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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 15, 2017 3:00am-3:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: devastation in sierra leone. hundreds are feared dead as an entire hillside collapses in heavy rain. two days after the white supremacist attack in virginia, president trump finally condemns racism. north korea announces its leader has been studying plans around a military strike around guam. taylor swift wins a court case against a former radio dj. thejury finds he did grope her. it's now confirmed at least 300 people have died in west africa, in a massive mudslide. torrential rain caused a hillside to collapse on the outskirts
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of freetown, capital of sierra leone, burying houses in mud. that casualty figure is expected to rise, with hundreds of bodies are still thought to be trapped under the debris. our diplomatic correspondent james robbins reports. snatched video on a mobile phone shows a torrent of mud and water carrying away everything in its path. this driver risked his life, on a bridge all but overwhelmed by the flash—floods. freetown is an overcrowded coastal city, with few defences against heavy rains. they come every year, but not usually with quite such ferocity. about 250 bodies have been recovered so far. the authorities fear there could be many more trapped in the ruins of houses. the bbc‘s umaru fofana is there. i went down to the spot myself, and you could see people using their bare hands, pulling up corpses from beneath the mud.
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the road itself to the disaster area is almost impassable, massive rocks. and this area, called mount sugarloaf, caved in in the early hours of this morning, and it's covered literally in in the early hours of this morning, and it's covered literally dozens of houses. and hundreds of people, according to the country's vice president who just spoke to me, are feared dead under the rubble. there are some ambulances parked here, but it's now a recovery mission instead of a rescue mission. many victims lived in the flimsiest of homes, little more than shacks, often on unprotected hillsides. a british charity has been helping to build far stronger houses, and its head, back in britain, explained today how it is the poorest in sierra leone who are often the most defenceless. people build houses all up the sides of cliffs, and they often build them with inadequate materials, because generally people are unbelievably poor. people are trying to reclaim land from the sea, and then the water just comes and wipes them away.
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six out of ten people in sierra leone live below the poverty line. survivors often risk everything to salvage a few possessions, trying to hang on to whatever they can, despite the rising waters. james robbins, bbc news. a confederate statue has been toppled in north carolina. the statue in the town of durham was yanked down by the crowd. on saturday, a rally planned by white nationalists protesting the planned removal of a confederate statue in charlottesville turned violent, with one woman killed and 19 injured when a man drove a car into a crowd of anti—hate demonstrators. well president trump has finally, explicitly, condemned the white supremacists and neo—nazis who took part in those demonstrations. our north american editor jon sopel reports.
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vacation suspended, the president returned to washington this morning from his holiday to meet the director of the fbi and the attorney general following the weekend violence in charlottesville. meanwhile in the university of virginia town, there were scuffles outside the court where james alex fields appeared this morning on murder charges after a car ploughed into antiracism protesters. oh, my god, people are badly hurt. oh, my god. the president's "everyone‘s to blame response" and silence until now lit a firestorm of criticism. so why has donald trump been so unusually tongue tied over this? well, the number of fully paid—up white supremacists may be small. the number who have sympathies is probably far larger,
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and they were among the most vociferous supporters of him last november. certainly, his surrogates have condemned the far right, but donald trump reluctantly so. today, 48 hours on, a dramatic shift in language from the embattled president. he sounded tense. there was no freewheeling as he gripped the lectern and gripped every word on the autocue, his eyes barely moving. racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the kkk, neo—nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as americans. we are a nation founded on the truth, that all of us are created equal. we are equal in the eyes of our creator. we are equal under the law, and we are equal under our constitution. while he said the right things today, i say,
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did that come from his heart or from his staff telling him what they thought he should say? ron christie was a senior adviser to george w bush and is now a republican strategist. has the president repaired the damage? no. he has hurt himself with people like me who look at his actions and words and deeds and say he didn't go far enough. he didn't measure the sensitivity of what was happening in charlottesville, virginia, and rise to the occasion. and one other person for whom this was too little, too late is kenneth frazier, the boss of one of america's biggest pharmaceutical companies, and he has resigned from the president's industry forum, saying: within minutes, donald trump fired back, saying on twitter: mr president,
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can you explain why you did not condemn those hate groups? they have been condemned, they have been condemned. donald trump has bent to criticism, something that has not happened often, but why it has taken two days to name these groups, well, that question still hangs. joining us from anaheim in southern california is mark follman, the national affairs editor of the political and investigative journalism magazine motherjones. it was that phrase initially when the president said he talked about hatred and bigotry on many sides and repeated that phrase, on many sides. what do you think today's statement did? i think this has been a
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disaster through and through, even two days later the way trump fur did this today. not just two days later the way trump fur did this today. notjust a statement that was very stiff and cant, it was clear to everyone watching he was doing this simply because he had no choice but also his comments at taking the ceo of merck. later in the day returning to complaining about the media coverage as if that is the issue here. this is so far beyond the political battle donald trump is trying to wage with his words it has drawn outrage from pretty much everyone in this country. it is a very unusual to bend to criticism and he clearly didn't. look, he had no choice. literally everyone in american politics wasn't in ousting of this.
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the attorney general, his vice president, every leader in the republican party, so i think the fire storm engulfing the white house simply left him no choice but it does not look very persuasive, to be honest. anyone who is followed donald trump ‘s track record, he has pandered to this far right politics throughout his campaign and presidency and it is not convincing. that is the politics of his speech but then look at the people he is the rounds in software. his national security adviser went on television scolding their media for focusing on white supremacists and the denying far right terrorism exists. as if oklahoma city's bombing did not happen. one of the largest terrorist
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attack in our history. this is a reprehensible way to deal with the horror we witnessed in virginia. reprehensible way to deal with the horror we witnessed in virginiam there any feeling the events in cha rlottesville drew there any feeling the events in charlottesville drew new battlelines? one analyst said this is armed rebellion against civil rights and those they protect. we have seen people in north carolina pulling down a confederate statue. it is very disturbing. those of us covering this side of trump's politics, frankly, we have worried about this for months, last fall, the beginning of this year and to some it is surprising this did not happen sooner. the kind of divisive rhetoric he has used, this horrible equivocation in his response to virginia is in bold are being that people who want to perpetrate this
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kind of unrest and violence and a think we are in for more rough times ahead especially because trump has failed to stand up as a leader at the moment our country really needed it. if ever there was moment, this was it. state media in north korea says the country's leader, kim jong—un, has received a full briefing from the army on a plan to launch missiles near the us pacific territory of guam. the us defence secretary, james mattis, said he would authorise the shooting down of any missiles fired by pyongyang that threatened guam. but the official north korean state news agency said mr kim would keep watching american actions for a time before deciding whether to order any launch. for more on the situation, including the reaction from south korea, i've been speaking to the bbc‘s yogita limaye, who's in seoul. president boon has been trying to defuse the situation. yesterday he
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said he does not want war on the korean peninsulas. he wants a peaceful resolution. he also met with generaljoseph dunford who was visiting. the general assured him that economic pressure was put on north korea and military pressure would only be used if those actions fail. general matters has been talking unequivocally. —— mattis. is there wiggle room. missiles are aimed around guam. mattis saying if north korea strikes, there will be war. if you look at what north korea has said, they are saying that kim
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jong—un will watch the situation, give a little more time to the us, see how they are conducting themselves and then decide whether oi’ themselves and then decide whether or not to execute the plan. and the plan as you pointed out, very clearly said it was to fire for missiles are round the waters of guam. it does seem like sharpening rhetoric and analysts do not believe either side will act on their threats but perhaps, because we have heard such fierce statements coming from the us this time, what has happened is that tension are higher than they have been in recent times. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: next week conservation work begins on the houses of parliament — but it means the bongs of big ben will fall silent for four years. the big crowds became bigger as the time of the funeral approached.
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as the lines of fans became longer, the police prepared for a hugejob of crowd control. idi amin, uganda's brutalformer dictator, has died at the age of 80. he's been buried in saudi arabia, where he lived in exile since being overthrown in 1979. two billion people around the world have seen the last total eclipse of the sun to take place in this millenium. it began itsjourney off the coast of canada, ending three hours later when the sun set over the bay of bengal. this is bbc news.
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the latest headlines: mudslides and floods in sierra leone are now known to have killed more than 300 people in the capital, freetown. thousands have been forced from their homes. india is marking the 70th anniversary of independence from britain, a day after pakistan held its own celebrations. with the end of colonial rule, partition was marred by bloodshed. hundreds of thousands died, millions were displaced. reeta chakrabarti has been speaking to one family in the indian city of amritsar about how partition affected them, and what they feel about india today. i almost refused the invitation. remembering happy times, but this family lived through trauma. dr singh and his wife fled pakistan as children, but the events of that time have gone largely undiscussed. my generation unfortunately has not
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brought much to the younger generation, our children and grandchildren, about the partition. it's high time that history did come out with it. we made the mistake, but history shouldn't. he feels it may not be what the country's founding fathers had hoped for. it's not what should be. sometimes you feel that things are not what you wanted, what they wanted. for their grandson, india has an exciting future. in the coming decade, india is going to be the place to be, because there is so much technology coming up. but at the same time, i feel culturally it is a bit of a decline, largely due to censorship.
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pakistani tv programmes are now barred, he says. his cousin wants to know more about partition, to understand why the two countries remain such suspicious neighbours. i have never felt the tension between an indian and a pakistani. i've met pakistanis when i have travelled in the us and london, and other areas, and we got along perfectly well. but those meetings happened abroad, and he has never been to pakistan, just a few kilometres away. the effects of partition are still felt strongly today, even for young people, for whom it is just history. well, india's prime minister, narendra modi, is addressing the nation from the ramparts of the historic red fort, in delhi, as the country celebrates 70 years of independence from british colonial rule. it is where the country's first leader, jawaharlal nehru, oversaw the lowering of the union jack at the stroke of midnight on 15 august 1947.
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unlike the founding leader, narendra modi has been sourcing suggestions for topics for his speech through unofficial mobile phone app. —— through an official mobile phone app. a verdict has been reached in the court case between an american dj and the us singer taylor swift. jurors at a federal court in denver agreed that david mueller had groped her at an event in 2013. the bbc‘s peter bowes has been looking at some of the background to the case. it goes back to 2013, when it is said to have happened, he sued her a couple of years later because he lost his job. he said this was his dream job and
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she had ruined his career. she countersued in his part of the lawsuit was thrown out, it by a judge who said that a connection could not be made between taylor swift and him losing hisjob. the jury swift and him losing hisjob. the jury agreed that, yes, she was, and told the dj to pay $1 in damages. that is just $1 in damages, told the dj to pay $1 in damages. that isjust $1 in damages, a told the dj to pay $1 in damages. that is just $1 in damages, a token amount. that is what she had asked for, because this was never really, for, because this was never really, for her, about money. and she will be giving that dollar to charity, she said. she cut an impressive figure, it has to be said. the cross—examination in which she pretty much demolished mr mueller‘s council has been shared by social media. yes, she was very stoic in
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the witness stand. she was very collected. she knew exactly what she wa nted collected. she knew exactly what she wanted to say and she described the assault and quite detailed terms. and she has made it very clear since this verdict, she hasn't spoken but she has released a statement explaining her motives and why she did this. noticeably, she said i acknowledge the privilege that i benefit from the life and society, and my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this. and she goes on to say my hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. and as you say, she also pledged to make some donations to various charities, helping women fight cases like this. next monday, the bongs of london's big ben will fall silent for four years, so that repairs can be carried out on its tower. it will be the longest period it has been silenced for since it first chimed in 1859. but big ben will still be heard during important national events, such as new year's eve and remembrance sunday. our political correspondent leila natthoo reports. big ben chimes.
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these chimes have filled the westminster air for more than a century and a half. but soon, a four—year pause, as the great bell, big ben, is silenced, so crucial repairs can be carried out. if you could imagine running your car for 160 years non—stop, 2a hours a day, it will need looking at. so that's what we're doing. we will be able to at this time, because it is such a long stoppage period, check absolutely everything on the clock. chimes. it is still working, which is good. still ticking, for now, but the clock mechanism needs attention. it is connected to the hammers that strike the bells. piece by piece, it will be dismantled. the parts cleaned and restored. and, because the whole tower is being renovated, too, the construction workers cannot be subjected to the regular ringing. loud chimes. it is deafening to be at this
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close range without these protective earphones on. but, from next monday, big ben and all the four smaller quarter bells will get a rest, depriving westminster of its familiar soundtrack. repairs on the tower have already started, and soon, the scaffolding will encase it entirely. not quite the same sight to come and see. big ben is big ben, and people want to see big ben. not half a ben — a full ben. that would definitely be a bummer, for sure, to come all the way here and not to be able to see it. but you have to look at the advantages. if we are going to secure the tower for the future, for future generations, that far outweighs the inconvenience of having scaffolding up to two or three years. big ben will still be able to herald special events like the new year and remembrance sunday, but in the long break from its constant ringing, a strange silence will descend here, in the absence of its reassuring sound. leila natthoo, bbc news, westminster. let's ta ke let's take you back life to delhi,
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where india's prime minister, narendra modi, is addressing the nation from the historic red fort, where the country's first leader, nehru, oversaw the lowering of the unionjack. nehru, oversaw the lowering of the union jack. the nehru, oversaw the lowering of the unionjack. the country celebrating 70 years of independence from british colonial rule. our correspondent is in delhi. how does all this look from there? well, even asi all this look from there? well, even as i speak to you, the prime minister continues to speak. he has been making reference, of course, to the freedom fighters who delivered india its long—awaited independence 70 years ago. he has also talked about building a new india, an india thatis about building a new india, an india that is prosperous, that is progressive, and that is also technologically advanced. and at the same time, he made a reference to a tragic event that took place last week, when more than 60 children, many of them newborn babies, died in hospital in a north indian town. it isa hospital in a north indian town. it is a reminder that despite india's very considerable achievements over
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these past 70 years, the country still has a distance to go in sometimes delivering the most basic needs to its people. it is exactly 70 years ago on the 15th of august 1947 that the british unionjack 70 years ago on the 15th of august 1947 that the british union jack was lowered one last time from that historic red fort, to be replaced by the indian flag. and a lot has changed in india over these past 70 yea rs. changed in india over these past 70 years. it is now a $10 trillion economy. the per capita income, which is around $26 at that time, is now $7,500. but despite that, barack, still present in the day's india, many of the conflict that existed at the turn of independence. the conflict with pakistan over kashmir, which continues today and some would argue is perhaps at its worst stage ever. and of course, also, the religious differences between the minority was the community and the hindu community, something which people make reference to, and you saw a small
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reference to, and you saw a small reference to, and you saw a small reference to that in a report earlier. and briefly, worth knowing how the tables have turned. with brexit on the horizon, the british now very, very keen on trade deals with india. the booming parts of india really don't have the older too much with the uk at all, do they? yes, that's right. i think india is now a major investor in britain, it creates several thousand jobs in the uk. it is a very co mforta ble jobs in the uk. it is a very comfortable position for india to be m, comfortable position for india to be in, where it is in a position of strength, and really has the opportunity to choose from a number of countries, notjust written, for investment, but also several countries in europe, germany and france, as many officials have told me, you know, they are in a position somewhat of power now —— notjust britain. you can get much more on the news all the time on the bbc website.
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well, tuesday's looking pretty good across most of the uk. the rest of the week, however, overall is still looking rather changeable. and actually, as we head into the weekend, it looks pretty blustery as well. this is a gloomy picture from yesterday. tuesday is going to be a lot sunnier across this part of the world. now, this is the satellite picture, from the last 12 hours or so. we had some rain sweeping across many western and northern areas. really quite heavy rain in some areas, and towards the early hours of tuesday morning, there still could be some heavier rain around across the far, far north—east of the country, and possibly the far south—east as well, and maybe even a clap of thunder. and the start to the day is a relatively mild one. 14,16 degrees, even up to 17 during the rush hour across the south. and really, it is starting pretty nice nad bright across most areas. there are a few showers around, here and there, but on balance, fine start from the south—east,
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the midlands, wales, a couple of showers there, around the lake district. maybe a few dotted around in northern ireland and western scotland, but on the whole, a nice start to the day. and here is that overnight rain moving away towards the north—east, off the edge of the screen — good riddance. now, as far as tuesday morning, and the second half of the morning and the afternoon is concerned, showers are actually going to be brewing inland. so it is not a completely dry day. take a brolly if you are out for any lengthy period of time. sunny spells, plenty of them, yes, and feeling quite warm, but there will be showers breaking out. how are we doing compared to the rest of europe? well, london will be warming up to 24 degrees. we're on a par with paris, but some storms around here, similar to warsaw and moscow. but hotting up across spain and portugal, and in italy and rome, there, temperatures up to around 35 degrees celsius. anyway, back home, tuesday into wednesday, there will be a ridge of high pressure. high pressure usually means fine weather. so for many parts of england,
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i think, and eastern scotland, wednesday morning and afternoon is looking fine. but you can't miss this. this is the next low pressure, next weather front, moving in during wednesday morning and afternoon. so the weather will go downhill in belfast, in glasgow, around the irish sea, liverpool, western wales, and down into cornwall. but london is looking fine. temperatures could even be a little bit higher than 23 degrees celsius. but that rain will move through during the course of wednesday into thursday. and then it is a fresher day, i think, for most of us on thursday. slightly brisker winds, with some showers. still temperatures getting up to around 24 degrees. i say fresher because the winds will pick up. and then by friday, really quite blustery, with sunshine and showers. this is bbc news, the headlines: the number killed by mudslides and flooding in sierra leone has risen over 3000. has risen over 300. it's feared many more bodies are still trapped under the debris. the red cross says around 3,000 have lost their homes. president koroma has called it a national tragedy.
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after two days of mounting and widespread public pressure, president trump has finally and explicitly condemned white supremacist groups. in response to the fatal violence in charlottesville, virginia, mr trump described the ku klux klan, neo—nazis and others as thugs and criminals. state media in north korea is saying kim jong—un has received a full briefing from the army on a plan to launch missiles towards the us pacific territory of guam. but it says he will keep watching american actions for a time before deciding whether to order any launch. let's have a look at the front pages of this morning's newspapers: the financial times reports that the uk's largest adult education provider faces collapse after a damning report
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