you are watching newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. our top stories: "detestable lies": donald trump's attorney general denies claims he colluded with russia in the us presidential election. i have never met with or had any conversations with any russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election. landslides and floods kill more than a hundred as monsoon rains hit bangladesh. iam babita i am babita sharma iam babita sharma in i am babita sharma in london. also in the programme: after a year and a half in north korean jails, an american student is flown home. is it a movie? no, it's a game. it looks like a hollywood premiere, but the latest incarnation of spiderman is heading to a console, not a cinema. hello everyone.
it's 8am in singapore 1am in the morning in london and 8pm in the evening in washington, where the us government's top lawyer has been facing tough questions about the alleged russian interference in last year's presidential election. attorney generaljeff sessions said that claims he colluded with moscow were "detestable lies". and he defended the controversial sacking of the fbi directorjames comey. from washington, nick bryant reports. capitol hill, on days such as this, america's most elegantly designed theatre. the stage for the latest instalment of a russian saga gripping washington and destabilising the trump white house. last week saw act i, the testimony of this former fbi
directorjames comey, fired by president trump. now the sequel, attorney generaljeff sessions, a former trump campaign adviser, now the head of the justice department. he came out counterpunching, fierce in his denial that he'd held meetings with russian officials last year to discuss interfering with the presidential election. the suggestion that i participated in any collusion, that i was aware of any collusion with the russian governments to hurt this country, which i have served with honour for 35 years or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process. it is an appalling and detestable lie. the attorney general has recused himself from the russian investigation, but he was adamant that shouldn't be misconstrued. i did not recuse myself. i'm defending my honour against scurrilous and false allegations. the democratic senators
complained he refused to discuss his conversations with president trump. i believe the american people have had it with stonewalling. i am not stonewalling. i am following the historic policies of the department ofjustice. then tempers flared. mr comey said there were matters, with respect of the recusal, that were problematic and he couldn't talk about them. what are they? why don't you tell me? there are none, senator, there are none. i can tell you that for absolute certainty. so for once, the most angry words in washington didn't come from donald trump. he'd left town, seemingly in a genial mood, but he can't escape the russian cloud that hangs still over his presidency. donald trump has made no secret of his annoyance in the past with jeff sessions for accusing
himself from the russian investigation, which means that his deputy has been making all the key decisions. our other top story: the parents of an american student say he is in a coma and has been medically evancuated from north korea. otto warmbier had been sentenced to 15 years of hard labour last year for stealing a propaganda banner. the news of his release was confirmed by the us secretary of state. at the president's direction, the department of state have secured the release. he is on his way en route home, to be reunited with his family. we continue our discussions with the north korean regime regarding the release of the three other american citizens that have
been detained. we have no comment on his condition out of respect for him and his family. and that was the statement that was released. so, as you heard there, american officials are not commenting on his condition. the bbc‘s steve evans is in seoul with more. within the last two weeks, it seems that north korea got in touch with the united states — and remember these two countries do not have any diplomatic relations — and said that otto warmbier, a 22—year—old student, was seriously ill and what then happened very recently was a state department official plus two doctors from the us went to pyongyang and discovered that otto warmbier was in a coma. the north korean say that he went into that coma a year ago, after contracting botulism. so what seems to be true is that he is now on route to the us in a medical evacuation, in a coma.
how he got into that coma remains unclear and the true state of his health, how life—threatening that coma is, is also unclear. but it is clearly an extraordinary situation that north korea should come to the us and say, in effect, we've got a situation on our hands here and we need to sort it out. also making news: here in the uk, talks between northern ireland's democratic unionist party and the british prime minister theresa may will recommence omn wednesday as they try to finalise their support for her minority government. one of china's best—known billionaires and chairman of the insurance group anbang, wu xiaohui, is reportedly no longer in the post due to what's being called "personal reasons". it comes days after the firm denied mr wu was barred from leaving china, amid an anti—corruption campaign
by president xijinping in the financial industry. the head of the uber ride—sharing company says he will take indefinite leave of absence from running the company. the announcement by travis kalanick came ahead of the publication of an investigation into the company's ethics. the review was sparked by a former employee's claims the company ignored her complaints about sexual harassment. let's return to our top story. the testimony of the us attorney generaljeff sessions. a short while ago i spoke with our correspondent laura trevelyan who's been following the hearing in washington and noticed in particular the annoyance of opposition senators. democrats got very frustrated with the attorney general, at one point accusing him of obstructing this investigation into whether there was or wasn't collusion between the trunp campaign and russia during the 2016 presidential election. but the attorney general was adamant he would not discuss his private conversations with donald trump,
not because the president was invoking executive privilege but, said the attorney general, because he has a duty to protect those confidential conversations. so therefore we did not learn what the attorney general talked about when it came to the firing of that fbi directorjames comey and we also did not really learn anything at all about the conversations between the two men but, rico, we did find out that the attorney general adamant there that he did not meet with the russian ambassador or at least had a prolonged meeting with him at an event here in washington, dc, last year. this is relevant because in his confirmation hearing the attorney general forgot to say that he twice met the russian ambassador during the campaign. there had been reports of a third meeting and the attorney general said he certainly had no recollection of any encounter so that much we did learn, rico. what happens next, laura, after this sessions testimony? well, that's. ..
