this is newsday on bbc. i am rico hizon in singapore. the us president donald trump lashes out at the decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate russian influence on his election. while i respect the move but the entire thing has been a witch—hunt and there is no collusion between, certainly myself in the campaign. one person dies as a vehicle hits a crowd of pedestrians in new york's times square. it is not thought to be linked to terrorism. and in london, china and the philippines hold their first talks the disputed south china sea later as they hope to ease tensions. and staying with the maritime theme we hear how scientists are searching the ocean for monsters with teeth from the deep. glad you could join us. it is seven
in the morning here in singapore and midnight in london, seven in the evening in washington where president trump has spoken about the appointment of a special counsel to ta ke appointment of a special counsel to take over the russian investigation into potential ties to his campaign. he said the entire affair was a witch—hunt which hurt the country, as he put it, and he denied ever asking the fbi director to end the investigation into his national security adviser michael flynn. we have the details from washington. the president's just not happy with the scrutiny he continues to come under over his links with russia. the entire thing has been a witch hunt. and there is no collusion between, certainly myself and my campaign. but i can only speak for myself and the russians, zero. i think it divides the country.
i think we have a very divided country because of that and many other things. did you urge the former fbi director to close or back down the investigation into michael flynn? no. next question. the major development of the last 2a hours is the appointment of robert mueller to oversee the russian investigation. he's a man renowned for his independence, having been appointed fbi director by george w bush, and being asked to serve on longer than his term by barack obama. and his appointment has received support from many on both sides of the aisle. probably the best thing that has happened is that the deputy attorney general did appoint bob mueller, a man of impeccable integrity, to act as special counsel in this issue. and that, i think, is of some comfort to all of us in this country.
i believe that the professionals in the justice department need to do theirjobs independently, objectively and thoroughly, and i believe the special counsel, which is robert mueller, helps them do that. some of the president's critics, while happy with the appointment, complain robert mueller has not been given enough power. what is he investigating? it breaks down into three main areas. russian influence on the election, look at possible hacking and leaks. russian collusion with the trump campaign. so meeting and financial ties with the two. and obstruction of the russia inquiry, looking at whether donald trump tried to get the former fbi director to drop key parts of the investigation. after the president fired the last man leading the inquiry, it feels with this appointment that the russia investigation can get back on track but there are many who feel that donald trump, for whatever reason, is not behaving like a man who wants that. aleem maqbool, bbc news, washington. we will stay in the united states
for our next story because in new york's times square and 18—year—old woman has died and 22 people were injured after a car was driven the pavement, knocking people down. the driver, a 26—year—old former us servicemen is in custody. police say that they do not think this is terror related. they say that the man had previous drink—driving convictions. the worst went through my mind of course and that is why the mirror and my mind of course and that is why the mirrorandi my mind of course and that is why the mirror and i came here as quickly as we could. we spoke to the detective chief of manhattan south and we quickly determined that at this time it does not appear to be terrorist related. same thing exactly. obviously we know that the times living in and we know it is a dangerous moment in history. i also had some of the second i heard times
square, i knew there a tremendous police presence but as we have learned more, again, there is no indication that this was terror. also making news today, a scent of a syrian orphans has been opened in southern turkey. it will howl ‘s almost a thousand children and will have schools, a mosque, playgrounds and sports facilities. this was a joint project between the turkish government, international donors and aid groups. the bbc‘s reporters say this the children who have lost their parents in the seven—year war. the war has left behind overi million orphans. in turkey alone at 1.2 million child refugees live and this number makes turkey the biggest host of child refugees around the world. that is why turkey is taking this orphanage project very seriously and the officials say the children will receive education,
healthcare and psychological support. the japanese cabinet is expected to approve a bill to allow emperor akihito to abdicate. it would be the first time a japanese monarch has stepped down in two centuries. in a rare public message last august, the emperor said that he feared his age would prevent him from carrying out his duties. ushers have broken out in athens at an anti— austerity protest. police fired tear gas at demonstrators rallying outside parliament as lawmakers inside debated further spending cuts. these cuts demanded by international lenders in exchange for bailout funds. the brazilian president has rejected calls to his resignation over allegations that he approved the payment of bribes as pa rt approved the payment of bribes as part of a huge corruption scandal. in an angry tv address, he said that he would prove his innocence in the court and warned the affair could
undermine his efforts to pull brazil out of recession. the football association in england says it will introduce retrospective bands for any players who died of a or say —— dive orfake an injury. incidents will be reviewed by a panel and if they reach a unanimous decision, the player involved will receive a two match ban. and, finally, rescue ci’ews match ban. and, finally, rescue crews have used a crane to save this horse that was stuck in mud in florida. the horse was an exercise that for an excavator crane lifted her out of a thick muddy pond. —— anaesthetised. she survive the ordeal without any broken bones. chinese and philippine officials are
