tv Newsday BBC News May 17, 2017 12:00am-12:31am BST
i'm rico hizon in singapore, the headlines — new trump claims — now the president is accused of asking the former fbi chief to drop an inquiry linked to russia. the white house is denying the reports. it says they're not an accurate portrayal of the president's conversation. also in the programme — what the jailing of a top indonesian politician says about the country's growing religious intolerance. and the rubbish beaches of henderson island. why this pacific outcrop is piled high with plastic. good morning.
it's 7am in singapore, midnight in london and 7pm in washington where it seems every hour, president donald trump is in more and trouble. this time it's the sacking of the fbi directorjames comey that's causing the trouble. the new york times is reporting that president trump asked mr comey to drop the bureau's investigation into alleged ties between russia and michael flynn, the national security advisor at the time. that's been denied by the white house, but there's no doubt just how serious this allegation is. one senior democrat said other senators were shaken and called for a special prosecutor to be appointed. well, this stunning and breathtaking revelation that the president is accused of reaching out directly to the head of the fbi did stop an investigation of general flynn under
the circumstances raises serious questions about obstruction of justice. it is a fundamental question here. is anybody, including the president of the united states, above the law? can everybody be held accountable under the rule of law? and this revelation that has been alleged has raised that question. and the white house has issued this statement in response to the reports. while the president has repeatedly expressed his view that general flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country the president has never asked mr comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving general flynn. this is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and mr comey. our washington correspondent aleem maqbool gave more details of the new york times report. this has now been confirmed by several news agencies and if it is
true it is eager even than the story we have been discussing for the last 24 we have been discussing for the last 2a hours because their details, as you say, something that appears to show ina you say, something that appears to show in a memo that president trump asked james comey as director of the fbi to drop an investigation into michael flynn, the former national security adviser. that is very serious if it is proved that donald trump was trying to impede an investigation. but what we know now is that james comey was keeping investigation. but what we know now is thatjames comey was keeping a paper trail because he perceived that there were efforts by the president to try and i'm fairly influenced his investigation which, in itself, appears to be alarming enough. but then there was this one moment which has come to light which james comey road after a meeting on the 14th of february with president trump where he wrote down the president trump said to him that michael flynn was a good guy and i am sure we can let this go. the memo is reported to have said that. as i
say, if that is true, you can put aside all of the other scandals there have been in this presidency, this will certainly be the most serious of them because it could mean that president trump has been involved in obstruction ofjustice and that is certainly what is being debated here in washington tonight. that is serious but the white house have so far said they deny this. they say that this years... they never asked for an end to the investigation of michael flynn. that is their latest line. yes. in the last couple of weeks we have heard from other members of the fbi, certainly from the acting director of the fbi that donald trump did not train influence the investigation. but this memo, this paper trail that a p pa re ntly but this memo, this paper trail that apparently has been left by james comey would be something that is given a great deal of credibility and would be admissible as evidence.
so, certainly, all of those people around donald trump who have been scrambling almost daily to try and explain his actions will be taking this very seriously and we will wait to hear from them this very seriously and we will wait to hearfrom them in the coming hours. later in the programme, we will get reaction from somebody who served on the security council. also making news today. after north korea tested its latest long—range missile on sunday, the un security council has held an emergency, closed session. the us ambassador to the united nations, nikki haley, says the united states is working with china, on a new sanctions resolution. she said america will consider talks with north korea's leader kim jong—un if he stops all missile tests. what we are saying is, for peace on the korean peninsula, he has to stop this testing, he has to stop any nuclear programmes that he has. the united states, we are willing to talk, but not until we see a total stop of the nuclear process and of any tests there. cyber—security experts around
the world are continuing to link this weekend's global cyber—attack to north korea. similarities have been found between the software used in the hack and other tools believed to have been created by the lazarus group. they've previously been associated with pyongyang. facebook is still available in thailand, despite a deadline passing for it to remove material the authorities had deemed critical of the monarchy. facebook was given until tuesday to take down 131 web addresses deemed to violate its strict law. authorities had threatened legal action and a complete shutdown of the social media site. disappointment for maria sharapova.
the french tennis federation has denied the russian tennis star a wildcard invitation to next week's french open. the five—time grand slam champion came back from a fifteen—month doping ban in april, but did not have enough points to go straight into the main draw in paris or the qualifying event. jakarta's once hugely popular governor is being held in a simple room at a high—security detention centre, his only comforts — a bible and visitors twice a week. it's a grim new life following his conviction for insulting islam in muslim—majority indonesia. basuki tjahaja purnama was hurriedly transferred to the high—security police facility in a suburb of the city early on wednesday after his supporters surrounded the jakarta jail he was initially sent to. another aspect of this story is the death threats that have been made against him. joining us now from jakarta is human rights watch researcher andreas harsono. thank you so much forjoining us.
