considered ending your life. welcome to bbc news — i'm simon pusey. our top stories: the leader of iran's quds force is reported killed in baghdad — american sources say the us carried out airstrikes in the area. by land and by sea — tens of thousands of australians are evacuated as bushfires rage on. it feels like i'm in the middle of the apocalypse. like, i think someone‘s dropped a bomb on us, basically. that's what it feels like. the us bans some e—cigarette flavours, amid concerns about teenage vaping. but campaigners say it lets manufacturers off the hook. combating high levels of violence against american indian and alaskan native women. a special report from our north america correspondent.
we start with breaking news from iraq. an air strike at baghdad airport has reportedly hit high—profile targets linked to iran. iraqi state tv says one of those killed was the powerful iranian military commander, qassim soleimani. so far there's been no official comment from iran. iraqi police said a total eight people had been killed in an attack, which came hours after the us defence secretary mark esper said washington might have to carry out pre—emptive action to protect american lives in the middle east. it's breaking news but this would be a huge escalation in tensions between the us and iran if it is targeted strikes are just a reminder
that reportedly, in strikes against iran in iraqi qassim soleimani has been killed. more to come on that in the rest of the programme. the australian navy is beginning the evacuation of more than eight—hundred people from the town of mallacoota in victoria, which has been almost entirely encircled by wildfires. it's part of a major operation to get as many people as possible to safety before dangerous weather conditions return on saturday, raising the possibility of further fires. emergency powers are in force, in both victoria, and neighbouring new south wales.eastern australia is also bracing itself for a weekend heatwave with more extreme conditions and strong winds that will further fan the flames. our correspondent shaimaa khalil reports. a state of emergency has now come into effect in new south wales. this gives the rural fire service the power to mobilise resources on a federal level
across the country but also to evacuate people. the commissioner said these conditions are going to be just as bad, if not worse, on saturday. a mass exodus from the devastation on the southern coast and a race to escape the dangerous fire conditions to come. thousands of holiday—makers have been given 48 hours to escape the blazes before conditions worsen, but it hasn't been easy. families have heeded the calls to evacuate, but, because the conditions on the road are still very dangerous, there have been closures in different directions and now they tell us they feel stranded having evacuated those fire—raged towns, now unable to get home. you kind of have a feeling that you can't go forwards, you can't go backwards. and, really, you know, stuck between a burning rock and a burning rock, aren't you? just have to sit it out and hopefully, you know, don't get caught in the middle of a fire. some families were able to get away early in the morning before the road closures. this couple lost their house and had to take refuge in the lake across the road. the fireball came over the hill
just opposite the lake. we thought we had a few minutes at least. we were hosing down the house and everything, doing the gutters, what they say to do, and, within two or three minutes, the fireball just came through at about 80 kays an hour, hit the house, and then we ran into the lake and then all the embers and everything were hitting us, burnt our hair a little bit, and we were in there for about an hour before we got rescued. this is what they're escaping. burning since september, these bushfires have destroyed more than 1,200 homes. the prime minister, who has been a staunch supporter of fossil fuels, insisted that government policy struck the right balance between supporting the economy and protecting the environment. how come we only have four trucks to defend our town? because our town doesn't have a lot of money, but we have hearts of gold, mr prime minister!
but he got an angry reception from the residents of cobargo when he visited their town. no, you're an idiot, mate. lake conjola is a popular holiday destination. now it looks like a conflict zone. when kim harper came back to her house, she couldn't recognise the neighbourhood. it feels like i'm in the middle of the apocalypse. like, i think someone‘s dropped a bomb on us, basically. that's what it feels like. in the neighbouring state of victoria, the navy has been helping evacuate those people stranded in mallacoota. a series of committee meetings have been held to decide who will get to leave the area by ship first. so far, 18 people have lost their lives in the fires. volunteer firefighter geoffrey keaton was one of them. today was his funeral, where his i9—month—old son harvey was presented with his father's medal for bravery. gusty winds and temperatures soaring above a0 degrees are set to create hazardous fire conditions in the coming days. shaimaa khalil, bbc news, lake conjola, new south wales.
