this is bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan—jones. our top stories: it's so sad, it's so sad. scenes of grief in canada. as loved ones mourn those killed in the ukranian plane disaster, iran denies responsibility. the united states is slapping new sanctions on iran. the measures are aimed at vital sectors of the country's economy and top—level leaders. we wa nt we want everyone to simply behave like a normal nation. we believe that the sanctions we have imposed today for that strategic objective. —— want iran. prepaing to leave their homes — the residents of a town in australia find they're in the path of a huge fire, as the country's crisis continues. and polls open in taiwan
for the country's presidential election, where relations with china have taken centre stage. hello, and welcome to bbc world news. ukraine says it's getting full co—operation from iran in the investigation into wednesday's plane crash which killed 176 people. kyiv says 50 ukrainian experts are in iran and have been given access to the black boxes and the accident site. tehran has again rejected suggestions the ukrainian jet was brought down by one of its own missiles. a reminder of what we know: the flight took off from tehran airportjust after 6:00 in the morning, but two minutes later, the data on the flight stopped.
the plane came down to the southwest of the capital. 57 of the victims were canadian. our north america correspondent aleem maqbool reports from toronto. so this is about two weeks ago when they got to iran... the siddiqi family travelled to iran from canada to plan a wedding. they never came back. alvar and his wife negar, his sister sohand and her five—year—old daughter sufi all died in the crash. it's left close friend utterly dazed. first, it was shock and denial because, you know, you can't fathom it, itjust doesn't make sense, you never hear of such a story but then as you keep reading and looking at the, you know, news and videos and there is this anger, like, why did it happen to these people? they are the nicest people. why them? the us, canada and britain say there is evidence of an iranian missile hit the plane. tehran calls those "illogical
allegations" and says it could take one or two years to complete its investigation. but these pictures show it's already chosen to clear much of the crash site, potentially burying important leads. and even before the data has been analysed from the flight recorders, its officials already say they are sure of one thing. translation: an aviation authority cannot speculate. we aren't sure of the causes yet but what we can say for certain is that a missile did not strike the plane, but the fire and its causes we still need to work out. but this mobile phone footage does appear to back up the theory the plane was struck by a missile. a small outgoing speck of light suddenly exploding. with the impact following. the iranians insist if it really was a missile strike, the debris would have been spread over a larger area. it's not what us secretary
of state mike pompeo thinks. we do believe that it's likely that that plane was shot down by an iranian missile. he announced new sanctions on iran. we want iran to simply behave like a normal nation. we believe the sanctions that we've imposed today further that strategic objective. but forfamilies in iran, ukraine, britain and more than 60 in canada, the focus is on grieving. there is no question, though, that the sense this tragedy could have been a consequence of those regional tensions has only added to the anger and despair. aleem maqbool, bbc news, in toronto. scott hamilton is an aviation industry consultant with leeham news and analysis in the us. he told us why he isn't reassured by the investigation so far. the fact that the iranians are
already bulldozing over the site is very, very troubling. we do not know what full cooperation really means. it could mean a number of things, it is very subjective. we don't know if the ukrainians are going to have the authority to look at the black boxes oi’ authority to look at the black boxes or not. and what about the actual site itself? i mean, isuppose or not. and what about the actual site itself? i mean, i suppose you do not have to be an industry expert, but to see the site being cleared and debris being cleared already, but doesn't exactly instill confidence? not at all. there have been accidents in the past were a light filament was a key to unravelling an accident. for the iranians to be bulldozing the site within days is just very, very troubling, and to me, it speaks that they are going to try to literally, not just figuratively, they are going to try to literally, notjust figuratively, try they are going to try to literally, not just figuratively, try to cover things up. everybody here on all
sides would agree that they want a clear and transparent investigation. if there is any kind of organising that we are seeing now, or any cover—up, which of course we don't have any evidence that there is, but do you think there is enough alternative evidence out there for the truth to actually be known? we have already got information from various intelligence agencies that suggests this was indeed a missile shootdown. there were a few pictures shortly after the accident, but they we re shortly after the accident, but they were puncture marks through sections of the fuselage that did better similarities to the malaysia airlines flight 17 over ukraine. the forensic evidence that is out there could be enough to give a preponderance of evidence to draw a conclusion that this might have been a shootdown. how about timescales.
