welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: seventeen people are confirmed dead in london's tower block fire. the prime minister orders a full public inquiry, as local residents demand answers. at the moment we are grieving but there is a bubbling anger underneath and we want to see someone held accountable for this. dozens of people are still missing and families conducting a desperate search for their loved ones. doctors say the american student freed this week by north korea remains in a coma and has suffered severe brain damage. democrats and republicans unite. the us's congressional baseball game goes ahead — a day after the shooting that left steve scalise critically injured. and a new chapter in us—cuba relations — after two years of tourism and trade will president trump turn back the clock?
hello. as questions multiply about the fire that engulfed a west london tower block, there's growing anger among local people about warnings they say were ignored. britain's prime minister bore the brunt of some of that anger today, and london's mayor told a furious crowd at the scene they should not have to wait for answers. police say the current death toll of 17 could rise significantly — it will take weeks to search the building. the first victim has been named as mohammed al—hajali, a syrian refugee who was 23. mark easton begins our coverage — some of his report you may find distressing. 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 do not 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 could not 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 could you not 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 are 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've to get to the bottom of this. the truth has got to come out, and it will. the labour leaderjeremy 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. 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. there were hundreds in the tower block when the fire broke out — many of them asleep.
whole families are unaccounted for. lucy manning reports on the search forfriends and relatives — again, there are upsetting details coming up. 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. and no—one wants to give us any information about their whereabouts, if they are still within the building, or not. 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. and you can find all the very latest on our website. you'll find a live page constantly updated by our reporters, stories from the families affected and the local community. there's also an in depth account of the make up of the tower and what we know about the fire so far. let's take a look at some of the other stories
making the news. president trump has said reports that he's under criminal investigation are part of what he called the greatest single witch hunt in american political history, led by some very bad people. mr trump said on twitter he was accused of obstructing justice over something for which there was zero proof — claims that his campaign colluded with russia to influence last year's election. officials are investigating the cause of an explosion that's killed at least eight people and injured 65 others outside a nursery in china's eastern jiangso province. it's not yet known if any children are among the dead. it happened as parents were waiting to take their children home. a jury deliberating bill cosby‘s sex assault trial has told the judge they are deadlocked on day four of their deliberations. but thejudge has instructed the panel to return to continue trying to reach a verdict. the comedian denies drugging and assaulting a woman at his home near philadelphia in 200a. if the seven men and five women cannot reach a unanimous decision
a mistrial will be declared. greece will receive another 8.5 billion euros from the eurozone for its bailout programme after european finance ministers reached an agreement. greece has repayments on other loans due next month which it could not otherwise have made. the payment is subject to approval of the imf board. doctors treating an american who was in a coma when he was released from a north korean prison say he has suffered severe brain injury. otto warmbier was freed on tuesday and is now back home in cincinnati. it's not clear how he sustained the brain damage. he'd been given a long prison sentence in march 2016 for trying to steal a propaganda banner. sarah corker reports. this is otto warmbier, a 22—year—old american student pictured during his trial in pyongyang last year.
clearly distraught he was sentenced to 15 years hard labourfor stealing a propaganda sign from a hotel. he is now in a coma. north korea say shortly after the trial he contracted botulism. the father strongly dispute that. we don believe it. there is no excuse for any civilised nation to have kept his condition secret and denied him top—notch medical care for so long. otto warmbier had visited north korea is part of a group talk. he arrived in the us on tuesday at an doctors treating him in cincinnati said they have found no sign of botulism. his neurological condition can be best described as a state of unresponsive wakefulness. he has
spontaneous eye opening and blinking, however, he shows no signs of understanding language. blinking, however, he shows no signs of understanding languagem blinking, however, he shows no signs of understanding language. it comes as tensions between the us and north korea are mounting over north korea is missile programme. a meeting this week with three other us citizens being beaten an way the authoritarian regime. being beaten an way the authoritarian regimelj being beaten an way the authoritarian regime. i come here to release the other americans being held. no other family should release the other americans being held. no otherfamily should go through otto warmbier what's family has gone through. his family described it as a bittersweet feeling to finally have him home. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: the funny side of his annual phone—in — russian president vladimir putin offers former fbi director james comey asylum.
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 bbc news. the latest headlines: the death toll in the london tower block fire rises to 17, but is expected to increase further. dozens are still missing. families are still looking for relatives. in bangladesh, the search continues for people after one of the worst ever landslides in the country. we have been to the area worst affected. landslides in the country. we have been to the area worst affectedlj been to the area worst affected.” am standing in the south—east of bangladesh. a massive landslide took place three days ago. so far, 150 people have died. many are still
missing. the army and fire service are still continuing the rescue operation. many people are still trapped under the mud. firefighters and rescue operators are not actually hoping to rescue anyone alive from the rubble. this area is prone to landslides. but this is the deadliest ever landslide in recent yea rs. deadliest ever landslide in recent years. many people are still taking shelter in some other areas which are safe and they cannot return home. many people are still searching for near and dear people still under the mud. power supplies and mobile networks have been cut off for the last four days in the area and in some other districts. authorities say it will take time to restore communication. leading american politicians are playing their traditional charity baseball game a day after a leading republican and three others were shot during practice for the match.
the annual congressional baseball game in washington has been hailed as a rare and welcome moment of unity between both major parties. steve scalise the house majority whip remains in a critical condition. laura bicker has more from nationals park. this game has taken on extra significance since yesterday's shooting. not only have there been extra ticket sales, they have gone ata extra ticket sales, they have gone at a rate of 500 extra tickets an hour. that is 20,000 being sold in the last 2a hours since the shooting. when it comes to what they will wear, usually they were the uniform of their local state university. but this time, in honour of congressman steve scalise, still in hospital, they will wear the uniform of his state university.
