The news programme for audiences who want more depth to their daily coverage. With a focus on Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Browse content similar to 24/12/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This is BBC World News,
It is Christmas in the Iraqi city of
Mosul and Christians there are
celebrating. It is the first time
since 2014 they are free to observe
the tradition after Islamic State
was finally driven from the city
earlier this year. The Russian
opposition politician has says he
has gathered enough support to stand
against Vladimir Putin next year.
Turkey's government sack thousands
more public employees linked to last
you's failed coup and announces
plans to hire more to replace them.
And Pope Francis is conducting the
traditional midnight Mass at Saint
Hello and welcome to. It was past
midnight in northern Iraq where
Mosul is celebrating its first
Christmas at the city was taken by
Islamic militants in 2014. IS
persecuted and drove out Christians,
whilst many who stayed were brutally
repressed. More than 10,000
civilians are thought to have been
killed in the battle to retake Mosul
according to a recent investigation
by the associated press.
They gathered in Mosul's Cathedral,
marking a Christmas they will never
forget, the first Christmas
after the war.
Under the rule of the Islamic State
militants this would
have been impossible.
There could be no Christian
worship in public.
The community was
persecuted and many fled.
This was a coming together,
not just of Christians,
Muslims helped prepare the church
for this service.
And they were here too
as the worship unfolded.
Mosul was the scene of months
of ferocious street fighting.
Iraqi forces and their Western
allies battled to drive
out the militants.
Thousands of civilians were killed
and much damage was done.
Now the healing must begin
and the Christmas service is a small
part of that vast process.
peace there is no life.
Our message is that after everything
that happened with our glorious
victory against Islamic State group
and others, we must
all call for peace.
Among those in the church,
the message was being heard.
TRANSLATION: We are from the Muslim
community and today we share this
with our Christian Brothers in
the province and the city of Mosul.
We share their joy today
and we hope our brothers outside
of Iraq from the Christian community
will return to Mosul because we are
all brothers and we are united.
Beneath the cross in the Cathedral
this Christmas eve there was some
of the best of the spirit of this
time of year and nowhere
needs it more than Mosul.
Alan Johnston, BBC News.
Now to Bethlehem, where security
is tight as pilgrims
arrive in the city ahead
of a midnight mass this evening
to see in Christmas.
Celebrations are taking place
amid rising tensions in the region
after the US decision to recognise
Jerusalem as Israel's
capital earlier this month.
Our correspondent Tom Bateman
told us about the day's
events in Bethlehem.
Today has very much been a day of
ritual, a day of festive tradition.
We watched as the procession of
Christians followed the route along
Star Street into Manger Square here
up to the Church of the Nativity,
which is the 1500 -year-old
basilica, built on the site it is
believed Christ was born. That
happens every year, there is a
ritual tradition to all of this.
Then we expect midnight Mass will
take place both with the most senior
Roman Catholic clergymen of this
area where he will talk to the
gathered congregation, and also the
Palestinian Authority president
Mahmoud Abbas, who always attend
this event each year. There is a
sort of bubble of festivity in
Manger Square, but outside of that
this takes place against a backdrop
of growing hostility. We have had
two and half weeks of daily clashes
between Palestinians and Israeli
troops ever says Donald Trump's
announcement on Jerusalem.
mentioned the announcement that
Jerusalem is now the capital of
Israel according to the US. I
understand that to us has gone down
since the announcement was made.
Sadly the tourist economy in
Bethlehem has taken a severe dent
ever since the announcement was
made. It was not just the fact the
US initially advised many of its
citizens not to attend the occupied
West Bank and not to go to the old
city of Jerusalem, but it was also
the fact that many pilgrims and
domestic tourists were worried about
coming to Bethlehem and were worried
about those clashes. I was talking
to a hotelier yesterday who said for
about ten days before Christmas eve
things were pretty bad. Some
hotels had zero occupancy, the place
had been emptied in many ways. I
spoke to the Mayor of Bethlehem a
bit earlier and he was keen to put a
gloss on it. He said there had been
bad weather, and otherwise people
were showing up. Hundreds of people
here came to enjoy the celebrations
during the day and they will
continue into the night. But there
is no doubt that this has dampened
Let's show you these live
pictures coming out of that in city
and Saint Peter's basilica where
thousands of people are gathered
were Pope Francis is conducting the
traditional Christmas Eve Mass at
There are also thousands outside the
basilica in Saint Peter's Square.
