FEED - BBC Newshour
Interviews, news and analysis of the day’s global events.
Updated: 1 hour 6 min ago
Deaths from drugs overdoses have been blamed for a second consecutive year of falling life expectancy in the United States. It's the first time in half a century that life expectancy in America has declined for two years in a row. Also in the programme: the value of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin plunges; and the United Nations votes unanimously for fresh sanctions against North Korea. Picture: Pills of the narcotic pain killer Oxycodone. Credit: Getty Images
The ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has urged the Spanish prime minister to meet him for unconditional talks, after pro-independence parties regained their majority in regional elections. In response Mariano Rajoy declined the invitation to meet outside Spain, but says he is open to dialogue. Also in the programme: a new migrant crisis is unfolding in Greece, where authorities are struggling to cope with thousands of migrants currently being held on islands close to Turkey; and a series of Indian ashrams are raided following allegations of sexual abuse. Image: Axed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, flanked by former Catalan Health minister Antoni Comin and former Catalan Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food Meritxell Serret, reacts after the results of the regional elections in Catalonia. Credit: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images
Counting the votes in crucial Catalonian parliamentary elections with the future status of the region at stake. Also in the programme: UN members reject the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; and Yemen - where 80% of the population are in desperate need of food and clean water. (Image: a voter wearing a traditional Catalan hat known as 'Barretina' kisses his ballot before casting it on 21st December 2017 in Barcelona. Credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)
Also on the programme: warning shots are fired as a North Korean soldier makes it across the border; and Australia's first submarine is found after more than a hundred years. (Photo: A queue of voters in Barcelona Credit: AFP)
The European Union has launched unprecedented disciplinary measures against Poland, saying its judicial reforms threaten the rule of law by interfering with the judiciary. In defiance of the move, President Andrzej Duda signed into law two bills reforming the Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary. Also on the programme: The US Congress adopts sweeping tax cuts, and the scientists trying to find drugs that will help us live longer. Picture: Protesters wave Poland and EU flags. Credit: Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images.
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe says the violence has reached its worst level since February. Also in the programme: we examine non disclosure agreements in cases of alleged sexual offences and the German mayor stabbed in the neck. Picture: The remains of a rocket shell are seen after recent shelling in the government-held village of Novoluhanske. Credit: Reuters.
House Republicans approved the most sweeping rewrite of the US tax system in a generation, sending the measure to the Senate. Also on the programme: China unveils an ambitious plan to curb climate change emissions, and German sausage makers in court to fight back against a fine for years of alleged price fixing. Image: US President Donald Trump shows samples of the proposed new tax form. Credit: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.
Trump's national security adviser says Russia is trying to undermine free societies. General H R McMaster told the BBC that Moscow used propaganda and disinformation against democracies and the US had to counter what he called such destabilising behaviour. Also in the programme: the damage done by rubber bullets, and 115 new species discovered in the Greater Mekong. (Image: White House National Security Advisor HR McMaster Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
Washington's new policy envisages a return to a world of superpower rivalry, with China and Russia depicted as the primary threats to US economic dominance. The "four pillars" in President Trump's speech encompass protecting the homeland, promoting American prosperity, demonstrating peace through strength and advancing American influence. Also in the programme; South Africa's ruling ANC party finally elects its new president and; a US passenger train derails with carriages crashing on to the motorway below causing "numerous fatalities". Image: US President Donald Trump speaks about his administration's National Security Strategy at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC, December 18, 2017. Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
The United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, has told the BBC that the systematic nature of the persecution of the Rohingya ethnic group in Myanmar means genocide cannot be ruled out. Also in the programme: South Africa's ruling ANC party leadership vote and the world's smallest Christmas card. (Photo: Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Credit: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
President Putin calls President Trump to express gratitude for US help in foiling a terror attack in St Petersburg Also on the programme: US Special Council Robert Mueller comes under criticism that he illegally obtained emails from President Trump's transition team; and exit polls project that the former president and conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera looks poised for victory in Chile's presidential election (Photo: The alleged plot targeted St Petersburg's Kazan Cathedral Credit: Getty Creative Stock)
At least eight people have been killed and dozens injured in an attack on a church in the Pakistani city of Quetta. Also in the programme: What North Korea's soap operas tell us about the reclusive state; and the man credited with President Obama's Cuba policy tells us the US risks losing out on economic relations with the island under President Trump. (Image: Pakistani security personnel rescue an injured woman after suicide bombers attacked a Methodist Church in Quetta. Credit: AFP/Getty Images/Banaras Khan)
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has called on the ruling African National Congress to stop infighting as it decides who will next lead the party. The main contenders to succeed him are the deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and former cabinet minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, President Zuma's ex-wife. Also on the programme: Austria's president has approved a coalition government between the conservative People's Party and the far-right Freedom Party, and South Korea's spy agency believes that North Korea has been hacking crypto-currency exchanges and stealing bitcoin. Image: South African president Jacob Zuma. Credit: Reuters.
The race is on to succeed Jacob Zuma as leader of the African National Congress. The two main candidates are former cabinet minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (President Zuma's ex-wife) and South Africa's current deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa. Also in the programme: Civil rights activist and Alabama native Patricia Gaines on her return to Selma to help stop Roy Moore; and a new documentary explores the life of Afghan director and producer Salim Shaheen, as he wows the masses with Bollywood-inspired movie. Photo: ANC leadership candidates Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa. Credit: Reuters / AFP.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty criticises extreme disparities between rich and poor in the United States. Also in the programme: reparations for child soldiers in the DRC and deep sea mining in Papua New Guinea. (Picture: This file photo taken on June 20, 2017 shows a homeless woman setting up a barricade in front of her tent near Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, California. Credit: AFP/Getty)
European Union leaders meeting in Brussels have given the green light to the second phase of negotiations on the departure of Britain from the EU. They say enough progress has been made to allow talks to proceed on the post-Brexit relationship between Britain and the EU. Also on the programme: a report reveals the shocking scale of child abuse in Australia, and rats which detect tuberculosis Picture: French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the EU leaders summit in Brussels Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Walt Disney has agreed to buy 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets for a total $52.4bn. The deal includes Fox's 39% stake in satellite broadcaster Sky, and the 20th Century Fox film studio. Also on the programme, Medecins Sans Frontieres say at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed within a month after violence broke out in Myanmar in August. Image: Chief executive officer and chairman of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger and Mickey Mouse. Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
Donald Trump had supported Roy Moore who suffered a historic defeat for the party in conservative Alabama. The victory for Democrat Doug Jones narrows the Republican majority in the Senate to 51-49. Also in the programme; the Rwandan government publishes a report accusing the French government of complicity in the 1994 genocide and; an interview with the mother of a baby who was born with her heart on the outside of her body and the surgeon who saved her life. Image: A supporter of Democratic U.S. Senatorial candidate Doug Jones holds a sign as he watches election returns during an election night gathering the Sheraton Hotel on December 12, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
President Trump is facing further obstacles to his legislative programme with the election to the US Senate of a Democrat, Doug Jones, in Alabama. What impact will the result have on the Republican Party? We hear from a veteran Republican pollster. Also in the programme: The psychological impact of the Grenfell Tower tragedy; and we speak to the mother of the baby born with her heart outside the body. (Image: Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones and his wife Louise at the election night party in Birmingham, Alabama. Credit: REUTERS/Marvin Gentry)