tv The Briefing BBC News January 3, 2020 5:00am-5:31am GMT
this is the briefing — i'm victoria fritz. our top story: the united states kills the commander of iran's special operations quds force with an airstrike. by sea land and by land — tens of thousands of australians are evacuated as bushfires rage on. clashes in paris as the rail strike becomes the longest french transport dispute for 50 years. oil prices spike following the us airstrike as fears rise of retaliation.
a warm welcome to the programme — briefing you on all you need to know in global news, business and sport. and you can be part of the conversation. tell us what you think — just use the hashtag bbc—the—briefing. a us strike force has targeted and killed iran's most important military commander. general qasem soleimani, the commander of the revolutionary guards quds force. he was killed, along with others, at baghdad's airport in an operation the pentagon said was at the direction of the president. it follows just days after iranian—backed militia leaders encouraged their followers to attack the us embassy in baghdad.
jon dionnison reports. this is all that was left of a convoy of cars carrying around the‘s most senior military commander. his killing by the united states will shake the middle east to be called. qasem soleimani was head of the elite quds force of the iranian revolutionary guard and is usually influential figure revolutionary guard and is usually influentialfigure in revolutionary guard and is usually influential figure in the revolutionary guard and is usually influentialfigure in the region. in a statement, the pentagon said:. the immediate aftermath of the attack, which happens near bag that international airport, was filmed by passers—by. several other people with military ties to iran were also killed. it comes in a week with simmering tensions between iran and
the united states has boiled over. the american embassy in baghdad has been under siege as pro— iranians militiamen and demonstrators tried to breach its walls. angry at united states‘s airstrikes in the region. and yesterday, the united states defence secretary hinted america may ta ke defence secretary hinted america may take further action against iran.” think is important at this point in time to not make this a united states versus iran issue. it is really iran against the world. it is a rainy and bad behaviour has been going on for nearly a0 years. a rainy and bad behaviour has been going on for nearly 40 years. last night, more than 650 united states troops arrived in neighbouring kuwait to provide reinforcements. all eyes will be on iran's response ina region all eyes will be on iran's response in a region already riven it with conflict, some will fear this could mean another war in the middle east. we've had more reaction from iran. the country's foreign minister mohammad javad zarif said the killing of the quds force chief qasem soleimani was ‘an extremely
he wrote on twitter: let's speak now to our chief international correspondent, lyse doucet. what do you believe to be iran likely response this? you just quoted the foreign minister zarif who want of a dangerous and foolish escalation. he's called it an act of international terrorism. of course, the complete the opposite view of the complete the opposite view of the pentagon which is saying they targeted qasem soleimani to deter iran's future attacks and it involves him responsible for the deaths of hundreds of american soldiers and many other lives in the middle east. the response of iran
are starting very slowly, very diplomatically. it is already summoned the swiss envoy in the iranian capital. it is the swiss embassy which represents the american in interest since united states closed its embassy after the iranian revolution in 1979. there is also a top meeting taking place in tay run right now to discuss what options will be next but it is widely believed this will escalate what is already an extremely tense and volatile situation in the middle east, a major crisis between iran and the united states. this comes of course after a year in which many had feared at the outbreak of war but everyone on all sides had said, they want to avoid a war. this, what is happened today with the attack on baghdad airport and the killing of qasem soleimani as well as a senior iraqi militia commander has turned this into a completely different
game, a completely different and more dangerous crisis. are different and more dangerous crisis. is that something that you in any way force or? there were many myths around qasem soleimani. he was a very secretive, shadowy figure. every time there was rumours that he appeared in the middle east, people saying that they spotted him... he was able to evade the americans and many of his other enemies for many yea rs. many of his other enemies for many years. many are now saying this was a spectacularfailure in intelligence, that he should be in a rock. it was not surprising that he was ina rock. it was not surprising that he was in a rock with the major tensions unfolding their. but this time, he was unable to escape and in the end, the united states caught him. we know from statements from a previous american military commanders that they had him on their sites before but stopped short
because they knew of the consequences. president trump m1 of his tweets on new year's day had warned in a capital letters iran, that it would pay a huge price for what was happening in a ruck, including the attacks on the american embassies by the iranian link to malicious. i don't think anyone expected this was the price iran would play stomach pay, let alone iran itself. thank you forjoining us. behnam ben taleblu is a senior fellow with the foundation for defence of democracies research institute in washington, focusing on foreign policy issues. the pentagon describing this news as a defensive action. is america at war in your view? in my view the americans in their minds that have low intensity conflict ever since the islamic republic was created in 1979. months after that,
the republic was created, the islamic republic took 52 americans hostage for 444 days beginning beat tit—for—tat escalation only hires of wires from the past few decades. the death of qasem soleimani, the major general and the command of their elites quds force, is going to be another factor elites quds force, is going to be anotherfactor in elites quds force, is going to be another factor in that difference and escalating conflict. this is very different. this is not a tit—for—tat escalation orjust another milestone. this is usually significant as she was pointing out. the pentagon has been describing the news today as a defensive action. is that your view? is it a defensive action or a deliberate provocation? there is actually a saying for this, drop by in ocean forms which tra nslates drop by in ocean forms which translates across many cultures. it has been this tit—for—tat escalation which has forced the hand of the trump administration to take what i
