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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 21, 2018 5:00am-5:31am BST

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this is bbc news. i'm nkem ifejika. our top stories: questions surface after reports that donald trump's former lawyer secretly recorded him discussing payments to silence former playboy model karen mcdougal, just months before the us election. police confirm nine members of the same family were among those killed when a tourist duck boat sank during a storm in missouri. with just months left to finalize a brexit deal, the eu's chief negotiator says there is progress, but there's still work to be done. and europe's life—hunting mars rover needs a new name. could this be rover mcroverface? hello and welcome to the programme.
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donald trump's former lawyer michael cohen secretly recorded his client discussing payments to a former playboy model — that's according to a us media report. the tapes were reportedly discovered during an fbi raid on mr cohen's property. the new york times reports that on the recording — mr trump and mr cohen discuss paying karen mcdougal. she says she had a 10—month affair with donald trump in 2006. the tape was reportedly made two months before the election. the bbc‘s chris buckler in washington has this report. karen mcdougal was a model of hugh hefner polls playboy magazine and she claimed she had an affair with donald trump that lasted for months. their alleged relationship took place a decade before mr trump ran the president but in the months leading up to that vote, karen mcdougal sold her story to a tabloid newspaper. the national enquirer,
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owned by one of donald trump make friends, never published it. his campaign team denied knowing anything about the payment that it seems donald trump did talk about it with this man, his former lawyer and so—called fixer michael cohen who is currently under investigation for a series of possible offences. in a raid on mr cohen's officers, fbi agents apparently seized a secret recording in which mr trump discussed with his lawyer the possibility of paying money to keep karen mcdougal quiet, perhaps by buying the rights to her story. the president left washington for a week and one of his golf clubs without answering that question. but payments to bury embarrassing stories about an election candidate could potentially be seen as breaking campaign finance laws. although his representatives insist that no cash was actually handed over. in a statement, michael cohen's own lawyer said: donald trump's political opponents
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are also still trying to discover exactly what he said to vladimir putin during their private meeting in helsinki amid the controversy over plans to invite the russian president to the white house this autumn. they believe there is a possibility that mr trump's own words could yet come back to haunt him. chris buchler, bbc news, washington. —— chris buckler, bbc news, washington. it's emerged that nine members of the same family were killed when when a tourist boat sank during a storm in the american state of missouri. in total, 17 people died, including several children. 31 people were on board the amphibious vessel, known as a ‘duck boat', when it overturned in strong winds on table rock lake, near the town of branson. our north america correspondent james cook reports. man: oh, this is not good.
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this duck boat made it back to the shore. the passengers, not wearing life jackets, apparently unaware of quite how much danger they were in. woman: oh, no. oh, my god. further out, a second duck boat was in bigger trouble, unable to cope with the blast from a severe thunderstorm. of the 31 on board, just 14 survived, brought ashore in shock. among the dead was a i—year—old baby. woman: emts - tell one of the emts, please. the missouri government said that nine of the dead were from one family, and two other family members survived. again, i say it's been a long night, a very trying night. and please keep all of the families involved and all the first responder personnel in your thoughts and prayers. now the questions.
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a weather warning had been issued, so why were the boats on the water? and were the passengers wearing personal flotation devices, or pfds? it has happened so quick. i guess everybody should have had a pfd a little closer, i don't know. they were up over our head when we rode in it. you don't think that stuff like that's going to happen and then, man, it happened. based on the amphibious landing craft of the second world war, duck boats are popular with tourists, but their safety record is now under scrutiny. worldwide, more than a0 people have died in accidents involving them in the past 20 years. this is just the latest in a long line of tragedies. james cook, bbc news. i've been speaking to jeffrey goodman, whose law firm has represented people injured in past duck boat accidents. he told me more about the safety of these amphibious vehicles. the main issue with the duck boats is the canopies that come on these
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boats, and that's been the one consistent theme in all the accidents. going back to 1999 in arkansas, the miss majestic duck boat sank in a river, and the same thing happened in philadelphia unfortunately in 2010, and the same thing happened in missouri. what happens with these duck boats, given the canopy above these passengers, when the duck boat sinks, the passengers are drawn up into the canopy and it drags them down with the boat. so whether they're wearing their pfds, their personal flotation devices, or whether they're not, they have no ability to get out of the trap of the canopy. that canopy makes these duck boats death traps. where does the transportation board stand on these vehicles? the national transportation safety board, when they investigated the miss majestic disaster, came out with the safety recommendation that the canopies must be removed.
