welcome to newsday. i'm kasia madera in london. our headlines: the duke and duchess of sussex announce they're stepping back as senior royals in an unprecedented move. president trump says he believes iran is standing down in its military confrontation with america after it fired missiles at us air bases in iraq. iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world. i'm rico hizon in singapore. also in the programme: mystery after a ukrainian plane crashes shortly after take—off in iran, killing 176 people.
and as australia continues to battle wildfires, prime minister scott morrison defends his handling of the crisis response. the response that you are seeing rolled out here at australia at a state and commonwealth level is unprecedented. hello and welcome. it's 8am in singapore and midnight here in london where prince harry and his wife meghan have unexpectedly issued a personal statement saying they will step back as senior royals and work to become financially independent. the duke and duchess of sussex also say they plan to split their time between the uk and north america. the surprise move comes after the pair publicly
revealed their struggles with the media spotlight. here's our royal correspondent nicholas witchell. canada house in london yesterday. harry and meghan had just returned from their extended break in canada. laughing it's now clear that although they had been discussing a new role for themselves with other members of the royal family, they did not tell senior members of the family or their officials that they were about to issue a personal statement setting out their intentions. the bbc understands buckingham palace is disappointed — that's unusual. in their statements, the sussexes said:
quite what a progressive new role means is unclear, though the statement says they plan to balance their time between the united kingdom and north america. cheering the signs that the couple were unhappy with their royal life have been apparent for some months, notably during and since their tour of southern africa, when both of them gave interviews. harry conceded that he and his brother, william, were not as close as before. just 20 months ago at their wedding in windsor, it had all seemed to offer such promise. a young prince and his american bride, harry and megan were a couple who, it was said, and as they demonstrated, could bring something fresh to the british royal family and reach sections of the population, which were otherwise largely indifferent to the royals. but, now, some at least of those hopes have been dashed. i think this is
the most extraordinary news, but it's also very sad. i mean, harry and meghan are very much loved, and if we're not going to see so much of them, i think that's a real tragedy. so, the sussexs have taken the initiative — without waiting for the approval of the queen or the prince of wales, they have made their own announcement about their new life. there isn'tjust disappointment at the palace, there is hurt at the most senior levels of the family. nicholas witchell, bbc news. a lot of emotions there, including surprise. janet davison writes about the royal family for the canadian broadcaster cbc, and joins us from toronto. are you quite surprised by this? the royal couple had spent six weeks over christmas in vancouver and they seem to have a fantastic time there. yes, we certainly know that they we re yes, we certainly know that they were here and seems to really enjoy it, but his announcement today was a com plete
it, but his announcement today was a complete surprise for everyone here. there was certainly a lot of shock and interest in just what it might all really mean. what you think it will really mean? a lot of speculation about what they mean by financially independent. there is an awful lot that needs to be worked out yet, and that was one of the elements of this that leaked out from the initial message that they put out, what would that mean? and there are so many questions about how do they continue on. they still will have their own financial resources , will have their own financial resources, but to what degree and to how they detach or do they detach from the sovereign grant any money that might come through the queen or prince charles public—private funds. there is so much we have to get a sense of what it really does mean. their movements are heavily scrutinised, following him in the uk. when they were in canada over the christmas period, did they manage... how much did they go under
the radar? they went incredibly under the radar. there is certainly the sense that some locals may have been aware of their presence and whether they may have made, their security may have made enquiries about staying at a restaurant, maybe they ran into people when they were hiking ina they ran into people when they were hiking in a park, generally speaking, they were very much under the radar. they are talking about balancing their time between the uk and the north america. is that the us or canada? i don't know if it is canada, but there would certainly wouldn't be surprising if there was a significant amount of time in canada, but it there is the sense there might be a desire to spend some time in the united states, particularly given that is where megan's mother is, and she has some fairly high profile friends such as serena williams, who are also in the states. we a re serena williams, who are also in the states. we are all speculating at this point, but the idea that it could be a significant amount of time in canada might not be such a surprise. thank you so much. thank
you. let's take a look at some of the day's other news. the new president of the european commission says it will be impossible to reach a comprehensive post—brexit trade deal with the uk by the end of this year. speaking just before a meeting with the prime minister, ursula von der leyen said if the deadline was not extended, certain areas of the talks would need to be prioritised. the uk prime minister, borisjohnson, has insisted a comprehensive deal is possible in the time frame. also making news today, more than 6,000 people have now died from measles in the democratic republic of congo. the world health organization say the epidemic is the world's largest and fastest moving. health centres in some parts of the country have been attacked by armed groups, which is making it harder to tackle the problem. a ukrainian passenger plane,
