welcome to newsday. i'm rico hizon in singapore. the headlines: head to head. the two contenders for the french presidency trade barbs in a highly—charged tv debate ahead of sunday's run—off vote. a stinging attack. britain's prime minister accuses european politicians of using threats to influence the uk's general election. i'm kasia madera in london. also in the programme: a massive drug crisis up close. how the opioid epidemic in america is affecting one city and how authorities are fighting back. we meet the pakistani imam locally hailed as a hero for saving a man accused of blasphemy from a violent mob. live from our studios in london and singapore. this is bbc world news. it's newsday.
good morning. it's 7am in singapore, midnight in london and 1am in paris, where the two candidates hoping to be president of france have been going head to head in the final television debate of the election. the latest polls suggest the centrist emmanuel macron is well ahead of his far right rival marine le pen but his lead has narrowed. both are competing to win over undecided voters ahead of the final vote on sunday. james reynolds has been watching the debate. he calls her the candidate of hate. she says he has no qualities. tonight, they meet. emmanuel macron, the frontrunner, won't want to slip up. he's standing as a pro—eu, pro—immigration centrist and he's protecting a clear lead in the polls. marine le pen, from
the front national, is trying to bring him down. i asked her what she wanted from the debate? translation: what do i expect from the debate? some clarification from mr macron. he's still being very vague. and tonight, on french tv, the two candidates faced one another and began immediate attacks. translation: mr macron is the candidate of savage globalisation, uberisation, economic uncertainty, social brutality of every man for himself. translation: you've shown you're not the candidate for a balanced democratic debate. the question is, do the people want your defeatist attitude ? you say globalisation is too hard for us, so is europe. let's shut our borders, leave the euro because others succeed, not us. the atmosphere got heated. "i treat the french like adults," mr macron told his opponent. "you lie all the time."
then each was asked about terrorism. translation: the safety of our people, the fight against terror and islamist extremism, you don't want to take it on. i know why. against terrorism, we have to close our borders straight away, immediately, and that's what i'll do the moment i take power. translation: closing borders achieves nothing. there are many countries outside the schengen area that have been hit as hard as us by terrorist attacks, and since 2015 we have put back border controls to fight terrorism. in this debate the french people have heard two very different visions. now they have to pick a side. we'll get some analysis on the debate and the weekend's election in france a little later on the programme. first let's take a look at some of the day's other news. the british prime minister,
theresa may, has accused some politicians and officials in brussels of not wanting brexit talks to succeed. mrs may said some had made threats against britain that were deliberately timed to affect next month's general election. the events of the last few days have shown that whatever our wishes and however reasonable the wishes of europe's other leaders, there are some in brussels who do not want these talks to succeed, who do not wa nt these talks to succeed, who do not want britain to prosper. so now more than ever we need to be led by a prime minister and a government that is strong and stable. also making news today: at a meeting with the palestinian leader mahmoud abbas at the white house, president trump has said he is committed to working with the palestinians and israel to reach a peace deal. palestinian officials say they've been reassured by one of mr trump's middle east envoys that he is serious about a deal.
i welcome president abbas here today asa i welcome president abbas here today as a demonstration of that partnership, that very special partnership, that very special partnership that we all need to make it all work. and i look forward to welcoming him back as a great mark of progress and ultimately toward the signing of a document with the israelis, with israel, toward peace. we wa nt israelis, with israel, toward peace. we want to create peace between israel and the palestinians. at least 21 miners have been killed in a coal mine explosion in iran, according to state media. dozens more are believed to be trapped underground after the blast, which happened in the northern province of golestan. the rescue operation has reportedly been hampered by concerns about gas in the mine's tunnels. facebook says it will hire 3,000 more people to monitor live video on the site.
