welcome to bbc news. i'm mike embley. our top stories: china deploys the military as concern grows over the true scale of the coronavirus in hubei province. the us senate votes to limit president trump's ability to wage war against iran. the un says 800,000 people have been displaced in syria since december in the offensive by government forces. and scientists rewrite the text books on how the planets in our solar system were really formed.
hello to you. the world health organization has requested "further clarity" from china about its recent official change in how cases of the coronavirus are diagnosed. the new broader definition has produced what appears to be a spike in the figures in hubei province — there are now more than 50,000 cases recorded there. but the who says infection and mortality rates are not rising dramatically outside china. john sudworth reports from beijing. china's at war with this virus, flying in extra supplies and a reinforcement of 2,600 extra troops. but there's still deep confusion about the enemy they're fighting, how many it's infected and how many it is killing. until now, only those with a positive lab test were counted as confirmed cases, but lab tests take time. now patients confirmed by much quicker ct scans are being included. it's slightly less reliable, but it means the number of cases has rocketed.
what's far more worrying is the big leap in deaths. the sudden increase is made up of those patients who only had ct scans, not counted before. but are those extra deaths added up from across the past three weeks or are they a new daily count, pointing to a hidden number of similar daily deaths? china hasn't told us. it's been focused on messages of loyalty. these patients had been sworn into a communist committee and it's been settling political scores, removing the boss of the province where the outbreak started. the media are showing hard—working heroes stories, too. it is a driver's wedding anniversary. "come home soon" his sign says. his wife's a nurse looking after virus patients and contact with the outside world is forbidden. from beijing, i ask if china can beat the virus. "of course we will win," he says. even in china's capital, the impact is felt. this shop is keeping a safe
distance from its customers. china is now portraying this as a patriotic fight involving the masses, the enforcement of strict quarantine measures, and the mandatory wearing of face masks. of course, viruses don't listen to propaganda. they are best beaten with good data and an open and transparent public health policy. there's no shortage of fighting spirit, but there's so much we still don't know about how this is going to end. john sudworth, bbc news, beijing. let's get more now from our asia correspondent, nick beake, who's in hong kong.
what is the latest from there and more generally? good morning, mike. think everyone is trying to figure out what the latest figures are from china. there is confusion about the way officials in beijing have been putting things together and sending the message utterly well. in the world health organization is seeking more clarity on the methodology and the calculations that the chinese are using. here in hong kong people have been aware of the latest figures released for hubei province, specifically. that is the epicentre where the outbreak began. the latest is there were 116 to recorded yesterday and a800 new cases. this now and calculate —— encapsulates, encompasses, how many people have been affected. in layman ‘s terms it means they are notjust relying on lab they are notjust relying on la b tests, they are notjust relying on lab tests, but also if a doctor somewhere has seen a patient, done a ct scan and looked at
someone's just and said you have got coronavirus, they are being included in the official tally. a lot of focus on these two particular cruise ship. absolutely. a lot of concern for the people stuck on this particular vessel. the first is the one in oklahoma, off the coast of japan where we know 3700 people have been on board and more than 100 cases of coronavirus there. a really bleak picture for people, many people have been in quarantine for more than a week. some positive news with the japanese saying that the very elderly people may be able to disembark, also those testing negative. the big problem has been testing everyone, getting on the number of people on board. and the other one is an extraordinary story, five pete will —— five countries denied it too late in the country but finally it was cambodia who said you can find a both here. so we are hearing that people
are allowed so we are hearing that people a re allowed off so we are hearing that people are allowed off that particular ship —— birth. that illustrates the level of concern. no—one on that ship that has now docked in cambodia, no—one had tested positive for coronavirus. it shows the concern about the spread. that is felt here and all across asia. nick, thank you very much for that. eight republican senators have sided with democrats in the us senate, requiring president trump to seek authorisation from congress before starting hostilities against iran. it's an attempt to restrain the president's ability to attack the country. mr trump has promised to veto the measure. let's get more now from our north america correspondent, david willis. david, given the president has said he will veto this anyway, how significant is it? that's a very good question, mike, it is called the iran war powers resolution and it limits president trump's ability to initiate any more military action against iran without the permission of congress. this
