welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: war games in korea but calm words in washington. the us says tighter sanctions and more diplomacy are the way forward. a special report from egypt, centre of the multi—billion dollar illegal trade in human organs. two weeks after the us dropped the mother of all bombs, we get rare access to the afghan cave complex to find fighting still going on. and the new cold war. we join the arctic brigade as it warns the west not to interfere in russia's backyard. hello, and welcome to bbc world news. amid the rhetoric about nuclear war, the military manoeuvres, the anti—missile systems moving
into place, the question remains, how to persuade north korea to give up its weapons programmes? after years of efforts by the us and un, the trump administration has now shed more light on how it hopes to do it. all 100 us senators were briefed on it on wednesday. it is almost the same policy as the past few years. more diplomatic pressure, tougher sanctions, more calls on china to help. jon sopel reports. the us is piling on the pressure. this is a military pressure just north of the border. a message that the us is ready. this is how the head of the us pacific command put it to the house in washington. all options are on the table. we want to bring kim jong—un to his senses, not to his knees. later all 100 senators
we re to his knees. later all 100 senators were taken to a briefing at the white house with the commander in chief. a highly unusual move to show politicians from both sides of the aisle just how serious the situation has become. north korea is the most dangerous spot on the planet right now and kim jong—un is dangerous spot on the planet right now and kimjong—un is a dangerous spot on the planet right now and kim jong—un is a dangerous and wildly unpredictable dictator. u nfortu nately, and wildly unpredictable dictator. unfortunately, he has a significant arsenal of nuclear weapons. donald trump is hoping china will use its political and economic leverage over pyongyang to persuade kimjong—un political and economic leverage over pyongyang to persuade kim jong—un to end his programme. other options include designating north korea as a state sponsor of terrorism which will allow the us to impose greater sanctions. those who have led negotiations with pyongyang in the past believe that with briefing senators, president trump is on the right track. i think it was a smart move but it is more of a pep talk. the secretary of defence, the secretary of state, the top
administration officials, i think it is to try to get the senate to support the president in whatever he might decide to do. meanwhile the us show off might continues. this is a missile defence system in south korea. the current goal is a path to peace through negotiations by the trump administration says it is prepared to defend itself and its allies if necessary. bonnie glaser is director of the china power project at the centre for strategic and international studies. she joins us by webcam from reston, virginia. welcome. thanks for your time. as laura said, as ever, so much to do with north korea depends on china. where do you see things heading?” think that the administration is focused on motivating china to put more pressure on north korea. this of course is not fundamentally different from what the obama administration did, and even the george w bush administration before
it. but there is also a discussion about the possible use of military means, should that become necessary. and that is of course to keep kim jong—un off balance. and again to light a fire under the chinese to let them know that we are serious and we need them to be serious. to use the leverage that they have, given that china has about 90% of trade with north korea and of course supplies of all of its oil. and do you see a chance that things might be different now that china might be prepared to do more? well, i think one thing that is new is president trump has made it clear to the chinese president, shejinking, that this issue, north korea's missile programmes, and stopping them, are basically a litmus test of the us— china relationship —— xijinping. he made it the number one priority and he has told china they can have a
deal on trade or other things if they work with the us on north korea. so, the obama administration never made this the top priority. but other than that, you know, the chinese still have a strong interest in preserving stability in north korea. they don't want the regime to collapse. they don't want instability on their border. and they don't trust the united states. and yet pyongyang gives the impression that north korea is expecting to go to war, possibly nuclear war, with the us, japan and south korea. can that really be the case? well, you know, if we listen to north korea's rhetoric over the yea rs, to north korea's rhetoric over the years, they are often ringing alarm bells and threatening to do things. so that is not to say that we shouldn't take these things seriously. we always do think about the worst case. but that said, i don't think that the north koreans are likely to use a nuclear weapons. kim jong—un knows he and
are likely to use a nuclear weapons. kimjong—un knows he and his country would be devastated if they took any action with a nuclear or conventional weapons potentially against the south, against japan conventional weapons potentially against the south, againstjapan or other targets in the region. thank you very much. at least 10,000 human organs are sold illegally every year, according to the world health organization. billions of dollars are tied up in a trade driven partly by desperate refugees making money by selling their body parts. the middle east is considered the hub of the trade but egypt hosts the largest number of illegal operations. in the second of our series on organ trafficking, our correspondent nawal al—maghafi reports from cairo. cairo, one of the middle east's main business hubs, but now a darker trade is thriving. the network is wide, from migrant smugglers to some of egypt's leading doctors. a crumbling health system and shortage of organs has meant
that people wait for years, so turn to the black market where profits are huge. translation: if you've got money, anything is possible. this man matches up those wanting to buy with those desperate enough to want to sell their organs. conflict in the middle east has made hisjob easier. what he is doing is illegal, but but he now claims to feel remorse, so explains the trade to us. translation: people came to me wanting to sell their organ to pay to be smuggled abroad. money never lasts long, but the promise of a safe life and opportunities overseas are a pretty good incentive. organ donation is complicated here, no money can change hands and you can only donate to someone from the same nationality, but there are always ways to get around the law. translation: if someone's got dark skin, for example, they could pass as sudanese, the brokersjust make him a fake passport. you can buy the passports from the streets, it's really not a big deal.
