 0bviously, great pride, but mixed with sadness because of that enduring sadness of the families who have continued to feel the loss of their loved ones at hillsborough. he's one of hundreds being recognised for their contribution across the uk. lizo mzimba, bbc news. you can see more on all of today's
stories on the bbc news channel. now it's time for the news where you are. hello, and welcome to sportsday. good evening. lots of sport to get through tonight, but we're starting with another chance to reflect on 2016 sporting glory in the new year's honours list. the headlines are the knighthoods for britain's top tennis player andy murray, who's had an amazing year defending his 0lympic title and winning his second wimbledon, and of course ending the year as world number one. murray is joined by two—time double olympic gold medallist mo farah, and para—dressage rider lee pearson. jessica ennis—hill couldn't quite emulate 2012 in rio, but the nation's favourite now—retired heptahlete has a damehood, along with prolific rower katherine grainger. she is britain's most decorated female rower. elsewhere, the entire british women's 0lympic hockey team are awarded mbe‘s after their dramatic gold medal—winning penalty shoot—out in rio, apart from their captain,
kate richardson—walsh, who is given an 0be. and max whitlock receives an mbe after becoming the first briton to win olympic gymnastics gold. it's a crazy feeling. i mean, as an athlete and gymnast you never expect it. you do the sport because you love it. i do it because i want to be the best that i can. by being recognised in this way, one of the highest ways possible, for your achievements, it's a very proud feeling. i mean, i've worked so long for these medals and these results. like i said, you never expect to —— a reward like this and on like this to come around. it really does motivate me and pushed me to go off for the next four years and eight yea rs. for the next four years and eight years. so this can hopefully help me inspire more people to get involved in gymnastics as well. because that's what it's all about. and pushed me to meet new targets. it has completely out on the expectations that my coach had my family had. my coach, my family, my
fiance, these are the people who supported me. they all can't believe it and they are really proud. it's been an amazing journey. i'm looking forward to going ahead with a lot of positivity and motivation from this. there are many more names we don't have time to mention, so for a full list of the new year's sporting honours, go to the bbc sport website. hull city are off the bottom of the premier league table, but a late everton equaliser denied them a first league win in nearly two months. it finished 2—2 at the kcom. patrick gearey watched the action for us. a bleak midwinter on humberside. this season has become ever more murky falsity. how they could do with a globe through the gloom. —— for hull city. michael dawson was captain, with no bees's first goal in more than four matches. fragile lead might soon have shattered. seamus coleman less than the width ofa seamus coleman less than the width of a post away. just before
half—time, the everton equaliser came. and errant elbow from keeper david marshall. 0n goal. while marshall's right arm had cost hull, his left saved them. lukaku's shot deflected. the gold frames were taking a battering. struck by a free kick from robert snodgrass. now he just had to wait for another go. ten minutes later, slight adjustment, 2-1. a minutes later, slight adjustment, 2—1. a moment of gold after weeks of grey. but just a 2—1. a moment of gold after weeks of grey. butjust a moment, 2—1. a moment of gold after weeks of grey. butjusta moment, no 2—1. a moment of gold after weeks of grey. butjust a moment, no bees couldn't hold out, with four minutes remaining, an everton level again. just as it seemed the humberside fog was lifting. newcastle united are back on top of the championship after the night's games were blighted by fog. newcastle beat nottingham forest 3—1 at st james' park. brighton drop to second in the table after their game against cardiff was postponed, and reading's match with fulham was abandoned mid—way through. elsewhere, ipswich beat bristol city 3—1. there was one game in the scottish premiership tonight,
with third placed aberdeen winning 1—0 at hearts. the goal came from jonny hayes in the 66th minute. the third placed dons are now six points ahead of hearts, who are fourth. well, andy murray's 2017 will start on a high after his knighthood, but the world number one had a surprise defeat in the new season's warm—up tournament in abu dhabi. murray was beaten in straight sets by david goffin in the semi—finals of the world tennis championship exhibition event, as rob heath reports. for someone who has achieved so much, andy murray has plenty of unfinished business. his appearance in this exhibition tournament is pa rt in this exhibition tournament is part of extra preparation ahead of the australian open. a grand slam he has never won, despite appearing in five finals. goffin soon assured murray was putting in the hard yards. nothing separated them in the first set, until goffin nosed ahead
in the tie—break, the first time he had ever taken a set of mike the world number one. in the second, murray produced tennis that seemed to justify the new status, cruising into a a—2 lead. but with the pressure off, goffin suddenly hit the heights of brilliance. this was a true exhibition, and he reeled off four games a true exhibition, and he reeled off fourgames ina a true exhibition, and he reeled off four games in a row. murray simply had no answer, but he will happily put this down to experience, especially if it means lifting the australian open trophy at the end of january. goffin will play rafael nadal in the final. he won his first match since returning from injury yesterday, and carried on that form in the first set against milos raonic. but the wimbledon finalist raonic fought back in the second to take it to a decider. the spaniard is returning for a wrist injury which has been troubling him for a few months. wasps are top of rugby union's aviva premiership after a topsy—turvy 3a—30 bonus—point victory at newcastle tonight. wasps were 12 down after five minutes and looking vulnerable, but danny cipriani scored the first of their four tries with this superb individual try. wasps are five points clear
of saracens, who play leicester on sunday. that's all from sportsday. there'll be more sport here on bbc news throughout the evening. the fog never really cleared away from some parts of central and eastern england. it should be thickening up again through this evening. it will be dense in places overnight and into the morning, disrupted travel is more than likely. your local radio station should keep you up—to—date if you are on the move. the worst of the fog is towards the south—east, poor visibility. some of the fog in the south—east will be freezing. no problems in the north because we have got more of a south—westerly breeze, also quite mild, 10 degrees in glasgow and belfast. rain in northern scotland slipping south through the day on new year's eve. south of that, the fog should lift interloper cloud, a bit brighter in
the afternoon —— lift into low cloud. through the evening, weather front makes steady progress south, it will be across northern england at midnight. south and east of that it should be dry and cardiff, to the north, turning cold with wintry showers. this is bbc news. i'm martine croxall. the headlines at 11pm: 0lympic stars andy murray, mo farah and jessica ennis—hill are recognised in the new year honours, which also includes big names from the entertainment world. for sporting, it has been tremendous, and from a hockey perspective it has been a really
great year. we have had a feud downs but they just make great year. we have had a feud downs but theyjust make the high as a bit higher. donald trump calls vladimir putin "very smart" after the russian leader rules out a tit—for—tat response to president 0bama's expulsion of diplomats in a row over claims of online espionage. meanwhile, republican senatorjohn mccain calls russia's alleged hacking an "act of war" and says the us must make sure russia pays the price. russia asks the un security council to consider a new resolution to endorse the ceasefire in syria that came into force last night.