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unfortunately, the ntsb doesn't have the authority to command anything. it was merely a safety recommendation. it is a recommendation the industry ignored, and it is the ignoring of that recommendation which is why people continue to die from these duck boats. you have very strong views on them. you feel that they should be banned, taken off the roads and seas? they should be, whether online or on water. 0n land, they have problems because they have a bow unlike any other vehicle on the road that creates massive blind spots. they have run over pedestrians, they have run over scooters, they have crashed in the process. they are no safer on the land than in the water. in the water, they have no
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stability, they tend to capsize, they tend to sink and they drag passengers down with them. the best way to promote tourism is not by killing tourists and unfortunately, that's what these duck boats have done time and time again. that's why, for eight years since it killed two tourists in philadelphia, we've been calling for a ban across the globe and unfortunately, the industry hasn't been listening, and this is another sad reminder of that. the israeli army has launched a number of bombardments on what it describes as military targets across the gaza strip in response to what it says was gunfire aimed at israeli troops. health officials in gaza say four palestinians have been killed in the latest violence. the new escalation of fighting comes as palestinians have been holding another friday of protests on the gaza side of the fence with israel. the eu's chief negotiator michel barnier has questioned whether the british prime minister's latest proposals for trade after the uk leaves
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the european union are workable. earlier, theresa may used a speech to urge the eu to evolve its position on the irish border issue. 0ur deputy political editor john pienaar has the latest. the protesters often turn out for theresa may but the problems of brexit follow her everywhere. today, she was in belfast with a plea and a promise — a promise there would be no hard irish border when the uk leaves, and a plea to the eu. she had compromised on her brexit plan. now, it was brussels‘s turn. the white paper represents a significant development of our position. it is a coherent package. it is now for the eu to respond, not simply to fall back onto previous positions, which have already been proven unworkable. in brussels the stage was set for an important moment. how would the
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compromises go down. eu foreign ministers had met and set the tone — wary, not convinced, at least not yet. i will remain an optimist, but it's hard to be an optimist in these challenging times. we will work on the basis of our principles and see to what extent our british partner fully gets it, including the british parliament. then, it was the negotiator‘s turn. he wasn't ready to buy britain's offer as it stood, but he was willing to talk. "there are several elements that open the way to a constructive discussion," he said, but his doubts and questions piled up. how could britain trade with europe's single market without following the same rules? what about protecting eu consumers? and, in plain english, the eu was ready to contemplate the outcome many fear most — talks ending in no agreement. even if you want to reach a deal, it is also our responsibility to be prepared for all scenarios, including no deal. as the european council said, we have to step up preparation
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at all levels for all scenarios. this was no moment of breakthrough and it was never likely to be. there will be some relief in government that the british plan wasn't dismissed out of hand. but now, the going gets really tough. brussels will want more concessions and there were some mps who are already plotting mutiny when and if those concessions are made. as things stand, senior figures on all sides are telling me it is hard to see mrs may's blueprint getting through parliament in the autumn. as mps prepare for their summer break, brexit looks like a crisis waiting to happen. it also ensures that there isn't a border effectively down the irish sea. if only all talks are as friendly as this. but nothing is easyjust now — not her party, not parliament, not brussels, not brexit. certainly not brexit. john pienaar, bbc news. the us secretary of state mike pompeo has urged members of the un security council to maintain economic pressure on north korea
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until it acts on its promise to give up nuclear weapons. mr pompeo said pyongyang was still evading sanctions by smuggling fuel into the country, mainly by transfers at sea. the countries of the security council are united on the need for final, fully verified denuclearisation of north korea, as agreed to by chairman kim. strict enforcement of sanctions is critical to achieving this goal. members of the un security council and, by extension, all un member states, have unanimously agreed to fully enforce sanctions on north korea and we expect them to continue to honour those commitments. when sanctions are not enforced, the prospects for the successful denuclearisation of north korea are diminished. right now, north korea is illegally smuggling petroleum products into the country at a level that far exceeds the quotas established by the united nations. stay with us on bbc news.
