in this is bbc news. i'm simon mccoy. the headlines at 3pm. ireland's prime minister says the clock is ticking on brexit and challenges britain to find a solution for the key issue of the irish border i do not underestimate for a second the enormity of the challenges we face. the probe into russian interference in last year's presidential election intensifies as the man investigating appoints a grand jury. the russia story is a totalfabrication. it's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of american politics. the world's most expensive footballer, neymar, is unveiled at paris st—germain. he says it's about more than money. translation: i was never motivated by money. it was never my first motivation. what i think about is my happiness. i want to be happy. also coming up, the world
athletics championships get under way in london tonight. britain's mo farah and the fastest man on earth, usain bolt, will be in action this evening. both are retiring from athletics this year. stay out of the sun. as temperatures soar over southern europe holiday—makers and locals are warned to stay inside. and we talk to the national geographic photographer of the year, the man behind this explosive shot of a volcano in mexico. at good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. four members of a police helicopter
crew have been found not guilty of filming people sunbathing naked and having sex. the four men denied misconduct in a public office during the three—week trial at sheffield crown court. a fifth man pleaded guilty to the charges before the trial started. so, that is four members of a police helicopter crew that have been acquitted on charges of filming people sunbathing naked and having sex. our correspondent is covering that case and as soon as he is out of court we will get the latest from him. the irish prime minister, leo varadkar, has called for "unique solutions" to preserve relations between britain and the european union after brexit. speaking during his first official visit to northern ireland, he raised the possibility of a bilateral customs union between the uk and the eu and an alternative to the european court ofjustice to oversee any deal. our ireland correspondent, chris buckler reports. leo varadker crossed the irish borderfor the first time as ireland's prime minister to set out his concerns about what could
happen to it after brexit. he arrived after upsetting unionists about brexiteers. but in queen's university, the new taoiseach was quick to point out how much relationships have changed in a few decades. the border itself was a very different place. a place of bloodshed, of violence, of checkpoints. he is of a new generation. the first time leo varadker voted was in the referendum for the good friday agreement. but there is a new challenge, and the potential of a new border. there are people who do want a border, a trade border, between the united kingdom and the european union, and therefore between ireland and britain, and therefore, across ireland. these are the advocates of the so—called hard brexit. at a time when brexit threatens to drive a wedge between north and south, between britain and ireland, we need to build more
bridges and fewer borders. there are scores of cross—border roads. he wants to keep them completely open. today, mr varadker demanded for any brexit agreement to protect the free movement of people, goods and services across this island. when people talk about the border of the past, they refer to the troubles, when huge security was needed. that is not the case any more. this is the dividing line between the countries, not that you would notice. the political tensions in northern ireland are obvious. those questions of what will happen to the border after brexit. the irish prime minister will be on the eu's side of the table during negotiations. on a shared island, there is a shared interest in finding solutions. they only have months to discover them. chris buckler, bbc news, northern ireland. earlier, i spoke to our
ireland correspondent chris buckler and asked him what the key message leo varadker was trying to get across. in the speech that leo varadkar gave, he set out a number of what he regards as solutions to try and look at this issue to try and deliver some of the issues and solutions to the problems potentially caused by the problems potentially caused by the border but the fact he has come here to deliver his speech at queen's university in belfast is a sign he has become is lightly frustrated, there were flashes of frustration, and the way westminster is handling this. he doesn't feel solutions are being put forward quickly enough. he said time and time again the clock is ticking. he's also concerned about fat there is no power—sharing government at stormont. as a result he asked a of times who speaks the northern ireland? times who speaks the northern ireland 7 that of times who speaks the northern ireland? that of course isn't him. but there are shared interests across the border and he is
concerned about the impact on island's economy as well. when you listen to him you get a sense that he feels brussels are talking about the border, they feel in a position where they are concerned by it, they've made it one of their priorities. on the other hand, he doesn't feel westminster are talking about it enough. the man leading the investigation into claims of collusion between president trump's election campaign and russia has convened a grand jury to consider whether there are grounds for criminal charges. the panel of ordinary citizens, which hears evidence in private, is already reported to have demanded more information about a meeting between mr trump's eldest son and a russian lawyer in june last year. the white house says it is committed to cooperating fully with the inquiry. at a rally in west virginia last night, the president rubbished claims about russian interference. tom burridge reports. in west virginia last night, it felt like the president was still fighting an election. but he and his very loyal supporters are battling allegations that his campaign in last november's election colluded with russia. now, with a grand jury up
and running, the investigation is into a new phase, and the president, as always, is in fighting form. the russia story is a totalfabrication. it's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of american politics, that's all it is. cheering. the grand jury is meeting to consider evidence behind closed doors in this building. it's a panel of american citizens. theirjob isn't to determine guilt or innocence. they can call witnesses to testify or demand to see documents, and they must decide if the evidence that the trump campaign colluded with russia is strong enough for a criminal trial. the decision to call a grand jury was made by this man, former fbi boss robert mueller. the move is a logical next step in his investigation into the trump campaign,
but it shows the evidence gathered so far merits a thorough investigation. but the whole affair is a rallying cry for president trump's core support. his supporters are not put off by all that's happened in washington, rather they've been galvanised by it. the constant drumbeat of opposition from the media and the resistance, as they call it, of the democrats in congress. according to the us media, the grand jury already wants information about a meeting between donald trumer and a russian lawyer in june of last year. donald trumer has admitted he was promised damaging material about his dad's opponent, hillary clinton, but he says he got none. the white house said it supported any action that would accelerate the conclusion of the investigation fairly. today, the president is off on holiday to play golf.
