welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: the most expensive congressional race in us history. democrats and republicans battle it out in georgia. belgian soldiers shoot dead a suspected suicide bomber after an explosion at brussels train station. the new leader of hong kong says she'll not be able to guarantee freedom of speech in the territory. also in the programme, why barbie‘s boyfriend ken has been given a 21st century makeover. hello. democrats have been calling it the ‘make trump furious‘ election — and the special election in georgia is being widely seen as a referendum on the trump presidency so far.
it is certainly the most expensive congressional race in american history. both main parties have poured money into the battle for the atlanta seat, held by republicans since 1979. polls closed a few hours ago and votes are still being counted. live now to our correspondent peter bowes, who's monitoring the election for us from los angeles. what is the latest? it looks like the republican, karen handel, is beginning to inch ahead. she is the former georgia secretary of state. over 70% of the votes in her precinct have been counted and the site she has a 5% lead with 52% againstjon ossoff, about 48% at the moment. she is beginning to develop a lead. it was always going to be close. as you said, and tremendous amount of money was poured into this campaign. much of that money came
from outside of the state, from new york, some of it coming from california, in a battle being seen as not only local politics but a referendum on donald trump. as not only local politics but a referendum on donald trumpm as not only local politics but a referendum on donald trump. it is looking increasingly as though the republicans have held the seat. even if the democrats lose, it really shouldn't be this close, should it? this was a seat which the republicans held by 20 plus points last time. that's right. it has traditionally been a very safe republican seat. if you look back over the years, really, this has not beenin over the years, really, this has not been in contention as far as the democrats have been concerned. newt gingrich, a former speaker of the house, a strong supporter of donald trump, comes from this area. it is certainly a seat the republicans a lwa ys certainly a seat the republicans always expected to win. but this is not a zero marray election. we mentioned the huge amount of money poured into this. this was seen as an election perhaps too embarrassed donald trump, or as the democrats have been saying, to make donald
trump angry. this has been seen not only as a referendum on his presidency so far, his policies, certainly has attempts to overhaul the healthcare system, and it has been thought as much on national politics as it has on local. some commentators pointing out the republican candidate barely mentioned mr trump in her campaigning. that's right. in fact, she has been very insistent on making this a local campaign. you can perhaps read into the politics of the bats, of why she maybe didn't wa nt to of the bats, of why she maybe didn't want to mention donald trump. —— politics of that. as far as his vote was concerned last november, he just managed to scrape in in this area. lots of republicans, certainly in this area, they are white—collar republicans as opposed to the blue—collar republicans who across the country have supported donald trump in large numbers. not so in this district. it has always been a
struggle, i think, this district. it has always been a struggle, ithink, to this district. it has always been a struggle, i think, to garner support from those hardcore trump supporters. peter, thank you. the us state department has said north korea is directly responsible for the death of american student otto warmbier. it's pushing pyongyang to free three other americans who are held there. he returned home last week in a coma, and died yesterday. he'd been sentenced to 15 years' hard labor, accused of stealing a propaganda poster and attempting to overthrow the state. president trump spoke again about his case at the white house today. it's a total disgrace what happened to otto. it should never ever have been allowed to happen and, frankly, if he had been brought sooner, i think the result would have been a lot different. he should have been brought home that same day. the result would have been a lot different. but what happened to otto is a disgrace. belgian soldiers have shot a suspected suicide bomber after an explosion rocked the central train station in brussels. police say the man was wearing what appeared to be a bomb vest and triggered a small explosion.
