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tv   BBC News  BBC News  May 20, 2017 12:00pm-12:31pm BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines at 12. a grand welcome for donald trump in saudi arabia where the us president is making his first foreign trip. he was greeted by king salman at riyadh airport. mr trump is leaving behind fresh controversy in washington. there are claims he said that by firing the fbi chief, james comey, it relieved great pressure on him. a very public disagreement within labour over trident here comes the bride. the middleton marries james matthews. a very public disagreement within labour over trident after shadow foreign secretary emily thornberry says the party could abandon its support for the nuclear deterrent. the tories defend their pledge to cut net migration to "tens of thousands" after it comes under fire from former chancellor george osborne. hassan rouhani is re—elected as iranian president, defeating his conservative rival in the first round. good afternoon and
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welcome to bbc news. donald trump has arrived in saudi arabia this morning on his first foreign tourjust arabia this morning on his first foreign tour just as arabia this morning on his first foreign tourjust as a married —— embarrassing new claims are made about the sacking of james embarrassing new claims are made about the sacking ofjames komi. he is said to have told russian officials that he was a real "nut job" and that his departure is to real pressure on him. a red carpet welcome for president trump, who's touched down in saudi arabia. he was met by the king,
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on his first foreign visit since taking office. he tweeted that he will be strongly protecting american interests, that's what i like to do. but he might be glad to leave washington for a while, after the week he's had. it started with the accusation that he'd leaked classified information to the russians. then reports of a memo which claimed president trump asked the fbi director to drop an investigation into his former national security advisor, michael flynn. the next day, it was announced that a special council will lead the enquirery into russian meddling into the us presidential election and look at possible links between moscow and the trump campaign. the washington post is now reporting that someone close to the president is of interest in that investigation and just as air force one took off, the new york times published this: not only did mr trump call the fbi director, james comey, a nutjob, he said he felt with him gone, it would relieve the pressure over the fbi's investigation. it seems like we are learning disturbing new allegations about president trump notjust every day, but ladies and
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gentleman, every hour. the white house said mr trump was acting in the nation's interests in firing james comey and earlier this week, mr trump described the russian inquiry as a witch hunts. james comey has now agreed to give his account of events, in public, in around ten days. while in saudi arabia, mr trump will attend a summit, where he'll speak about his hopes of a peaceful vision of islam, but this ambitious, eight—day foreign trip, which is to move onto israel, rome and brussels, may be overshadowed by the prospect of more trouble when he returns home. frank gardner is in the security capital and says that president trump is well liked there. saudi officials have said to me
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privately that this, for them, is ten times bigger and more important than the last presidential visit they had from barack obama. they didn't like him for a number of reasons, that he was too close to iran and that he was pressing so much for the nuclear deal which president trump called the worst deal ever but he has renewed it. they didn't like the fact that obama, in their view, was weak on syria. at the same time, they have forgiven on drum for some of the things he said earlier about saudi arabia, claiming that islam doesn't like us. he will give a speech tomorrow to the leaders of over a0 muslim majority countries where he will talk about the need for a combined united front against religious intolerance and extremism. a number of commentators are saying in private that resident trump is perhaps a slightly unusual and odd ambassador for the west and the message on this but he is getting a very good reception here. the saudis seem pleased he has chosen the country as the first stop
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on his tour and they are giving him the benefit of the doubt. the idea of an arab nato is an aspiration rather than something that can be immediately achieved. two years ago, saudi arabia formed a coalition of mainly sunni countries and the aim was mainly to resist what they see as iranians‘ encroachment in the region. the saudis are feeling quite paranoid as they are, in their view, surrounded by iranians proxies. now, they feel iran has influence or control of several middle east capitals, baghdad and beirut and others and they are trying to push back against that. they very much want us support in combating that with maritime security, missile defence, anti—high altitude air defence and so on.