People travel from all around the
world to attend this event. They
attend to hear the Pope delivery the
traditional homily and beside over
the service. It is not quite
midnight in Vatican City, it is just
a little bit after ten. But that
midnight Mass is under way.
Thousands inside Saint Peter's
basilica and thousands outside as
well watching the Pope conducting
the midnight mass.
The Russian opposition says he has
got the number of seats he needs to
be registered in the election in
March. He told a meeting in Moscow
that the support he has got in 20
cities in Russia proves he is a
viable alternative to Vladimir
Putin. Sarah Rainsford has more. In
this huge tent on a river beach on
the outskirts of Moscow there are
hundreds of people who have been
queueing for some hours now to show
their support for the
anti-corruption activist who wants
to be president of Russia. He says
Russians have had enough of Vladimir
Putin and corruption and that Russia
needs to change and he argues he is
the man to do that. These people
agree, they have come to sign up to
nominate him as their official
candidate, the beginning of the
official process for registration.
But the problem is because of a
criminal conviction, which he says
is politically motivated, he will
not be allowed to register.
he is the only real candidate for
president will stop I do not want to
live in a corrupted country and I
have hope only for this man Navalny.
Everyone is raising their red cards
to show that they support Navalny.
TRANSLATION: We are ready to win
these elections and we will win. I
say this without irony. This year we
have seen that Putin does not have
mass support anywhere. Even with all
his resources he has no support.
There is just melancholy and
Mr Navalny has to bring
the signatures of his supporters to
Russia's Central Electoral
Commission. If they reject his
candidacy, he says he will go on
fighting. He has talked about
boycotting the elections, protest, a
strike. He wants to prove he is a
viable alternative to Vladimir Putin
and what happens here over the next
few days will be the first real test
Let's take a look at some of
the other stories making the news:
Tunisia has banned all airlines from
the United Arab Emirates from
landing in the country. It comes two
days after the UAE and Tunisian
women flying through its territory.
The UN says this was due to security
The first of the group of 80
Venezuelan activists have been
released from prison in what is
called a gesture of Christian
goodwill. The government says all
those general tab plotted to
overthrow the president. Freda
Ramos, a former provincial Mayor,
insists he has not committed any
Tens of thousands of people
are homeless after a tropical storm
in the Philippines that's left
more than 200 dead and
another 150 missing.
Rescue teams are struggling to reach
some of the affected areas.
Our World Affairs Correspondent
Richard Galpin reports.
At last, some aid now getting
to those most in need, after this
latest storm to hit
the Philippines begins to subside.
Troops helping deliver
supplies here in the
southern region of Mindanao, which
lay right in the path of the storm.
Reaching these impoverished
areas has not been easy.
They were hit by a landslide,
mudslides, caused by
an inordinate amount of rainfall
that caused the ground to move and
killed people innocently.
As well as surging currents from
swollen rivers that went over their
it swept people out
of their homes and killed
many others as well.
The speed with which
the rivers were turned into
lethal torrents over the weekend
caught people here by surprise.
Many drowning in their
own homes, others
buried under mudslides,
The call for people to evacuate
in good time before the
storm didn't have an effect.
The storm passed over some
of the poorest areas in the whole
At least 200 people
are known to have died.
Large numbers are still
missing, and tens of
thousands have been forced to move
away, in search of emergency
In Rome today, Pope Francis offered
prayers for the people of
Mindanao in his weekly blessing
to the crowd on St Peter's Square.
Merciful Lord, take
in the souls of the dead and comfort
those who are suffering
as a result of this calamity.
Let's pray for these people.
At least Tropical Storm Tembin
has now been moving
away from the Philippines.
It's currently over
the South China Sea,
where it's picking up strength again
and has been categorised as a
It's expected to hit
Vietnam later this week.
Meanwhile, the people
of the southern Philippines
continue the search for loved ones.
They will be hoping for much more
help to reach them in
the coming days.
