tv World News Today BBC News November 5, 2017 9:00pm-9:31pm GMT
this is bbc world news today. our top stories. at least 27 people are thought to have been killed in the texas town of sutherland springs after a mass shooting at a church. we went running outside when we heard the shots and then we looked at each other and said ‘i'm not going to be outside for bullets to fly‘ because we heard ricochet. we know that there are multiple churchgoers dead and that the gunman is also deceased. a huge new leak of financial documents — known as the paradise papers — has revealed how the powerful and wealthy secretly invest vast amounts of money in offshore tax havens. the bbc panorama programme has discovered that millions of pounds of queen elizabeth's private money is invested in offshore funds based in the cayman islands and bermuda by her private estate, the duchy of lancaster. the papers also disclose how donald trump's commerce secretary has business links with russian allies of president putin who are subject to us sanctions. hello and welcome
to world news today. we start with the breaking news, that police in texas are saying that 27 people have been shot dead in a church in the town of sutherland springs. these are live pictures at the scene. sutherland springs is a small rural town about 50 kilometres south—east of the city of san antonio. this is the church where the shooting happened around midday local time. police emerging from the building. a heavy police presence over the last hour. it looks slightly less so but we understand eyewitnesses say that about 20 shots we re eyewitnesses say that about 20 shots were fired in quick succession during the morning service at the first baptist church in sutherland springs. us media say that the
gunman walked in and began shooting. the local sheriffs officers say that the gunman had been "taken down" by the gunman had been "taken down" by the police. it's being reported by local officials that 27 people have been killed and 25 injured but that hasn't been confirmed yet. there is still a heavy police presence with the area cordoned off. 0ne witness, carrie — who works at a shop close to the church — told cbs news what she'd heard and seen. i'm about 50 yards away. there's a row of houses. we went running outside when we heard the shots and then we looked at each other and said ‘i'm not going to be outside for bullets to fly' because we heard ricochet. so we went back into the store and we had a couple of customers in there and we made sure that they were safe and everything. and then the owner decided to go ahead and close the store for a while just to make sure because he was on the run and we didn't want a situation
here where the safety of our customers was jeopardised."> of our customers was jeopardised. president from is on the first leg of his asian tour but he has tweeted about the shooting —— president trump. let's get more from our correspondent barbara plett—usher who's in washington. what more details do we have? we are beginning to get a picture of what happened according to a witness from the petrol station across the street who heard gunfire at about 11:30am local time, roughly half an hour after the church service started. we understand the gunman just walked in and opened fire. again, the witness said it sounded like a semiautomatic weapon. it seems to have a lot of damage. local officials say 27 could
be dead, 25 could be injured. this isa be dead, 25 could be injured. this is a very small church, people have said it doesn't normally have a convocation of much more than 50 a nyway convocation of much more than 50 anyway so if the numbers are correct, pretty much everyone who was present may have been killed or injured. we're waiting to get the official confirmation of that. we also understand there was a chase after the attack, the gunman took off in after the attack, the gunman took offina after the attack, the gunman took off in a vehicle with the police behind him. it was a short chase and he was killed. it's not clear if he killed himself or whether he was killed himself or whether he was killed by police. at the moment the police are only talking about one attacker but we're waiting for details about who he was and what the motive may have been. thank you for joining the motive may have been. thank you forjoining us. sue calberg is a reporter with san antonia television station kens 5. she is at the scene of the shooting. we know that there are multiple churchgoers dead and that the gunman is also deceased. they've
established a perimeter at first baptist church in sutherland springs and they are beginning the long arduous task of processing what is a very awful scene. the pastorfrom the church down the street says that when they were in church, that's when they were in church, that's when they were in church, that's when they got word that their friends had been attacked. he said that there was a deputy in the church, nurses, otherfirst responders, pagers and started going and they stopped what they were doing. friends and neighbours, they ran to assist and found a scene of carnage which is when the ambulances first arrived. people from many amenities in the wilson county area and the surrounding counties. they need is so great. the pastor says that the gathering here, family and friends, waiting for word and says that everyone in this small
community is going to know the names of every single person who was killed. there are said to be numerous small children among the dead. a local reporter with the latest. we'll return to that story later. it's one of the biggest ever leaks of offshore secrets. 13 million documents, mostly from an offshore law firm called appleby. they are known as the paradise papers and they reveal the tax affairs of rich and powerful people around the world. they've been obtained by the german newspaper sudeutsche zeitung and shared with the international consortium of investigativejournalists, including, in the uk, the guardian and the bbc‘s panorama programme. they show how the duchy of lancaster, which is the queen's private estate, invested around £10 million offshore. some of the money went into the off licence chain threshers which later went bust owing more than £17 million in tax. and a small amount went into brighthouse, the hire purchase company that's been accused of charging inflated interest rates.