its co—founder mark zuckerburg said the new team willjoin 4,500 others who already check the social media network for inappropriate material. facebook and other internet companies have been accused of being too slow to respond to recent videos of murders and other violence. thousands of opposition supporters in venezuela have again clashed violently with security forces in the capital caracas. riot police retaliated with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons. the protests are against president nicholas maduro's creation of a new assembly with powers to rewrite the constitution. american actor brad pitt has admitted that heavy drinking played a part in his divorce from angelina jolie. in a magazine interview, the 53—year—old said he had now given up alcohol and was receiving therapy. a new zealand playboy model has angered a local maori tribe by posing naked at the top of a volcano. jaylene cook and her boyfriend spent seven hours climbing mount taranak.
the model said they researched the history of the mountain and felt the photo, which she shared with her nearly 300,000 instagram followers, was about freedom and empowerment. the volcano, however, is considered sacred and locals say the picture is disrespectful. in the united states, huntington, west virginia is in the grip of an addiction epidemic. over one in ten people there are hooked on heroin or other opioids. now local authorities are taking legal action against pharmaceutical companies they accuse of flooding their city with highly—addictive prescription drugs. our video journalists tom bateman and howard johnson, have been to huntington. their report contains distressing images from the start. steve williams, mayor of the city of
huntington, west virginia. huntington, west virginia. huntington is a town ofjust under 50,000 people, our county is 96,000 people, yet over a five—year period, just a five—year period, there was over a0 million, a0 million doses of opioids that were distributed in this county alone. the numbers speak for themselves. most of our callouts now are for drugs. they probably make up somewhere around a third of our calls. fires generally are around 1596 calls. fires generally are around 15% to 10% of our calls, so obviously the drugs are much... sorry about that! that's me. going to an overdose of a
done it? it's been a while or it's a while since you've done it? stand up against the wall, get your bearings. cani against the wall, get your bearings. can i ask, did you go and start on opioids before you moved onto heroin? yeah. how did you get into it? i was on pain pills and actually i had been trying to get off it hopefully. i would just as soon be able to hear from these companies that say we'll come in and we'll partner with you to try to fight this addiction rather than spend their time saying if it's not our fault, we'rejust a business. when i was in the investment business, if i was in the investment business, if i was giving advice to somebody that caused harm to them, i would lose my career, lose my license and possibly have to pay money. do no harm and there's plenty of harm that we can podemos to all around. —— we can
point to. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: this rare albino orangutan was being kept in a cage by villagers in indonesia. we'll be speaking live to the animal charity that rescued him. nothing, it seems, was too big to withstand the force of the tornado. the extent of the devastation will lead to renewed calls for government to build better government housing. internationally, there have already been protests. sweden says it received no warning of the accident.
indeed, the russians at first denied anything had gone wrong. only when radioactivity levels began to increase outside russia were they forced to admit the accident. for the mujahideen, the mood here is of great celebration. this is the end of a 12—year war for them. they've taken the capital, which they've been fighting for for so long. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. i'm kasia madeira in london. our top stories. marine le pen and emmanuel macron have traded accusations and insults in the final tv debate ahead
of sunday's french presidential election. the british prime minister, theresa may, has accused some politicians in brussels of not wanting brexit talks to succeed or britain to prosper. this story on bbc.com, china's government has issued new rules, tightening its control over online media outlets. companies that publish or share news will need a government licence, and senior editors will need to be approved by the authorities. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. once again the japan times takes a look at the diplomacy involved over north korea's nuclear and missile programmes. as the us and china work together, the paper says pyongyang could turn to russia for support. it says north korea is hoping moscow would help ease the pain if china steps up sanctions. the china daily also focuses on diplomacy involving north korea. it's reporting that chinese president xi jinping wants to bring asean countries