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all this is part of a huge $100 billion plus arms deal or deals that will probably be signed on the back of this trip. some live pictures now from riyadh. president trump is touring around the royal palace before sitting down to meetings. real red carpet treatment. we can probably hear the pipes in the background. a real saudi welcome for a man who, as frank was saying, is rather more respected in riyadh than his predecessor was. mr trump and his wife are being treated very much as revered visitors. remember that he
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frequently upset the saudis, partly because of his tilt towards iran and to bring iran back from the cold, along with his attitudes to some of the changes he believed were necessary in the middle east. his push on human rights, for example. there will be a lot less talk about human rights on this visit. president trump and his wife are there, along with his daughter and her husband, jared kushner. they haven't been so visible on camera. they slipped off the back of air force one just after the president descended from the main staircase. they are important advisers. he will signa they are important advisers. he will sign a big arms deal and he's hoping to secure some significant investment american weapons. a $100 billion deal. and a £50 billion
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baggage of deals with us companies today. the kind of things that are built around trips of this kind to add to its importance. donald trump will make what could be quite an important speech on the middle east tomorrow. if you remember, president obama in one speech tried to change the narrative of the middle east after the iraq war, talking about democracy, freedom and engaging with islam. things went quiet soon afterwards and then we had the eruption of war in syria and then the real end of the arab spring, the revolutions in countries like egypt, which came to an abrupt end. there was a feeling that obama had disengaged with the middle east. donald trump will make an address tomorrow to a number of arab muslim leaders, 50 of them, where he sets out what he talks about a piece vision of islam and he urges them to
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embrace it. there we are. president trump and his wife are guests of king salman in riyadh. third from left is the secretary of state. what you might call america's chief diplomat what would be our equivalent of the foreign secretary. he isa equivalent of the foreign secretary. he is a key figure in the team. it is the first day of an eight—day visit by president trump and his first since taking office in january. new rules for cigarette packaging come into force this weekend. all packs must be greenish—brown withjust a small space for the brand name and include a graphic warning of the dangers of smoking. the measures, aimed at discouraging young people from taking up the habit, also include a ban on selling packs of ten. tom burridge reports. persuading young people not to smoke. that's what the government hopes these new rules will do. from today, all cigarette packets have to be a standard green design, similar to this.
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health warnings must cover two thirds of the front and back of the packets. and you can no longer buy packets of ten. there will also be restrictions on e—cigarettes and on rolling tobacco too. public health campaigners say the number of people smoking in britain continues to fall and this is another positive step. it's too early to say how many will avoid taking up, but even if it's just a few percent that will have a big benefit in 20 or 30 years' time. but the tobacco industry says greater restrictions will only push people to buy cigarettes elsewhere. we are seeing people actually not quitting or giving up smoking, but basically buying cheap tobacco from the black market. it's never been so expensive to smoke. the government wants to emphasise the possible health costs and persuade more to stub the habit out. president trump and our top story
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again. there are reports in the washington post that a person close to the president is a "person of interest" between the trump campaign and russia. let us talk to the associate fellow of the us and the american —— americas programme. thank you for being with us. let me ask, what do you make of these latest claims in the papers? i described them as claims but it's a quote that appears in official us documents and the white house isn't denying it although it says that when the president talks about relieving pressure he was talking
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about difficulties in the relationship between america and russia rather than personal pressure on him. yes. we are getting mixed m essa 9 es on him. yes. we are getting mixed messages out of the white house over the past two days. there's a lot of effort at damage control but you are right that recent remarks come out and suggest that the motivation behind the president's decision to fire james komi had as much about his decision about the investigation and the fact it was carrying on —— james comey. there was a sense from the president that he couldn't control him. not only the investigation but that he wasn't really on side. he was sticking to his mission to be an independent law enforcement officer and the most important one in the us and he wasn't going to budge on this. we heard about him working very hard to make the president understand that if he had questions about the
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investigation he had to go through the proper channels. the remarks are another indication that is very important the investigation and the focus now is on more efforts to push forward the investigation. i think the public will be very concerned and congress will be concerned to be sure that the investigations on capitol hill also move forward because that's the only access the broader public will have all any understanding of what is going on. we know that james comey himself will give evidence on monday week, i think, in congress. an open hearing. yes, he has agreed and he was requested to come and give evidence. he was not willing to do it in private but he is willing to go after the memorial day weekend, a