how long would an investigation like this ordinarily takes, how long would we be waiting for any kind of conclusions, interim or otherwise? well, this is the one thing the iranian government said which i agree with. it could be one or two yea rs. agree with. it could be one or two years. that is quite a long time. that is normal? but that will be frustrating, and it will be lots of people with unanswered questions. absolutely. but even, as you wanted to put it, a normal accident, it is not at all unusual for the probable cause to take one year to 18 months to be determined. i believe the mh17 investigation took as much as three yea rs before investigation took as much as three years before that accident report came out. so the families of the victims are unfortunately in for a long haul on this. but with scott hamilton with his analysis of the iran plane crash. —— that was scott
hamilton. meanwhile, iraq's top shi'ite muslim cleric condemned the confrontation between iran and the united states, saying it risked plunging the country and the wider middle east into deeper conflict. grand ayatollah ali al—sistani said attacks by both sides inside iraq in the last week showed a blatant disregard for the country's sovereignty. 0ur middle east editorjeremy bowen reports from baghdad. chanting. in baghdad, it was a day of protest, to show they don't plan to give up. their main target, politicians and a parliament they say have dragged the country to disaster. "get out," was the chant. "you corrupt people, leave our land." protesters have occupied baghdad's equivalent of piccadilly circus since october. iraq's trip to the brink of a new war this week has reinforced the desire for change. we don't want to be a place for war. we want to be free
from all these things. we want to be a country that is separated from iran, from the united states. we want to be friends with everyone, enough of war. 0ther protests happened outside baghdad. this was karbala in the south. it's a holy city and in the mosque, iraq's senior shia muslim cleric also had hard words for the government. an aide read the message from the elderly grand ayatollah ali al—sistani. "iraq's leaders have let them down, failing to protect them "from aggression and repeated violations of sovereignty. "iraq should be independent and led by its own people, "not by foreigners." this country is fragile and violent. in tahrir square, baghdad, mohammed showed me where he'd been stabbed by masked men.
hundreds of protesters have been shot dead since october. memorials are everywhere. many say the killers were iraqi militiamen directed by the assassinated general soleimani. punishing them for anti—iranian demonstrations. serious obstacles lie between these would—be revolutionaries and the change that they want. the men who have the big jobs, who control the political parties and the militias, won't give up power easily. and then there is iran. at a time when it's being hemmed in, isolated by american sanctions, it needs iraq as its window on the world. a place where it can do business. 0n the barricades, a poet warned them that politicians were like foxes.
