welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is tanya beckett. our top stories: hurricane florence is hearing down on the east coast of america with warnings it could bring catastrophic flooding. stay on guard. this is a powerful storm that can kill. today, the threat becomes a reality. and in the philippines there's more extreme weather. tens of thousands of people begin evacuating as super typhoon mangkhut heads towards the island of luzon. the two russian suspects accused of the nerve agent attack in the uk break their silence. they say they were in salisbury, but only as tourists. and bye—bye beetle. german car manufacturer volkswagen announces it's stopping production of the iconic car next year. america's eastern seaboard
is getting its first taste of the wind and rain from hurricane florence. the storm itself is still a few hours away, but it's a prelude of the damage florence could inflict when it does make landfall. the us national hurricane center is warning of life threatening floods. this imaging from our forecasting team shows the hurricane‘s final approach. we'll hear from some of those who have decided to sit out the storm in a moment, but first our north america correspondent chris buckler sent this report from wilmington, north carolina. for days people have been preparing, and now the first of the strong wind and rain has really arrived. in 12 hours‘ time this weather is expected to deteriorate rapidly, causing real problems here.
storm surge pushing water inland and this time tomorrow the eye of the storm is expected to be over the carolinas, potentially causing 2a hours or more of deeply disruptive weather. on the edge of the carolinas, the wind is strengthening and the water is rising. and this is just a taste of what florence threatens. the hurricane has been making a slow approach from the atlantic. and if what has been forecast comes true, days of flooding lie ahead. there is talk about storm surges of maybe nine feet and if it stalls like they are saying we could be going for two high tides, so i'm not sure, i'm nervous. i would be lying if i was saying different. the hurricane has been downgraded to a category two storm but the authorities are doing everything they can to emphasise how dangerous it remains. don't get complacent. stay on guard. this is a powerful storm that can kill. today, the threat becomes a reality.
home after home lies boarded up here. families have been listening to the warnings. this storm is likely to threaten both property and lives. in the middle of the afternoon, downtown wilmington was deserted. shops abandoned, with sandbags placed optimistically at their doors and a few people making last—minute efforts to protect their stores. it didn't feel like a panic probably until maybe yesterday. you can just see the look on their faces when they are picking up batteries or last—minute water. emergency teams have gathered in towns along the coastline. no—one can be sure exactly where we will feel the full force of florence, but they fear they will be needed as the storm pushes onto land. our correspondent paul blake is on the line now from morehead city,
north carolina. what can you tell us? earlier today, a couple of hours ago i was out and about and the storm are starting to approach we sought early localised flooding. wandering around in the past few minutes there is an cool, even in some places need deepwater. several 100 feet from the ocean, from the sea. definitely localised flooding happening down here. it has brought in a large amount of rain from that storm surge. flooding is definitely happening. what sort preparations have people been making and have they been evacuating as requested?
0fficials they been evacuating as requested? officials have been warning people to prepare and evacuate for several hours now. many houses and businesses are boarded up. several people are evacuating. i visited a shelter earlier today, only —— it was not at full capacity. people are still being urged to get out of their home and into shelter. they we re their home and into shelter. they were saying was not delayed at that time and they worry was that people we re time and they worry was that people were now going to try and write the storm out after it was downgraded. if there is an emergency through the storm, they would not risk the lives of their emergency services to rescue people. what people ended up doing, i think, rescue people. what people ended up doing, ithink, it rescue people. what people ended up doing, i think, it remains to be seenin doing, i think, it remains to be seen in the coming days when the destruction and cost to life becomes clear. that right now that storm is still over this area. it seems the
mainfear is still over this area. it seems the main fear is that the hurricane could just hang around free long time and that is incredibly destructive. the fear has changed over the past few days. 0riginally destructive. the fear has changed over the past few days. originally a category for, a category determined from a sustained wind speed. a category 4 storm is massive and the fear was that the wind would knock structures over and blow debris around, destroying property and killing people. that fear has now changed. it is downgraded to category two and officials worry that people won't take it seriously. but the theory is that the storm will stall over the region and dumping water. flooding homes and businesses and drowning people. that is now the worry, that people would not take it seriously once it was downgraded but they say it is still a serious storm and people in the class should still take it seriously. —— people in the path of
the storm. i've been speaking to rick jones, who lives in southport in north carolina. he's the secretary of the local residents association and has decided to batten down the hatches and ride out hurricane florence at home. when the storm was downgraded to category two that changed a number of residents. 75% of the homeowners in our area have evacuated but we are approximately 30 feet above sea level. when hurricane hazel came through in 1954, our town of southport was ground zero at the time of a 17 foot storm surge. so where we are we think is safe for the moment. obviously we need to keep our eyes on it. what preparations are you making? we have 15 or 20 of us going from home to home to make sure that all the patio furniture
