tv World News Today BBC News January 3, 2020 9:00pm-9:31pm GMT
this is bbc world news today. i'm james reynolds. our top stories... donald trump defends the killing of iran's top military commander qasem soleimani, insisting that washington is not looking for regime change we took action last night to stop a war. we did not take action to start a war. iran's supreme leader has vowed "severe revenge" on those responsible for the death of the iranian general. tens of thousands of iranians have taken to the streets in protest in tehran and other cities. we'll bring you the latest reaction live from the us.
hello, and welcome to world news today. in a major escalation the united states has assasinated one of the most powerful men in the middle east — iran's military commander — general qassem soleimani. he was killed by a us air strike outside baghdad airport in an attack ordered by president trump. the us says general soleimani had been plotting to kill americans in the region. iran has threatened severe revenge. at rallies across iran crowds are denouncing what they call us crimes. here's our middle east editorjeremy bowen. this was the moment that the us assassinated qasem soleimani ——this was the moment that the us assassinated qassem soleimani and pushed the middle east into a new year and new decade of uncertainty and more danger. the pictures came from a tv station controlled by iran. the attack — from a missile fired from a drone— hit his motorcade
as he was being driven out of baghdad airport. the us and iran were already fighting a war in the shadows. neither side wants uncontrolled escalation, but the chances of miscalculation and a lurch into a bigger war have increased. qassem soleimani was no ordinary foe, for a generation, he was probably america's at most capable enemy. his death delivers a blow to the heart of the iranian regime. for many years, soleimani built up iran's power outside its borders and made it and himself a major player in iraq, syria and lebanon. he was a talisman for iranian hardliners who have been rocked to their core. they will want to get even, perhaps more than that. last sunday, american air strikes killed 25 members of an iraqi militia armed and trained
by soleimani's quds organisation, after an american contractor was killed in a militia attack. the militias he created were a vital part of the fight against thejihadists of islamic state but they are also one way that iran projects power abroad. the huge american compound is a fortress and it was not breached, but the attacks goaded and threatened the trump administration. the americans rushed in reinforcements to the embassy. it is not clear when the decision to assassinate soleimani was taken but when it happened, president trump tweeted in triumph. the americans argue their
motives are defensive. we don't seek war with iran, but at the same time, we're not going to stand by and watch the iranians continue to escalate and put american lives at risk without responding in a way that disrupts and defends and deters and creates an opportunity to de—escalate the situation. in baghdad, some iraqis celebrated the killing put it for weeks, anti—government demonstrators had been demanding an end to iranian influence in iraq. in tehran, ayatollah ali khamenei, the iranian supreme leader, visited qaesem soleimani's widow he said to revenge awaits the criminals. iranian hardliners are rocked to their core. the spokesman for soleimani's republican guard corpus was highly emotional in a tv interview. so were regime supporters on the streets. qassem soleimani was their hero. at a time when they see themselves
surrounded by enemies. iran was already under severe pressure from us sanctions. preesident trump might be gambling that he has so weakened iran that it will rage but not hurt the us badly. that assumption could be dangerous and wrong. jeremy bowen, bbc news. in the last hour president trump defended the air strike on qasem soleimani, claiming the attack was necessary as us diplomats and military faced "imminent and sinister attacks". mr trump described the mission as "flawless" aimed at the "number "one terrorist anywhere in world". last night, at my direction, the united states successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed the number one terrorist anywhere in the world, qasem soleimani. soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on american diplomats and military personnel.