we can now speak to our correspondent phil mercer who joins us from the princes highway close the town of nowra in new south wales where firefighters have been battling the bushfires the past week. describe the describe the scene where you are on the kind of conditions you've been experiencing. this traffic is part of the biggest evacuation this part of australia has ever seen. all the cars, the trailers, trucks, boats, the surfboards, packed cars are all part of this evacuation from southern parts of new south wales. they have been declared unsafe for holidaymakers and residents so what we've been seeing is thousands of people leaving the danger zone had a predicted extreme conditions across south—eastern australia on saturday and what the authorities are really worried about, searing temperatures into the 40s, very dry winds that
will exacerbate the five thread and that's why so many people are heading this emergency declaration to get out while they can. it's a massive evacuation, phil. you must have met a lot of desperate and devastated people. how bad has it been for those people in those cars behind you and what have they been experiencing? many of these people are making what potentially could be life or death decisions. authorities certainly think that conditions on saturday be so extreme that they have ordered vast areas of southern new south wales to be evacuated. but evacuation zone has been extended because the five thread is said to because the five thread is said to be far worse than originally feared. many of these people would have seen the devastation as they'd been driving up from southern parts of new south wales and clearly, what they want to be is as far away from
harm ‘s way as they can possibly be. and what does evacuating actually involved? we and what does evacuating actually involved ? we had and what does evacuating actually involved? we had lots of stories of people being stuck in their cars overnight because there is such a big volume of traffic on the roads. some of these vehicles could have been waiting for quite a long time. firstly, for fuel, there been waiting for quite a long time. firstly, forfuel, there are petrol shortages in some of the towns to the south of here. there are food shortages, water shortages. adding to the sense of chaos and unease, phone networks and internet service providers have also been disrupted as well so people are complaining about a lack of reliable information so about a lack of reliable information so many of these people could have been on the road for a considerable length of time. the speed limit has been reduced. further south, there isa been reduced. further south, there is a lot of smoke in the air so early visibility is an issue. getting out of the fire zone for many of these families, retirees, residents, businesses, truck drivers
has been a long and very stressful experience but at least they are on the road. today is the last day, according to the authorities, for people to make the move before those expected extreme conditions sweeping to south—eastern australia on saturday stop phil mercer, thank you for that update, from nowra in new south wales. charles livingstone was planning to have a lovely break at this holiday home in mallacoota with multiple generations of his family when it all went horribly wrong and now they are desperately trying to evacuate. he isjoining us now. charles, thank you forjoining us in mallacoota. just describe how hard things have been for you and your family over the past few days. , it was pretty full on. the firestorm came here on tuesday morning, early in the morning, the sky was black, the sun didn't actually come up. then the fire itself came through, it looked
like the air was literally on fire. behind me, i don't know if you can see, behind me as one of the lakes in this area which is a very popular spotin in this area which is a very popular spot in the authorities told people that they should go down to the waterfront and that the country fire authority firefighters would protect them. we went down there and later on in the evening, it started getting very smoky and police advised just that they'd opened up an evacuation centre up there. i don't know if you can see it, this concrete building behind us which doubles as a cinema and a meeting room so we doubles as a cinema and a meeting room so we went doubles as a cinema and a meeting room so we went up doubles as a cinema and a meeting room so we went up there and we stayed the night in the following night as well so we were there when the fire went through, we were well looked after in there and at the peak of the fire, there were well over 500 people in theirjust riding it out. that was a couple of days ago. our house didn't burn down amazingly because there were 36 houses in our block the didn't burn
down and when i say burn down, there is nothing left but some sheet iron and if few ashes, literally. that is what people are facing here. so we we re what people are facing here. so we were going to be evacuated by air but that's been difficult because of the haze in the air, it's very difficult to conduct our operations at the moment sweep converted to a seaborne evacuation and we're just waiting here at the centre for the bus to take us down to dock where we are going to be very out —— ferried out to the ship hmas choules which is waiting to take about 950 people out today. you have an 18 -month-old toddler with you which makes more difficult. authorities done enough to help do you think?|j difficult. authorities done enough to help do you think? i don't know what more they could do. i think the australian government hasn't been particularly proactive, i'm sorry to say, and you would have heard news of the prime minister being booed and jeered and he's been particularly held to account for the lack of active intervention, not just in terms of my support but
