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tv   Newsday  BBC News  May 19, 2017 1:00am-1:31am BST

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i'm rico hizon, in singapore. this is newsday. the headlines: us president donald trump lashes out at the decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate russian influence on his election. well, i respect the move but the entire thing has been a witch—hunt, and there is no collusion certainly between myself and my campaign. one person dies as a car hits a crowd of pedestrians in new york's times square. it's not thought to be linked to terrorism. i'm kasia madera, in london. also in the programme: china and the philippines are holding their first talks on the disputed south china sea, as manila looks to ease tensions. and staying with the maritime theme, we'll hear how scientists are searching the ocean for monsters with teeth from the deep. live from singapore and london, this
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is bbc world news. it's newsday. glad you could join us. it's 8am in singapore, 1am in london and 8pm in washington, where president trump has spoken about the appointment of a special counsel to take over the russia investigation into any potential ties with 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 advisor michael flynn. from washington, aleem macqbool reports. 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
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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 at any time urge former fbi directorjames comey to close or back down the investigation into michael flynn? no. . . 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
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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, looking at possible hacking and lea ks. russian collusion with the trump campaign, so meeting and financial ties between 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. well, after the president fired the last man leading the inquiry, it does now feel with this appointment that the russia investigation can now get back on track.
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bt there are many who feel that donald trump, for whatever reason, is not behaving like a man who wants that. we're going to stay in the states for our next story because in new york's times square an 18—year—old woman has died and 22 people have been injured after a car was driven onto the pavement, knocking people down. the driver, a 26 year old former us serviceman, is in custody. police say they don't think it's terror—related. they say the man had previous drink driving convictions. the worst went through my mind of course and that is why the mayor 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 the times we're living in and we know it's a dangerous moment in history. i also had...the second i heard
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it was 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 centre for syrian orphans has been formally opened in southern turkey. it will house almost 1,000 children and has schools, a mosque, playgrounds and sports facilities. it was a joint project between the turkish government, international donors and aid groups. the bbc‘s selin girit says it's for children who've lost their parents in syria's seven—year war. the war has left behind over i million orphans. in turkey alone, 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
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seriously and the officials say the children staying here will receive education, healthcare and psychological support. us warplanes operating over syria have attacked a convoy carrying pro—government militia forces. a statement by the us—led coalition said the militiamen were moving towards at tanf airbase, near the border with iraq, where western special forces train rebel groups fighting islamic state militants. clashes have broken out in athens at an anti austerity protest. greek police fired tear—gas at demonstrators rallying outside parliament, as politicians inside debated further spending cuts. these are cuts demanded by the country's international lenders in exchange for bailout funds. the japanese cabinet is expected to approve a bill to allow emperor akihito to abdicate. it would be the first time that a japanese monarch has stepped down in two centuries.
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in a rare public message last august, the emperor said that he feared his age would prevent him from carrying out his duties. the brazilian president, michel temer, has rejected calls for his resignation over allegations that he approved the payment of bribes as part of a huge corruption scandal. in an angry tv address, mr temer said he would prove his innocence in the courts and warned the affair could undermine his efforts to pull brazil out of recession. the football association in england says it will introduce retrospective bans for any players who dive orfeign injury during a match. the new rule will be applied across english football from next season. the fa says incidents will be reviewed by a panel and if they reach a unanimous decision, the player involved will receive a two—match ban. finally, rescue crews have used a crane to save a horse stuck in thick mud in florida. the mare, called kiersa,
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was anaesthetised before an excavator crane lifted her out of a thick, muddy pond. she was examined and washed down, before shakily standing up. she survived the ordeal without any broken bones. chinese and philippine officials are holding their first bilateral consultations on disputed islands in the south china sea. philippine president rodrigo duterte has opted to court china for its business and investment and to try to avoid the rows over sovereignty that dogged his predecessors. china and southeast asian countries agreed on thursday to a framework for a long—mooted code of conduct for the disputed south china sea. the paracel and spratly islands are claimed by six nations. a professor of international relations at the university of the philippines told me who he thought held the upper hand in the talks.