to hold their first bilateral consultations on disputed islands in the south china sea. the philippine president has opted to try and avoid a row over sovereignty adopted predecessors. china and south—east asian countries agreed on thursday toa asian countries agreed on thursday to a framework for a long mooted code of conduct, part of the disputed south china sea. the islands are claimed by six nations. more on this we're joined now by an associate professor at the university of the philippines. he joins us now via web cam. thank you for joining joins us now via web cam. thank you forjoining us. if china and the philippines will discuss the dispute in the south china sea, who do you think will have the upper hand? i think both will have a very good chance at negotiating what will eventually be a code of conduct. it
appears to me that the philippines is very much determined, under the administration of president duterte at common to find a peaceful solution. but finding a peaceful solution, and would this mean having a joint exploration of the disputed islands? well, that deal in october definitely included joint exploration and trade which we are enjoying robust relationship with china. what i think president duterte they would like there, what the philippine ambassador would like, is to be able to provide the ground through which a code of conduct can actually be hammered out peacefully. so what that means is that they would also like to look at issues such as simply... it has been said in the press, looking at an
exchange of prisoners on a case to case basis. what the philippine ambassador is trying to say and the delegation, is that we... but, professor, wouldn't this alienate other south—east asian nations that also have claims with these disputed islands? this meeting isjust about the philippines and china. islands? this meeting isjust about the philippines and chinalj islands? this meeting isjust about the philippines and china. i don't think so. i see this as a prelude. it does not mean that this is a bilateral... it begins as a bilateral... it begins as a bilateral talk but it does not necessarily end as one. what we would like to see is china begins to operate in with us through a series of trust and confidence building measures. they say the confidence building measures but it looks like the president, president duterte eight, is giving in to what the chinese want. right. we need to
think of diplomatic negotiations as over the long—term. the idea here again is that eventually the problem of these islands will not be resolved simply with china. what we are looking at is the spratly islands being claimed by six parties. the idea is to have a coalition of six party states and getting the direct stakeholders on board. i believe that it is part of what i call a ditto tape doctrine which the good neighbour policy. that is not to shun away long—time allies but to recover ties which we left on the wayside. in exchange, the philippines will get loans from the philippines will get loans from the chinese was to mark will get additional investments from the chinese but will be on the short end of the south china sea dispute. chinese but will be on the short end
of the south china sea disputelj don't think so because the idea is... think of it this way. if we we re is... think of it this way. if we were to have a conflict in the south china sea, what purpose would the loa ns china sea, what purpose would the loans atlas? it is not in the interest between america and china 01’ interest between america and china or the philippines and the southeast asian nations to enter into a wall. —— war. if the idea is to get loans, the idea is to create a zone of stability. previous to that we would have to look at zones or areas of agreement where we and china could actually agree on. we need to leave it there. thank you for your insight. hundreds of thousands of sufi followers have flocked to a shrine in southern pakistan in defiance of threats of terrorism. a
suicide bomber attacked the shrine in february, killing over 70 people. we have been to meet the dvt is his faith is stronger than fear. they have travelled over 1000 miles, facing boiling hot weather and difficult terrain. their destination isa difficult terrain. their destination is a shrine, one of the most revered sufi sentries on the indian subcontinent. it is the anniversary of the siege there and it's followers hope it will bless them. translation: initially i did not have the urge to ask for anything. now i want a child. i have been married for five years but i have no children. i have come here to pray for a child. it is in the hand of god. thousands visit this festival
every year from all over the country. some seek help, others seek to give thanks, and all are united in this trans inducing dance performed just after sunset. the believers perform this dance at the shrine in february after a suicide bombing during a similarfestival. for them, it is defiance in the face of terrorism. city is in pakistan enjoys a huge following. —— sufi beliefs in pakistan enjoy a huge following. they come from both sets of islam. terror attacks against sufi shines were rare in this country. not any longer. sufis
preached universal brotherhood and they preach respectful human beings and debris will living human being. this is what extremists hate. it contradicts their school of thought. they just want to provoke violence. this is a place of love. so this is a soft target for them. sufi followers refused to let go of their ancient tradition, despite the many threats from hardline islamists who say what they do is idle worship. they want to fight hate with love and believe in a better still to come, the first ever passenger ferry between north korea and russia which hasjust gone into service. also, the miniature monsters. why are scientists
searching the depths of the ocean for these creatures? a plane carrying mr ghandi's body landed. his final return from the political battle. polling stations are all prepared for what will be the first truly free elections in the first truly free elections in the history of romania. a remarkable climax to what was surely the most extraordinary funeral ever given to a p0p extraordinary funeral ever given to a pop singer. it has been a peaceful demonstration so far. suddenly the police are tear gassing the crowd. the ritual is well—established. they are said to be in good spirits. in the last hour, east timor has become the last hour, east timor has become the newest nation in the world.