you spoke to the sister of the former governor after he was transferred to this new detention facility. what has she told you? she said that there is a fight while for his blood. the fight while —— fatwa. the haram his blood. the fight while —— fatwa. the ha ram says his blood. the fight while —— fatwa. the haram says his blood is haram, even inside prison. there is also a reward for anyone who can kill him in the prison. is he now when a safer place? according to his sister, yes. this new prison is smaller and under police protection. a safer place for her brother. from your standpoint, do you think the former governor's sentence could still be reduced 7 former governor's sentence could still be reduced? it is very
difficult because once the indonesianjudiciary is difficult because once the indonesian judiciary is becoming more a more strict and, secondly, it ta kes more a more strict and, secondly, it takes time, possibly a the appeals process. so his sentence is only get nine years and he will serve at least two thirds of his sentence, abouti.5 least two thirds of his sentence, about 1.5 years. so even if his appeal is considered, it is too long appeal is considered, it is too long a process. there are reports that the threejudges a process. there are reports that the three judges involved a process. there are reports that the threejudges involved in a process. there are reports that the three judges involved in this case have been promoted. what signal does this send about what is happening in indonesia? does this send about what is happening in indonesia ?m does this send about what is happening in indonesia? it says that the indonesianjudiciary happening in indonesia? it says that the indonesian judiciary is increasingly conservative and they are spreading all over indonesia. the fact that there are those who make such a controversial decision have a promotion it says a light... so it is unlikely that despite
international pressure that the blasphemy law will not be revised? it is difficult because right now of all of indonesian political parties, not a single party has agreed to review their position on the blasphemy law. they all agree that the law should still be on the books. maybe one political party, the party of presidentjokowi, may reconsider their position but again, thatis reconsider their position but again, that is just one party. we need a least two thirds of the political parties to agree that the blasphemy law should be recalled. meanwhile, the largest islam groups in indonesia still agree that the blasphemy laws are needed. if those two organisations say that no, we
will be unable to do anything. henderson island in the ramon south pacific has been nicknamed plastic island. it is not a happy story. this uninhabited remote british territory is thousands of miles away from any mainland. but, still, it has been found to have the highest density of plastic rubbish anywhere in the world. scientists have estimated that 38 million items have been washed up on its beaches. the study ‘s authors also say that the island illustrates the scale of sea pollution. 3000 miles from the mainland a remote paradise that become a rubbish dump. its beaches are now more densely polluted with plastic than anywhere else on earth. henderson island is home only to south pacific sea birds and marine wildlife. and with no human inhabitants, it should be a pristine
haven. but an international team of researchers who visited and studied the island calculated that 17 tons of our litter washed or dumped into rivers and oceans have floated here over decades. doctor alex bond saw the devastation up close. we looked across the beaches and a variety of different plots encountered plastic on the surface down to about ten centimetres from. from that we could extrapolate the area of beaches and that's how we came up with our estimate of about 38 million pieces on the island. it is shocking because as you step along the beach, plastic is absolutely everywhere. researchers say that most of the plastic waste they could identify appendectomy to come from china, japan and she left. most plastic and float and it can take centuries to degrade so when it reaches the ocean it stays at the surface and is carried on the currents. henderson island sits next to a vast circular system of ocean currents and that is
depositing plastics from thousands of miles away onto its beaches. this is just of miles away onto its beaches. this isjust a of miles away onto its beaches. this is just a snapshot of the millions of tons of rubbish in our oceans. but the researchers hope it may persuade us to end a toxic addiction to plastic. you are watching you stay from singapore and london. coming up on the programme, we will get more reaction to our breaking news this an hour, those claims in the us media that donald trump tried to get his former fbi chief to drop an investigation into a key assistant. the pope was shot, the pope will live. that was the essence of the appalling news from rome this afternoon, that, as an italian television commentator put it, terrorism has come to the vatican. the man they called the butcher of lyon, klaus barbie, went on trial today in the french town where he was the gestapo chief in the second world war. winnie mandela never looked like a woman just sentenced to six years injail. the judge told mrs mandela there was no indication she felt even the slightest remorse.
the chinese government has called for an all—out effort to help the victims of a powerful earthquake, the worst to hit the country for 30 years. the computer deep blue has tonight triumphed over the world chess champion, gary kasparov. it is the first time a machine has defeated a reigning world champion in a classical chess match. america's first legal same—sex marriages have been taking place in massachusetts. god bless america! this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. i'm kasia madera in london. our top stories: reports from the us say president trump asked his former fbi chief to drop an investigation into a key aide. the white house has issued a denial, saying they are not an accurate portrayal of the president's conversation.