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i think both will have a very good chance at negotiating what will eventually be the code of conduct. it appears to me that the philippines is very much determined, under the administration of president duterte, to find a peaceful solution. but finding a peaceful solution, would this mean having a joint exploration of the disputed islands? well, the deals in october definitely included joint exploration and trade, which we are enjoying robust relationship with china. what i think duterte would like there, and 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
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at issues such as simply... as it has been said in the press, looking at an exchange of prisoners on a case to case basis. so what the philippine ambassador is actually trying to say, and the delegation, is that we... but, professor, won't this alienate other southeast asian nations that also have claims with these disputed islands? because 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 talk, as you say, but it does not necessarily mean it will end as one. what we would like to see is china begins to cooperate with us through a series of trust and confidence building
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measures. basically confidence building measures, but it looks like the president, president duterte, is giving in to what the chinese want. right. we've got 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's actually part of what i call the duterte doctrine, which is the good neighbour policy. that is not to shun away long—time allies but to recover ties
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which we left on the wayside. in exchange, the philippines will get loans from the chinese, will get additional investments from the chinese, but will be on the short end of the south china sea dispute. well, i don't think so, because the idea is... think of it this way. if we were to have a conflict in the south china sea, what purpose would the loans serve? it is not in the interest between america and china or the philippines and the southeast asian nations to enter into a war. if in the short term the idea is to get loans, then the idea is to create a zone of stability. and previous to that, we would have to look at zones or areas of agreement. hundreds of thousands of sufi followers have flocked to a shrine in southern pakistan, in defiance of threats of terrorism. a suicide bomber attacked
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the shrine in february, killing more than 70 people. bbc urdu's umer draz has been to meet the devotees whose faith is stronger than fear. they have travelled 1,000 miles for theirfaith, coping with boiling hot weather and difficult terrain. their destination is this shrine, one of the most revered 13th century sufi sanctuaries on the indian subcontinent. it is the anniversary of the saint‘s death and its 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, of course,
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but the saint can intercede. 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 trance—inducing dance which is performed just after sunset. the believers performed this dance at the shrine in february this year, after a suicide bombing during a similar festival, that killed more than 70 people. for them, it is defiance in the face of terrorism. sufism in pakistan enjoys a huge following. devotees are considered non—violent and come from both sects sunni and shia islam. terror attacks against sufi shines were once rare in this country.
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not any longer. sufis and these saints, they preached universal brotherhood and they preach the respect for human beings and respectful living. this is what extremists hate. it contradicts their school of thought. they just want to promote 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 idol worship. they want to fight the hate with love and believe in a better tomorrow. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: we'll take a look at the first—ever passenger ferry between north korea and russia, which has just gone into service. also on the programme: miniature monsters — why are scientists searching the depths of the ocean for these creatures?
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this morning, an indian air force plane carrying mr gandhi's body landed in delhi. the president of india walked to the plane to solemnly witness mr gandhi's final return from the political battlefield. the polling stations are all prepared for what will be the first truly free elections in romania's history. it was a remarkable climax to what was surely the most extraordinary funeral ever given to a pop singer. it's been a peacefulfuneral demonstration so far, but suddenly these police are teargassing the crowd, we don't yet know why. the pre—launch ritual is well established here, helen was said to be in good spirits butjust a little apprehensive. in the last hour, east timor has become the world's newest nation. it was a bloody birth for a poor
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country, and the challenges ahead are daunting. but for now, at least, it is time to celebrate. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. i'm kasia madera in london. our top stories: us president donald trump says the decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate russian influence on his election is a witch—hunt against him. a car has ploughed into pedestrians in times square in new york, killing an 18—year—old woman. the driver is being tested for alcohol and drugs. pakistan has been ordered not to execute a former indian naval officer it accuses of spying. the indian government took the case to the un's international court ofjustice, arguing that pakistan violated international law.
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india denies that the former naval officer is a spy. that story is popular on bbc.com across asia. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. the japan times looks at the growth of the japanese economy during the first few months of this year. they economy there grew by 0.5%, its fifth straight winning quarter, making the longest expansion for over a decade. the front page of gulf news reports that president trump has delayed moving the us embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. they quote a senior us official who said the white house is hoping to avoid anything that might disrupt peace talks. and china daily reports on the chinese president, who's been promoting his nation's favourite drink. xi jinping said that tea transcended time and crossed borders,
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and was also a cherished symbol of chinese culture. these are the key stories around the world. now, kasia, we all love a good demolition, and this one's caught people's attention online. yes, rico. it's a blast! excuse the pun! the wuxi bridge in chongqing, south—west china, was demolished on wednesday. it was built in 1973 but was judged to be no longer safe. a new bridge spanning 135 metres will be built to replace it by february next year. it will re—connect a provincial road stretching over the wuxi river. and this has really caught the attention of people online. we all love a good demolition, don't we? we're going to take you to a very
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different world here on newsday, one which is deep under the oceans, inhabited by some of the strangest—looking creatures on earth. these are just some of the fish that have been captured on film, some four kilometres below the surface of the tasman sea, to the east of australia. for the next month, a team of scientists are searching the depths for more of what they call "miniature monsters." melanie mackenzie joined us from the tasman sea, and explained why they are searching for these animals. 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 sea. we're responsible for the marine waters, so we have to know what's there. we need to protect it. we are going to have a look.
