welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is lebo diseko. our top stories: russia tried to hijack the us election through propaganda on steroids, says a democratic senator investigating alleged kremlin political meddling. russia's president, vladimir putin, ordered a deliberate campaign, carefully constructed to undermine our election. reports that the president's former national security adviser will testify over russian involvement, if he is given immunity from prosecution. behind bars — the former president of south korea is arrested over a corruption scandal that cost park geun—hye her job. and blast off for spacex, as the company makes history by sending a used rocket back into space. russia tried to hijack the us election through propaganda
on steroids — the startling words of a senior democrat who is on the senate intelligence committee, as it began investigating alleged russian interference in last year's us election. meanwhile, in a new development, a seniorformer aide to president trump, michael flynn, is reported to have offered to testify about what he knows, but only if he is given immunity from prosecution. our washington correspondent laura bicker has more details. it's understood that he is asking, and is in discussion with the senate, house and house intelligence committees, about giving testimony in return for being granted immunity
or protection from what he calls unfair prosecution. now, it's worth remembering that general flynn was the national security advisor, but was forced to resign from the administration after it was disclosed that he misled the vice president about the nature of his calls with the russian ambassador, and the fbi is investigating his links to russia. but his lawyer, in a letter, says he has a story to tell, and very much wants to tell it to the senate and house intelligence committees, he said, but no reasonable person would submit to questioning in this witch—hunt environment without insurances against unfair prosecution. so that's the latest that we have on michael flynn, who may or may not give evidence. but, with regard to the evidence that has already been heard, here's what democratic senator mark warner had to say. russia's president, vladimir putin, ordered a deliberate campaign,
carefully constructed to undermine our election. russian propaganda outlets like rt and sputnik successfully produced and peddled disinformation to american audiences, in pursuit of moscow's preferred outcome. this russian propaganda on steroids was designed to poison the national conversation in america. the committee heard about a sophisticated operation that is alleged to have taken place. cyber security experts said that in key swing states there were operations underway, fake news operations, to disseminate disinformation to those who may be persuaded to vote. and, when it comes to some of the information that russian agents are alleged to have put out there, many believe, and certainly it was the belief of cyber security experts, that they were trying to target donald trump himself. clint watts, who's a former fbi agent, testified that when it came to online habits, they were
monitoring the then—campaign and wondering when he was online, in the hope that he would see the fake news and then repeat it at one of his rallies. and he also said to the senate that they should follow the dead bodies, because he said several russian officials that may have been involved in this have been killed in recent months. but vladimir putin has always denied any involvement. translation: did the russian government attempt to influence the result of the us election? translation: at one time, reagan debating i think about taxes, and addressing the americans, said, "read my lips — i'io." donald trump has said repeatedly that he has never been involved in any of this, and he says that — and he has dismissed
it as fake news. the ousted south korean president, park geun—hye, is being held in a cell, after she was arrested on corruption charges. ms park, who denies wrongdoing, is accused of allowing a close friend to extort money from companies in return for political favours. steve evans is in seoulfor us. well, the scandal has been swirling around for a few years but what happened at three was that she learned she would not be allowed her freedom, pending a trial. so she came into the court at 10am the previous morning, listen to the hearings with the prosecutor arguing, well, if she is allowed to go free she might destroy evidence. very serious allegations, and she then sat it out while the justices debated her argument in the prosecutor ‘s group was argument,
and then at 3am, a rude awakening, she was told you can't go free. she was put in a black limo with law enforcement officials and taken to a detention centre, where she will remain for at least three weeks, but the expectation is that the prosecution will come back before that and say we need an extension, and furthermore, charges are being brought. so she could now face an extended period injail if she is found guilty, and this, remember, is a lady who three weeks ago was in the presidential palace. the average jail cell in korea, the standard jail cell in korea, the standard jail cell in korea, the standard jail cell in korea, is five square metres. basically her length by her length, a little bit more. no bed, only a mattress. you do your own washing—up. it is a change in lifestyle. the us navy is accused iran of harassing and threatening its warships as they enter the gulf, and warned that such incidents