this may look likejust a boomerang to you, but it is not any old one. made by chanel, it costs nearly us $1,500. indigenous australians say it is crass cultural appropriation. that story is popular on bbc.com across asia. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. the south china morning post reports on a piece of land currently occupied by a modest multistorey car park. it was bought by a property company controlled by one of the territory's richest men, lee shau—kee, for $3 billion. the financial times leads with our top story, president trump defending his sharing of intelligence with russia. the picture shows mr trump standing with turkish president erdogan. the two leaders held a meeting at the white house on tuesday. and the straits times reports on how hackers have pirated disney's latest pirates of the caribbean film, dead men tell no tales. the hackers are demanding a whole lot of booty for not releasing
the film online before it hits the cinemas on 26 may. now, kasia, what stories are sparking discussions online? rico, if you are ever stuck for a birthday present for me, look no further. this pair of diamond earrings have just been sold in geneva. as you can see, the flawless, pear—shaped diamonds are not matching colours. they were sold separately because blue diamonds are much rarer than pink ones. but the 16—carat gems will remain a pair, as they eventually went
to the same buyer. and i know, rico, you are waiting for the price tag. they fetched an eye—watering $58 million. i will definitely give you a birthday gift, but i can't afford that! it will take me a lifetime to earn $58 million. let's return to the developments coming from the white house. the new york times is reporting that james comey, who mr trump sacked as head of the fbi, was asked by the president to drop the bureau's investigation into alleged ties between russia and michael flynn, the national security advisor at the time. gary sick served on the national security council under presidents carter, ford and reagan. we spoke to him earlier, just as the news broke, and got his reaction. well, if this is true, one of the
great ironies of the story would be that this came out in this meeting between james comey and that this came out in this meeting betweenjames comey and president trump, which trump has given one version of the story, and now it appears that a very different version of that story is starting to come out. and you know, i have no way to say whether this is right or wrong, but it certainly fits the description of what we have heard thus far. give us a context, the significance of this. a president asking investigation, asking the head of the fbi to drop an investigation. is that something... it is not allowed, is it? no, it is not. and basically one of the issues that keeps arising in this whole discussion is the obstruction of justice. in this whole discussion is the obstruction ofjustice. and, you know, the president is not above the
law, and so if the president tries to shift the law in one direction or another, or tries to interfere with justice and the rule of law, that is illegal. there are no two ways about it. and he is not above the law, and we don't know at this point what was done, but we are aware of a number of other cases where he has interfered rather egregiously with what is going on. and that actually... it is almost impossible to describe the level of chaos that we see coming out of washington these days. i mean, untila we see coming out of washington these days. i mean, until a few minutes ago, the big story of the day was the fact that he was giving, you know, significant intelligence to the russians, in a private meeting in the oval office. which is mind—boggling in its own right, and before that there were a whole series of other issues. it is
basically a crisis day. and it is ha rd to basically a crisis day. and it is hard to believe that this white house is anything done except for damage control. gary, i have heard one defence secretary saying that initially he was worried that the president wasn't reading his briefing notes, now he is worried that the president is reading his briefing notes. in terms of what was said to the russians, is the president... do you think he was even aware of the golden rule of esp' even aware of the golden rule of espionage? that you do not divulge information to a third party without the initial country who gave you that information to have known? he must know this kind of stuff, surely? well, i don't think so. and there is a problem here, because i was an accountant officer in the us government for 2h years, and so to me this isjust government for 2h years, and so to me this is just second nature. government for 2h years, and so to me this isjust second nature. i mean, basically the one rule that you never, never ignore is the fact that information that you get from a third—party, from another country,
from another source, a trusted source, you do not give to anyone else without asking them. and this is absolutely true, it is absolutely... you know, it is followed by everybody in the intelligence community. so, regardless of whether or not he knew what the source was, whether he knew what the source was, whether he knew what the source was, whether he knew what the damage might be, it is simply not acceptable that you have the president giving away information from a sensitive source that belongs to somebody else. and if he doesn't know that, and if he wasn't briefed that that was where it came from, he should have a greater sense of responsibility about what he does with the information that he has. and that is just a fact. more senators have been coming out to condemn president trump. some say a special prosecutor should be
appointed. you know, i looked into it, and in my decades here i have never seen anything like this. i have seen problems in both republican and democratic administrations. i have never seen democratic administrations. i have never seen anything that so undermined the rule of law of the separation of powers that we rely on in this country. the things that made us strong. i have never seen such an attack internally. we have faced attacks externally, but i have never seen faced attacks externally, but i have never seen attacks right within our own government, against the own government. let's get a live update to that breaking story from our correspondent david willis. david, the white house is getting into more trouble. yes, potentially very significant developments coming out tonight, rico. reports in the new york times, subsequently confirmed, backed up by other media outlets here in the united states that basically president trump asked
