hello, i'm tom donkin. a warm welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. our top stories: the american and iraqi army say the islamic state group blows up mosul‘s historic mosque. one general calls it a "crime against all iraq." a queen's speech dominated by brexit and missing some key conservative manifesto pledges. re—drawing the saudi line of succession. king salman replaces his nephew with his son as heir to the throne. and fighting to preserve the future of our planet. scientists in bolivia are storing ice from ancient glaciers before it's too late. the iraqi and us military say islamic state militants have blown
up the great al—nuri mosque in mosul and its famous leaning minaret. the mosque is where abu bakr al—baghdadi made his only public appearance as the leader of is, after announcing a new caliphate three years ago. the us military described it as a crime against the people of mosul and of all iraq. it has denied an allegation by the jihadists that an american air strike was to blame. frankie mccamley reports. an image of the past: the grand al—nuri mosque in mosul, which had stood for over eight centuries with its famous leaning minaret. from above, drone footage shows it's now flattened. one of the old city's most famous historical sites, a shadow of its former self. us—led coalition forces claim so—called islamic state is responsible:
however, is claims us aircraft destroyed the mosque. but, no matter who is telling the truth, this is a hugely symbolic moment. the mosque is where back in 2014 isis leader abu bakr al—baghdadi made his only public appearance shortly after declaring a caliphate. it comes as this exclusive footage filmed by the bbc shows coalition troops within metres of the site. a few hours ago i was there in the evening with counterterrorism forces in iraq, which is the closest we've gone today. just 150 metres away from the mosque, and two hours after we left the place, we heard this bad news that is destroyed the mosque, or blew it up. attacking the city from all directions, iraqi commanders say
they are in the final chapter of the offensive, but with thousands still trapped in the city and more sacred sites destroyed, it's clear the battle for parts of mosul is far from over and nothing is safe. craig whiteside teaches national security affairs at the us naval postgraduate school. he was previously a us army colonel in iraq, and he researches and writes on the ideology of the islamic state group. i asked him whether he believed the iraqi government's statement that the mosque was destroyed by is. ido i do for now. without definitive proof it would read difficult to determine, especially without being there. certainly the video that has been portrayed, and some of the
clips, it shows that it looks like it was a demolition as opposed to an airstrike. certainly regardless of the fact that the video captured the destruction, i would have been surprised that the islamic state finished the battle of mosul with outstanding, because of its propaganda value. indeed, but the mosque in question, on the surface of it, has some significance to the islamic state group. why then would they blow it up? because of that significance. it denies the ability for the iraqi government, which have been pretty deft in their own counter propaganda, they probably already had a visit planned to that very mosque to establish to everybody that the battle of mosul was finally over, that although it took much longer than predicted and proclaimed by both sides, the us
included, that the battle was finally over. and they would have symbolically declared it over at the very place where abu bakr accepted his role as the "callous". —— "calpih". so is this the death knell for the islamic state group? what happens to the group now? u nfortu nately i happens to the group now? unfortunately i think there is still a lot of life left in the group. certainly in the past the group has demonstrated they have in resilient and have enabled to bounce back from other defeats. this is certainly a defeat of a very high magnitude and one of the greatest ones that the group has sustained to date, but they have also sustained them in places like falluja and reliably. —— ramadi. let's take a look at some of the other stories making news. the united states has urged china to put more pressure on north korea over its nuclear and missile programmes.
