welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm gavin grey. our top stories: pope francis pleads for migrants during christmas eve mass at the vatican. translation: so many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps ofjoseph and mary. we see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day. after devastating large areas in the south of philippines, tropical storm tembin is heading to vietnam. the plight of the seven sick children waiting to hear if they'll be evacuated from syria. the king of spain renewed his call for unity and meet the ongoing fallout from catalonia's independence referendum not and from trump taking christmas calls to waterskiing santas — we look at how celebrations are shaping up around the world. hello and welcome to the programme.
as we go to wear, let's bring you some breaking news, there has been an explosion that has hit an area of kabul, near the location of afg hanistan‘s central intelligence agency. there has been no word on the cause of the blast which occurred close to the entrance of the national security complex. an explosion in couple and we will bring you more as we get it —— in kabul. pope francis has urged the world's roman catholics not to ignore the plight of migrants who have been forced to flee because of violence. at christmas eve mass in saint peter's basilica, the pontiff drew comparisons with the biblical story of mary
and joseph, who found no place to stay in bethlehem when mary was about to give birth tojesus. pope francis said respect for migrants was an integral part of christianity. virginia langeberg reports. in vatican city, the faithful began gathering long before midnight in st peter's square. beneath a giant christmas tree, a scene to reflect the birth of jesus, while inside the basilica began the annual ceremony, steeped in catholic tradition. this, the fifth christmas eve mass to be held by pope francis. with 1.2 billion roman catholics followers around the world, the pontiff used his speech to highlight the plight of migrants, telling his followers the story of mary and joseph, and the trials they were forced to endure on theirjourney to bethlehem.
his holiness urged compassion to those who have also fled their homes. translation: we see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day. we see the tracks of millions of people who do not choose to go away, but driven from their land, leave behind their dear ones. in many cases, this departure is filled with hope, hope for the future. yet for many others this departure can only have one name, survival. outside of the cathedral, amongst the splendour of st peter's square, there was hope that pope francis‘ speech would bring people together. i hope that the people will be more forgiving, towards one another, whatever their religion is. more accepting... so that we will all live in harmony.
i think the pope signifies a lot of hope for a lot of people, and he has the power to bring a lot of people together. later on christmas day the pope will be back on the balcony at st peter's basilica to deliver the traditional blessing to the city and the world. at the church of the nativity, in bethlehem, midnight mass took place against a backdrop of heightened security. fewer pilgrims than usual are reported in the city, because of increased tensions between the palestinians and israel following president trump's decision to recognise jerusalem as the capital of israel. from bethlehem, here's our religion editor, martin bashir. the church of the nativity behind me is packed full with no spaces in the pews for midnight mass. the reality is that tourist numbers are substantially down on previous
years, principally because of donald trump's decision to officially recognisejerusalem as the capital of israel on december 6. that decision provoked clashes between palestinians and israeli forces and as a result of that, people, fearful of violence, have decided to stay away. i visited several hotels which are normally oversubscribed at this time of year, their doors are now closed and they are not open at all. there are no occupants in the hotels. most of the small traders in the square speak of a 50% reduction in trade. it is a subdued atmosphere in bethlehem. mahmoud abbas, the leader of the palestinian authority visited this afternoon during several parades when it was not raining, thankfully, and security was quite strict. palestinian police and military
forces were displayed right around the square. our own ability to move around was severely restricted. there have been no clashes and no instances of violence, nothing like that. it has been a very tranquil atmosphere in terms of any kind of social unrest. there was some hope for some kind of negotiation into the new year, a new plan, perhaps, for peace but that seems to have taken a knock with, like i said, the decision of president trump on 6 taken a knock with, like i said, the decision of president trump on 6 december. there is no sign of a willingness to discuss things. as you know, on thursday the united nations voted 128—9, asking the united states to rescind that decision. but at this stage there is no sign of donald trump doing so. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news: the president of guatemala, jimmy morales, has said he plans
to move his country's embassy in israel tojerusalem. guatemala was one of only seven countries that voted with the united states and israel against a united nations resolution calling on the us to reverse its recognition ofjerusalem as the capital of israel. peru's jailed ex—president alberto fujimori, has been pardoned on humanitarian grounds. he's serving a 25—year sentence for corruption and rights abuses. the 79—year—old former president was rushed to hospital for heart problems on sunday. problems on saturday. a medical review concluded fujimori was suffering from "a progressive, degenerative and incurable disease." tunisia has banned the emirates airline from landing in the capital tunis. the move comes two days after the uae banned tunisian women from flying to, or transiting through its territory. the uae says this was due to "security information" — without providing more detail. the united nations is warning of a dire humanitarian situation
in the southern philippines, which has been battered by an intense tropical storm. around 200 people have died in the flooding and landslides it triggered — and tens of thousands more are homeless. rescue teams are struggling to reach some of the affected areas. richard galpin reports. at last, some aid now getting to those most in need after this latest storm to hit the philippines begins to subside. troops helping deliver supplies here in the southern region of mindanao, which lay right in the path of the storm. reaching these impoverished areas has not been easy. they were hit by a landslide, mudslides, caused by an inordinate amount of rainfall that caused the ground to move and killed people instantly. as well as surging currents from swollen rivers that overcame the banks, it swept people out of their homes and killed many others as well.