resolution comes in the wake of the attack, of course, about six weeks ago, on that high—ranking iranian general who was killed in a drone strike in iraq, qasem soleimani. that was an attack the americans which substantially increase tensions between the two countries. well, today, eight republicans voted with the democrats in favour of this resolution, curbing the authority of the president in this regard. but as you correctly say, mike, it is largely symbolic because this vote, 35—a5, fall short of the two—thirds a supermajority thatis the two—thirds a supermajority that is needed to overrule a veto by the president, a veto which he has vowed to impose on this resolution when it all gets to his desk. having said that, supporters of this resolution will take some comfort, i think, from the fact
that the number of republican senators who voted in favour of curbing the present‘s authorities in this regard todayis authorities in this regard today is double the number that voted in favour when similar piece of legislation, a similar resolution, came before the senate injuly of last resolution, came before the senate in july of last year. and, david, the president is saying this will weaken american national security, as he puts it, as he sees it, this is not the time to show wea kness is not the time to show weakness towards iran, what is being made of that? that's right. that has been a refrain that has been taken up by a number of his republican supporters in the senate, mike. but i think they lot of them, a lot of congressmen and women we re lot of congressmen and women were indignant when it came to that attack on qasem soleimani, the fact that congress was not informed in advance and then received a fairly dismissive treatment in the view of some senators over the long—term strategy when it came to
briefing senators by members of the trump administration's intelligence team. they were a p pa re ntly intelligence team. they were apparently somewhat dismissive about questions about the long—term middle east strategy on the part of the president and his administration and that is said to have caused some republicans to have basically crossed the aisle on this particular vote. david, thank you very much for that. in a rare public sign of tension, the us attorney general has urged president trump to stop tweeting about justice department cases, saying some of the president's posts are making it "impossible for me to do myjob." in an extraordinary rebuke aired on abc news, william barr said he would not be bullied by anyone, but he said some of the tweets were a constant background commentary undercutting him. earlier, president trump renewed his attack on the criminal trial of his long—time friend and former advisor, roger stone.
to have public statements and tweets made about the department, about our people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department, and about judges before whom we have cases make it impossible for me to do myjob and to assure the courts and the prosecutors and the department that we are doing our work with integrity. and i'm not going to be bullied oi’ and i'm not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody. an asset of the time, whether it's congress, newspaper, editorial boards, or the president. attorney general barr there. let's get some of the day's other news. boris johnson's first major cabinet reshuffle as british prime minister has been overshadowed by the shock resignation of his chancellor of the exchequer, sajid javid. mrjavid walked out after being ordered to fire his team of advisers and refusing to do so. the us government has filed new charges against huawei, and its chief financial officer, meng wanzhou.
the latest indictment accuses the chinese tech giant of plotting to steal trade secrets. there are also new allegations about huawei's business dealings with iran and north korea, said to be in breach of sanctions. huawei has consistently denied any wrongdoing. president trump has again claimed that the united states is "very close" to a peace deal with the taliban in afghanistan. the two sides have agreed a 7—day reduction in violence, in what may be another step towards the possible withdrawal of american troops. the us secretary of state has called it an important breakthrough, but said the talks were still "complicated". united nations officials are saying tens of thousands of people have fled northern syria just in the past a8 hours, as fighting intensified in the provinces of idlib and aleppo. 60% of those fleeing are said to be children. it's thought 800,000 people have left the area since december. rich preston has this report.
it's freezing in northern syria. this camp has been overwhelmed by new arrivals. families are struggling to find somewhere to live and something to eat. translation: the situation here is very difficult. it's snowing and the temperature is below zero. we are staying in because rent for a house costs between $100 and $200. by being out in the open is still preferable to this. unrelenting air strikes by russian forces, causing u ntold by russian forces, causing untold damage. russia supports the government of bashar al—assad in its mission to regain control of rebel held areas. translation: we were sitting in the village and then suddenly the village and then suddenly the aircraft hit. look at this destruction! what did we do to bashar al—assad? let him go to the front line. i wanted to know what we did to him.