the secretary of state, rex tillerson, said beijing had a diplomatic responsibility to act if it wanted to ease tension in the region. police in chile have used tear gas and water cannon to disperse a group of students protesting over education reforms. hundreds marched in the capital santiago, arguing that president bachelet has not done enough to improve the quality and access to higher education. the fight for universal education access the country has become a growing social movement in chile. hundreds of mourners including portugal's president and prime minister, have attended the funeral of a firefighter killed, battling deadly forest fires that swept the country this week. in castanheira de pera he was laid to rest, one of the worst affected areas. the fires, which broke out in central portugal on saturday, have killed 64 people and injured 150 others. britain's minority government has outlined its policy plans for the next two years. as you might expect, many relate to the challenges
surrounding britain's departure from the european union. in the debate which followed the queen's speech on wednesday, the prime minister said the government would try to build a wide consensus as brexit legislation makes its way through both houses of parliament. but the government is likely to face strong opposition on some key areas, as our deputy political editor jon pienaar explains. it was a brief visit, very brief, but long enough for the queen to leave behind a new course for her country — laws and borders made and managed by britain alone. the setting never seems to change, but laws passed and stored here for decades and built to follow the rules of the eu club must go. now a government weakened by the election is reaching out to other parties, and across the country, before scrapping the law that took britain in — and planning a future outside. i think it will be tough, but on the other hand, i think there's a consensus across parties that we are leaving the european union, and there will be discussion
about exactly what that means, and so what we have to discuss is how we can achieve consensus on the actual rules that engage, and there is a lot of legislation to get through. a clutch of eight bills make up the legal framework for brexit. the repeal bill ends the authority of eu law, so parliament can replace it. a fisheries bill takes back control of the industry and home waters, and an agriculture bill does the same for farming. there'd be talks with the devolved administrations about who controls what. the international sanctions bill allows britain to impose trade sanctions to tackle money—laundering and terrorist financing outside the eu. the nuclear safeguards bill would make sure the uk meets international agreements and safeguards on nuclear material. and more contentious — a trade bill and a customs bill would help establish a new system of trade deals and customs duties. but trade policy after brexit splits mps and parties, who disagree about whether and when to quit the customs union,
which means no duties between eu members but bans states from making their own deals outside. it's working pretty damn good just now, why on earth do we want to tinker with this? this is why we have said very clearly, as part of the brexit deal, we must remain within the customs union and within the european single market. well, that's all nonsense, because it's not an either or. we want a good trade deal with the european union, but the jewel in the crown is for us to then also have trade deals with the united states and many of our major trading partners, which would massively increase our trade, increase jobs, increase investment. finally, there's an immigration bill, but how do ministers broker any agreement between those who want to go on welcoming migrant workers, which companies say they need, and the government target to cut net migration to the uk to less than 100,000 a year? it's important to stick to it, because it's what people voted for in the referendum in 2016, and politicians are the servants, not the masters of the people. we ought to do what our electorates tell us to do. it'sjust not truthful, you know that you can't make it,
theresa may knows that she can't make it, yet they keep promising it. what we have to do is look after the economy, that is what we have to do. when the economy goes south, people lose theirjobs, and if we need people to help keep our economy going, then we'll bring them into the country. the brexit negotiations looked tough before the election. now the government lacks strength in the commons and the authority that goes with it, the talks look tougher still. any final deal could struggle to get approval in parliament — a tough one for the uk could fail altogether. it's an historic moment for britain. as for what lies beyond, just now that anyone's guess. john pienaar, bbc news, westminster among proposals mentioned in the queen's speech that don't require immediate legislation is the government's commitment to review its counter—terrorism strategy. it comes in the wake of recent attacks in london and manchester. there will also be a new commission for countering extremism. but senior police officers are still raising concerns
about their budgets and resources, as our security correspondent gordon corera reports. four terrorist attacks in four months have pushed security up the agenda, raising questions about what government can do. after the london bridge attackjust days before the election, the prime minister promised action. but it is time to say, enough is enough. when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change. but in the queen's speech today, there were no new laws proposed — nothing on deportation or detention without charge. instead, there was a broad commitment to review existing counterterrorism powers, including looking at tougher sentences for terrorism, and creating a new commission to counter extremism of all forms, including online. defining extremism in law has proved a challenge in the past, and the overall approach
was welcomed today by the man who reviews terrorism legislation. by and large, looking at the resources and the ability to deploy the powers that the police and security services already has, that is the way forward, as opposed to simply writing a new statute. police and the security service here at mi5 have not so far been pushing for new legislation. there is little sense that broad new powers in themselves would have been enough to detect or disrupt the recent attacks. the real debate, though, may be up around resources in the face of what they say is an unprecedented threat. armed police stood guard at westminster today, spotters on the roof. the demands of protecting the public and investigating attacks has, it said, left the counterterrorism network stretched. the metropolitan police commissioner today said it meant officers had been pulled from other duties.
we are shifting resources and people across the met. this has impacted other investigations. we've had to pause some, had to slow down some, and that's just a necessity. the legacy of the last four months and concern over further attacks will make tackling terrorism and extremism one of the defining issues in the coming parliament, whether or not new laws are on the agenda. stay with us on bbc news. still to come, scientists in bolivia fight to preserve the future of our planet, by storing ice from ancient glaciers before it's too late. members of the neo—nazi resistance movement stormed the world trade centre, armed with pistols and shotguns. we believe that, according to international law,
that we have a right to claim certain parts of this country as ourland. i take pride in the words "ich bin ein berliner." cheering and applause. chapman, prison pale and slightly chubby, said not a single word in open court. it was left to his lawyer to explain his decision to plea guilty to murdering john lennon. he believes that onjune 8th, god told him to plead guilty, and that was the end of it. the medical research council have now advised the government that the great increase in lung cancer is due mainly to smoking tobacco. it was closing time for checkpoint charlie, which for 29 years has stood on the border as a mark of allied determination to defend the city. this is bbc news.
