welcome to newsday on bbc news. i'm sharanjit leyl, in singapore. the headlines: australia's new south wales fire service warns people to leave the coast while they can. bushfires have killed eight, and destroyed over 1,000 homes since monday. israel's prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, seeks immunity from prosecution over charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. i'm nuala mcgovern, in london. also on the programme: hong kong police make 400 arrests, as anti—government protests and violence spill into a new year. all this started more than six months ago. few could have imagined it would last this long.
today, very few can imagine how this is all going to end. good afternoon, i am your butler. and challenging stereotypes in singapore — we meet the working women rewriting the rules. live from our studios in singapore and london, this is bbc world news — it's newsday. it's 9am in singapore, 1am in london, and 12pm in south—eastern australia, where the fire service in new south wales has warned people to leave the south coast if they don't need to be there, ahead of possibly more ferocious fires that are forecast on saturday. the bushfires in that part of the country have now killed at least eight people since monday. phil mercer has the latest from sydney. i think there is one
figure in particular, sharanjit, that sums up the scale of this crisis in the state of new south wales. for example, the authorities estimate that almost 1,300 homes have been destroyed in this fire crisis. as you say in the last few days, we know that eight people have died. so there has been a significant impact on life and property, and the danger is far from over. there are milder conditions today and probably tomorrow, but on saturday we are expecting a return of those hot, windy conditions that are so devastating and do conspire to whip up the flames that raced through so many communities on the new south wales south coast. and the authorities are so worried about the conditions over the weekend, they have ordered tourists to leave vast areas of the coastline.
it's about a 180 kilometre stretch from the town of batemans bay, all the way down to the victorian state border. so thousands of people are heeding that warning and there are many many reports of gridlock on the roads as people try to get out as soon as they can. that's right, phil, and we are being told that of course, the new south wales fire service wants people off the coast. we have been seeing images of people huddling, taking shelter on beaches. just how bad is the situation there? i don't think it's an exaggeration, sharanjit, to say that australia feels like it's on a war footing. we have the military coming in, we have people huddling for safety on beaches, we have communities that remain isolated from the fires, we have towns on the coast cut off because the roads are impassible. we have, as we say, devastation, the loss of life and property
and the expectation is that this will not only get worse, potentially get worse over the weekend, but the next few weeks and months could be as dangerous as well. these are traditionally the warmest months of the year here in eastern australia. january and february, already in december, we've had record—breaking temperatures, so australia is bracing itself for another onslaught. let's take a look at some of the day's other news: israel's prime minister, benjamin neta nyahu, says he will seek parliamentary immunity from prosecution in three cases in which he's charged with bribery and fraud. the immunity request could delay legal proceedings against him for months. mr netanyahu made his announcement in a live television address. translation: i intend to ask the speaker of the knesset, according to article 4, to let me implement my right, my duty and my mission to continue serving you, for the future of israel.
i intend to ask because i am sacrificing my life to you, people of israel. but there are people who, unlike me, did commit grave crimes, and they have lifelong immunity. they are just on the right side of the media and the left wing. also making news today: carlos ghosn, the multi—millionaire former boss of nissan, says he will hold a news conference next week, following his surprise arrival in lebanon. mrghosn fledjapan, over the weekend, where he was under house arrest, facing trial on charges of financial misconduct. the exact circumstances of ghosn‘s escape from japan remain unclear. supporters of a powerful iranian—backed militia in iraq have pulled back from the american embassy in baghdad. they staged a violent protest there on new year's eve, after us air strikes killed members of the militia. the strikes came after a series of rocket attacks on american military targets, which killed a us civilian. dozens of animals,
including rare bornean orangutans, chimpanzees and marmosets, have been killed in a fire at a zoo in western germany. police are investigating whether the blaze was caused by chinese lanterns released during new year's eve celebrations. the pacific nation of palau has become the first country to ban sun block that is harmful to corals and sea life. the ban covers the sale and use of lotion containing any of ten common ingredients. several other places, including hawaii, have announced similar plans. the former national basketball association commissioner, david stern, who oversaw the huge rise in the game's popularity, has died aged 77. one of nba's most successful players, shaquille 0'neal, has tweeted, calling david stern... "the best commissioner to ever do it". police in hong kong have arrested around 400 people who took part in a new year's day anti—government demonstration.
officers say they detained the protesters for offences, including unlawful assembly and possession of offensive weapons. despite the march starting peacefully, there were violent clashes between a small number of protesters and police. riot police used pepper spray and tear gas, while ha rd core protesters threw petrol bombs. 0ur correspondent, jonathan head, sent this report. the first day of the year and already a mass rally. hong kongers wasted no time in letting their government know that nothing has changed in 2020. they still fear that their city's identity and freedoms are under threat, that they cannot let up the pressure on their leaders and on their backers in beijing. in this huge crowd, they came from all walks of life.