do believe is a defensive action. qasem soleimani does notjust have american and british blood in his hand but the blood of any countries circuitry to the coalition in the middle east. whether you look in yemen or iraq or syria or lebanon or elsewhere in the persian gulf, if there has been a proxy or partner of there has been a proxy or partner of the islamic republic, qasem soleimani has been the linchpin in funding, arming, training them to fight against the status quo powers and the western led world order under this security interest in the middle east. in many ways, it is something that we won't be going back from. 2020 was already escalation, it was a ready built into the new year because us sanctions are continuing and iran has not ceased giving up its regional quest and a ruck is going to ta ke regional quest and a ruck is going to take centre stage in this competition between the two states. yes iran, of course it has very
powerful allies and also proxy forces as well. is it your understanding that we will see some storm stomach sort of regional conflagration as a result of this? of is entirely likely. the question is whether the iranians will choose to go into and ignite original conflict without the man who created 01’ conflict without the man who created or in many ways armed, trained and equipped these regional forces. qasem soleimani was the linchpin there. he is someone who birthed the idea of creating and controlling these proxy militia forces, particularly in the heartland of the middle east. places like syria and iraq where the iranians have been able to take advantage of us power vacuums 01’ able to take advantage of us power vacuums or take advantage ofjudas donna jurisdictions without such authority. without qasem soleimani at the helm of that apparatus, it raises the question of how effective in the medium to long—term will this apparatus be. we going to leave it there now. thank you very much ben. my there now. thank you very much ben. my pleasure. two australian navy ships are evacuating about 1,000 people from mallacoota, a town almost encircled by wildfires.
it's part of the authorities‘ attempts to get thousands of people in the states of victoria and new south wales to safety ahead of extreme fire conditions forecast for saturday. the australian prime minister, scott morrison, who's been criticised for his perceived failure to address the months—long wildfire crisis, said the country was entering a key 48 hour period. 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. you've been covering this right from the start. explain the next 48 hours from your point of view. we've travelled a couple of hours to the south of sydney to near nowra, a regional city, quite close to one of the evacuation zones, one of the big evacuation zones set up by the authorities here in new south wales. we have seen on the major highway coming up from the new south wales
south coast, tens of thousands of holidaymakers and residents in a recent days and now the road, that main road, is pretty quiet. it seems those people who have decided to leave have already done so. the movement of people has been pretty immense. this is very close to a major bush fire that burns to the south and west of us. you maybe able to see through the trees, one of the burnt out buildings that clearly was no match for the flames. the flames would have torn up through here in many instances, fires like this are unstoppable. you be able to see looking through some of the bushland power black into the trees are. the ground is that ghostly shade of ash grey and it is still warm, the ground under my feet still feels pretty hot too. it is that fire to the south and west of here that is one of these major blazes that is
giving the authorities so much concern. they fear that in the next 24—hour is, with hot and windy weather forecast, that those sorts of fires could flare up once again and bring a great danger to people who have decided to remain. we mentioned in the introduction to you the response from scott morrison, the response from scott morrison, the australian prime minister. he is now asking people to be patient with the whole process of evacuation and the whole process of evacuation and the cabinet is meeting on monday to discuss next steps from the government. what do you make of the response from the government to these wildfires? i think the political dimension has two strands really. firstly, the response to the emergency that stretches back to queensland where it started back in september. response of state authorities has been very much appreciated i think by many
australians. scott morrison has been criticised for being missing in action before christmas, he went on action before christmas, he went on afamily action before christmas, he went on a family holiday to hawaii during one of the most brutal weeks of this emergency. and he's also been criticised more broadly for his attitudes to climate change. he does concede that there is a link between global warming and fire crises like the one australia is in the middle of but he says that australia's energy and climate policies, this is a country heavily reliant on coal by the way, he says he believes its policies when it comes to climate and energy are both adequate and responsible. lots of people in this country believe that more needs to be done because they fear that this sort of devastation could become normal if they, the conditions are not addressed an action is not taken. once again, we have a political dimension to this crisis
that shows no signs of ending. political dimension to this crisis that shows no signs of endingm certainly doesn't, thank you feel. fill in at nowra in new south wales. thank you. still to come on the bbc, lots more on the bushfires are also going to have a little bit more on the royal family and going to have a little bit more on the royalfamily and mental health stop see you soon. the japanese people are in mourning following the death of emperor hirohito. thousands converged on the imperial palace to pay their respects when it was announced he was dead. good grief! after half a century of delighting fans around the world, charlie brown and the rest of the gang are calling it quits. the singer paul simon starts his tour of south africa tomorrow in spite of protests and violence from some black activist groups. they say international artists should continue to boycott south africa until majority rule is established.
