i'm sharanjit leyl in singapore. the headlines: grief and anger in london, as the death toll in the tower block fire rises to 17. the prime minister orders a full public inquiry. democrats and republicans unite. the us's congressional baseball game goes ahead, a day after the shooting that left steve scalise critically injured. i'm kasia madera in london. also in the programme: seven people are killed and dozens injured in an explosion at a nursery in china. local reports suggest the blast was caused by a gas canister. and the duke of york tells newsday that uk firms should make the best of brexit by looking to asia. live from our studios in london and
singapore, you're watching bbc world news. it's newsday. good morning. it's 8am in singapore and 1am here in london where the british prime minister theresa may has ordered a public inquiry into the fire that devastated a residential block of flats in west london. 17 people are now known to have died. many residents are missing, with whole families unaccounted for. here's the latest from our home editor, mark easton, and i must warn you, there are some distressing details in his report. slowly, inch by painstaking inch, fire officers continue their grim and dangerous work. amid the soot—blackened shell of what was once home to hundreds are some who did not make it out. exactly how many, we don't know, but police today said they hoped the final death toll would not be in three figures. the scale of this tragedy is yet to become clear.
sadly, i can confirm the number of people who have died is now 17. we do believe that that number will sadly increase. there are 37 people receiving treatment, of which 17 are still in critical care. the brother of these two syrians was one of those who lost his life. mohammed alhajali was an engineering student seeking a better life in britain. omar was with him as firemen tried to evacuate the blazing building but the pair got separated. i looked behind me, i didn't see my brother. i said, "my brother, my brother, where is he?" they were ignoring downstairs. i went outside. i called him. i said, "where are you?" he said, "i'm in the flat." i said "why you didn't come?" "they brought us outside." "i thought you were with us."
he said "nobody brought me outside." he said "why have you left me?" he said "why?" "i didn't leave!" i thought they took him outside with me. they didn't. they left him. younger brother, hashim, continued to talk to mohammed on his mobile phone until there was no reply. he said, "please tell mum to pray for me." telling me use the quran for him. he said, "are you happy?" "are you happy with me?" "do you have any problem with me?" isaid, "no, who has a problem with you?" "you have a sweet heart, mohammed." "you'll make it out." then he said... he was speaking slowly... he said, "i can't..."
i cannot breath. iam dying. they left me. why? relatives of five—year—old isaac paulos confirmed today that the little boy was among those who died in the fire. the agony of a wounded neighbourhood is written on a wall, the desperation of people searching for family and friends. prayers and solace from near and far. for the last two days, jason garcia has been searching for his 12—year—old cousin jessica urbano. we feel helpless, really. we're hoping that, by putting up posters, sharing her image on social media, and talking to people like yourself, that maybe someone with information will get in touch. thy kingdom come... this evening, jessica's parents and friends gathered together in a community that is craving answers but complains of delays and evasion. at the moment, we're grieving, but there ‘s a bubbling anger underneath and we want to see
somebody held accountable for this. the love and generosity that's poured into north kensington in the last couple of days cannot make up for the numbing sense of loss. the prime minister made a private visit to the scene today, speaking to emergency workers before announcing there will be a full public inquiry into what went wrong. when i spoke to the emergency services, they told me the way this fire progressed and how it took hold of the building was rapid, ferocious and unexpected. we have to get to the bottom of this. the truth has got to come out, and it will. the labour leader, jeremy corbyn, also went in north kensington, insisting he would speak up for the community. shock and grief are being joined by outrage and anger. the questions are raining down, rather like the charred lumps of cladding which locals are holding up as possible evidence that people were housed in a preventable death trap. this tower block fire looks just like north kensington.
