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tv   BBC News  BBC News  May 20, 2017 12:00am-12:31am BST

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hello. this is bbc news. i am ben bland. how donald trump is reported to have sacked the fbi chief to russian officials. he reportedly said firing him to the pressure off. revelations come as donald trump embarks on his first foreign trip as president. the founder of wikileaks, julian assange, holds as a victory the dropping of the decision to prosecute him by sweden. the dropping of the decision to prosecute him by swedenm the dropping of the decision to prosecute him by sweden. it is not something i can forgive. it is not something i can forgive. it is not something that i can forget. counting is under way in the presidential elections in iran after a high turnout caused polling to be extended by six hours. anthony weiner pleads guilty to sending illegal material to a 15—year—old girl. thank you forjoining us. donald
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trump's presidency has run into further controversy after two separate american newspapers made two new allegations about possible links between the white house and russia. the first relates to a meeting the president had with russian officials. the new york times claims donald trump said this. and then this from the washington post. the reports were made publicjust as
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donald trump was leaving his first overseas visit as president. and in a further development this evening, we have just heard that james comey will testify in an open session before the senate committee. laura bickerjoins us live. an interesting development about the committee and james comey giving evidence. that will be watched carefully. what a way to end the week, to hear that james comey will testify in an open hearing. we understood from his associates that this is something he wa nted associates that this is something he wanted to do, he wanted to get the story out there. the reason for this is where we started the week. we started it hearing that james comey allegedly kept a memo written just after a private meeting with the president were the president allegedly said to james comey i hope you can see a way to let this go, let michael flynn go. that seemingly refers to the investigation into
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donald trump's former national security adviser's alleged links to russia. that is how we started the week. now we are hearing james comey will testify in an open session. not next week, the week after that. there is a holiday called memorial day. it will be after may 29 and eagerly watched by all. you referred to the dramatic developments earlier this week, some serious allegations being levelled against the president. how do these latest allegations by the new york times and the washington post compared to the severity of what we have had already. it seems that both of them are having the competition to see who can have the biggest scoop of the week. this evening, the washington post and new york times have both come out with stories relating to russia. white house officials are saying donald trump described the fbi director, the
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former fbi director, james comey, as a nutjob. former fbi director, james comey, as a nut job. perhaps former fbi director, james comey, as a nutjob. perhaps more damagingly, he said the dismissal would relieve pressure on him as he was under investigation with ties to russia. many people will look at that and interpret it as almost an obstruction of justice, interpret it as almost an obstruction ofjustice, of trying to remove the man who was in charge of investigating alleged links between the donald trump campaign and russia. and that can lead to impeachment proceedings. of course, the white house issued its own statement, saying the grandstanding and politicising of the investigation into russia's actions meant james comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to negotiate and engage with russia. the investigation would always continue and obviously james comey being fired would not end it. this was a decision taken in the interests of the nation and not obstruction of justice interests of the nation and not obstruction ofjustice and not donald trump's self—interest, they
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say. the claim by the washington post that the investigation into links between russia and donald trump has identified a current official, someone posted the president, as a person of interest. do we know who they are talking about? we don't have a clue who they are talking about. even the washington post did not mean that. speculation is bound on social media, obviously. we know that former aides of donald trump are pa rt former aides of donald trump are part of the investigation. michael flynn has already been mentioned, the former national security adviser. he is said to have had meetings with the foreign ambassador for russia in washington, sergei, and paul manafort, the former campaign manager of donald trump. that is who has been identified so far. a senior white house person is a friend of donald trump and