teams were trying to scoop up lumps of oil, as france recognises it faces an ecological crisis. three weeks ago, the authorities confidently assured these areas that oil from the broken tanker erika would head out to sea. it didn't. the world's tallest skyscraper opens later today. the burj dubai has easily overtaken its nearest rivals. you're watching the briefing. our headlines: the united states they its authors have killed cathy sulla money in an extra ct have killed cathy sulla money in an extract in baghdad airport. bushfires have forced the largest mass evacuation in australian history. emergency powers are now in force in both victoria and neighbouring new south wales.
lets stay with that now. dr april armstrong is at the mallacoota medical centre. she's staying in the fire ravaged town to provide emergency care. thank you very much forjoining us april on the programme, what are you seeing? what is the experience on the ground ? seeing? what is the experience on the ground? at the moment we are organising mass evacuation, prioritising the evacuation based on medical need, aged people who are frail, young children and babies who are at risk of respiratory problems from the very smoky post— fire conditions, and obviously the ongoing risk of fire with this weekend, and encouraging our visitors at the town to vacate so that we have an allocation of resources to those most in need. and
pictures have been beamed across the world of a small child struggling to breathe. it is very much the sick, elderly, and women with children who are the priority at the age? that's correct. we have a lot of families that we have kept together, so we have been able to evacuate just on 1000 people today, so the ship is just taking 1000 people and we have taken just taking 1000 people and we have ta ken about 20 just taking 1000 people and we have taken about 20 people by air today. we have not been able to make all the flights that we were hoping to because unfortunately the changing winds have brought the smoke back over the town and the plains and aircraft are not able to land. how has that left people feeling? they must be incredibly frustrated. everybody has been incredibly wonderful and very patient. there has been no rush or anything, no sense of urgency, in fact i thought there would probably be a little bit more urgency and hoped there would
be stopping the people who needed to go have had their medical certificate saying they need to be first out stopping those medically evacuated patients left two days ago so we have got nearly all of our really sick people and are really needy people already left mallacoota. do you feel you have the support you need ? mallacoota. do you feel you have the support you need? absolutely. once the military arrived, everything sort of happened like clock work. we have got the players that came to the ground, we were unable to drink out drinking water. they provided bottled drinking water. we have had 8000 litres of diesel dropped here. we are running on generator energy and needing hundred litres of a day, which is now a makeshift emergency hospital catering for nearly 3.5 thousand people in a totally isolated environment. and what about you, yourfamily? isolated environment. and what about you, your family? the isolated environment. and what about you, yourfamily? the other emergency workers who are also going through this and presumably will be
some of the last people to leave with yellow i am actually not a local, i am a visiting doctor i arrived the day the fires arrived stopping my family are all safe back in western australia and germany so myjob is to concentrate on helping the local people put in some medical services, open a 24—hour hospital here, make sure that all the equipment and all the provisions that we need for the next 4— five weeks while we are isolated and cut off from the rest of the world, that we have those supplies before the military pullout and the state of emergency is over. doctor armstrong, i commend you on an incredibly brave effort there, good luck with the next few days. we thank you. thank you. french police have fired tear gas into crowds of protestors blockading a paris bus depot in the latest clash between authorities and workers' unions. the ongoing transport strike — triggered over plans to reform the pension system — has now entered its 29th day,
making it the longest rail workers' strike since 1968. freya cole has more. armed with players, resilient protesters get ready to rally outside government headquarters, but within minutes, police retaliate within minutes, police retaliate with tear gas forcing demonstrators to run for cover. the movement is now the longest since may 1968 and unions have called for even bigger strikes to take place next week. protesters in marseille much in unity with those around the country angered over president macron's plans to overhaul the pension system which could force people to work
longer or receive less money when they retire. translation: longer or receive less money when they retire. translatiosz longer or receive less money when they retire. translation: if we lose on pension reform we lose on everything. the next issue is the reform of social security and social protection. how far does he want to go? the nationwide protests have caused widespread disruption especially for public transport and health services. but opinion polls reveal much of the country supports the cause, and want to see the government revise its plans. translation: we are not at all in favour of the status quo. we are in favour of the status quo. we are in favour of the status quo. we are in favour of improving the system, but not tearing it down, and we will go on until it is withdrawn and improved. the president is standing by his proposal and says he hopes to reach a compromise quickly with the unions. but a similar movement in 1995 made the government reversed
its position. mr macron will hope to avoid that. the workers union say they won't stop the industrial action until they achieve their demands. this weekend across england all fa cup third round matches will start one minute later than planned. it's all part of a campaign to get people to talk about mental health. it's being spearheaded by the duke of cambridge who has narrated a special film to be shown at each of the 32 games taking place. katy austin has more. in life, as in football, we all go through highs and lows. welcome all of kevin alison knows exactly what thatis of kevin alison knows exactly what that is like. i couldn't control at. it was a dark cloud, i would be happy and bubbly then all of a sudden i could literally, bang, as though a dark cloud can over me.