the leaked documents also reveal that this man — wilbur ross, donald trump's friend and commerce secretary — has business ties with russian allies of president putin who are subject to us sanctions. and they suggest lord ashcroft, the donor and former deputy chairman of britain's conservative party may have ignored rules around how his offshore investments were managed. other papers suggest he retained his non—domiciled status while in the house of lords, despite reports he'd become a permanent tax resident in the uk. it's important to say that tax avoidance is not illegal, but it is controversial, and these latest revelations are bound to fuel the political debate around offshore tax havens and whether governments should do more to clamp down on them. richard bilton from the bbc panorama team has this report. it is an island paradise but there is a lot more to bermuda than just beaches and the sun. it is a tax haven, secrecy and 0% tax rates. one of the world's biggest offshore
companies, appleby, is based here. 7 million documents have been leaked. for months, we had to carry out secret research. that's the head office. we have to be very careful at this stage of the investigation. appleby don't know that we have their data. but now we can report what goes on here. the leak is known as the paradise papers. it contains some of the biggest names in britain. like the queen's private estate. the queen's investments are handled by the duchy of lancaster. now, because of the files, we can see where some of the money was going. £10 million was invested in tax havens, with $7.5 million in one fund in the cayman islands.
it is perfectly legal and there is no suggestion tax was being avoided but should the monarch‘s cash be going offshore? if the money has been invested in a tax haven i would have thought it would be extremely embarrassing for the royal family. we expect higher standards of the queen in terms of where the investments are located. the duchy told us: the paradise papers also expose a new link between president trump's government and the russians. you know who that is, right? it's wilbur ross, president trump's commerce secretary. this is in gennady timchenko, the sanctioned friend of president putin. we have found that these two men have a business link. wilbur ross said that he cut ties with companies that
could compromise his new role in the us government. your service has resulted in your divesting yourself of literally hundreds of millions of dollars. you did it to avoid any conflict of interest, correct? that is correct. we don't think that is correct. we have discovered mr ross has a stake in a shipping company called navigator holdings. one of its major clients is sibur, a russian energy company. gennady timchenko is a shareholder who was tangent by the us gennady timchenko is a shareholder who was sanctioned by the us government in 2014. you don't want to get known as somebody who plays footsy or walks up to the line with sanctioned individuals. if you know anything about the russians it's that under the current system, it's easy to get dirty. don't go there, man, don't go there. mr ross told us that none of the funds he managed ever owned
a majority of navigator's shares and he never met timchenko. there are revelations closer to home. i, michael, lord ashcroft, do swear by almighty god. lord ashcroft was the tory deputy chairman and gave millions to the party but what we found in the files could leave him facing a tax bill of tens of millions. a series of payments totalling around $200 million were made to him from a trust in bermuda. to avoid tax, the trust, called punta gorda, must act independently, if lord ashcroft avoided the rules, he could face a big bill from the taxman. e—mails seen by our suggest a rising sense of frustration from the trustees that lord ashcroft was not playing by the rules.
it looks like lord ashcroft was controlling the trust and expecting trustees to rubber—stamp his decisions. he didn't answer written questions, so i caught up with him at the tory conference. did you have tens of millions in an offshore trust that you secretly controlled? did that mean you could avoid millions in tax? why don't you talk to me, it would be great to hear your view. it was the punta gorda trust. his lawyers made said that i had started shouting something at him by which time lord ashcroft had walked away and heard nothing of what i said. we've done about a mile and a half, we could have been sponsored. despite the questions, lord ashcroft wouldn't give us his side.
