tv BBC News BBC News May 31, 2019 4:00am-4:31am BST
welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: president trump lashes out at former special counsel robert mueller over the russia inquiry. the whole thing is a scam, it's one of — it's a giant presidential harassment! no, russia did not help me get elected. you know who got me elected?! i got me elected. russia didn't help me at all. police arrest the captain of the cruise ship involved in wednesday's deadly crash on the river danube. syria's humanitarian crisis: the un warns that tens of thousands of children are still at risk. r kelly has been charged with more sexual offences. he's due in court next week. and scientists develop a genetically enhanced fungus
that can kill malaria spreading mosquitoes. president trump has launched a particularly fierce and personal attack without giving any evidence on former special counsel robert mueller. mr mueller made headlines this week with a rare public statement, reiterating that his russia ainquiry did not clear the president of obstructing justice. mr trump spoke today about russian election interference and moves by the democrats to impeach him before laying into robert mueller. our washington correspondent chris buckler has more. the president has been unable to hide his fury at the man who examined his every action during the 2016 election campaign. and concluded that russia had made
significant efforts to interfere with the vote, something that president trump seemed to briefly acknowledge with this tweet, in which he specifically stated that he had nothing to do with russia helping him to get elected. no, russia did not help me get elected. you know who got me elected?! i got me elected. russia didn't help me at all. but the special counsel robert mueller has raised questions of potential crimes once again, provoking the president. i think he is a total conflicted person. i think mueller is a true never—trumper — he's somebody who dislikes donald trump. there's no obstruction, there's no collusion, there's nothing. it's nothing but a witch—hunt, this is a witch—hunt by the media and the democrats — they're partners. and it keeps going. i thought it was finished when the report was released but it goes on. what sparked that presidential tirade was robert mueller‘s surprise news c0 nfe re nce
and specifically this statement... if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. we did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime. in his more than 400—page report, mr mueller listed ten occasions when donald trump may have tried to obstructjustice, but he said that he had come to no conclusion, partly because us department ofjustice guidelines say you can't indict a sitting president. however, the us attorney—general has now claimed that shouldn't have stopped him. he could have reached a conclusion. the opinion says you cannot indict a president while he's in office but he could have reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity. thank you. congress has been left to follow up on mr mueller‘s findings. and some democrats are pushing for impeachment proceedings to begin. but the party's leadership is wary, fearing that such action
could backfire politically. either way, president trump knows this battle isn't over and he has shown that he isn't one to walk away from a fight. chris buckler, bbc news, washington. let's get some of the day's other news. president trump is saying he will impose tariffs on all goods from mexico in an attempt to force the country to crack down on illegal migration to the us. he says the 5% tariff will come into effect next month and will gradually increase. the saudi monarch has claimed that iran is a threat to global security. king salman told an emergency arab summit that gulf states and other world powers should contain what he described as iran's criminal activities and interference. the government in tehran denies saudi and american accusations that it recently attacked oil tankers and a saudi pipeline. the german chancellor has used an address to american scholars to warn of the dangers of nationalism. angela merkel urged graduating students at harvard to reject isolation and not to
confuse truth with lies. india's prime minister, narendra modi, has begun his second term, taking an oath in front of thousands of supporters in delhi. 57 members of his cabinet were sworn in too. the bjp won the election with an even bigger majority than in 2014. the captain of a cruise ship which was involved in a crash on the river danube in budapest, has been arrested by hungarian police. seven people are known to have died. 2! are missing. police are questioning the captain who's ukrainian. gareth barlow has the latest. in a split second, the disaster unfolded. in just seven seconds, the mermaid sank. the 40—ton boat, forced into the water, no match for the i,000—ton viking. the front of the viking hit the back of the little boat and itjust
turned broadside in front of the boat and itjust rolled over and then the hull popped up on the opposite side of the ship, you know, just a few seconds later, and then it was down, it sunk. more than 2a hours on, the search continues for those still missing, but hopes are fading of finding anyone alive. the danube is flowing in full force, its waters just 10 celsius, offering little chance of survival. the focus now for the authorities — to find out what went so terribly wrong. the vikings ukrainian captain has been arrested, suspected of reckless misconduct leading to mass casualties. translation: what we can see on the cctv footage is the small boat, the mermaid, is sailing north. as is the bigger vessel, the viking. when they reached the pillars of the margaret bridge, the mermaid turns in front of the viking for some reason, and there was a collision. the mermaid got turned on its side and within about seven seconds, it sank.
