welcome to bbc news, i'm mike embley. our top stories: israel's prime minister benjamin netanyahu retains the leadership of his likud party and will lead it into march's general election. blocked roads and widespread flooding hamper rescue efforts in the philippines, where a typhoon has killed at least 16 people. 15 years after the indian ocean tsunami, how ready are communities if disaster strikes again? is this a way to save the world's coral from climate change? scientists are trying to grow new reefs in the seychelles. for a leaderfacing criminal charges
of fraud, bribery and breach of trust it was a big test of his hold on power. but the israeli prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, has retained control of the governing likud party, in an internal election, and will now lead israel into its third national election within a year. it is due in march. mr netanyahu has tweeted that he's achieved a huge win, and his rival, gideon sa'ar, has admitted defeat. rich preston reports. this was the first serious challenge to benjamin netanyahu's leadership in ten years. but he seemed to still have the support of party loyalists, winning more than 70% of the votes. "a huge win!", mr netanyahu tweeted shortly after polls closed. confidence in israel's longest—serving prime minister had been shaken after two failed general elections and an indictment on corruption charges, accused of accepting gifts in exchange for political favours
and doing deals to get good press coverage. charges he denies, calling the whole thing a witch—hunt. his challenger and a leadership contest was former cabinet minister gideon sa'ar. translation: i feel a great sense of awakening, people understand that there is a need for change. translation: the likud party needs a change. we had two rounds of elections without clear results, so maybe the change should come from within the party. mr netanyahu may sleep easy tonight after being of his opponent, but it won't be an easy road ahead. after september's general election, where no party won a majority, guess what? there will be a third vote in three months‘ time. will mr neta nyahu, buoyed by his victory in his leadership challenge finally win
the majority he needs? or will it be three strikes and you're out, and another failed attempt by israel's longest—serving prime minister to lead the country with the largest military in the middle east? rich preston, bbc news. guy ziv is an expert on israeli politics and professor at the american university in washington. he gave us his reaction to the leadership challenge results. it was widely assumed he was going to prevail in today's primary challenge but not by this margin. i mean, he won with nearly 73% of the vote. this was a knockout, and it definitely attests to netanyahu's political prowess. he's machiavellian politician, has a strong survival instinct and he's a great campaigner. he crisscrossed the country in the last several weeks as if he was running for the very first time despite his frontrunner
status, and he went for the jugular. he's not afraid to play dirty. what does that tell you about what might be coming next? i think it tells you that he's strong within his own party. he's got a lock on his party, the base is still with him despite being indicted forfraud and breach of trust, bribery in three separate criminal cases, with the bribery charge being especially egregious. netanyahu is by no means assured of victory the forthcoming third round. i think there is a certain fatigue and we may see soft right voters jumping ship, the momentum at the moment seems to be with the centrist blue and white alliance of three former idf chiefs of staff and a popular politician. what are the chances of him avoiding a criminal case? i think his very next step will be to get an immunity deal. he is going to be fighting this tooth and nail, he's not going to go quietly, he's not going to retire.
but he will try to exploit his strength within his party and within his camp by getting some sort of an immunity deal that will allow him to remain prime minister despite his legal challenges and hopefully — from his perspective — prevail in the next election and be able to assemble a coalition under his leadership. and whether he does or he doesn't, you have a sense of what all this means for israel as a country? well, i think the country is obviously very divided. it is divided along many lines. netanyahu is perhaps the ultimate divisive figure here, i don't think the country's ever been quite this divided. he's played a very big role in fomenting this kind of polarisation we have seen. i think one of the key
challenges of his successor, assuming it will be, for example, benny gantz, who leads the blue and white alliance, is to unite the country, to try to unify the country and lower the volume. that is something that we haven't seen in a while. netanyahu has essentially been the longest running prime minister in israel's history, but he's become much more of a polarising figure than he was when he started out. even when he started out he was controversial, but i think in the current atmosphere of populist nationalism, he has been able to take it a step further. there are a lot of parallels being made today with trump and some of the same rhetoric that trump users, netanyahu uses it as well including deep state and fake news. professor guy ziv, thank you for your insights. recovery operations are beginning in the philippines, where typhoon phanfone has left at least 16 people dead on islands in the centre of the country. winds up to 190 kilometres an hour
stranded tens of thousands at ports, many unable to join their families for christmas. james waterhouse reports. typhoon phanfone first arrived on tuesday night. with it came winds of almost 120mph, causing devastation and fear. the storm then worked its way over the islands of the central philippines. only today is there a sense of the damage caused. buildings were torn apart, roofs blown off. whole villages were devastated as the typhoon swept through, leaving residents to pick through the debris left behind. it was so powerful, even large boats were overturned. the philippines is no stranger to tropical storms and typhoons, with around 20 arriving each year.