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associated. many people are not aware of who that is. the polls of iran's election have now closed after it was extended by six hours due to a high turnout. vote have been counted, though no exit polls have been released and neither have early assessments. we have not been given permission to cover the election from within iraq. jeremy bowen has this report that contains flash photography. people are encouraged to vote in iran because it gives the system legitimacy, but the election, as ever, isn't free, because the candidates have to be approved by the unelected guardian council. it's looking like a close race between the main candidates. at this polling station they were supporting hassan rouhani, the current president. translation: i want socialjustice,
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social freedoms and political development, and good relations with all countries in the world. translation: we will stand in these queues for as long as it's needed in order not to go backwards, for the shadow of the war not to hang over people's heads. iranian elections, with all their flaws, produce vigorous campaigns and moments of political openness. candidates have traded accusations of corruption and criticised iran's security policies. remarks that at other times could land iranians injail. iranians don't seem particularly enthused by the candidates. for many, it's a choice between bad and worse. the main challenger is ebrahim raisi. he is a veteran conservative hardliner. he is deeply suspicious of the west, and if he wins, there could be crises ahead. president hassan rouhani wants to have another term. he's a moderate who would like more openness in politics and society. rouhani was elected last time
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because he promised better relations with the outside world and the relaxation of economic sanctions through making a deal about iran's nuclear plans. president rouhani is running on the success of the deal in which iran accepted restrictions on its nuclear industry. if he loses, it's because voters think he's handling the economy badly. raisi opposed the nuclear deal when it was being negotiated, but now says he'd keep it, though he insists his toughness will make sure iran stays strong. whoever‘s going to be the next iranian president, whether it be hassan rouhani or ebrahim raisi, it's going to change the tenor of iranian politics, its ability to dialogue with the international community and the west, particularly the united states, and also its relationship with its neighbours in the region. whoever wins will have to work with the supreme leader,
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ayatollah khomeini. in iran, he has the power and the last word. viewed from tehran, the country's a regional power with legitimate security interests and the right to help allies like the syrian regime. but that alarms its adversaries, especially the us, the saudis and israel, and that won't change. jeremy bowen, bbc news. the results of the election are expected at some point on saturday afternoon local time. we will give you the outcome as it happens, of course. in the meantime, profiles of the candidates and other information is available on our website. the wikileaks the wikilea ks founder, the wikileaks founder, julian assange, is claiming a victory after swedish prosecutors decided to drop
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their investigation into his alleged assault. british police say if he left the ecuadorian embassy which he has been in forfive left the ecuadorian embassy which he has been in for five years, left the ecuadorian embassy which he has been in forfive years, he left the ecuadorian embassy which he has been in for five years, he would be arrested. out into the fresh air. cheering. on the balcony of the ecuadorian embassy, julian assange emerged this afternoon to have his say on the end of the swedish investigation against him. today is an important victory, for me and for the un human rights system. seven years without charge, why my children grew up without me. that is not something that i can forgive. it is not something that i can forget. but the prosecutor in sweden hasn't cleared julian assange.
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she said that, in his absence, she simply couldn't pursue the case any further. translation: the decision to discontinue the investigation is not based on an assessment of the evidence but because we don't see possibilities to advance the investigation further, so we do not make any statement on the issue of guilt. this complex international drama began in 2010 when two women alleged thatjulian assange had sexually assaulted them on a visit to sweden, accusations he's always denied. he was detained in britain under a european arrest warrant. in may 2012, the supreme court upheld a decision to extradite him to sweden for questioning. and injune, mrassange walked into the ecuadorian embassy in london asking for political asylum. the metropolitan police mounted a 24—hour guard at the embassy. by october 2015, it had cost over £13 million. and it's not over yet. julian assange is no longer wanted on an international arrest warrant, but the police say that