in south korea, relatives of the victims joined military search teams on a flight to budapest. in hungary, as rescue workers prepare to raise the sunken vessel, candles mark the place where a happy holiday became a tragedy. gareth barlow, bbc news. united nations officials are warning that tens of thousands of children are at immediate risk of being killed or forced to flee for their lives because of intense fighting in northern syria. presidents assad's army is closing in on the last stronghold of opposition forces. the un says civilians are facing indiscriminate bombing and shelling, acts which may amount to war crimes. it's estimated as many as 500,000 people have lost their lives since syria collapsed into civil war eight years ago. syrian government troops backed by russian air power are attacking idlib province where rebel islamist fighters are making a last stand. 0ur middle east editor jeremy bowen reports. this is life and death in idlib,
the last province in syria controlled by rebels. civil defence workers the white helmets are digging civilians out of buildings, destroyed, it seems certain, by attacks from the regime side. this boy called hakam survived. his three siblings did not. unicef, the un children's agency, says tens of thousands of children are in danger as, once again, syria's war escalates. this should be no surprise to the world. syria's slow death follows a pattern. injanuary 2017, i walked through the ruins of al-quds hospital in east aleppo, the rebel enclave that had just fallen to the regime and its russian and iranian allies. thousands of casualties were treated here during the siege.
the medics had left in a hurry after shells hit the building. this whole area is damaged. hospitals, civilian buildings a re protected under international humanitarian law, so there are major questions to be answered about whether war crimes were committed. wars are less chaotic than they appear. pain and death are inflicted on someone‘s orders. and wars have laws. some are supposed to protect civilians. in syria, they've mostly been ignored. hamza al khataeb, one of the doctors, says he witnessed war crimes every day that killed and maimed civilians. two years on, in london, he'd like to see the perpetrators in court. the syrian regime and the russians. no—one else has the aeroplanes
to make the sky rain cluster bombs, explosive barrels and chlorine gas. no—one else can do that. what would you like to have happen to them? justice, just justice. syria's war has destroyed a country, killed perhaps 500,000 people and let overwhelming evidence of war crimes by all sides according to un investigators. all the countries involved in syria's multi—layered war have questions to answer. this is raqqa, once the beating heart of the jihadist islamic state. the americans, helped by the british, levelled it. amnesty, the human rights group, condemned them for not acknowledging how many civilians they'd killed. rebels, now mainly jihadist extremists, continue to fight out of idlib,
but the president's side has almost won the war. was this regime air strike, one of many, a war crime? possibly. it buried this child and killed another. but turning evidence into prosecutions is difficult. syria's wounds would have a better chance to heal if war criminals faced the law. but victors‘ justice tends to apply when the fighting stops, so it looks as if the regime and its allies, for now at least, will be safe. jeremy bowen, bbc news. and you can keep up to date with all the latest developments in syria on the bbc website. you'll also find a feature on the most powerful groups left facing president assad. that's all at bbc.com/news or download the bbc news app. r kelly has been charged with 11 more counts of sexual assault and abuse by prosecutors in chicago. he'll appear in court next week.
earlier this year, the singer was accused of 10 offences involving four women, three of them under—age at the time the events are alleged to have happened a decade ago. peter bowes reports from la. mounting charges for the disgraced singer — r kelly is now accused of 21 counts of sexual abuse and assault. in february, he was accused of ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. he pleaded not guilty and was released on bail. he was accused of abusing four women, three of whom were underage at the time of the alleged offences. the new charges are believed to relate to one of those women. they include counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and abuse of a victim aged between 13 and 16. the singer's lawyer said the charges change nothing since they apply to an existing case. in march, r kelly went on us tv to strongly deny the charges he was then facing. ina tearful
and sometimes combative interview, he said the allegations against him were all lies. how stupid would it be for me to — with my — crazy past and what i've been through, "0h, right now i think i'm going to be a monster and hold girls against my will, chain them up in my basement?!" r kelly is due in court next thursday to answer the charges. peter bowes, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: how do you spell success? students are vying for the top prize, but even parents have problems with some of those words. in the biggest international sporting spectacle ever seen, up to 30 million people have taken part in sponsored athletics events to aid famine relief in africa. the first of what the makers of star wars hope will be thousands of queues started forming at 7am.