the most powerful one to hit land ever in the world, typhoon haiyan, struck in 2013, leaving more than 6,000 people dead. today, as a country rebuilds, the red cross warns it could take weeks to bring back power and running water. not only that, many people are still missing. james waterhouse, bbc news. we will bring you this breaking news straightaway, a plane crash in because extant. reports suggest a back airflight because extant. reports suggest a back air flight disappeared from red shortly after takeoff, 94 passengers onboard, we understand, and five crew. we will bring you more on that as soon as we have more. firefighting teams in australia have had respite over the past few days with lower temperatures, but that is due to end as the heatwave returns.
since september, close to 3,000 firefighters have been out nearly every day battling blazes. almost 90% are unpaid volunteers. many families in new south wales are spending the holiday season in shelters, their villages and towns still smouldering from last week's fires. our correspondent, phil mercer, is in bilpin, about 75 kilometres north—west of sydney. the physical, financial and emotional cost of these fires has been immense. communities across australia have been terrorised by giant walls of flames. here in bilpin, we have been talking to simon tadrosse. he's originally from lebanon, but has lived here for more than 30 years. he owns an orchard that was very badly damaged. he joined the firefighting effort and almost lost his life. we thought we were safe, at 2, 3 o'clock in the afternoon, it passed us, we thought, "oh, good, it didn't impact us" and then the southerly came in at 5 o'clock
and turned the fire around and it just came straight towards us. what was the most frightening bit for you? um, facing it, driving towards it in the tractor, and couldn't sort of really get out of it, that was the frightening thing. bit obviously, i made it through, but scary, very scary. for simon and his family, there has been an enormous financial cost. 40% of his farm has been lost. cooler conditions today here in new south wales are helping the firefighting effort but more dangerous days do lie ahead. here, in australia's most populous state, more than 70 blazes are still burning but this is a nationwide crisis. there are still active fires in the states of victoria and south australia. phil mercer, bbc news, in bilpin, the blue mountains. fifteen years ago today, more than 230,000 people died in a massive tsunami along the coast of the indian ocean — triggered by an earthquake,
magnitude 9.1, off northern sumatra. there've been memorial services in indonesia, thailand and sri lanka — some of the worst—affected countries. since then money has been spent to improve systems, to give better warning of a similar disaster. olivia crellin reports. 15 years, the images of devastation brought by the indian ocean soon i'm you no less shocking. waves as high as 17 metres steer on into pristine beaches, homes and entire communities, killing more than 230,000 people and displacing more than 2 million. while the physical landscape has recovered and development has returned to thailand, sri lanka and indonesia, among other areas affected, a psychological trauma remains. this child at lost both parents and five
other relatives. i'm still scared, very scared, i want to go to live somewhere else but is not possible because i was born here, grew up here, my father and mother also died here, my father and mother also died here so i must remain and live here. sometimes i dream that a wave is coming, i'm still scared. it's an image that still haunts me when the wave was coming, i can still remember it. the disaster was indiscriminate, hitting families from the small fishing village of ben nam, where an interfaith memorial was being held. even the country's royalty. officials remember king maha's nephew, who was last seen jet remember king maha's nephew, who was last seenjet skiing remember king maha's nephew, who was last seen jet skiing off the coast and the soon i'm eating it. over 50,000 bodies were never recovered. today, 15 years on, millions of dollars have gone into building a vast network of seismic and tsunami
information centres. but doubts remain about how ready countries on the indian ocean really are for another giant wave. translation: if we encounter it again, iam translation: if we encounter it again, i am not confident we can handle it. anyway, thai are always ready when it comes to volunteering ina ready when it comes to volunteering in a crisis. those skilled in 2004 received no formal warning of the waves and were left with no chance to escape. those still living with the threat of a similar disaster today hope that by now lessons have been learned. olivia crellin, bbc news. quite a lot on the move at the moment. this story coming in in the past few minutes, an earthquake has hit around near a nuclear plant —— iran. the magnitude of the quake was 5.1. it's on iran's southern coast,
we understand 33 miles of 53 kilometres east of bushehr. the quakers considered moderate and moderate can cause considerable damage —— the quake is considered. still to come: in search of a giant african butterfly, a team of french scientists take to the treetops in search of the mysterious swallowtail. the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has got under way with the introduction of the euro. tomorrow in holland, we're going to use money we picked up in belgium today. and then we'll be in france and again it will be the same money. it's just got to be the way to go. george harrison, the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed at his oxfordshire home.