carrying 176 people, including three britons, crashed shortly after take—off in iran just hours after the iranian missile attacks. there were no survivors. the majority of passengers on the boeing airliner were from iran and canada. several airlines have now said they will avoid iranian airspace. venezuela's 0pposition leader, juan guaido, has called for three days of protests against president nicolas maduro hours after he was sworn in for another term as national assembly speaker. it follows a stand—off with the armed forces who initially stopped him from going into the assembly. and have a look at these pictures. around a0 tourists have been rescued from langjokull glacier in iceland late tuesday. they were on an organised tour when they got caught
in a severe blizzard. the tourists were unharmed, but some of them got very cold during up to nine hours on the glacier before rescue teams arrived. in the past few hours, there have been reports of two rockets crashing into the iraqi capital's green zone area, the high—security section in the capital, baghdad. there were no casualties. earlier, president trump said iran appears to be standing down after it launched more than 20 missiles at iraqi bases where us troops are stationed. the bbc‘sjeremy bowen is in baghdad. the iranians kept their promise and may have bought some time. iran had to calibrate its missile launchers. enough to satisfy angry iranians, not enough to provoke a much more destructive american response.
they seem to have guessed right. iraqi soldiers shouted warnings to each other. shouting they share the huge al—assad base in western iraq with the americans. afterwards for the leaders came a chance to save face, claim victory and step back for the moment. no americans were harmed in last night's attack by the iranian regime. we suffered no casualties. all of our soldiers are safe. iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world. it looks different in iran. a few in tehran even got up early to celebrate revenge.
here is a university student. "i have a great feeling," she said. "i hope revenge continues and i hope to see trump fail." and later, the regime's faithful chanted "death to america" as the supreme leader, ayatollah ali khamenei, told them he hadn't finished yet. translation: the issue of revenge is something else. what happened last night was just a slap in the face. for him, the assassination promotes unity in a divided country, and now iran has more time for its speciality, unconventional warfare using proxies and allies. here in baghdad, the morning had nothing for iraqis who want iranians and americans to leave them alone. the badr 0rganisation, a political party based on a pro—iranian militia,
gathered to mourn the assassinations and condemn the us refusal to pull their troops out of iraq. they insist on their presence in iraq. that means they force everybody in iraq, everybody in iraq to go for military resistance against them. do you think now that the iranians have made this attack, that it's the end of this chapter? they do more. they increase, i think. i think this is only a message, not more. a message to the americans, saying...? saying, "we are serious." this is a long—term conflict. the biggest danger of the moment in the most unstable part of the world. without a political dialogue and some kind of deal, the slide towards war will continue. jeremy bowen, bbc news, baghdad.
we can speak now to michael carpenter. he worked in the pentagon as a deputy assistant secretary for defence. michael, thank you forjoining us. we just heard michael, thank you forjoining us. wejust heard president michael, thank you forjoining us. we just heard president from saying around appears to be standing down. have the foreign minister saying they have concluded their actions against the united states will do what is your view? is the danger over? almost over? well, i wish that we re over? almost over? well, i wish that were the case. unfortunately i don't think that is true. we know iran plays the long game and i don't expect that this is the end of the story right here. in fact, if you look a little bit more broadly outside ofjust look a little bit more broadly outside of just iran, look a little bit more broadly outside ofjust iran, you can see the us national security interests are taking a hit in a number of different arenas. for example, are taking a hit in a number of differentarenas. for example, in terms of our chief counterterrorism partner in the region, iraq, we are already suffering out on the likelihood that the iraqi government is going to ask us forces, and also means nato forces, to withdraw
com pletely means nato forces, to withdraw completely from that country. in terms of stopping the proliferation of wmd, we also think iran is now involved to continue with his nuclear programme. in terms of the safety of us citizens in the region and in the broader middle east, certainly i don't think we can say that us citizens are out of danger. i think the danger to us interest in the region right now is at an all—time high. i think it is vitally premature to say that this episode is over and done with. a lot of factors to take into account, but apart from the relationship between the us and iran, the primary collateral damage seems to be the relationship between the us and iraq? that is correct. it remains to be seen exactly how the us iranians relationship plays out, as i said, the iranians play a long game. this
could play out over the course of months or years. in terms of the rock, though, it is very clear that us interests have taken a sustained hit. it seems like the political logic right now in the iraqi parliament and among iraqi politicians is to call for a us withdrawal. i don't see that changing anytime soon. there are some iraqis who want the us to stay to play a stabilising role, but that a logici to play a stabilising role, but that a logic i think is likely to be undercut by the political rationale of pushing for us withdrawal. and that certainly undermines our ability to fight terror in the region and specifically our ability to keep isis from re—emerging as a threat in the valley in both iraq and eastern syria. michael carpenter, thank you so much for your insights. joining us from our washington bureau. my pleasure. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: australia's prime minister, scott morrison, comes under more criticism over his handling of the bushfire crisis. also on the programme:
the former boss of renault—nissan, carlos ghosn, hits out at japan's judicial system in his first public comments since he fled the country. 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. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. i'm kasia madera in london. our top stories: the duke and duchess of sussex announce they are stepping back as senior royals. president trump says he believes iran is standing down in its military confrontation with america after it fired missiles at us air bases in iraq. that story very much dominating the front pages from around the world.
