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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  June 14, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> this is bbc "world news america." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm sunny days,
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cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at >> and now, bbc "world news." jane: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am jane o'brien. a huge fire engulfed the tower block in london. at least 12 people have been killed with dozens injured. the death toll is expected to rise. up to 600 people lived in the building, and those who got out are telling harrowing stories of their escape. >> it was so dark and so much smoke was there. thele were running down stairs. there was so much confusion. a gunman opened fire at a
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congressional baseball practice. steve scalise, senior republican, is among the injured. lawmakers rally together and -- rally together in support. rep. ryan: we are united in our shock, we are united in our anguish. an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. jane: one of the congressmen who ran for cover tells us about his terrifying experience. >> at the beginning of the shooting i was behind home plate on the third base side. my back must've been to the shooter. thank god he chose not to shoot me. viewers onme to our public television in america and around the globe. today, we are tracking 2 major stories. here in the u.s., one of the top ranking republicans in the house
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of representatives was among five people shot during a congressional baseball practice. steve scalise was with his colleagues when a gunman, 66-year-old james hodgkinson, opened fire. scalise is said to be in critical condition, and the shooter is dead. we will have more on this story later in the broadcast. but first, in west london, many people remain unaccounted for after a 24-story building was engulfed in flames. police have confirmed that 12 people are dead so far, but that number is expected to rise significantly. the bbc's christian fraser is on the scene and he leads our coverage. christian: hello, jane. the light has faded in west london, and as you see older my shoulder, there are small pockets of fire still burning in grenfell tower, they have been raging for over 22 hours now. it has been a dreadfully difficult day for the firefighters, the men and women who have been battling those fires, working in and out of the various floors in some fairly difficult conditions.
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with it being very hot here in london as well. lots of debris and masonry falling off of the apartment block as they have been moving around it. they have managed to get hydraulic tower in place and art -- and are firing water into the inner core of the building, but it gives you an oppression of the intensity of the blaze that the fires are still burning this evening. we have been told that so far, the death toll stands at 12. we have had the identities of 6 of the missing confirmed it so far, but we have been warned by the london police that the death toll may well rise. the firefighters have been to the top floor of the apartment block, but they have not yet been able to go through the apartments one by one. with a look at the day's events, here is our home affairs editor mark easton. mark: it is a tragedy to place -- it is a tragedy that plays to our darkest fears. the fire started between
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midnight and 1:00 come with screams from the flats and the acrid smell of burning waking neighbors. >> it was just people jumping out, literally, putting sheets down to try to get out of the building. windows exploding, massive pieces of debris falling to the floor. >> we came here and saw people jumping off -- mark: you saw people jumping off? >> yeah, they had no other option. mark: how high up? >> top floor. >> saw someone jump and he didn't make it. >> people had to pick them up because there was no other way out the building. >> did you see that as well? >> i saw kids standing at the window screaming "help me, help me." mark: the fire raced through the 24 story block in this part of north kensington. on the seventh floor, this
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family was led to safety when a fire officer made it up to their flat. >> i heard screaming and neighbors coming up and crying "get out, get out." i grabbed the little girl and put her under my dressing gown to cover her face from the smoke. we went to the fourth floor and it was pitch black. mark: with dawn came grim but expected news that lives had been lost. many people numb with shock frantically searched to find missing friends and relatives. this woman's sister and 12-year-old nephew were unaccounted for. >> my sister with her son. -- mark how old was : he? >> 12-year-old boy? mark as well as the smoke and : the smell of burning, numb shock and tension hangs over this area in the 21st century, a country with some of the strictest fire regulations in
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the world, a desperate tragedy like this just should not happen. >> what floor are you on? seven, yeah? mark: well into the morning, the crowds watching the horror unfold in front of them reported watching people still trapped. >> i saw someone there in white. in a white shirt. mark: a man was eventually brought out by the emergency services at noon. this off-duty nurse helped tended to some of the injured rescued from the building. >> i have seen things that i can't even describe. mothers who came out and lost their children. there are firefighters that have come out injured that we don't think would even come out safe. people of lost their homes, children, people jumping out the window.