also... charles, i'm going to have to interrupt you, i'm afraid that we have scott morrison who is in the middle of a press conference right now but let's cut to scott morrison who is speaking as we speak. in the efforts on australian defence force, arriving in victoria today, i was briefed on sale. there are three tasks provided to the adf and they are following through in exemplary fashion. the first of those is to assist with the evacuation taking place as we speak down in mallacoota. i report that 57 have already left on the megabytes sycamore, already left on the megabytes sycamore, they are already on their way and by 5pm this afternoon we expect the choules will also be leaving, they can take about 900 on the vessel so around about 1000 people should be evacuated out of that area this afternoon. also in addition to the evacuation effort, and in this evacuation effort as the premier said yesterday, being done
ina very premier said yesterday, being done in a very co—ordinated and calm way, reduces the risk of injury and threats to people safety and i was pleased to see today when we came in the orderly way in which people were leaving the area, being patient in the queues, whether it was the service stations or elsewhere and i think that's extraordinarily helpful, but people get to places of safety right now is incredibly important because in about 2k hours from now or even less, the situation will be far more dangerous and when people are trying to move in those circumstances, are putting themselves at great risk and potentially others as well. that evacuation effort today is extremely important and it's had a big focus from the commonwealth. a second part of the adf‘s tasking is providing support to isolated communities and malla coota support to isolated communities and mallacoota is receiving 12,000 litres of fuel each and every day to ensure the centre of that town can
remain operational. that is being done principally through aerial support and that will continue, providing misconduct into a lot of isolated communities you see throughout the east keeps land area is one of the great challenges —— gippsland. 0nly is one of the great challenges —— gippsland. only those unaccounted for in this part of the fire grounds are because they are in a lot of those remote communities and it's very difficult to get to them but the air support to provide communications in these areas and to provide continuing supplies is an important part of what the adf has been tasked to do here and they are working hand in glove with a local incident control centre as well as plugging into the broader statewide effort. the third area where the adf is very focused resident is in ensuring we can keep and open up road ensuring we can keep and open up roa d a ccess ensuring we can keep and open up road access to the various parts of the district that have been closed off and that has been done through the engineers and they are working in with the state emergency service we re in with the state emergency service were doing a tremendous job as well
to ensure that we can get some of these key roads open but that is a big challenge and that will particularly be a big challenge in the days ahead when we are confronted with such significant weather conditions and fire threats. the adf is working now with the state government in setting up evacuation centres and providing accommodation, not a tent city but ata number of accommodation, not a tent city but at a number of those locations that are available, the service is likely to be selected for this task, the sale base has a different role and thatis sale base has a different role and that is a staging point and assisting with all the things they have been referring to before, but all of this will be continue to be considered carefully as the planning is put in place. what you can see here is the australian defence force stepping up along with the many other commonwealth agencies, whether it is providing support through the
payments. earlier today when they had the opportunity to be with the churchmen is out in southfield and to see the devastation on their properties, but the church property in particular is a reminder of the terrible impact, the economic impact in the destruction of these primary producers and these businesses stopping there will be a big rebuilding effort here and east gippsland, as there has been and there will need to be in many other of the country as disasters have befallen them, and the commonwealth will play a key role in working together with state and particular local authorities in building those businesses back up, and building the infrastructure again and ensuring that we can see a recovery of the area, not just that we can see a recovery of the area, notjust physically but also economically, to provide those ongoing services that are necessary. 0ur concerns ongoing services that are necessary. oui’ concerns are ongoing services that are necessary. 0ur concerns are obviously now looking out over the next 2a or 48—hour period, this is a ferocious fire that is still out there, and
the climatic conditions are going to be very difficult to contain that in the next 24—48 hours, that is why the next 24—48 hours, that is why the evacuation messages are so incredibly important. these fires are ata incredibly important. these fires are at a scale that has been said on many occasions 110w are at a scale that has been said on many occasions now particularly for this time of year and the length of the fire season and the absence of the fire season and the absence of the dusting rain that content to see some these larger fires get under control under different circumstances, but that is not what is present here. but what is present here, as i saw out at lackner this morning, as the tremendous community spirit. the greatness of australians in this time of great difficulty, and asa in this time of great difficulty, and as a reminder today, this is a time to focus on the task in front of us and coming together and working closely together. i can assure you that is happening absolutely between the commonwealth and the state government. the premier here in victoria and ir incon and those in new south wales should know that is also the case