could result in military confrontation. jonathan beale reports. the uss george hw bush, on its way to the gulf to continue bombing missions against so—called islamic state. at first it must run the gau ntlet state. at first it must run the ga u ntlet of state. at first it must run the gauntlet of iran. this the first us carrier to pass through the strait of hormuz since president trump took office. as they approach, the iranians are already watching. at some point, at some time, there could be a miscalculation. do we need to take evasive action? could this be the time that something really happens? you know, those are the things that each ship's captain and crew halfway are going to come
through. and this is what worries them. these are the tac ‘s iran's revolutionary guard call practice and publicise. swarming in an attacking a larger flow, and publicise. swarming in an attacking a largerflow, in this case a replica of the us carrier. as the transit begins, watch stations are manned. heavily armed helicopters take to the air and escort warships close in. this will also be a test of the new administration, that signalled a harder line on iran. well, this carrier and the warships behind me are now making the transit through the strait of hormuz, and just in the strait of hormuz, and just in the distance we can see a number of small vessels approaching us, and we are told they are from the uranium revolutionary guard. make sure you keep track of them, or anything coming from the stern. in total, they spot more than a dozen fast attack boats, some of which are then
threatened the helicopters above. we have some boats that uncovered their machine—guns, and loaded their weapons. so it's a little nerve racking. small boats, at that speed, coming towards us with guns, and loaded. any miscalculation could have catastrophic results. last year, donald trump claimed if he became president, any uranium boat harassing the us navy would be shot out of the water —— iranian boat. that hasn't happened, but there are signs of growing frustration about iran's a heavier. they had all those weapons manned, and we also had video data that they were arming all of those weapons. it was malign activity, iranian activity, to come out and harass essentially an international coalition that was in transit, —— transit area,
international transit area, as we we re international transit area, as we were going through the strait of hormuz. the us sees this as international sabre rattling, but these are international waters. and with neither side backing down, there is always a danger this brinkmanship could become a more serious confrontation. it is being called one small step for a technology company, one giant leap in the search for cheap space exploration. the californian company space x have sent a used rocket, the falcon 9, back into space. up till now, rockets have just been used once and then discarded. greg dawson reports. you are looking at a rocket with a difference. unlike the rest, it is fitted with a booster that has been used before. lift off, falcon 9. and now history, as it is successfully relaunched back into space.
boosters cost tens of millions of dollars, and are normally discarded and destroyed during an ascent. but the private californian aerospace company spacex has found a way to eject them safely back to earth. after the successful launch, another key moment in the flight to see if the second—hand booster can safely detach and fly back to its landing pad in the atlantic. cheering and applause. rapturous cheers from the mission crew tell you it is a success. minutes later, it is back on earth, an unprecedented double achievement of launching a reusable rocket, and recovering it for a possible third mission. this is gonna be, ultimately, a huge revolution in spaceflight. it's the difference between if you had aeroplanes where you threw away an aeroplane after every flight, versus you can reuse them multiple times. it has taken years for spacex to reach this goal, and there have
been some tough lessons along the way, including lastjanuary‘s failed attempt to re—land the rocket. but it represents a new era in the space race, where private enterprises compete against each other, instead of countries. this success will be a boost for a company with much more ambitious long—term goals, that include sending two unidentified space tourists to the moon next year. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: the women who could have been suicide bombers. we are on patrol with the elite top girls of norway. the accident that happened here was of the sort that can at worst produce a meltdown. in this case the precautions worked, but they didn't work quite well enough to prevent some old fears about the safety features of these stations from resurfacing. the republic of ireland has become the first country in the world
to ban smoking in the workplace. from today, anyone lighting up in offices, businesses, pubs and restaurants will face a heavy fine. the president was on his way out of the washington hilton hotel, where he'd been addressing a trade union conference. the small crowd outside included his assailant. it has become a symbol of paris. 100 years ago, many parisians wished it had never been built. the eiffel tower's birthday is being marked by a re—enactment of the first ascent by gustave eiffel. this is bbc news. i'm lebo diseko. the latest headlines: a senior democrat on the senate intelligence committee has accused russia of trying to hijack the us election through what he calls propaganda on steroids. a lawyerfor one
of president trump's former aides, michael flynn, says he's offered to give testimony about russian meddling, reportedly in exchange for protection from prosecution. 4000 nato troops have been placed across poland, latvia, lithuania and estonia. this is the start of nato's deployment in eastern europe. it was agreed eight months ago at an nato summit in warsaw. it is reassuring members in eastern europe. estonia,