the us media is unlikely to take time off from talking about what went on before he was elected. tom burridge, bbc news. we can speak to our north america correspondent rajini vaidya nathan. robert mueller clearly thinks there needs to be more investigation. that's right. what the grand jury shows us is that the investigation is just getting shows us is that the investigation isjust getting going rather than coming toa isjust getting going rather than coming to a conclusion. reports say this grand jury, which is a panel of ordinary people who consider evidence and they decide whether or not to bring charges against people, they've been in place for about two weeks or so. the crucial thing about a grandjury is weeks or so. the crucial thing about a grand jury is that they can subpoenaed and demand witnesses come forward with statements, they can demand documents from various players. this is a crucial step and it shows things are ramping up in an
already intense investigations. given the politics of washington, dc, a grandjury given the politics of washington, dc, a grand jury isn't likely to be that supportive of donald trump. that is possibly the case because this is a very democratic city but it is difficult to spec because we will never know what evidence the grandjury will never know what evidence the grand jury seas. the key thing about grand jury seas. the key thing about grand juries as they operate behind closed doors. the very existence of this grand jury was the subject of information which was leaked which has been a cause of concern for the white house, people like the president's special counsellor kelly anne conway criticising the fact someone anne conway criticising the fact someone inside that grandeur investigation may have the information to the press. that links being a concern for the white house for several weeks and months. it's difficult to spec and it the outcome of this grand jury might be but crucially one of the points we found in reports is that they have already
requested information relating to a meeting that the president's son had with a russian lawyer, which shows that the net is closing in on the president's inner circle. thank you very much. for members of a helicopter crew have just been found not guilty of filming people sunbathing and having sex. danny savage has been following the case. tell us what has happened in the last half—hour. the case. tell us what has happened in the last half-hour. i know when we talked it on the bbc news channel on the opening day of this case and what those allegations were, there we re what those allegations were, there were four charges that the south yorkshire police helicopter on four occasions over a five—year period film to people in their back gardens sunbathing naked and one couple having sex, a couple in the naturist camp as well but films, too. as a
result of that a police officer who was in the helicopter on each incident, a man called adriaan polk more, he pleaded guilty a few weeks ago to misconduct in a public office but four other crew members who are in the helicopters on those occasions were also charged with misconduct in a public office, the allegation being they were aware of what was going on as well. in the last few minutes at sheffield crown court to the immense relief of the accused men and their relatives, which you could hear in the public gallery, they will all cleared and found not guilty of all the charges. welcome weeks, the chief pilot the south yorkshire police at the time, he was found not guilty. lee walls, a police officer in the rear seat operating the camera, he was not guilty as well. as was matthew loosemore, matthew lucas. thejury concluded they were no part of this filming, they were not involved, they were cleared of misconduct in a
public office, they say they are immensely relieved and it has been an ordealfor their immensely relieved and it has been an ordeal for their family. one immensely relieved and it has been an ordealfor theirfamily. one of the officer said that a couple of minutes ago. not guilty verdicts across the board involving the south yorkshire helicopter being used to film people sunbathing naked or having sex. one police officer who pleaded guilty will be sentenced at a later date but not guilty for the other people. let's talk about adrin pogmore because he said he knew the couple that they were filming. of the four incidents, three of the people filmed in three of the incidents were totally aware they we re incidents were totally aware they were being observed by the police helicopter but there was a couple who were self acknowledged swingers who were self acknowledged swingers who were self acknowledged swingers who were filmed on one of the incidents by the police helicopter. it was hovering near their home and found them having sex outside their home on the patio. it came out during this trial that they knew
adrian pogmore, he was friends of theirs, and that they were aware the police copter was filming. the woman involved waved at the police helicopter. that again focuses everything on adrian pogmore and that was the central defence of all the men found not guilty here today. they blamed pc adrian pogmore, described during the trial as the tea m described during the trial as the team deviant, for what happened. they blamed him, and thejury accepted that argument in those not guilty verdicts. it looks as though the police officers are leaving court now so i'll let you run off. thank you much. and engineering plant a suffolk is closing with the loss of 500 jobs. american—owned delphi diesel systems is shutting its plant in sudbury. it makes makes diesel fuel injectors and filters for commercial vehicles. the unite union has announced the job losses. the royal bank of scotland, which is still predominantly owned by the taxpayer, has reported a substantial profit after a £2 billion loss for the same period last year. the bank made almost
£940 million in the six months to the end ofjune. they also announced they were in talks to move their european headquarters to amsterdam after brexit. our business correspondent joe lynam reports. it's been posting annual losses for almost a decade but today at least, it can say that things were looking up in the first half of the year. rbs made what's called an attributable profit of £939 million over the past six months. that reversed losses of more than £2 billion over the same period a year ago. and unlike barclays or lloyds, rbs won't be setting aside any more money for ppi. its boss admitted that taxpayers would not be getting their money back in full if the government sold its shares in rbs immediately. if we sold it, they wouldn't get their money back, but it is... what we're trying to do is create a good bank so they get as much of that money back as possible. and a 70% stake won't be sold overnight. so it will take some time and this bank is getting better every quarter.