they couldn't be trusted. the protesters loved it, they are hopeful. across the middle east, young people especially are demanding change. but iraqis are trapped, caught up in a0 years of confrontation between iran and the united states which, in the absence of a diplomatic breakthrough, will continue to slide towards war. jeremy bowen, bbc news, baghdad. voting has just begun in taiwan's general election, with control of both the presidency and the parliament up for grabs. the main divide between the parties is over how to manage relations with china. for more on this i'm joined from the capital, taipei, by our reporter, cindy sui. china is really the defining issue of the campaign? definitely, as you can see behind me
there along lines of voters lining up there along lines of voters lining up into the polling stations have just opened and they are already lining up, there are lines going every which way. —— there are long lines. the people here take their right to vote very seriously, china is the only democracy in chinese speaking society. —— taiwan is the only democracy. motors today will have to decide whether they agree with president syring on, who has warned that china is a threat but wa nts to warned that china is a threat but wants to swallow up taiwan, or if they agree with her opponent, the mayor of taiwan's third—largest city. —— tsai ing—wen. he says she is fear mongering, exploiting the hong kong protest to try to stay in power. he says a better solution is to build peace and good relations between taipei and beijing, because thatis between taipei and beijing, because that is what is important for the time and his people's livelihood and the security. —— taiwanese peoples stop voters you have to bring out
identification cards, they go inside and they have to show that they are who they are, and they will be making this very important decision today. and of course the issue of identity, as you are talking about, is crucial. but we can never really forget the idea of economics and people's wealth and prosperity, whatever is going on, that is always crucial to votes like this. yes, of course. voters have to also think about their livelihood, their economy. you have to understand that taiwan relies so much on mainland china. china's taiwan's biggest trade partner. 40% of taiwan ‘s exports go to the mainland, and 30% of its investments go to the mainland. it is the biggest export destination, and the biggest investment destination. people really rely on the mainland for their livelihood. tourism is also a big factor here. since president tsai ing—wen came to power, relations between the two sides have vastly deteriorated. the number of tourists coming here has dropped by
1.5 million and tourism earnings have fallen by $1.5 billion. so this is affecting a lot of people's livelihoods. they need to determine among themselves whether it is important, to so—called safeguard taiwan's democracy, or find a important, to so—called safeguard taiwan's democracy, orfind a more moderate solution, perhaps a good relations with beijing and perhaps still maintain economic wealth in taiwan. thank you very much, and of course we will have continuing coverage of the elections there in taiwan on bbc world news. i want to bring you some breaking news 110w i want to bring you some breaking news now that we are just seeing off 0man state tv. it is reporting the sultan has died. that is qaboos bin said al said. he is 79 and had been ill for some time. he ascended to the throne in 1970 following a successful cou p the throne in 1970 following a
successful coup against his father, a coup that was supported by the british. we will have more on but in the coming out here on bbc world news. still to come, protests around the world those expat australians try to highlight the dangers of climate change. 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. there is not a street is unaffected, large parts were demolished as buildings crashed into one another. this woman said she had been given no help and advice by the authorities. she stood aside the ruins of her business. tens of
thousands of black children in south africa have taken advantage of the laws passed by the country's multiracial government and enrolled informally white schools. when they heard of it today, the management considered that you cancel tonight's performance but agatha christie would be the last person to want such a thing. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: ukraine says iran is offering its full co—operation in the investigation into wednesday's plane crash. tehran denies the boeing was shot down. the united states is imposing new sanctions on iran aimed at vital sectors of the country's economy and top—level leaders. in australia, there's been a welcome reprieve for those fighting bushfires as the weekend began with milder conditions on the country's east coast. it comes after an arduous night for firefighters who tackled an increase in blazes thanks
to sudden strong winds. authorities in new south wales now say they expect at least a week of milder weather. lucy hockings has been at the headquarters of the state's i'm in the regional nerve centre for the response to the bushfire crisis and if you can imagine the riddle of winter, it is empty behind me but for the past few months there has been about 150 people on a busy day. 0r responding to the fires in the state and if you look at the big map they are watching, the blue and red dots of the 144 active fires here in new south wales at the moment. let's talk to rob who was a deputy commissioner here. what you need most of the moment, your staff are exhausted and you've got weeks more of this to go. a lot of rain, a lot of this to go. a lot of rain, a lot of steady rain for a couple of weeks. we don't want hard rain