the latest headlines: the american and iraqi army say the islamic state group has blown up mosul‘s historic mosque. 0ne general calls it a crime against all iraq. and the uk government sets out a range of measures in the queen's speech, which it hopes to bring into law over the next two years. brexit is at the top of the agenda. king salman of saudi arabia has changed the kingdom's line of succession, replacing his nephew with his son as heir to the throne. mohammed bin salman has been making major changes to the country's economic and energy policies. he's also overseen saudi arabia's ongoing war in yemen. our world affairs editor john simpson takes a look at the significance of this reshuffle. prince muhamed's promotion was announced on saudi tv this morning. it wasn't a huge surprise. he has been groomed for the position for the last couple of years. in saudi arabia, politics
is the royal family, and the young, pushy prince mohammed on the left here did the polite thing and showed respect to his much older cousin, prince mohammed bin naye, who he is replacing. it is presumed now that prince mohammed, 31, will become king at some point. he is trying to liberalise aspects of saudi life, but critics say he is increasing the repression in the country. last year he approved the execution of a leading shi'ite cleric, which led to big demonstrations in shi'ite—dominated iran, and even greater tension in saudi arabia between the shi'ites and the majority sunni muslims. prince mohammed is inclined to do things on the spur of the moment. is defence minister, he was often
accused of rashness. two years ago he launched a war on the saudi rebels in yemen, telling the king it would be over quickly. it is still going on. that has deepened the angry rivalry with iran, which supports the rebels. but fears of open confrontation are growing and prince mohammed has been behind the effort to isolate the gulf state of qatar for being a bit too independent and for getting too close to iran. he is not in a position yet to go to war with iran. what he will do is just have wars by proxy and also try to enlist either israel or the united states in a potential volatile situation with iraq. prince mohammed has an enthusiastic friend in president trump. by all accounts he sees himself as a younger version of donald trump, a businessman who runs a hugely wealthy countries. he is someone who has cultivated the american trump administration
very intensely and personally with visits. the americans seem to like what he is proposing. for now his biggest problem is the war he started in yemen. it is expensive, it has attracted strong accusations of war crimes and all his weaponry from britain and elsewhere isn't enough to win. his firstjob will be to stop the war. in canada, the police have raided the home of a terror suspect who's believed to have stabbed an officer across the border in the united states. the attack took place at bishop international airport in flint, michigan on wednesday. an airport officer was stabbed in the neck with a 12—inch knife. he's said to be in a stable condition after undergoing surgery. a canadian man was overpowered and is now being questioned by police. the first funeral for one of those killed in the grenfell tower fire has taken place. mohammad al—hajali was a 23—year—
old syrian refugee. in a statement his family said he loved london and loved the people he met in the city. meanwhile, in parliament, theresa may apologised for failures by government, in responding to the tragedy. elaine dunkley reports. they came to say farewell. allahu akbar. mohammad alhajali's family arrived from war—torn syria... allahu akbar. ..to bury their son in a country where he came to seek refuge. asalaam aleichem... he was a loving and caring person, always showing support and solidarity with his friends and family stuck back in syria. he never forgot to tell us how much he loved us. his very last words to us were how much he missed us. he lived on the 14th floor of the tower
with his brother 0mar. as fire crews tried to evacuate the building, they became separated. hs brother spoke to us days after his death. i called them and said, where are you? he said, i am in the flat. i said, why didn't you come outside, i thought you were with us outside? he said, no—one brought me outside. he said, why you left me? mohammad alhajali was studying civil engineering with the hope of one day returning to syria to help rebuild his country, a dream which, like so many others, ended on that horrific night in grenfell tower. mohammad was living in a war zone, and it is terrible, leaving the brutality of assad and isis, and he came here to seek safety, he thought he was safe, we thought he was safe, and he ended up in a very tragic event, so it will take us a very long time to go through this. today this apology from the prime minister. as well as funerals, the families
will also have two endure inquest. today the deaths of five victims recorded. today the coroner, visibly shaken, said to these families, i cannot imagine what you are enduring. today this apology from the prime minister. people were left without belongings, without rooms over their heads, without even basic information about what had happened, what they should do and where they could sit help. that was a failure of the state, local and national, to help people when they needed it most. as prime minister, i apologise for that failure. for those displaced by the fire, there was also promised that 68 new flat purchased in kensington will be used as social housing. at last, for
those who have lost so much, an apology, and action. if global warming is happening — and the vast majority of scientists say it is — the consequences could be very severe. one problem could be the huge amount of information that may be lost if ancient glaciers melt away. a team of climate experts are trying to preserve ice samples, and their latest project is a huge glacier on a mountain near the bolivian capital, la paz. tim allman has more. the bolivian plateau, one of the highest altitudes on earth, but even here rising temperatures are having an effect. slowly but surely the fear is this glacier will simply melt away. the impact could be devastating in so many ways. translation: we want to be here with the scientists of this magnificent international project, which is a contribution to the future of humanity. it's also a contribution to the future of our planet, a planet we have to defend from here, from bolivia,
one of the most beautiful places in the world. a team of international scientists, with the help of local guides, climbed mount illimani. they dug down more than 130 metres to remove dozens of blocks of ice. translation: we want to keep this kind of sample because it is an encyclopaedia of the climate and environment. you are cutting through into the world's history. the surface shows today's information and when you go deeper you can find old samples. here in the andes we have samples of up to 18,000 years old. the archives of the oldest climates to have existed are in the andes. the ice will be moved to a storage base in antarctica. samples have already been taken from mont blanc in the alps, and future trips are planned to russia and nepal. the hope is, even if these glaciers can't be preserved, the information they contain will be.
