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tv   BBC News  BBC News  May 17, 2017 2:00am-2:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: the trump administration is facing further controversy, with reports that the president asked the fbi directorjames comey to drop an investigation into his former national security adviser, michael flynn. meanwhile, president trump insists he did nothing wrong in sharing sensitive intelligence with the russian foreign minister. his team says he did the right thing. it is wholly appropriate for the president to share whatever information he thinks is necessary to advance the security of the american people — that's what he did. following north korea's latest missile test, the un security council meets behind closed doors and the us vows to call—out states backing pyongyang. a key battleground — london's rapid economic growth means it'll play a key part in next month's uk general election. another day, another crisis
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for the white house. the new york times has alleged that president trump asked the former director of the fbi, james comey, to close down an investigation into his former national security adviser, michael flynn. mr comey apparently was so appalled at this suggestion that he noted it down in a memo. white house officials are saying the story is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of what was said. james comey was sacked last week. general flynn was forced to resign in february after giving a misleading account of his contacts with the russian ambassador. reacting to the latest news the democrat senators dick durbin and patrick lea hy spoke to reporters. this stunning, breathtaking revelation, that the president is accused of reaching out directly to the head of the fbi to stop an
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investigation of general flynn under the circumstances raises serious questions about the obstruction of justice. that is a fundamental question here. does anyone, including the president of the us, above the law? —— is anyone. should eve ryo ne above the law? —— is anyone. should everyone be held accountable under the rule of law? this revelation of the rule of law? this revelation of the statement that has been alleged really raises that question. in my decades here i've never seen anything like this. i think problems in both republican and democratic areas but i've never seen something that so undermines the rule of law of the separation of powers that we rely on in this country. the things that made as strong. i've never seen such an attack internally. we face attacks externally, but i've never seen attacks right within our government against our government. we should all set aside our labels as republicans and democrats and come togetherjust as in the
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watergate commission, and others, and find out exactly what happened. both of those senators are democrats. a republican democrat said he wanted to hear the details from mr comey himself. inaudible. .. an open invitation. i don't want to read the memo, want to hearfrom him. he wanted to testify publicly? yes. have you invited him? ijust did. that was republican lindsey graham. our correspondent david willis has more on this developing story. news n ews m oves news moves fast where you are. what is the latest on this? it does indeed. at almost breakneck speed. this report in the new york times, borne out by other elements of the american media, the allegation basically that at the end of a meeting in the white house, in the
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middle of feathery, donald trump got other participants in that meeting to leave. —— february. then he took the former fbi directorjames comey to one side and basically asked him to one side and basically asked him to shut down and drop the investigation that the fbi has been carrying out into the conduct of former national security adviser michael flynn. now, james comey was given it appears to taking notes of these interactions with president trump and he wrote a memo, so it is claimed, the following day, saying basically that the president had asked him to let this go. michael flynn said he is a good guide. james comey apparently in response to that agreed simply that michael flynn was, as the president put it, a good quy- was, as the president put it, a good guy. but now we have in the last few minutes revelation that the house, one of the house oversight
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committee, is calling for the fbi to produce that a memo thatjames comey wrote and others, with this whole possibility of interference at the present level, within the next week. so things could be moving extremely fast on this highly significant story. as i understand it, reading the legal commentators, such a memo would be read missable as evidence. if it is true it would be the clearest evidence that the president has tried directly to influence the justice department and fbi investigation into links between the trump campaign and russia, if it is true? that's certainly the big allegation here. the elephant in the room, if you like. we had nancy pelosi, the senate minority leader, a short time ago issuing a statement
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on those lines, saying at best president trump has committed grave abuse of executive power. at worst he has obstructed justice. there are certainly those in the united states and within washington who have memories of the nixon administration and some of those are saying that we are looking potentially, if these stories pan out, and it is still a big if, the potentially be impeachment territory, as one put it tonight. more on this to come in a few moments from a trump supporter. that's for moment. well the white house was in damage control earlier over accusations that president trump shared classified information with russian officials last week. the white house said it was "wholly appropriate" for the president to share information about the threat from the islamic state group, with the russian foreign minister and ambassador. our north america editor
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jon sopel reports. this meeting with the russian foreign minister and ambassador was already controversial enough, coming a day after the sacking of the fbi director, who had been investigating the trump campaign's links to moscow. now it's being claimed that during the meeting, the president shared the most highly classified information with his guests, so sensitive that america's allies, like britain, knew nothing about it. as the white house once again scrambled to put out the fire, the national security advisor last night emerged to say the story was nonsense. at no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. i was in the room, it didn't happen. but then on twitter this morning, from the president, a different story. yes, it did and so what. he wrote: "as president, i wanted to share with russia, at an openly scheduled white house meeting, which i have the absolute right
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to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety." so once again, the general was sent out to face the guns and explain the change of story. what the president discussed with the foreign minister was wholly appropriate to that conversation and is consistent with the routine sharing of information between the president and any leaders with whom he's engaged. and the president was sticking to generalities today. we had a very, very successful meeting with the foreign minister of russia. our fight is against isis, as general mcmaster said, i thought he said and i know he feels that we had actually a great meeting. on capitol hill, the only reaction has been fury from democrats, and, from republicans willing to talk, a certain exasperation and weariness. i think we could do with a little less drama from the white house on a lot of things, so that we can focus on our agenda. another influential republican said the white house seemed to be in a downward spiral.