the speed with which the rivers were turned into lethal torrents over the weekend caught people here by surprise. many drowning in their own homes, others buried under mudslides, including children. the call for people to evacuate in good time before the storm actually didn't have an effect. the storm passed over some of the absolute poorest areas in the whole philippines. at least 200 people are known to have died. large numbers are still missing and tens of thousands have been forced to move away in search of emergency shelter. at least tropical storm tembin has now been moving away from the philippines. it's currently over the south china sea where it's picking up strength again and has been categorised as a typhoon. meanwhile, the people of the southern philippines
continue the search for loved ones. they'll be hoping for much more help to reach them in the coming days. well, sarah keith lucas from the bbc weather centre has the latest on the storm's trajectory, as it heads towards vietnam. typhoon tembin caused devastation as it made landfall across the southern philippines. the storm is now moving towards the west and on the satellite you can see the storm sitting here in the south china sea. it is heading towards the southern tip of vietnam. it is likely to weaken a little bit just making landfall around the far south of vietnam, a wide area is likely to see heavy rain, damaging winds and also big waves around the coast, so coastal flooding will be a problem, further inland as rainfall totals mount up we could see landslides occurring too. the storm will then weaken a little bit, moving into the gulf of thailand toward southern parts of thailand.
heavy bursts of rain and strong winds likely here. although the storm will be weakening a touch, as it is quite slow moving it will have further impacts, making landfall in southern vietnam during monday, bringing more than 300 millimetres of rain, so flooding and landslides likely, as well as winds of over 130 kilometres an hour. the king of spain has called for unity and mutual respect following the catalonia parliamentary election in which separatist parties won a small majority. in a conciliatory televised christmas message, king felipe vi urged the catalan people to choose coexistence, rather than confrontation over the issue of independence. translation: a few days ago the citizens of catalonia voted for their representatives in parliament. now they must face all the problems that catalonia feels and must think of the good of everybody. the road cannot take us back to confrontation
or exclusion. as we know, that only generates discord and uncertainty and moral impoverishment, as well as civic and financial as well. christians in mosul are celebrating their first christmas since the city was taken by islamic state militants in 2014. is persecuted and drove out christians, while many others of all faiths who stayed were brutally oppressed. iraqi forces retook the city injuly this year. more than 10,000 civilians are thought to have been killed in the battle to retake mosul. alan johnston reports. they gathered in mosul‘s cathedral, marking a christmas they will never forget — the first christmas after the war. under the rule of the islamic state militants, this would
have been impossible. there could be no christian worship in public. the community was persecuted, and many fled. this was a coming together not just of christians. muslims helped prepare the church for this special service, and they were here, too, as the worship unfolded. mosul was the scene of months of ferocious street fighting. iraqi forces and their western allies battled to drive out the militants. thousands of civilians were killed, and much damage was done. now, the healing must begin, and the christmas service was a small part of that vast process. translation: without peace, there is no life.
0ur message is that after everything that happened, with our glorious victory against islamic state and others, we must all call for peace. among those in the church, the message was being heard. translation: we are from the muslim community and today, we share this glorious celebration with our christian brothers in the province of nineveh and the city of mosul. we share theirjoy today, and hope our brothers outside of iraq from the christian community will return to mosul, because we are brothers and we are united. beneath the cross on the cathedral this christmas eve, there was some of the best of the spirit of this time of year. and nowhere needs it more than mosul. stay with us on bbc world news, still to come: a flair for christmas.