london mayor sadiq khan was heckled by a small group of people on a visit to grenfell tower today. what's he gonna say? i don't want to hear this rubbish. feelings are running high. understandably, the residents are very angry and concerned and have genuine questions that demand answers and so whereas... ..someone needs to be held accountable. these deaths could have been prevented! the concerns are notjust about what went wrong in north kensington, they're also about what could go wrong in thousands of tower blocks across britain. residents at trellick tower, who can see grenfell tower from their balconies, now have a constant and disturbing reminder of the risks of high—rise living. mark easton, bbc news, north kensington. another devastating story, this time in china, where at least seven people have been killed in an explosion outside a nursery. it's not yet known if any children are among the dead. at least 66 people have been injured and officials are investigating the cause of the blast in the easternjiangso province. our beijing correspondent, john sudworth, has this update. photographs from the scene showed
both adults and children lying on the ground, some of them bleeding heavily. the police say the explosion happened at around liz50pm. the time of course in china in which many parents would have been picking up their children from school. unconfirmed eyewitness reports being reported by local media suggest at this stage that the explosion may have been caused by a cooking gas canister at a local food stall. china, of course, has a relatively poor record when it comes to industrial or public safety. and, indeed, in the past, there have been a number of incidents in which there have been deliberate violent attacks on schools by individuals
bearing a grudge. but it is too early to speculate in this case. while the hospitals continue to treat the injured, the police say they are investigating the cause. also making news today: the father of an american student who was detained in north korea for 17 months has accused pyongyang of brutalising his son. otto warmbier, who was jailed for trying to steal a propaganda banner, was returned to the us this week on humanitarian grounds. doctors say otto has a "severe" neurological injury and has extensive loss of brain tissue. his father is relieved to have his son back. the judge in the bill cosby sexual assault trial has instructed the jury to keep trying to reach a unanimous verdict. thejurors told thejudge they were in deadlock, despite 30 hours of deliberations. the comedian denies drugging and assaulting a woman at his home near philadelphia in 200a. russia's president vladimir putin has offered the fired fbi chief
james comey "political asylum" during his annual question and answer phone—in on russian state tv. he said mr comey, who'd been looking into russian interference with the us presidential election, had things in common with edward snowden, the us intelligence analyst, who took refuge in moscow after leaking classified information. now take a look at this. this performer, attaching herself to a helicopter, is erendira wallenda, who's about to fly over niagara falls, where she performed a routine which included hanging from a cord gripped only by her teeth. as you can see, she put on quite a show for the watching crowds. erendira comes from a family with a bit of a history linked to niagara. her husband, nik, walked a tightrope across the falls five years ago.
and you'll be glad to know he was there when she came back down to the landing site, safe and sound. we are turning to the fire. many families are still waiting anxiously for news about their loved ones. there have been notices about asking for information. the police say they may never be able to identify all all who have died. we report on a search for relatives. some of the details in the report may be upsetting. mohammed hakim fears he's lost everyone — his mother, father, two brothers and sister. all his extended family supporting him now rushed to the fire when the calls of panic came. i spoke to her and the last few
words she said to me was, "please forgive me if i've said anything to upset you or hurt you. i don't think we're going to make it out of the building." they were supposed to be celebrating next month. his sister, husna, was getting married, but the entire family were trapped on the 17th floor. they were reciting duas from the koran. and it wasjust heartbreaking, and then itjust cut out. and then i rang husna. she was, like, we're not going to make it, we can't make it, we can see flames under the door. we can see flames under the door. i kept saying, try and put things under the door to stop the smoke coming in and get as low as you can and open the windows. someone's going to come, call the fire brigade, do something. and then she stopped talking. all i could hear was this crackling noise in the background, because the phone was still on, but she wasn't saying anything. the not knowing is killing me.
i really need to find out where they are. the family stood helpless outside, unable to rescue them. this is the worst thing i remember in my life. i saw my uncle, from the 17th floor. he opened the window. he kept shouting, "please, help us, get us out." he was saying allah's name, and all this. i kept looking at him, helpless. mohammed, it must be extremely difficult, just not knowing? not losing one member of my family, but losing all five, the whole, entire family. i don't have my parents any more and you only get one set of parents in this world. and i had three siblings.
they are all gone, in the space of a couple of hours, after leaving their house, they are all gone. they still have hope, but feel bereft of help. adel chaoui is another relative deep in grief and frustration. ba by leena belkadi, just six months old, is missing, along with her mum, farah, and her dad, omar. they eventually found two of the baby's sisters in hospital. we cajoled and begged a nurse to go upstairs and after ten minutes, one of them offered to do so and came down and told us they had a child that matched the description, did we want to come up and have a look. we found one of the children there, the younger. my brother's looking around, and he's staring at another bed and asks farah‘s older sister to have a look. farah‘s older sister says, "that's the other child, that's the older one." they were beds apart and nobody in authority was making any effort to identify them. you've had to do this all yourself?
we've had to do it ourselves. so many families here are looking, hoping, dreading the news that may come. lucy manning, bbc news, west london. there is much more on this on our website. there is a live page that is constantly updated by reporters. there are also stories for the families and injured. there is also a story on the make—up of the tower and what we know about the fire so far. baseball is said to be america's game, and the country's leading politicians have made a statement by taking to the field for the annual congressional baseball match. the background of course is the attack on a group of republicans as they were practising at a field in virginia on wednesday. four people were injured,
including senior congressman, steve scalise. the attacker, james hodgkinson, was shot dead by police. it's an annual tradition when republicans and democrats take a breakfrom republicans and democrats take a break from the turmoil of the political battle for an evening to play baseball. this is one of the last vestiges of old washington where politicians on both sides of the ideological divide put aside partisan differences and actually socialise together. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: the duke of yorkjoins me to have his say on life after brexit. there was a bomb in the city centre.
