welcome to bbc news. i'm mike embley. our top stories: breaking with tradition...again! harry and meghan announce they'll be stepping back as senior members of the royal family. president trump says iran appears to be standing down after it fired missiles at air bases housing us forces in iraq. fresh warnings and evacuation notices in australia as hot, windy weather returns, threatening towns and communities. the former boss of renault—nissan, carlos ghosn, hits out at japan's judicial system in his first public comments since hejumped bail.
hello to you. the duke and duchess of sussex are to step back as senior royals and work to become financially independent. that personal statement from prince harry and meghan was a surprise announcement, apparently made without consulting any members of the british royal family, which is said to have left the family feeling hurt. the couple say they will continue fully to support the queen, but now plan to split their time between the uk and north america. there is flash photography in this report from 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 sussexes 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. live now to toronto and to richard berthelsen. richard, i know you commentate on the royal family.
the duchess has many links to toronto, but my more generally does this to over there? let's remember, her majesty the queen is the queen of canada. the royalfamily her majesty the queen is the queen of canada. the royal family have a huge relationship with canada. canada is probably the most visited country by the royal family, and canada is probably the most visited country by the royalfamily, and in the last few weeks, the duke and duchess spent their vacation on vancouver island off the west coast. canadians have ta ken vancouver island off the west coast. canadians have taken a direct interest in this story as it has progressed, and in toronto, there is great pride in the fact that meghan markle, where she lived here for seven years, joined the royal family after having been an adopted torontonian. my kids were particularly taken that idea. what other chances do you think of the relocating over there? if we look at the enthusiast that the duke and duchess expressed yesterday, the higher commission in london at
canada house, they weren't com pletely canada house, they weren't completely ta ken with canada house, they weren't completely taken with canada, including archie. there is a chance that may the case in toronto or in vancouver. vancouver, vancouver —— like victoria, very close to victoria —— to california by air. most of her mother particularly. they may pose an attraction. you can get away from people and people in victoria where they were actually showed them a very wide berth. so they had a private time and they we re they had a private time and they were given some room to have their own private time. that seems to have attracted them. there is a chance of that. there is no doubt that some of the criticism that artist has taken have been tinged with racism. would you expect to be different in north america? i do think so. i think there is great joy america? i do think so. i think there is greatjoy in the duchess having married into the royal family. there was great interest. toronto itself is a city, well over
half of the people come from somewhere else. many of them do not look like the royal family has traditionally look. there is great interest in that in the city in particular and in many parts of canada. i think there is a little bit less of that aspect coverage of the royal family here and people simply don't understand why those kind of comments may have been made by some particular in the tabloid press. briefly, clearly quite a lot to be sorted out. what questions would you like to hear answers to?|j think canadians are interested to know what percentage of time they will spend here, and if they will spendin will spend here, and if they will spend in or the us, it would be hard for people in canada to accept they would go to the us given out relationship with the royal family. there has always been jealousy there in terms of time spent there. what does being a progressive royal mean, what does being outside of the royal family, and that mean they are doing things they are good ideas or still going to be in the business of
serving the broader public in terms of things that are important for the royal family to do. we of things that are important for the royalfamily to do. we have of things that are important for the royal family to do. we have always had that approach with royal visitors, they have done things canadians felt was important so i think that is a significant question. and security and other issues. richard, thank you so much. my issues. richard, thank you so much. my pleasure. in iraq, at least two rockets have been fired into in the heavily fortified green zone in the capital baghdad. foreign government buildings including the us embassy are based there, but american officials say there are "no coalition casualties or damage to facilities." earlier, president trump said iran appeared to be standing down after the launch of more than 20 missiles at iraqi bases where american and iraqi troops are stationed. vice president mike pence claimed again that americans are safer for the assassination of the iranian general, qasim souleimani, and he suggested the us had received intelligence that iran has told its allied militias not to attack american targets or civilians. our middle east editor
jeremy bowen reports from 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 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 organisation, 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. joining me now is jarret blanc who's a former co—ordinator at the us state department on the iran nuclear deal under the obama administration. he's now at the carnegie endowment in washington. as our middle east editor was saying, they play the long game and it has proxies, allied militias who can attack on its behalf with deniability. do you think mr trump is right when he says tehran is standing down? no, i am quite certain he is wrong. this might be the end of iran's response to
soleimani, it is only the beginning of what i expect to be a long tail of what i expect to be a long tail of covert responses. what do you think of the tone he took? also he is about to impose more sanctions, which is hardly conciliatory. well, it is hardly —— hard to evaluate president trump's tone. i think all things considered he could have been worse. i am things considered he could have been worse. iam more things considered he could have been worse. i am more worried about the sanctions threat, not because i think there is anything left to sanction in iran, because going back to the status quo of a week ago, it is simply not sustainable, and the iranians have made clear i think that the price of beginning a diplomatic process is some modest sanctions. suggesting that instead there will be some additional symbolic sanctions indicate that there is no real appetite for a diplomatic solution in the trump administration. let's evaluate that long tail as you put it, possible consequences of all this. what is coming between the and iran?