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we are going four kilometres... apologies for interrupting you. the line is a little bit difficult because you are out at sea. viewers understand that. in terms of reaching these creatures, these are four kilometres underneath the sea. how do you get to them? well, i promise you that i do not dive down there. we stay on the deck. we deploy technology and send it down. it can take almost seven hours for a four kilometre trawl to go down and come up again. 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 because they're coming
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through freezing waters up to the warm waters. we need to keep tissues viable for dna research as well. it's pretty cool. absolutely fascinating. you call them miniature monsters. they are all different sizes. we have had some strange ones. some crustaceans, we're talking about pinhead size for some of these amazing creatures. some of the scientists are spending quite rocky—rolly days looking at these through microscopes and trying to identify 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 we do about the deep ocean. why do we know so little about this area of the land of our planet? it's crazy, isn't it? i guess we've been looking up for a long time and never thought to look down.
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in general, it's because it's really hard to get down there. people who scu ba—dive, you are talking about a deep dive. we are going 10—20 metres further down than that. so you've got to worry about how to get down there. 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's there. rico, some of those deep sea creatures certainly earnt their name of "miniature monsters." laughter. really small! they look so cute! i am staying away. rico, there was nothing cute about them. really now, we're going to stay out at sea but a lot closer to the surface. that is right, kasia. north korea has largely cut itself off from the outside world. and international sanctions imposed
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over its missile tests have isolated the country further. but not entirely — the first—ever passenger ferry between north korea and russia has docked in the russian port of vladivostok. pascale davies reports. this russian port of vladivostok is home to one of the largest north korean communities outside of north korea in the world. and theirjourneyjust got a little easier. for the first time ever, the ferry will run between here and north korea. it boasts a restaurant, bars, and a karaoke room. the ferry will be used by north koreans that work in russia, but also by chinese tourists. translation: we'll set up a tent on the deck in summer in order to put chinese, russian, and north korean souvenirs on display. it will have another purpose — the vessel is set to carry essential goods and other cargo.
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north korea has long been isolated because of strict economic sanctions imposed by the un. the ferry owners 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. i think it's good. let politicians decide how it will develop further. i think everything will be fine. it's 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 boat. you've been watching newsday. stay with us. hello.
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well, the rain arrived earlier than forecast across the south—east of england during thursday afternoon and has continued to move slowly northwards. but brought a very wet night for the south—east of england, east anglia, the east midlands, and getting in towards the north—east of england by friday morning. further west, though, it's 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, then, it's a lovely bright start in many northern and western areas. showers are never too far away from the north and west and outer hebrides, but an area of low pressure. but the bulk of scotland and northern ireland will be bright. a chilly start, but bright. lots of sunshine. the same for the far north—west of england and wales and the far south—west of england. one or two showers pushing in towards cornwall and the west of devon. but further east, midlands eastwards, a cloudy start.
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outbreaks of rain, especially for east anglia and lincolnshire in the north—east. look at this area of low pressure slowly sliding north along the coast. but you'll notice the isobars are tighter packed here. quite a breeze in norfolk and lincolnshire. elsewhere, a day of sunshine and showers and gradually drying up across the south—east towards the end of the day. top temperatures, around the mid—teens. so nothing too special. quite cool in the north—east with low cloud and mist. into saturday, it looks like conditions will improve. elsewhere, a bit of sunshine and showers. some of the showers could be heavy and maybe thundery in places. in the sunshine, pleasantly warm. cooler when showers arrive. temperatures in the mid—to—upper teens celsius. the reason for the conditions are settling down. improving even further into sunday, this area of high pressure, as it exerts its force across the country. importing wind from the south.
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always a warmer direction, particularly for this time of year. going north as it does around this time of the year. it will allow temperatures to rise. in the sunshine it will feel warm. especially in the south. a bit of cloud, breeze, rain, getting into northern ireland because of this area of low pressure edging in. it will affect north—western parts of the uk as head on in towards monday. breezy outbreaks of rain towards western scotland in particular. but the bulk of england and wales closer to the area of high pressure, a warm day, with temperatures potentially low—to—mid 20s celsius. feeding in plenty of showers on the wind from the west. a cool day. pleasant in the south—east with some sunshine. i'm kasia madera, with bbc world news.
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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 20. the authorities are testing the driverfor drink and drugs. 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 for now. stay with bbc news. and the top story here in the uk:
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theresa may has launched the conservative election manifesto.

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