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tv   World News Today  BBC News  December 25, 2019 9:00pm-9:31pm GMT

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this is bbc world news today. our top stories. pope francis delivers his christmas message to the world, calling for a softening of "stony and self—centred hearts" and for conflicts to end. translation: may he bring consolation to iraq amid its present social tensions, and yemen, suffering from a grave humanitarian crisis. after what the queen calls a "bumpy year", she highlights the need for reconciliation as part of her annual christmas message. a powerful typoon tears through parts of the philippines leaving tens of thousands of people stranded. a post—christmas heatwave is forecast in australia as the bushfire crisis continues. we hearfrom one woman who's lost her home.
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hello and welcome to world news today. religious leaders around the world have delivered their annual christmas messages, covering issues including terror attacks, injustices and natural disasters. at the vatican, pope francis denounced attacks by "extremist groups" in west africa, he prayed for venezuelans to "receive the aid they need", and urged the world to ensure security in the middle east. from rome, here's the bbc‘s mark lowen. under a perfect christmas sky, 55,000 came to st peter's square, beside the colonnades of the 16th century sculptor bernini, watching the balcony beneath michelangelo's dome. at noon, he emerged, the leader of the world's 1.3 billion catholics. greeting pope francis, the anthems
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of the vatican and italy, and a parade by the swiss guard, as he spoke to the city and the world, urbi et 0rbi. ci sono tenebre nei cuori umani, ma piu grande e la luce di christo. his message was a tour of trouble spots, calling for peaceful syria and yemen to venezuela and ukraine. all in line with a pope who has increased the vatican's diplomatic interventions and sees the power of the church to resolve conflict. and then, from a man himself the son of italian immigrants, he focused on migration, an issue close to his heart. translation: it is an injustice that makes them cross deserts and seas that become cemeteries. it is an injustice that forces them to endure unspeakable forms of abuse, enslavement, and every kind of torture at inhumane detention camps.
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earlier, he and two other religious leaders gave a separate, unusual message, calling on south sudan's warring factions to form a unity government. he's put it at the centre of his papacy, recently bringing both sides to the vatican, kissing their feet in a gesture of reconciliation. so francis‘ seventh christmas as pope draws to a close with a typically political tone from a man reforming the church in many ways, criticised by conservatives but adored by his followers. the list of world hotspots he quoted, a reminder of how much is to be done. mark lowen, bbc news, rome. here in the uk, the archbishop of canterbury addressed anglicans around the globe, and reflected on the maltreatment of society's most vulnerable. justin welby also used his christmas day sermon to talk about the darkness of the london bridge terror attack. darkness is a monster that lies.
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its growling claims seem to call out with a louder volume than the love—filled whispers of light. we see the shadows out of the corner of our eyes. they may be violence, as in the congo or on london bridge. they may be political. they may be purely personal, from family feuds, relationship problems, illness, the darkness within us that sometimes seems to threaten our stability and hope. queen elizabeth has made her annual christmas broadcast to the united kingdom and the commonwealth. she acknowledged that 2019 has been "quite bumpy", and encouraged people to follow jesus‘ message of understanding. here's our royal correspondent nicholas witchell. morning service at sandringham. notable for who attended and who was absent. making their first appearance,
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six—year—old prince george and four—year—old princess charlotte. absent from the main service, prince andrew. he decided to attend an earlier private service for the family. after the 11 o'clock service, the queen headed back to sandringham house, where prince philip had remained after his discharge from hospital yesterday. that left the cambridges to lead the royal party greeting the crowds. a little daunting for george and charlotte, who haven't done this sort of thing before. unsurprisingly, they stayed close to their mum and dad as they received flowers and, for charlotte, a hug. in her christmas message, the queen spoke of her delight at the birth of her eighth grandchild, archie, who is currently in canada with his parents, the duke and duchess of sussex. turning away from family matters, she acknowledged the efforts being made by young people to protect the environment.