we take a look at how people are around are making the most of the festive season. we saw this enormous tidal wave approaching the beach, and people started to run, and suddenly it was complete chaos. the united states troops have been trying to overthrow the dictatorship of general manuel noriega. the pentagon said the operation had been 90% successful but it's failed in its principal objective — to capture general noriega and take him to the us to face drugs charges. the hammer and sickle was hastily taken away. the russian flag was hoisted over what is now no longer the soviet union, but the commonwealth of independent states. day breaks slowly over lockerbie, over the cockpit of pan am's maid of the seas, nosedown in the soft earth. you could see what happens when a plane eight storeys high, a football pitch wide, 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 shkroda where there were anti—communist riots ten days ago. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: pope francis has urged the world's roman catholics not to ignore the plight of migrants forced to leave their own land because of violence. at a christmas eve mass in saint peter's basilica in vatican city he drew comparisons with the biblical story of mary and joseph. aid workers in the philippines are struggling to reach thousands of people left homeless by a tropical storm. around 200 have died in severe flooding and landslides on mindanao island. just getting an update on the
breaking news which we started with, that was the explosion that was being reported in afghanistan in kabul. just getting an update on this, an interior ministry spokesman has said it was a suicide attack on foot who detonated some explosives and we believe so far but the death toll has reached three, so three people killed, and one injured person has been taken to a hospital in kabul. so, an interior ministry spokesperson in afghanistan saying there that a suicide attack on foot in kabul has killed three people and injured one. it happened within kabul, a district there, we will give you more information as we get it. an international medical aid agency is waiting to hear the fate of seven children in urgent need of cancer
treatment who are trapped in the besieged area of eastern ghouta close to the syrian capital damascus. the union of medical care and relief organizations wants syrian president bashar al—assad to allow them to evacuate the children. they are among more than 130 children needing urgent medical treatment there. 0livia crellin reports. at only two months old, baby karim has become a symbol of the suffering of the 400,000 people trapped in eastern ghouta. karim lost an eye and suffered severe injuries in a reported government attack. his picture has inspired renewed focus on the plight of those trapped in the suburb of damascus which is entering its fourth year, its fourth christmas under siege. the harrowing image of the maimed baby has spawned a social media awareness campaign with many, including the uk's ambassador to the un, matthew rycroft, and the syrian white helmets posting
photos of themselves with a hand over their left eye. but in spite of the terrible images coming out of eastern ghouta, un efforts to arrange medical evacuations have so far failed. last month, nine people with urgent medical needs died there after requests to evacuate them were denied. nearly 12% of children in eastern ghouta are suffering from acute malnutrition — the highest level recorded in syria since the war began. un humanitarian co—ordinator jan egeland said the situation was desperate. the most innocent in this bitter conflict are suffering the most, are dying, not because there was not relief, not because there was not people willing to go there even in great danger, but because they were part of a power play between mostly well—fed men with power and with guns. now british charity
the union of medical care and relief organizations hopes that a phone call to the office of president bashar al—assad could save seven children with curable cancer but without the medicine to treat it. if we can save these seven children, maybe we may also able to get out the other 125 children in ghouta who, we understand, are desperately in need of sophisticated medical support, which they cannot get in ghouta. it is a big maybe though. even if the charity is successful, there is no guarantee that the other sick children, including karim, could be helped too. bali's mount agung volcano has been sending ash and smoke into the atmosphere in its latest eruption. surrounding airports were not affected by the ash clouds and no closures have been reported.
the indonesian government set the alert status for the volcano at its highest level last month following a series of larger eruptions. following the latest rumbling, the threat level remains the same. oysters are an acquired taste for many, but one farmer in france is hoping to change that, patenting pre—flavoured varieties. the unconventional technique is splitting opinions and taste buds, in the french oyster capital of marennes. georgina smyth reports. when it comes to flavour to this farmer, the oyster is his oyster. after getting the idea from customers, he created a special process of adding a twist to his products by putting oysters in a tank of sea water laced with extracts like lemon, mustard or ginger. translation: a filter it naturally, it is the flavour that
has been designed for the oyster so as not to kill it or disturb it to each feels like the water in which it would normally live in a sea or in the tank. the 16 step process was perfected by trial and error but the risk has paid off. translation: yes, it is great, you really takes the oyster, it is a mask the flavour, it is good. still thinking outside the shell, there are plans to add great fruit, plum and truffle to the menu in the future. translation: fruit, plum and truffle to the menu in the future. translationzlj fruit, plum and truffle to the menu in the future. translation: i tested them and i don't like all of them, are like rothbury and musket with shalott, you really expect it to taste vinegar with a shalott and she really just have to taste vinegar with a shalott and she reallyjust have to shalott taste vinegar with a shalott and she really just have to shalott taste, so really just have to shalott taste, so it is pretty surprising. the oysters are gaining popularity across the world with boxes being packaged for as far as hong kong. but the oyster connoisseur of concedes local fifi purist are harder to flow. translation: the french are used to eating normal