taunting which led to scuffles, scuffles to fighting, fighting to full—scale riot, as the liverpool fans broke out of their area and into the juve ntus enclosure. the belgian police had lost control. the whole world will mourn the tragic death of mr nehru today. he was the father of the indian people from the day of independence. the oprah winfrey show comes to an end after 25 years and more than 11,500 episodes. the chat show has made her one of the richest people on the planet. geri halliwell, otherwise known as ginger spice, has announced she has left the spice girls. ah, i don't believe it! she's the one with the bounce, the go, the girl power. not geri. why? this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: donald trump has lashed out at robert mueller, a day after the former special counsel made headlines reiterating that his russia inquiry
did not clear the president of obstructing justice. the united nations is warning that tens of thousands of children are at immediate risk of being killed or forced to flee for their lives because of intense fighting in northern syria. it is just over a month since supporters of so—called islamic state launched a wave of suicide bombings in sri lanka. more than 250 people died in the attacks, and since then, more details have emerged about the terror cell involved and the missed opportunitues to stop them. 0ur correspondent secunder kermani has been looking into the case of a local muslim politician who has paid dearly for helping to investigate the extremists. he reports now from mawanella. paralysed on his left side and unable to speak, mohamed razik tasleem was one of the first victims of an extremist network that would go on to strike terror in sri lanka. the muslim former local politician
narrowly survived an assassination attempt in march. it all began when radical islamists struck his hometown of mawanella back in december, vandalising a series of now—repaired buddhist statues. tasleem's wife says he volunteered to help police investigate in an effort to keep peace between muslim and buddhist communities. translation: i'm very proud of him. he stepped up when no—one else did, because he always opposes any kind of injustice. he said our religion does not permit such acts. we need to catch those responsible. newsreader: the police also found three barrels stocked with... while searching for the suspects, police and tasleem were tipped off about a huge stash of explosives hidden in this remote coconut grove. it is now believed the explosives were linked to this radical
preacher, zahran hashim, who would go on to become the ringleader of the easter bombings. investigators believe he sent a gunman to tasleem's home to punish him for cooperating with police. it was the early hours of the morning, and the attackers entered the house through this back door. and it seems they had done their preparation, because somehow they knew exactly where to head. they came to tasleem's bedroom. they found him here, lying next to his wife and his youngest child, and they shot him once in the head. translation: at first i thought the phone charger had exploded. but i looked, and it was fine. then i tried to wake him up, and i could smell gunpowder. i reached out to him and i realised he wasn't conscious. a month later, sri lanka was rocked by a string of suicide bombings.
the authorities believe they were carried out by part of the same network tasleem had been trying to help dismantle. even before the incidents, when the inquiries were carried out, we were getting closer to the information on confirming that it is the same extremist group. particularly in light of the discovery of these explosives on this farmland, shouldn't that have been more of a warning sign for the authorities than it was? i believe that what you say is exactly correct, but we had some information and intelligence—sharing situations. there was a gap that everybody could see today. tasleem's youngest son calls out for his father whenever he sees photographs of him. the family are worried that, despite his efforts to tackle the extremists, he is not getting all the help he needs. a forgotten victim of sri lanka's deadly attacks. secunder kermani, bbc news, mawanella. scientists in burkina faso and the united states are saying they have developed a genetically
enhanced fungus that can rapidly kill the mosquitoes that spread malaria. the team took a fungus that naturally infects mosquitoes and modified it to produce a deadly toxin which is also found in spider venom. the co—author of the report, brian lovett, explains how the experiment worked. so in this study, we were working with, as you said, a natural pathogen in mosquitoes. so this fungus, if it lands anywhere on the outside of a mosquito, it will recognise is on a mosquito. the one that we're working with only kills mosquitoes. and then it will burrow through that mosquito until it makes it into the blood of the mosquito. once it reaches the blood, once it's surrounded by blood, then we have engineered it to express, only in insect blood, an insect—specific toxin from a spider from australia. so, essentially, we're using this natural fungal pathogen in mosquitoes as a fang of a spider. so normally spiders deliver their insect—killing toxins
using theirfangs. here, we're using the fungus to deliver those toxins for us. brian, is the aim to make mosquitoes extinct? no, absolutely not. our aim is to control the mosquitoes that bite humans enough to prevent transmission of diseases like malaria. there have been experiments like this, i think, in the past, haven't there? why do you think this one has been successful? this one was successful largely due to the incredible effort by scientists in burkina faso. we worked with scientists at the centre muraz and at irss. our main collaborator in burkina was dr abdoulaye diabate, and they spearheaded and ran all of these experiments in this malaria—endemic village in burkina faso. so having him on our side and conducting his experiments was incredibly important for the success of the project. the other thing that was important was the construction of this
facility that we tested these fungai in. so, because they're transgenic, we can'tjust walk out into the field and try them in the open field. so we built a very large building, a facility which we call a mosquitosphere, which is essentially like a really large greenhouse, but instead of having glass, it has a double—walled mosquito netting. so that allows us to test our experiments under environmental conditions, but to keep the fungus and mosquitoes contained within this facility. brain, just briefly, what might be at the back of many people's minds, there are so many scientific developments that do good things but then do unexpected bad things. are you at all concerned about that? absolutely, we're concerned. understanding the risks and weighing those risks against benefits is a really important part of developing any new technology. but the fungus that we're working with is incredibly well characterised. it's been used for decades, and even centuries, to control insect pests. it's very common in the environment, very safe for people, and is applied widely, unmodified, in agriculture to control agricultural pests, too.