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the challenges many people face today may be different to those ones faced by my generation. but i have been struck by how new generations have brought a similar sense of purpose to issues such as protecting our environment and our climate. the main theme of the broadcast was the need for reconciliation. the queen recalled the 75th anniversary of d—day lastjune. there was a lesson to be learned from it. by being willing to put past differences behind us and move forward together, we honour the freedom and democracy once won for us at so great a cost. the queen said the need to seek harmony and understanding was at the heart of the teaching ofjesus christ. many of us already try to follow in his footsteps. the path, of course, is not always smooth and may at times this year have felt quite
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bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference. and it is those small steps, the queen said, which can bring about the most lasting change. that description of a bumpy year is almost certainly a reference to the divisions caused by the brexit debate. but there's no denying it's been a difficult year too for the royal family. the queen, doubtless, will be hoping for a smoother passage in 2020, both for the country and for her family. nicholas witchell, bbc news, at buckingham palace. in the philippines, typhoon phanfone has caused major floods and destruction. more than 25,000 people have been stranded at ports, many of them unable to join their families for christmas. the typhoon, known as ursula in the philippines, has been following a similar track to typhoon haiyyan in 2013, the most powerful to hit
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the archipelago in a long time. jon donnison reports. a far from peaceful christmas in the central philippines. typhoon pha nfone has brought sustained winds of almost 200 kph. terrifying local people... screaming. ..and leaving a trail of destruction. heavy rain has left many homes flooded. more than 16,000 people had to spend the night in improvised shelters and at least 100 families have been left homeless. in this majority catholic country, the typhoon, which has damaged infrastructure, has stopped many people from visiting their families for christmas. filipinos are well used to tropical storms and typhoons, with around 20 hitting the island nation each year. the most deadly in recent times was typhoon haiyan in 2013, where a massive storm surge left more than 7000
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people dead. and many of the areas worst hit back then have borne the brunt of this latest storm. jon donnison, bbc news. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. a peace group in afghanistan says 27 of its members have been abducted by the taliban as they were travelling in the west of the country. a spokesman for the people's peace movement said the group began their march from herat province two weeks ago demanding a ceasefire, but lost contact after entering farah province. there's been no comment yet from the taliban. police in hong kong have fired tear gas at protesters after they marched through shopping malls chanting pro—democracy slogans. the violence followed clashes yesterday when police fired tear gas in the district of moan kok. japanese prime minister shinzo abe has told his chinese counterpart li keqiang that, although bilateral relations are improving steadily, it will continue to suffer unless tensions reduce
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in the east china sea. but mr li said their efforts to improve relations were back on track. the australian prime minister scott morrison has praised his country's firefighters in his christmas message. hundreds of firefighters, many of them volunteers, have been battling bush fires in new south wales, which first began in september. the public too have been showing their gratitude to the fire service, as shaimaa khalil reports. taking a brief christmas break before heading back to the fire front lines. many of these firefighters have been working nonstop for weeks. despite a lull in the weather, with cooling temperatures and predicted rain in some areas, the risk is not over, as teams brace themselves for hot conditions later in the week. the new south wales rural fire service is the world's largest volunteer organisation, with more than 70,000 members.
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most are local volunteers who have taken on the task to project taken on the task to protect the rural communities. and many have been overwhelmed by how people responded to their work. just overwhelming support, like. obviously all the presents and stuff for the kids. that's just what they need at the moment. i haven't even gone christmas shopping or anything for my daughter. she's about to turn one in january, on the 11th. just thank you, thank you very much. last week's catastrophic fires have been fuelled by record temperatures of more than 41 degrees. an extreme heat wave swept across the country, combined with strong winds and dry conditions. australia has been fighting wildfires for months. the early start to the fire season is stretching already scarce water resources. pictures of a thunderstorm in the north—eastern city of brisbane showed some respite
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in the hot weather. but firefighters say a lot more rain is needed in many more places, with not much forecast over the next few weeks. shiamaa khalil, bbc news, in sydney. kaya yongen lives in nymboida, in new south wales and told me how her and her mother's homes were destroyed by the fires. in november, in early november, which is... well, the fires were in september as well, but november is also early for bushfire season. there was a fire that was burning in the mountains behind this area. it had been burning for a few months, actually. and it came down, and this is not uncommon at the moment, as, like, a massive firestorm. definitely, yes, australia has bushfires, but the firestorms are a whole new thing. like, big firestorms
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with 15—metre high walls of fire, and they create their own weather. it roared through this whole village, this whole area, and took out 80 homes. like, half the homes in the area. yeah, it's devastating. of course, we have heard of the two firefighters who had lost their lives in battling these bushfires. how does the community, how do you rally around and support each other, given not least that these temperatures are not going down, and we are expecting high temperatures once again to come up over the weekend? yeah, well... well, here in nymboida, it's been so burnt that at the moment the fire is not so scary. the temperatures, yeah. but i am actually... this is where i grew up, and i have a home here, but i have been living in the blue mountains near sydney.
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i came up from the blue mountains to be here, tojust be with my family for this holiday season and also to clean up and rebuild. and i actually left the blue mountains with valuable things, because there's a fire there as well. and down in the blue mountains, that's, like, in that whole greater sydney region, it's still very, very real. the fire is still coming. it's five kilometres from my house down there. and how the community rallies together, it just does. in times like this, it's when the leadership has to come from the community. the important stuff comes from the community. and comes from the firefighters and the community does support the firefighters so much more than the government does. i want to ask you about that, because you are a climate activist, you have done some work with the extinction rebellion group, the movement.