oysters, they have been doing it for decades and it is hard to change consumer habits that have been around for years but we are trying. the award—winning molluscs have proved popular at trade fairs in belgium and french customers curious to try the niche oysters will soon be able to buy them at major supermarkets. in case you haven't noticed, it is — or at least will be very shortly — christmas. all around the world, people will be spending time with family and friends. and the festive celebrations can take many different forms for many different people, as the bbc‘s tim allman explains. we all know donald trump likes twitter. but for his first christmas as president, he tore himself away from social media to use a telephone instead. he and the first lady taking calls from children, wondering what they want from santa. oh, that's good, building blocks — that's what i always like, too. as for mr trump, he said america now had prosperity, so he wanted peace. the north american aerospace defense command, or norad,
has been tracking father christmas' progress for over 60 years. you might ask, if you were a bit of a spoilsport, is this a good use of taxpayer's money. norad seems to think it is. and even if it's kind of a little rough, it is santa, so he can move on out and he can make sure that all the boys and girls that have been so amazing this year will get their gifts, and as long as they're in bed after 9:00 and before midnight, i think they'll be good to go. before setting off, he decided to do a spot of waterskiing in us state of virginia, as you do. some seemed impressed, others perhaps less so. man: so santa claus is a busy man, i guess. very, very busy. and somehow, he managed to come down here — i don't know how. when you think christmas, you invariably think radishes. well, they do here in the mexican state of oaxaca. for more than a century,
they have held this festival where artists sculpt, well, radishes. whoever thought of it i think must have had an incredible fantastic vision to create such imaginative, beautiful, creative, artistic, beautiful... in central romania, they welcome christmas with a light show, the ski slopes illuminated by torches. these are just a few of the countless ways to celebrate this festive time. a reminder of our breaking news from kabul — three people have been killed and one injured when a suicide attacker detonated explosives devices in the shashdarak area of district 9. this is bbc news. hello there, and happy
christmas to you. now, we start the festive forecast with a picture from one of our weather watchers of christmas eve, beautiful conditions there in cosby in leicestershire. fairly cloudy skies there above that gorgeous christmas tree, and that's the way it's going to look for many of us for christmas day — cloudy, mild and pretty breezy. and for some of us, there's going to be some rain on the cards, but not a complete washout. we're going to start christmas day with largely dry conditions for central, southern and eastern parts of england, and much of wales, too. to the north of that, some rain for northern england, northern ireland too, and it's a windy day, particularly for many central parts of england. colder conditions moving in from the north. but, if we look at christmas day afternoon, 3:00pm in the afternoon, there's that rain pushing in. turning very windy, we could see gusts of around 60mph for a time around the south coast. much of england seeing a lot of cloud, but there'll be some brighter intervals in that cloud at times, too. more rain, though, for the north of wales, into northern england and northern ireland.
just a little bit of sleet and snow mixed in with some of that rain for the pennines, the southern uplands too. then colder conditions with some wintry showers moving into the north of scotland. heading through into christmas day evening, as this band of rain pushes eastwards, it takes strong, squally winds away towards the east coast, and some heavy rain slowly clearing. so, by the early hours of boxing day, with those wintry showers moving in from the north, it's going to be much colder than it has been recently. we could have a few icy stretches and one or two sleet and snow showers, mostly over the higher ground of the pennines, the southern uplands, too. and for northern scotland, more snow showers moving in later in the day. elsewhere, though, a lot of dry and fairly sunny weather on boxing day. a much brighter day than we've seen recently. but also, temperatures on the colder side, around 4—8 degrees. some more persistent rain then works into the south—west of england and wales later on in the day. and, into boxing day evening, that rain and the strong winds push eastwards across southern parts of england and wales, so that could be fairly heavy, some of that rain, at times. further north, it's a quieter picture.
so we've got that area of low pressure as we head through boxing day night and then into wednesday, which brings some strong winds and some heavy rain across parts of england and wales. just on the back edge of that, there's the chance that we could see a little bit of sleet, possibly some snow over the higher ground, with those cold, northerly winds meeting that area of rain. so wednesday we're looking at now. a colder feel to the weather, around 3—6 degrees, but some sunshine and just the odd shower around. a lot of dry weather, too, on thursday, more rain working into the south—west later on in the day. but it is feeling much colder than it has done recently this is bbc news. the headlines: in the past hour, it's been reported that three people have been killed and one injured in kabul when a suicide attacker detonated explosives devices in the shashdarak area of district 9. the injured have been taken to the kabul hospitals. pope francis has urged the world not to ignore the plight of millions of migrants who are driven from their land in his
christmas eve mass. the leader of the world's estimated 1.2 billion roman catholics also stressed that faith demanded that foreigners be welcomed everywhere. meanwhile, pilgrims from around the world have gathered in bethlehem for christmas celebrations. however, fewer than usual are in the city due to increased tensions between the palestinians and israelis. those are the headlines here on bbc news. now on bbc news, it's time for a programme to mark the 20th anniversary of bbc hardtalk.