they had no control over it whatsoever. he is given his backing toa whatsoever. he is given his backing to a new film that also features england stars and is narrated by the duke of cambridge. its focus— keeping your mind healthy. over the next few days, 32 fa cup third round matches will be played at grounds across the country stopping all of them will start one minute late, while the film is shown a chance for millions of fans to pause to think about their own well—being. millions of fans to pause to think about their own well-being. men a less likely than women to take action to do something about it, whether that is stress or feeling low or difficulty sleeping. so the film asks football fans to take a minute, to learn about what they can do to improve their mental health. every mind matters and heads up will show you the simple steps you can ta ke show you the simple steps you can take to look after your mental
health. that includes downloading a mind plan which can give guidance on coping with common issues such as feeling anxious or sleeping badly. prince william is president of the fa and ending the stigma around mental health struggles as a goal he has championed. he discussed it with high—profile footballers for a special bbc programme in october. through this campaign, he hopes to bring those passions together again and use football to start the largest ever conversation around mental health. a reminder of our main use the sour. around foreign minister has called the american assassination of qasem soleimani as an extremely dangerous and bullish escalation. he has warned that the united states will bear the consequences for the killing. the pentagon said that president trump ordered his killing because he was
actively developing plans to attack americans in iraq and throughout the region. they said the strike was aimed at deterring future iranian actions. mr trump tweeted a picture of the us flag. the attack comes just hours after the defence secretary said washington would have to carry out pre—emptive strikes. day two of 2020 more rain, you can see how relentless it was, with one with a print sweeping across the borders only to be by another. but as those frontal systems sweep their way steadily south and east as we speak it means that today it is going to introduce something a little colder behind fingers crossed hopefully a little more in the way of sunshine. those front to clear away from the south—east corner but as you can see behind it, it opens the doorfor this as you can see behind it, it opens the door for this cold arctic flow and so that means it is going to be
and so that means it is going to be a chilly start into scotland and northern ireland, low single figures and sheltered rural spot, contrast that with further south under the cloud and still the rain. that has yet to clear away, it will do so during the morning and then by lunchtime hopefully it will be sunny skies for all of still fairly windy up skies for all of still fairly windy up into the far north of scotland, wales and northern ireland perhaps but that will drive and some showers and some of turning increasingly wintry with that cool feel for all. much of england and wales will remain under the influence of high pressure into the weekend, and that is going to affectjust really the far north—west of scotland and maybe northern ireland for a time, so here they will be a breadth of later rain and a little more cloud along with facing coasts. sheltered areas should see some brightness and a dry story for the start of the weekend, with the temperatures again at around 7— 10 degrees. it is almost a
case of a repeat informant as we move into the second half of the weekend, so sunday we will start to see more of a south—westerly flow, a little less cold across the country, again still the risk of some rain into the far north—west but elsewhere it will be largely dry, there will be some sunshine and a high of 9— 11 degrees. don't get too used to it, by the time most of us go back to a regular routine for the new week next week it does look as though it is going to turn increasingly wet and windy so if you are back to work or off to school, keep that umbrella close at hand because it does look as though there is going to be some rain moving its way across the country for all of us on monday and also tuesday. take care.
this is the business briefing. i'm victoria fritz. fashion today, landfill tomorrow. just 1% of clothes manufactured are recycled. we'll be meeting the entrepreneur looking to change the way we feel about fashion. and, oil prices spike following a us airstrike which kills a top iranian general, as fears rise of retaliation. and on the markets: wall street closed at a record high on the first trading day of the year. we will be keeping an eye on those oil prices and coming back to them later in the programme.