he later died. prosecutors are treating the incident as a terrorist attack. this report from frankie mccamley. brussels central station evacuated shortly after police say a man triggered a small explosion. eyewitnesses say they heard gunfire and multiple explosions. just minutes later, smoke can be seen inside. as the station was evacuated, flames were caught on camera inside. translation: i went down the stairs to go back to the platform where i had to go and they i heard someone shouting and then at one point he shouted "allahu akbar" and blew up the suitcase he had. ijust carried on down, trying to get as many people to evacuate as possible. and there he was, just behind me, two metres away from the stairs, and he still had the belt on him. outside, moved back by police officers, people gathered together to make their way to safety, trying to come to terms with yet
another attack in the city. we heard an explosion and my colleagues started shouting that it was a bomb! it is a bomb! i saw the man. he came towards me so i began to panic. luckily he turned around and went away. the country's military, which is already on high alert was on the scene within minutes, shooting dead the suspect. bomb disposal units were also sent in to make sure the area was safe. belgian prosecutors now say this is being treated as a terrorist attack. at about 8:30, there has been a small explosion in the central station here in brussels. the suspect has been neutralised by the military that were present at the scene immediately after the explosion. there were no other victims. this incident is considered as a terrorist attack. the attack follows a series of attacks last year, when three suicide bombers
targeted the city's airport and an underground station. an area popular with tourists enjoying the evening sunshine now on edge, surrounded by police and military personnel. frankie mccamley, bbc news. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. the parents of the black teenager, michael brown, have reached an undisclosed settlement with city authorities in ferguson, missouri, over his fatal shooting three years ago. the killing by officer darren wilson, who was not prosecuted, sparked months of protests that grew into the black lives matter movement. oj simpson may get a prison release date next month. a parole court will consider whether to free simpson, who's served nine years for robbing and kidnapping a group of sports memorabilia dealers. he was famously acquitted of murdering his ex—wife and herfriend, although he was laterfound liable by a civil court. venezuela's president has replaced
four top military commanders, amid accusations that security forces have been using live bullets on demonstrators. 75 people have died in protests since april. video has emerged showing at least three members of the national guard apparently firing on demonstrators. here in london, police are still questioning a man in connection with the attack on muslim worshippers in north london on monday. nine people were taken to hospital and one man, who fell ill before the attack, died at the scene. daniel sandford reports. you have to lift the van! the chaos caused by the attack on sunday night was captured in these dramatic new pictures acquired by the bbc. a hired van had apparently deliberately ploughed into a group of people marking the holy muslim month of ramadan. nine ended up in hospital and one man died. amongst the crowd were abdul and his 13—year—old son. today they were recovering at home in their garden. abdul injured his soldier
and his son narrowly escaped injury. because abdul has little english, his son spoke for both of them. i saw an angry driver in the van, in a company van. he looked at the muslims. he drove through and hit seven or eight people. one was underneath a van. my dad got hit on his shoulder and next to his legs. my best friend got hit on the stomach. witnesses have told us that the van came down the road at speed, turning into this cul—de—sac and knocking down the worshippers as it came through.
it then came to a rest between those two bollards. the bollard that it hit has been removed and when it came to a stop, a young man was trapped underneath the van although he has survived. today, with north london in shock, the head of one of the affected mosques called for calm. islamophobia is on a raise so is hate crime and we need to stop this madness. a cycle of violence will get us nowhere. the van was taken away yesterday evening and a suspected driver was arrested at the scene. darren osborne is still in custody, being held on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and of reparation and commission of terrorist acts. daniel sandford, bbc news. the incoming leader of hong kong has told the bbc she cannot guarantee that freedom of speech will protect
those who call for independence. it's almost 20 years since the uk handed hong kong back to mainland china. in 2014, protests paralysed the city and some have begun to call for independence. in other parts of china, such calls are treated as a crime. carrie lam is chief executive—elect. next week she'll be sworn into office by the chinese president. her predecessors were accused of being "beijing puppets." can she escape that charge? she spoke to our china editor, carrie gracie. 20 years since hong kong returned to china, and its leaders are often accused of being beijing's puppets. they're chosen not by the public, but by an establishment committee, carrie lam won 777 votes. how can you claim to represent all the people of hong kong with only that number? well, i don't think it is a question of a number. the question is about legitimacy. i know perception is important, but to say that i am just a puppet, i won this election because of pro—beijing forces is, sort of, a failure to acknowledge what i have done in hong kong over the last 36 years.