because that —— our catchments have been burnt so whether water supply is, we don't want to rush into that, long steady rain. that's the only thing we really need right now to calm things down. more boots on the ground, with that help? we've got a lot of people, got a lot of interstate people, us and canadians helping us in the management team, specialist roles, aviation. a lot of people helping. we got a lot of firefighters and management people we learn through very quickly. everyone has a fear here in australia but why do you think are looking at the west bushfire season? it's a combination. we have been a three year drought. the landscape is incredibly dry so as soon as a fire ta kes incredibly dry so as soon as a fire takes hold, it burns very aggressively so that is problem are born. from number two is up with haddix ordinarily hot days, record temperatures, a combination of strong winds, very low humidity, there has been no moisture on the other side of the country, western australia, was to come to there,
it's a very dry. a combination of elements that have just created a perfect stop. austin, some fires have been started by asking. most of the visor alike construct. it's on the visor alike construct. it's on the mat majors, they get lightning and those lightning caused problems in really remote areas and that we struggle to get to those fires. those are the ones that cause major problems. meanwhile, tens of thousands of australians havejoined rallies across the country to demand action on climate change. prime minister scott morrison has avoided drawing any link between australia's warming climate and the ferocity of the fires, despite scientific evidence. as a result, large parts of society are angry. freya cole reports. mother country bands, emotions are running high. griefand heartbreak is turning into frustration and angen is turning into frustration and anger. the fact that we are at the bottom of the list of western
countries in dealing with climate change, is ridiculous considering her affluent we are as a country. scott morrison's conservative government has been widely criticised for its attitude towards climate change. the prime minister has dismissed scientific advice that there is a link between australia's warming climate and severity of of this bushfire disaster.|j warming climate and severity of of this bushfire disaster. i think the climate action, but it would handshakes. climate action! summer in australia is something to be feared, not something to look forward to. just like the rest of out seasons. forward to. just like the rest of our seasons. i forward to. just like the rest of oui’ seasons. i wonder forward to. just like the rest of our seasons. i wonder why that is. there is a common theme on the streets of sydney and melbourne and many small towns across the country. younger generations are leading the scores. they are looking for immediate action. what do we want? climate action! wendy wanted? summer in australia is usually reserved for those days at the beach and backyard
cricket. but this isn't the first climate rally of the season and it surely would be lost. australians aren't good at protesting, and i feel like today we have done pretty well. a lot of people yelling which is... it makes you feel pretty good. i feel the changes on the horizon. but on the immediate horizon is a remainder of a hot dry and dangerous summer, with fires except to burn until decent rainfall. it looks like the devolved government in northern ireland could get up and running again. a deal aimed at restoring power—sharing has been agreed by the main political parties sinn fein and the democratic unionists. the assembly was suspended three years ago when the parties clashed over a scandal invovling a green energy scheme. emma vardy reports. after three years of resistance, the final steps to an agreement. faces from northern ireland's past here to witness a new future. i believe that
power—sharing can work. that requires everyone to step up. sinn fein‘s commitment is to do all in our power to make this happen. it marks the end of a bitter stand—off between sinn fein and the democratic unionists. it is a fair and balanced deal. i know there will be challenges in the deal, not least we need to make sure that we have the finances to be able to deal with all of the issues in northern ireland that are present at the moment. events were set in motion when an ultimatum was given late last night in dramatic fashion. the british and irish government chose to go public with the deal, saying, take it or leave it. but the gamble paid off. the new agreement contains wide—ranging promises. firstly, to tackle a crisis in the health service and resolve a pay dispute which has seen health workers on strike. there will be more money for schools after months of head teachers saying they face an unprecedented shortfall. and northern ireland will get around
800 more police to increase numbers to 7500. but the biggest ask was getting agreement for that much fought over legal protection of the irish language. sings in irish. decades of conflict in northern ireland, the issues of british and irish identity, often lead to tension. some unionists believe giving the irish language more prominence with new laws proposed in the deal is a step too far. i don't see how one identity can erode another. i think if you are secure enough in your own identity, it shouldn't be an issue. while the dup has agreed to the new legislation, some of their most staunch supporters have rejected it. they once said that every word spoken in irish was a shot fired for irish freedom. people would say that would be a blunt instrument to further irish unity. the secretary of state tried
to reassure voters in loyalist heartlands today that the deal is fair. but in this city, compromise never comes easily. what is the problem with having laws to protect the irish language? none of us want it. we don't want the irish language. we have to protect it, it has gone on for three years now. without a government, public services have been in steady decline. parts of the health service have come close to collapse. for northern ireland's nurses, who are striking for the first time in their history, today's deal will bring an end to these picket lines. there is extra cash from the british government to raise wages and measures to reduce the crippling waiting lists at hospitals. but parties know the devil is in the detail, and the new provisions for a change in northern ireland will mean plenty of rows to come. but now that can happen within a devolved government, not outside it.