there are challenges ahead that are daunting. for now, at least, it is time to celebrate. welcome back. this is newsday on the bbc. iam rico welcome back. this is newsday on the bbc. i am rico hizon in singapore. i am kasia madera in london. donald trump says the decision to appoint a special council to oversee the enquiry into russia connections is a witch—hunt against him to make america divided. a car has ploughed into pedestrians in times square, new york, killing an eight—year—old woman. the driver is being tested for alcohol and drugs. —— 80—year—old. a former naval officer has not been executed. pakistan
violated international law why not allowing access to the man. india denies claims he is a spy. that story is popular on bbc.com across asia. now a look at the front pages. starting with the japan times. it looks at the growth of the japanese economy during the first few months of 2017. the economy grew by half a percent. it is the fifth straight win in quarter, making the largest expansion for over a decade in japan. —— winning. president trump has delayed moving the embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. they quote has delayed moving the embassy from tel aviv tojerusalem. they quote a senior us official saying the white house wants to avoid anything that might disrupt peace negotiations. finally, the china daily reporting on the chinese president, xi jinping, promoting the favourite
drink of the nation. he said that tea transcends time and crosses borders. it is also a symbol of chinese culture. cheers. we all love a good demolition. this one has caught the attention of people on line. we will stay in china for this one. this is a blast. excuse the pun. that was a bridge in south—west china demolished on wednesday. there she goes. it was built in 1973 and wasjudged to be no longer safe. a new bridge spanning 135 metres will be built to replace it by february next year connecting a road. a different world newsday, one that is deep under the oceans inhabited by some of the strangest looking creatures on earth. take a look at some of these. these are some of the
fish that have been captured on film around four kilometres below the surface of the tasman sea to the east of australia. for the next month, a team of scientists will be searching the depths for more of what they have called miniature monsters. among those scientists is melanie mckenzie. she joined monsters. among those scientists is melanie mckenzie. shejoined as earlierfrom melanie mckenzie. shejoined as earlier from the tasman sea to explain why they are looking for them. these waters have never been explored before this deep. this is the first time we have had a dedicated trip along the coast from tasmania all the way up to the coral seat. we are responsible for the marine waters. we need to protect it. we are going to have a look. we are going for kilometres... apologies for disrupting it. the line is a little bit difficult because you are out at sea. view was understand that. in terms of
reaching these creatures, these are four kilometres underneath the sea. how do you reach them?” four kilometres underneath the sea. how do you reach them? i promise you that i do not die down there. we stay on the deck. we use technology and send it down. it can take almost seven hours for it to come up after going down. the animals get trapped in the nets and we bring it up from the depths. the scientists go crazy. we are excited to see what is down there. we are exploring immediately. we put the animals on ice. they come up we put the animals on ice. they come up through freezing waters up to the warm waters. we need to keep tissues viable for dna research as well. it is pretty cool. fascinating. you call them miniature monsters. how
will i drive it? they are all different sizes. we have had some strange ones. some crustaceans, we are talking about pinhead sizes for some of these amazing creatures. some scientists are spending days looking at these through microscopes and identifying them. it is fun to see. at a large scale, they look like complete aliens. amazing. you talk about aliens. we actually know more about the moon than the deep ocean. how come more about the moon than the deep ocean. how come we more about the moon than the deep ocean. how come we know so little about this area of the land of our planet? it is crazy, isn't it? i guess we have been looking up for a long time and never thought to look down. in general, it is really hard to get down there. people who scuba—dive, to get down there. people who scu ba—dive, you to get down there. people who scuba—dive, you are talking about a deep dive. we are going 10— 20
metres further down than that. we really have just never been able to look before. now we have got this fantastic research vessel and people really keen to get down there and see what is there. melanie mckenzie, and she was on board one of the vessel is right out there on the tasman sea. i will tell you, some of those creatures, they certainly earned the name of miniature monsters. i cannot believe they are so small but they look so evil and fierce. i am avoiding the sea. i am staying away from the water. they are not pretty. they are not pretty. we will stay closer to the surface for your next story. it is all about north korea. it has largely cut itself off from the outside world. international sanctions imposed over nuclear missile tests have divided