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the president is frustrated, but it's hard to see what's going to change. the abnormal is becoming normal. michaeljohns is a former speechwriter for george bush senior when he was president, and he's one of the founders of the national tea party movement. michaeljoins us from philadelphia. some suggest that if it happened at all and if james comey witnessed an impeachable offence, why didn't he do something about it right then walk which? there are lots of questions, the most significant is why sensitive oval office discussions, really fairly appropriate for the most part, including discussing relevant intelligence with countries that are trying to engage in the war on terror, even the president's opinion
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about michael flynn, which i guess he denies, but even if it was there is nothing that excludes the president from —— precludes the president from —— precludes the president from —— precludes the president from expressing his opinion. he is closer to the issue than the fbi was. according to the james comey memo, he said he was a great guy. the issue here in washington is an extraordinary unprecedented level of partisanship, absolute disregard for any respect for the mandate that the american people had given the president and i think the very clear politicised agenda designed to take the president off—track. because there are so many voices on president off—track. because there are so many voices on that side, including in the us that chairs every setback the president has, they are being heard quite loudly. and i think the issues that emerged
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are and i think the issues that emerged a re really not and i think the issues that emerged are really not of terrible significance. it is absurd for anyone to say there is anything approaching impeachable. where it impeachment has been coming out of their mouths november eight and every little perceived misstep. forgive me. i take your point on that. presumably we will have to assume that people are leaking, people inside who are disturbed by what's going on, whether they are right or wrong, but you know donald trump was so tough on hillary clinton during the campaign on security issues. on issues that i think many will feel were less serious than these are potentially. what would you have said if hillary clinton became president and sacked and fbi director, who was investigating her campaign? if there was even a suspicion she asked and fbi directed to drop an investigation into one of the team, if she passed on highly classified information to the russians? what would you have said about her? that's a fair question and we all should take a step back and try to
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think about things in those terms. but i think the conclusion to reach is that one of the reasons passions run so is that one of the reasons passions run so high on those issues is there is so much power placed in our government. it's been one of the m essa 9 es government. it's been one of the messages and for the most part the republican party have tried to make over the number of years and i think it is really at the core of why there is such hard and views on these things. but the particulars here do matter. the fbi director served at the pleasure of the president. the president has full authority to release him for any perceived reasons. he has a full right to have discussions with him. law enforcement by the way is ultimately has a great degree of discretion. i mean, everyjustice department, and this is true on state and local levels, has the prioritise what defences they will investigate and prosecute. there aren't enough resources to do
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otherwise. that's certainly one of the reasons why we have an election. the american people are aware of that they are making a decision in those regards and clearly there are hugely contrasting visions about what the priorities, issues and challenges confronting this country as top white thank you very much indeed. —— country are. thank you. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: ruined by rubbish — the south pacific island with more plastic waste than anywhere else in the world. 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
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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 bbc news. the latest headlines: reports from the us say president trump asked his former fbi chief to drop an investigation into a key aide. the white house says it didn't happen. meanwhile, the white house insists donald trump did nothing wrong
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in sharing sensitive intelligence with the russian foreign minister. north korea provoked international outcry following its weekend ballistic missile, and of course the claim that the rocket can carry a nuclear warhead. the un security council is currently meeting in emergency session behind closed doors. before it got under way, the us ambassador to the un, nikki haley, vowed to "call out" states backing north korea and its nuclear ambitions. sarah corker has the latest. sunday's missile test was north korea's most successful yet, according to experts. it flew some 700 kilometres, landing in the sea west of japan. pyongyang says it is capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead. speaking before an