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still to come: how years of political and economic crisis in venezuela has taken its toll on a world heritage site that's one of the nation's most cherished institutions. 0k, coming down the ladder now. that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. a catastrophic engine fire is being blamed tonight for the first crash in the 30—year history of concorde, the world's only supersonic airliner. it was one of the most vivid symbols of the violence and hatred that tore apart the state of yugoslavia. but now, a decade later, it's been painstakingly rebuilt and opens again today. there's been a 50% decrease in sperm quantity and an increase in malfunctioning sperm, unable to swim properly.
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thousands of households across the country are suspiciously quiet this lunchtime as children bury their noses in the final instalment of harry potter. this is bbc world news. our main story this hour: questions surface after reports that donald trump's former lawyer secretly recorded him, discussing payments to silence former playboy model karen mcdougal — just months before the us election. let's get more on that now. julia manchester is a journalist at the political website the hill. she told me more about the significance of this latest revelation. right, so the issue here
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is the timing of all of this. basically, we now know that the fbi has a recording that michael cohen took of a conversation that he had president trump prior to the 2016 elections, in the weeks before it, of him trying to keep karen mcdougal quiet about the story she had tried to sell to the national enquirer about her affair with donald trump. now, it doesn't seem like it is illegal. however, if there was an intent to try and help president trump win the election somehow, and that this would somehow aid him, then we get into some tricky, murky legal waters there as to the legality of all of it. and so this is, you know, the ways of... i guess if the money is to try and help donald trump win an election, then it becomes an issue of campaign finance. is that correct? yes, that is correct. does this — did president trump know that he was being recorded at this time? according to his attorney, rudy giuliani, he did not know that he was being recorded.
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and i think that has raised a lot of questions as to what michael cohen's intent was in all of this, because michael cohen was seen as so loyal to president trump, as his long—time personal attorney and fixer. so i think a lot of people have been shocked by this. sources have told us they don't know why cohen would have brought this up, why cohen would have done this in the first place, so a lot of questions there around intent. what else did rudy giuliani say, as trump's new lawyer, as it were? yes, so rudy giuliani, it seems like he was basically expressing a bit of concern about all this. he said president trump did discuss payment with cohen, did confirm that. however, he did say that he did not know he was being recorded, and that president trump did not engage in any wrongdoing. so a bit of a denial in all of this, in terms of wrongdoing. but it comes back to that question
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of campaignfinance, and if any laws were broken in that regard. in fact, i think rudy giuliani was basically saying that the tapes would exonerate the president. yes, yes, definitely. so i think, you know, giuliani is really — you know, we've seen him be the public face of the president's defence in all of this, and sometimes his messaging does not always line up with the president's messaging in all of this. so i think he's trying to put out a bit of a confidence boost for the president, in saying that, ok, if these tapes are released, they're not going to show anything wrong, because he didn't do anything wrong, according to giuliani. however, he does say there was the discussion of the payment, and that could raise some eyebrows. more than 100 million pakistanis will head to the polls next week to choose their next leader. the former cricketer imran khan is running to become the country's next prime minister. but campaigning has been overshadowed by claims that pakistan's military is backing mr khan, by cracking down on his political rivals. secunder kermani reports from lahore. they've come to see the man
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they hope will be the next prime minister. cricketer turned populist politician imran khan tells the crowd he'll create a new, corru ption—free pakistan. but he's been forced to deny allegations elections are being fixed in favour of his pti party. what you are seeing is all these status—quo parties suddenly saying that, you know, the election is not going to be free and fair. the reason is all the opinion polls now show pti is going surging up, and so they're already seeing the writing on the wall. the reason why they're going to lose is because of the track record. pakistan has been directly ruled by the military, rather than politicians, for nearly half its existence. the country's now had ten years of civilian rule, one of the longest periods in its history, but there's growing concern that behind the scenes, the pakistani military is still pulling the strings and is trying to manipulate the results of this election. former prime minister nawaz sharif,
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imran khan's main rival, was sentenced to ten years in jail earlier this month by an anti—corruption court. he couldn't prove where the money came from to buy these central london flats. many believe he was once corrupt, but is only being punished now because he clashed with the army when in power. ijoined sharif as he flew back to pakistan last week. he was damning about the build—up to the elections. 0ur party workers are being arrested by the thousands. and, er... the loyalties of our party men were forcibly changed, and they were asked to leave our party and join mr imran khan's party.