consequences of all this. what is coming between the and iran7m consequences of all this. what is coming between the and iran? it is ha rd to coming between the and iran? it is hard to speculate. iranians have a lot of options to choose from. they can use their partner and proxy forces in the region for terrorist attacks against us interests, they could seek to launch terrorist attacks or assassinations outside of the region, they could have cyber attacks on us interests, and of course they could use their political influence in countries like iraq and afghanistan to counter us interest. i wouldn't expect over a period of time to see some combination of those steps —— i would expect. it does look as if there is damage between the us and iraq. absolutely. the us has now undertaken several attacks in iraq without permission from the iraqi government and in contravention of the understanding that have us there, which are quite explicit about not attacking uranian interests. i think over the course of the next couple of months we're
going see iraq finalise the steps that began this weekend and insist on us withdrawal. thank you very much for your time and your insights. thank you. let's get some of the day's other news. the canadian prime minister, justin trudeau, says his government will make sure a plane crash in iran involving many people travelling to canada is thoroughly investigated. he said 138 of the 176 passengers on board the ukrainian plane were connecting to canada. the new president of the european commission, ursula von der leyen, has said that britain will find it "basically impossible" to negotiate all aspects of its future relationship with the european union by the end of this year. she's been holding talks with britain's prime minister, borisjohnson. she said the transition time is very tight for a long—term post—brexit relationship. the world bank is forecasting a slight increase in global economic growth for the coming year following a marked slowdown in 2019. the bank predicts that growth
will reach 2.5% so long as there's a substantial improvement in some large emerging and developing economies. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: with temperatures expected to peak again in australia, authorities issue fresh warnings and advise people in so—called danger zones to evacuate. 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 bbc news. the latest headlines: prince hary and his wife meghan have unexpectedly announced they‘ re stepping back from their roles as senior members of the british royal family. 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. the former boss of nissan has appeared in public for the first
time since his dramatic escape from bail injapan. carlos gown 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's 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 191“. 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. in australia temperatures are expected to soar again later this week as the bushfire crisis continues. (map at least 25 people have died since september and almost 2,000 homes
have been destroyed. the eastern and southern sides of the country have been the worst—affected — and many animals have also been killed in the fires. clive myrie sent this from the town of mogo in new south wales preparations well under way, sadly, again for more intense bushfires because temperatures are likely to rise across the south—east of australia to a0 degrees tomorrow. people in towns not far from here have been told they've got to evacuate because of the possibility of high winds, bringing together three raging fires into one giant monster and, when i say giant, i mean a wall of flames, 20, 30 maybe a0 kilometres wide and scores of feet high. but this wooded area here, that is completely destroyed, the fire was visited on this place about new year's eve and, look at this, just over here, days later, you can still see the smoke from burning embers. and if our cameraman, johnny,
just pans down to the ground here, you can that see everything is black — the earth, the trees — everything. colour has changed and up to the sky, you'd normally see a canopy there, and — i'm going to shut up for a second... silence ..nothing. a cacophony of trees, birdsong in those trees is what you would hear. and johnny, if we just bring the camera down here, just look down here — a corridor of burnt trees, wallabies, koalas, everything that was living in this place was incinerated. the world war i artists, wyndham lewis, paul nash, they never saw anything on this scale. but this is just a tiny fraction of the millions of acres that have been destroyed in this appalling bushfire season. let's speak now with our correspondent phil mercer who is in sydney.
preparing again for the worst? australians are pretty or wary. that has been going on for weeks and weeks and in the next 48 hours, especially in the state of victoria, they are anticipating more hot, dry, windy conditions. the winds are expected to be pretty warm coming down from the north and the north—west, but what will conspire to make the fire danger even more precarious is the authorities are expecting a wind change to the south, later on friday, so that will of course fanned the flames in a com pletely of course fanned the flames in a completely different direction. of course, australia once again at the mercy of the weather. in the state of victoria, about 23 fires are burning, some of them are extremely large. here in new south wales about 120 large. here in new south wales about i20 fires, bush, and grass fires continue to burn, so we are
anticipating some more dangerous times in the next 48 hours. in this slight lull is there any sense that lessons have been learned, both in the short term and the much longer term? i think in the immediate aftermath of the fires that we have seen from new year's eve, people are certainly heeding the authorities advice to leave. not everyone is leaving but thousands of people are heeding that official advice in the state of victoria to avoid those bushfire affected areas. those people still in the fire zone will be receiving text messages, the early warning systems are the result of previous devastating fires. ten yea rs of previous devastating fires. ten years ago we had the black saturday bushfires in the state of victoria. 170 people died during that catastrophe, so australia has learnt lessons in the past and no doubt when this crisis finally ends more
lessons will be learnt from this fire emergency that is spending the states of south australia, victoria and also new south wales, so the anticipation is, the next 48 hours could be extremely perilous and parts of south—eastern australia and no—one really knows when this will all end. sounds like we will be talking again, for the moment, thank you very much. 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, the heaviest rain in southern and central peru for almost 20 years. homes engulfed, 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 clean—up is already under way, but the rainy season is far from over. gareth barlow, bbc news. the canadian singer, justin bieber, has confirmed that he's been diagnosed with lyme disease. there had been speculation on social media that he had a drug problem, after he was photographed looking unwell with blotches on his skin. lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by ticks. in a post on instagram, bieber said it had been a rough couple of years, but he hoped the right treatment would help him recover from the disease. just briefly, that a news again. stopping the duke and duchess of sussex are 2—step back as senior royals to become financially
independent. in a statement by prince harry and meghan, a surprise announcement without consulting any members of the british royalfamily which is said to have left the family feeling hurt. that's it now, thank you for watching. 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.
the headlines: 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. buckingham palace is believed to be disappointed by the announcement. president trump has said iran appears to be standing down after tehran launched more than a dozen missiles at air bases housing us troops in iraq. mr trump said no americans were injured in the attacks. but he promised to impose further sanctions on tehran. more hot and windy weather is expected to hit australia in the coming days as the bushfire crisis continues. at least 25 people have died since the fires started in september and almost 2,000 homes have been destroyed. millions of animals have also been killed in the fires.