welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. rebel—held area of syria. charting a brighter future for africa. solar power may be the key. panels are popping up across the continent. south korean and north korean government negotiators are meeting
for the first talks between their countries in more than two years. they are expected to discuss whether the north will send a delegation to the winter olympics in south korea next month. a series of north korean nuclear and missile tests, and the insults traded between pyongyang and washington, have raised tensions on the peninsula to the highest in decades. live now to the south korean capital, and the bbc‘s sophie long. sophie, things have been so worrying, i guess any talks about anything our reason for some hope. yes, exactly, and there is another hope here, certainly in south korea. those two delegations are now meeting. the meeting got under way just over one hour ago. just before they sat down to begin those talks, they sat down to begin those talks, the first time there has been government level talks between the north korean and south korean governments in more than two years,
there was a lot of national press there, a huge amount of interest in this, of course here, and both parties spoke to media present. the north korean leader of the delegation said that he was here with the hope that we could give a new year's gift to our people. and he said he hopes for precious results from these talks. he actually suggested that they could allow the media to stay in the room in peace house, where these talks are going on. the south korean unification minister said, because they hadn't met for so long, that perhaps they should continue in the way they have always done things, which is without the media present, and perhaps they could open things up and perhaps they could open things up as those talks continue. now, we are expecting to have an update. we hear from the south korean government before midday our time, so government before midday our time, so that is in an hour or so. at top of the agenda is whether or not pyongyang will send a delegation to the winter olympics, which are due to get under way here in south korea next month. the south korean president has consistently said that
he hopes the olympics, the winter olympics, could be a groundbreaking chance for change, and to de—escalate tension is here on the korean peninsula, which as you well know has been running at a very high points, with insults being traded between president donald trump, an ally of south korea, and kim jong—un, the north korean leader. now, kim jong—un said jong—un, the north korean leader. now, kimjong—un said in his new year's speech that he was open to dialogue in the south, and things moved very swiftly from thereon, until we got to this point, where those talks are now taking place. the first time in two years. those talks are now taking place. the first time in two yearslj those talks are now taking place. the first time in two years. i guess it is massively unlikely that anything groundbreaking will be achieved, or they will even touch on denuclearisation. but people will be looking for signs that there might bea looking for signs that there might be a chance of progress. yes, i think we know that the first thing they will talk about is the winter olympics. but it is hoped if pyongyang do send a delegation to the winter olympics, and of that, most people are quite confident, both the south korean president and the north korean leader had said
that they want that to happen. so if that they want that to happen. so if that happens, it is hoped there will bea that happens, it is hoped there will be a period, at least, of some peace and some stability. a lot of people feel that if north korea have a delegation that, then they are very unlikely to do any missile tests or nuclear test throughout that period. the last test they carried out was an intercontinental ballistic missile on the 29th of november. so some weeks ago. if you add to that the period of the olympic games, that takes us with the paralympics to the 19th of march. that is a period of calm which could create a new environment in which parties are more willing to talk about things going forward. we know today top of the agenda will be of olympics. after that we are told they will talk about inter— korean issues, so things like humanitarian issues. there are still thousands of families who are divided by the border separating the two countries. that is an issue we are expecting they might get to. what they will not, we not expecting them touch on denuclearisation. and as you are right in pointing out, that is the
