welcome to a special edition of newsday. i'm lucy hockings in nowra in new south wales, in australia. the headlines: the worst weekend of bushfires yet has seen hundreds of homes destroyed. and there's a warning they could go on burning for months. after weeks of criticism for his reaction to the bushfire crisis, prime minister scott morrison defends his government's response. this is the largest single call out ever of reservists working with our full time defence service providing support that our country has never seen before. south of here in the state of victoria there are fears that two huge fires could merge into one to create a mega blaze.
i'm lewis vaughanjones in london. also in the programme... iran says it's taking another step back from the constraints of international nuclear deal following the american assassination of general soleimani. taiwan chooses a new president and parliament on saturday. which is more important to voters — economics or identity? good morning. welcome to nowra in new south wales. it's midnight in london and ham here in new south wales. i'm in the town of nowra the nerve centre for the regional response to the bushfire crisis here. the fires are right around the country, but among the worst are here in australia's most
populated state, new south wales. there are still 150 fires burning gci’oss there are still 150 fires burning across the state. 2a people have now died in this bushfire disaster, thousands of homes have been destroyed and it's been estimated that half a billion animals in this state alone, have perished. australians are waking up to another day of devastation and emotions are running high. there is some reprieve for firefighters here today though because it s been raining. that is a psychological boost for people here, to have a cooler day and rainfalling. but people here, to have a cooler day and rain falling. but you need about 200 millilitres of rain initial space of time to effect the fires. so it is not enough, but it is providing a bit of reprieve for people battling the flames. as i
mentioned there are 150 fires still burning across the state. but it is the first time in new south wales there is no threat to lives and property. frankly, speaking to people here it s the first time they ve had a day without panic. we have extensive coverage for you here. my colleague, clive myrie, is here with me on the south coast of new south wales. he's been speaking to victims who were forced to flee their homes and seek refuge. look at that road. this bushfire season is like no other in modern australian history. i mean, this is unprecedented, what we're having here. i mean, the whole country is alight. within half an hour it was, "get out, it's too late to leave." you know, "you should seek shelter."
this is a thousand times worse. this is catastrophic. all the fires up the coast are catastrophic. worry etches the faces of those who fled to this hotel from the small town of bundanoon. their homes encircled by two monster fires. the smell of smoke is present even here. by 9:30, i thought i was ok. judy coverdale is one of those who escaped with her life. it was just like a volcanic plume, just growing and growing, red. so, it's getting closer and closer and at this stage you're thinking, i've got to get out. yes. so then i could hear it. i thought i could hear this large fire. it is a disaster, a national disaster. judy sets out to try to establish
if her home has been destroyed. we are going back in to see how far we can get. up ahead, not fog but a thick wall of smoke from the giant fire a few kilometres away. but she hits a police roadblock. can we get near bundanoon? she is told it is too dangerous. they won't let her through. it is unclear if her house is still standing. nearby we came across this trailer belonging to ron murdoch, who is 7a. he packed what mattered to him as he escaped the flames. they were handmade in chile... one of many tens of thousands in australia's biggest peacetime mass evacuation. it is, it is my life now, and that is what i was trying to salvage — my life. in a country proud of its biodiversity forests are stripped bare. and half a billion animals have perished, many littering roads. it is really, really disturbing. that is just such a waste.
when will this nightmare end? heavy rain is not forecast for eight long weeks. australia's prime minister scott morrison has enlisted the help of the australian military in this unprecedented emergency. he's announced that a recovery agency will help those who've lost homes and businesses. some people are saying that is coming a little too late. but his leadership and the handling of this crisis has been widely criticised by those fighting these fires. i had a moment to put this to the prime minister yesterday. given the severity of the crisis and some of the missteps that have been made, why should australians be confident in your leadership?
the response that you are seeing rolled out here in australia, at state level and a commonwealth level, is unprecedented. this is the largest, single call—out ever of defence force reservists working together with full—time defence forces to provide a support which this country has never seen before. a lot of the focus is on some of the big fires so we are seeing in the neighbouring state of victoria. there is the worry that some fires will merge into one massive inferno and some people have been evacuated from the town of muller kuta. they use naval ferries to get to safety and images of that evacuation have beenin and images of that evacuation have been in the papers. there are three emergency warnings across the state of victoria now. can you imagine being a resident in one of those
small towns, getting a phone call to say, you need to leave right now, before it is too late. most people listening to those warnings and leaving their homes. a lot of people telling me they have been ready to go for days. the constant state of fear, ready to pack up and leave. when you see the devastation around us, it feels like the entire south—east of the country is alight with fires. i will hand back to you in london, but i hope you can stay here with us because we have a special report from the nation's capital canberra because the pollution has been so thick in the past few days, it has been one of the worst in the most polluted cities and we have a report from the little bit later. thank you, lucy, we will be back with you shortly. the other major story today... iran has announced it has rolled back on its commitments under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, marking a further and dramatic escalation of tensions in the middle east.