so our understanding of the toxin, the genetics of these fungi, and also the fungi themselves, is very well defined in this case. the former head of the army has denied that the military attempted to cover up the truth about a series of fatal shootings in northern ireland in 1971. general sir mike jackson was giving evidence at an inquest into the killings of ten people in the ballymurphy area of belfast during a three—day period in august that year. he was a captain with 1st battalion, the parachute regiment, at the time. austria has appointed the country's first woman chancellor following the vote of no confidence in the government of sebastian kurz. the head of the constitutional court, brigitte bierlein, will serve as interim chancellor until fresh elections are held in september. she promised to rebuild trust following last week's government crisis over a video sting. a baby born weighing just 240 grams, thought to be the smallest on record to survive a premature birth, has been discharged from hospital in the us.
saybie weighed the same as a large apple when she was born at 23 weeks and three days in december last year. despite the slim chances of survival, she has now left hospital and is healthy. horripilation, kentledge and pa rochialism — just three of the words facing children competing in this year's national spelling bee in maryland. can their parents do any better? we asked those brave enough to try, and also got some tips from the 2018 champion. so the first word is horripilation. horripilation, 0k?
you have to work really hard. and you have to work efficiently. when i was studying for the spelling bee, i studied for about 30—36 hours a week. i studied by typing. i typed the words in a spreadsheet, and so just using that muscle memory, itjust help me, like, recollect. i have trouble saying them, let alone spelling them. and, before we go, we would like to leave you with these pictures. two baby ring—tailed lemurs have become the latest attraction at rome zoo.
they were born in april, but they are only out in public now. their mothers carry them around when they are young. ring—tailed lemurs are native to madagascar and listed as an endangered species. the population there has shrunk by a quarter in the last 25 years. well, you may have heard by now that it's turning a lot warmer, but the forecast isn't quite so straightforward. in fact, it's not going to be turning hot everywhere, and in fact, some areas are still in for some rain. but i think the main message is that yes, broadly speaking, we are all at least for some warmth. but a lot of cloud out there right now. it's very muggy, a very muggy night, with temperatures in the mid—teens across some southern areas of the uk, but rain too. this is what it looks like through the early hours of friday, so some bits and pieces of rain around western scotland, somejust about in northern ireland, a scattering of rain across parts of the lake district. and the temperatures —
1a in london early on friday, but a lot fresher there in the very far north. in lerwick, only five degrees. so here's the forecast for friday. you can see these moist south—westerly winds dragging in a lot of cloud, mist and murk around some of the coasts. rain in northern ireland, in parts of western scotland. there could be a lot of rain. by the time this weather front is through, we will have seen around 40—50 mm of rain. that's a lot, that's a couple of inches of rain. the warmest and brightest of the weather will be across central and southern areas. temperatures will probably get up to around 22, but certainly not clear, blue skies. there will be a fair amount of cloud around during the course of friday. now, on saturday, so obviously the orange here, that's warm air that's spreading across much of europe. in fact, the near continent, temperatures will be approaching 30 degrees during the weekend. we will get some of that warmth, it'll be reaching towards southern, central and eastern areas. so this portion of the uk will probably see temperatures in the mid 20s, maybe the high 20s in one or two spots. but further north, it's
a case of more cloud, even a few spits and spots of rain. and only 17 in belfast, maybe just squeezing 19 there in newcastle. and then it's all change, because on sunday, a low pressure comes in off the atlantic, brings some showers almost anywhere, really. there will be some sunshine, too, but it does sort of spoil the second half of the weekend a little bit. and it will turn fresher. in fact, temperatures will start to drop away, back down into the low 20s across the southern and eastern areas. so that 27—28 degrees on saturday is just, you know, a one—day wonder. and in fact, the low pressure is with us during the course of monday and tuesday. you can see there it's anchored just to the north of scotland. so that does mean that, after that brief spell of very warm weather on saturday, from sunday onwards and into next week, it will be turning cooler and more unsettled.
the headlines: president trump has launched a fierce personal attack without giving any evidence on robert mueller. the former special counsel made headlines this week with a rare public statement, reiterating that his russia inquiry did not clear the president of obstructing justice. mr trump described him as "totally co nflicted" and his team as "some of the worst humans on earth." united nations officials are warning that tens of thousands of children are at immediate risk of being killed or forced to flee for their lives, because of intense fighting around idlib in northern syria, one of the last strongholds of islamist rebels. police in hungary have detained the captain of a cruise ship that collided with a smaller boat on the river danube in budapest on wednesday. at least seven south korean tourists died but more than 20 others are missing. rescuers have said there's little hope of finding them alive.
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