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if he stepped out of the embassy, they're still obliged to arrest him for failing to surrender to a london court back in 2012. at the embassy this evening, his supporters were jubilant. but in sweden, the woman who accused him of rape issued a statement saying he was evading justice and expressing her shock at the investigation was being shelved. julian assange was not held without charge for seven years, he was subject to extradition proceedings within the eu, under the european arrest warrant scheme. he would have received a fair trial in sweden, had he chosen to go back, and the fact that proceedings lasted seven years was entirely down to him seeking refuge in the ecuadorian embassy rather than going to face trial in a country that is governed by the rule of law. light ‘em all up. come on, fire! it was this footage of an american helicopter shooting civilians in iraq that first brought wikileaks to international attention. a flood of other state secrets followed. julian assange has always said it was his fear of extradition to the us that drove him through the doors of the ecuadorian
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embassy. thanks, guys. free assange! so, despite today's dramatic twist in this long—running diplomatic and legal saga, tonight, he's back inside, not, for the moment, going anywhere. you are watching bbc news. stay with us. you are watching bbc news. stay with us. still to come. selling for $98 million. thank you, sir. a record—breaking price. this morning, an indian air force plane carrying mr gandhi's body landed in delhi. the president of india walked to the plane to solemnly witness mr gandhi's final return from the political battlefield. the polling stations are all prepared for what will be the first truly free elections in romania's history. it was a remarkable climax
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to what was surely the most extraordinary funeral ever given to a pop singer. it's been a peacefulfuneral demonstration so far, but suddenly these police are teargassing the crowd, we don't yet know why. the pre—launch ritual is well established here, helen was said to be in good spirits butjust a little apprehensive. in the last hour, east timor has become the world's newest nation. it was a bloody birth for a poor country, and the challenges ahead are daunting. but for now, at least, it is time to celebrate. this is bbc news. i'm ben bland. the latest headlines: donald trump departs on his first foreign trip, leaving in his wake fresh turmoil in washington. he's reported to have told russian
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officials that firing his fbi chief eased "great pressure" on him. the wikileaks founderjulian assange says he will neither forgive nor forget, after sweden said it was dropping its investigation into him over an alleged rape. as we mentioned earlier, donald trump is on his first foreign trip, since becoming president. the white house says the nine—day tour is a chance to visit places sacred to three of the world's major religions, while meeting arab, israeli and european leaders face—to—face. but could political turmoil in washington have the potential to overshadow his trip? 0ur chief international correspondent lyse doucet is in the saudi capital, riyadh, where donald trump will arrive on saturday. the very fact that this first stop of president trump on his first foreign visit is notjust a meeting with the rulers of the saudi kingdom, as significant as that is, there's not one but three summit is
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taking place. the second is with gulf arab leaders and then with saudi arabia's neighbours and leaders from across the arab and islamic world. saudi arabians are hailing this as the first visit of its kind in history. this is a land of superlatives now, that there will be some 55 kings, presidents, prime minister is and world leaders who will be coming here to riyadh. they are already in the city under tight security to meet the american president and if that isn't the welcome of all welcomes, it tells you exactly what they're hoping to achieve. there will be a lot of talk about new alliances to fight against extremist groups, including so—called islamic state, and of course the saudi kingdom's main ambition is to get stronger action from its allies, most of all the us, to exert greater pressure on iran. they are extremely satisfied that they are claiming this or not, being they are claiming this or not, being
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the first stop. so i put it to the foreign minister that this was a bit ofa foreign minister that this was a bit of a diplomatic coup. we believe it's a coup for the world and a coup for peace and coexistence. this is a very powerful message to the islamic world, that america and the west is not your enemy. this is a very powerful message to the west, that islam is not your enemy. this visit will change the discourse and dialogue between the islamic world and the west in general and the us in particular. it will isolate the extremists, whether they be iran or isis or al qaeda, who say that the west is our enemy. it will also push back against those in the west who say islam is the enemy, so this is a truly historic occasion. do you think they can overcome the suspicions over the travel ban, which was widely described as a