i'm not going to follow you in there, sir. about the leak, appleby said it does not specialise in tax, that these are sensitive documents relating to appleby and its clients. these are the first names from the paradise papers but there are more to come from this extraordinary leak. so what are offshore investment funds — and why are they so controversial? well our economics editor kamal ahmed now explains for centuries, britain has been a centre for global finance, focused here, on the city of london. that is seen here, on the city of london. that is seen as many here, on the city of london. that is seen as many by being good for our economy and the development of global trade. to support that we allowed companies to set up in the uk and not be taxed here. our imperial past is also important. crown dependencies overseas
territories, places likejersey and guernsey and the isle of man, which have an arm's length relationship with us and have based their economy on the low tax offers to companies and individuals, to hold some of their wealth there. others are more far—flung, places like gibraltar, as well as bermuda, the british virgin islands, the cayman islands, and turks in chaos. the cayman islands, and turks and gaicos. such places insist they are good for growth, as they allow firms and individuals to avoid being taxed multiple times by different countries. there have been a lot of new rules on transparency as well. but they are not criticised for being too secret. too weak on regulation, and too open to corruption. critics say the laws have also failed to keep up with global companies which can move vast
amounts of money around the world at the touch of a computer key. we are not the only ones who have used tax competition and light touch regulation to lure companies to our shores. 0ther countries that have been criticised include switzerland, singapore, and america, which has low tax systems in many of its states. there is also an important distinction to remember when speaking about tax havens. tax evasion is illegal, while tax avoidance is using legal structures to reduce tax levels. how much could tax avoidance be worth to the national exchequers like the treasury? well, globally anything between £75 billion and £180 billion. many now believe that avoidance has become so controversial there needs to be a complete change to global tax laws, so the taxes are paid
in the country where the firm or the individual is based. that would mean the total tax take would go up, which some might disagree with, but public controversy would probably die down. i'm joined now by tom keatinge, the director of the centre for financial crime and security studies at rusi. thank you forjoining us. as we heard, nothing has been found in these papers that is illegal but to many tax avoidance is controversial. do you think it is wrong?|j many tax avoidance is controversial. do you think it is wrong? i think we've arrived at a place where perception is perhaps almost as important as the legal situation. the fact is that if you have enough money to pay expensive accountants, you can set up schemes to avoid tax as opposed to evade tax but that's not something that is open to everybody, not open to the man on the street or stop it is for people who campaign accountants and others to minimise the tax bill. did
anything change after the last set of papers, the panama papers, which revealed a certain amount of tax avoidance by people and companies? there was a lot of sound and theory but i don't think much has changed. the european parliament conducted an enquiry but unless the big global governments, the uk in particular, get around the table and say that we wa nt to get around the table and say that we want to bring transparency to the operations of overseas territories and other places around the world, nothing will change. places like the uk must take leadership. you would think that there is a big financial incentive for them to do that. why don't they take more action? for the uk, the overseas territories represent a burden. this is good business for those territories and so business for those territories and so the question is, what would replace that business if it went away? maiga would be that transparency doesn't mean the business must stop, it must be done ina way business must stop, it must be done in a way that everyone can see and understand. we know that the un have
urged countries to get together. do they need to take action?|j urged countries to get together. do they need to take action? i don't think that the united nations is the forum. in the tax world, standards that require sharing arbitration between countries to make sure you up between countries to make sure you up paying yourfair share, the 0ecd has taken the lead. it is the rich countries, the g20, that must show leadership here. thank you for joining us. stay with us on bbc world news, still to come... more on the paradise papers. we'll hear how how donald trump's commerce secretary has business links with russian allies of president putin who are subject to us sanctions. the israeli prime minister yet sacrae bean, the architect of the middle east peace process, has been
assassinated. a 27—year—old jewish man has been arrested and an extremist organisation has claimed responsibility for the killing. at the polling booth to the country they voted an historic day for australia. the result was clear, the monarchy would survive. there was no sign of the hostages, they are being held somewhere inside the compound and student leaders have threatened that if america attempts rescue, they will all die. this has surpassed all expectations, voyager one is the most distant man—made object anywhere in the universe and it seems to keep on going. tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the scale of our wealth barred from the scale of our wealth barred from the scale of our wealth barred from the enduring power of our ideals. —— but from. the latest headlines.
there's been a shooting at a church in texas where is believed as many as 27 people have been killed and 20 injured. andy moore, our correspondent, joins us. what more details do we have? reports that children are among the dead and injured. a two—year—old child is reported to be among the injured, a 14—year—old girl, the daughter of the pastor, is said to be among the dead. also among the dead, the gunman. there are reports he was killed after a police chase in a neighbouring county. we now hear that he was found dead in his vehicle, it's unclear whether he had shot himself or was shot by police. he hasn't been identified. there's no indication that terrorism is in any way. we expect an update from the department of public safety in texas. a response from donald trump
who is on a visit to asia. he said, may god be with the people of southern springs. the fbi and law—enforcement are on the scene, i am monitoring the situation from japan. we know that a number of casualties are being taken to a nearby hospital. there are reports from a local official of 27 dead and more than 20 injured, which would be pretty much everybody inside the church. it is relatively small, only 50 or 60 in the congregation, in a community of about 400 people. small town, this would affect everybody. details coming in but we know that people were evacuated to nearby hospitals. a swift release of the —— swift police operation. quick response from emergency services, we seem quick response from emergency services, we seem tv pictures showing a lot of emergency vehicles —— we've seen. many casualties were
taken to the connelly medical centre which has confirmed they received some casualties but they haven't said anything about their condition. we expect perhaps over the next hour an on camara statement from the department of safety in texas and that may give us more detail about what happened. thank you forjoining us. more now on the paradise papers — and focus on one of president trump's key aides, the us commerce secretary wilbur ross. the paradise papers show that mr ross has an interest in navigator holdings, a shipping company which earns millions a year transporting oil and gas for the russian energy firm sibur. two russians, who are shareholders in sibur, are currently subject to various forms of sanction by the united states. one of them is this man, leonid mikhelson. the other is gennady timchenko, who is an old friend of president putin. a separate connection between the kremlin and sibur is that another of the company's shareholders — kirill shamalov — is married to the president's daughter.