fundamental issue here to any lasting form of peace and stability. sophie, thank you very much indeed. iam sure sophie, thank you very much indeed. i am sure we will be talking to you again. and for more on those talks, including in depth analysis from our correspondents, just go to our website. that is bbc.com/news. the united states is to cancel residence permits for nearly 200,000 people from el salvador. they were given permits in 2001, when two earthquakes in the central american country caused massive destruction and loss of life, but the trump administration says the disruption caused by the quakes has now ended. similar permits for people from nicaragua, haiti and sudan have already been cancelled. sarah corker reports. donald trump! shame on you! in front of the white house, salvadorians staged a noisy protest. they are angry because the trump administration has given them 18 months to leave or face deportation, u nless months to leave or face deportation, unless they find a legal way to
stay. it is a move affecting 200,000 salvadorians living in large numbers in california, texas, and washington, dc. these people have been living by the rules, getting background checks every 18 months, getting their fingerprints for more than 20 years. time to give salvadorians and all tps holders of citizenship. since 2001 they have had temporarily protective status, 01’ had temporarily protective status, or tps, after two major earthquakes in el salvador killed more than 1000 people. but the us department of homeland security says the disruption caused at that time no longer exist. however, there is concern about what impact cancelling the permits will have on families. it is devastating. we kind of were expecting this news, because of the
administration, and the work that they have been doing the kind of separate families. so every day we have been living in fear. money sent from the us back to el salvador makes a significant contribution to the country's weak economy, and sell and ministers say they are trying to find a solution. —— salvadorian ministers. translation: we will work tirelessly with the congress to reach a solution for these compatriots who live and work in the united states. cancelling these permits is part of a broader crackdown on illegal emigration in the us. supporters describe it as a long overdue move, but critics say it ignores the violence in el salvador, which has one of the world's highest murder rates. syrian government forces, backed by russia, have targeted ten medicalfacilities in northern syria over the last ten days. that is what sources on the ground tell the bbc. for nearly 11.5 years, the rebel stronghold in the suburbs of damascus has been under siege.
the area has been bombed repeatedly, and thousands are malnourished. now, the situation in eastern ghouta is becoming ever more desperate. our middle east correspondent quentin sommerville has this report, which includes some distressing images. after almost seven years of war, the syrian regime knows how to break people. in rebel—held eastern ghouta, regime bombs brought down this building. child after child is brought out by the british—backed rescuers, the white helmets. with bare hands, bloodied with effort, they crawl through the collapsed floors deep inside the building. a hand reaches out to this three—year—old. she is safe, but she has
lost almost everything. her parents and four brothers died here. these are regime air strikes. eastern ghouta is close enough for the rebels to harass the capital damascus. for more than 1,600 days, the regime has laid siege to them. one child in ten here is malnourished. amar is 30 months old, and has known only hunger since even before she was born. translation: she looked like this since she was born. i couldn't eat well when i was pregnant. she's malnourished. she needs eggs and milk. she's been crying for the entire day today. the doctor says she needs nutricious food. there is food in ghouta, but not on these shelves. prices of sugar, rice,
and other basics have more than quadrupled. the poorest suffer because of the siege and rebel profiteering. this is the worst malnutrition that syria has seen since the war began. and there is little that the doctor and others can do. the un asked that 500 of the most urgent medical cases, including dozens of children, be freed from the siege. but only 29 were allowed out. they are watching their child while he is suffering, and maybe he will die. we can't help them. they ask us to help them, but we tell them to wait. they are awaiting evacuation or they are awaiting —
maybe they are awaiting death. blockades and bombardments shatter resolve. the regime in syria uses them mercilessly. it wants the world to believe it is close to victory. but despite the suffering, eastern ghouta, on bashar al—assad's doorstep, is not broken. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news: american media are reporting that special counsel robert mueller, investigating russian attempts to interfere in the us elections, has raised the likelihood that he will seek an interview with president trump. it is reported the president's lawyers are discussing what format any interview will take, and how to avoid the president meeting face—to—face with mr mueller. two people have been injured in a small fire on the roof of trump tower, in midtown manhattan. eric trump, one of the president's sons, has tweeted that it was an electrical fire in a cooling