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week from monday, and all eyes will be on his testimony. he will not risk -- be on his testimony. he will not risk —— reveal secret intelligence. but i think there will be a lot of questioning about what pressure he came under from the questioning about what pressure he came underfrom the president questioning about what pressure he came under from the president and whether there were any threats or requests that he not investigate michael flynn further or that he shuts down parts of the investigation. it might be important in determining whether there is any question of having an independent commission set up which takes place in addition to the ongoing fbi investigation and the house and senate intelligence investigations. robert miller is a former cia director and has been broadband into effectively supervise the investigation and make sure it's conducted in an appropriate manner —— robert muller. we seem to have a president who doesn't necessarily observe the niceties of conduct in
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political office. he doesn't understand the implications and has perhaps that comes from running a business where he'd perhapsjust ring somebody up. presumably there isa ring somebody up. presumably there is a difference between that, what one might call the defence of ignorance, and the defence of knowing what you know but still doing it anyway which would be the obstruction of justice. doing it anyway which would be the obstruction ofjustice. is it possible he can argue the first? that he is an innocent abroad, if you like, in the world of washington politics and he is not motivated by a malicious attempt to kill off the russia investigation? intent and most evasion are difficult things to evaluate and gain hard evidence for, but as the person elected by the american public to the highest position in the country it doesn't matter a great deal whether he was simply naive or whether there is evidence that will come out that
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demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that he is attempting to obstruct justice. he has legal counsel as president and plenty of opportunity to hire, as i believe he's doing. so many people have led big corporations who have maintained a degree of dignity in terms of their personal style and in terms of following due process. it's as important in the private sector as it is in the public sector so that explanation will not resonate with those who are conducting the investigation or the broader public, i think. how big a problem is it for republicans in congress? although selected on the same day as president trump and those in the house of representatives who were elected in that day in november. how big a problem is it for them that
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only this is what people seem to be talking about? it is a brick rubble because, first, what the republicans would like to see is the legislative agenda move through and they would like to see further progress. the health bill needs to come up before the senate before a bummer care is repealed. they want to see tax reform. this entire focus on the russian investigation and now the firing of james comey and his apparently inappropriate and perhaps illegal behaviour is a major distraction. they will think about the midterms and the ratings. donald trump's polling is our low. but at the moment the republicans seem to be staying with him and this is what we are waiting to see. will more
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republicans become concerned about their own political future is as the polling suggests that donald trump is perhaps losing his base at the m . is perhaps losing his base at the margins? there was relief in washington. the person appointed to supervise and take on board this investigation and push it forward as a tremendous amount of respect. he's worked in both republican and democrat administrations. he's very credible and a legitimate figure who has deep respect across washington so there is some relief there and i think republicans will wait to see how james comey‘s test and egos. donald trump is out of the country for nine days —— days and a lot can happen. it is potentially a very significant problem for republicans because americans will go to the polls in the midterms and they will wa nt to polls in the midterms and they will want to see what has hash and —— happened and so far, not a lot.
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thank you very much for being with us thank you very much for being with us today. jeremy corbyn has called on trees are made to drop her anti—pensioner series of packages. he says it's turning older people into a political football and asks the country to come together behind his country. in this election, in the less tha n country. in this election, in the less than three weeks to the election, i invite everyone to get involved in a conversation in their community about the kind of society, the kind of world can we can live in. get involved. get involved in how we can do things together better. cheering and applause
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isimply cheering and applause i simply say this. the labour way, for the many, not the view. thank you very much, birmingham. jeremy corbyn speaking about an hour ago. let us talk to our correspondent who was at the rally. there aren't many of them left! how am addicted down this morning? there were a lot of people here when jeremy corbyn and john mcdonald were speaking. a lot of foot stamping and cheering. he got a very easy astec reaction, focusing very tightly on those conservative proposals in their manifesto about —— is very easy astec they are talking about unpicking the triple lock which guarantees patient
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—— pensions. and social care. jeremy corbyn called it eight compassion tax and accused the conservatives of producing the most divisive ma nifesto for producing the most divisive manifesto for many elections and he argued they were trying to pit older voters against younger ones. he said labour offered a policy of unity. there was a really big cheer in the hall when he repeated the promise made earlier this week that labour will strap —— scrap university tuition fees. the west midlands is a region where 21 out of 28 mps are labour mps. region where 21 out of 28 mps are labourmps. one might region where 21 out of 28 mps are labour mps. one might be surprised here might want to spend much time there and not in areas where he think he can gain new seats and new territory and win new voters which is what he will have to do to become prime minister. we have seen during