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what kind of hope, what kind of message, do you want from the government, and what do you want them to do? what action do you want them to take? we want them to stop mining and burning and exporting coal and actually transition to renewable energy. there is so much available in terms of the different technologies that have been created. they are still continuing to say that in order to have a strong economy, we need to keep building the coal industry. and a lot of people continue to believe that. they think that in order for us to have a strong economy, we need coal. and it's crazy. we want them to listen to the science. we want them to get real about it, because they're not, here in australia, and we want them to transition.
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0ne one of many people who have lost their homes in new south wales in their homes in new south wales in the bushfires there. stay with us on bbc world news, still to come... theme from "friends". the woman behind one of the most well—known tv theme songs of all time dies at the age of 72. we'll take a look at the other work that made allee willis famous, long before friends. the world of music's been paying tribute to george michael, whose tribute to george michael, who's died from suspected heart failure at the age of 53. he sold well over 100 million albums in a career spanning more than three decades. the united states troops have been trying to overthrow the dictatorship of general manuel noriega. the pentagon said it has failed in its principal objective, to capture noriega and take him to the united states to face drugs charges. the hammer and sickle was hastily taken away. in its place, the russian
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flag was hoisted over what is now no longer the soviet union but the commonwealth of independent states. day broke slowly over lockerbie, over the cockpit of pan am's maid of the seas, nose down in the soft earth. you could see what happens when a plane eight stories high, a football pitch wide, full from 30,000 feet. falls from 30,000 feet. christmas has returned to albania after a communist ban lasting more than 20 years. thousands went to midnight mass in the town of shkodra, where there were anti—communist riots ten days ago. this is bbc world news today. i'm kasia madera. the latest headlines. pope francis has used his traditional christmas message at the vatican to draw attention to the suffering of people on the move worldwide. after what the queen calls a "bumpy year", she highlights the need for reconciliation as part of her annual christmas message.
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more than 100 homes have been destroyed by a fast—moving forest fire in chile, prompting a mass evacuation during christmas eve celebrations. high summer temperatures and strong winds are whipping up the flames. authorities in valparaiso say they're investigating suspicions that the fire was lit deliberately. 0livia crellin reports. christmas day up in flames. this was the scene that residents fled in the middle of celebrating christmas festivities after a nearby forest fire swept through two districts of valparaiso, destroying 150 homes. while others awoke to gifts and good cheer, those affected spent the night in shelters and return to their homes to find their belongings reduced to ash. 2000 residents were without electricity. translation:
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reduced to ash. 2000 residents were without electricity. translationzlj managed to get the pets and the tv out but i couldn't take more because the police took me away as there was nothing that could be done. families are returning to find their houses destroyed. translation: are returning to find their houses destroyed. translationzl are returning to find their houses destroyed. translation: a cousin and uncle, we'll have houses on this rate. this is the house of my mother, where she was meant to gold, where i was born, my brother was born. now all of it is destroyed. warm, dry conditions, coupled with strong winds, whipped the fire into the port city, known for its colourful wooden houses. the fire, which the city's mayor police was started intentionally, continues to burn away from built—up areas and 12 firefighters have been injured trying to bring it under control. valparaiso, which is home tojust over a quarter of a million people, sits in the central part of chile, an area of the country which has been affected by a severe drought for more than a decade. chile's government has committed $165 million to combat the difficult fire
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season million to combat the difficult fire season but for the families affected, it's too late to rekindle this year's christmas cheer and more tragically, to save their homes. olivia crellin, bbc news. the operation codenamed christmas cargo is one of the most extraordinary stories of the korean war. in december 1950, hundreds of thousands of un forces and north korean refugees found themselves trapped in the port of hungnam. the rescue operation involved hundreds of american ships, and it's thought there are at least a million descendants of those who helped that day, including the current president of south korea. laura bicker has the story. it was a race against time. the chinese army was advancing. thousands of un forces and north korean refugees were trapped at hungnam. but their fear of the communist regime... there was only one way out, by sea.
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translation: it was war, we knew we would die if we did not get on board a ship. we didn't think of anything else. we didn't know where the ship was going. it didn't matter. loaded down with their few belongings... the us navy saved as many as they could. 100,000 north koreans left hungnam that day, never to return. translation: we were bundled under blankets. so many were on the ship. we were alljammed together. a shower from a wave washed over me and my mum. we feared we were going to drown and become a sea spirit. after history's most successful evacuation... no one died on board. instead, there was new life. five babies were born by the time ship docked in gyeongju in the south of south korea. lee was one of them. translation: my mother was not prepared to give birth
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when she boarded the ship so when i was born, the midwife had to use her teeth to cut my umbilical cord. it was december the 25th, christmas day. so people said the fact i did not die and was born was a christmas miracle. the americans didn't know any korean names, so affectionately called each baby "kimchi" after the fermented cabbage dish. mr lee was kimchi numberfive. the day before christmas, the last battalion of the third division is evacuated. rescuing civilians had never been part of the us navy's original plan. i think that's the miracle of this whole story, that so many people came together, they saw these refugees there. they were north korean refugees, technically the enemy. but you couldn't help but feel sorry for them. so somehow, itjust happened that these guys there in hungnam listened to their better angels
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and did what i like to say, the right thing for the right reasons in a very difficult situation. after the last boat leaves shore, the order is given and the entire port blown up. the north korean port was destroyed by the americans as they left. thousands still died but those who got the chance to live are forever grateful to have been part of this very special christmas cargo. laura bicker, bbc news, seoul. well done, everybody, and anchors aweigh! allee willis, who co—wrote the theme song for the sitcom, friends, has died at the age of 72. ms willis won grammys for other work, but she's best known for penning the long—running theme song. danny aeberhard looks back at her life. it was the late 1970s, and though they might not have known it, people across the world were strutting their stuff to allee willis. boogie wonderland, the disco anthem she co—wrote for earth, wind and fire.