tim allman, bbc news. thousands of people here in the uk have gathered at stonehenge to witness the summer solstice sunrise at britain's most famous prehistoric monument. the mysterious circle of standing stones on salisbury plain in south—west england is one of the most famous ancient sites in europe. beautiful images of sunrise at stonehenge. meanwhile, not to be outdone, those in the southern hemisphere found novel ways of celebrating the winter solstice. researchers at australia's stations in antarctica braved the icy waters for the traditional midwinter swim. while in hobart, australia crowds decided to bare it all for a nude swim. you could not pay me enough to get in those waters! and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter: for now, it's goodbye.
hello, there. we saw the peak of the heatwave on wednesday afternoon, with temperatures across southern britain soaring into the low to mid—30s celsius. it was 35 degrees recorded at heathrow, which was the warmest day of the year so far, but also the warmestjune day since 1976. wales also saw its hottest day with 31 degrees recorded in cardiff. further north, though, it is a little bit cooler, and we start to see a thundery breakdown developing, particularly across northern england and west scotland as we head into wednesday evening. that heat will continue to retreat back into the near continent as cooler and fresher conditions push in off the atlantic, with a fair old breeze. this introduction of cooler air into the heat will spark off further thunderstorms through the overnight period. mainly across the northern half of the uk,
tending to ease down towards thursday morning. we'll have a lot of mist and murk developing across western coastal areas. it will be a touch fresher here, but still a warm and muggy start first thing on thursday. it means will be a warm and humid start in the south—east, but we will likely see a line of showers and thunderstorms move through the midlands and in towards the south—east during the morning period, and then clearing away. and then another ripple of showers and thunderstorms pushing in towards northern england and eastern england in the afternoon. so quite a messy picture. there will be some sunshine in the north and west — a bit cooler and fresher here. cooler and fresher in the south—east, 25 or 26 degrees. mid—20s instead of mid—30s. you will notice that difference. late on thursday, things will turn more unsettled across scotland and northern ireland, and that's because this vigorous area of low pressure arrives. this sets the scene for things becoming more unsettled from friday onwards, with cooler and fresher air pushing in off the atlantic. so we'll have some sunshine in the south and east on friday. further north, a band of rain moving through,
and some of it will be quite heavy. the scotland and northern ireland, a breezy and windy day as that low pressure sweeps through. it will feel cooler and fresher, as well, with temperatures in the mid to upper teens celsius, here. we could make 25 degrees in the south east. into saturday, a breezy day, as you can see with these wind arrows. a few showers will develop, mainly across the north and west. the old heavy one here. top temperatures 20—23 celsius in the south—east, so still feeling cool and fresher. sunday, winds will come down from the north—westerly direction, so it will be a touch cooler still across scotland. further south—east, we could make 21 or 22 degrees. so the main message is it's turning cool over the next few days. certainly over the weekend, it will feel cooler. fresher, with temperatures near normalfor fresher, with temperatures near normal for the fresher, with temperatures near normalfor the time of fresher, with temperatures near normal for the time of year. it will be breezy with a mixture of sunshine and showers. this is bbc news. the headlines: the iraqi and us military say islamic state militants have blown up the great al—nuri mosque in mosul. one general called it
a crime against all iraq. the mosque is where abu bakr al—baghdadi made his only public appearance as the leader of is, after proclaiming a new caliphate three years ago. britain's minority government has set out a range of measures in the queen's speech that it hopes to bring into law over the next two years, with brexit at the top of the agenda. the prime minister said she could tackle the challenges the country faces, while the opposition said her government was in chaos. king salman of saudi arabia has changed the kingdom's line of succession, replacing his nephew with his son as heir to the throne. mohammed bin salman has been making major changes to the country's economic and energy policies. he's also overseen saudi arabia's ongoing war in yemen. now on bbc news, click. ok, let's play. this week we are punching above our weight.