there. we are also standing up today there. we are also standing up today the volunteer firefighting payments in south australia and have been in contact with the premiers there, thatis contact with the premiers there, that is a matter for the victorian government. from here, iwill be returning to melbourne where i will have the opportunity to be briefed at headquarters on the broader statewide efforts, but in particular hear what they have been pleased to see as the community spirit, the community response, despite the terrible and devastating impacts of these fires, the resilience of those who have lost everything and taking great comfort of those who live around and about them and the way they have been able to support them at this great time of need. that combined with the tremendous experience and professionalism of those who are working out of the very building on the support that has been provided by the australian defence force, providing every plane, every ship, every truck that is necessary to ensure
plane, every ship, every truck that is necessary to ensure we plane, every ship, every truck that is necessary to ensure we continue to supply these communities and support them in every possible way we can. that is australia's prime minister scott morrison who had to cut short a visit a couple of hours and days ago after being heckled by locals and that was him talking about the evacuation and response to the crisis of those bushfires. he was speaking and new south wales. let's cross back to charles livingstone who was on holiday in mallacoota. thanks so much for waiting good to hear what the australian prime minister had to say they're stopping you were talking about 30 or so homes lost, can you put into words some of the devastation you have seen first hand, people you know who have lost everything. the main problem is that there are so many of them now that it is hard track of them, but basically we had a friend who has lived in this area for 44 years and is well established, family hair even longer than that, and she was
well prepared and she was prepared to be defend her home, they were ready, they were there until midnight and then they saw the state of the fire and they packed up and came back to this shelter before they realised that their efforts we re they realised that their efforts were in vain. we saw them when they came in at about two in the morning and my partner went over and talked to her, and she wasjust completely shellshocked. vomiting, stressed out of their heads, and i think a lot of people who have lost things like that, the houses, boats, caravans, theyjust can't that, the houses, boats, caravans, they just can't believe that, the houses, boats, caravans, theyjust can't believe it has happened. and it is very hard. when we got up out of this shelter and we nt we got up out of this shelter and went out to look at the house and it was still standing, it was an amazing experience. the shed at the bank that had all the surfboards in the wetsuits and it went up
obviously like a roman candle stopping the neighbour's shed went up stopping the neighbour's shed went up both of our houses were saved, we think because the firefighters were able to get there in time and spray down fires. i think they were concentrating on protecting as many assets as they could. but the problem is you can't protect everything and so just around the corner and everything and so just around the cornerand up everything and so just around the corner and up street from us there isjust row after corner and up street from us there is just row after row of burnt out houses which are now no more than a sheet of tin laying on a pile of rubble and ash. sorry to interrupt, i don't know whether you heard what the australian prime minister scott morrison was saying just then and i don't know if you can give your reaction to that, i'm not sure if you reaction to that, i'm not sure if you were reaction to that, i'm not sure if you were able to catch what the prime minister was saying, he has obviously come under a lot of criticism for his personal response and the government's response to the fires. just from your angle, you have experienced it, what do you think the government could have done more? is there anything more they could have done to help people? blue
the australian government should and could have arranged... well, the first that could have happened is that 24 former fire chiefs from around australia wanted to meet with the prime minister and outline a programme to prepare for what they saw as a coming terrible fire season and he refused to even respond to their request. they wrote to him three times to provide a plan of action that would have helped avert this, and this included getting more air access, we are now in a position where air assets that can be very effective, particularly large aircraft are unavailable to us because they are still being used in other parts of the world such as the united states, because the weather climate is changing the moment it means that there is a huge overlap tween fire season is now so we don't have access to that type of assets anymore. 0ne have access to that type of assets anymore. one of the things the fire chief wanted to do and what the australian government should have done and indeed which the opposition took to the last election was in preparation a squadron of australian
air force aircraft that could be rapidly converged to firebomb roles. that would have made a difference, i don't think there is any doubt about that. charles, we are going to have to interrupt that, thanks so much for coming on. there is so much to discuss and such an important story, to stay safe and thanks again for giving us that a date as to where you are and what you have seen. the united states has announced a nationwide ban on some e—cigarette flavours, amid concerns about vaping among teenagers. the ban applies to mint and fruit flavours that are offered in ca rtridge—based e—cigarettes. menthol and tobacco flavours will still be allowed, as well as fruit flavours delivered in other ways. laura trevelayan reports. let's cross live to the us and speak to professor ilona jaspers, from the university of north carolina, who's spoken to school children, teachers, and parents across the state about the risks of vaping. thanks forjoining us. donald