and the bank's capital buffers have reached a new high. it means it should have more than enough money set aside in the event of another major downturn. but rbs still expects to post a loss for all of 2017, that's because it is still dealing with past misdeeds. it is expected to pay a further multi—billion pound fine to us regulators for mis—selling specialist investments called mortgage—backed assets before the financial crisis. the estimates for the department ofjustice's fine is anything from $4 billion to $15 billion. we just don't know the final amount. most of us would estimate it is going to be between five and six but if it is more than that, then actually, it is a slap in the face. the difficulty we have is we don't know how big that fine could be. and what we have signalled very clearly, that it could be large and we have a big range on that. what — 5 billion? 10 billion? we don't know. we haven't got into those conversations with the department ofjustice. it's the last big issue this bank has to face. the bank has also had to take
steps to minimise any disruption after brexit. it has chosen amsterdam for its european headquarters, serving its eu customers. up to 150 staff may have to move to the dutch city. joe lynam, bbc news. the headlines on bbc news: ireland's prime minister says the clock is ticking on brexit and challenges britain to find a solution for the key issue of the irish border. the investigation intensifies in washington, a grand jury is called to look into claims that russia interfered in the election of president trump. the world's most expensive footballer, neymar, is finally unveiled at paris st—germain. in sport, england lose two quick wickets on the opening day of the final test against south africa at old trafford. they are 127—3. joe
root is at the crease. aiming for golden glory injust root is at the crease. aiming for golden glory in just a few hours' time, usain bolt goes in the 100 metre heats at the world athletic championships in london. he has arrived, the most expensive footballer in history tells fans he didn't move for the money as neymar addresses the world's media in paris. i will have more on those stories at 3:30pm. the deadline for submissions on what the grenfell tower fire inquiry should cover expires later today. hundreds of suggestions have been received with the total expected to be around 300 by the 5pm cut—off time. earlier our home affairs correspondent, tom symonds, explained the issues the inquiry will cover. well, there is a big debate in this community about the terms of this inquiry. just to give you the context, the judge said when he was appointed that he would look primarily at the causes of the fire. and a lot of people took that to mean that it would be a very narrow focus.
now, he later clarified and said that actually he would look at the whole history of grenfell tower and its fire safety record, and therefore it would be a much broader examination of the issues. but that still hasn't been enough. and i've been at public meetings at this church in the last week where he has faced a lot of angry pressure from people in this area for him to expand the scope of the inquiry. and today, one of the residents' groups, justice for grenfell, has published a document setting out in detail the kind of remit they would like to see from the inquiry. for example, they would like him to be looking at the way in which councils, this council in particular — kensington and chelsea — has effectively outsourced the provision of social housing, and the effects notjust on the fire safety issues or the standards of fire safety at grenfell tower, but also the standards of housing in this area, and potentially much more widely. now, sources at the justice moore—bick inquiry say
that he will have to take on board that sort of pressure, that he may have to find another way of delivering that sort ofan inquiry. because he is intent on keeping the inquiry manageable. the timescale is quite punishing for him. he has to deliver his remit to the prime minister next week. she will respond the week after, because it's her decision in the end, as the sponsoring minister, what the inquiry examines. he will then work throughout the rest of the summer until september, when the inquiry is due to start. and then he has to produce some form of an interim report within probably a year. he has said it will take some months to do that. but that could be quite detailed. it could go into some detail about the causes of the fire. so, there is a lot of pressure on thisjudge. i get the sense that in the area generally people have accepted him as the chair. but there are a lot of people who feel that he's not right for the job and that this inquiry will run into difficulties.
a terror suspect in australia tried to smuggle a bomb onto a plane by planting it on his unsuspecting brother, that's according to police there who say the plan to bring down the etihad airways plane was directed by so called islamic state. investigators believe the bomb was made using military—grade explosives and that another device had also been planned to release toxic gas in a public place. our sydney correspondent, hywel griffith, has more. described as one of the most sophisticated terror plots ever on australian soil, officers say they have ended a plan which could have caused catastrophic loss of life. a terror suspect in australia tried to smuggle a bomb onto a plane they believe khaled khayat and mahmoud khayat were sent military—grade military explosives by the so—called islamic state on a cargo flight. they allege that they then put together a bomb packed into a meat grinder. onjuly 15th, it's alleged the men planned to take the improvised explosive device,
or ied, on to an etihad airways flight out of sydney, but officers say it was never checked in. we will be alleging in court that a fully functioning ied was to be placed on that plane on 15thjuly. one thing that is important to state, though, is it did not get through security. having aborted the first attack, it's alleged the men took parts the bomb to try to create a chemical device instead which would emit poisonous hydrogen sulphide. officers say the men were arrested before that plot became advanced. detailed forensic searches are continuing. a third man is still being questioned by the police. airport security routines have now returned to normal. passengers are being assured the threat has been disrupted, but new questions have been raised over how explosives could be sent into australia by the islamic state and how the terror threat is evolving.