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we need to rebuild is a community now. mark: this is a neighborhood that feels ignored. there is anger on the streets, people demanding answers. this is your building. we have a number of high-rise buildings and parts of london. they meet fire safety standards , and in a refurbishment, there will be a thorough inspection by the fire authorities. it clearly hasn't worked and me need to get to the bottom of what has gone wrong. mark: the streets of north kensington are littered with ashes. charred homework of a schoolchild blown from grenfell tower. the neighborhood is also scarred by grief that will not pass for a long, long time. mark easton, bbc news, north kensington. christian: london ambulance service says they have taken 60
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people to hospitals around london. 18 remain in critical condition. those who did escape have been out on the streets without their worldly possessions looking for any help they can find. there's been plenty of help from the community. that has been a major plus point, the way the community in west london has rallied around the people from the apartment block, in community centers, churches and mosques. , lucy manning meets with those affected and those looking for love ones. -- for loved ones. lucy: some have lost their homes. others, much much more. they gathered outside the community center, but the one thing no one could offer was good news. for this family, it was understandably too much. >> my mum, sister, her daughters, and her husband. they are all still in the building.
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we don't have any information. lucy: susan gave us this picture of her 3 smiling nieces. what floor were your family on? >> 22nd. lucy you haven't been able to : contact them? >> when she was in, all i can hear was screaming. i was tried to tell her, that out -- get out. i'm shouting so she can hear. i don't know she heard me shouting on the phone. i really just wanted to go in and do something. i felt helpless just standing there, you know? a blanket, at least. lucy: in the last few hours, susan heard news that someone might have spoken to her family. she still doesn't know if it is true.
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mohammed's taxi sits idle. his family using it to appeal for help. the 57-year-old was on the 25th floor, but for hours there heard nothing. -- they have heard nothing. >> he was saying, "help me, help me." the fire brigade barricaded and him because in the fourth floor the smoke was going up. they said the situation was , and he went missing. his phone answering no more. we have been to all the hospitals. nothing. lucy: rashard escaped, but other relatives are injured. >> so much smoke on their body. lucy: after the panic of last night, families today struggled with the silence. >> my brother-in-law, his wife, and three children. boy 20, aen ages a
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girl of 16, 17, and a boy of eight years. lucy: he spoke to them as they were trapped. >> i said, why are you not coming? they asked us to stay. she said where is your husband? , "talking to the emergency people." the heat and i said, look, get a wet blanket, but the kids on the floor, and cover them, and wait. she said, "we can't do it, the smoke is killing us, the smoke is coming." lucy: tonight, ahmed said his relatives could be in one of the hospitals. we were allowed to speak to survivors who escaped and reached the safety of the community center. >> i woke up at about quarter to 1:00 to "help me, help me." a woman screaming, "my baby, my baby, my baby." police were coming through the walkway knocking on everyone store -- "evacuate, evacuate."