following the assasination of the iranian general qasem soleimani by the us. general soleimani's remains have been returned to iran with enormous fanfare. james robbins has the latest. hundreds of thousands of iranians have been mourning general soleimani and apparently getting behind their leaders promising revenge. the chants are familiar, including "death to america," but the context has radically changed. the war of words from both sides is intensifying. president trump has now tweeted a new threat of massive retaliation, perhaps disproportionate. iran's most significant action so far is the announcement that it will no long accept any limit on its ability to enrich uranium, which can be used in nuclear weapons. iran officially denies having such a weapons programme, but the country has steadily been moving away from its nuclear deal with key powers since president trump abandoned the agreement in 2018.
in the iraqi capital, baghdad, where the general was killed in the american strike, iraq's parliament has expressed its outrage, voting for the removal of all foreign forces from the country, although the decision is not necessarily binding. iraq's prime minister said the united states had put his country in a difficult position. the us—led coalition has announced a pause in training of iraqi forces and operations against is, or daesh. the whole focus now will be on protecting its bases. james robbins, bbc news. also making news today... a masked mob has injured several students at one of india's most prestigious universities. the students have been admitted to hospitals. it is unclear who the attackers at the jawa harlal nehru university campus were. students there have been in the headlines in the past few
weeks for protesting against a controversial new citizenship law. the us military says three of its personnel were killed during the pre—dawn attack by al shabab on a military base on the kenyan coast. a statement says one service member and two defence contractors were killed at the base in manda bay, close to the tourist destination of lamu island. it says kenyan and us troops repelled the attack. china has said that an outbreak of an unknown viral pneumonia is not the respiratory disease sars, that previously killed hundreds of people. the confirmation came from the health authorities in the city of wuhan, where there have been 59 cases. seven people are in a critical condition. one of the great wine merchants of the past century, georges duboeuf, has died at the age of 86. he's credited as the man who turned the red wine beaujolais nouveau, that was once a little—known french product, into a global phenomenon. duboeuf was nicknamed
"the pope of beaujolais". one of asia's most vibrant democracies, taiwan, will elect a president and new parliament next saturday. beijing sees the island as a chinese province which makes some taiwanese very nervous. president tsai ing—wen‘s party, the democratic progressive party supports formal independence for taiwan while the opposition kmt party, wants closer relations with china. 0ur taipei correspondent cindy sui looks at one key factor that could influence the outcome. this mansion sits majestically in the city. its owner is a family whose ancestors moved to taiwan from south—eastern china in the 18th century. derek is the ninth
generation in his family. his family history is filled with loyalty and service to china, starting with the typing rebellion in the 19th century when the family patriarch sided with the government. later ancestors prevented french troops from taking over taiwan, trying to maintain chinese culture during japanese colonial rule and built up the republic of china. they saw themselves as chinese, do you see yourself as chinese, taiwanese or both? i think it is both. yourself as chinese, taiwanese or both? ithink it is both. because yourself as chinese, taiwanese or both? i think it is both. because we cannot get rid of, i am not a chinese, cannot. on the campaign trail, president tsai ing—wen said the mainland is a threat to taiwan's way of life. at temples like this one, may be from chinese culture, but she insists taiwan is to keep its distance from the mainland to safeguard what it has that china doesn't, democracy and freedoms. at
the heart of these elections, is the issue, the sense of identity of taiwanese people. they have traditionally found support from people who see themselves as taiwanese and chinese have voted for the kmt. how voters identify themselves could decide the outcome of these elections. surveys show that in the last 20 years, the chinese government actions and politics in taiwan have changed how people identify themselves. many more people now see themselves as taiwanese instead of chinese or both. this is especially true among young people, including at the universities. i take myself as taiwanese. the reason is, i think the political system in the two countries is too different. translation: i don't consider myself chinese. one reason is that governments are separated and
another reason is, when we speak our accents are different and our cultural distances pull the two sides fell apart. back at the mansion, which is open to the public, the family pray to their a ncestors, public, the family pray to their ancestors, not only for the well—being of their own family but for peace between china and taiwan and prosperity for future generations. we will have all the coverage you need of theirs elections in taiwan, when they take place. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme... the film awards season begins in a few hours with the golden globes. could a south korean film make a breakthrough? ‘parasite' is up for three awards. 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 protest 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. this is newsday on the bbc. the top stories... australia's prime minister —