latvia and lithuania, and to show a deterrent to russia, whose actions in crimea and eastern ukraine have pushed relations with the alliance almost to the point of freezing. militaries around the world are trying to do more to integrate women. but in norway, they are going further than most, and are trying to train up a new generation of elite soldiers. kevin pon—nye—ah sent this report ellen is 19. she is one ofjust ii to pass the test this year. their identities are protected because they may be required to work undercover in the future.|j they may be required to work
undercover in the future. i wanted a challenge, i wanted to use my body and my mind. it is known for discipline and i like that kind of stuff. in afghanistan, the military realised they needed female soldiers to interact with women and children. now in its third year, the programme has already produced some formidable recruits. this is the toughest women soldiers in norway. they carry the whole weight in their backpack with the equipment, also they march for maybe 40 kilometres. they are pretty tough. the women spend half their time training alongside male paratroopers and ellen says this creates a dull the rivalry. there is a competition between us but at least it is a very good one. —— creates a healthy rivalry. norway first allowed women to serving, more than 30 years ago. it was ahead of most other western military is. the
us and britain have only recently followed suit. but norway's military is still dominated by men and some remain sceptical of the new programme. 19—year—old jan dekker says their fears are unfounded. maybe we can't always drag the men out if they are hurt but if you are taking the same tests as the men, then they shouldn't worry. no women have yet been deployed with the special forces. but their male cou nterpa rts special forces. but their male counterparts are currently injordan as part of the fight against so—called islamic state. i asked her what it would be like to do this for real. it is hard to imagine to be sent to war but if i had to fight i would do it for my country. the recruits might have one eye on future combat, but for now their main focuses on getting through the next six of training. —— six months. forfive years, a synagogue in north london has run a monthly drop—in
service where refugees can have a hot meal, meet the community and get any support they need. 21—year—old gideon summerfield is a local artist who has spent time getting to know them, building relationships through his drawings. hannah gelbart has been to see the artist at work. they've told me about their backgrounds, their stories and what they've been through, what they've witnessed, sometimes very painful things and traumatic things i hope translate into my drawings. icame to i came to germany when i fled the dictatorship in my country. they used to arrest people sol dictatorship in my country. they used to arrest people so i was afraid about my life. it makes me question what i would have done in their position and how reliant i would have been on other
countries to open their doors. security has been a key issue that has come up after the uk triggered article 50 and the start of the brexit process on wednesday. the bbc‘s newsnight programme has been speaking to germany's defence minister, ursula von der leyen. ido i do not expect that we are going to bargain with security topics because it's in our common and mutual interest to exchange information if it's necessary because it concerns the two of us vitally. that's going to be about trade and the common market and those are the things where the beef is. what's your view about the sequencing of this? can there be no real discussion about there be no real discussion about the wider relationship entail it's been settled the uk will make a
contribution on the budget —— until. i would take a different approach because at the beginning we said there would be no negotiations before article 50 has been triggered, this happened yesterday, then we will go into negotiations. one thing is clear, the new contract ordeal will only be signed if everything has been negotiated, so you cannot take bits and pieces apartand you cannot take bits and pieces apart and close them and go further on other topics. so the whole world deal will be visible at the very end. but there's nothing i think we should not speak of openly and address directly. how important is it in that context that the uk pay its bills? i mean, people have talked about up to 60 billion euros in contributions up to 2020. of course as long as the uk is a member
of the european union, you have to make the contract. but what that is... we are at the beginning, day number one or two after the letter has been brought to brussels. so i think we should look at in in a calm way and really sort out what is within the membership that has to be paid for and what is in the negotiation part, which is another topic. in other news: israel has announced that it's to build the first new settlement in the occupied west bank in more than 20 years. the settlement near the palestinian city of nablus was approved at a meeting of israel's security cabinet on thursday. palestinian officials have condemned the new plan and called south africa's president jacob zuma has sacked his finance minister, pravin gordhan, in a cabinet reshuffle. it comes after days of speculation that rocked the country's financial markets. despite many senior officials opposing mr gordhan‘s removal, he's been replaced with the man who was home affairs minister, malusi gigaba.