what we've seen today is enough to tell us what's in store for hong kong this year. and it's going to be more of the same battle of wills between protesters determined to defend the territory's autonomy and a government that is equally determined not to be seen to make concessions. when all this started more than six months ago, few could have imagined it would last this long. today very few can imagine how this is all going to end. it had been a legal protest, but suddenly the police announced it was no longer approved. the families disappeared, then the masked youngsters ready to confront the security forces took up positions. and in a now all too familiar routine, the riot police took up theirs. unfortunately, again, rioters hijacked the procession today, which resulted in the decision for the police to end the procession earlier this afternoon. but today even the hardcore
protesters didn't want to fight. as night fell, they left symbolic barricades and withdrew, the police moving in to clear and reclaim the streets. they and their young adversaries are surely tired of these continuous confrontations, yet it seems they are compelled to carry on playing their part in what looks set to be another year of turmoil. jonathan head, bbc news, hong kong. lawmakers in taiwan have passed an anti—infiltration law, designed to tackle perceived political interference by china, as the island prepares for a presidential election on january the eleventh. the law was approved at a time of heightened tension between china and taiwan, whose current president tsai ing—wen, is considered more hostile to beijing than the other two presidential candidates. 0ur taiwan correspondent, cindy sui, explains exactly what this law is. what this law is about.
it aims at preventing china from infiltrating taiwan, in terms of political campaign funding, as well as disrupting or organising protests and also trying to fund the media to get china's approach, china's message out there and to attack people who are considered anti—china or pro—taiwan independence. this law is very wide ranging, basically people can get in trouble if they are found to have taken money from beijing to try to influence taiwanese society including public opinion. people who are caught doing this can be punished by up to seven years in prison. the petition parties in taiwan have been very much against this law. they basically call it a witch hunt or a taiwanese style mccarthyism. they said has been a violation of human rights. they believe it could be opened up to abuse by the ruling party they believe it could be opened up to abuses by the ruling party and the president to basically target their political opponents. it is so interesting.
i'm wondering if china wanted to exert force on taiwan for example, a law like this wouldn't make any difference, would it? it would be very, very hard actually to catch people who are taking money from china because of course they can do it in very, very indirect ways. so a third—party, fourth party, fifth party. it's very hard to track down these kind of influence attempts and at the same time we have to understand that in taiwan, there is already a widespread culture of influencing the media and political funding that is very, very shady so it's very difficult to figure out how this is happening and to crack down on it. in fact, prosecutors i've spoken to recently, they said they've been investigating for months over potential funding of political campaigns by china. but they haven't come up with any evidence so far. and the elections coming up that i mentioned, what should our viewers be watching for? besides economic issues which both of the main political parties have a very similar platforms on, one of the main key issues
that we should be watching is how voters will take the messages from both sides. the ruling party and president tsai ing—wen‘s party, they are campaigning on basically china threat. they are campaigning on basically the china threat. they are saying that china is a huge threat to taiwan and that taiwan could become the next hong kong. she is promising to protect taiwan's sovereignty, democracy and freedoms. but at the same time, the opposition party argues that this is basically fearmongering. that she is trying to use the hong kong protests and fear to try and win the election. they believe there is a much better way to deal with china. which is going back to the agreement that her predecessor had used before she came into power, which allowed the two sides to put aside the touchy issue of taiwan's sovereignty and focus on building good relationships together and bring economic prosperity to taiwan.