like the philippines into the discussions to help maintain regional peace and stability. the south china morning post is looking ahead to this week's maiden test flight of china's first home—grown passengerjet. the c—9i9 is built by the state—owned aerospace manufacturer commercial aircraft and is meant to challenge the dominance of boeing and airbus. and those are the leading headlines. now, kasia, what are people watching online? this is trending on bbc.com. it shows a schoolgirl called anu, from brimingham, here in the uk. the seven—year—old lost her leg shortly after birth, and wears a prosthetic one. and here she is, showing off
a new sports blade to herfriends in the playground. they‘ re pretty impressed and catching her won't be easy. the orangutan is a critically endangered species but an animal charity in borneo has rescued an especially rare example of the ape. this is an albino orangutan. instead of the usual reddish brown hair, this female orangutan has white hair, blue eyes and pale skin. she was being kept in a cage by villagers when she was found in a remote forest area in the indonesian part of borneo. there are thought to be just 100,000 orangutans alive on borneo. joining me from jakarta is jacqueline sunderland—groves from the borneo orangutan survival foundation which rescued the animal just a few days ago. thank you forjoining us. what was
the state of the orangutan when he found her? when we found this very special orangutan, she was rescued from a small vintage in borneo, she was already captured by a group of local people who had found her on local people who had found her on local farmland. local people who had found her on localfarmland. she local people who had found her on local farmland. she was local people who had found her on localfarmland. she was held in a small wooden cage. we could not find any visible serious injuries. she was very stressed and clearly unhappy to be in the presence of humans but otherwise she was a very healthy. we transferred her, together with local authorities, and moved to a rehabilitation centre. she is undergoing all the normal routine quarantine sieges, making
sure she's healthy both physically and psychologically. so far she is doing well. do you plan to release the female orangutan back into the wild? not any time soon. ideally, when ever we receive an orangutan, we assessed the two main criteria— her health and behaviour. if she's and shows the right behaviour, it is age—appropriate and able to survive in the forest, our first call of action would be to return her to her natural habitat but she is very rare and she stands out so we are now going through a risk assessment process where we look at what would be associated with releasing her and her survival chances. we will then get to determine exactly her best
path forward. what would be her best chances if you release her back? normally we have high success rates, especially if they are while stop but we have to look at other factors. she does stand out. she is not the reddish colour and will be more visible in the forest. there is the threat of potential hunting and other orangutans, whether they would accept her. her mother except on her and raised over five accept her. her mother except on her and raised overfive years but accept her. her mother except on her and raised over five years but other orangutans and how they will relate to her we simply do not know and these are things we are assessing all stopped everything we do will be in her long—term well—being and conservation. thank you so much for sharing your views and saving the orangutan. in northern pakistan, the family of the man believed to be
mentally ill who allegedly committed blasphemy has been moved to protective custody. on april the 21st, a local imam saved the man from violent mob who demanded his head after accusing him of blasphemy. the bbc‘s iram abbasi went to meet the imam who's been hailed as a hero. it had been a normal friday prayers, usually peaceful area in northern pakistan where the attempted lynching the place. almost 200 worshippers were gathered here at this central mosque in chitral, where an allegedly mentally deal man committed kasami. a violent mob demanded his life. —— blasphemy. the
mind intervened. translation translation: islam asks us to always investigate before punishing anyone. islam does not allow killing of a bird or insect but sometimes people go insane. some of them broke out in angen go insane. some of them broke out in anger. even after the man was turned over to the police, tensions continued. enraged protesters attacked the police station. the man is now being investigated for blasphemy and has been sent for a medical checkup to determine his mental health. i could have seen growing intolerance towards those accused of blasphemy. a month ago, university student was killed by a mob. after the murder, the cleric
refused to conduct his funeral and asked other religions to stay away from the funeral as well. the parties explore the tension for electoral gain. ministers do about collecting electoral votes however you can. some areas have been penetrated by political ideology. while recent incidents have got a media uproar and raise tensions, it has failed to initiate a national debate which activist said needs to be addressed before the killings ta ke be addressed before the killings take place. —— more killings. lawmakers in the philippines have rejected the appointment of the country's controversial environment secretary only ten months after she took up the position. regina lopez invoked environmental concerns to order the closure of more than half the country's existing collieries, and banned open—pit mining — a decision which angered many people
who work in the mining industry. she gave the bbc her reaction. iam i am disappointed because clearly there are influences that have manoeuvred the decision and from my point of view, government should make decisions primarily on the filter of the common good and when the business interests dominate the influence in a way that adversely affects our people, that is not good at all for the culture of the country, for the future of the country, for the future of the country, it is not good at all. so, rico, who is the likely candidate to succeed ms lopez? there are a number of names being floated around but ms lopez
has her own personal choice, she says no less than president duterte is the best person to take her place. she said, she can't think of any other person but the president because he has the guts and the bravery to stand up to business interests. as everyone knows by now mr duterte is a hard nosed, tough talking leader who fears no—one. ms lopez stressed that if there's anyone else appointed to the position, that person will get clobbered. ms lopez got the thumbs down on her appointment because she upset the mining industry when she ordered the closure or suspension
of 28 mines and threatened to cancel 75 contracts following an industry—wide audit. well, now have to wait and see if the president will take on this new challenge. we will have to keep an eye on that. now to a very different story. a very dramatic story. a light plane has crashed in dramatic fashion in the us state of washington, and it was all caught on a dashboard camera. the small private plane clipped some power lines and burst into flames just north of seattle. amazingly, the pilot walked away uninjured, and no—one on the ground was hurt. authorities say the plane took off from a nearby airport and suddenly lost power. a miracle that the pilot survived. you have been watching newsday.
stay with us. we'll be looking at how new start—ups are starting to use virtual reality and gaming to gain customers. thank you very much for watching news day. hello. the weather contrast on wednesday got more stark across the uk with low cloud dominating parts of east anglia and the south—west. a breeze of the chilly seas. in the sunshine, plenty of it, high teens. for the next few days, clumps of cloud of running into the same areas that we have seen during the past 2a hours. the odd bright break here and there. a spot of rain and drizzle and maybe a few further west. a few brea ks and maybe a few further west. a few breaks in the clouds in devon and cornwall. for the —— further north,
a chilly start to northern ireland. in scotland, more chilly start. around shetland low cloud close to the close. that will come and go through the day. a few brighter days through the day. a few brighter days through the day. a few brighter days through the midlands. still plenty of cloud across the southern counties. the chance of one or two passing showers. a breezy day. limiting the temperatures. in the west, gusty winds. into thursday night, we see fear outbreaks across england and wales leading to temperatures dropping at touch. you might geta temperatures dropping at touch. you might get a touch of frost here and there but most frost—free particularly further south you are. another breezy day on friday. cloud
drifting across southern counties of england and wales. maybe in the midlands later. clear skies through northern england and scotland. temperatures down a little bit but could still get too high teens across western scotland and maybe to the west of cumbria. into the weekend, high—pressure receding towards icelanders. how close of this system gets is a big question might it could spread rain devon and cornwall. north of that, some brighter spells including a little less chilly across south—eastern areas. the rain close by. monday into sunday, whether it reaches of the south coast, it clears towards into the continent. a bit more sunshine around in places. the best in the west. take care. i'm kasia madera with bbc world news. our top story: the two french presidential candidates go head to head in a tv debate.
marine le pen called emmanuel macron the establishment candidate. he said she fed off hate. french voters will cast their votes on sunday. gloves off over brexit. british prime minister theresa may accuses european politicians of making threats against the uk to try to influence the general election result. and this video is trending on bbc.com. it shows a schoolgirl called anu, from brimingham here in the uk. the seven—year—old lost her leg shortly after birth and was filmed showing off a new sports blade to herfriends in the playground. they‘ re pretty impressed, and catching her won't be easy. that's all from me now. stay with bbc world news. now on bbc news it's time for hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk. i'm stephen sackur.