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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 16, 2017 5:00am-5:31am BST

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this is bbc news. i'm james menendez. our top stories: police start a criminal investigation into london's deadly tower block fire but they say some victims may never be identified. us politicians unite on the baseball field a day after the shooting that left republican congressman steve scalise critically wounded. is western surveillance technology aiding human rights abuses across the middle east? we have an exclusive report. and i'm rachel horne. coming up in business: back from the brink, again. after months of wrangling, lenders agree on more bailout money for greece and the chance of debt relief next year. could the greek tragedy be reaching its final act? plus, havana rethink — are cuba's growing business ties with the us now under threat from president trump? hello and welcome to bbc news.
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police investigating the grenfell tower disaster say it's possible that not everyone who died in the london apartment block may be identified. so far, 17 people are known to have been killed by the fire which swept through the 2a—storey building in the early hours of wednesday morning. andy moore has the latest. the first victim of the fire to be officially named is muhammad alhajali, assyrian refugee who came to britain for a better life. his brother was led to safety by firefighters but in the chaos and confusion, muhamed got left behind. i called him and said where are you and he said i'm at the front and i said why you didn't come when they brought us upside, i thought you we re brought us upside, i thought you were with us, he said no one brought me outside. he said why you left me?
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he said why... i didn't leave. i said that... i said they took them outside with me. they didn't. .. some of them trapped in a blaze did survive. we now know this man is a partially blind grandfather in his 70s. his family said he is in intensive care suffering from serious smoke inhalation. they have thanked the bravery of the firefighters who risk their lives to get him out. he was finally rescued nearly 11 hours after the blaze started. there is an anger in the community directed at almost anyone in authority. the london mayor siddique khan saw it for himself when he went to visit. how many children died? what are you going to do about it? police say they have now started a criminal investigation. the reason to say there is a prime ——a crime
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investigator but they need to establish if there is any evidence of one. the list of the dead and missing grows all the time. the police have voiced our hope that the final number of casualties will be below 100. they admit some victims may never be identified. meanwhile, tens of thousands of people in tower blocks around the country are wondering if their homes are safe. these three tower blocks in luton are due to be refurbished with new cladding. the local council is now double checking to make sure it will be safe. 0ne resident said there has been plenty of fires before they we re been plenty of fires before they were never a big problem. contained in one flat because its concrete. as $0011 in one flat because its concrete. as 50011 as you in one flat because its concrete. as soon as you put cladding on the outside, you have a fire source that will engulf the whole lot. the leader of the local councils as they did think about installing sprinkler system in grenfell tower when it was renovated last year but he said there was no collective view among residents in favour of it. and you can find all the very latest on our website. you'll find a live page constantly updated by our reporters and stories
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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. just go to 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. chinese officials say they suspect a criminal act caused the explosion that's killed at least eight people and injured 65 outside a nursery in the eastern province ofjiangsu. it's not yet known if children are among the dead. it happened as parents were waiting to take their children home. british security officials have told the bbc that they believe that north korean hackers were behind the cyber attack that affected
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computer users in more than 150 countries last month. governments, hospitals, and major companies were targeted. investigators believe the north korean group known as lazarus was behind the attack the same group believed to have targeted sony pictures for producing a film featuring the north korean leader. rachel home is here with all the business news. some good news for greece? yes, but they are not there yet. greece has edged back from the brink of financial collapse once again. late on thursday, after months of wrangling, european finance ministers, together with the international monetary fund, finally agreed to give athens its latest slice of bailout money. and there's a hint it could get some relief from its crippling debt mountain next year. let's show you the details. greece will finally get this — 8.5 billion euros, part of an 86 billion euro bailout plan agreed in 2015, the third it has had.
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it will come just in time, as greece faces 7.3 billion euros of debt repayments due next month. its total debt now stands at more than 337 billion euros. to put that in perspective, have a look at this. the red is greece's debt level over the past decade. the grey is its annual economic output or gross domestic product — everything of value that the country is producing. the debt is currently around 180% of gdp, one of the highest levels in the world. it has struggled to narrow the gap because round after round of austerity demanded by its lenders has steadily weakened its economy. that's why greece has been insisting on debt relief. in other words, writing a big chunk of it off, or at least deferring it. the issue bitterly divides its creditors. imf boss christine lagarde says that's the only way greece will ever get back on its feet and has been refusing to get involved without it. german finance minister
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wolfgang schaeuble has been amongst those insisting the debt must eventually be repaid in full. but it looks like some sort of debt relief could now be on for next year. full details in 20 minutes time. we are also in cuba, because president donald trump is expected to announce a new policy towards the country during a visit to miami later today. it could see rules on trade and travel tightened once again, and undo major elements of president 0bama's agreement on closer relations with the island. don't forget, you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter. i'm @bbcrachelhorne. see later. —— see you later. leading american politicians have played their traditional charity baseball game a day after steve scalise, a senior republican politician, and two policemen were shot as they practised for the fixture. mr scalise is still critically ill but his condition has improved. president trump called for unity in a video message played before the start of the game.