a 33—year—old man from liverpool is being interviewed by police on suspicion of attempted murder. i think it was good. reporter: it was just good? no, fantastic. that's better. big ben bongs this is bbc news, the latest headlines. israel's prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, has retained his leadership of the governing likud party and will lead it in the next general election due in march. rescue and repair operations are continuing in the philippines after a powerful typhoon left at least 16 people dead and tens of thousands stranded. let's stay with that story now.
randy borjha is in the town of tukdao on the philippine island of biliran. it's a community that was hit hard by typhoon phanfone. the town has no electricity and many families there have lost their homes. he joins us now over the line. you miller but you are visiting a hometown for christmas. and yes, yes. how is it there? million people homeless. especially in our community we are, there are a lot of families where it at its worst,. have you prescribed when storm hits? we describe it as its, it looks like a typhoon, at the wind is so strong,
there's rain in the big waves and it hits houses on the coastal areas. there's rain in the big waves and it hits houses on the coastal areasm had about nine o'clock in the evening on christmas eve so people would have been something done by the night. unprepared. supposed to be, when you celebrate the night, and douglas], in our place, kind of celebration, that only counter it in the night. was not wanting us back i'm sorry chris back was that much warning ) i'm sorry chris back was that much warning) did people get much warning) did people get much warning of what was about to happen? yes, but in the beans during that time, that there is good and we generally expect that. it's so
strong. quickly, owner ofa generally expect that. it's so strong. quickly, owner of a saying about 50 families have lost their homes. but everyone without electricity for village health, of forgetting it? how do you think the authorities are responding ) right now, they are listed down all the people who are in trouble. thank you for it on to us. all the best. the plane crash in the central aim dishrag asian country. according to a —— cord to the newsagency, it went under the city, the statement published on instagram, in the
morning, flight add —— said to 100 lost altitude during takeoff and broke through a concrete fence. sarah goes on, there was a collision with a two story building. operations and the evacuation began immediately, that the toll is seven people, goes on until circumstances are clarified. acts of the aircraft are clarified. acts of the aircraft are suspended, there were 95 passengers on board, five crew. it seemed clear that there are for quite a few uses —— survivors but not clear how many. the seychelles off the coast of east africa is setting itself up as a hub for marine preservation. at least half the world's reefs have already been lost to rising sea temperatures, so could this tiny archipelago help save some from extinction? catherine byaru hanga, from bbc africa, has been finding out.
they're called the reef rescuers. atina and chloe work in the indian ocean trying to find ways of saving the world's dying coral. today, they're checking on their nursery. it's a man—made coralfarm and one of the biggest in the world. this is a large—scale coral reef restoration project. the nursery that we use is a rope nursery. so, our coral fragments are actually placed inside a rope and then they are hung mid—water. over half the world's reefs have already been lost because of climate change. coral gets its colour and its energy from the algae which live inside it. as the water gets warmer, though, the algae becomes toxic, so the coral evicts it. this is called bleaching. with its food source expelled, the coral often die. from the nursery, the small coral are brought down and cemented to the ocean floor. within minutes, fish swim to what the reef rescuers
call super coral. our coral gardening methodology identifies resilient colonies by visiting reefs shortly after bleaching events and looking at which colonies have survived, and have some level of confidence that they are resilient and will make our restoration site resilient forfurther climate change events. the nursery is also an open water classroom. from the surface, i can see hundreds of coral beneath me. scientists have come from all over the world to learn how it's done here. this technique has already been taken to countries like colombia and the maldives, and next are kenya, tanzania and mauritius. the reef rescuers‘ project was born here on cousin island, a thriving world—class nature reserve. cousin island was the desired prize... it was set up by nirmal shah.