you are asking an exceptionally good question. all the senators asked the attorney general whether he would come back, whether he'd give them more information and the answer to that seems to be "maybe". but really, the big show in town is not so much the senate intelligence committee, which is what the attorney general was appearing in front of today, but the special counsel, robert mueller, who has been appointed by the deputy attorney general to look into this wider issue of collusion between russia and the trump campaign, and just a little side note on that, which is that a friend of the president was musing last night about whether or not the president might sack the special counsel however it seems that is something that is not happening at least for the moment, rico. it's getting cold again. willjames comey be testifying again before the senate intelligence committee? -- complicated again. that is good question. he will certainly speak to the special counsel. that is the key
inquiry here, and all of those hearings are happening in private. all of those interviews. and we don't even know what the timeframe is here. we don't know if it is weeks or years until the special counsel releases his findings. but we do know that the senate intelligence committee, and there are other investigations going on on capitol hill, and they will be speedier in their work than the special counsel. this looming question of whether there was collusion with russia, when it is finally cleared up, that we do not know. over a hundred people have died in landslides in bangladesh, triggered by monsoon rains. young children are among the dead, including three from one family. many were killed while they slept. the authorities in the remote villages in the chittagong hills have warned the death toll will rise, as many affected areas remain cut off from rescue workers. akbar hossain has the latest from dhaka. for people living in bangladesh's hilly regions, this was a nightmare. many of the victims are buried by the last light, during the night
as they slept. the areas affected are rangamati, bandarban and chittagong districts. four bangladeshi soldiers are among the dead, caught by the landslide when the army was sent in to help with the rescue operation. dozens of people are also reported missing following some of the heaviest rains in recent years. translation: i cannot find my house. it has been buried. it has collapsed due to the landslide. i was evacuated from my home. two of my family died and two of them survived. hundreds of trees have been uprooted and many roads are blocked. telecommunication links and electricity have also been cut off and contact has been lost with some of the communities. the hills in this region are prone to collapse increase the risk of landslides during the rainy season. government officials in the area told the bbc they are facing real difficulties in searching for people due to the bad weather. hundreds of the residents living at the foot of the hills have been ordered to evacuate their home
amid fears of further landslides. translation: most of the houses have been put under lock and key. the people have moved to safer places, they have taken children in local schools. everyone who is still here has been asked to leave their houses. we will not allow them to stay here until the situation improves. traffic in the capital dhaka and chittagong, bangladesh's major port city, has also been disrupted by the torrential rains. last month, at least eight people were killed and thousands of homes destroyed after cyclone mora smashed into bangladesh's south—east. akbar hossain, bbc news, dhaka. you are watching newsday on the bbc, live from singapore and london. still to come on the programme:
a big setback for taiwan — panama becomes the latest country to switch diplomatic recognition to communist china. also in the programme: microsoft unveils a new xbox — we ask the company why pay more for a console that plays the same games. the day the british liberated the falklands and by tonight british troops had begun the task of disarming the enemy. in the heart of the west german capital, this was gorbymania at its height. the crowd packed to see the man who, for them, had raised great hopes for the end of the division of europe. michaeljackson was not guilty on all charges. the screams of the crowd testament to his popularity and theirfaith in his innocence. as long as they'll pay to go see me, i'll get out there
and kick 'em down the hill. what does it feel like to be the first man to go across the channel by your own power? it's pretty neat. feels marvellous, really. you're watching newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon, in singapore. i'm babita sharma, in london. our top stories: president trump's attorney general has told a congressional committee that allegations his campaign colluded with russia are "detestable lies". north korea has allowed an american student who fell into a coma while in prison to be flown home. scientists in china have discovered six dinosaurfossil beds in the north eastern city of yanji. they say they're the only ones ever found in a modern urban area. that story is popular