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-- everyone's door -- "evacuate, evacuate." lucy: he was saved by his friend will calling him and telling him to leave. >> the smoke was so thick, you couldn't see anything. i got three quarters of the way, and then i was using my hands to feel against the wall. i actually began thinking to myself, this is going to be me. i will die of smoke inhalation here. there was a fireman lying on the ground. this fireman saved my life, let's be honest, because he touched my foot and led me to where the fire exit was. lucy: ed was instrumental in raising concerns about the safety of the building years ago. >> this accident never needed to have happened. if people listened to what we were saying, what the blog was saying, not just me, but other members of the community were saying. lucy: those in the center who are waiting or of lost their
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homes are gathered in the hall. as you can imagine, it is a fairly distressing situation. at times, people are sobbing as they wait for news, news that at this stage will possibly not be good news. they have no homes to go back to. and now it is not just the burned out building that looms over this community, but the fear that they will hear that many more of their neighbors have died. lucy manning, bbc news, west london. jane: clearly a community absolutely shattered tonight. christian, how much of that grief do you think is actually tinged with anger, though? christian: oh, i think usually -- hugely so. as mark said in his report, in britain in 2017, these things are not supposed to happen. we have some of the tightest fire regulations in the world. and yet within the space of half
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an hour this fire spread to three sides of the building, leaping from floor to floor. and there have been concerns expressed by the grenfell action group, community action group, their concerns about the refurbishment and the emergency provisions within the building were not being listened to. they said in a blog everything they put forward to the management group fell on deaf ears. they warned that it would take something catastrophic as this to get people to take notice. it is too late now, but there will be lessons not only for these high-rise blocks into his everybody around the country, because a lot of people been pointing to the rain proof plotting to make the apartment look more modern. it may well be that they have acted like a flue, funneling the fire of the face of the building. it is too early to draw that
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conclusion, but that would be one explanation for why the fire spread so quickly. plenty of questions and plenty of lessons to learn and plenty of blame being apportioned in west london tonight. jane: christian fraser with the very latest in london, thank you for joining us. now to our other major story. republican congressman steve scalise is in critical condition tonight after he and 4 others were shot at a baseball practice. they were warming up for a game tomorrow night when a man named 66-year-old james hodgkinson opened fire pit video showed the shooting lasting several minutes before hodgkinson was shot. he later died of his wounds. laura bicker reports. laura: it was a regular morning baseball practice that a gunman tried to turn into a killing field. the horror was captured on camera by a dog walker.
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the shots rang out for several minutes with few pauses. >> is that guy ok up there? laura: one of the victims was, congressman steve scalise. his colleagues could not get to him as the fighting continued. >> i could see steve scalise on the field. he dragged himself after he was shot near second base 10 or 15 yards into the field, just to be a little further away from the gunmen, but he was laying motionless out there. i wanted to get to him, but there were still shots going overhead from both sides. finally, when we heard that the shooter was down, i just ran low out to steve and started putting pressure on the wounds. laura: the gunmen was james hodgkinson from illinois. his social media posts were antirepublican and anti-trump. he died in hospital after being shot by capitol hill police. survivors say this would have been a massacre without their help. they are coming to terms with
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having to dodge bullets on what should have been a day for batting practice. >> the emotional shock of seeing your friend shot, where you are helpless, you have a baseball bat, they have a rifle. you are defenseless. laura: the shooting has shaken washington. both sides of the political aisle seem in shock. >> when you go to baseball practice for a game for charity and you have to dodge bullets and you watch her colleagues laying in the field, it is my breaking point. this has to stop. hate has to stop. rep. ryan: we are united in our shock. we are united in our english. -- in our anguish. an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. laura: president donald trump praised all those who serve in congress. president trump: we may have our differences, but we do well in times like these to remember
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that everyone who serves in our nation's capital is here because, above all, they love our country. laura: it is not yet known whether or not this was an assassination attempt. there are reports that the gun man asked whether or not this was a democrat or republican practice. the annual game between the 2 sides was due to be held tomorrow. it has been held since 1909 and is a genuine moment of political bipartisanship. it is now marred by violence. laura bicker, bbc news, virginia. lawmakers believe it is more important than ever to get that game going tomorrow. earlier today, i spoke to republican congressman from tennessee.