who's been criticised for his slow response to the country's bushfire crisis — has warned the blazes could last for many months to come. iran says it will no longer abide by limits on its uranium enrichment — abandoning its central commitment under the international nuclear deal reached in 2015. i'm live in nowra, in one of the worst hit areas in australia's bushfire crisis. they have even got smoke in new zealand as well. 5 million hectares have burned in these bushfires already. 0ne have burned in these bushfires already. one of the cities that has been most affected is canberra where businesses have shut and people have been. stay inside. smoke has completely blanketed canberra. they hit you right in the throat and it is really hard to
breathe and it is made worse by this when picking up. as the fires continue to rage, the airjust carries it too and it hangs very heavily on the city. on any given day, this flag at parliament house will be visible from any direction. now you can hardly see them and i am standing right in front of it. this is holiday season as well and this is holiday season as well and this is the time when people come and visit the capital. but it is virtually empty, quite eerie. i did catch up with one family and asked them what it was like to be in camera in this kind of weather? we have just arrived today because we have just arrived today because we have just arrived today because we have just come from coalburn, to get away from the fires and go somewhere safe. it is really smoky, it is hard to breathe at times if you don't have the mask on, so the mask really helps. also, it was raining ash. we would like to stay another day and then we will head back home. there
isa then we will head back home. there is a few fires in the way, sol think part of the road down to 0meo is closed. it took us eight hours get here. it is notjust about being outdoors, people will tell you that even indoors, houses, offices and shopping centres, it reeks of smoke. there are health concerns, especially among those with respiratory conditions. no one knows how long this will last because the fires just keep how long this will last because the firesjust keep burning. but how long this will last because the fires just keep burning. but as of right now, the air quality in australia's capital, is among the worst in the world. there has been a bit of a reprieve because of the rain in new south wales. there is the sound of thunder. mark williamson is an incident control for the fire service, is the rain useful, i know there's not much but it provides a bit of a respite?“ you get more, it will be but at the moment it is only light drizzle. it has hampered the efforts. that is so
interesting it has hampered you?“ keeps the fai activity low, which is what we prefer but when we try to do back burning operations, fighting fire with fire doesn't allow us to get the heat into the ground. explain what a back burning operations, fighting fire with fire doesn't allow us to get the heat into the ground. explain what a back burner is? people get confused between hazard reduction, prescribed burning is what we do in the off—season, we take fuel away off the ground to prevent an area or have a large loading on the field for the upcoming summer. back burning is done during an emergency operation during wildfire times, when we go in front of the fire and use a fire against fire. we take the fuel out manually so the oncoming fire doesn't have any more fuel to burn. we have just heard some thunder, the worrying thing is that leads to lightning? it is fine if we get a lot of rain with it and it puts any stumps out the lightning strikes. are any of these fires was
started by dry lightning, so it is a concern. how are started by dry lightning, so it is a concern. how are you started by dry lightning, so it is a concern. how are you and your team, you must be exhausted? we are getting tired, i have been going since the 5th of september. we do have brakes and an individual day here and there, every few days but overall it is an ongoing season. the normal operational days haven't existed, we have been into 12 hour days for most days over the season so days for most days over the season so far. moving around the state, but for the last month and a little bit, we have been located in my home district here. so feeling the devastation of this fire. we have spoken to people who have been through massive trauma, is it difficult to deal with? it is, through massive trauma, is it difficult to dealwith? it is, in through massive trauma, is it difficult to deal with? it is, in 30 yea rs of difficult to deal with? it is, in 30 years of firefighting, 12 years in this location, i have never seen anything like this. even some of our old members have never seen drought conditions such as we are suffering here at the moment and that has exacerbated the fire activity and
the fire intensity. we often get fires coming from the north—west in new south wales, but this has marched its way up the coast from the south against the normal aspects of firefighting. it has been a devastating effect and it has devastated a lot of communities. we have had large blow—up days on a couple of occasions and those are the ones where we have lost properties and lives. everyone's thought in australia are with you. thank you so much forjoining us. everyone who wants to contribute. i was just at the operational centre the other day and volunteers were co nsta ntly the other day and volunteers were constantly arriving with supplies for the firefighters as well as to distribute to people who have had to leave their homes. a real sense in australia of people coming together. we will keep an eye on the weather and see what happens next. in neighbouring victoria, there is still two big fires they are concerned about that could merge into a magnifier. we will be back at a little bit later.