he's been running conservation projects here for over three decades and he's already thinking about the next big idea. so, all these experiences we've learned from scratch, ok? we know the entire technique now. so the next step is to grow corals on land, tinker around with them until they become resilient to climate change and plant them back. scientists predict most of the world's coral will be gone by 2050. innovation might be the only way to preserve them. catherine byaru hanga, bbc news, the seychelles. spanish police have named a british holiday maker who died at costa del sola christmas eve. the family had been staying at the club costa world resort. an investigation into what happened is under way. the owners of the hotel have described it as a tragic accident. the african giant swallowtail is one of the world's
most mysterious insects. it's a butterfly that is almost completely unknown to science. it's never been seen in its caterpillar or chrysalis state. now a team of french explorers has headed out to the central african republic to see if they can find out more about this elusive creature. the bbc‘s tim allman explains. you have to admit the scenery here is pretty spectacular. the opportunities for discovery even more so. hidden away somewhere in this forest are butterflies, but notjust any butterfly, these men are looking for papilio antimachus africa's largest. and the search is exhaustive. we use different techniques. we have a look out on the banks of the river, on top of the trees, searching for the host plant with a botanist. and also searching for the host plant with a drone. so far this is as close as they've got, an illustration by the expedition‘s in—house draughtsman. the african giant swallowtail with its distinctive orange brown wings and dark markings. the team want to learn more about its early stages, crucial in understanding its development and longevity. but that is easier said than done. translation: we find ourselves
in a forest that is rather deforested, and in which there is mining activities, which does not make things easy. and even the animals are looking for them. the big ones, but even the small ones. the search has so far been unsuccessful but no—one is in any mood to give up. this forest is keeping its secrets, these men will keep trying to unlock them. there is a plane crash in kazakhstan, just me and back because you didn't see, it's understood the aircraft is carrying about 100 passengers and crew enter went down to the city. the statement was
published on the screens now on instagram by the airport at 722 in the morning. the flight numbers at 2100 of back airline. lost altitude during takeoff and broke through a concrete fence. the statements as it was a collision with a two story building. as the two story building. rescue operations and evacuation began immediately, at the moment the death toll officially is seven people. until some thousands are clarified, flat on the seventh aircraft asked temporarily suspended. there were 95 passengers on board, five crew, and at the moment the statement says the death toll is seven people. very briefly in case you justjoined us, the news from an earthquake has hit near a nuclear plant. 5.1, the centre of the quake considered moderate but can cause damage. will ricky more
habit. ——we will bring you more me have it. hello there. after the dry and often bright weather of christmas day, boxing day brought a return to something wetter for many of us. this was the scene for a weather watcher at southport on merseyside, quite a lot of rain here. but it wasn't like that everywhere, parts of northern scotland had the lion's share of the bright and dry weather. and i think more of us will get to see some dry weather over the next few days. a lot of cloud around, and with that it is going to feel milder. this is what's going on as we start friday. this warm front moving its way north eastwards, taking a bit of rain with it, but also as the name suggests, introducing some warmer, or at least milder air, which will be wafting its way up
from the south. particularly, i think, western areas feeling the effect of that as we go through the day ahead. so, we start the morning with a outbreaks of rain drifting across scotland, some of that rain getting into northern england as well, pushing its way eastwards. anotherfrontal system bringing rain back into western scotland and northern ireland through the day. elsewhere, generally a lot of cloud around but generally it will be dry. some glimmers of brightness here and there, top temperatures in single digits across eastern areas of england, but further west, 12 degrees for belfast, stornoway and plymouth. quite windy across the north—west of the uk, particularly western scotland. then as we got the friday night, we will see another pulse of rain putting back across northern ireland, northwards across scotland. for england and wales it's predominantly dry. some clear spells, generally a lot of cloud on what will be quite a mild night. i think the vast majority will stay frost—free. so, the saturday morning then, still frontal systems running up towards the north—west, so there will be positive rain at times, but high pressure close to the east and south of the uk keeping things fine and dry here. but still, rather cloudy for many of us on saturday, some glimmers of brightness again developing, i think particularly across the south of england and south of wales through the afternoon. but for northern ireland,
for scotland, we will again see some outbreaks of rain, some of that will be heavy over hills in the west but notice that mild theme, temperatures of 9—12, maybe 13 degrees. and it stays mild into sunday and at this stage we're likely to bring some slightly drier air up from the near continent. so more sunshine to come across england and wales, northern ireland and also the south and east of scotland. still some rain to the north—west of scotland, but with those southerly winds, those temperatures up to 11, 12, 13, maybe for the moray firth for example, could see around 14 degrees. and then we head into the last couple of days of 2019, we stick with that relatively mild theme, a lot of dry weather, still some rain up towards the north—west.
this is bbc news, the headlines: there's been a plane crash in the central asian country of kazha kstan. details are still coming in, but according to a kazakh news agency, its understood the aircraft was carrying around 100 passengers and crew. it lost altitude after takeoff and crashed into a building. it went down near the city airport at almaty. israel's prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, has defeated his rival, gideon sa'ar, for the leadership of the governing likud party. he will now lead likud into israel's third general election within a year, despite facing criminal charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust. a rescue and recovery operation is underway in the philippines, hit by typhoon phanfone on christmas day. authorities say the storm killed at least 16 people and cut a swathe of destruction through the centre of the country. many more people are missing. now, pallab ghosh looks back on how the frontiers of science