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laura bicker has more from nationals park. together, with hands—on hearts, their minds were on those who could not be here. congressmen steve scalise is critically ill in hospital after the shooting on wednesday. he has undergone several surgeries. president donald trump had this video message for the players. this game is always an important moment for both parties to come together, to support charity, build friendships, and celebrate a national pastime. the ceremonial honour of the first pitch went to david bailey, the capital hill police officer who was injured while he helped bring down the gunman. the crowd had come in their thousands to pay tribute to the spirit of this game. it's not about either side, it's just about having fun and we are all human and we are all trying oui’ are all human and we are all trying our best for the country, so i think
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that we are just going to take a deep red and enjoy the game. it's definitely an opportunity for all of us definitely an opportunity for all of us to come together. this is actually one of the most fun events of the year and of course it all goes to great causes which is also important for us to. i'm republican, i'lladmit important for us to. i'm republican, i'll admit it. most of my best friend are democrats. it is the bonds that you keep on capitol hill your colleagues, it transcends any sort of partisanship. it is something that i think, to experience, it is a beautiful thing. for two hours each year, the politicians put their often bitter and entrenched party divisions aside. tonight, they are simply players. different teams on the same field. for those who survived the gunmen‘s hail of bullets, that message is particularly poignant. we are glad to be here, republicans and democrats alike. we are raising
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twice as much money for charity as we usually do, twice as many eye balls o n we usually do, twice as many eyeballs on last night to watch us mess up in the field! it's intimidating but all of us are really pulling for steve scalise. for one night, for one game, republicans and democrats will manage to put their bitter divisions aside but what happens after the last inning? what happens in the longer term? it's last inning? what happens in the longer term ? it's less last inning? what happens in the longer term? it's less than a mile from the stadium to capitol hill. can the bipartisanship mood make the journey? i think the reason they wa nt journey? i think the reason they want a recognition... but perhaps the school won't matter because yes, the school won't matter because yes, the rivalries are fierce but so other friendships forged on this field. doctors treating the american student who was released from a north korean prison in a coma now say he has suffered severe brain injury. 0tto warmbier was freed on tuesday and is back home in cincinnati. it's not clear how he sustained the brain damage.
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he was given a long prison sentence in march 2016 for trying to steal a propaganda banner. sarah corker reports. this is 0tto warmbier, a 22—year—old american student pictured during his trial in pyongyang last year. clearly distraught, he was sentenced to 15 years hard labour for stealing a propaganda sign from a hotel. he is now in a coma. north korea say shortly after the trial, he contracted botulism — a rare illness that causes paralysis. but 0tto's father strongly refutes that. even if you believe their explanation of botulism and a sleeping pill causing the coma — and we don't — there is no excuse for any civilised nation to have kept his condition secret and denied him top—notch medical care for so long. 0tto had visited north korea as part of a group tour. he arrived back in the united states
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back on tuesday and doctors treating him in cincinnati say they have found no signs 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. it comes as tensions between the united states and north korea are mounting over pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes. the us diplomat who negotiated 0tto's release also met this week with three other us citizens being detained by the authoritarian regime. i call on them to release the other americans being held. no other family should have to endure what warmbiers have. doctors said 0tto suffered extensive loss of brain tissue and his family described it as a bittersweet
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feeling to finally have him home. sarah corker, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: portraits of war — a new exhibition in london capturing syria's brutal six—year conflict on camera. 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.
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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: police have started a criminal investigation into london's deadly tower block fire but they say some victims may never be identified. us politicians come together on the baseball field, a day after the shooting that left republican congressman, steve scalise, critically wounded. a year—long investigation by bbc arabic and a danish newspaper has uncovered evidence that the british defence giant,
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bae systems, has made large sales across the middle east of sophisticated surveillance technology, including to many repressive governments. these sales have also included decryption software which could be used against the uk and its allies. it's an important tool in the fight against terrorism but, as nawal al maghafi, reports it may have been used by repressive governments to silence dissent and human rights campaigners. dubai, one of the richest places in the world, built on technological innovation but human rights groups say these advances hide a darker side. i have come to meet the country ‘s best—known human rights activist. can/ in the feeling of being watched is horrible. you cannot move so you lose your
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freedom. it is like having a stranger in your bedroom. ahmed mansoor use social media to highlight abuses. months after our meeting he disappeared. weeks later, his family discovered he was being held in solitary confinement without charge in abu dhabi. the government says his car was using social media to spread false and misleading information. but we have discovered the uae has the power to monitor his private communications as well and all of its people all of the time. we do not know if ahmed mansoor it was targeted but we do do that the government bought a programme that
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can overlook the indications of citizens and keep them free years but the technology is developed in a surprising case. after months of investigation, we have found a company in denmark that is supplying countries with programmes so powerful it is classified as a weapon. bae systems is the developer of the technology. they refuse to talk to us about their product but we managed to track down a former employee who worked on the system. it would be able to intercept any communication. you can pinpoint people ‘s location based on cellular data, followed people around and they are far ahead with less recognition and the crypt in staff. bae systems and dodgers sold its technology to uae but also a number of countries many of them accused of