there's been growing criticism of venezuela's president maduro after he allowed the supreme court to take over responsibility for law—making from the opposition—controlled national assembly on wednesday. the head of the organisation of american states said the decision had dealt the final blow to democracy in the country. part of a motorway in atlanta has collapsed after a major fire underneath an overpass. local reports say police believe it was caused by an electrical wire. so far, there are no reports of casualties. people are being advised to avoid the area. a ferry that was raised from the bottom of the sea in south korea last week is being towed to port, where it will be searched for the remains of missing passengers. more than 300 people died when the sewol sank in 2014 but the bodies of nine people have never been recovered. love them or hate them it's pretty hard to go a day without someone
holding up a camera phone and taking a selfie. now a new exhibition devoted to this most modern form of self expression is opening in london. and it turns out the selfie may be older than you think. tim allman explains. no matter where you are, no matter who you are, an actor, a politician, a religious leader, the selfie is almost unavoidable. this exhibition claims to be the first to explore its history, going all the way back to the works of rembrandt and van gogh. although their selfies took a bit more time and effort. in the 21st century it seems to be a clash between self—image and realities. and the latter may not always come out on top. it's how we would like the world to see us, rather than who we are and what we are. it's more to do with social circumstances, social standing,
how we would like people to see us in an ideal world. critics say the selfie is inane and disposable, but it's undoubtedly popular. in a world full of cctv cameras and biometric technology, is it really voluntary? translation: if you have a credit card, you already have a selfie, the banks know what you bought, your geographical position and so on. the selfie is not optional. it is something that somehow dissolves our identity for good, but mostly for bad, creating a controlling society. nonetheless, millions more will carry on smiling for the camera. good or bad, the selfie is here to stay. tim allman, bbc news. a reminder of our top story: a lawyer of one of donald trump's former aides, michael flynn, says he has offered to give his testimony about russian meddling in the us
election reportedly in exchange for protection from prosecution. he was forced to resign from his position as national security adviser after he misled the vice president mike pence about the nature of his phone conversation with the russian ambassador. stay tuned, i will have the headlines in just ambassador. stay tuned, i will have the headlines injust a moment. hi there. it was the warmest day of the year so far yesterday, with temperatures reaching 22 degrees celsius in the east, 72 degrees fahrenheit. it wasn't warm and sunny everywhere. pulses of rain affecting north and western parts of the uk. the rain affecting this part of the country in the next 12 hours. the front very weak, though, as it goes south—east. the wettest weather will always be in the more north—western parts. however, wherever you are in the morning, it is going to be a mild start to the day.
temperatures around 11—12 degrees for many of us. but there will be some rain around. i think it will be quite a wet start to the day across south—west england and wales. fairly heavy pulses here. a few spots getting across the midlands and hampshire. but not amounting to much, and east of this line it will probably be largely dry. the front will be very weak as it moves in later during the morning. northern ireland, starts on a cloudy and wet note. the rain moves through quickly. skies will brighten up. a different story here in scotland. rain becoming heavier and more extensive as the day goes by, with some strengthening winds in the north. north—west england, some wet weather around lancashire and cumbria, though the rain rather patchy. cheshire and merseyside as well. as the weather front goes across south—east england, it will be so weak in the south—east it will bring little rain. the weather will brighten up with sunshine. and there will be some sunshine for a time in northern ireland. temperatures on the mild side, 22 degrees.
then, during the night—time, well, low pressure will be swinging towards the south—west approaches, bringing a number of showers across wales and south—west england overnight. quite a bit of cloud elsewhere. damp for northern ireland in scotland. now, this weekend, mixed fortunes. saturday is a day of sunny spells and showers. they clear through overnight. quite chilly. then a fine day will follow, so sunday the better of the two days for getting out and about. low pressure towards south—west england and wales. that is where we will see the most frequent of showers on saturday. the showers will be slow—moving showers, not much wind to push them through. if you catch one it could be around a while and a hefty downpour too. a chilly night to follow. mist and fog to start sunday. high pressure building in, which means the weather should become nice and quiet for sunday. early morning cloud breaking, sunny spells coming through. similar temperatures ranging from ten in the north to 17 towards the south—east. that's your latest weather forecast. bye for now. the headlines on bbc news: the senior democrat on the us senate intelligence committee has accused
russia of mounting what he called a propaganda campaign on steroids in seeking to influence last year's presidential election. senator mark warner said they would investigate whether russia interfered with the democratic process. a lawyer for one of president trump's former aides, michael flynn, says he has offered to give testimony about russian meddling in the us election, reportedly in exchange for protection from prosecution. general flynn was forced to resign from his position as national security advisor. south korea's ousted president park geun—hye has been arrested on corruption charges. they are the same charges that led to her political downfall, when south korea's constitutional court backed parliament's decision to impeach her. now on bbc news, hardtalk.