this is bbc world news. i'm kasia madera. our top stories: president trump's health secretary tom price quits in a row over his exorbitant plane travel expenses here we are, his own health secretary is seen swanning around on private planes when the official government business should always be done on commercial planes. campaigners in catalonia take to the streets ahead of the independence referendum that spain warns is illegitimate. the us cuts its embassy staff in cuba by more than half after reports of "sonic attacks" on employees. and manchester city striker sergio aguero confirms he's broken a rib in an amsterdam car accident. hello and welcome to bbc world news.
the us health secretary tom price has been forced to resign after dragging the white house into another scandal — this time over the use of private jets. mr price promised to repay more than $50,000 after it was revealed he took private charter flights instead of going commercial. in the last few hours the president accepted his resignation after a wave of criticism. the bbc‘s laura bicker is in washington — she gave me the details. donald trump pledged his support is that he would come to washington to drain the swamp, to end politics as usual. here we are, his own health secretary is seen swanning around on private planes when the official government business should always be done on commercial planes. so when
it comes to how he is going to persuade his supporters that he is the man in charge, that he is going to continue to rail against the elite and he can sort out his own cabinet, he needs to have shown that his own health secretary is following the rules. he is said to be absolutely furious with mr price. here we are, friday evening in washington and yet another resignation. the problem with this scandal is that it has been a huge distraction for the white house. he has had several attempts at healthcare reform. there is a hurry came crisis in porter ricco and donald trump is trying to reform taxes here in the united states. all the while he is doing it, republicans and democrats are still not coming on board. so he now has a health secretary and other members of his cabinet using private planes
during government business and simply mr price had to go. as you mentioned, the timing is absolutely dreadful. tom price is not the only one as you suggested there, who has a bit of an interest in private planes. is not the only one to use them for government business. could you elaborate? well, we have the treasury secretary, the interior secretary and the environment chief and all three members of cabinet are under investigation for their private plane used. so far that is still under investigation. there are allegations that that newspapers have been digging and posting a number of certainly times when each of those members of cabinet have used private planes. when it comes to that kind of usage, it is something that donald trump supporters, the blue—collar workers, are simply not going to support. so donald trump will probably be looking as well. this is also not
following the rules. a number of the people that he hired on his team have been wealthy bankers or people with wealthy backgrounds. so when they are seen swanning around in a private plane, it does not look good for donald trump. the other issue is that this is the 14th member of donald trump's administration to resign or be fired since he took office. the rest have been members office. the rest have been members of the white house administration, this is the first cabinet member. but at least 1a members of the administration in such a short time does not look good. the bbc‘s laura bicker in washington. thousands of catalan separatists have held a final rally ahead of sunday's planned referendum on independence from spain. the head of the regional government, told the crowd he believed catalonia would become a sovereign nation. but madrid is trying to block the vote, claiming it is unconstitutional. and a court has ordered google to block an app informing voters about the location of polling stations.
tom burridge is in barcelona. chanting tonight, a call to vote on a yes—no question, should their region break away from spain? it's true that a lot of people are waiting this moment lots of years. to vote ? to vote, and i hope it will be yes. but beyond the fiesta, there is deep uncertainty. and in the palace at the heart of catalonia's devolved government, the leader disobeying spain's courts and government. a referendum on sunday, he says, will go ahead. translation: the overwhelming majority of people in catalonia want to vote, to decide. not like this.
yes, but what other option did we have? we've offered to negotiate. this vote is not a crime. but there is a catch. many in spain's richest region only want a referendum with madrid's consent. likejose gonzales. born in malaga, barcelona has been his home for 66 years. translation: our families and friends are divided. we can barely talk about politics any more. in madrid today, a mock vote. they want catalonia to remain part of spain. and like their government, they don't recognise sunday's referendum. it is not a question of stopping people voting. well, that's what you want to do this weekend. no, no. let me be clear on this. in catalonia, they vote, they vote on local elections, european elections, according to the law. sure, but not... what they are trying to do
is an illegal self—determination consultation. this evening, after—school activities, a bid by parents to occupy polling stations and prevent the police from shutting them down. barcelona, and its region, walking into the unknown. rhythmic clinking listen to this nightly ritual. a protest of pots and pans. ringing out across the city. people who say they will vote. tom burridge, bbc news, barcelona. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. the united nations is to send war crimes investigators to yemen, after a compromise agreement
overcame objections from saudi arabia. the un human rights council unanimously adopted a resolution that will establish, what is described as a group of eminent regional and international experts to examine all violations committed by all parties in the yemen conflict. president trump is to attend a summit of south—east asian nations in manila. the white house says he'll visit several states in november. stops include china, south korea, japan, vietnam and the philippines. the crisis in north korea is likely to dominate. ryanair says it's agreed to implement measures ordered by the uk's airline regulator, the caa, to ensure all passengers affected by flight cancellations are aware of their rights. it's updated its website, and e—mailed customers affected by its decision to ground hundreds of flights in the coming weeks. the us diplomatic presence in cuba will be cut by more than half and american citizens have been warned not to visit.