the commerce department spokesman said mr ross had never met the three russian shareholders. gerard ryle is the director of the international consortium of investigativejournalists, he joins me from washington. thank you forjoining us. tell us what your assessment is of what's come out today. well, some of the revelations are almost too bizarre to be true. when we started finding these things out, we started researching the story nearly one year ago and 400 journalists including the bbc have worked in secret. there are times when our collective breath has been taken because we can't believe what we've seen because we can't believe what we've seen but it appears to be true. where has the information come from? it comes from 21 different sources. there are 19 registries from different secret jurisdictions around the world and we have documents from two firms who specialise in setting up offshore
accou nts specialise in setting up offshore accounts for which people. one is in singapore and one is primarily based in bermuda. this is a very different document to what we've seen before because it's very high end. it is the richest people and companies in the richest people and companies in the world and there is more to come out. the law firm at the centre of it, appleby, call it an illegal computer hack. what's your response? we don't know where the documents came from, they went to the german use paper, sueddeutsche zeitun, the same use paper, sueddeutsche zeitun, the same paper by got the panama papers. they came into the suddeutsche zeitung and they shared them with the icij, and they shared them with journalists from nearly 67 countries around the world. one of the reasons given for offshore investments is that it keeps your investment secret, but do you think that these lea ks now call secret, but do you think that these leaks now call into question the whole industry becoming less
attractive for those who want to shift their wealth overseas? there's no doubt about that. every time something like this happens, it's an attack on the industry. it only has one product, secrecy. after that they don't have anything else to sell. the reason that people go offshore to tax havens like these is to keep their things private and every time a journalist gets a hold of these kind of documents, they are so of these kind of documents, they are so rich in detail, it would have to tear away at their product. thank you forjoining us. stay with us. we'll keep you up to date on the breaking news from texas. it's believed 27 people have been killed ina believed 27 people have been killed in a shooting at a baptist church in the last few hours. you can get in touch on twitter. that's it from me for now. par two of the weekend, dry and
bright for many of us, apart from a couple of showers but noticeably colder. it will be a cold bonfire night but at least it will be dry. temperatures falling away under the clear skies. by around dawn we are looking at temperatures in the countryside around —1, —2 but as low as —4, —6 for some, along with mist and fog. we start monday on a very cold and frosty node across parts of england and wales. mist and fog clearing away. a change in the north and west as a weather front comes in bringing more cloud and rain and wind. some of the cloud by the afternoon will reach the south west of england and parts of wales, and spots of light rain, temperatures slowly lifting, 11 or 12 degrees. the midlands will be dry with sunny spells but quite cold. north—west
england, into scotland and northern ireland, a lot of cloud by the afternoon and the rain starting to pile up across the north and west of scotland, becoming heavier and the wind stronger too. milder air will continue to push ahead of the rain band as it trundles east during the course of monday night. a little bit of snow over the high ground of scotland. temperatures, a much more mild night compared to previously. turning colder across the far north—west. this mild air, very brief because the next plunge of cold air will be behind the weather front as it slowly clears its way east through the course of tuesday. tuesdayis east through the course of tuesday. tuesday is quite wet for many southern and eastern areas, windy too but it will bring in the milder air. the rain clearing away, hanging in the south—east but behind that, dry with scattered showers, turning colder and a bit milder with the
rain. the rain front eventually moves away and we see high pressure building on wednesday before the next weather front moves in on thursday. quite a flip—flop kind of week. wednesday looks dry, bright, quite cold with a frosty start. first they come thursday, more cloud and showers. this is bbc world news, the headlines. reports from texas say at least 27 people have been killed by a gunman at a church in the town of sutherland springs. about 25 people are reported to have been injured in the incident, about 50 kilometres south—east of the city of san antonio. a local sheriff said the gunman had been, as he put it, taken down. there's a heavy police presence in the small town, which is home to about four—hundred people. in other news, a huge new leak of financial documents — known as the paradise papers — has revealed how the powerful and wealthy secretly invest vast amounts of money in offshore tax havens. among the findings, the bbc panorama programme has discovered that millions of pounds of queen elizabeth's private money is invested in offshore funds based
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