turkey, which supports the rebels, has accused moscow of deliberately targeting civilians. moscow denies this. towns have been left deserted. turkey has sent reinforcements to the border, warning it will strike back if turkish soldiers are hurt. 13 have been killed so far this month. the tension is rising between turkey and russia, but this is where it's being felt, 600 kilometres away from ankara and 3000 kilometres away from moscow. richard preston, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: the growing popularity of online dating in pakistan's conservative society. there's mr mandela. mr nelson mandela, a free man, taking his first steps into a new south africa. iran's spiritual leader ayatollah khomeini has said
he's passed a death sentence on salman rushdie, the british author of a book which many muslims say is blasphemous. the people of haiti have flocked to church to give thanks for the ousting of their former president, 'ba by doc' duvalier. because of his considerable value as a stallion, shergar was kept in a special, secure box in the stud farm's central block. shergar was driven away in a horse box the thieves had brought with them. there stepped down from the plane a figure in mourning. elizabeth ii, queen of this realm and of all her other realms and territories. head of the commonwealth, defender of the faith. this is bbc news, the latest headlines: china has confirmed a,000 more cases of patients with the new coronavirus and
116 deaths in hubei province. the us senate has voted to limit president trump's ability to wage war against iran. he's promised to veto including south african airways and the power company eskom, are in crisis. nomsa maseko reports from cape town. the usual pomp and ceremony ahead of president cyril ramaphosa's state of the nation speech. but as festivities didn't last long. we have a speaker in the house. proceedings were delayed by a chaotic hour—long disruption. the opposition economic freedom fighters called on fw clark,
the last apartheid era president, to leave parliament after calling him an unrepentant rater racist. after that amount was rejected, they called on president ramaphosa to fire him. the minister responsible for state owned enterprises, including power utility eskom and the embattled south african airways. after all the chaos, the president finally spoke. our country is facing a stark reality. our economy has not grown at any meaningful rate for over a decade. even asjobs meaningful rate for over a decade. even as jobs are created, the rate of unemployment continues to deepen. he pointed out the obvious. the lack of economic growth and employment, sparring government that struggling state owned enterprises. he mentioned setting up a foreign fund and a state bank but how this will work and where the
money will come from is unclear. mr ramaphosa also spoke about the african continental free trade area which comes into effect this year. and described it as a moment to give a fax to the dreams of the founding fathers of african unity. it remains to be seen if south africans who are already disillusioned will believe the promises made by the president. in australia, police officers have been accused of racial bias against aboriginal children under a repeat offender monitoring scheme. it follows last month's protests during australia day, a national holiday marking the arrival of the first europeans to australia. a report by the new south wales police watchdog found that almost three—quarters of the a00 children who took part in a so—called preventative policing scheme, were possibly aboriginal australians or torres strait islanders. the police challenged the report, saying less than half were aboriginal. france is planning to limit access to mont blanc to curb pollution and protect the area's biodiversity.
president emmanuel macron made the announcement during a visit to france's biggest glacier on mont blanc, which is receding and thinning. he said the issue of climate change was critical for human survival. translation: this will be the battle of the century. our ability to invent a new way of living. of living and doing things sustainably. i believe that we can take up this fight of the century and we have decided to take it up in our country. and even if it is the battle of the century, it requires patience. it requires determination. it requires rapid action. i know that you are ready for it and i am ready for it too. the antarctic has recorded a temperature of more than 20 degrees celsius for the first time since records began. although scientists say this may be a one—off and not part of a long—term trend — it raises concerns about climate change. the reading — of 20.7 degrees — was taken by a brazilian team on seymour island. the bbc‘s tim allman reports.
time lapse photography showing a huge sheet of ice falling apart. this is the pine island glacier, glacier, known as pigs, giving birth to a piglet. a giant enormous iceberg around 300 square kilometres in size which scientists say, eventually broke up and shattered into pieces. another example of how rising temperatures are having a devastating effect on the entire text. this is maxwell bay, where hla and the research tea m bay, where hla and the research team is based but something is missing, snow. it hasn't been any this year and that is becoming increasingly normal. translation: these maximum temperatures used to occur once every thousand years, then every thousand years, then every hundred years, now we're
seeing them, i think, in the order of decades. i think that asaof order of decades. i think that as a of climate change. this latest temperature, nearly a degree higher than the previous record, could be an outlier. but that seems unlikely. scientists say there is a noticeable trend, the entire ice sheet is melting. if it disappears completely, as many. well, global sea could rise by more than three metres. that would transform at the planet. tim allman, bbc news. nasa says science textbooks will have to be rewritten after they overturned the prevailing theory of how the planets in our solar system formed. rather than crashing together to create ever larger clumps until they became worlds, new research suggests a more tranquil beginning as matter gently clumped together. this report by our science correspondent, pallab ghosh. billions of years ago, the planets in our own solar system formed. it was a violent process of rocks crashing together and merging until they became
worlds, which included our own earth. or so we thought. today, at a news conference in seattle, nasa scientists said that that theory, held for the best part of 60 years, was completely wrong and that the building blocks of planets slowly merged together. it is a wonderful scientific present and the results that have just been described to you are, in my view, watershed. the sun is right in the middle of the solar system. closest to it are the four small rocky planets, including the earth. then further out are four much larger planets, the most famous of which is saturn. and then at the edge is tiny pluto, three billion miles away. it is just one of thousands of rock and ice in an outer zone called the kuiper belt. these are unused building blocks, left over from the creation of the planets a.5 billion years ago. nasa's new horizon spacecraft
reached one of these objects, named arrokoth, last year. it is only now that scientists have been able to study it in detail. it consists of two boulders fused together. look closely at the join and there is no evidence of a violent impact, no cracks, rather a slow coming together, notjust of these two boulders, but a gradual accumulation of all the ice and rocks that built the planets we know today. objects in the kuiper belt are of great significant to us. they sit a long way from planet earth, but they are significant because these were formed at the very birth of the solar system. they all sit a long way from the sun, so they aren't corrupted by radiation from the sun. they're like a time capsule of the prevailing theories about how the solar system was formed. this gives us strong evidence that it wasn't a violent collision of various objects, but a sort of gently
coming together. textbooks about the origin of the solar system will now have to be rewritten. the scientists say, in thejournal science: "instead of the violent start we once imagined, its beginnings were more gentle and tranquil." pallab ghosh, bbc news, seattle. it's valentine's day, and online dating has become a huge part of our lives. but in the conservative pakistani society, it's a relatively new concept. a match making forum on facebook called ‘skip the rishta or matchmaking aunty‘ has built up nearly 3,000 members in less than a year. and that's where aisha and ahad met after years of matchmaking efforts by theirfamilies. shumaila khan from the bbc urdu service has spoken to the couple. translation: so many times for matchmakers, people came to meet me and then got up and left. sometimes, they were happy
with me but later they said after consulting with god, i was not right for them. i was fed up. translation: usually the girl would come, bring the tea and parade in front of you like some sort of cattle. i really don't like it. translation: we met through this online forum, skip the matchmaking aunty and started talking. first online, then in real life. then we arranged a meeting of ourfamilies. translation: she was the eighth girl i talked to. our hobbies were similar and many other things just matched. but our first date was actually after our engagement. translation: i wanted to make sure that he came from a good, well educated family.