on bbc.com across asia. let's have a look at some of the front pages from around the world: starting with the china daily. an establishment of diplomatic ties between beijing and panama. the central american state has links with taiwan. there are reports that panama now recognises that there is only one china and that taiwan is part of chinese territory. moving on to the japan times. on the front pages story on dennis rodman, arriving in north korea. the paper says his so—called basketball diplomacy has brought speculation that he might have some unofficial role easing tensions between washington and pyongyang. finally, singapore's straits times features a bigfoot all friendly finally, singapore's straits times features a big football friendly
between singapore and one of the world's top teams, argentina. despite the absence of lionel messi and other stars, the argentinians put on a massive show, beating the singaporeans 6—0 in front of 33,000 fans. as we just heard, the taiwanese government has hit back after panama severed relations with taipei and established them with beijing instead. the move by the south american country has caused alarm in which taiwan fears other countries could follow suit, comprising its independence. escalating tensions pose risks for both sides in what is a long—term dispute. this is what could happen if china invaded taiwan. and this is how taiwan's military would respond, defending its outlying island in this recent drill. this is not a real war, it's just a military drill. but the taiwanese government is trying to send a message, that the threat from
china is very real. china is located on the 150 kilometres across these waters. china is located only 150 kilometres across these waters. it has more than 1000 missiles targeting taiwan. it spends more than 15 times what taiwan spends on defence. the unprecedented phone call between the taiwanese president and donald trump in december had raised the us would pay more and donald trump in december had raised hopes the us would pay more attention to taiwan's security concerns. but with the trump administration cosying up to beijing lately, taiwan is feeling increasingly sidelined why it only friend, with the military muscle to help it fend off an attack from the mainland. chinese tourists drop by more than half in herfirst year in office, hurting taiwan's already sluggish economy. beijing has arrested more than 200 taiwanese from other countries for allegedly committing telecoms fraud
against chinese citizens. the latest victim in beijing's powerplay, this human rights activist who has been arrested by chinese authorities. at this rally demonstrators are calling for his release. beijing's actions may be hurting rather than helping its cause. translation: who would want to be unified with a country that so horrible? i strongly support taiwan becoming independent. critics point out the president's approach to china is not helping either. they say the current stalemate gives few opportunities for the two sides to interact and for chinese officials and ordinary people to understand democratic taiwan. if the stand—off continues, neither side is expected to win. taiwan can't afford a drawnout impasse.
its economy is dependent on mainland. for china, playing hard ball is a risky proposition if it is trying to win the hearts and minds of the taiwanese people. the hong kong government plans to completely ban ivory trading in four years. the city has long been criticised for being a global centre for illegal wildlife trafficking and is currently one of the top transit centres in the world for ivory that is on its way to china. the intended ban, which will come into effect in 2021, is highly popular with conservationists. our correspondentjuliana liu in hong kong has more details on what will happen in parliament. in a few hours the hong kong government is going to officially present a proposal to phase out completely the ivory trade in the city by 2021. we are expecting that bill to be read twice and then we may also hear the composition of the committee, the bill committee, which will debate this bill before presenting it to a wider vote
perhaps later on this year. so expecting just the formal presentation of that proposal today, but as you say this is something that conservation wildlife groups have been waiting years for. they've been lobbying the hong kong government for years to ban this trade in hong kong completely. as you say, there's a lot of public support for it and the outgoing chief executive cy leung made this announcement during his policy speech in a real surprise move last year and certainly the public and conservation groups hope that this bill is approved by parliament later this year. why not institute this this year? why do they still have to wait another four years, until 2021? that's right, certainly there is some controversy over that phase ban.