tower at the top of the building. fire engines were called to the blaze. president trump was in washington at the time. a british couple who met on a muslim dating site have been convicted of planning a so—called islamic state—inspired terror attack in the run—up to christmas 2016. munir mohammed had amassed bomb—making components, with the help of his pharmacist girlfriend, rowaida el—hassan. they were also considering a poison attack. there are fears of an environmental disaster in the east china sea, as a tanker continues to leak oil, two days after it hit a cargo ship. chinese officials say the vessel is in danger of exploding. one body has been recovered, but 31 crew members are still missing. the sanchi had left port in the persian gulf, bringing 136,000 tons of oil east. it passed through the malacca straits and was heading up the east china sea, to south korea, when the collision happened. robin brant reports from shanghai. since saturday night, the fire has burned,
dark black smoke feeding off the cargo of almost a million barrels of oil inside the sanchi. the intense heat and the threat of an explosion is hampering an already difficult sea rch—and—rescue operation. it is not clear at this stage how these two huge vessels collided. the cf crystal, carrying grain, was damaged at its bow, but all on board were rescued. translation: the chinese government takes maritime accidents like this very seriously, and has already despatched many sea rch—and—rescue teams to the scene. shanghai's port is the busiest in the world, and the coastal waters to the east of this city are vast. but, in the last decade, china has had eight reported collisions similar to this, involving foreign ships. the chinese authorities are leading the sea rch—and—rescue effort,
but there is help from south korea and the united states. the focus, though, is increasingly turning to the environmental threat to the ocean, about 200 miles off the coast of this city in that direction. with the volume of oil on board, this has the potential to be the worst spill of its kind since 1991. if it sinks, then we're looking at an impact of seepage from this very light crude into the ocean which could last many months. and that would mean exclusion zones, in terms of fishing around the area, and quite a big impact on the local flora and fauna. the last time a tanker lost oil on this scale was the prestige, off the coast of spain in 2002. but this time it is not the thick, black crude oil that is causing such problems off the coast of china. the sanchi is carrying condensate, a refined form of oil that is far less dense but more explosive. described as a floating bomb, the cargo can be odourless and colourless, which means thejob of trying to see the extent
of the spill, and trying to contain it, is far more difficult. robin brant, bbc news, shanghai. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: can this young mayor turn around one of america's most struggling cities? we meet the 27—year—old trying to transform stockton, california. the japanese people are in mourning following the death of emperor hirohito. thousands converged on the imperial palace to pay their respects when it announced he was dead. good grief! after half a century of delighting fans around the world, charlie brown and the rest of the gang are calling it quits. the singer, paul simon, starts his tour of south africa tomorrow, in spite of protests and violence from some black activist groups.
they say international artists should continue to boycott south africa until majority rule is established. teams were trying to scoop up lumps of oil as france recognises it faces an ecological crisis. three weeks ago, the authorities confidently assured these areas that oil from the broken tanker erika would head out to sea. it didn't. the world's tallest skyscraper opens later today. the burj dubai has easily overtaken its nearest rivals. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: north and south korean officials are meeting for the first talks between the two countries in more than two years. the trump administration is to cancel the residence permits of 200,000 people from el salvador. they were given the permits in 2001 after two earthquakes in their country.
the bbcjournalist carrie gracie has stepped down from her role as china editor because, she says, she doesn't want to collude in a failing pay structure, which discriminates against women. in an open letter to license fee payers, she accuses the bbc of breaking the law on equal pay and failing to live up to its values of trust, honesty and accountability. the bbc has responded, saying fair pay is vital and than an independent audit of rank and file staff found "no systemic discrimination against women." our media editor amol rajan has more. chinese once called chairman mao "the great helmsman. " carrie gracis is one of the most respected international editors of her generation. for more than 30 years, she has broadcast about other people. but this time, she is the centre of the story. ms gracie resigned from her position as china editor because she is paid less than men who are also international editors. morning. morning, carrie. this morning she presented the today programme on radio 4. it's been very moving, actually.