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emergency un security council meeting, the us, flanked by its allies, once again repeated this warning to kim jong—un. allies, once again repeated this warning to kim jong-un. for peace on the korean peninsula, he has to stop his 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 stock of the nuclear process. series of missile tests by the north is he has reached un sanctions. the us has sent warships to the region and is installing an anti—missile system in south korea as tensions in the region intensify. north korea is at the final stage of nuclear weaponisation. time is running out and the clock is ticking towards the tipping point. but pyongyang has defied calls even from its main ally, china, to rein in its nuclear ambitions, and so far tougher sanctions appear to have failed. an award—winning mexican journalist who reported extensively on the drug
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cartels has been murdered. javier valdez was killed by gunmen who opened fire on his car, as he was travelling to work in the western state of sinaloa. he's not the first journalist to be killed in mexico this year, as samantha simmonds reports. murdered in broad daylight, shot dead just metres away from where he worked. javier valdez was an internationally renowned journalist, exposing mexico's drugs trade and organised crime. he was killed in the northern state of sinaloa, home to the sinaloa cartel, which was headed by the notorious kingpin el chapo, who is in a new york prison awaiting trial. in an interview in october, javier valdez said drug trafficking is a way of life. "i don't want to be asked what you're doing in the face of so death." why didn't you say what was going on?
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but writing about the drug cartels is becoming increasingly dangerous. last week, seven journalists trying to cover clashes between security forces and criminal gangs in the south—west of the country found themselves under attack by a group of 100 armed men. they were robbed but allowed to escape with their lives. the incident led to protest against the local government for failing to protect them. translation: those criminal groups move with total impunity and we think it is strange that they acted with complete anarchy in the middle of two military checkpoints. it confirms the relationships between the security forces and those organised to middle game. at least five journalists have been organised to middle game. at least fivejournalists have been killed in mexico in the past few months. according to the organisation reporters without borders, mexico currently ranks third in the world for the number of journalists killed. last year, tenjournalists we re killed. last year, tenjournalists were murdered in mexico overall — the highest number of any country in
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the highest number of any country in the world. javier valdez may well have paid the ultimate price for his commitment to his cause. it's nicknamed plastic island and it's not hard to figure out why — 38 million items have washed up on the beaches on henderson island. it's an uninhabited remote british territory in the south pacific and has the highest density of plastic trash anywhere in the world. there's a growing mass of waste in the pacific, and the study authors say the island illustrates the scale of sea pollution. the bbc‘s victoria gill has more. 3,000 miles from the mainland, a remote paradise that has 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, this 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.
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dr alex bond saw the devastation up close. we looked across the beaches in a variety of different plots, and counted the pieces of plastic on the surface, and down to about ten centimetres. and 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's shocking because as you step along the beach, plastic is absolutely everywhere, no places without it. researchers say that most of the plastic waste they could identify appeared to come from china, japan and chile. most plastic floats, 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 called the southern gyre, and that is depositing plastics from thousands 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
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a toxic addiction to plastic. voters in the uk cast their ballots in a general election onjune the eighth, and one of the key battlegrounds is london, which accounts for more than 10% of all members of parliament, and contains more than a dozen closely—contested marginal constituencies. our chief correspondent gavin hewitt reports. london — a fast—charging, global city. a place apart from the rest of the uk. even the politics are different, registering some of the strongest support for remaining in the eu. but running through london is a faultline between those living well off the global economy and those left behind. take housing. london average house price is coming in at 475,000, that's twice the uk average. lucian cook from the property group savills sees a great divide. if you look at what's happened in london, it's dislocated itself from the rest of the uk
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for a prolonged period. that means london faces a series of housing challenges that are more acute than the rest of the uk. it's about building enough housing stock. if you look at london, particularly in the lower tiers of the market, we are not building nearly enough housing stock. along the river, a new development where half the flats are foreign—owned. it is a city of extraordinary wealth, with public sector workers squeezed over places to live. amina works in the nhs as a paediatric nurse. she lives with her four children in a one—bedroomed flat in south london. you do get demotivated sometimes, you get angry, you get frustrated, because obviously having to work 12 hours and then coming home and not to even have your, you know, a space to rest from the shift, even some of my colleagues that do, sort of nurses, midwives, they can't really afford to live and work in london at the same time. london's public sector has many similar stories —