hywel griffith, bbc news, sydney. there are three hour delays on the m5 near bristol this lunchtime following an earlier accident involving two lorries. a large spillage of diesel meant that two northbound lanes and the hard shoulder needed to be closed for resurfacing nearjunction 21. traffic is tailing back for more than 15 miles. earlier we spoke to our reporter dickon hooper who gave us an update from clevedon on the m5. we can't get anywhere nearjunction 21. the m5 southbound is clogged up and the smaller roads around here are terrible as well. what you can see behind me on my right, that is the m5 northbound. that is just a trickle with one main open but a couple of miles south here, they have to resurface the motorways are
tried to stay away from the m5 today. there is a cricket match on in bristol, there is a few fans concerned about fans making that. bristol airport to sync plan for extra time if you need to get to security. nobody knows how long these things take. the advice is to keep checking bbc local radio, twitter, and so on because things can change quickly. if i turn around here and show you the m5 south, you can see that is heavy going as well, probably as a result of the accident but also just probably as a result of the accident but alsojust general probably as a result of the accident but also just general holiday traffic getting into somerset, devon and cornwall. it was raining here about an hour ago. that isn't going to help, either so the advice is avoid the m5 around bristol today. airlines are urging passengers flying home from europe to turn up earlier than normal at airports. tighter security checks have led
to big delays at passport control. the new measures are in response to the recent terror attacks. ba and easyjet are texting passengers to arrive at least three hours before their flights. he's now the most expensive player in the history of football. paris saint—germain have completed the record £200 million transfer deal for neymar with the brazilian forward signing a five—year contract. the french club have been unveiling their star player at a press conference this lunchtime. our correspondentjonny dymond is outside psg stadium in paris. it is something of a relief to know he didn't go for the money. no, he didn't go for the money at all! the half million pound a week salary had no bearing on the decision. he said it was simply new challenge, and there are new challenges here at paris st—germain. he won't be so overshadowed perhaps by lionel messi as he was at barcelona. secondly,
this is a club which has failed to bring home the silver over the last two years, looking at the champions cup and the league one championship in paris. a lot of focus on that huge transfer fee and the weekly salary he will be pulling in. the concern, of course is that benchmarking at £200 million means that every other transfer fee goes up that every other transfer fee goes up and that the wages themselves go up. concern also from barcelona and from the spanish league that the way the deal was done contravened european rules. they complained to the european footballing authorities. and concern over why this deal was done. this isn't an ordinary club, it is owned effectively by another country, the oil and gas rich gulf state of cat are. and there's been a fair amount of muttering who know about the game that there are all teary motives. this isn't all about winning trophies, this is about soft power,
about qatar wanting further influence. for the fans, about qatar wanting further influence. forthe fans, it about qatar wanting further influence. for the fans, it is irrelevant. it is quite now behind me but a couple of hours ago when neymar made his appearance thousands of people were cheering and waving and setting off red, blue and white flares. for them it's simply about bringing home one of the most astonishing players. one of them said to me every footballer has a price, as long as he wins the prize is. i know you know about the football and we could talk about it for hours but i want to talk about the money! £200 million, i can't picture that. i know you can. that is £537,170 a week. what sort of lifestyle are we expecting him to live presumably wherever he wants for that sort of money? it'll be a relatively humble lifestyle, he will be mixing and taking the metro to come to the stadium. i don't think it'll change him in the way that lottery money doesn't change people.
he lives are fairly impressive livestock already and the money will come in handy here. he insists its not the money. he says he wanted a new challenge. there will be a new challenge here but that half a million a week won't hurt, no doubt. i'm sure we both would be at for a similar challenge. thank you very much. british holiday—makers and people across europe are being urged to take great care as the dangerous heatwave continues , in parts of italy, spain and the balkans temperatures have soared into the high 40s. several countries have issued red alert health warnings and some regions are still contending with drought and forest fires. sophie long reports. planes putting out wildfires in corsica. last week, the north of the mediterranean island burned. now it is the south. the extreme heat has sparked wildfires across europe. swathes of the south of france were scorched. now hungary, too.
here, hundreds of hectares in of grassland burn. firefighters battle to put out flames before they spread to urban areas. italy is experiencing its worst drought in 60 years. thousands of tourists travel there every year in search of sunshine. but the intense heat means people are desperately searching for shade. we have had some nice weather this year but it is not as hot as rome. nowhere near. drinking lots of water. it is fantastic having the water fountains around rome. across the country, 26 major towns and cities are on heat alert. hospital admissions have increased by 15%. and the prolonged drought is set to cost agriculture billions, with 11 regions facing critical water shortages. olive crops are already 50% lower than normal. in sicily, beaches are quieter than usual as people follow the lead of the local and staying indoors.