a code word known to be one used by the ira was given. army bomb experts were examining a suspect van when there was a huge explosion. the south african parliament has destroyed the foundation of apartheid by abolishing the population registration act, which for a0 years forcibly classified each citizen according to race. germany's parliament, the bundestag, has voted by a narrow majority to move the seat government from bonn to berlin. berliners celebrated into the night but the decision was greeted with shock in bonn. just a day old and the royal baby is tonight sleeping in his cot at home. early this evening the new prince was taken by his mother and father to their apartments in kensington palace. the real focus today was valentina tereshkova, the world's first woman cosmonaut. what do you think of the russian woman in space? i think it's a wonderful achievement and i think we might be able to persuade the wife it would be a good idea if i could to get her to go up there for a little while. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm sharanjit leyl in singapore. i'm kasia madeira in london. our top stories:
the death toll in the london tower block fire rises to 17, but is expected to increase further. a day after a shooting that targeted members of us congress, democrats and republicans take to the field for a charity baseball match. this athletics footage has gone viral over the past few hours. this is blessing of nigeria competing in the women's long jump at the diamond league meeting in oslo. herfirst round effort will be remembered for all the wrong reasons as her hairpiece came loose as she landed. her leap was 6.21, about a0 centimetres further than her hair! let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. the singapore—based strait times leads on a row amongst the island's first family, the lees. the paper reports that the prime
minister, lee hsien long, has raised serious questions about the way his father, lee kwan yew‘s last will was altered to reintroduce a clause to demolish his house. the gulf news front page carries a photo of supplies being collected for those made homeless by the london tower block fire. but a report in the paper quotes the united arab emirates foreign minister as saying qatar will be isolated if it fails to address the grievances of the gulf nations. the philippines star looks at the public absence of president duterte since monday. it quotes a presidential palace spokesman as saying the president is fatigued not ill after 23 days on the road. it's extremely rare for members of the british royal family to comment on politics,
so our next item is something of a scoop. i've been talking to the duke of york, or prince andrew as he's also known, right here in the newsday studio. he's been visiting singapore for a commonwealth science conference. he was also here to promote the programme he runs for entrepreneurs, which is called pitch@palace. i was able to get his thoughts on a number of things, including, just three days before negotiations are due to start, brexit. i think that the changes that are going to happened to the uk because of the article 50 instigation, and the negotiations that are going to go on over the next couple of years, there is going to be uncertainty. we live in an uncertain world, as we have seen recently, and it's getting more uncertain, but i suspect over time, once people begin to understand exactly what it is that is happening and how it is going to happen,
and i'm just as much in the dark about that as anybody else, i think that the sentiment, as you say, might, well, actually should return because the underlying factors are still stable, good, growing and because... we have been concentrating on 27 countries, if you take that as an internal market, there is an external market that's a lot bigger and many businesses have not looked over that garden fence to some extent and, in my experience recently, businesses to look over the garden fence have gone, "mmm, the grass isn't quite as dark
and unforgiving as you might expect," and actually getting over the fence, there might be some fresh grass out there. so let's talk about those businesses that are looking over the garden fence, what are the most important parts of the world now for brand uk? the world is your oyster. i think what we're seeing is there are a number of businesses that are looking towards the commonwealth. the commonwealth is 53 countries that use the same legal system, and i suspect there are a lot of opportunities in there. the uk is looking at that for a more holistic approach anyway. and then you've got the whole of asia. china is very, very important, it's growing in importance. the way i would look at it is you're almost spoilt for choice today as to where you could go. i suspect also there are opportunities for international markets looking at the uk in a way that they may not have looked at us before. the duke of york.