has been cleared out, along with grills or anything that could be a flying object that could damage a home. 0ur neighbourhood has been sanitised of those things. some homes have been boarded up. most of them know, but we have made sure, we were under mandatory evacuation here. we are not a low—lying area cleared by police. by mandatory that means you have to be prepared to survive for 72 hours. you have to have enough food and water, flashlights, batteries if the power goes out. those are the major preparations that we have done. is there a point at which you could change your mind? not really. we are now past the point of no return when it comes to evacuating. 0urfinal residents of the neighbourhood evacuated
around 11 o'clock this morning when there was still safe passage. the intensity of the flooding is supposed to hit southport. we are across the river from wilmington and that is supposed to hit overnight. it really is no longer safe. we need to count on things like social media. we have homes here with seven days of generator power. we will relocate to those homes if we need to and charge our cellphones and pay attention to media coverage such as yours. thank you very much and we wish you the best of luck. there's a major storm on the other side of the world as well. hundreds of thousands of people are being evacuated on the philippines island of luzon as typhoon mangkhut approaches with winds of more than 250 kilometres an hour. it's due to make landfall on the northern tip of luzon over the weekend. up to ten million people are in the storm's path. reged ahmad reports. when the storm was downgraded to category two that changed a number of residents.
75% of the homeowners in our area have evacuated but we are approximately 30 feet above sea level. heavy rocks tying down houses in the north in the hope it might save the roofs of their vulnerable homes when typhoon mangkhut arrives. the philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons and storms a year, the destruction killing hundreds and leaving millions in a cycle of poverty. but this super typhoon has been described as the strongest yet of 2018. schools and offices have been ordered shut, thousands are evacuating. at about 900 kilometres in diameter, the storm is expected to pack powerful wind speeds with heavy rains, triggering landslides and flash floods. storm surges, too, are big threat, with high waves likely to inundate the coastline. but the biggest fear is for the estimated 10 million people in the path of the storm, with worries authorities and rescue services will be stretched thin. but the important thing is for the government to make sure that evacuation happens.
in the evacuation centres, there is no panic and they can provide food. the government is ready with food. 0fficials do not want to see a repeat of the super typhoon haiyan which killed thousands in 2013, forcing many from their homes. this time, as people prepare and stock up on supplies, some even say they plan to stay, in the hope they can protect their property. as super typhoon mangkhut draws ever closer. reged ahmad, bbc news. we have received this update. here and here north of the philippines is the area where forecasters believe the area where forecasters believe the super typhoon that will hit
ha rd est. the super typhoon that will hit hardest. it is windy here at the moment and the waves are quite high but what we have heard is that when it really does hit it will bring a storm surge around two stories tall. this is a small lowrise town and i have been speaking to some residents here about how they feel. they say they have been through this before and have seen other storms. they have been told by local council and police to move on and there is an evacuation centre just 500 metres down the road. we have also spoken to people who have been putting rocks and tying their roots down onto heavy boulders to try and prevent the roof from flying off when the storm comes. some people say they want to stay inside their property to make sure that fees do not enter their home and take their belongings. we have seen other people moving away from the area. ca rs people moving away from the area. cars leaving with betting on the roof. we saw farmers on the outskirts of this smalltown who were
harvesting around the clock to try and get as much rice as they can from their fields before the storm comes in and devastates. giving everything i have seen it is somewhat alarming there is not a bigger presence by the local authorities getting people to move on. it seems that people here are quite relaxed with the idea of a super typhoon coming their way. let's get some of the day's other news. police in the us state of massachussetts have reported dozens of fires and explosions in communities north of the city of boston. pictures show fire fighters battling flames in the towns of lawrence and north andover. local media reports said the explosions may have been caused by the rupture of a gas line. democrats in new york have been voting on whether governor andrew cuomo deserves a third term. his challenger in the primary vote is actress and campaigner cynthia nixon. she's the latest insurgent candidate trying to move the democratic party to the left. whoever wins is likely to beat their republican opponent in november's election. thousands of people have marched through the streets
of argentina's capital, buenos aires to protest at the govenment‘s austerity measures. teachers have demanded an increase in salary and students want more funding for education. president mauricio macri has announced budget cuts to tackle the country's currency crisis. the peso has lost more than half of its value this year. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: volkswagen lose the love bug for their beetle. production of this iconic car is to end next year. 30 hours after the earthquake that devastated mexico city, rescue teams still have no idea just how many people have died. there is people alive, and there is people not alive. we just can help and give them whatever we've got. it looked as though they had come to fight a war,