i was also frank about myself. i love animals. i even posted on my profile on facebook that i would bring my cats along with me everywhere. translation: the clear advantage of this and similar online groups is that members are able to talk to each other directly on their own. translation: i think that a profile shouldn't be excessively lengthy but it should be reflecting your personality and what kind of person you are. the other details can always be exchanged by calling and talking to each other. i'm the only daughter and ahad is also the only child so we obviously can't control our families as much as we wanted. we only wanted a simple marriage ceremony but it was a proper one with all of those traditional receptions and other rituals. we should probably say happy valentine's day about now as well. and you can get in touch
with me and most of the team on twitter — i'm @bbcmikeembley. hello. storm dennis on the way this weekend, nowhere escaping the strong winds, disruptive in places but concern growing aboutjust how much rain coming from it as well. one rain band bearing south on friday but look how much rain is going to come from dennis on the weekend. this trailing weather front has along it several spells of prolonged rain, particularly into parts of england and wales and areas that have seen a lot of rain recently and some flooding. we are going to see some furtherflooding in places. the met office has a number of amber warnings in force for the rain and we'll look at those and other warnings injust a moment. and for friday, another spell of a rain moving south. quickly through northern ireland across scotland, coupled with snowmelt in southern scotland and a bit of flooding in some spots. rain becoming patchy in places as it works further south across england and wales. gusty winds though, particularly towards the north and north—west of scotland with further blustery showers
moving in here. by friday evening, the rain peps up a bit once it reaches south—east england and east anglia. for man overnight and into saturday morning, it is the lull before the storm and still some dry weather first thing on saturday but it's not going to last. storm dennis then does bring rain in right across the uk during saturday. outbreaks of heavy rain at times and the wind strengthening particularly for the afternoon and into the evening before easing a bit into overnight and into sunday morning. wind gusts around 50 mph around the coast towards the west and south touching 70 mph perhaps in a few spots. really difficult travelling conditions. on the face of it, mild, but very wet and windy in places. heavy rain continuing across large parts of england and wales on through the night and into sunday. slowly clearings southward on sunday but it looks like the winds will pick up again this on sunday. bright skys and a few showers following on behind, turning a bit cooler too. looking at the weather
warnings. the met office, amber warnings for rain across a large part of southern and western england and into wales, 20 to a0 millimetres. higher amounts, particularly in these areas and some of the hills of wales and south—west england could end up with over 100 millimetres of rain, so that risk of flooding increasing over the weekend. another amber warning area kicking in on sunday too forfurther prolonged rain across this part of southern england. in terms of the wind, well, widely, we're going to see some gusts inland around 50 mph or so but is the coast that we'll see stronger winds this time — touching 70 mph. then as storm dennis gets closer to scotland to end sunday and here into northern ireland, we could well see a number swathe of potentially damaging winds moving on through. that is your latest about storm dennis.
this is bbc news. the headlines: in china, a further a,000 cases of the new coronavirus and 116 deaths have been confirmed. the world health organization has requested "further clarity" about a recent change in how the cases are diagnosed. there are now over 50,000 cases of the disease in hubei province. the us senate has voted to limit president trump's ability to wage waragainst iran. eight republican senators sided with democrats in requiring president trump to seek authorisation from congress before starting hostilities against iran. mr trump has promised to veto the measure. the un says 800,000 people have been displaced in syria since december in the offensive by government forces. the un says that some 60% of those fleeing the fighting in idlib and neighbouring aleppo province are believed to be children.