that was the announcement from the state department after what they called mysterious "attacks" which have caused hearing loss, fatigue and dizziness among those working in the us embassy. cuba has responded saying the decision is hasty and will affect relations. barbara plett usher reports this was supposed to mark the beginning of better relations between cuba and the us. but little more than a year after the mission was formally reopened in havana, us employees began to report hearing loss and other mystery health problems. the americans now say their diplomats are being attacked. they do now i who am all with what but they have decided no longer safe for them. only a skeleton staff will remain. it will be a blow for us travellers. many were excited by
washington's historic opening with humour in 2015. there is no evidence that private citizens have been attacked but the state department is warning they could be at risk. president 0bama took a risk by renewing ties with cuba's communist leaders. he was convinced it was in the interests of america. the cuban government has denied any role in this bizarre and troubling episode. it has been helping with the investigation. but half the secretary of state, rex tillerson, has reminded havana it has an obligation to protect us government employees and their families. until the government of cuba can assure the government of cuba can assure the safety of diplomats in cuba, he said, our embassy will be reduced to emergency personnel to minimise the number of diplomats in risk of harm. relations had begun to strain under the weight of the new president who roll back some elements of the agreement. they did some bad things that you will see what happened cuba said the decision to downsize the embassy was hasty and will further affect ties. the ending of
hostilities between the two cold war enemies was a legacy moment for president 0bama. celebrated with scenes that could have been filmed for a feelgood american movie. now, sabotaged by a plot that could have been written for a cold war spy novel. so what is a sonic attack, and why might it be used? robin cleveland is a professor of engineering science at the university of oxford. the amount of data that has been provided is limited but the reports suggest that people who have been suffering from these effects have heard things, all sorts of different sounds. the sounds that have reported have not themselves been a loud enough to affect their hearing assuming it was some frequency above what we can normally here, what we call ultrasound, affect such as dizziness and nausea have been well reported in the literature. there have been ultrasonic sound waves used. they are short wavelength so
you have the ability to target individuals or small areas of space. it is certainly plausible. hard to say without more information at the moment. it is also possible that many of the electronics we use now generate ultrasonic waves and it is something that started to be of concern in the acoustics community in the last five years or so, is that, these ultrasonic waves around all the time the probably do impact us all the time the probably do impact us without us realising because we cannot here. it is possible that it could come from other devices but the fact that the us state department has said they have identified it as attacks specifically on some of their personnel seems unlikely that they just some howard inadvertently they are affected and nobody else. a stampede at a railway station in india's financial hub mumbai has left at least 22 people dead and many others injured. the crush happened just after morning rush hour on a narrow pedestrian bridge. eyewitnesses say heavy rainfall led to overcrowding on the bridge as people tried to shelter.
another 36 people were injured in the crush. the government's already under pressure over poor safety standards on the railways. the bbc‘s yogita limaye sends this report from the scene. this is the flight of stairs at the elphinstone road station where the stampede occurred earlier this morning. it leads to a little bridge across the station. this station is a small but important stop on the city's western railway line. it is not rush hour right now but you can look at it and see how crowded it is even now and this incident occurred just shortly after rush hour this morning. authorities are still finding out what triggered it but many people are saying it was raining heavily at the time and that is why people rushed in from here on to this little flight of stairs, there were people rushing from the platform as well onto the flight of stairs, and that is what caused the stampede. and if you actually see here, this group of people standing around, you can actually see shoes of people that have been left behind.