others do what they can to protect themselves and keep cool, as forecasters see no respite. sophie long, bbc news. we don't want it that hotbot let's haveit we don't want it that hotbot let's have it a little bit hotter. the heatwave is reaching its peak. next week it should ease down and temperatures return back to normal. good spells of sunshine around, showers will fade away this evening and overnight and they will return towards western areas, particularly towards western areas, particularly towards wales with the odd having one. for the start of the weekend, it is sunshine and showers. showers heavy across wales, spreading into the midlands and the south,
particularly east anglia, we could hear some and storms with gusty winds. elsewhere there should be some good sunny spells, temperatures reaching highs of 20—21d, close to the high teens in the north. sunday, a ridge of high pressure keeps much of the country fine with plenty of sunshine around, but wet and windy in northern ireland, rain advancing south—eastwards later on sunday into monday. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines... donald trump is coming under increased pressure over the allegations that russia interfered in the presidential election. the man investigating the claims has convened a grand jury, made up of private citizens, to weigh up the evidence. two police officers and police pilots accused of misusing a police
helicopter have been cleared of all charges. a fifth man, adrian pogmore, pleaded guilty to all charges before the trial started. irish prime minister leo varadkar has suggested that a bilateral customs union could be created between britain and the european union after brexit. he was speaking in belfast during his first official visit to northern ireland. police in australia say two men charged with terrorism offences yesterday had obtained military—grade explosives and were being directed by a senior commander from so—called islamic state. a british computer expert who helped stop a worldwide cyber attack which hit the nhs has been arrested by the fbi in the united states. marcus hutchins, who is 23 and from devon, is accused of creating malware which steals bank details. let's go to the bbc sport centre for a full round—up. we are going to talk cricket, lee? we are going to talk cricket, lee? we are, simon, good afternoon. england won the toss and decided to bat on the first morning of the fourth and final test
at old trafford — but they've lost a couple of wickets since returning from lunch. keatonjennings keaton jennings fell cheaply again. alastair cook out for a6, and tom westley making 29. currently they are 142—3. we're just hours away from all the action starting at the world athletics championships. a big day for the usain bolt and britain's mo farah. olly foster is at the london stadium for us. bittersweet for the world's fastest man, ollly. i'm not sure if he does bitterness, you know, usain bolt. it is all coming toa you know, usain bolt. it is all coming to a close over the next ten days here. the opening of the 16th world athletics temping jobs. we are going to start with a bang, really. we are going to get our first look at usain bolt, he is not defending his 200m title. but he is the world is fastest man, the biggest draw in athletics and has been for the past five, six, seven years. you can say that great googly. he is brilliant. the crowds are pouring into the
stadium now —— you really can say that. it is going to be a low—key opening ceremony, then we will get an idea of what shape usain bolt is m, an idea of what shape usain bolt is in, whether he can go out on a high. for me, i'm excited now. this is a moment that i've been looking forward to. after a race or doing a race, the emotions all,. it depends on how the crowd reacts, you know what i mean? if the crowds cheering, i'll be happy. but there are ways to get emotions out a few. he turns 31 later this month. there is a realisation that he's not going to be able to go on for another couple of years to another global championship. you look at the south african, christian coleman from the united states, the next crop of speedsters will be looking to see what cheap they are in. at the other end of the spectrum, we have a man going for the distance double, the five and ten. the great mo farah.
straight into the final for him tonight, he will be the last man on the track in the 10,000 metres as he goes for what will be the trouble double. he has won michael five and the turn at the world championships —— the treble double. he has guaranteed this will be his last global championships as well before he turns his attentions to the road and marathon racing.|j he turns his attentions to the road and marathon racing. i was thinking back, what we need to do? i've achieved what i wanted to achieve. it would be nice to be able to finish my high. —— finish on a high. i guess why not do it where it. it come in london? that track, where i became an olympic champion, that's what changed me as an athlete, the whole nation got behind me. it's incredible. i'll never get those memories back against a well, the uk sports target for british athletics is between six and 80. outside a
couple of medals, hopefully gold for mo farah. it could be pretty thin on the ground. laura muir goes on 1500 metres under 5000 metres, the shorter distance, the the opening heats, she is in heat number two of that this evening. great indoor season, but she is going to be really pushed by the kenyans, ethiopians and suchlike. it will be interesting to see if she is in good shape as well—stocked like olly foster, thanks for the update. neymar says it is sad that people think he was motivated by the money when he signed a world record £200 million dealfor paris saint—germain. the brazilian said he was looking for a bigger challenge with psg and even went against the advice of his dad in signing a five—year deal, but says it has all worked out in the end. translation: what i can tell, these
people, is that they are never knowing anything about my personal life. i was never motivated by money. it was never my first motivation. what i think about is my happiness. i want to be happy. and together with my family, i want them to be happy. and i'm very happy. i always follow my heart. not considering the money, you know. if i was following the money, i would be maybe somewhere else in some different team in some different country. i'm really sad to hear that people still think think that way. i'd really like to thank paris saint—germain, because they believe in my potential, and i want to pay them back. that's all sport for now. i'll have more in the next hour. as we've been hearing, the irish prime minister leo varadkar is warning that time is running out to achieve the best outcome for the island of ireland after brexit. he was speaking in belfast during his first official visit to northern ireland. mr varadkar also said every single aspect of life in northern ireland could be affected by the outcome of brexit, with it becoming "the challenge of this generation". the brexit negotiations are now well underway in brussels and to quote michel barnier,
the clock is now ticking. every single aspect of life in northern ireland could be affected by the outcome. yourjobs and your economy, the border, the rights of citizens, the rights of cross—border workers, research funding, as i mentioned earlier, trade, agriculture, energy, our fisheries, aviation, eu funding, tourism, public services. the list goes on. and in october, and it's not that far away, i sit around the european council table in brussels with 26 other prime ministers and presidents, and we will decide together whether sufficient progress has been made on the three key issues to allow the brexit negotiations to proceed to the next stage. what people in the uk, all of us have to remember, is that it is in the interests of the irish republic for them to have a very good deal