thank you, lucy, great efforts by eve ryo ne thank you, lucy, great efforts by everyone on the ground. it's the golden globes! the south korean film parasite has been nominated for three awards, with bong joon ho a candidate to win in the category of best motion picture director. parasite follows members of a poor household scheming to be employed by a much wealthier family by pretending to be highly qualified people. jean lee who is a global fellow at the woodrow wilson international center and an expert on korean culture says it's a big deal for the country as well as the director himself. you know, he has said that he considers it an honour simply to be nominated and he also recognises that challenges of a foreign language film to winds in these international awards. but it is certainly a huge honour for south korea. it comes at such an interesting time. it is be hundredth year that korea has been making movies, so it is a milestone year
for korean cinema. and i think it is a chance for the rest of the world to recognise, the rest of the mainstream world, to recognise that south korea has more to offer in its film—making than the kind of horror films that we are used to seeing. i think the last time i was speaking on the show about train to busan which is a story about mummies, but this is a different type of film. it blends comedy, it also has a bit of horror in it, and quite a lot of social commentary, certainly. i want to pick up on that. if it does win, we want to remain completely impartial here at the bbc, but if it does, what do you think that will lead to? you seem to be kind of hinting that there is a wider range, a greater breadth of artistic creativity to come out of korea. would this be a springboard for that? i do hope so.
south korean film has a lot to offer. we've seen quite a number of movies but they haven't quite broken through internationally, so this will be the first one that reaches the mainstream, and not so much as a south korean film but as a film that has appeal universally. but it does bring south korean culture, south korean issues to the fore as well. there is some very interesting social commentary in that movie that perhaps will raise some awareness of the issues that south korea faces, but in a way that is wrapped up as entertainment and is simply fun to watch. i wanted to give you a sense of how profoundly affected everyone in australia is, of course, by this bushfire crisis, which is unprecedented. every australian wa nts to unprecedented. every australian wants to do something to help. the firefighters and everyone affected
in their thoughts and we are keeping a close eye on the here and in neighbouring victoria. 150 fires in new south wales still. hello, red sky for some on sunday night but not a delight for the shepherds over the rest of us. a turbulent spell with potential disruption, notjust turbulent spell with potential disruption, not just from turbulent spell with potential disruption, notjust from heavy rain at times but severe gales to the north and west. it will bring with it mild conditions before things turn chilly later in the week. there speu turn chilly later in the week. there spell a turbulent weather comes from this low pressure to the south of iceland, heavy snow and gales and heavy rain pushing to the west of ireland by the end of the night. most into the morning rush hour, cloudy with a few spots of rain and drizzle but frost free. in the rush hour itself, heavy bursts of rain and gale force winds, spreading across scotland for mid—morning. not too much rain in the east. as for wales in england it is lunchtime we
will see the heavy rain before sunshine returns to the west later on. to the north and west we will see the strongest of the winds and potential for gales. 50 see the strongest of the winds and potentialfor gales. 50 mile an hour gusts for some. not as wendy to east anglia and the south—east but the breeze will pick up by the end of the afternoon and we will see this band of narrow and heavy spread eastwards. we finished the day in south—west england, wales and northern england with the potential for sunshine. a few showers in scotla nd for sunshine. a few showers in scotland and northern ireland and they may be wintry over the tops of they may be wintry over the tops of the scottish mountains and temperatures drop away bit through the afternoon. but not as wendy for the afternoon. but not as wendy for the evening rush—hour as it will have been for the morning one. that rain spreads across the south—east. touch a frosty and there but temperatures rise later is more wet and windy weather spreads its way in from the west. that is the slow area of low pressure, a deeper and bigger area of low pressure which means the winds are strong and extend further away from the centre producing snow
here. dragging in exceptionally mild airforthe here. dragging in exceptionally mild air for the mid—atlantic. temperatures from what would have been a chilly start in the south—east. dry and bright too much of the day, northern, scotland, northern ireland with outbreaks of rain. the biggest disruption could come from the winds. widespread gales, strongest of the winds in north and west scotland, up to 80 mile an hour gusts not out of the question. those winds coming from the mid—atla ntic will question. those winds coming from the mid—atlantic will bring mild weather to the north—east on high ground. we could see 15 or 16 degrees. that milder air swept away as we go through the night and into wednesday morning. a chilly start on wednesday morning. a chilly start on wednesday morning. a chilly start on wednesday morning with a touch of frost. rain returned from the south west later and more wet and windy weather around on thursday before a quieter and put a colder end to the week.
our top story: in australia, the worst weekend of bushfires yet, has seen hundreds of homes destroyed. the prime minister scott morrison has warned the bushfire emergency could last for months. he says he's sending in the military, following accusations that he has been slow to deal with the crisis. france, britain and germany have asked iran to reconsider after it said it would roll back more commitments made under the international nuclear deal. tehran's announcement follows the american assassination of general qasem soleimani on friday. hollywood's awards season gets under way in los angeles in a couple of hours, with the 77th annual golden globes. the traditional studios are once again facing a challenge from the big streaming services. the ceremony begins at 1700 local time in hollywood. that's all. stay with bbc world news. now on bbc news it's hardtalk with stephen sackur.