let's start with the south china morning post. it reports on how airlines across asia are diverting planes away from iranian airspace, after the us federal aviation administration banned american airlines from operating in the region. next the japan times is reporting on the trial of the man accused of murdering i9 disabled people at a care home near tokyo in 2016. satoshi umatsu, a former employee, has admitted the killings but has pleaded not guilty due to mental health reasons. and the new york times looks at a new report that suggests that 2019 was the second hottest year on record. data from the european union's climate monitoring service suggests that the average temperature last year was only a few hundreths of a degree cooler than the hottest ever recorded year, which was 2016. officials in australia are urging residents to leave parts of victoria
state where dangerous fire conditions are once again tipped to return. fast—moving bushfires are predicted to sweep through the state on friday when temperatures and winds pick up. australia's unprecedented bushfire crisis has already destroyed 8 million hectares, with huge economic impact. kangaroo valley is a small town in new south wales that was devastated when a ferocious firestorm swept through over the weekend. lucy hockings has been speaking to a resident whose fire—proofed house was incredibly saved from the flames. we saved the house and the house saved us. that was a nexus that if it had broken at any point, would have meant that we would have perished. the air was like if you we re perished. the air was like if you were ina perished. the air was like if you were in a very big thunderstorm, but instead of sheets of water, it was sheets of embers and fire, as a glow
through the air, and the horizontal rain was horizontal burning pieces of wood flying through the air and leaves, and the strength of the wind wasjust incredible. tell me about some of the features of the house and the way that you designed it that made it fireproof? was certainly mindful that when we designed a house here that there would be a fire at some stage. there was a concept of defensiveness around the way in which the buildings were designed to shield us from where we thought the fires might come from, but also in terms of active and passive principles. so, active sprinkling systems that would help keep the house cool, the glass call, and provide some respite and protection through the material selections, noncombustible materials, materials that would
provide some radiant heat protection. you are obviously a glass half full person. are there any positives that have come out of this experience? the ability to accept that this is just an evolving period in which we will deal with the landscape. i think as soon as there are shoots from the trees around here it is going to take on another dimension. i think people are rethinking and reimagining, as i said, the way in which they rebuild ina said, the way in which they rebuild in a positive way. notjust trying to reinstate what they had yesterday, but what could their properties and those that run accommodation facilities, what could they be? how could they be better? and i think the fact that there is a genuine community that had the potential to exist and didn't but authentically does now. of course we
have got much more details on our website of those bushfires raging in australia. the former boss of nissan has appeared in public for the first time since his dramatic escape from bail injapan. carlos ghosn claims he's innocent of charges of financial misconduct, and blamed japanese prosecutors and nissan for his downfall. our world affairs editorjohn simpson was at the press conference, and sent this report. it was chaos. everyone wanted a first glimpse of the international motor industry tycoon turned escape artist. i'm going to try, as much as possible, to answer as many questions as possible. this is the chartered jet that whisked carlos ghosn out of kansai airport in japan to istanbul. and these cctv pictures seemed to show him being shunted onto a smallerjet, which then took him onto beirut. but this, on the right, is apparently the box he was smuggled out in.