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muslim ban? i don't think the stories about the angle and so forth are exaggerated. but you were hungry. the countries on that travel ban were angry, that it was a muslim ban. we can't force anybody on who they will allow do —— and two they will not allow in. islam is part and parcel of the american social fabric. there are many muslims living in america. most of the islamic countries were not on that list. are you worried that for some birds which will emphasise the battle against extremism, the visit could be overshadowed by the controversies back in washington over the alleged mishandling of intelligence? we deal with the administration, we deal with the president as our honoured guest, we deal with the 55 delegations that are coming from the muslim world and
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that's what our focus will be. will you make it clear that you have troops ready to offer from your islamic coalition? president trump will want to know what you will do if they become more engaged. we have made that clear for almost one year now, that there are trips available from the islamic coalition and that we are prepared to share the burden of going after the terrorists, was ultimately the terrorists are after saudi arabia. they want to take medgar and medina, so they have a platform to broadcast to other muslims and we will not allow that to happen —— mecca. that was the saudi foreign minister speaking to our correspondent in riyadh. france's president emmanuel macron says troops will remain in mali until there are no more islamist troops there. he warned militant organisations there would be read roofing and reuniting. yemen could have as many as 300,000 cases of cholera within six months
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and a high number of deaths, according to the who. nearly 250 people have died in the past three weeks alone. a judge in the us state of minnesota has ruled that the six brothers and sisters of the pop star prince are the heirs to his estate. the six, including tyka, seen here shortly after his death last year, will take shares of the singer's $300 million fortune. the former democrat us congressman, anthony weiner, has pleaded guilty to sending sexually explicit messages to a teenage girl in 2016. he's now likely to face a prison sentence, a harsh fall from grace for someone with links to hillary clinton's presidential campaign. 0ur north america reporter nada tawfik has more. anthony weiner hung his head as he exited federal court, trying to ignore the throngs of press gathered cover the fall of a once rising star of the democratic party, now soon to be sex offender. in court, the ex—
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congressmen broke into tears as he admitted sexting and sending lewd images to a teenager who he knew was a minor. he apologised, saying he had a sickness, but not an excuse. he became infamous and a regular tabloid spread after similar scandals in the past. in 2011, after posting a graphic image publicly to his twitter account in error, he resigned from congress after serving for 12 years as new york was a representative. i make some big m ista kes representative. i make some big mistakes and i know a —— representative. i make some big mistakes and i knowa —— i no eyelids a lot of people down. two yea rs later eyelids a lot of people down. two years later he would try to make a political comeback, with a run for mayor of new york. but again his pension for exchanging lewd messages online would ruin him and make him a pariah of the democratic party. but no one anticipated that his actions would append the 2016 presidential race. after the daily mail exposed
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his illegal exchanges with a 15—year—old, the fbi seized a laptop used by both anthony weiner and his wife, top aid to the democratic candidate hillary clinton. in it they found a new set of e—mails from hillary clinton's private server. that prompted the fbi director at the time james comey that prompted the fbi director at the timejames comey to announce he was reopening the investigation into the democratic candidate for president, days before the election. hillary clinton has partly blamed that announcement for her ultimate defeat. i was on the way to winning until a combination of james defeat. i was on the way to winning until a combination ofjames comey‘s letter on the 28 and russian wikileaks, they letter on the 28 and russian wikilea ks, they raised letter on the 28 and russian wikileaks, they raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me, but got scared. anthony weiner‘s impact on the clinton campaign is likely to be analysed for yea rs campaign is likely to be analysed for years to come, as one of the key twists in a truly unique collection. a new record has been set for the work of an american artist. a painting byjean michel basquiat,
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who came to prominence as a graffiti artist in the 1970s and died of a heroin overdose atjust 27—years—old, has sold for a whopping $110 million. 0ur arts editor will gompertz reports. $57 million. $58 million. the moment is about to arrive at sotheby‘s last night. 65 million on the telephone. when the american neo—expressionist painterjean—michel basquiat, who died nearly 30 years ago. is that a bid, sir? $69 million. hit the big—time. the hammer is up, sir. i'm selling it on this side of the room. it's yuki's bid. a fair warning and selling, thank you, sir, for $98 million. thank you, yuki, congratulations. the sale price when commissions are included puts him in the exclusive auction house $100 million plus club. along with pablo picasso and francis bacon. we definitely had an idea that everybody felt