but their mission is to bring peace to east timor, and nowhere on earth needs it more badly. the government's case has been forcefully presented by monsieur badinter, the justice minister. he has campaigned vigorously for the abolition, having once witnessed one of his clients being executed. elizabeth seton spent much of her time at this grotto, and every year, hundreds of pilgrimages are made here. now that she has become a saint, it is expected that this area will be inundated with tourists. the mayor and local businessman regard the anticipated boom as just another blessing of st elizabeth. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: america's eastern seaboard is starting to feel the first effects of hurricane florence. the us national hurricane center is warning of possible life—threatening flooding. and in the philippines there's more extreme weather as tens
of thousands of people begin evacuating from coastal areas as super typhoon mankhut heads towards the island of luzon. two russian men named by the british authorities as suspects in the chemical attack in salisbury in southern england have appeared on russia today, russia's state—funded television channel. the pair — who identify themselves as alexander petrov and ruslan boshirov — claim they are the victims of a fantastical coincidence and insist they are innocent. in their first comments since being accused of poisoning the former russian agent sergei skripal and his daughter, they said they were tourists on a visit to salisbury cathedral. 0ur security correspondent gordon corera has more details. last week, britain presented ruslan boshirov and alexander petrov as a pair of russian military intelligence officers, assassins, sent with nerve agent to kill. but today we saw a different side. they told the kremlin—funded news channel they were tourists who had come to salisbury to see the sights. translation: what
were you doing there? our friends had suggested for a long time we visit this wonderful town. salisbury, a wonderful town? yes. a tourist town. there is the famous salisbury cathedral, famous not only in europe but in the whole world. it is famous for its 123—metre spire. it is famous for its clock, the first ever created in the world that is still working. salisbury‘s cathedral certainly is a tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world, but just how plausible is the story of these two russians set against the evidence laid out by the police last week? there is the question of the motive for their
trip, flying in from moscow to gatwick airport on friday march 2nd, all to see salisbury, and then there's their movements — the russian giving up sightseeing in salisbury on saturday because, they say, there was too much slush. they returned on sunday and here cctv catches them arriving at the station at 11:a8. but rather than head out to be tourist sites they said they wanted to see, like old sarum and the cathedral, they were spotted close to sergei skripal‘s house on wilton road, their images captured on this cctv picture at 11:58. police believe it was around this time that novichok was smeared on the skripals' front door handle, poisoning sergei and his daughter yulia. the interviewer asked the men if they approached the skripals' house. translation: maybe we passed it or maybe we didn't, i had never heard about them before
this nightmare started, i'd never heard his name before. i did not know anything about them. at 1:08 they were seen heading back to the station from the city centre. an hour and 10 minutes is not long to see the sights you've come from moscow for. it is alleged they discarded this perfume bottle which had been carrying the novichok. it was found months later and poisoned charlie rowley the russians deny bringing it into the country. translation: when you go through customs, they check all your belongings so if we had anything suspicious, any police officer would have questions. why would a man have women's perfume in his luggage? the interviewer never asked why a trace of novichok was said to be found in the london hotel they stayed in. and the interview raised another question — who are the pair? the british government says they are russian intelligence officers using fake names. in the interview, they seemed unwilling
to go into details of their back story, such as theirjobs, as they said, sports nutritionists, and they declined to provide identity documents. i don't think any of their interview is plausible, i've watched it a couple of times now and i think, if i was their defence lawyer, my advice to them would be to keep quiet and wait to a trial when your alibi will be tested by our evidence. the war of words over what really happened in salisbury will go on but today's awkward account might have done the russian case more harm than good. over the past few days, we've reported on russia's biggest war games exercise since the fall of the soviet union. on thursday, president vladimir putin attended the event and promised to strengthen the army and supply it with new generation weapons. from siberia our moscow correspondent steve rosenberg has more. a warning his report does contain flash photography. from over the hills, the russians are coming.
they are the largest russian manoeuvres since the cold war. a third of the entire russian armed forces is taking part, says moscow. under pressure from the west, russia tilting east. the army invited us to watch the show. the aim of the exercises across the russian far east, to test combat readiness. the drills, moscow insists, purely defensive. some experts suspect the russians have inflated troop numbers, but the show of strength was indisputable. we weren't the only ones watching. vladimir putin followed the drills and then pledged to make russia's armed forces even stronger. translation: russia is a peaceloving country. we don't have any aggressive plans. but we have a duty to the motherland
to be ready to defend russia's sovereignty, security and national interests. the message russia wants to send with all this is pretty clear, that it has a powerful army and powerful allies in the east, and that moscow has no intention of giving in to pressure from the west. and that's where china comes in. presidents putin and xi have been cooking up a strategic partnership as a counterweight to the west. moscow sees closer ties with beijing as a recipe for surviving western sanctions. russia always wanted to be integrated into the west. now this era is over and russia needs a very strong external partner which can provide technology, new markets and investments. and that's china.