i have pledged that, as part of my governance style, i will be engaging all sectors of the community, especially the young people. three years ago young people made their own effort to engage with a massive democracy protest that brought the heart of hong kong to a standstill for months. they won nothing, and now some say the only way to get democracy is independence from china. beijing sees such calls as a threat to national security. i think hong kong is an inseparable part of the people's republic of china. you think so, what if other hong kong citizens disagree? what if they wanted to call for independence? they disagree in the form of being an expression of personal opinion, then everybody could have a view. you could condemn him and so on. but whether that expressing a view
constitutes an offence, then we'll have to look at what the law says. what's the answer? we'll have to look at what the law says. can you promise the people of hong kong that never in your tenure will someone go to jail for calling for autonomy, self—determination or independence? well, i can promise the people of hong kong that we will abide by the rule of law. so that's a no, you can't make the promise? no. how can you promise when you don't know the actual situation, when you don't know the actual legislation in hong kong and to give a, sort of, perpetual situation answer, i don't think that is a very fair question to ask. china's influence in hong kong is growing — some of it open, some of it not. last year there was public outrage over the suspected abductions of publishers whose books were critical of chinese leaders. they were held on the mainland
and forced to make televised confessions. even after their return to hong kong, most have stayed silent about what happened. the hong kong police force have been working on this case and trying to collect evidence and come to a view. but unfortunately, without the co—operation of the people involved, it's just not possible. so do you think it's possible that those hong kong citizens are afraid to speak up about what happened to them, do you think that's a possibility? i don't know. so how many hong kong citizens need to disappear before you start to draw any conclusions about what might be happening to them? i think that is not a fair question. we are not here to quantify that sort of allegation, but if there are worries that have been undue interference into hong kong affairs, which should come under a high degree of autonomy, then the chief executive has to reflect those sentiments and speak up on behalf of the people. yes. so would it be fair to imagine that you might have a conversation with president xi which goes —
please, make sure that no security services from the mainland operate undercover on hong kong soil? will you be having that conversation? i will be very honoured to have a conversation with president xi on occasions, hopefully on the istjuly. carrie lam, thank you so much forjoining us. pleasure. stay with us on bbc news. still to come, highlighting the refugee crisis — supermodel malek is raising awareness for child refugees in her home country. 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 of 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 of attention 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: votes are being counted in georgia in what they're calling the most expensive congressional election in us history. the prediction is that the republican candidate has won this closely fought election. police in brussels have shot dead a suspected suicide bomber
as he triggered a small explosion at the capital's main railway station. in portugal, a water—bombing plane has crashed as it battled forest fires. no word on casualties from the aircraft, but at least 64 people have died in the fires since saturday. the government has declared a state of emergency north—east of the capital, lisbon. this from the bbc‘s james reynolds. this afternoon, portugal despatched more planes to fight its forest fires. the government is yet to make this region safe. the relief effort is too late for the village of varzeas, it's lost one in five of its residents. sisile tina told me she knew all the victims. she tried to count the dead. "two lived here", she said. "three, four, five and more." on saturday afternoon, the village
watched the forest catch fire. "there was a massive noise", amal told us, "and then we saw the flames." "we'd never seen anything like it", said valdemar, "it all happened in just a few seconds." residents were then forced to take an immediate, terrifying decision — stay here and risk getting caught by the flames or drive off in search of safety. many drove. it proved to be a fatal mistake. on this road, flames engulfed many in their cars. mario pinhal told portuguese tv that his family tried to escape in two vehicles. his wife suzanna and their daughters joanna and margarita drove
ahead, but they died in the fire. translation: i regret leaving home. everyone has been kind, but i just want my wife and my daughters back. mario and his parents barely escaped in the car behind. "we should have died", mario mother's cries, "nobody would miss us." mario pinhal‘s home remains standing, it is a shattering monument to his family's decision to flee. if they'd simply stayed put, they would have all survived. james reynolds, bbc news, central portugal. world refugee day is highlighting the plight of more than 65 million people who've been forced from their homes. more than half are under the age of 18. mari malek, who was born in south sudan, came to the us as a child refugee. her family, fleeing civil war, settled in new jersey. now she is a supermodel and advocate
for children in her home country. where i come from, south sudan, we are very strong and resilient. we've been going through war for over four decades and we are still sticking to it and still surviving and still living and still making things. so that is in my blood. we lived in the projects. i was just the awkward child, tall, black. "where did she come from? who is she?" i couldn't express myself because i didn't know how to speak when you do become a model it
doesn't mean you get a contract and then you become rich and famous and everything is awesome. it is hard work. and i am probably one of the few black women in the industry. i wish i could help all of them. but i can't. and it hurts my heart to see children, you know... suffering like this. everything that i'm doing connects, because if i am deejaying, modelling or acting i always have to be doing it for a purpose and connecting it back to the story
of where i come from. this is why i do this, to inspire refugee kids, to inspire anybody who is facing difficulties and think they cannot get out of it, yes, you can. you can do it. to be strong, resilient, never give up on myself — that's how i've made it this far. the british actor daniel day lewis has announced he is to retire. he will make his final screen appearance in the fashion drama phantom thread — just a warning there are flashing images coming up. in a statement, he's said he's immensely grateful to all his collaborators and audiences — but will no longer be working as an actor. he's won the best actor oscar three times for my left foot, there will be blood and lincoln. the american toy—maker mattel has given barbie's companion ken
a wide—ranging makeover. it's releasing fifteen new dolls of varying body sizes and skin tones. ken's hairstyles now include the ‘corn row‘ and a ‘man bun‘. tim allman reports. barbie, the famous teenage fashion model dolls by mattel, felt this was to be a special night, and then it happened, she met ken. once upon a time, when the world existed only in black and white, ken was the clean—cut all—american boy next door. the love of barbie's life — conventional, reliable, solid. # walk like a man, talk like a man. but it's 2017 now and ken looks a little bit different. there's a lot of different kens for a start, different skin colours, different hairstyles, different body types — tall, slim, not so slim — ken is now supposed to represent the modern world.