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serious human rights violations including saudi arabia, algeria and morocco. critics argue that britain bae systems and should not be selling equipment to repressive governments. if one looks at british arms export laws, which covers all sorts of military equipment and training and services, no export licence is supposed to be granted if there is a strong charge that the sale of that equipment will increase the likelihood of the breaking of international humanitarian law. the british government says all exports are evaluated on a case—by—case case is and would refuse any licence when it is clear that technology could be useful in turn of repression. bae says... the insistent they are fully compliant with regulations. we have
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not received any replies from those countries. it is impossible to know if any of those governments are actually using them. but surveillance tools have become essential in the fight against crime and terrorism. bae has now put this power in the hands of foreign governments and the consequences for democracy and civil liberties could be devastating. the fifa confederations cup — a warm up to the world cup next year — kicks off in russia's 4 cities saturday. what lessons have been learned from the european championship in france last year, when russian hooligans were involved in running battles in the streets? with the recent terror attacks in london, and a recent bomb in the main venue city st petersburg, how safe is russia for football fans? russia wants this competition to be the start of its showcase for the world cup. can it pull it off? bbc‘s sarah rainsford reports from moscow. football fever is starting to rise
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here. these fans were heading to watch russia take on chile in a friendly but the countdown to the world cup is now on. this man tells me it is totally safe here. he says russians are ready to welcome people from over the world but after scenes like this, some are sceptical. russian hooligans fighting battles in the street of the european championship last summer. there are fears they will try to repeat that on home turf. this is one method meant to prevent that. id cards issued to fans, made troublemakers from any country will not get them, they will be barred from entry in they will be barred from entry in the country and from the stands. the confederation cup is a warmup for the big events next year. for the fans, this is all about the football
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but the russia it is about its image as well. this is a chance for russia to prove it has cleaned up its act and can host a world cup. the other concern is terrorism. at these games there were extra security measures in and around the ground. it is only two months since a suicide bomber attacked the metro in saint petersburg. i asked security officials about the threat. translation: currently we have the situation totally under control. we do not see any terror threat but we are increasing both inside the country and corporate in with foreign partners. on the pitch, russia's national team has been working as well. this is a big moment for the country, not just for football. russia is under an international spotlight which it is not always happy about. are they
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taking concerns seriously? we are serious country. we are waiting for eve ryo ne serious country. we are waiting for everyone with smiles. 0ur slogan is respect. respect people everywhere, from all continents, coming to russia. there was a warm welcome to fa ns russia. there was a warm welcome to fans from chile at this match but now comes the trial run for the world cup. time for russia to put its security promises into pratt says. —— practice. nearly half a million people have died since the conflict in syria began and it shows no signs of ending. the fighting has produced deeply disturbing images of war in photographs and in video. a new exhibition at london's imperial war museum looks at some of those images, focusing on the lives of ordinary people caught up the conflict. they include pictures taken by the award—winning russian photographer, sergey ponomarev. we went to take a look. in any conflict, people have to
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survive. i think the photographs in the exhibition really give a sense of the endurance of ordinary people, the people in the street— man, women and children. people trying to continuous life as normal as possibly as they can. but of course life is not normal. i think a lot of the time people who are living in conflict zones assumed that light stops when a war begins. —— are not. but the reality is opposite. people have to get on with their everyday life. this photograph of children
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fending for themselves in the ruins of homs show a group of lab separated from their parents. maybe they have been killed, certainly they have been killed, certainly they are without access to them. they are on their own. one of the exhibits is a barrel bomb, or a replica. you can see what is inside it. these things are primarily old oil drums filled with explosives and bits ofjunk oil drums filled with explosives and bits of junk metal designed oil drums filled with explosives and bits ofjunk metal designed for maximum damage and to cut into humans and civilians. one of the photographs we see a young man with a bicycle, watching as the fire burnt in the distance. he was on his way home after work one evening when
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a water shell exploded in the suburb of damascus. it is a reminder of that you could walk from one street to another and go from safety into danger. the exhibition also shows that human beings are incredibly resilient. that people who are exposed to a long—running civil conflict are able to survive. some of the images of syria's ball at london's imperial war museum. i will be back with the headlines and business after that and you can contact me on twitter. now i look at the weather. hello there.
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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 grampians where the sun comes out, we could see 19 degrees, 20 across northern ireland with some afternoon sunshine as well.
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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
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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 as 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 world news. the headlines: police have started a criminal
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investigation into london's deadly tower block fire but they say some some victims may never be identified. 17 bodies have been found and dozens of people are still missing. american politicians have been playing their traditional charity baseball game a day after a leading republican and three others were shot as they practised for the match. the annual congressional game in washington is seen as a rare and welcome moment of unity. a year—long investigation by bbc arabic and a danish newspaper has uncovered evidence that the uk defence giant bae systems has made large—scale sales across the middle east of sophisticated surveillance technology, including to many repressive governments. doctors treating 0tto warmbier, the american student released on tuesday from a north korean prison, say he has suffered extensive loss of brain tissue and is still in a coma.
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