the news of her resignation leaked out online last night. six months after the bbc was forced to reveal the salaries of some highly paid on—air staff, ms gracie has been infuriated by the response to her grievance. she was offered a pay rise of £45,000, but declined it, saying equality is what she wants. she wouldn't be drawn on whether she wanted male colleagues to take a pay cut. when i started the china job, i said i will only do this job if i'm paid equally. and injuly 2017, i discovered the enormous gap that the two men who were international editors were earning 50% more, at least, than the two women who were international editors. the bbc has completed two of the three pay audits it announced last year and found no evidence of discrimination. the final one will report in a matter of weeks. the corporation declined to put anyone up for an interview, but in a statement, they said... the bbc talks about
a gender pay gap. with 200 formal complaints and the possibility of legal action, this story will run. gay marriage was given royal assent in australia on december 8 last year, but most couples have had to wait 30 days before exchanging vows in a legally recognised marriage. finally, some of the country's first same—sex unions have taken place. one of the fist couples to tie the knotjust after midnight local time in new south wales, were australian athletes, commonwealth games sprinter craig burns and his partner, fellow athlete luke sullivan. it's just that next expression of love and that next adventure on your relationship with anyone, and i've met the man of my dreams and i've met the love of my life and just that's something that naturally progresses and something that we want to do.
we want to get married, we want to celebrate with our friends and family, we want to go on that adventure. congratulations to them. stockton, california — once named the most miserable city in the us — is making a comeback. that's thanks in no small part to its young mayor, michael tubbs. he was born and raised in stockton and is now working to turn things around in his hometown. the bbc went to meet him. a very violent day in stockton. five people are dead... in one of stockton's deadliest days on record. there's a lot of love, there's also a lot of pain. you are the man. —— the mayor. sometimes i pinch myself. like, yo, you're the mayor! especially when it comes to things like problem—solving, why don't they do it like that? why aren't you doing it? you're the mayor! or you can at least call the people that can do it. in stockton, i lived in four out of five hot areas, areas that are currently having a lot of the city's violent crime issues.
my father'as been incarcerated my entire life. my mother had me as a teenager. so growing up in poverty, a lot of the things i do policy work on, or research, or read about or speak about, are things that i've lived and felt very viscerally. i literally had no intention of coming back to stockton when i graduated high school. i spent time in el salvador, i was in dc, working in the white house. there were a lot of options available and stockton wasn't one of them. one of my cousins was murdered in stockton. and that kind of shifted the whole paradigm around what it meant to be successful and what it is i wanted to do. today is a really exciting day for this city. we have a venue around heroes park, and this church has been replacing the backboard that was vandalised a couple of months ago. it's a great day in the city. it really shows how, in stockton, it is regular people are driving a lot of the change.
often times, it's hard to convey the amount of work, discipline and sacrifice it takes to get into a position like this, especially if you're the first or the youngest. even more so, both. how would you describe stockton now? stockton is a city on the rise. i think stockton is the all—american city. it's a place where you can make an impact. my grandmother used to always tell me the scripture, that don't despise small beginnings. for the lord rejoices in seeing the work begin. i'm personally getting a lot of attention, but i would be so upset if we can't look back four years from now and can't point to things that are better, but for me and my team being here. he isjust 27 he is just 27 years old. now to a power revolution that's under way in africa. instead of using fossil fuels like coal, it's renewable energy, which is slowly gaining steam. solar and wind powered devices are bringing power to rural communities, transforming the lives of millions. the bbc‘s andrew harding has the story. ona
on a flooded part in rural zambia, africa's past meets africa's future. there is the old broken bridge, a symbol of the creaking infrastructure still holding back development on this continent. and there, perched onjudith's head sits there, perched onjudith's head sits the future. judith is a solar powered saleswoman on her weight to a new client. she works for one of several companies now making inroads. in that undrip side here and across africa —— countryside, or worse number of —— almost no—one is on the grid. distances are too big. today, small solar panels are changing lives on saving families a small fortune in kerosene and batteries. inside, a box full of softwa re batteries. inside, a box full of software allows the company to make its proper, charging a monthly fee for the first 1.5 years. we don't even really know if