an 11—year—old student has opened fire killing a teacher and injuring at least six other people before shooting himself dead. the incident happened at a private school in the city. it was not immediately clear what his motives were. neil peart, the drummer and lyricist from canadian rock band rush, has died. he was 67. the musician, seen as one of the best rock drummers in history, died on tuesday after a 3.5 year battle with brain cancer. rush were one of the most successful rock groups of the late 1970s and 80s, and sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. 0ur with the headlines in a couple of minutes. —— i will be back with
the headlines. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @lvaughanjones. 0ther other there. there was a good view of the wolf moon for most parts of the country early on and the night, little before all the clouds rolled in. a lot of it is quite high cloud, the zone of the gas cloud that's stretching across scotland and northern ireland is on that weather front there. that is continuing to bring outbreaks of rain. the winds are going to be howling, we are drawing on them milo —— mulder windsor from south, so after a cold start temperatures are continuing to rise to these sort of numbers by the end of the night. and, ten, be 11 degrees was not on the chilly side. the rain coming to scotland and northern ireland —— northern ireland, very slowly southwards,
very wet weather and later into snow. the rent and saw shari in scotla nd snow. the rent and saw shari in scotland and have the option of the wind will start to ease a bit but it says very windy across england and wales. a strong gale force wind here. as we have seen it as mild as a form most parts of the country double—figure temperatures, perhaps as high as 12 or 13 degrees. the weather front bringing that brand of rain will sweep its way down toward south—eastern errors overnight on saturday night, and then leaving behind that, we will find showers coming in on a cooler air stream of that they did. still summary to clear away first thing across the south—east of england, one that goes so we south—east of england, one that goes so we will see a batch of showers coming in across wales to the midlands, those could be rather heavyin midlands, those could be rather heavy in the morning before easing off towards afternoon. further north showers, most of them in opposite scotla nd showers, most of them in opposite scotland rate will be wintry over the hills. back in to cool air on sunday, particularly across the
northern half of the uk, still double figures for a while in the south—east, it won't be as windy. but only briefly because look what is coming in from the up a storm is brewing. that's going to be resting oui’ brewing. that's going to be resting our way heading towards northwest scotla nd our way heading towards northwest scotland after a reasonably quiet start, with some sunshine around, it will stay dry across eastern areas but the wind will continue to strengthen, particularly out towards the west to oversee the rain moving in and that's going to be quite heavy. the strength of the wind could cause one or two issues, 16 maybe 17 miles —— miles an hour or more across western parts of the uk. amount of interaction this temperatures are going to be up to around 8— 11 degrees. that's a scene of what is going to be a changeable week ahead, we will find further areas of low pressure, arena times, strong wind for the most part, it will be mailed. —— mild.
ukraine has said iran is offering kyiv its full cooperation in establishing the facts behind wednesday's deadly crash of a ukrainian plane. fifty ukrainian experts are in iran to take part in the investigation — and the ukrainian foreign minister said they'd been given access to the flight recorders. the polls have opened in taiwan's presidential and parliamentary elections. incumbent president tsai ing—wen is going up against han kuo—yu — whose party favours closer ties with beijing. the pro—democracy protests taking place in hong kong have cast a long shadow over the taiwan election campaign. 0man state television is reporting that the sultan of oman, qaboos bin said al said, has died. he was 79 and had been ill for some time. he came to the throne in 1970 following a coup against his father. now on bbc news, africa eye: my bloody country.