these are like pictures from japan where the emperor has just appeared. he is delivering his first new year's message from the imperial palace in tokyo and several thousand people have gathered to cheer him on, in the palace grounds. we saw them waving japanese flags. we know that the emperor ascended to the chrysanthemum that the emperor ascended to the chrysa nthemum throne that the emperor ascended to the chrysanthemum throne up all the abdication of his father, who we can see next to him, on the left. of course, this happened on may 2019. the emperor delivering his new year's day message, his very first message to the people of japan. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: could a swap shop for clothes curb the environmental costs
of fast fashion? also on the programme: defying stereotypes in the hospitality industry — how women are breaking the mould at singapore's raffles hotel. 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 strikes the hour this is newsday on the bbc. i'm sharanjit leyl in london. our top stories: australia's new south wales fire service warns people to leave areas on the coast, with more dangerous bushfires forecast this weekend. police in hong kong arrest around 400 people at a new year's demonstration as the territory starts 2020 with more protest and unrest. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. gulf news is reporting that one billion people watched
the dubai new year's eve fireworks display. but it's leading with the us escalating its military presence in iraq to counter iran's influence there. the international new york times has a story on the rising number of women in senegal entering the job market. the paper says that because so many senegalese men go abroad to work, there are growing opportunities for women. and the front page of le figaro is on the fugitive former nissan—renault ceo, carlos ghosn. it describes his escape from prosecutors injapan as "an incredible evasion". now, what stories are sparking
discussions online? there is one man. pope francis has confessed that he had lost patience with an admirer who grabbed his hand on saint peter's square on tuesday. let's ta ke let's take a look. he had been greeting pilgrims when he admonished a woman for grabbing his hand. he's since apologised for the "bad example" he gave when he slapped the woman's hand twice to break free from her grip. translation: the salvation of jesus is not magic but it is patient. it entails the patience of love, because it is love that makes us patient. many times you lose patience, myself included, and i apologise for the bad example i gave yesterday. in indonesia, floods in the capitaljakarta, have killed nine people and forced thousands to leave their homes. among the dead is a teenager who was electrocuted. sylvia lennan—spence reports. the heavy monsoon rains began
lashing the indonesian capital on new year's eve, triggering the worst flooding seen there in almost seven years. houses have been submerged, forcing more than 19,000 people to leave their homes and find shelter elsewhere. more than 700 areas in the greaterjakarta region have suffered from power outages, although the electricity was shut off in many parts for safety reasons after a man died when he was electrocuted. translation: my son's body was covered with newspaper. my second child passed by, and people asked, do you know him? if my other child had not passed by, we would not have known my son had been killed. one of jakarta's main airports had to be closed as the runway was flooded, meaning delays and diversions for hundreds of passengers.
many roads were also impassable, cars and buses submerged by the waters. the president, joko widodo, has instructed government agencies to prioritise the rescue efforts and to try to get public transport running as soon as possible. translation: water has inundated some public facilities, including airports, toll roads and other vital places. the rivers must be stabilised so that their functions can be restored to normal. this is the worst flooding to hitjakarta since 2007, when at least 80 people were killed and more than 300,000 displaced. now schools and offices have been told to provide shelter as the country's weather agency says more rainfall is expected over the next few days. sylvia lennan—spence, bbc news. as a new decade arrives, businesses around the world are under pressure to improve their sustainable credentials to consumers, and the fashion industry is no different. globalfashion production produces 1.2 billion tons of carbon per year, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. how can an industry of mass
consumerism change? could swapping rather than selling help? simon browning reports. a new style of shopping for a new decade. they call it a "swap shop". bring the stuff you no longer wear and exchange it for something else. i really like the idea of, like, exchanging with people, and, like, recycling. society is shifting and it is changing into something that is more conscientious. jade and lucy set up their clothes—swap business, lonehood, because they were horrified at the sheer volume of clothes they saw every day while working in the modelling industry. i would choose some 40 to sometimes 70 outfits a day. it was overwhelming to think how many clothes are being produced. most stuff is brand new. it is quite shameful on our part. one of the first to arrive at the swap was samantha and her family. so much stuff that we don't wear. and even him, he got given things when he was born that he hasn't worn and i just thought this is such a great way to get rid of the things
that we don't want and then get new things but without buying morejunk. bags and bags and bags of clothes for swapping pour in. for each item, you receive a token. the team then make this east end nightclub into a shop. then it is time to ready, steady, swap. the fashion industry is facing a huge challenge as it's built on mass consumerism, but every single garment made has an environmental impact. take a pair ofjeans — 10,000 litres of water to make one pair. and it is leading to serious questions for retailers, manufacturers and supplies about what changes they need to make. there's the men's stuff. great shirts. jade and lucy believe we have the power. i definitely think that the more we shout about what we want, and we want it to be more sustainable, then businesses will then listen. but last summer, those businesses were accused of not listening or acting fast enough, when extinction rebellion protesters tried to stop london fashion week. the environmentalists