With me is Sarah Keith-Lucas
from BBC Weather.
why is this storm is so powerful and
why has it done so much damage? It
rapidly intensified when it was to
the east of the Philippines. We had
a conducive atmospheric condition so
the wins in the atmosphere were not
varying very much, so the storm
really developed vertically and very
quickly. The other thing is the sea
is pretty worn across that region,
warmer than average. We are coming
out of El Nino conditions which
means we can to see bigger storms
across this part of the world
because the sea is warmer, adding
more fuel to these big typhoons.
the southern Philippines prone to
these storms? Do we normally see
them in this area?
Normally they are
further north. Sometimes they reach
further south, so it does see
typhoons and tropical storms, but it
is usually a bit further north in
the Philippines, so this particular
typhoon, is track, it is slightly
odd that it is by South.
Where is it
It is heading out into
the South China Sea and it is
intensifying once again. It is
producing winds of 185 kilometres an
hour. It is heading toward southern
parts of Vietnam and is likely to
make landfall on the southern tip,
to the south of Ho Chi Minh City. It
could cause devastating flooding
across a wide part of southern
Vietnam. We are expecting about 300
millimetres of rain to fall across
southern Vietnam with coastal
flooding and even inland there could
be flooding issues, as well as the
damaging winds that will be sweeping
across Vietnam. It will then head
out into the Gulf of Thailand,
probably a bit weaker, but still
bringing damaging winds and rain,
before heading towards southern
parts of Thailand. Wye we will keep
an eye out on that storm.
Stay with us on BBC
World News, still to come...
We'll go to Japan to meet
the priests who see
in the new year with
a smile in what's known as
a laughing ceremony.
We saw this enormous tidal wave
approaching the beach and people
started to run and it was complete
United States troops have
been trying to overthrow the
dictatorship of General Manuel
Noriega. But it has failed
indispensable objective. It captured
General Noriega and took him to the
United States to face drugs charges.
The Russian flag was hoisted over
what is now no longer the Soviet
Union, but the Commonwealth of
The day broke
slowly over Lockerbie, over the
cockpit of the plane nosed down in
the soft earth. You can see what
happens when a plane eight stories
high and a football pitch wide falls
from 30,000 feet.
returned to Albania after a
Communist ban lasting more than 20
years. Thousands went to midnight
mass when our anti-Communist riots
ten days ago.
ten days ago.
This is BBC World News Today.
The latest headlines:
It is Christmas in the Iraqi city of
Mosul and Christians are celebrating
for the first time since 2014 when
they have been free to observe the
tradition after Islamic State was
finally driven out of the city.
tradition after Islamic State
was finally driven out of the city.
Hundreds have come out
to support Russian opposition
politician Alexei Navalny,
who says he has enough backing
to challenge Vladimir Putin
in elections next year.
An international medical NGO
is waiting to hear the fate of seven
children in urgent need of cancer
treatment who are trapped
in the besieged area of eastern
Ghouta close to the Syrian capital
The Union of Medical Care
and Relief Organisations wants
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
to allow them to
evacuate the children.
They are among more than 130
children needing urgent
medical treatment there.
It's been under siege
now for four years.
A short while ago we spoke to Hamish
de Bretton-Gordon an advisor
for The Union of Medical Care
and Relief Organisations.
I started by asking him to tell me
about the process of negotiating
with the Syrian president.
We have done it before. This time
last year we approached the Syrian
government and also President Putin,
the Russian president, to allow a
ceasefire to allow us to get 500
children out of Aleppo. In that case
it worked. So we decided when we
heard about the seven children with
curable cancer to go down the same
route. Yesterday we approached
Bashar al-Assad's office and we
spoke to him via intermediaries who
told us that he knew exactly the
problem is at the moment and he knew
about these children and he would
consider whether he would allow a
ceasefire and we have been told to
call him back on Tuesday morning to
hopefully get that ceasefire in
place and then we can go in there
and get the children out and get
them the medical treatment they so
It is almost an
insight into how President Assad is
running this war, the fact that he
personally is going to have to
consider whether you can undergo
this evacuation. It yes, I think it
is a horrendous situation.
Discussions with the UN and the
World Health Organisation and they
have told me they had been trying to
get these children out for the last
four months. It seems that the only
way to do it is to apply directly to
the president who seems to have the
gift of life and death for these
people who is prepared to do it.