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this amounts to a massive pre—poll rigging. minutes later, he was arrested. both khan and the military dismiss his claims. but many pakistani journalists say the military isn't allowing them to air sharif‘s side of the story. if you have soundbites expressing people's anger and frustration, those soundbites often don't make it to the screen. i honestly have not seen anything like this in myjournalistic career. even under military dictatorship? even under military dictatorship, no. nawaz sharif‘s party is being led by his brother in his absence. they still have sizeable support, but whoever wins this election, many fear more political instability awaits. facebook has suspended another data collection firm from using its site, while it investigates claims that
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boston—based crimson hexagon may have been using people's information to build surveillance tools. the wall streetjournal has reported that the company worked with a group that had ties with the kremlin, as well as various us government agencies. crimson hexagon says it did not obtain any data inappropriately. a competition has been launched to name a robot being built to explore mars in the future. at the moment, the rover is called exomars but the european space agency hopes the public can come up with something more inspiring, as caroline rigby reports. it is a competition that's, well, out of this world — what to call a robot set to explore mars in 2021. currently called exomars, this six—wheeled rover will travel across the red planet in search of life. capable of drilling to a depth of two metres, it will also look for microbes deep below the surface. it is set to be a fascinating
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mission, and that is why scientists from the european space agency think this little robot deserves a big name. british astronaut tim peake is a leading the hunt, which he hopes will inspire future generations to follow in his footsteps. in america, nasa has previously opted to call its mars rovers names like opportunity and curiosity, and the european space agency has launched a public competition to find something equally inspiring. british astronaut tim peake is a leading the hunt, which he hopes will inspire future generations to follow in his footsteps. if we can encourage them at an early age to start getting interested in science, then that's a great step forward. is always nice to give something inane, especially if it is going on an ambitious journey to the red planet. i don't think we will end up with a boaty mcboatface for the rover. that was the name chosen by
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more than 100,000 people for this polar explorer ship in 2016. but in case you are tempted by the likes of rovery mcroverface, be warned. an export panel will have the final say. —— expert. venezuela is in the grip of a protracted political and economic crisis. years of crippling recession has led to poverty, protests and a brain drain as hundreds of thousands seek a better life abroad. but it's also taken its toll on one of the nation's most cherished institutions, as andy beatt reports. fast fading glories of caracas that pause world renowned botanical gardens. 0ne pause world renowned botanical gardens. one more that of venezuela's desperate decline. as chaos and golf to country and the capital, the gardens have fallen victim to a chronic lack of investment. shortages of water and electricity and repeated looting. translation: the garden was very beautiful. i saw some photographs
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they have here that showjust how beautiful it was. but the recent looting has been devastating. the entire electrical system was stolen, as well as pipes and sprinklers. and let's not even talk about what was inside. all our equipment, computers, lamps, lights. five of the foundation's vehicles were completely ta ken the foundation's vehicles were completely taken apart. unfortunately those vandals have left the garden in or per of all. for 60 years, this was a lush tropical paradise, home to more than 2000 species. as well as lagoons, forests, and the national herbarium. recognised as a unesco world heritage site, there always is of carmen was one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. —— the oasis of calm. now, though, there are few visitors. the gardens have been dry since march and many plants i will be away. —— wilting away.