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around half the met‘s police officers that patrol the capital live outside the city. there are just so many ways that this city is different from the rest of the uk. two million out of london's five million workforce were born abroad. immigration is part of this city's identity and part of its lifeblood. take this luxury hotel in leicester square. it is totally dependent on workers from abroad. where are you from? i'm from romania. i'm from spain. where are you from? i'm italian. from india. barcelona in spain. london is a melting pot, its flexible labour market a magnet for young workers. across our business, we employ approximately 2,300 people, so it would be fair to say that more than 50% of those employed
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are from the eu. and from the rest of the world altogether? so, in total probably around 80% we are looking at. the question that london asks the politicians — if migration is reduced, where will the capital draw its workforce from? the computers flowing over london bridge support a financial sector employing 750,000 people. the city provides nearly 12% of the uk's tax receipts. the brexit negotiations hang over the city, with some banks making plans to move part of their operations to elsewhere in europe. uncertainty is what's causing city firms to continue to build out their contingency plans. the longer those plans are worked through in the fine detail, the more likely that they will be put into action. london is the indispensable city and at election time it provokes different choices. the city's inequalities
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boost the labour vote. the prospect of a hard brexit troubles many of those who voted remain. a city that depends on outsiders is less concerned with immigration. others look to the tories to deliver global britain. london — a capital with its own priorities. let's leave you with these pictures. a cycling race in county donegal in ireland was joined by a surprise entrant, a white horse. the four—legged front—runner jumped a fence and joined in the fun. luckily, no—one was injured. horse not injured, either. much more on all of the news on the bbc news website. thank you for watching. hello there, good morning. tuesday is probably going to be a day remembered for the high temperatures.
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looking outdoors, we had some blue skies at times here in lossiemouth, in scotland, and more blue skies and some more humid air 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 is thickening to give us some more rain today. and the warm air is going to get pushed ever so slowly away into the near continent. we're going to get into this cooler, fresher 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 part of england and wales. now, through the day we will enjoy some sunshine in scotland and northern ireland, but we will see a few some showers, some of them heavy, coming into the north—west. whereas, for a large part of england and wales, it 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.
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but temperatures will be a bit lower than they were on tuesday in scotland and northern ireland. 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 part of northern england, wales, and the south—west, it really is going to feel quite cold. the rain starts to ease off later into the afternoon, but cold and wet all day through the midlands, central and southern 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've had for some time towards the south—east, but could lead to some difficult travelling conditions. by thursday, it is all gone. we're into sunshine and showers. most of the showers out to the west, some heavy ones. but it may well be a dry day across east anglia and the south—east. that is where we're seeing the highest temperatures, but they are tending to slip away. numbers are dropping,
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typically into the mid—teens. and sliding in from the atlantic, slowly but surely, we've got this area of low pressure, which is just going to amplify the showers into longer spells of rain for northern ireland and for western scotland, closer to the centre of the low. otherwise, some sunshine and some showers scattered about, some of them still on the heavy side, and temperatures typically 1a or 15 degrees, and not getting any warmer over the weekend. yes, there will be some sunshine at times, but some further heavy showers. and, with clear skies at night, it will be on the chilly side. this is bbc news. the headlines: donald trump is engulfed in further controversy, with the administration denying reports that he asked the fbi to end a probe into his former national security adviser, michael flynn. the white house says reports in the new york times and other us outlets are not a truthful portrayal of events. meanwhile, president trump insists he did nothing wrong in sharing sensitive intelligence with the russian foreign minister. his national security adviser says the president's conversation had been wholly appropriate, and that he hadn't known
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the material had been provided by a foreign country. following north korea's latest missile test, the un security council is currently meeting in emergency session, behind closed doors. the us ambassador to the united nations has vowed to call out states backing their nuclear ambitions. pyongyang says its latest rocket could carry a nuclear warhead. now, coming up in a minute, it will be hardtalk. but first, let's have a quick look at the front pages of this morning's newspapers.
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