but we caught him in the act and terminated him. under my leadership, america's policy is to terrorists who harm or intend to harm any american. we will find you, we will eliminate you, we will always protect our diplomats, service members, all americans, and our allies. for years, the islamic revolutionary guard corps and its ruthless qud's force, under soleimani's leadership, has targeted, injured and murdered hundreds of american civilians and servicemen. the recent attacks on us targets in iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an american and injured four american servicemen very badly, as well as a violent assault on our embassy in baghdad, were carried out at the direction of soleimani. soleimani made the death of innocent
people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as new delhi and london. today, we remember and honour the victims of soleimani's many atrocities and we take comfort in knowing that his reign of terror is over. live now to washington and our correspondent gary o'donoghue. gary, it was a short statement. did president trump explained his long iran strategy? no, i don't think he did. i mean, he did say that he wasn't seeking regime change into ron, which, of course, some of the more hawkish elements in this country have long called for, but he said in offence he was calling time oi'i said in offence he was calling time on iran cosmic proxy efforts in the region to destabilise and create difficulties. they had two and now. so in some ways, perhaps that's a
warning to iran about the future, but i think it was a president who was trying to make the argument that, look, we had to do this now, because of these imminent threats of attacks on diplomatic staff and military personnel, they weren't going into any specifics about those at this time, but you know, those attacks have ta ken at this time, but you know, those attacks have taken place previously, and the question still remains why, what was so much worse this time around, other than this opportunity oi'i around, other than this opportunity on the way from baghdad airport with him in theirsights? on the way from baghdad airport with him in their sights? he said in that statement that he would protect us diplomats. do we know anything about the measures that the us is taking to protect its embassies and bases abroad? yeah, i mean, for a start, they're putting a bunch of marines oi'i they're putting a bunch of marines on the roof of the embassy in baghdad, which is something they probably wish they had done before those protests took place, because that was a bit of a humiliation for the us. what happened at the embassy
there, their inability to protect there, their inability to protect the embassy from those protests. they are also, this hasn't been signed off folios, but we are expecting, potentially, around 3000 extra troops go to the region, to be probably based somewhere in kuwait potentially, but also to look after diplomatic protection around the region, bear in mind, this is in addition to the 15,000 troops that have gone to that whole central command area, which does include afghanistan. it's not just command area, which does include afghanistan. it's notjust the middle east, but 15,000 since may of la st middle east, but 15,000 since may of last year on the background of a president who said he wanted to bring the troops home. so he has found, like previous presidents have, james, that he may wish to end his foreign entanglements, but as time goes by, they get more and more entrenched. gary o'donoghue in washington, thank you so much. let's get more on this from ariane ta bata bai. she is a political scientist at the think tank rand corporation.
she gave me her reaction to president trump ozment comments about killing qassem soleimani in iraq. the statement is what we expected the president would make. you know, he is right that soleimani was the architect of what we know today as a very expensive iranian network of militias and other malicious and proxies in the region come and so this was a significant blow to iran. that said, i think it's important to co ntextualize that said, i think it's important to contextualize soleimani's role in the iranian security apparatus and understand that this does not mean the end of iran cosmic regional interventions and iran's work with various non—state actors in the region. what impact will his killing have on the way to? i'm thinking in particular syria, iraq, and lebanon. well, not that much, actually, i think. you know,, soleimani was known for his personal relationships
with key leaders in these countries, especially non—state partners that iran has cultivated, and as well as fighters more generally. but, ultimately, there is a whole establishment behind him. that is responsible for cultivating these ties for supplying these groups with weapons, training, intelligence and financial support, and so we can't really expect it to change that much. so, you know, given that soleimani is now dead, i don't think that iran will be withdrawing from syria or stopping its activities in iraq and lebanon and elsewhere. what do we know about his successor? he's the one who's worked closely with soleimani, he was his deputy, he's also a veteran of the war like soleimani, so he's someone who's beenin soleimani, so he's someone who's been in the islamic revolutionary guard corps for a number of years now since the beginning,
essentially, and who has been involved in various operations in iran and the border regions in iran, and throughout the region. so, he is very well—versed in the operations and strategies are pursued by the islamic revolutionary guard corps, and in particular iran more generally. so i think that this will bea generally. so i think that this will be a fairly smooth transition. that said, ithink be a fairly smooth transition. that said, i think it's also important to recognise that he doesn't have the same name recognition, the same charisma, the same relationships that soleimani has, so there will be a bit ofa that soleimani has, so there will be a bit of a learning curve, but i expect it to be a fairly smooth transition for him a. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. indonesian authorities are turning to the technique of cloud seeding to try to stop more rain falling in the flood—hit capitaljakarta. planes have been sent to inject chemicals into clouds in an effort to alter the storms that thave left large areas underwater. at least 43 people are known to have died, with some 192,000 evacuated. french police have shot dead
a knifeman who killed one person and injured at least two others in a surburb south of paris. police said the man attacked "several people" in a park in the town of villejuif which is five miles from central paris. he then fled the scene which was near a supermarket before police said the knifeman was "neutralised". one other important piece of news to bring you this hourmore than a thousand people have been safely evacuated by navy ships from the australian town of mallacoota which has been surrounded by wildfires. the prime minister scott morrison says his country is entering a critical few days, with more extreme fire conditions forceast for this weekend. there are now scores of fires burning across new south wales and victoria — fuelled by soaring temperatures and high winds. from new south wales, our correspondent shamaa khalil reports now from sussex inlet, just over a hundred miles south of sydney. for the first time in days, nearly a thousand tourists and residents can breathe a little more easily as they are finally moved to safety.