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what happened? >> this was the normal republican baseball practice, playing the great american sport as i have done for the last seven years, getting prepared for the congressional baseball game, which was supposed to take place tomorrow. it was a routine practice. we were close to the conclusion of practice, and sadly, i heard a large bang. at that point in time, i did not recognize that as a gunshot. sadly, it was a gunshot. in the ensuing moments there was a barrage of gunshots and bullets. some of our members have been hit, some of our staff members have been wounded, and several members have been injured in the ensuing moments running for cover. a very very sad day. jane: what was it like, though? were you hurt? rep. fleischmann: i got bloodied up a little bit. i'm fine. i jumped in the dugout running for cover. at the beginning of the shooting
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i was behind home plate on the third base side. my back must have been to the shooter. thank god he chose not to shoot me. but in my rush to get into the dugout, obviously the dugout is concrete. when i jumped in there, i got injured upon landing in there. there were several members in there and many of us were injured trying to run for cover. jane: how lucky were you that there were armed security detail there, capitol police who were able to return fire? rep. fleischmann: we were very fortunate. as a matter of fact, 2 of these heroes were injured in the gunfight. what happened was we played baseball with our majority whip steve scalise, who sadly wasn't and is inly was shot surgery right now. i pray for his quick and speedy recovery. his security detail is omnipresent. they are with us because he is in leadership. but for the fact that they are
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there and they are armed, this gunmen would have been able to shoot us all at will. jane: obviously, an investigation into the motives of this attack is ongoing, but do you think you are targeted? rep. fleischmann: me personally, no, because of this gun man wanted to target me, i would have been a dead man, because i was probably the closest person to him standing where i was. thank god he chose not to shoot me. i don't know how close bullets came to me. i spoke to one of my members, who i was facing and speaking with, just moments before the shooting, and he actually told me bullets were flying as he was running across the infield. fortunately, he was not hit. he was just fortunate. other people were hit. jane: do you think, given that there was a group of republican lawmakers in one place, you could have been a target more broadly, all of you? rep. fleischmann: i don't know the answer to that question, because for the past seven years i have come out during baseball season for about a month and a
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half, practiced every day with my team, safely. we have never had anything even come near this, come to the level of this. it has always been safe it has , always been cordial. we don't even have protesters show up. it was something that was totally unexpected and something that is horrific, and my heart and my prayer go out to those who have been injured. those shot, those injured. it is a very sad day. congressman chuck fleischmann joining us from capitol hill, thank you for joining me. laura: for an update, we go to regain evite and often -- to vaidyanathan, who has been there all day. rajini: at the moment this is
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still very much an active crime scene. the first thing to point out was a clarification that five individuals in total were shot this morning, that included the gunman himself. the gunman died from a gunshot wound and multiple law enforcement officers were involved in the response from that. a clarification and a confirmation that the gunman was 66-year-old james hopkinson -- hodgkinson from illinois. they believe that mr. hodgkinson moved toillinois but y alexandria in march and was living out of a white cargo van, possibly on the street we are on the a few blocks from baseball field. i asked the fbi if they had mr.
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hodgkinson on their radar. they refused to comment. they said they will not talk about the character or nature of the case because there is a lot of speculation. how much more significance has tomorrow taken on because of the shooting? rajini: it is a moment where sports can transcend politics. we have seen people on capitol hill putting their partisan differences aside. we have seen the captains and coaches from the republican and democratic teams come together in a press conference. they want the game to go ahead tomorrow. hopefully, security pending, it will go on tomorrow, continuing the tradition of a century. jane: the very latest from that ia.oting in virgin
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we will provide updates and continuing coverage of the ongoing tragedy in london with the death toll is expected to rise as a result of a devastating blaze at a city tower block. i am jane o'brien. thank you for watching. >> make sense of international news at >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends
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can all find their escape on the island with warm sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at >> bbc world news was presented by kcet los angeles.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: ( gunfire ) >> the first shot, i didn't realize was a gun shot. i just heard a loud pop. >> woodruff: what we're learning about a gunman opened fire on members of congress during an early morning practice for the congressional baseball game, shooting the third highest- ranking republican in the house of representatives, steve scalise, among several others. then, a massive fire at a london apartment tower leaves at least a dozen dead as rescuers search for people trapped inside the 24-story tower. and, is there such a thing as clean coal? a look at the nation's largest carbon capturing plant, part of a plan to clean up the environment while keeping the


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