the country even further and isolated. but surprisingly the first ferry between russia and north korea moved today. vladivostok, home to one of the largest north korean communities outside of north korea in the world. and theirjourneyjust got easier. for the first time ever, the ferry will run between north korea and russia. it boasts a restaurant, bars, and a karaoke room. it will be used by north koreans that work in russia, but also by chinese tourists. translation: we will set up tourists. translation: we will set upa tent tourists. translation: we will set up a tent on the deck in summer two have chinese, russian, and north korean souvenirs on display. have chinese, russian, and north korean souvenirs on displaym have chinese, russian, and north korean souvenirs on display. it will have another purpose, carrying essential goods and other cargo. north korea has long been isolated because of strict economic sanctions imposed by the un. the owners of the
ferry say it will improve relations between the two nations. translation: we don't violate any un sanctions. we transport people. we create better communication between people, between china, north korea, and russia. ithink people, between china, north korea, and russia. i think it is good. i think everything will be fine. and russia. i think it is good. i think everything will be finem and russia. i think it is good. i think everything will be fine. it is not the first time the ship has set sail. it was running between north korea and japan until 11 years ago. but japan suspended the service after a north korean missile test. the service is expected to carry up to 200 passengers and 1000 tons of cargo six times a month. early booking is advised. 60 tourists from china have already bought their tickets for the next vote to be bbc news. —— boat. hello. the rain was earlier than
forecast across the south—east of england during thursday afternoon and has continued to move slowly north. a wet night for the south—east of england, east anglia, the east midlands, and getting into the east midlands, and getting into the north—east of england, by friday morning. further west, the north—east of england, by friday morning. furtherwest, clearer skies. showers died away. a touch of frost in one or two places. less cold in the south—east because of cloud cover. first thing friday, a bright start in northern and western areas. showers are never too far away from the north and west and outer hebrides. low pressure. the bulk of scotland and northern ireland will be bright. a chilly start. lots of sunshine. the same for the far north—west of england and wales and the far south. one or two showers pushing in towards cornwall and the west of devon. further east, a cloudy start. outbreaks of rain to be especially for east anglia and lincolnshire in the north—east. look at this area of
low pressure slowly sliding north along the coast. isobars are tighter packed. quite a breeze in norfolk and lincolnshire. elsewhere, a day of sunshine and showers gradually drying up in the south—east towards the end of the day. top temperatures, mid—teens. nothing special. cool in the north—east. low cloud and best. saturday, conditions will improve. —— mist. elsewhere, a bit of sunshine and showers. some of them could be heavy and thundery in places. in the sunshine, pleasantly warm. the reason for the conditions are settling down an improving even further into sunday, this area of high pressure, as it exerts its force across the country. importing wind from the south. going north. it will allow temperatures to rise. in the sunshine it will feel warm.
especially in the south. cloud, breeze, rain, getting into northern ireland because of this area of low pressure edging in. it will affect north—western part of the uk as we go on in towards monday. breezy outbreaks of rain towards western scotla nd outbreaks of rain towards western scotland in particular. the bulk of england and wales closer to the area of high pressure, a warm day. potentially low — mid 20s. plenty of showers. a cool day. pleasant in the south—east with them sunshine. —— with some. this is bbc world news. our top story — president trump has declared that he's the victim of the greatest political witch—hunt in us history. he was responding to news that a special counsel will oversee the inquiry into alleged russian influence on his election. speaking at a news conference in washington he said the issue
was dividing the country. a car has ploughed into a crowd of people in new york's times square killing one and injuring more than twenty. the authorities are testing the driverfor drink and drugs. and this video is trending on bbc.com — the first—ever passenger ferry between north korea and russia, has docked in the russian city of vladivostok. as well as tourists and workers, the ship will carry cargo from north korea. that's all from me now. stay with bbc world news. now on bbc news it's time for hardtalk.