with the uk, because so much of their trade depends on the proximity of the uk. do you share his clear frustration, what do you feel that perhaps the talks are progressing better than we think, it's just where not getting told about it? obviously this is something that hasn't happened before. i'm co nsta ntly hasn't happened before. i'm constantly surprised that people think that things aren't going as smoothly as they should, given that nobody has ever done what we're doing. that is, leaving the binding bureaucracy of the eu. and if the irish republic wanted to join us bureaucracy of the eu. and if the irish republic wanted tojoin us in the expanses of freedom, they would be welcome to do so. you know, i think there will be bumps on the road, we can expect that over the course of the next few months. hopefully we can get to a point where trade for go on unhindered between the uk in the republic. it is in both of our interest to do that. nobody wants a hard border. therefore richard by relatively easy
to ensure that we don't have one. well, how easy? —— therefore it should be relatively easy. i was speaking to a former northern ireland secretary earlier who says that all of the technology is there to make sure that this border should work with very little hard border presence, if you like? well, if you look at the factual position at the moment, europe does not want a hard border because they see that it is in nobody is addressed to have that. northern ireland, we don't want the ha rd northern ireland, we don't want the hard border, and the republic don't wa nt hard border, and the republic don't want it. so why do you know why we would end up with one when all of the parties to the discussions and the parties to the discussions and the negotiations say it would be a bad thing to have one. your colleague jeffrey bad thing to have one. your colleaguejeffrey donaldson has been calling this megaphone diplomacy from dublin. is that a common feeling? it was up until today. hopefully leo varadkar will feeling? it was up until today. hopefully leo va radkar will ta ke feeling? it was up until today. hopefully leo varadkar will take the opportunity perhaps to calm things a bit and to ensure that we get into intensive discussions, which both of oui’ intensive discussions, which both of our countries have at their core. we wa nt to
our countries have at their core. we want to see a good deal, we want to see trade continue and tourism continue, and we want to see a deal that benefits both the uk and republic of ireland. because it is in no body's interests that cradle tourism should be harmed as a result of people making a ham—fisted approach to the brexit discussions —— trade or. approach to the brexit discussions -- trade or. the point was made earlier that rather than the border between the north and the south of ireland, a bigger issue may be the cross—channel border if you like between mainland uk and southern ireland. yes, well, that was hinted at last week by some of the people in the irish public, and it wasn't helpful at all. because that would be something that would be com pletely be something that would be completely untenable and wouldn't be a cce pta ble completely untenable and wouldn't be acceptable to many of us. so, the business would be to try and ensure that the uk as a whole has a good trading relationship both inside the eu and beyond it. and we see much that can be beneficial to the uk beyond the eu. but we want good
relations with it. so we've got to try and get a position that the republic understands at and sees it isa republic understands at and sees it is a risk to get that trade deal. and of course to ensure that tourism continues unhindered as well. thank you forjoining us. let's get more now on our main story, and a grand jury has been convened to look into the collusion between president trump's election campaign and russia. grand juries are composed of members of the public who hear evidence in secret. the man leading the investigation, robert mueller, can use them to gather evidence, as they can compel people to testify or hand over documentation. richard painter was the white house ethics lawyer for president george w bush, and is now a law professor at the university of minnesota. he joins me now on webcam. i'm just wondering how you think donald trump will have reacted to that news? because it does change the feel of this investigation, doesn't it? well, this has been anticipated for a long time. because
it's a very serious investigation. there's definitely bring criminal activity. the russians hacked the americans' computers and engaged in espionage inside the united states. we know there was at least one meeting in the trump tower between the top three people in the trump campaign, including the president'sson and his son—in—law and russian agents there to discuss actions that were imposed upon russia as well as dirt they claim to have dug up on hillary clinton. this isa have dug up on hillary clinton. this is a very serious investigation. we don't know who will be criminally charged with what. but it is really quite shocking that the president and the white house staff can even talk about it very cavalierly. that is not the way investigations are appropriately handled. the policy in the bush white house was that you do not, it on pending investigations. we had one instance in which a grand jury we had one instance in which a grand jury did sit to look at the conduct of some officials in the bush administration, but nobody else
commented on that, and certainly not the president of the united states. that is just an invitation to additional criminal charges for obstruction of justice. additional criminal charges for obstruction ofjustice. i think the white house is taking very ill—advised step right now. white house is taking very ill-advised step right now. what type of evidence will robert mueller be looking for, and how easy will it be looking for, and how easy will it be for him to fight it, particularly if we are talking about getting into, power, for example —— to find it. you have to look at the financial ties between the trump organisation or the trump family, and also the cushion family and the russians. that is a very relevant pa rt russians. that is a very relevant part of the scene. —— jared kushnehs part of the scene. —— jared kushner‘s family. he is going to look at all of the meeting that took place between him and the officials between the trump campaign and the russians or agents of the russians. he is going to look at the question of whether campaign finance laws we re of whether campaign finance laws were violated. and furthermore, and this is a serious problem, people are not telling the truth about their contact with the russians. we
have had multiple instances of people lying about their contacts with the russians, including the president'srepeated statements that there was no collusion with the russians. we know there obviously was. there could be criminal charges, goat of the fact that people write about their contacts with the russians. —— people ride. obstruction of justice is with the russians. —— people ride. obstruction ofjustice is a very serious charge, it brought president nixon down a0 years ago. u nfortu nately nixon down a0 years ago. unfortunately president trump has chosen to fire an fbi director to try and end the russian investigation, he tried to fire robert mueller on numerous occasions, and now apparently last week we heard that he drafted a. and for his son, donald trump week we heard that he drafted a. and for his son, donald trumer, in connection with the russian investigation. he is digging himself into quite a bit of a whole there with respect to obstruction of justice. i would expect that robert mola's team will look at that as well stop what you are not the first to draw the comparison with watergate. we really getting into that sort of territory with this?