so russia is slowly drifting into china's embrace, definitely ignoring the bigger picture and ignoring these tectonic shifts between the two. i think it's very dangerous and shortsighted. but, in courting china, will russia end up thejunior partner? it's determined not to. moscow continues to see itself as a military super power. it's one of the most recognisable cars in the world — the volkswagen beetle. from its roots in nazi germany it became a symbol of the hippy era. but now the german carmaker has said it will stop making the vehicle next year. vw says it's focusing on family friendly models and electric power. here's simonjones. beetlemania, one of the bestselling cars of all time, but now the end ofan era. after an official speech from hitler... it was originally the dream
of a despised dictator that came to symbolise the freewheeling ‘60s, finding mass fame in the disney film, love bug, and capturing hearts with its cheap price and funky design. reliability, economy and the distinct look ensured its success, but now, as volkswagen looks towards mass—market electric cars, production is to cease. there will be two final edition models costing around $23,000. there is shock on social media. autonews europe announced... beatle fan deezus tweeted. .. drivergifts lamented... and hillary said... the company admitted the loss of the beetle after three generations and nearly seven decades
would evoke a host of emotions from its many devoted fans, but the company has hinted the model could be revived at some point. never say never, it teased. just before we go, live pictures from wilmington north carolina. strong winds coming from hurricane lawrence there. it is batting regions of north south carolina. the over storm is still more than 100 kilometres from shore, but the us national hurricane centre says flash flooding will very soon become a serious threat to life and property. —— hurricane florence. right along the coast and further inland. we'll keep you up to date. hello.
well, before we go to the weather for the uk, an update on hurricane florence battering the east coast of the united states. the the east coast of the united states. worst of the st expected the worst of the storm is not expected to make landfall on the coast around midday to lunchtime in the uk on friday. he was the weather is still out to sea, but the weather conditions have been deteriorating in the bad news with this weather system is that it is a very slow—moving hurricane which means that the wind in the rain will persist in any one location for a considerable amount of time. on top of that, the storm surge. so devastating flooding, potentially. on the other side of the world, we have the typhoon that is expected to make landfall on northern luzon at the weekend. there could be catastrophic as well. here in the uk in the next few days, some chariot
weather in the north of the country, but drier brighter in the south. the latest satellite image. you can see clustering and across more northern parts of the uk. plus more broken up further the south. the forecast for the early hours of friday morning. notice and ireland, was in scotland, the north—west of england, as well. south of that, a dry start through the day. through friday morning, we are going to see increasing clouds across northern england, wales, possibly to the midlands, too, and honour a rain. but eventually most of the rain will peter out and we will see on and showers through the afternoon. coolum the north, taught degrees, ratings in the south. go through the course of friday and into saturday, this area of high pressure starts to build in from the south. that effectively means dry weather for southern part of the uk on saturday. central areas will see some sunshine, too, and is in
scotland, i think, fine. some sunshine, too, and is in scotland, ithink, fine. later some sunshine, too, and is in scotland, i think, fine. later in the north—west, another weather front moving in. very expected in belfast leader in the day. temperatures up to 21 on saturday. on sunday, equal front will be moving through the uk that sometime on sunday there will be rain in central areas of the uk, but either side, we will get some sunshine. that is the latest from me. goodbye. this is bbc news, the headlines: thousands of homes across north carolina are already without power and more than a quarter of a million people have fled as hurricane florence approaches the eastern seaboard. the us national hurricane center is warning of possible life—threatening flooding. and in more extreme weather news, forecasters say a huge storm is heading towards the philippines. typhoon mangkhut is travelling across the western pacific, with heavy rains and winds of up to 160 miles an hour. hundreds of thousands of people in the philippines are being evacuated
from coastal areas. two russian men, who admit they're the suspects identified by the uk, have gone on state tv to deny carrying out a nerve agent attack in salisbury. confirming their identities as alexander petrov and ruslan boshirov, they said they were merely tourists. they described the fact they were in the city when the attack happened was a "fantastical coincidence". now on bbc news, panorama. what do we want? new schools! tonight on panorama, we expose a scandal in education. it is just really upsetting. the money should have been spent on the children. we show what can happen when a school budget is handed over to big business. i am a conservative mp, this is our party policy, but i am speaking out because it is wrong. stop filming! we investigate a multimillionaire accused of overcharging for schools he was also running. these are questions