welcome to newsday. i'm kasia madera, in london. our headlines" 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 air bases housing us forces in iraq. 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 wildfi res, prime minister scott morrison defends his handling of the crisis response.
the response that you're seeing rolled out here in australia at a state level and a commonwealth level is unprecedented. live from our studios in singapore and london, this is bbc world news — it's newsday. hello and welcome. it's 9am in singapore and 1am 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 statement, the sussexes said: cheering 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. i've been speaking to russell myers, royal editor for the british newspaper, the daily mirror. he claims senior royals were not consulted. com pletely completely unprecedented scenario you have this evening after the duke and duchess of sussex have released is absolutely extraordinary statement that suggests they are stepping back from that royal duties, effectively resigning from the royal family. completely astonishing turn of events. i am hearing that did not tell the queen and senior members of the royal family, whichjust and senior members of the royal family, which just adds to the absolutely bewildering series of
events this evening. by stepping back, they are really taking a sta nce back, they are really taking a stance that they will go alone and that they do not need the royal family and believe they have a global following table capitalise on. have they simply had enough of the press spotlight? of course, we saw the interview by itv when they look desperately unhappy. have the media, people like you, push them are too far? undoubtedly, they have had a difficult time by their own admission. it was difficult not to feel for them when they did their documentary. however, with that being said, that they chose to make those statements in some of the poorest communities in the world did not sit well with the british public, airing their grievances saying they were surviver not thriving despite living a very, very privileged lifestyle. just recently going to canada, living in a £10
million mansion while sorting out the future. i think the british public will really be at odds with their decision and the way they have handled it, to be honest. how does this affect you now, russell? in that statement they have been adamant about the particular types of media they will work with. they are talking about young and up coming journalists. it is a sorry state of events, really. i think prince harry has chosen an instagram page, undoubtedly they have a huge following, but the british media has been particularly supportive to meghan when she came onto the scene and supported her engagement, patronage that she is vesting. let's not forget that prince harry's invictus games was usually supported by the media and it would not have
had the success it has had and the level it has had without support. it remains to be seen how successful this period of them going alone will be. whether social media can do everything for them. i am not too sure. the royal editor for the daily mirror. 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 timeframe. also making news today: more than 6000 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, venezuela's opposition 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 standoff 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, iceland, late tuesday. they were on an organized 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.
at least two rockets have been fired into the heavily fortified green zone in the iraqi capital, baghdad. no group has yet come forward to claim responsibilty. foreign government buildings including the us embassy are based there and according to us officials there were no coalition casualties or damage to facilities. 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 ain 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 looked 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. taiwan will hold presidential and legislative elections this saturday.
millions of voters will have to decide whether to give another four years to president tsai ing—wen and let her party the dpp keep its legislative majority. the dpp wants taiwan to keep a distance from china and build closer relations with the us instead. tsai's main rival, han kuo—yu from the kmt, wants better ties with beijing. 0ur taipei correspondent cindy sui asked voters where they think taiwan's future lies — china or the us. these voters have turned out to support the leader. there is co nsta nt support the leader. there is constant conflict with beijing. he says taiwan cannot afford to forsake its relations with china. it's most important trade ally and main export
destination. he is promising to reduce tension and build good relations for beijing. his supporters agree with him. translation: i think taiwan's future lies with china because of its proximity with china. the us is so far away, even if it wants to help, it would be limited in what it can do so we must have good relations with china and still maintain our sovereignty. when china is democratic and its economy is as developed as ours then we can discuss whether or not we unify. translation: the two sides have to peacefully coexist in all other for people to have money and be so. if taiwan is constantly in conflict it would not be so. we are born from the same route, do think that being close to mainland china taiwan will disappear. on saturday voters decide
who they believe, tsai ing—wen or the mare. the decision will decide the mare. the decision will decide the future and its relations with china and the united states. 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. welcome back, everyone. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. thank you for staying with us. 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. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. the tensions between the us and iran and the wider implications are dominating much of the coverage, including in 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 19 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 hundredths of a degree cooler than the hottest ever recorded year, which was 2016. you ever recorded year, which was 2016. are up—to—da1 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 were in a very big thunderstorm, but instead of sheets of water, it was sheets of embers and looked like 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 you designed it that made it fireproof? i was certainly mindful that when we designed a house here, that there would be a fire at some stage. there was, i guess, 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 cool, and provide some respite and protection through the material selections, noncombustible materials, materials that would provide some radiant heat protection. nick, you're 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 the way in which we'll deal with the landscape. i think as soon as there are shoots on the trees around here, it's going to take on another dimension. i think people are rethinking and reimagining, as i 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. in peru, heavy rains in southern and central regions have washed away bridges with homes and medical centres engulfed by severe flooding. the country is currently in the middle of its annual rainy season, but local authorities said such rainfall had not been seen in the region since 2002. gareth barlow has more. roads transformed into rivers of mud. this is the heaviest rain in southern and central peru for almost 20 years. homes and golf, bridges washed away. the floods took my house, this man said. my fish farm, my animals. the entire farm is gone.
peru is in the midst of its rainy season, which usually continues until april. the country was engulfed by deadly floods in 2017. more than 100 people died. with more rain forecast, the cleanup is already under way, but the rainy season already under way, but the rainy seasonis already under way, but the rainy season is far from already under way, but the rainy season is farfrom over. gareth barlow, bbc news. 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 editor john 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 5'6". 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's 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. great to have all of you with us. i'm rico hizon in singapore. stay with us. we will be looking at how tensions in the middle east are causing concern to oil tankers making their way through the persian gulf. yes, a lot of tension there. we will come back to you for that. and before we go, let's just remind you of the story dominating the news here in the uk for the last few hours. prince harry and his wife meghan have unexpectedly announced they're stepping back from their roles as senior members of the british royal family. in a statement released on instagram, the duke and duchess of sussex say they plan to become financially independent. we have much, much more on our
website and lots of analysis as to what exactly that means. hello. weatherwise, it's pretty much a case of you name it and we've got it coming our way in the next few days. we've got a chilly start to thursday to the far north of the uk with a patchy frost and some fog. further south, it's unseasonably mild. this area of low pressure will bring wet and windy weather to a central swathe of the uk early on in the day. later on, the south—west gets targeted by another low, heavy rain, thundery and a risk of gales. here is the rush hour across northern england and southern scotland, snow for the higher routes of the pennines, some heavy rain and some squally winds. 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 coasts.
by the afternoon, our next low coming in to the south—west, that's set to produce some heavy rain. strong winds, particularly, for the isles of scilly and for the channel islands, 12 degrees, and contrast that to just 3 in aberdeen. through thursday evening and overnight into friday, some very heavy rain tracks across southern england as this low heads off into the continent, and then, by friday morning, the pressure is building. the winds fall light, the skies clear and it will start to turn pretty chilly. perhaps an 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 6 or 7 degrees, a much cooler story overall. but overnight friday into saturday,
we start to pick up a strong south—westerly air stream, strengthening south—westerly winds and very mild air floods into the uk for saturday. that's important because warmer air holds more moisture and that's 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. so, here is saturday, a very wet day for parts of scotland, northern ireland and northern england. 100mm of rain possible in some spots with i think localised flooding before that system clears away. warnings have been issued for the rain, also for the wind, quite widespread gales 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, but we've moved back into cooler air, so we're down into single figures with some wintry flurries in the north—west.
our top 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 and buckingham palace is "disappointed". 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 doing well on our website are images of around a0 tourists being rescued from a 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. stay with bbc world news. more on our web site bbc.co.uk/news