his former fbi director, james comey, to shut down the fbi investigation into former national security adviser michael flynn. this stems from a conversation which took place in the oval office in the middle of february. the day after michael flynn was forced to resign, amid suggestions that he had been less tha n amid suggestions that he had been less than straightforward with the vice president, mike pence, about his dealings with the russian ambassador to the united states. conversations with the russian ambassador, and james comey subsequently wrote a memo about the conversation that he had with president trump, and according to the new york times, he said that the president had said michael flynn is a good guy. i hope you can let this go. the reference to the fbi
investigation into michael flynn and his alleged links to the russians. now, james comey, of course, was sacked by donald trump last week in pa rt sacked by donald trump last week in part because of his handling of the investigation into links with russia, links between russia and the trump administration. and briefly, david, now the democrats are piling on the pressure on president trump for a special prosecutor to be appointed. they are indeed, rico. the senate minority leader, nancy pelosi, if these reports are true, the president's actions are an assault on the rule of law and that test the president has committed a grave abuse of executive power. at worst he has obstructed justice. these are tough words, rico, and this story has some way to run, as
you can imagine. absolutely, thank you can imagine. absolutely, thank you so much for the update. you have been watching newsday. stay with us. for your eyes only — how one indian company is trying to break the taboo around adult—only personal products. and, before we go, it is a key part of the london season — the royal garden party. and, for a select few members of the public, it really is an opportunity to have tea with the queen — well, at least say hello. the dress code is a little formal. just take a look at those top hats. but, for those attending, it is an afternoon they will remember. that's all for now. stay with bbc world news. hello there, good morning. tuesday
is probably going to be a day remembered for the high temperatures. looking outdoors, we had some blue skies at times here in lossiemouth in scotland, and more blue skies and some more humid air here in kent. those two are significant, because in scotland it was the warmest day of the year so far, and with a temperature of 26 degrees at gravesend, the warmest day in the uk so far. but in between this band of cloud, which didn't produce an awful lot of rain, but that cloud was beginning to give us a more rain today. and the warm air is going to get pushed ever so slowly away into the near continent. we are going to get into this cooler, fresh air with sunshine and
showers over the next few days. a chilly start, though, for scotland and northern ireland this morning. one or two showers in the north—west. but by the morning the rain more extensive across a large pa rt rain more extensive across a large part of england and wales. now, through the day we will enjoy some sunshine in cotton and northern ireland, but we will enjoy some showers, some of them have read, coming into the north—west. whereas for a large part of england and wales is going to be cold and wet all day. with some warmth, though, before that rain really gets going in east anglia and the south—east. but temperatures will be a bit lower than they were on tuesday in scotla nd than they were on tuesday in scotland and northern ireland, and many eastern and southern parts of scotla nd many eastern and southern parts of scotland staying dry with some sunshine. but showers to the north—west and across northern ireland. and if you are stuck underneath this rain across a good pa rt underneath this rain across a good part of northern england and the south—west, it is going to feel quite old. the rain is going to stick into the afternoon but cold and wet all day to the midlands, southern and central england, ahead of the rain in east anglia and the south—east it will be warm and humid but once that rain arrives late
afternoon and into the evening it could be very heavy and thundery across the east midlands, east anglia and the south—east. the rain begins to clear away from areas further west. so that is the first soaking rain for the gardens we have had for some time towards the south—east, but could lead to some difficult travelling conditions. by thursday it is all gone, we are in the sunshine and showers. most of the sunshine and showers. most of the showers out to the west, some heavy ones. it may well be a dry day across east anglia and the south—east. that is where we are seeing the highest british, but they are tending to slip away. numbers are tending to slip away. numbers are dropping typically into the mid—teens. and sliding in from the atlantic, slowly but surely, we have this area of low pressure which is just going to amplify the showers in the longer spells of rain for northern ireland and the western scotland. closer to the centre of the low, otherwise some sunshine and showers scattered about. some of them still on the heavy side and temperatures of 1a or 15 degrees. not getting any warmer over the weekend. yes, there will be some sunshine at times, but some further heavy showers, and under clear skies at night, it will be on the chilly
side. this is bbc world news. our top story. the white house has denied reports in the us media that president trump tried to get the fbi to drop an investigation into one of his aides. the new york times claims the president asked the fbi directorjames comey to drop the investigation in february. mr comey was subsequently sacked. after north korea's latest missile test, the un security council has been meeting in closed session. the us wants it to tighten sanctions against pyongyang. and this video is trending on bbc.com — researchers at aukland university in new zealand think that performing the haka may help maoris keep dementia at bay. they say older maoris tend to play a substantial role in the ritual, keeping them mentally and physically agile. that's all from me now. stay with bbc world news. now won bbc news it is time for
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