it is from this little hole there that a lot of people were trying to jump out and save their lives. the injured and the dead had been rushed to hospital nearby. i have seen police authorities as well as railway authorities coming here to find out what actually triggered the incident. but this once again put the spotlight on mumbai's transport infrastructure which has been heavily criticised for being sorely insufficient. it transports more than 7 million people a day. this is an important station for many people because this area, lower parel, is where a lot of commercial complexes, buildings, offices are located and you can just see the flight of stairs is so small that it is always crowded. somebody who actually uses the station every day told me that something like this was just waiting to happen. yogita limaye in mumbai. stay with us on bbc world news, still to come: the dust descends in yosemite as california's national
park is hit by another massive rockfall. in all russia's turmoil, it has never come to this. president yeltsin said the day would decide the nation's destiny. the nightmare that so many people have feared for so long is playing out its final act here. russians are killing russians in front of a grandstand audience. it was his humility which produced affection from catholics throughout the world. but his departure is a tragedy for the catholic church. israel's right—winger ariel sharon visited the religious compound and that started the trouble. he wants israel alone to have sovereignty over the holy sites, an idea that's unthinkable to palestinians. after 45 years of division, germany is one. in berlin, a million germans celebrate the rebirth of europe's biggest and richest nation. this is bbc news.
the latest headlines: the us health secretary, tom price, has resigned amid an outcry over his use of private jets for government business. campaigners have taken to the streets of catalonia, as the region prepares for an independence referendum that spain has banned. president trump has defended his response to the hurricanes that have ripped through puerto rico, saying aid efforts have been hampered by the fact the territory is an island. the governor of puerto rico has said more food is now getting through, although there's an issue of who will pay for it. david campanale has more. puerto rico faces a series of
challenges unprecedented in its recent history. even before hurricane maria struck, the island was hit by a deluge of another kind. debt. $72 billion that puerto rico has no means to repay. 0ver debt. $72 billion that puerto rico has no means to repay. over one week on from the category five storm, islanders continue to pull at what they can salvage from under their collapsed homes. but puerto rico has already submitted to the crushing rate of local government debt. in may, the island had one of the biggest ever municipal bankruptcies and now there are questions over how much of a role the federal government will play in the crisis. and the response and recovery effort probably has never been seen for something like this. this is an
island surrounded by water, the water, ocean water. ultimately the government to puerto rico will have to work with us to determine how this massive rebuilding effort will end up being one of the biggest ever will be funded and organised. and what we will do with the tremendous amount of existing debt. most of the 3.4 million residents face a 10th day without the basics and their political leaders believe not enough is being done. i am begging. begging anyone that can hear us to save us from dying. federal authorities are now rising to the enormity of the crisis caused by hurricane maria. it is also one that will take not days but months to overcome. the united states has confirmed it
won't recognise the iraqi kurds' referendum on independence from baghdad. tensions have increased, since 92% of voters in the area backed the move. iraq's central government has retaliated by suspending international flights to and from the region. 0ur correspondent mark lowen reports from irbil‘s airport. the last passengers are arriving here at the airport in irbil to take flights out of the country before all flights will be suspended this evening. some passengers say they are flying out early because of the suspension. they don't know when they will be allowed back in. it is they will be allowed back in. it is the first major punitive step taken by the iraqi government in baghdad in response to the disputed kurdish independence referendum that the iraqi government does not accept. the kurdish authorities are calling the action illegal and unconstitutional and they say it is
collective punishment for the kurdish people. there is a lot of angry rhetoric about regarding the independence referendum. the iraqi government say they will only sit and talk to the kurds once the referendum and a is an old. turkey and iran have hit out at the referendum because they want to keep their own kurdish minorities in check. and yet there's no real demand orforfresh check. and yet there's no real demand or for fresh conflict here. there is the belief that only dialogue is the viable way forward and when that will come is not clear. the un says it will mediate between both sides, but expect days of tension to heighten over the days and weeks ahead before they might use. “— and weeks ahead before they might use. —— puerto —— ease. there's been another huge rockfall in california's yosemite national park, a day after a massive granite slab fell from the famous el capitan vertical rock formation, killing a british man and seriously injuring his wife. the authorities say the second rockfall in yosemite injured one person who was airlifted to hospital.
james cook has the story. it is a climber‘s worst nightmare. the thunder and dust of a giant rockfall, the second in as many days. we were right under that. we were right and about and ideally afraid because there are people there. this climate film to the unfolding drama on his helmet camera. perched atop the monolith of el capitan climbers looked on in or as the dust lingered for hours. andrew foster was the victim of the first rock. just 32, originally from gloucestershire and living in cardiff. his wife lucy was injured and taken to hospital. the couple called themselves passionate. the second rockfall rattled several climbers, including rachel, whose husband was hurt. paramedics flew
one person to hospitalfor treatment. i said it is falling, it is falling! we were driving as fast as we could. at this time time my husband reached up and said, my head, because it was bleeding profusely and hurting. and yet the daring are up again today, including one climber who was just 300 metres from the first deadly rockfall.m definitely worries me that we are standing underneath the rockfall something like 15 minutes or 20 minutes before it happened, but that was just a stroke of amazing luck that we had to be out of their, you know? atjust the right time. el capitan draws people, lewis then on, because it is untamed, because of the risks. —— lures them in. this tragedy will not stop them from gambling on the cliffs. sport now and the manchester city footballer sergio aguero has done nothing wrong, despite going to amsterdam on his day off and getting involved in a car crash.