the navy has stepped in to rescue those who were stranded on the beach in mallacoota when they were encircled by an uncontrollable fire on monday. a state of disaster has been declared in eastern victoria ahead of tomorrow's extreme conditions. up to 100,000 residents are being told to evacuate. if you can leave, you must leave. that is the only safe thing for you, your family, and, indeed, for others who may be called to your assistance. we cannot guarantee your safety. in new south wales, the message is the same. fire authorities have said that saturday's blazes could be as bad as, if not worse, than those of new year's eve. in the coastal town of batemans bay, firefighters are racing to protect those who have decided to stay. despite the warnings, jeff and pamela zorbas decided they are not leaving their small town of sussex inlet.
hopefully, it is not going to be as bad as they are predicting but we have got the hoses ready and we just hose the house down if the embers come. and if the fires do hit hard, we've got a boat here. we're going tojump in the boat and we are going to get out to see. ——we're going tojump in the boat and we are going to get out to sea. i'lljust take the family and the dogs and away we go. jay martin is also staying put to defend his house and help friends and neighbours. he tells me the anticipation of disaster is what worries him. waiting. that's the hardest part. we've been at it for two weeks and it's just waiting. and there's people who've got it a lot tougher than me. i've just been waiting and helping out, just getting through tomorrow and hope it all passes and we get a bit of rain on monday. a blaze has just started on the bush in this area, just beyond that tree line. firefighters are watching closely here. their concern is that, with the wind picking up, this could travel very fast and get here so they are patrolling the area and making sure that properties are protected. that is really the main aim. politically, this has been a rough ride for the prime minister,
who has been regularly criticised for how he has handled the bushfire crisis. and it is notjust the residents who have made their feelings clear. scott morrison said he understood the anger but was focusing on the task in hand. our concerns are obviously are now looking out over the next sort of 2a, 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 2a to 48 hours. that is why the evacuation messages are so incredibly important. there is a real sense of dread here about what will happen in these coming hours. at a time when many had planned family holidays, australians now wait for yet another firestorm to blaze through. shamaa khalil, bbc news, on the southern coast of new south wales.
stay with us on bbc world news, still to come... we'll have more reaction from the us to the attack on iran's top general the japanese people are in morning, 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 rulers are established. teams are 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 would head out to sea. it didn't. the worlds tallest skyscraper opens
later today, it's easily overtaken its nearest rivals. this is bbc world news today. i'm james reynolds. the latest headlines. donald trump defends the killing of iran's top military commander qasem soleimani, insisting that washington is not looking for regime change. iran's supreme leader has vowed "severe revenge" on those responsible for the death of qasem soleimani. more on that story... the democratic senator and us presidential contender bernie sanders has been highly critical of donald trump's actions. trump promised to end the endless wars. tragically, his actions now put us on the path to another war.