he is five foot six. i did not escapejustice. ifled injustice and persecution. i was left with no other choice but to protect myself and my family. he endured, he said, 400 days of inhumane treatment, designed to break him. there is a 99% rate of conviction in japanese criminal trials. "it will get worse for you if you don'tjust confess", the prosecutor told me repeatedly. he thinks it was all a conspiracy to prevent his company, nissan, being swallowed up by foreign ownership. how high up in the japanese system does that conspiracy go? does it go up, perhaps, to the very top? i don't personally think that the top level was involved, if this is your question.
if you are talking about abe—san, i don't think abe—san was involved. in other words, not the japanese prime minister, mr abe. someone asked if he shouldn't have seen the trouble coming. his answer — it was like america in 19111. you know what happened in pearl harbor? did you see pearl harbor happen? did you notice what happened in pearl harbor? injapan itself, the response to all this has been furious. carlos ghosn's one—sided criticism of the japanese justice system was completely unacceptable, said the japanese justice minister. but the basic reason carlos ghosn escaped from japan was sitting on the front row — his wife, carol, rarely taking her eyes off him. he had only seen herfor two hours in his nine months of detention. "i had to be with her", he said. john simpson, bbc news, beirut.
you have been watching newsday. i'm kasia madera in london. it is great to be back on newsday, my first show in the new decade! i'm rico hizon in singapore. stay with us. we will be looking at how tentions in the middle east are causing concern to oil tankers making their way through the persian gulf. rico, it's great to have you back! hgppy rico, it's great to have you back! happy new year to you. before we go, i have to remind our viewers of the story dominating the news here, just in the last few hours, prince harry and his wife meghan have unexpectedly announced that they are stepping back from their roles as senior members of the british royal family. this has sent shock throughout the press, the couple who have of course a baby son archie said that they plan to cover a progressive new role in the royal
family and add that they intend to work to become financially independent. as you can imagine, we have got lots more on that on our website. weatherwise, it's pretty much a case of you name it and we've got it coming our way of you name it and we've got it coming ourway in of you name it and we've got it coming our way in the next few days. a chilly start to thursday, to the far north of the uk with patchy fog. further south it is unseasonably mild. this area of low pressure will bring wet and windy weather to a central swathe of the uk. later on, the south—west get targeted by another low, heavy rain, and a risk of gail's. here is rush hour across the uk, some heavy rain and some squally winds stopping all of that pulling out into the north sea as the morning wears on. quite a cutting north—easterly wind, though,
following on behind so chilly for those north sea coast. for the afternoon, our next low coming into the south—west, that is set to produce some heavy rain, strong winds and for the channel islands 12 degrees, and contrast that to just three and aberdeen. this evening and overnight into friday, some very heavy rain, tracks across southern england as the slow heads off into the continent, and then, by friday morning, the pressure is building. the winds are light, the skies clear and it will start to turn pretty chilly. exception being the far south—east where the cloud will only clear towards the end of the night, so not so much cooling here but quite widely a frost first thing on friday, a lot of dry weather to get the day under way. light winds and sunshine but cloud gathering towards the north—west through the afternoon, the wind picking up and the rain starting to approach, but friday's temperatures, notice just six or seven degrees, a much cooler story overall. but overnight friday
into saturday we start to pick up a strong south—westerly air stream, and very mild airflights into the ukfor and very mild airflights into the uk for saturday. that is important because warmer air holds more moisture and it is going to make this front all the more potent to the north of the uk, bringing heavy rain before it clears through during the second half of the weekend. here is saturday, a very wet day for parts of scotland, hundred millimetres of rain possible in some spot with localised flooding before that system clears away. warnings have been issued for the rain and also the wind, widespread gail's at least until the middle part of saturday. by sunday, the front away into the continent, the skies are looking clearer, the wind is lighter, and we are moving back into cooler air. down into single figures and wintry lorries in the north—west.
our main story: the duke and duchess of sussex have announced they will step back as senior royals and work to become financially independent. prince harry and meghan also said they plan to split their time between the uk and north america. the bbc understands no other royal was consulted before the statement senior royals are understood to be hurt by the announcement. president trump has said iran "appears to be standing down" after it fired missiles at air bases housing us forces in iraq. and this story is trending on bbc.com. around a0 tourists have been rescued from langjokull glacier in iceland after they got caught in a severe blizzard. they were on the glacier for nine hours before rescue teams arrived. that's all. thank you very much for watching. goodbye for now.