certainly groups like wwf, the world wildlife fund, believe this ban could happen within two years or even less. but the hong kong government wants to start something that's a bit more phased. this has been controversial. certainly at the moment conservation groups are focused on getting this current bill passed because they believe it will do a lot in terms of stemming the illegal ivory trade. as you know, hong kong has the world's biggest retail market in legal ivory. about 30,000 pieces for sale at any time. we also know this is a centre for the illegal trade and from about 2000—2013 about 33 tons of ivory was confiscated by hong kong customs and the theory is that right now the legal trade actually masks the illegal trade, so once this trade is banned for good they believe it will really help the antipoaching efforts in africa, which are killing 100 elephants a day. the force india boss faces fraud
charges in india. he denies the allegations and says he can prove his innocence. when he arrived here at westminster magistrates‘ court he had to force his way through the building through reporters and camera crew. he seemed building through reporters and camera crew. he seemed in good spirit. hejoked camera crew. he seemed in good spirit. he joked about camera crew. he seemed in good spirit. hejoked about his appearance at the cricket match on sunday where he received abuse from a section of the crowd. the hearing was largely technical. he confirmed his name, date of birth and bank the magistrate. we did learn that the prosecution ‘s content to get
information is taking longer and different charges thought to be in the pipeline. he will appear on the fourth of december again. thousands have gathered in los angeles where they‘ll get a chance to try out the latest titles and technology — all at the electronic entertainment expo — known as e3. the bbc‘s dave lee takes a closer look at the industry that is now worth billions. now, everyone please enjoy the ride. it looks and sounds like a hollywood premiere, but this is the launch of spiderman, the latest blockbuster game for the sony playstation. it was unveiled in front of thousands of fans ahead of e3, the biggest gaming event in the calendar. there was no new hardware from the company, as a more powerful version of its playstation was launched last year. as well as spiderman we also saw several new virtual reality titles. sony‘s rival, microsoft,
announced the xbox one x, a more powerful version. it will improve the visuals of its games but not much else and it comes in at £1149, twice the price of the existing model. it‘s about giving gamers choice. we both know there‘s a certain customer that wants the best in everything, which is why we designed xbox one x. how many of those customers do you have? in the gaming community there is a large section of those customers. but giving them a choice is important. we have value across the whole line. this glamorous event caters to the hard—core line, but for the more casual gamers among us these expensive upgrades may not be worth it. it‘s not necessary to buy these boxes. you won‘t lose out on any games because they work on both the lower end and higher end. you won‘t do anything massively different, but it‘s good to know you are doing your gaming in the best way possible. once the show floor is fully open later this week we will begin to see
if the new games can live up to the hype and continue to fuel what has grown into a £70 billion industry. you have been watching newsday. stay with us. all eyes are on the federal reserve as they continue to meet on whether or not to raise us interest rates. more on that in a few moments. and before we go, france and england played a football friendly match this evening in paris. and an emotional tribute was paid to the victims of the recent terror attacks in both countries. president macron and prime minister may were also present. france beat england three goals to two. hello, there. the middle of the week is going to bring a peak in the temperatures. you could describe it as very warm across many parts of the country,
especially across southern areas of england and wales. you could describe it as hot. some sunny spells around, but that‘s not quite the case everywhere because on the satellite picture you can see the cloud that‘s been rolling in from the atlantic. this will be clipping into northern ireland and western scotland. here there will be more cloud through the day and it will be breezy. some splashes of rain at times, especially to the far north—west. you could see the odd shower in the afternoon in england and wales. further south, long spells of sunshine and that‘s where we will have the highest temperatures. for the middle part of wednesday there could be the odd shower over northern england, but 2a degrees in leeds and manchester. lots of sunshine towards the south—east. up to 27—28. always a little bit cooler towards the coast. we could have 18 degrees in plymouth. fine and sunny across the south—west of england and much of wales. there could be the odd shower, especially over high ground. the vast majority staying dry.
cooler towards the coast. for northern ireland there will be more cloud, but the day is by no means a washout. a lot of dry weather, mainly mpatchy rain into the north—west. more rain in the northern and western parts of scotland. for eastern scotland there should be some sunshine and a fair degree of warmth. through wednesday night it will turn quite muggy across eastern areas. humid air still in place. out west, a change. the rain working through northern ireland and into scotland, wales. this is associated with a cold front and as that moves from the west on thursday it will start to introduce cooler and fresher aironce again. still a pretty warm day in east anglia and the south—east, with humidity holding on. the weather front continues to move eastwards and will sweep the real heat and humidity away.
temperatures in most places on thursday afternoon about 16—19 degrees. there will be sunshine, but there will also be hefty showers in parts of the north—west. some showers again on friday, especially in parts of wales, northern ireland, western scotland. brighter weather further east. up to 23 degrees in the south—east and into the weekend it looks like the heat and humidity will return in the south. always cooler further north, with a little bit of rain. you are watching bbc news. i‘m babita sharma. the headlines this hour: the us attorney general has described allegations that he colluded with the kremlin as "detestable lies". jeff sessions told the senate intelligence committee he‘d had no meetings with russian officials about mr trump‘s presidential campaign. aus a us student is being flown home after being released by north korea. otto warmbier, who was sentenced to 15 years hard labour for stealing a propaganda banner,
apparently fell into a coma while injail. and this video is trending on bbc.com. scientists in china have discovered six dinosaurfossil beds in the north eastern city of yanji. they‘re the only ones to be found in a modern urban area. more on that story on our website. that is all for now. stay with us.