potentially one that could be even worse than before. for more on the impact this may have on donald trump, we can speak to daniel lippman who's a reporter at politico in washington. danny, wejust danny, we just heard danny, wejust heard senator bernie sanders they are criticising president trump, will that criticism be popular? i think most americans know that sulla money was a terrorist, they have been designated a terrorist by the un security council, but they are concerned that president trump in the white house didn't properly calculate the amount of revenge iran might enact on us targets, and so, it's almost like a case of be careful for what you wish for, because the entire reason that we went after this guy was to stop attacks on americans, and so if we get more attacks, then it feels like it wouldn't have worked at. how other democratic contenders taking the subject on? well, joe biden and
others, they have all said that you know, it's a good thing that soleimani is no longer with us, but if they have also raised concerns about how congress was not looped m, about how congress was not looped in, and even the senate and house leadership were not properly told that trump was going to do this. so, i think everyone is in a weight in c mode, because as bernie sanders has said, trump didn't come you know, he was elected to pull out of wars, so if he gets us in a big one with a fierce competitor and a rival, then that could hurt his reelection, and also undermine us interests across the middle east. iran's played a role in us politics before, i seem to remember the hostage in 1979, doomedjimmy to remember the hostage in 1979, doomed jimmy carter, iran gate to remember the hostage in 1979, doomedjimmy carter, iran gate in the 1980s, we can president reagan and is there where among the present support is that the same fate awaits him? i think it's too early to say, a lot of them are praising his
leadership today, but people are also raising questions of tracking sula soleimani for years, we know exactly where he spent every moment of the day, especially as he's become more of a public profile in iran. so we have had opportunities to take him out to before, so people feel it might be a little disproportionate to have or killed him based on a single american contractor who was killed a week or two ago. but us officials are saying that this used to stop future attacks imminently. very briefly, daniel, does iran not take overfrom impeachment as the central daily concern of us politics, very briefly? i think for the next week or two, it does, briefly? i think for the next week ortwo, it does, but briefly? i think for the next week or two, it does, but then it come you know, the democratic primary, that takes over in a few weeks. but meg writes, daniel from politico, thank you so much forjoining us. thank you.
tulsen tollett has all the sport. you might think very much indeed, let's start with crickets, they open in england and cape town, the tourist lost four wickets for 13 runs, ending the day on 262 for nine. having earlier won the toss, elected to bat. five players got starts and failed to convert them into big scores, with only ollie poked moving past 50. unbeaten heading into day two. they leave the four match series 1—0 as they look for a first series 1—0 as they look for a first series victory over england since 2012. minutes applause ahead of the cricket between australia and new zealand to thank firefighters with fires raging across the country, as you have been seeing, with the host finishing the opening day of the third test in sydney on 283—3. the atp is taking place in perth, nick, the famous tennis player is donating about £100 for every eighth he hits this month. he struck 20 in his first match, sam announced on
instagram that she would follow him for every age she makes, and it's not just for every age she makes, and it's notjust tennis players getting involved. jackie tommy barry said he would donate money for every winter he writes. he says is tough situation for everyone in the country. i don't really care about the praise too much, you know, ijust think, you know, we have the ability and the platform to do something like that, and obviously we have got the most toxic air in the world, that's pretty sad. so, yeah, it'sjust... it's tough. it's tough. in football, manchester united take on the wolves this weekend is the big clubs under the fa cup and the third round stage, earlier, ispoke with former cameroon international sebastian who featured for numerous english teams and says that the wolves manager won't let the fact that this site has won the last four against united affect their mindset. some of the wolves fans would think about it, you always come up in your
mind like you've been winning the la st mind like you've been winning the last couple of games against this team, and you thank you have a lucky charm. but i think the fa cup this year, it's in a good run, you know? they lost against arsenal lately, i think they are in a good run, and it's going to be a tough game for them. is a lot of the talk is revolved against someone not playing on the team, as a player within a squad comic and things like that make the team unravel slightly and think too much about what's going on outside and off the pitch and rather what's happening on its? no, i think manchester united is a big club. you know, like players have got to have experience. you know, they are use to that and being around superstar players, so it's not going to affect them whatsoever, i think i reckon. the person who are in charge is going to deal with the matter. the manchester united player themselves are going to deal with the pitch, so everyone knows what they've got to do and do it well.