trump's original plan was to ban all flavours including menthol from all e—cigarette. have the lobbyists won here at? certainly partially. as they already said themselves, this isa they already said themselves, this is a partial victory on their part, because a lot of the flavours will stay on the market in these refilla ble stay on the market in these refillable tank e—liquids and products, so think it is certainly a partial victory on their part. just go over what has changed and what the band will cover? what the ban is proposed to cover is the flavour on the non— menthol and nontobacco flavoured pod systems, the most popular one being juul and those kinds of prefilled pods, so those are supposed to be now covered under
the ban, with the notion behind it that the pod systems are very popular among teenagers and young adults, and so that is supposed to cover those teenagers and basically reduce the teenage vaping and nicotine addiction rise that we have seen nicotine addiction rise that we have seenin nicotine addiction rise that we have seen in the us. and how big a health issueis seen in the us. and how big a health issue is vaping in the us amongst young people? it is huge. the latest numbers i have seen as one in four to one and three high schoolers is now using or has used nicotine containing e—cigarettes in the past 30 days. there's over 5 million in the us alone that are now probably addicted to nicotine in one way or another. that is an enormous number of kids that are probably going to be addicted to nicotine and will have to struggle with that addiction moving forward. it is a really big problem, obviously. thank you so much for coming in, sorry we didn't
have longer to talk about this but thank you for coming on and giving us thank you for coming on and giving us that update. you can reach me on twitter, i'm @sipusey. but for now, do stay tuned, and thanks for watching. hello there. for many we started the year on a cloudy but quiet note, didn't we? but it was all change by day two with rain, some of it heavy across scotland. not one weather front but two. it must be january — it's buy one get one free and it brought some heavy rain as it drifted its way steadily south and east. so much so that we had 40mm by 8pm at the end of the day on thursday in the highlands of scotland. all change as we move into friday's weather because it looks likely that today will be colder and there will be a little more in the way of sunshine around, and that is because those two weather fronts continue to drift their way south and east, and then they allow the door to open to the colder arctic air. the isobars always squeezing together and they always stay pretty windy in the northern isles, with galeforce gusts of winds here, but it's going to be a chilly old start in scotland first thing
this morning, compare that to double—digits down into the south—east corner. unfortunately, that means that we keep cloud and outbreaks of rain here. hopefully by coffee time, certainly by lunchtime, that should have eased away. we will have more sunshine coming through for friday, but it stays windy into the far north and that's going to drive in some showers on exposed north—west coast and those temperatures struggling a little. so despite the sunshine, highest values ofjust 6—9 degrees. moving out of friday into the start of the weekend and it looks likely that high pressure will build from the south and stay with us for saturday and sunday. at the same time, frontal systems drift across the high and that means more cloud here and more of a breeze, so sheltered eastern areas seeing the best of any brightness perhaps on saturday. more cloud further west and just a little bit of light, showery rain into the far north—west, with highest values on saturday of 7—10 degrees. it's almost a case of spot
the difference as we move into sunday — still under the influence of high—pressure for most, still those weather fronts toppling across that high, introducing more cloud and rain, with more of a south—westerly feed, slightly less colder air across the country, and temperatures widely back into double figures — 9—11 degrees for many. but that means that the high pressure is likely to drift its way off into the near continent, so for the start of the new working week, as everybody‘s starting to get back into a routine after christmas and new year period, there is some more rain to come in the forecast — wet and windy weather will arrive for monday into tuesday, so this is how it is looking — pretty unsettled. umbrellas close at hand, i'm afraid. take care.
this is bbc news, the headlines: an air strike at baghdad airport has hit high—profile targets linked to iran. iraqi state tv says one of those killed was the powerful iranian military commander, qassim soleimani. there's been no official comment yet either from iran orfrom the united states, which many are blaming for the killings. the australian navy is evacuating over 800 people from mallacoota in victoria, a town almost encircled by wildfires. it's part of the authorities‘ attempts to get as many people as possible to safety before a forecast rise in temperatures. the operation is being described as the country's largest—ever mass evacuation. the trump administration has announced a ban on some flavours of e—cigarette to curb rising teenage use of vaping products. however, menthol and tobacco flavours, and large, refillable vaping devices will be completely exempt. critics say the measures fall short of plans previously outlined by president trump earlier. despite delays and poor performance from some train operators —