well, every political scandal is different. watergate certainly was a very difficult period in the united states. but it was not as dramatic and did not involve the intervention ofa and did not involve the intervention of a foreign power in our political system, much less russia. the watergate break—in was a sloppy burglary dropped. by some people who really didn't know what they were doing. it wasn't done by the kgb or something like that. this is on a larger scale, it involves our national security as well is just the usual dirty tricks of politics. and unfortunately, the president'sreaction has been a lot more emotional than president nixon was, at least during most of his term, towards the end of his term, president nixon started to fall apart emotionally, and that was quite difficult. but this has been a problem since the very beginning of his presidency. it is having a severe psychological impact on the
president, which is most u nfortu nate. president, which is most unfortunate. richard painter, accompanied by a canary, a budgie or accompanied by a canary, a budgie or a parrot? we have got some parrots rack in the other room, well, it is hear from you rack in the other room, well, it is hearfrom you all, oh, and the dog as well, thank you! in a moment, a summary of the business news this hour. but first, the headlines on bbc news... ireland's prime minister says the clock is ticking on brexit, and challenges britain to find a solution for the key issue of the irish border the investigation intensifies in washington. a grand jury is called to look into claims that russia interfered in the election of president trump. the world's most expensive footballer, neymar, is finally unveiled at paris st—germain. in the business news... for the fourth month running this year, new car sales have fallen — a drop of 9% betweenjune and july.
and for the first time, the society of motor manufacturers and traders, which collects the figures, has blamed the fall on a drop in business and consumer confidence. royal bank of scotland, rbs, made over £900 million in profit in the last six months. and it said its moving about 150 staff to amsterdam after brexit. but the bank, still 73% owned by the tax—payer, may not make a full—year profit. it all depends on how much it has to pay out in legal costs in court cases in the us that relate to the 2008 financial crisis. one of the uk's biggest business lobby groups has urged the cabinet to stop "dancing around the edges" of brexit. the institute of directors — it has about 30,000 members — has criticised the cabinet for engaging in what it called "a range of speculative arguments over transition". it warned that without agreement, business faces "short—term chaotic cliff edges". good afternoon.
new research from the federation of small businesses shows the majority, 6a%, of small firms impacted by the national living wage have stretched to meet the latest rise by taking lower profits. two in five, 39%, small businesses affected by the national living wage have put up prices to cope with the latest increase to £7.50 per hour. alan soady is from the federation of small businesses. good afternoon, alan. alan, the hike in the national living wage was always going to mean adjustment, particuarly for smaller business. is this notjust teething problems? well, my organisation, the fsb, has been supportive of first of all the minimum wage, all the way back to when it's got it in 1999, and in the gospels longer—term plan towards 2020 of increasing the living wage. —— the goverment‘s longer term plan. ata time —— the goverment‘s longer term plan. at a time when the cost of doing
businesses, a lot of our members with employees are having to absorb the cost of the extra living wage, the cost of the extra living wage, the rise to £7 50 per hour, within their profits. some are having to put up prices and some buying that they are having to give staff fewer hours or even that they are recruiting as many staff as they would have done. that is worrying for the economy and shows the kind of support that businesses need. the good news is that more than half of small businesses already pay all of their staff above the living wage. but there can be a ripple effects. even though £110 an hour you might expect a rise in line with their collea g u es expect a rise in line with their colleagues here on the living wage —— even those on £10 per hour. we've got inflation at 2.6% — that's considerably higher than it was at the start of the year. £7.50 per hour does not seem unreasonable? what is the alternative? no, as i say, we have been supportive of the idea of there being a floor beneath which the living wage will not go. the key is to look at the pressures
on smaller businesses across the board, not just the on smaller businesses across the board, notjust the national living wage increases, some are facing big rise in business rates, rent has gone up, many have had to enrolled staff on a pension scheme through or enrolment. when you take it all together, some are feeling the squeeze. together, some are feeling the squeeze. one of our members from the cafe and said the only person in there who is not more above the national wage is him, the business owner. once he has paid all of his costs, staff and rent he can only afford to pay himself about £a per roll. it could be that the goverment‘s looking at the extra cost in terms of the wage bill and then offset. what are we going to see in terms of the number of businesses in one year's time if this continues? well, the risk is that if it impacts on smaller businesses investing and growing, at a time, frankly, where they really need all the support they can get at the time of economic uncertainty,