a promise is to be a big week and in the fa cup, butjames, that is all your support for now. thank you. a reminder of our top story.... iran has reacted with fury to the killing of one of its top military commanders by teh united states. general qaseem soleimani was travelling in near baghdad airport when it was hit by a missile from a us drone. iran's national security council said that the airstrike that killed general soleimani in baghdad was america's biggest mistake in the region. iran has vowed "severe revenge". we understand iran wants to bring back his body as soon as possible in orderfor a funeral to back his body as soon as possible in order for a funeral to be conducted, and iran is already in a state of mourning, protests have been held, but the supreme leader of iran has appointed a successor already, he is from the same generation as qassem soleimani. he fought in the first iran iraq warand soleimani. he fought in the first iran iraq war and would expect to continue iran's policy. please stay
with bbc world news, if you would like to talk to me, i am on twitter. stay with us. good evening. today brought some of the brightest weather of the year — so far — for many parts of the uk. quite a lot of sunshine around once we've cleared this area of cloud away to the east, behind me, there is more cloud showing up. that will be rolling into affect some of us through the weekend. for the time being though, we are in the grip of some relatively chilly air, it's going to be relatively chilly night. the coldest air of all affecting the far north of scotland, where, for shetland, we are likely to see some snow, even to quite low levels for a time. it's still quite windy across the far north of scotland as well. outbreaks of rain across the north and west of mainland scotland, western isles as well. generally, a lot of cloud into northern ireland, wales, the southwest of england. further east and further south, where we keep hold of clear spells, chilly night. some spots in southern england could get all the way down
to freezing to start saturday morning. so, high pressure down to the south end, frontal systems rolling around the top of that high—pressure area. bringing a lot of cloud in across the western side of uk, so through the southwest into wales, northwest england, northern ireland, southwest scotland, cloudy and a bit damp at times. some slightly more persistent rain moving across northern scotland. but through southeast scotland, central and eastern parts of england here, we should see a decent amount of sunshine, and those temperatures, well, just showing signs of creeping upwards a little bit across western areas. 10 degrees in plymouth, for example. now, as we go through saturday night, we will see more card night, we will see more cloud rolling in from the west, again, the odd spot of rain, some more persistent rain and within scotland. we keep this band of rain here as we go through sunday. further south and further east, more in the way of dry weather, some spells of sunshine around. it's going to be a windier day again on sunday, particularly across northern ireland and scotland. but those temperatures, 10 degrees in glasgow, 11 in belfast. now, as we move into monday, we are going to see this band
of rain pushing in from the west. some quite heavy rain, actually. still some brisk winds with that. the rain, unlikely to get to east anglia or the south east before nightfall, and up to the northwest, things will dry up a little bit as that band of rain slides its way through. temperatures again 9—11d. generally speaking though, next week, the weather is set to become quite turbulent. the jet stream, the winds high up in the atmosphere, becoming very strong and very powerful, bringing deep areas of low pressure in our direction. so, what that means for our weather is it will be windy. we will see gales, may be severe gales across northern areas at times. there will be some outbreaks of rain, but it will generally feel mild.
this is bbc world news, the headlines. donald trump has said that the us killed iran's top military commander qassem soleimani to stop a war, not to start one. mr trump said that soleimani was planning imminent attacks on american diplomats and military personnel. iran's supreme leader has vowed "severe revenge" on those responsible for the killing. soleimani was widely seen as the second most powerful figure in iran behind supreme leader ayatollah ali khamenei. tens of thousands of iranians have been holding rallies in tehran and other cities. global oil prices rose sharply in the wake of the attack. the state of new south wales in australia is bracing itself for a worsening of the bushfire crisis this weekend. extreme weather conditions are threatening to push the blazes