electricity is going to come to a community such as this one. if we have people that are bringing in such technology, then it's better for this community. you jump ahead, you leapfrog? yes. that idea of lea pfrogging you leapfrog? yes. that idea of leapfrogging over old is not entirely new in africa. the trailblazer is something you will now find in almost every hand. the speed and the success of the mobile phone revolution in africa has been extraordinary. it has transformed this continent and has made a lot of other businesses start to think, why can't we do the same? and so, across the sundrenched continent, poor countries are turning to the technology it could transform their economies. financially, it makes a lot of sense. economically, it makes a lot of sense. and we believe in the next ten yea rs of sense. and we believe in the next ten years that the situation will be totally different. it will be a
reality in this country. and here it is in action. the brand—new solar panel has been charging on the roof all day. and in a pitch dark farmhouse... hey! the first taste of electric light. like the homework, like the progress of the continent seeks to leap frog into the future. andrew harding, abc news, zambia. the duke and duchess of cambridge, prince william and catherine, have released two new photographs of princess charlotte on her first day at nursery school. the photos were taken by catherine at kensington palace shortly before 2—year—old charlotte left for her first day at a nursery school in west london. much more on all the news any time at the bbc website. thank you for watching. typicaljanuary weather this week.
cloud around, on the cool side, could have a lot of mist and fog and also some frost too with limited amounts of sunshine. we are starting tuesday on a cloudy note. some places saw clear skies, for example north scotland. so a cold and frosty start here. between weather systems, high pressure to the east. this area of low pressure will bring increasing wind and also some rain to the south—west of the country later in the day. for most of us, though, we are under a run of south—easterly wind. it will bring a lot of cloud across the country, starting off misty, murky, a lot of hill fog throughout the day. conditions really don't improve much as we head into the afternoon. some places will see the brightness. favoured spots in a south—easterly wind with some shelter, it the north—west of scotland.
also north—west parts of england. elsewhere, it really will stay cloudy and cool with misty, murky conditions. temperatures you can see in the mid—to high single figures. thought we could see 10—11 degrees in the south—west with that weather front as it pushes into the south—west of england and south—west wales. that weather front moves eastwards and reaches northern ireland and then the rest of scotland and in towards other parts of england. quite fragmented as it reaches northern and eastern areas by the end of the night. behind it, the sky is clear, turning quite cold. we could see some frost and maybe some ice after the overnight rain. a few showers piling into the south—west and into the channel islands. for wednesday, we start off on a cloudy, wet note, central and eastern areas. i think it's a good improvement through the day. that rain should eventually clear away, may leave some cloud around across the far east of england there.
wet, though, all day for the shetland isles. plenty of sunshine in its place, not feeling too bad. the area of low pressure clears away, takes the showers with it. then we are in a region of slack high pressure, what that means — by the end of the week we could see a return to light winds and that risk of overnight frost and fog. so thursday starting off on a cool note, maybe some mist and fog around. but if it lifts and breaks, we should see good sunny spells developing. it will be on the cool side, 3—8 degrees at best. friday, similar picture. slack winds. we could start off with a little bit of mist and fog. sunshine through the afternoon. most places dry. this is bbc news. the headlines: north and south korea are holding their first talks for more than two years. officials from the two countries are focusing on how the north's athletes can participate in next month's winter olympics in the south.
they are taking place in the truce village of panmunjom, in the demilitarised zone that divides the peninsula. the us is to cancel the residence permits of about 200,000 people from el salvador. they were given the permits in 2001, after two earthquakes in their country, but washington says the disruption caused by the quakes has now ended. there are fears of an environmental disaster in the east china sea. a tanker is still leaking oil there, two days after it hit a cargo ship. chinese officials say the vessel is in danger of exploding. one body has been recovered. 31 of the crew are still missing. now on bbc news, monday in parliament.