for brexit to be a success it is important for small businesses to be given all of the encouragement that they can, it would be very bad to see the opposite of that and also it would mean potentially fewerjobs and few hours for those who are in work. it needs to be looked at in terms of the overall cost of doing business. we think, looking a few yea rs business. we think, looking a few years ahead to the target the government has four 2020, we think the government needs to keep on the table the idea that if there are very poor economic indicators as we get towards that, there should be a willingness perhaps to delay that they do little bit. thanks very much, alan soady from the federation of small businesses. some other business stories we've been following... supermarket giant aldi has withdrawn all eggs from sale from its stores in germany as they may have been contaminated by insecticide. tests showed that the chemical fipronil, which can harm people's kidneys, liver and thyroid glands, was found in eggs from the netherlands. fipronil is used to treat lice and ticks in chickens. about 180 poultry farms in the netherlands have been temporarily shut in recent days
while investigations are held. uk interest rates may have to go up by more than the market expects in the future — that's according to the the bank of england's deputy governor, ben broadbent. he told the bbc the drop in sterling following the brexit vote had fuelled inflation and that there was a "trade off between stabilising inflation and keeping the economy going". but he said the uk was "a little bit" better placed to cope with an interest rate rise. uber has said it could've done more to pull unsafe cars off the road in singapore. there have been allegations it rented out faulty vehicles to drivers. us media reported yesterday that uber was aware of a honda vezel recall when it purchased more than 1,000 vezels that were then leased to drivers. one of these cars caught fire injanuary, according to the report. let's have a look at the markets
before we go. the ftse100 is in the green. the biggest fault is today are house—builders —— the biggest fault is. shares in house—builders have fallen after a report raised the prospect of the government's help to buy scheme being wound down ahead of schedule. the scheme, which aims to help first—time buyers, is to be reviewed, according to a report in property week. it said the review could look at tapering the system ahead of its scheduled closure in april 2021. among the house—builders on the ftse 100, persimmon and barratt fell, while taylor wimpey dropped. that's all the business news for now, i'll be back in an hour. in the next few minutes, we will ta ke in the next few minutes, we will take you to washington. we are waiting to hear from the attorney general, jeff sessions. he is giving a news conference updating on their effo rts a news conference updating on their efforts to crack down on media lea ks, efforts to crack down on media leaks, which efforts to crack down on media lea ks, which have efforts to crack down on media leaks, which have dogged the administration of donald trump. he will bejoined by administration of donald trump. he will be joined by the deputy attorney general and the national director of counterterrorism. we
will bring you that briefing when it gets underway, we are expecting it in the next five minutes or so. the headlines coming up as well, but at first let's get the weather update. it has been pleasant today compared to yesterday. the winds light although it has still been windy, not as gusty as yesterday. the reason for the area of low pressure pulling away, bringing strongly winds. i pressure through the weekend, certainly into next week, it becomes a bigger player —— high pressure. the showers have been focused across south—western areas of england and also across scotland, through the afternoon periods. some of them have been quite heavy, plenty of sunshine precentral parts. the showers tending to die away for the first part of the night. then they will return later on. for scotland, and certainly across western parts of wales. this cluster of showers is going to move in
through the day, we could see some downpours in wales, the midlands, southern, south—eastern and eastern england. thunderstorms and hails as well, gusty winds as the showers move along. they will clear way into the afternoon. the middle part of the afternoon. the middle part of the afternoon, things are still looking showery for scotland and northern ireland, sunshine in between them. further south we will see very heavy showers, becoming confined towards east anglia in the afternoon. a few showers around, but nothing is heavy, it will move through the morning and the first pa rt through the morning and the first part of the afternoon. temperature wise, a notch down on today's, around 21 celsius will be the high. showers clear away, most places turned right, a ridge of high pressure built in. it is going to turn quite chilly through saturday night, maybe a touch of frost and one 01’ night, maybe a touch of frost and one or two night, maybe a touch of frost and one 01’ two showers. night, maybe a touch of frost and one or two showers. there is the ridge of high pressure in for sunday. this feature will bring
wetter and windier weather to northern ireland, western scotland is the day progresses. the sky is clouding over. for the bulk of the country, much of central and eastern parts, it was the dry all day with some brightness, it will feel very pleasa nt some brightness, it will feel very pleasant and winds will be like. monday, the weather front sinks further south east, we can in, bringing patchy rain, it never quite reaches the south—east, steyn will staying dry all day in the south—east. the new week starts showery with outbreaks of rain. midweek onwards, the area of high pressure exerted its force and becomes drier. we can see an increasing amount of sunshine is, so good news on the horizon. in this is bbc news. i'm simon mccoy. the headlines at apm. ireland's prime minister says the clock is ticking on brexit and challenges britain to find a solution for the key issue of the irish border. i do not underestimate for a second the enormity of the challenges we face.
the probe into russian interference in last year's presidential election intensifies as the man investigating appoints a grand jury. the russia story is a totalfabrication. it's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of american politics. four members of a police helicopter crew are found not guilty of filming people sunbathing naked and engaging in sexual acts. the world's most expensive footballer, neymar, is unveiled at paris st—germain. he says it's about more than money. translation: i was never motivated by money.