believe fast fashion is one of the world's worst polluters. this woman runs a parliamentary group on fashion. she brought the protesters and industry bosses together. she says big behavioural changes are needed. we've all got to stop thinking that buying seven bags of clothes on a friday is a good idea, whether it's something from prima or something from prada, do you really need it? are you going to wear it at least 30 times? we asked six big retailers for an interview — no—one was available. sustainability means producing and buying less to reduce our impact on resources but, for shops who want to sell, that is a profit problem and a big business challenge. but here, pre—loved and reworn. a little sustainability just one swap at a time. simon browning, bbc news. the gender wage gap exists in many industries, but one sector that's particularly tough is hospitality. a recent report found that it's unusual to find women in the senior ranks of international hotel management. but one well—known hotel
here in singapore is making a difference — and i went to find out more. good afternoon, my name is grace, i am your butler. she's not your stereotypical idea of a butler. she leads a team of 29 who serve some of the poshest guests at singapore's famous raffles hotel. when i introduce myself to our guests and i introduce myself as the head butler of raffles hotel usually they take a second glance. they would say... wow. but grace isn't the only one defying stereotypes. at the hotel's long bar where the singapore sling
was invented more than 100 years ago, things have come full circle. its most famous pink cocktail may have been invented by a male bartender to attract more female patrons, but today it's a woman who helms the bar. despite its traditional facade, the raffles has always been a hotel that has defied tradition. nearly 30 years ago, it was among the first hotels in asia to appoint a woman in charge. singaporean jennie chua blazed a trailfor the others. women and hospitality, the two don't quite match. you probably need to make a choice that is, you are either a hotelier or you are a wife mother, and if you want be a general manager or in a serious senior management position, you probably need to be focused on just that career for that amount of time. add in asia's cultural context and it is even harderfor women
to get to the top. most businesses in asia have always been male—dominated. women are lacking confidence to ask for that promotion compared to their male counterparts. and i think that is more pronounced in this part of the world in asia where culturally, tooting your own horn is not really something that you're taught to do. it is very difficult but women need to be bold in a very male—dominated industry such as hospitality. now, with one of asia's most famous hotels taking the lead, it's a view that's quickly changing. raffles is sometimes affectionately called la grande dame. and with so many women in charge, it's putting a new spin to that term. well, i am so glad that hotels like raffles are making a really big difference there, getting women into
senior positions. i hope hotels all over the world do the same as well. you've been watching news that i'm sharanjit leyl in singapore. goodbye. hello there. it was a relatively quiet start to the new year weather—wise, wasn't it? but a change is likely through today, we are going to see some stronger winds and also some rain around as well. now, if i show you the pressure chart you will see exactly what i'm talking about. the wet weather starting to push into the north—west and plenty of isobars here, so that's where the strongest of the winds and the heaviest of the rain is likely to be. now, these weather fronts are really just keeping the cold air for the moment at bay, but with that south—westerly feed at least it's a mild sort, so that blanket of cloud preventing those temperatures from falling too far. so a mild start to thursday, there will be some rain, some of it heavy as it moves through scotland and as one front clears away it will be replaced by yet another.
so, by the middle of the afternoon it is going to be windy and often wet at times. the first front moves out of the scottish borders into north wales, ahead of it it will stay rather cloudy and grey, blustery, but the strongest of the winds with gusts in excess of 50—60 mph on exposed coasts into the far north—west. but, as i say, a south—westerly wind, double digits quite widely across the country. those fronts sweep their way south and east and so that's going to open the door to this cooler, fresher air, the isobars open up so by the time we get to friday slightly lighter winds but hopefully a little more sunshine around. early morning cloud and rainjust easing away from the far south—east and then it's a relatively dry, quiet afternoon for many, with just a scattering of showers in the far north—west, some sunshine, but temperatures struggling for many to climb into double digits. so, 6—8 degrees in the north, 9 to maybe 11 if we're lucky in the south—east corner. as we move into the weekend, high—pressure is set to build
from the south and that means that a relatively quiet story with the weather fronts toppling across the high, so maybe always the chance of a little more in the way of cloud and outbreaks of showery rain into the north—west, the best of the sunshine on saturday across england and wales. and again those temperature is struggling a little, 6—10 degrees at the very best. now, as we move out of saturday into sunday, it's almost a case of spot the difference but the wind direction changing once again, and always the risk of a little more cloud the further north and west you are, the best of the drier, brighter weather into the east and we mightjust see temperatures peaking at around 9—11 degrees. then as we move out of the weekend into next week where most of us are set to go back to a proper week of work, it looks like the north and west will stay blustery and wet, the best of the drier and brighter weather in the south and east. bye— bye.
i'm nuala mcgovern with bbc world news. our top story: australia's new south wales fire service is warning people to leave the south coast of the state if they don't need to stay there, with more bushfires forecast this weekend. the bushfires have now killed at least eight people since monday. some died trying to protect their homes, while others were found in burned out cars. israel's prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, has said he will seek parliamentary immunity from prosecution in three cases in which he's charged with bribery and fraud. the request could delay legal proceedings against him for months. and this story is gaining a lot of attention on bbc.com: pope francis has apologised for slapping a woman's hand in st peter's square in rome on tuesday. the pope had been greeting crowds when the woman grabbed his hand, almost making him lose his balance. that's all. stay with bbc world news.