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plans do not grow without water. even the cacti need water, though people don't believe it. so we've lost many plans. so far in 2018 almost 50% of what was in the main greenhouse has died. staff say they have lost a third of their palm trees in the last few years, and one prized species, the two metre wide sa nta prized species, the two metre wide santa cruz waterloo, has also disappeared and stop —— waterlily. the garden's miniscule budget of 200 million bolivar ‘s isjust $66 on the black market exchange rate. staff have petitioned the government for more resort is. so far without success. “— for more resort is. so far without success. —— resources. now workers have been joined by success. —— resources. now workers have beenjoined by a growing army of volu nteers have beenjoined by a growing army of volunteers to try to turn the tide. despite the efforts, the garden's directors say their task gets more daunting by the day. and thatis gets more daunting by the day. and that is where we leave it. buy. hello.
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some areas were lucky enough to have some useful rain on friday. 0thers, though, just had the cloud, and hardly anything fell from it. and it is looking mainly dry for the weekend, as this nose of high pressure builds in behind that rain—bearing weather system clearing, away south—eastwards. for early risers for saturday morning, a lot of cloud around, rather misty and murky in places, and for england and wales at any stage in the day, anywhere, there's a chance of catching a hit—and—miss shower. though most will avoid them and stay dry with warm sunny spells developing. warm anywhere where you get to see sunshine. not a lot of cloud around for northern scotland and north—east scotland, and thickening further later in the day. this is a picture at 4pm in the afternoon, south to north across the uk, and at this stage parts of southern england and south wales most favoured for an isolated shower, though most stay dry. and again, warm, sunny spells in england and wales, southern and eastern scotland. more cloud for northern ireland,
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western scotland, especially into the north—west, where the breeze is picking up, and a bit of patchy, light rain is starting to move in. but at the golf at carnoustie, as the open continues, a lot of cloud around particularly early in the day. i think some sunny spells will develop. it looks like it'll be a sunnier and warmer day on sunday, but at that stage it looks like the breeze will be perhaps more significant. now, as we go on through saturday evening and overnight, what showers have popped up in england and wales will die away. a few patches of mist and fog around, though most will be with clear spells. more cloud starting to filter into western scotland, and again there'll be a bit of patchy rain the further north you are, and a warmer night to come for scotland and northern ireland compared with friday night. and some spots into the high teens overnight, particularly in south—east england. into sunday then, and a weather system moving in will give some patchy rain towards parts of northern and western scotland, perhaps later in the day into northern ireland, as the cloud feeds in from the north—west. breezier across northern scotland, compared with elsewhere. but, for much of south—east scotland and across england and wales,
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there will be more warm, sunny spells to come, and it's becoming very warm to hot once again, as those temperatures get close to 30 celsius across eastern and south—east england. now, early into next week, this weather system will bring some patchy rain through scotland and northern ireland. ahead of that, though, we draw up some even hotter air to england and wales, so the heatwave is absolutely back on. anywhere getting to see some sunshine next week will be very warm to hot, but again, it's got our weather system early on in the week affecting parts of scotland and northern england. this is bbc news. the headlines: there are reports that us prosecutors have seized a recording of a conversation between donald trump and his former lawyer michael cohen, in which they discuss a payment to former playboy model
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karen mcdougal. the conversation is believed to have ta ken place just before the 2016 presidential election. 17 people, including nine members of one family, are now known to have died when their tourist boat capsized and sank during a sudden storm on a lake in the us state of missouri. another two members of the family were among the 1a people aboard the vessel who survived. the eu's chief brexit negotiator says the british government's proposal have opened "the way to a constructive discussion" but it must be "workable". michel barnier questioned whether the plans for a common rulebook for goods were practical. earlier, theresa may urged the eu to "evolve" its position on brexit. the new health and social care secretary says he will look again at the current key a&e target of seeing patients within four hours
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