with an annual budget of £6 billion, sir mark walport, head of the new uk research and innovation agency, is probably the most powerful person in british science. but will the recent uk elections and brexit throw plans into disarray? well, let's find out what he thinks? thank you so much for coming into the studio. you've been described as the studio. you've been described as the science supremo, you are going to ta ke the science supremo, you are going to take this role next year as the head of the uk research and innovation agency. we've got far too little time to talk about exactly what the scope of that job little time to talk about exactly what the scope of thatjob in titles, but can you tell us briefly? it's the public funding for science research and innovation. it's building on enormous strengths, we got seven research councils, we've got seven research councils, we've got innovate uk and the opportunity is to bring them together and build
on what are our is to bring them together and build on what are oui’ enormous is to bring them together and build on what are our enormous strengths. the uk puts about 3%‘s r&d funding but we get 50% of the most cited papers —— 3% of the world's. we are an innovative country and a globally outward looking country. £6 billion budget sounds like a lot but with the recent uk collections, brexit as well, will that potentially change things? the first thing to say is as pa rt things? the first thing to say is as part of the formation of the uk research and innovation agency, the government has committed an extra £a.7 billion moving forward to 2021. obviously we'll wait to see what happens in terms of science and the negotiations around brexit, but the prime minister herself has talked about science as being one of the important pillars of our collaboration. but some of that funding comes from europe at the moment into the uk? not of that £6 billion, the £6 billion is what the uk is publicly funding but you're
right, there's more than another £1 billion a year that comes in from european grants. wouldn't that be a concern if that goes away? the most important thing of all to be honest is to maintain our collaboration. the very nature of research increasingly it said burdon, that's why i'm here at the commonwealth science conference, bringing together 62 countries and there's a range of collaborations and many with singapore, so i've visited many of the science and research institutions and funders in singapore —— it's a burden. institutions and funders in singapore -- it's a burden. going back to the situation in the uk, in the past there have been concerns in the past there have been concerns in the scientific community that this new organisation you're going to be heading will centralise control of a lot of the funding. can such a large, monolithic organisation potentially spur innovation? the a nswer potentially spur innovation? the answer is it's not going to be a monolithic organisation, it's going to bea monolithic organisation, it's going to be a polymer thick organisation, we are building on the strength of
the existing partners and they will have very strong identities —— poleksic. we will make sure they have strong leaders as well. so it's intended to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts but it isn't about centralisation or some enormous concrete pillar. as i warned earlier we don't have much time but thank you for coming into the studio, sir mark walport. you have been watching newsday. stay with us, we take you to kazakhstan to find out how the country aims to generate half its energy needs from renewable sources. and before we go, let me bring you these pictures of a young black rhino doing a turn for visitors at tallinn zoo in estonia. the female calf is already giving her mother kibibi the run—around, despite being born just two weeks ago. but she's still a bit wary of visitors and didn't get too close. that's all for now, stay with bbc world news. very wise! congratulations to her. hello there.
it looks predominantly dry for the uk for the next three or four days. temperatures will rise as well. but actually through the course of yesterday, we lost temporarily some of the heat. things freshened up behind our cold weather front. we still managed 25 degrees in the sunshine ahead of it. but the fresher atlantic air brought quite a pestering of showers, which continued into the evening but have been easing away overnight, as high pleasure's built in. but we're not without weather fronts. there will be very weak weather fronts coming in across parts of northern ireland and western scotland. so it will be a more comfortable end to the night but we will have rather more cloud again to greet us across northern ireland, western scotland. cloud coming and going further south, i think, is really the name of the game, because it will be bright with some spells of sunshine, particularly in southern and western areas. for the west of scotland, and the islands, the western isles in particular, it looks to be fairly damp day, 1as or 15s here. east of the gambians, where the sun comes out, we could see 19 degrees, 20 across northern ireland with some afternoon sunshine as well.
we'll see varying amounts of cloud across northern, central and eastern parts of england. looks like we could see some very decent breaks in the cloud across south wales and the south—west. temperatures in comparison to recent days will be just a degree or two down, 22, 23 the high, but strong sunshine and very high levels of uv, unfortunately. as we go through the coming night, we'll see a little bit more misty low cloud around. we'll see that anyway through the day across western scotland. there could be some around southern and western areas, notjust the coast but inland. it's not going to be a particularly cold night either. as we move into saturday, the high—pressure starting to build in again, pushing those weather fronts northwards. they're still going to hang on in the far north—west of scotland through saturday morning but it's essentially a fine day. more sunshine, i think, compared with the day ahead. although for northern ireland, still cloud around and scotland, again, the best will be the east of scotland and there we could see temperatures getting into the low 20s. a little warmup for northern ireland, again. and certainly so across england and wales as we start to build up the warmth. sunday again we see the warmth
building even further. we start to pick up more of a southerly in the south, so hopefully losing the misty low cloud but, again, the north—west of scotland is looking as if it could be persistently cloudy with some rain at times. if you are finding the prospect of temperatures approaching 30 a little stifling, the sea is a little cooler at this time of year so those sea breezes will be refreshing. but the sun will be just a strong, even around the coast, it doesn't matter if it's 15 degrees or 25 degrees. and these are the uv levels through the weekend, as you can see, they are high for many parts of the country. the heat builds further as we head into the start of the new week, particularly in the south. bye— bye. i'm kasia madera with bbc world news. our top story this hour: the grim task of finding bodies after the london tower block fire. so far, there have been 17 confirmed fatalities, but that number is expected to rise as many are still missing. the last of the fires are being dampened down and specialist teams are now working inside the tower to secure parts of the building.
prime minister theresa may has ordered a full public inquiry into the fire, saying people "deserve answers" as to why it spread so rapidly. the mayor of london, sadiq khan, said the judge chosen to lead the inquiry should publish an interim report this summer. in other news: the annual us congressional baseball match is now under way. players paid tribute to the house majority whip, steve scalise, and three other people who were injured on wednesday in an attack on a group of republicans who were practising for the game. and another headline here in the uk: