welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm duncan golestani. our top stories: breaking the deadlock — britain's prime minister strikes a conciliatory tone as she sets out her plans to move brexit negotiations forward. it is up to leaders to set the tone. and the tone i want to set is one of partnership and friendship. puerto rico faces the aftermath of hurricane maria — tens of thousands are urged to evacuate as a major dam bursts. as violence sweeps the region, the united nations calls for more help for the rohingya refugees in bangladesh. and new zealand heads to the polls — the prime minster is hoping to stay in office, but the opposition are fighting for every vote. hello and welcome to the programme.
britain's prime minister has tried to inject new energy into the brexit talks, with a distinctly warmer tone in a key speech in italy. theresa may says she wants the uk to be the eu's strongest friend and partner, and has called for a two—year transition deal after britain officially leaves the eu, saying the uk will pay its financial obligations, though no sum was mentioned. theresa may choose to set out her plans in the city of florence, from where our political editor, laura kuenssberg, sent this report. waiting, waiting and waiting. it's months since the prime minister gave anything away on brexit. and if you're in a hurry to disentangle completely, you might just have to wait some more. she came to florence to confirm that for as long as two years after we're technically out, not that much might change. a period of implementation would be
in our mutual interest and that is why i'm proposing that there should be such a period after the uk leaves the eu. clearly people, businesses and public services should only have to plan for one set of changes in the relationship between the uk and the eu. so during the implementation period, access to one another‘s markets should continue on current terms. and during that time we'll keep paying billions into the eu budget, but the transition won't be longer than two years under a so—called double—lock. and at the heart of these arrangements there should be a clear double—lock. a guarantee that there will be a period of implementation, giving businesses and people alike the certainty that they will be able to prepare for the change and a guarantee that this implementation period will be time limited, giving everyone the certainty that this will not go on forever. but on the vital relationship
between the eu and the uk after we leave, optimism but few more clues beyond ruling out copying someone else‘s deal. we can do so much better than this. let us not seek merely to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries, instead let us be creative as well as practical in designing an ambitious economic partnership which respects the freedoms and principles of the eu and the wishes of the british people. in this renaissance city, theresa may has made no new blinding discoveries, instead she's admitted for some years much will stay the same. she's inching towards some of the compromises that brexit could require. but can the speech make any difference, unstick the eu talks? the eu chief negotiator used 140 characters to say — "thanks for the speech, but we shall see." but theresa may's political opponents claim it's still tory accounts that are really being settled here. this whole speech seemed to me
the product of the internal negotiations of the tory party rather than negotiations with the eu. nor has her offer pleased those who cheered for brexit loudest of all. i would say it's been a good day for the political classes, a good day for westminster and two fingers up to 17.4 million people who voted brexit. no ifs, no buts. and on the biggest question — how our histories will intertwine in the years and decades to come, relative silence, more doubts than clear answers. in a process so complex, so important, the prime minister seems to cast shadows wherever she stands. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, florence. three days after mexico's earthquake, and the death toll is now 286. nearly half of the deaths were in the capital, mexico city, but the epicentre was some 100 kilometers to the south, in a rural part of the country.
0ur correspondent, aleem maqbool, has travelled to the town of atzala, close to the epicentre, where 11 members of one family were killed during a christening. it is one of the most shocking stories of this national tragedy. a church less than four miles from the epicentre of the earthquake had been hosting the christening of a two—month—old baby girl. the ceremony was about to get under way, the family and intended godparents assembled, when this house of god was violently shaken. lorenzo sanchez, assistant to the priest, had been beside the altar, paralysed when the ground was rocked. "the first movement happened, then it stopped", he says. "so we thought it was over, but then the rest came and i didn't "know what was falling from where. "i was totally surrounded by dust. "i didn't know what was happening". well, it is simply impossible
to imagine the horrors of what happened in this church at the moment the earthquake struck and these massive chunks of the building came crashing to the ground. the family was congregated here, and the town came out to try and dig them out of the rubble, but all they recovered was bodies. this mobile phone footage was taken minutes after the earthquake, the church hall completely carpeted with a deep layer of rubble. it was filmed by a man who'd come to help, not realising that six members of his own family were buried. when we were removing the rubble, you could see hands. when you found a hand, you tried to take everything off. but if she was dead, you just move her aside and you keep trying to look for the people who were alive. and you could still hear people? you could still hear people, trying to move, trying to speak. some of these people were your cousins? no, my family died right away.
they got the big impact, but everybody else, there was still some hope. among the dead was the baby being christened, and her mother. this beautiful church can be rebuilt, but across this part of mexico are the struggles of those who have lost what is irreplaceable. aleem maqbool, bbc news, atzala. hurricane maria and the heavy rain that followed it is continuing to wreak havoc in puerto rico. the authorities there have mobilised the national guard to help evacuate people in areas downstream of a dam which has failed after days of heavy rain. potentially, seventy thousand people are under threat. the dam, located at the northern end of the guajataca lake is causing flash floods. authorities say it's an "extremely dangerous situation" and evacuations are taking place urgently. andrew plant reports now on the destruction caused by hurricane maria, the strongest storm the island has seen in living memory. is everybody 0k in that house?
they are calling it the worst storm here in 100 years. many roads underwater, with cars submerged. those who stayed in their homes are sheltering on the upper floors from the deluge and damage down below. does everyone have food and water? translation: there is a lot of damage, a lot of flooded areas. we need to work together. yes, there is a lot of devastation. with homes destroyed and power supplies down, puerto rico is suffering the effects of hurricane maria, the second devastating storm to tear through the caribbean this season, with homes and streets underwater and families forced to evacuate to higher ground. the main priority is water, food, blankets, tarpaulins. there's great damage all around the whole island. filmed from a rescue helicopter in winds of up to 150km/h, these people were rescued from the surrounding seas stranded on a capsized boat, adrift in 20 foot waves. the us coastguard, helped
by the british royal navy, winched them to safety, but already the death toll is in double figures and expected to rise. now a dam has failed in the north of the island, causing flash flooding and evacuations of populated areas. donald trump has said the us territory has been totally obliterated and has made federal emergency aid available. the governor of puerto rico said damage to the island's electricity grid was so severe it could take engineers many months to fully restore power to the island. that's get more on this situation. we speak to ape puerto rican journalist based in boston, massachusetts. -- a puerto. i know
communications at home are difficult. but what are you hearing? about half the island, there is no communication. but i have heard this is the worst storm in the history of modern puerto rico. because we don't know what is happening on half the island where there is no communication, the indications i've heard talking to people is that this could be even worse than what we are talking about right now. even the evacuation that is happening around the down. we are here and reports, one on facebook, about people walking around with a dead person for three days, and they are lacking food and at the point of dying. so sadly, the sense is that this is far from over. it was rainy today in puerto rico. half the island, w
knows what is going on. we have had a number of these storms over the last few weeks, julio, with big emergency responses. what you make of the response to this one in your homeland? that is a great question. we are still processing. it is hard to bea we are still processing. it is hard to be a journalist and also a human when you come from your homeland. a person stories telling me you know, i have heard people break down on the phone and a mentally exhausted and exasperated. early indications are that the puerto rico community in the mainland united states — morley is there than in puerto rico, people are rallying. —— more live there. we're talking major relief. we are talking on the levels of
hurricane harvey levels of destruction. people are following the puerto rican that crisis, and know there is no money. the unit we could achieve this knows there is only a poetry. the federal government will have to stand up and put its politics aside and commit to set in puerto rico. it is interesting, because i have seen a number of people raising the puerto rican economic situation before the hurricane. almost a sense that in some ways the country wasn't prepared because of a lack of investment. is that a view that you agree with? yes. one of the things that people don't understand is that there was a $50 million put aside for hurricane 0mar. and that it might all gone in terms of preparedness. —— $15 million. ——
hurricane irma. the government controls the puerto rican economy. there is no money in puerto rico. ensuring the lack of preparedness, there are a lot of questions in the fa ct there are a lot of questions in the fact that a lot of these towns, because they lacked funding to prepare for all these hurricanes, that they weren't ready for this. so the damage that is being caused from hurricane maria is a humanitarian crisis that goes beyond just money. and the united states government and donald trump's administration, it did tweet that he wanted is a puerto rico, but this is good to be a serious conversation about how committed the united states is going to be with its territorial 3 million american citizens. ok, julio, thank you for speaking to us. it was my
pleasure, thank you. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: unravelling the mysteries behind the artwork of jasperjohns, now recognised as masterpieces of american art. ben johnson, the fastest man on earth, is flying home to canada in disgrace. all the athletes should be clean going into the games. i'm just happy that justice is served. it is a simple fact that this morning, these people were in their homes. tonight, those homes have been burnt down by serbian soldiers and police. all the taliban positions along here have been strengthened, presumably in case the americans invade. it's no use having a secret service which cannot preserve its own secrets against the world. and so the british government has no option but to continue this action, and even after any adverse judgement in australia. concorde had crossed the atlantic faster than any plane ever before,
breaking the record by six minutes. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: including a two—year transition period to smooth the process britain's prime minister sets out her vision for brexit, including a two—year transition period to smooth the process of divorce from europe. the authorities in puerto rico have urged people to evacuate areas downstream of a dam which has failed after days of heavy rains. the united nations says it's likely to need around $200 million over the next six months to fund its relief operation for rohingya refugees in bangladesh. more than 400,000 people have now crossed from myanmar to escape attacks on their villages by the country's military in rakhine state.
as their numbers increase so does the strain on existing aid, exacerbated by bad weather and the remoteness of many camps. 0ur correspondent jonathan head reports from the bangladesh—myanmar border. chasing a fire truck along narrow country roads in bangladesh. we'd heard of an accident with a delivery of aid. what we found was a truck on its back, after the road had collapsed under it. nine volunteers were killed here. the bangladesh border guards offered to take us to where the aid was supposed to go. the road ends here. it's a tough one—hour walk in an area notorious for changeable weather. we knew that more than 7000 rohingya refugees, in need of almost everything, were camped up ahead, right on the border with myanmar.
supplying them can only be done on these treacherous paths. wow! just look at it. that's it. a village of bamboo and plastic. just stuck on the hill. nothing else. that's only been there for the last two to three weeks. it's amazing. right on the border. captain junayed hussain from the border guard is the only doctor they have. most of these people endured horrifying ordeals in myanmar, seeing neighbours and family members killed, then walking for days without food. they are all in poor health. mostly, they are suffering from fevers, as they are travelling such a long distance. and due to walking for a long duration, they are suffering from malnutrition, too.
fatima begum has just been given vitamins for her malnourished son. the rest of the family aren't looking too great either, and their living quarters offer no comfort. but they are relieved to be here. translation: by god's grace we are safe here, and those who are ill are being treated. we are happy here. if we had stayed in myanmar they would have killed us for sure. we watched them burning our houses so quickly, using petrol. these people are just a stone's throw from their own country, but in all likelihood they won't be going back there for years, whatever promises aung san suu kyi might make to the world. yet they can't go on living like this. something will have to be done for them. jonathan head, bbc news, on the bangladesh—myanmar border. polls have opened in new zealand in the country's general election.
the incumbent prime minister bill english is aiming for a fourth term in office but is facing a strong challenge from the new labour leader jacinda ardern. joining me from nelson, on new zealand's south island, is our correspondent, phil mercer. is itfairto is it fair to say this is a more exciting election in new zealand than normal? if you would have asked me that question a couple of months ago, labour were in the coal drams. then along came jacinda ago, labour were in the coal drams. then along camejacinda ardern and she has almost single—handedly revived labour's electoral chances and they now have a fighting chance of forming the next government. 37 yea rs of of forming the next government. 37 years of age, a political novice in many ways. she has been in
parliament for ten years but this is the biggest challenge she has taken. in recent times, support for labour party has dropped but still labour finds itself in a far better position than it was in a couple of months ago. polls opened about four hours ago and they are open for the next few hours. it is worth pointing out that hundreds of thousands of kiwis voted early in pre—election say this is a poll that is capturing the public mood. what are the big debates going on there? mainly domestic issues. the economy. infrastructure, healthcare and housing. house prices have soared in new zealand in recent times and affordability is a major issue. the main parties have promised to address this with large building programmes. the national party, the
government under bill english want to keep immigration around 70,000, the labour party wants to cut that by between 20000 and 30,000 but domestic issues are at the heart and like most campaigns around the world, it is economy, jobs and money that will mean the most to new zealand as when they vote today. we will be tracking those results in the coming days. a war of words has been continuing between the us and north korea with the leaders of both countries questioning one another‘s sanity. it follows the us imposing further sanctions on north korea over its nuclear programme. ina dramatic new raising of the stakes, north korea has threatened to detonate a hydrogen bomb over the pacific after president trump threatened in a speech at the united nations to "totally destroy" north korea if the us was forced to defend itself. in the last hour mr trump again raised the issue of north korea at rally in alabama ahead of a republican primary election there.
we cannot have mad men, out there, shooting rockets all over the place. little rocket man... we are going to do it because we really have no choice. we really have no choice. now, he is talking about a massive weapon exploding over the ocean and maybe something gets worked out and maybe something gets worked out and maybe it doesn't. personally, i am not sure it well. 0ther maybe it doesn't. personally, i am not sure it well. other people like to say it oh, we want peace. they've been saying that the years. and then it keeps going and going. we are dealing with somebody we will figure out. he may be smart, strategic and totally crazy, no matter what he is,
we are going to handle him, folks, believe me. he made his name by painting the american flag in his own unique style. and more than 60 years later jasperjohns is considered one of the greatest living artists. now a major retrospective of his work is opening at the royal academy in london. we spoke with the show‘s curator roberta bernstein who explained why johns' work had such an impact on the art world. jasperjohns is, without doubt, one of the most important contemporary artists. early in his career, in the 1950s, he did a series of work including the flag that you see here, flags, targets, numbers, maps, that really shook up the art world. and he found this image that was perfect for him and perfect to move art in a new direction. and he found this image that was perfect for him and perfect
to move art in a new direction. so once he showed these early works he was instantly recognised as an artist who was doing something new. jasperjohns has always said that he did not choose the flag because of the patriotic symbol. it wasn't chosen for anything but the fact that it was familiar and something that he said was something so familiar it was overlooked. he thought, by presenting it as a painting, people would have to look at it in a new way. nowjones is not really that
interested in pop art subject matter and popular culture or commercial imagery although, it appears in his work. it is not the central element of it like it is for pop art. he influenced a whole range of artists and even into the present he remains a very vital influence on younger generations around us. you watching bbc news. do stay with us. . the autumn equinox may be behind us now but the weather is feeling reasonably summery for some
of us over the weekend. this was the scene on friday afternoon. as we head through the course of the weekend, many of us will have largely dry conditions, particularly on saturday. by sunday there will be rain heading into the west of the uk and temperatures will be on the rise as well. as low pressure sets out towards the north—west with tight isobars here but at the moment high—pressure is dominating the south—east. as we start saturday morning, there will be a little cloud and drizzly rain across southern parts of the country. some low cloud, mist and murk first thing. it should brighten up during the day. if we have a look at saturday morning, nine o'clock, after a chilly start in scotland and northern ireland it should be dry and reasonably bright with a little sunshine into northern england and a little more cloud and drizzle and hill fog across the southern half of england and south wales. waking up to a grey morning here but certainly mild, fair weather as it brightens up during the day. a fresh start for northern parts of the country,
moving towards the south. through the course of the morning this cloud and drizzly spots of rain willjust ease towards the east. for many of us it will brighten, particularly along the south later in the day. a little more cloud pushing into northern england and scotland and the breeze picking up across northern ireland. all in all, a decent day with temperatures for most of us around 17 to 19 degrees. it should feel quite pleasant. into saturday evening, most places end the day on a dry note. on saturday night and into sunday you will notice a band of rain working towards the west. that is a weather front and the breeze peaks as well. across much of england and wales you should begin the day on a dry note once again. it will be mild, certainly. through the day on sunday, the weather front tries to move in from the west, bumps into high pressure in the east so it will tend
to fizzle out somewhat during the course of the morning. there will be some rain for northern ireland, scotland perhaps the western fringes of wales in england. later in the day, a chance of a few heavy bursts working in but further east across much of england and wales remains dry and bright and pretty warm. 22, 20 three degrees in the sunshine. just a little cooler in the north—west. we still have a weather front lingering around on monday that will fizzle out during the day. the east should stay warm and dry with temperatures 19 or 20 degrees. this is bbc news. the headlines: prime minister theresa may has called for a two—year transition period to ensure a smooth separation process between britain and the rest of the european union. she's promised to meet the uk's budget commitment. prominent figures elsewhere in the eu have praised her tone but asked for more detail. us officials say intense rain and flash floods have caused a dam to fail in puerto rico, causing an "extremely dangerous" situation. tens of thousands of people are being evacuated. hurricane maria brought torrential