that's according to his manager pep guardiola. the argentinian striker suffered a broken rib in the accident and is expected to be out for between two and four weeks. but guardiola says there's nothing for him to apologise. fortu nately, fortunately, of course it was an accident. fortunately he came back and he will recover as soon as possible. we are preparing the training andi possible. we are preparing the training and i think i will speak with him. i know he is ok. he is ok and that the most important thing. now he can look to tomorrow and after the international break, we select for argentina. he can't go there. we have the first impression
which is that he has broken with, but it could how many days he will be off... but it could how many days he will beoff...| but it could how many days he will be off... i don't know right now. pep guardiola, the manchester city manager. a sitar owned by george harrison from the beatles has been auctioned for more than $60,000, around £45,000, in the united states. the instrument, purchased from a shop on london's oxford street in 1965, was used by harrison during the recording of the beatles song norwegian wood. take a look. when i saw george harrison the first
time in our class in calcutta he was so humble. for us it was amazing because he was a superstar in those days. some of my fellow musicians asked george harrison, can you give one autograph? very humbly he drew one autograph? very humbly he drew on my t—shirt. he said in front of ravi shankar he would not be able to give any autograph as it would be disrespectful him. lots more on our website and you can get it out with me and some of the tea m get it out with me and some of the team on social media. for the time being, thanks very much for watching. some of us may get off to a fine
start on saturday morning, but by looking at the big picture you can work out why that is not going to last. weather systems queueing up in the atlantic to come our way, so we will have rain at some stage at the weekend and the winds will be picking up as well. this is how it looks for early rises. wales and north—west england with cloud and rain. a lot of cloud in the rest of england. showers spreading east as the day goes on. fine weather in northern ireland, with variable cloud and sunny spells. after morning showers in scotland the afternoon looks dry with fewer showers, more sunshine. some sunny spells in northern england as well. but for the midlands, east anglia, south—east england, likely to be a fairamount of south—east england, likely to be a fair amount of cloud around and an increased chance of showers spreading east in the afternoon. for wales and western areas, we keep a lot of cloud throughout and the rain gathers as well by the afternoon and
into the evening. another spell of wet weather moves on and covers much of the uk as we go through saturday night and into sunday morning. the wind picking up will stop in northern ireland we have some especially heavy rain coming in by the end of saturday night. i'll start to sunday and a mild sunday to come. it won't feel like that in the wind. cloud around. a wet morning the northern ireland. heavy rain spreading across cortland. —— scotland. for the rest of england and wales there will be some outbreaks of spreading eastwards as the day goes on. of course it is windy on sunday. coastal gales in the west. wet weather clearing through much of scotland and northern ireland as it brightens. the wind will get even stronger, especially in scotland. very blustery in scotland for the great scottish run and expect a lot of rain in the morning, clearing in the afternoon. there will be some rain,
although not as persistent as in scotland, but some outbreaks although not as persistent as in scotland, but som is utbreaks ' " ' pressure ii into ~ . ~ pressure ii into monday ~ . ~ pressure ii into monday where w— ~ 5545? north, — to 70 quests: in to 70 £225: in the g.— ”jf , upto " 7 ”jf , upto70' " 7 so mph, so that could be disruptive. disruptive in the uk. showers towards the north—west and some spells of persistent rain into northwest scotland. the weekend sta rts northwest scotland. the weekend starts on a fine note for some, but we will all have rain moving in and the winds picking up as well, especially sunday and into monday. from you this is bbc news, the headlines. the us health secretary, tom price, has resigned. mr price was under pressure from president trump after it emerged he had been using expensive private jets while travelling on government business. thousands of catalan separatists
have held a final rally ahead of sunday's planned referendum on independence from spain. the spanish central government is trying to block the vote in the courts. us officials say washington is pulling out most of its staff from its embassy in cuba, following mystery sonic attacks on its diplomats. the us is also warning american citizens not to travel to the island. a stampede at a railway station in india's financial hub, mumbai, has resulted in the death of at least twenty two people. the stampede occurred during the rush hour on a narrow pedestrian bridge. iam back i am back at one a.m. but