This has been an horrific conflict
and the city has been besieged for
four years. 400,000 people are
trapped there with very little food
and no medicine. It is a desperate
situation and also it is a long way
from perfect, it is worth doing. If
we can save these seven children may
be we may also be able to get out
the other 125 children who we
understand our desperately in need
of sophisticated medical support
which they cannot get there.
children that need treatment, do you
know how long they might have before
it may be too late?
I am not a
medical person so I would not go
into specifics here. We understand
some are more ill than others, but
they certainly have a few weeks. I
understand these types of cancer,
the earlier you start treatment, the
prognosis is very much one of
survival. I have been speaking to
the doctors there recently and they
have reaffirmed to me that if these
children get the right treatment,
they have a very good chance of
surviving and a very good chance of
a full life. Without that treatment
the prognosis is very much worse and
they will die.
That was an adviser
for the union of medical care and
More public sector employees
in Turkey have been sacked
for alleged links with the US-based
cleric Fethullah Gulen,
blamed for last year's
failed coup attempt.
2,700 employees have been sacked
through a public decree.
They include military personnel.
In total, around 150,000 civil
servants have now been sacked
since July last year.
After the sackings, the government
announced plans to hire more
than 100,000 public sector workers
in the coming year.
I asked our Europe regional editor
Mike Sanders if there was any due
process to find the sacked employees
guilty before their sacking.
Well, it is difficult to ascertain
exactly how they are selected. It
could well be that they are just
announced by colleagues for whatever
reason. It is very difficult for
someone to approve or disapprove the
government's allegation that they
have been involved in the attempted
coup back in July last year. The
main criteria is that they have some
kind of association with this cleric
who is based in the United States.
The government accuses him of being
behind the coup. But as his
organisation has no official
membership list, how can someone
prove that they are or not involved
They are hiring thousands
to replace the people they have
sacked because the public service
has effectively been decimated.
Absolutely, the schools especially.
There has been a shortage of
teachers in the class and among this
latest hiring round there will be
20,000 new teachers. It is very
difficult for the people who have
been sacked to get their jobs back.
Once they have been sacked they will
not get another job in the public
sector, so they are in dire straits
because their welfare benefits will
be stopped as well because of the
manner of the sacking. And there is
a stigma attached to being
associated to the true no matter how
unfounded that might be.
another decree that has been
announced, effectively nudity for
civilians. Can you explain that?
November last year the government
announced an immunity for service
personnel who were involved in
stopping the plot, so if they had
been deemed to use excessive force
they would not get prosecuted for
that and they would not lose out
financially or in terms of their
promotion. This has now been
extended to civilians who were also
involved in stopping the coup
plotters. But there is a great worry
because there is a vague wording. It
says people involved in suppressing
the coup on July the 15th last year,
or the continuation thereof, or
other terror acts. Opposition
politicians have been quick to go on
Twitter to say it is so open ended
it could encourage Bridger Landis to
take action against people suspected
of, for whatever reason, of being
coup plotters even now.
Champagne and fireworks may be part
of your New Year's ritual,
but at one shrine in Japan,
they have an entirely
different way of saying 'out
with the old, in with the new'.
Rylee Carlson explains.
It's a New Year's
ritual in Osaka, Japan.
Filing into this shrine
looking for a fresh start.
Here they follow the chief priest.
And then, on his cue...
Ha, ha, ha!
Ha, ha, ha!
This is a laughing ceremony
to forget the bad they have
experienced throughout the year.
all the bad things away.
I hope next year will be
filled with laughter.
The ritual is based
on a Japanese myth that
says laughter opens the Cave
of the Sun Goddess.
The priests keep them
going for about 20 minutes.
It spreads throughout the temple.
Laughter is contagious, as they say.
And here in Japan, so is the hope
of a happy New Year.
Rylee Carlson, BBC News.
That is one way of doing it. Before
we go let's show you the pictures of
the last two known dancing bears
from an animal charity. They were
They suffered a lifetime of
cruelty after being sold to their
owner for the illegal centuries-old
practice of bad dancing. Police and
animal charities spent more than a
year tracking down the two sloth
bears and they were eventually
traced near the border with India.
They are now being cared for.