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this campaign that, very often, he has got to areas where there does seem to be a lot of labour support already and that is obviously not necessarily what one expects during an election but it guarantees an enthusiastic reaction. although a lot of people would not have any doubts about him in the crowd here, they come to be energised and get out on the campaign trail. with three weeks to go, we may see him venturing into other territory. but you are right. a lot of his values and campaign stops have been in areas where he has quite a lot of support already. many thanks. meanwhile, the chief secretary to the treasury, david gauke, has insisted the conservatives are right not to set a timetable for achieving their ambition of reducing annual net migration to the tens of thousands. the commitment was announced by the party in their manifesto on thursday. mr gauke says it's an aim
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and has no timetable. the political temperature rose yesterday. another example of blue on blue friendly fire, if you like. george osborne said that his former party hadn't got a clue, in an editorial in his paper, when it's going to happen or when —— or the costs a nd going to happen or when —— or the costs and if they do know they are not saying. these questions were put to the chief secretary of the treasury last night on radio 4 last night and this is what he said. treasury last night on radio 4 last night and this is what he saidm is an aim. it doesn't have a timetable and i accept that but they should drive our policy in terms of improving skills so we have a stronger domestic workforce. it should drive our policy in ways of
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reducing immigration pressures we currently face. he went on to say that it was right there is no deadline. he wants the flexibility in this to deal with the economic consequences perhaps of a brexit deal and to insist that it does take place because of the eu referendum result. so, to balance the economics and the political will to do so. the liberal democrats have launched their new poster taking a swipe at the prime minister. the party say the poster is a direct attack at the conservative leadership and the closeness between the policies of the prime minister and the former ukip leader nigel farage. the green party have released their youth manifesto attempting to appeal to young voters. among the commitments is a pledge to scrap tuition fees and wipe the existing student debt. the party also let out plans to oppose a hard brexit as well as a providing stable housing for generation rent. guests have begun to arrive for the wedding of pippa middleton
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and her finace james matthews in the berkshire village of englefield. she arrived at the church with her father in the last half an hour also. prince george and princess charlotte will act as page boy and bridesmaid. our correspondent alexandra mackenzie is in englefield in berkshire for us now. well, you have joined well, you havejoined us at quite well, you have joined us at quite a good time. just looking through the trees beyond us, we have seen a card draw up and we are wondering if it's the car that will take on the middleton from the church. as you say, they went in half an hour or so ago. the wedding service has been underway. the wedding of the middleton and james matthews which has been very much anticipated in
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this small village in englefield. there has been a lot of participation here. behind me there area participation here. behind me there are a lot of local people who have had more access they can see some of the guests coming and going. some of the guests coming and going. some of the people they saw web princess usually need, beguiled friend of james middleton, pippa middleton's brother, roger federer and his wife also arrived. then a lot of people came here because of the royal connection, hoping to catch a glimpse of the duke and duchess of cambridge and their children. we saw the duke arrived with his brother, prince harry. no sign of meghan markle but that's not to say she's not here. she didn't arrive with prince harry. the duchess of cambridge arrived in one of two cars that brought the young people taking pa rt that brought the young people taking part in the service. there were four
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bridesmaids and four page boys. the duchess was with her children as prince george ‘s only three. princess charlotte is just two. they we re princess charlotte is just two. they were pageboy and flower girl. the duchess expressed a bit of concern as to how they might be able to sit through the service. we are just waiting at this stage for the newly married couple to emerge from the church here in englefield. no sign of them just yet. thanks very much. keep looking out for us, won't you? time for a look at the weather prospects ahead in berkshire and everywhere else. sunny spells and scattered showers will do it. but not for everyone. cloud and win and rain also. in the east, they will receive quite
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sharp showers and also in northern ireland. in the brightness, possibly up ireland. in the brightness, possibly up to 20 celsius. much cooler across the far north—east of scotland. many showers will fade away and the rain taking its time to push further north in scotland. a decent day tomorrow with the exception of parts of western scotland and northern ireland. elsewhere, very pleasant indeed. it will feel very springlike. sport now and a full round up, from the bbc sport centre. it's the first of the play—off finals in the english football league today. league one's millwall and bradford kick off at wembley in two and a half hours' time.
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for millwall it's a chance to make up for missing out on a place in the championship at this stage last year. there is so much love for the players and the team and when you get beat, it is really disappointing. we use that disappointment quickly to galvanise our position. we have used it as inspiration for us. we have that experience and will lean on that. the expectations from the fans and the owners. we knew automatic way to wembley was never anything for us. they have been a good side this evening —— the season.
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