they said tonight it is not about republicans and democrats, it is about steve scalise. when the players take to the pitch, it is worth mentioning this is a rare and genuine opportunity for these politicians to show bipartisanship. it has been going on since 1909. and, yes, raised ball practice may have been marred by violence, but tonight they have a chance to show they are notjust politicians, but people and players. —— baseball practise. they are notjust someone you can pin ideology to. that is the spirit in which this game will be held. laura bickerfor us laura bicker for us there. president trump is due to announce a new policy on cuba later on friday during a visit to miami. some has already leaked out.
the white house says the new policy will tighten trade and travel restrictions once again, which were relaxed during president obama's detente with the island. will grant reports from havana. by by airand sea, by air and sea, the americans have invaded cuba again. over the past two years, hundreds of thousands of americans have disembarked on the island. some have taken the first cruise ships to ivana in decades. direct commercial sites were reinstated. —— havana. all work here is to finally see cuba for themselves. but if this is a sign of friendly relationships, people expect things to get frosty again, including those running educational visits to the island's economy's benefit. there is a great deal of affinity between the two countries socially. many people will see that as concerning that things might change. during the obama
administration, the mood was optimism. the only word for the donald trump time in office is uncertainty. many cubans are concerned for their businesses and what new travel rules will mean for the country. there is a lot at sta ke. the country. there is a lot at stake. opponents for obama's decision of engagement server does not benefit cubans. —— say it does not. this man disagrees. he runs a cafe. he says any new policy comes ata cafe. he says any new policy comes at a sensitive time. this morning when cuba and the united states, they start to build a relation, let us they start to build a relation, let us say just a they start to build a relation, let us sayjust a relation, maybe in the future, it could be a good relationship. this is the beginning. it is not fair he is changing the law to put despite improved tyres, the us embargo remains firmly in place. —— despite improved ties. only a few businesses have a
footprint on the island. though more will come, donald trump may ban us firms working with the commercial wing of the us military. how can someone say wing of the us military. how can someone say i want to work in cuba and invest in cuba and do business in cuba and avoid the public sector in cuba and avoid the public sector in cuba which is dominant? if you wa nt in cuba which is dominant? if you want to do business in cuba and you wa nt want to do business in cuba and you want to do business in cuba and you want to be serious about doing business in cuba, you cannot avoid the public centre. donald trump's desire to end obama's policy, has it spelt difficulty for them? the question now isjust spelt difficulty for them? the question now is just how far will he go? president putin spent four hours fielding questions and a good many complaints during his annual televised phone—in. mostly it was about domestic matters, but he also dealt with questions over claims of russian meddling in last year's us presidential election. our moscow correspondent, steve rosenberg, was following the event. vladimir putin sakhir for four
vladimir putin sakhirforfour hours answering questions. —— sat here. this is the fifth time he has done this marathon on tv phone in, designed to portray him as the father of the nation. he was swamped by questions from russians. in a country like russia where it all decisions are made by one man, vladimir putin, they believe he is the only one who can fix the problems. what did they ask in? why are wages so low in russia? 1—woman who had her house burned down and asked him to buy her a new house. they also talked about us—russian relationships, allowing vladimir putin tojoke he relationships, allowing vladimir putin to joke he could give relationships, allowing vladimir putin tojoke he could give james comey political asylum. translation: when the chief of the special service as a conversation with the
commander—in—chief and gives it through social media, what is the difference between the fbi director and mr snowden? isn't he a human right supporter at that time? we are also ready to provide political asylu m also ready to provide political asylum for him in russia. let him know about that. afterwards, i asked president putin about the anti—government street protests. on monday, protesters were charging russia without putin and it is time to leave the pdu find them threatening when you hear that? translation: i look at what is happening in other countries. we know how political processes work there. we know of several cases of political longevity. this is quite normal if it is through democratic procedures and through the law. no one has yet broken the law in russia. this is always a highly
choreographed event. what was interesting about this year's phone in were the comments and questions in the show critical of vladimir putin. one question says everyone in russia things you have sat too long on the throne. that tells me the kremlin has come to the conclusion it is counter—productive to say the whole of russia loves president putin. his performance today will have satisfied his supporters, but i do not think it will have one over his critics. and that was steve rosenberg. the mayor of london, sadiq khan, has faced an angry crowd in north kensington near the burnt out tower. they said they need to be a nswe i’s out tower. they said they need to be answers as to how the fire spread so quickly. the death toll is 17 and is expected to rise quite significantly. that is it for me for
now. thank you for watching. 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 pressure'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, 14s 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, we've got that 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 some cloud around and scotland, again, the best will be the east for scotland and there we could see temperatures getting into the low 20s. a little warmer 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. this is bbc news, the headlines: britain's prime minister theresa may has ordered a full public inquiry into the fire that engulfed a london tower block, killing at least 17 people. that figure is expected to rise, as fire chiefs say they don't expect to find any more survivors.
it will take weeks to complete the search for bodies. local residents have demanded to know who will be held responsible for the fire. london's mayor said they should not wait for answers. doctors treating otto warmbier, the american student who was released on tuesday from a north korean prison, say he has suffered extensive loss of brain tissue and remains in a coma. us politicians have been playing their traditional charity baseball game a day after a leading republican and three others were shot during practice for the match. the annual congressional game in washington has been hailed as a rare and welcome moment of unity between both major parties.