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that it was a masterpiece but the air gets pretty thin at those sort of levels financially. so, of course, the previous record price was less than half what we've achieved this evening so you're going into very new territory. the buyer, yusaku maezawa, a japanese online fashion retailer, was delighted, he said, at winning this past piece, which is great. but why might he have be willing to pay so much? it's the kind of rock and roll way he put images and text together, it's extremely influential. that mixed with a kind of expressionistic style of painting, added to the fact that he is, you know, a black american artist. it's a kind of explosive mix. that's andy warhol. to that you could now add the almost mythical nature of basquiat‘s short life, which was immortalised and romanticised in this biopic with his friend and mentor andy warhol, played by david bowie. who himself became a collector of the one—time street artist's work. whatever one thinks of the eye
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watering auction price paid for the work, there is no question that jean—michel basquiat fits into the story of modern art. his paintings reference the so—called low art ofjean dubuffet. there's something ifind quite alarming about that picture. and the expressionism of vincent van gogh and the street art scene of 1970s new york. he is a significant figure in the canon. of course, nobody knows whether his paintings can sustain $100 million prices, but, given most are still held privately, the chances are we'll find out fairly soon. will gompertz, bbc news. don't forget, you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter. this is bbc news. thanks for watching. good morning. quite wet through the
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small hours in the north and north—east of the uk. quite breezy, especially in the north—east. there are especially in the north—east. there a re clear especially in the north—east. there are clear spells to be had, and a scattering of showers. with the clear skies it is turning fresh. 9— 10 degrees for major towns and cities. rural spots could get a few degrees lower. a fresh start across the board and still went through the morning in a large chunk of scotland. some south—western parts will stay dry and largely bright through the morning. northern ireland has a couple of showers through the morning and sunshine. scattered showers in northern england, but a good deal of sunshine as well, especially in manchester and across whole. early showers across wales and the south—west of england. towards the midlands, east anglia and the south—east it's a dry start. a couple of early showers towards east anglia and they aren't far away from the south coast. as we get on through the day we will see
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showers developing widely across england and wales, northern ireland, scotland. he went into the afternoon. some of them could contain rumbles of thunder and maybe hail. still some spells of sunshine into the afternoon. 17— 18 will be the top temperatures in the south—eastern corner. the city 15 in the north and west. there could be some wet in inverness, where it will be chilly. 10—11. the chance of showers elsewhere. it even in a lot of the showers fade away from england and wales. maybe eventually they fade away from northern ireland as well, but we keep wet weather to the far north. even that moves away by sunday. again, a fresh start. a good deal of sunshine in the south—east. further north and west more of a breeze and cloud and a list some range of northern ireland and western scotland. 14— 15 for glasgow and belfast. 19— 20 in the south—east. dry and bright in arsenal and maybe more cloud towards liverpool and manchester. a quick
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recap for the weekend. a day of heavy showers for saturday and spells of sunshine. sunday, a much better day. dry for the most part. way few were showers and warmer as well. that warming trend continues for some into monday. equally, on monday, with the southerly breeze to the north—west we have this low pressure bringing cloud and some rain and a bit of a breeze. so we will have wetter and windy weather towards the north—west of the uk. to the south—east, very little rainfall and feeling warmer. this is bbc world news. the headlines: us media are reporting that president donald trump told russian officials that firing fbi directorjames comey eased "great pressure" on him. he's also said to have described mr comey as a "nutjob." the fresh revelations come as mr trump embarks on his first overseas trip as president. his first stop will be saudi arabia. the eight—day trip will also take in israel, the palestinian territories, brussels, the vatican and sicily. the wikilea ks founder, julian assange, says it's a personal victory that sweden has shelved
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a rape investigation, but he says his legal conflict with britain and the us continues. counting has begun in iran's presidential elections after a high turnout forced polling to be extended by six hours. results may come as early as saturday afternoon. now on bbc news, it's time for a special programme: ainslie's america's cup quest.
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