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she also worked with the band members on another of their classics, september. allee willis was born in detroit, the motor city of motown fame. a white girl who spoke of sitting on her lawn, absorbing the sounds of black america — the drums, the bass, the background vocals, leaking through the walls of homes in her neighbourhood. she couldn't play an instrument, but she had rhythm in her head. her career blossomed and later, awards and nominations started to flow. grammys, emmys, tonys, webbys. willis won grammy awards for the musical the color purple and the soundtrack for the film beverly hills cop. she was also one of the co—writers for the theme for the smash tv series friends. i'll be there for you by the rembrandts. # i'll be there for you... her work sold more than 60 million records, small wonder she was inducted
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into the songwriters‘ hall of fame last year. but this party—loving, compassionate, multi—talented dynamo, described as gloriously eccentric, never lost sight of her roots. she loved her home town, detroit, embarking in later life on a mammoth musical project, commissioned to help reinvent a city that had seemed crippled by the decline of the motor industry that had helped build it. it involved thousands of musicians, vocalists and residents from across the city. and, as with everything else allee willis did in life, it had soul! remembering the american songwriter, allee willis. if you are celebrating christmas, let me take this moment to wish you a very merry christmas from me and the bbc world news team. thank you so much for watching. goodbye.
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good evening. after all the rain we have been having lately, today‘s weather felt like something of a christmas miracle. it was dry for pretty much all of us, many of us got to see sunshine. that was how it looked on the lincolnshire coast earlier on. but things are changing. behind me, this lump of cloud is boxing day‘s weather and we will see some rain returning from the west. before that happens, fog still potentially causing problems in the central, eastern and northern parts of england, southern scotland as well. certainly through the evening hours it could be quite dense. but it will lift after midnight because we will have more cloud rolling in from the west and that brings some outbreaks of rain into northern ireland, west wales, south—west england and the winds picking up here as well. but turning milder by the end of the night, 7 degrees in belfast, for example. further north in scotland, there will still be a touch of frost for some but for many the big weather story on boxing day
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is this frontal system working its way eastwards, bringing rain at times. but not all the time. this band of rain pushing out of northern ireland quite early in the morning, moving out of wales as well, pushing eastwards across england into southern scotland. a bit of snow might mix in over the very highest hills of scotland and the highest hills of the pennines but even if it does, it will not last long. behind it, sunshine and showers, some persistent rain getting back into the south—west late in the day where it will be very mild but further north, another rather cool feeling day, 5 degrees in glasgow and in newcastle. a fairly windy day as well, particularly in the south—west corner where we could see gusts of up to a0 mph or more for a time. through boxing day evening, we will see these outbreaks of rain drifting from the south—west to gradually move north—eastwards in association with this, a warm front which will bring rain with it but it will also bring some warm or at least milder air which will start to waft its way up from the south—west. as we go into friday, there will be a very different feel
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to the weather and it will feel very mild indeed. some outbreaks of rain still to clear from eastern england, northern and eastern scotland. then we get to see some spells of sunshine, a lot of dry weather developing. this little frontal system bringing some patchy raid into western scotland and perhaps the north—west of northern ireland but look at the temperatures. 10—13 — pretty high for this point in december. as we go into saturday and sunday, it stays very mild, a lot of dry weather around but some patchy rain in the far north and west.
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this is bbc world news, the headlines... pope francis has delivered his christmas blessing to the world, calling for peace in the holy land as well as many other countries caught up in conflict. he also spoke of "walls of indifference" around the people fleeing hardship in hope of finding a better life. queen elizabeth has made her annual christmas broadcast. she acknowledged that 2019 has been "quite bumpy" and spoke of the value of reconciliation. typhoon phanfone has caused major floods and destruction in the philippines. more than 25,000 people have been stranded at ports, many of them unable to join their families for christmas. and a post—christmas heatwave is forecast in australia,

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