there is a need both in popular culture, like, again, fashion or media, to see representation of everybody, so it's not isolating people for being different but it's really just celebrating all types. # i'm a barbie girl in a barbie world. this comes hot on the heels of barbie's own makeover last year. she was redesigned with different body types now including tall, curvy and petite. the age—old criticism was that the doll led to unrealistic expectations. young girls aspiring to a body type that was simply unachievable. it is not clear how successful this will be, but life in plastic will be fantastic. # well, barbie, we're just getting started.
# everyone knows that elephants never forget but pachyderms could also be the most protective parents around. footage from a south korean zoo shows the moment a baby elephant got in a little over his head in the pool. luckily both parents were on hand and sprung into action. they rushed into the pool and pulled the distressed calf to safety. the rescue has now been viewed thousands of times online. the main story again, american media has called the closely fought congressional election in georgia for the republican candidate. these pictures are live from the scene there and the vote is seen as a referendum on the trump residency will stop about 83% of votes have been counted and she is ahead 52%. the area has been republican since 1979. that is all for now. hello, once again.
as has been the case in recent days, tuesday brought 30 degrees quite widely across the southern half of the british isles and, as they say on the bbc, other heatwaves are available. if we get to sa on wednesday that will put us well up the league table. not quite into pole position compared to 1976, but certainly up there. of course, wednesday is the summer solstice. for some, the real start of summer. and it will certainly feel that way, starting with 20 degrees in the south of wales and into the west country, down into the south—west of england. once the sun is up and we're off and running the temperatures are set to soar. that's not quite the whole story about the day's weather. there will be a fair amount of cloud coming in across the northern half of britain and come the afternoon we may see pretty violent thunderstorms breaking out in the far north of wales and to the north of england, maybe the scottish borders as well. the story in the south will undoubtedly be about the heat,
especially if we get to that mark of 3a celsius, but it's notjust a south—eastern problem, because it extends yet again into the west country, to the south—west of england, into wales, the heart of the midlands and up towards the north—west of england. further north than that there is a somewhat cooler feel to the weather. but even some of these temperatures, for example 22 in belfast, is above average for the time of year. as you'll see, as you get that wee bit further north it does look very much more unsettled. those storms will rumble on during the course of the evening. and later on we will see the first signs of somewhat cooler conditions trying to move in from the atlantic. once we start putting that moisture into the mix of all of the heat that we've had of late, well, that could be really quite explosive. if you catch some of these thunderstorms as they rumble their way from west to east, right through the heart of the british isles, you will certainly know all about it. there could be some very gusty winds, damaging hail and there will be a lot of water very quickly,
so driving conditions will be treacherous. but at least they herald the arrival for many of cooler, fresher weather. that will not feel the case across east anglia and the south—east, where temperatures still well on into the 20s in one or two locations. to the latter half of the week and on towards the weekend, low pressure very much the dominant feature. weather fronts coming in from the atlantic. all the while introducing the cooler and fresher conditions from the atlantic rather than the air from the continent that we've experienced of late. hence that sort of temperature profile will take us on into a cooler weekend. this is bbc news. the headlines: votes are being counted in a special election for a congressional seat in the us state of georgia. us media is calling it for the republican candidate, karen handel. it has been a republican seat since 1979 but cuts had hoped to strike a blow against donald trump's residency. —— democrats had hoped.
she has a five point lead over the democratic challenger, john soft, with 80% of the votes counted. —— john soft. belgian soldiers have shot a suspected suicide bomber in brussels central station. police said the man was wearing what appeared to be a bomb vest and triggered a small explosion. he was shot by soldiers at the scene. federal prosecutors say he is dead. no one else was injured. the incoming leader of hong kong has told the bbc she cannot guarantee that freedom of speech will protect those who call for independence. carrie lam is the chief executive—elect of the former british colony, which is about to mark twenty years since its handover to china. britain is heading for its longest heatwave since 1995,