authorities claim they're trying to crackdown on this trade. last year, they conducted a raid of multiple clinics, resulting in the arrest of 45 people, among them doctors and nurses. millions of pounds were recovered, yet for many the profits outweigh the risks. we're on our way to meet a doctor who we've been told works as a surgeon within the organ trade. we're going in undercover and our story is that my father's in desperate need of a kidney transplant, but can't find a donor. medical costs for illegal transplants are around $3,000, but we've been told to say we'll pay whatever‘s necessary. this is illegal. dr ahmed mustafa works for the police, he reassures us that he can help. people come from across the middle east to buy kidneys. this man was on the government waiting list for months
the risks are huge, but so is the desperation for a better life. and with no control in place, there'll be no stopping the organ trade. nawalal—maghafi, bbc news, cairo. nearly two weeks after the us dropped its biggest non—atomic bomb in afghanistan, there is still heavy fighting between the afghan army and the extremist group that calls itself islamic state. so it's been hard to assess the real impact of the blast. moab, the so—called mother of all mombs, was dropped in a remote corner of eastern nangarhar province. bbc‘s afghan‘s auliya atrafi is one of the first reporters to get access to the area. on the road to achin district where the us dropped its mother of all bombs. islamic state militants are active here but this missile caused little damage. and as we get closer, we begin to see the first signs of the massive explosion that rocked these mountains. afghan forces say the bomb killed around 100 militants from the so—called islamic state. the target was a network of caves,
like these, used as a hideout. translation: these caves are left from the time of the soviet invasion and they were also used by the taliban. now is militants are using them too. the cave network has been destroyed and it's possible most of the dead are still under the rubble. what looks like from the situation that we see here is that the mother of all bombs might have destroyed the network of caves in this one location but we're told there are hundreds of other caves in the area still filled with is fighters, has one soldier here put it, the more we kill, the more come from the other side of durand line from pakistan. along the valley, american warplanes are carrying out raids on targets. and here are more scars
of a long battle. this is the market off shadel bazar. it used to be lively market but the ongoing fighting has forced many to flee. many residents say the us bombing raid isn't going to change much. translation: this was just a trick to show the world that their mission is going well. but the bomb did nothing. reporter: you think is would come back? yes, as soon as government troops leave the locals won't be able to fight them. if the government makes permanent bases in the area and helps us then we will be ok. the fight is far from ending. and for these locals, the us's biggest bomb is not going to be the end of their troubles. much more to come on bbc world news.
including this: 200 companies are bidding to build president trump's wall on the mexican border. meet the man who's had death threats as a result. nothing, it seems, was too big to withstand the force of the tornado. the extent of the devastation will lead to renewed calls for government to build better government housing. internationally, there have already been protests. sweden says it received no warning of the accident. indeed, the russians at first denied anything had gone wrong. only when radioactivity levels began to increase outside russia were they forced to admit the accident. for the mujahideen, the mood here is of great celebration. this is the end of a
12—year war for them. they've taken the capital, which they've been fighting forfor so long. it was 7am in the morning, the day when power began to pass from the minority to the majority, when africa, after 300 years, reclaimed its last white colony. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: the trump administration has said it aims to force north korea into dismantling its nuclear and missile programmes through diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions. a bbc investigation has revealed the scale of organ trafficking in egypt with thousands of illegal operations taking place each year. at least 9,000 turkish police officers have been suspended, accused of links to the islamic preacher blamed for last yea r‘s coup attempt. more than 1,000, arrested in simultaneous raids on wednesday, are described by the authorities as secret imams operating
inside the force. greg dawson reports. in single file, they waited for a swift court appearance. each of them escorted by a police officer. each of them a suspect in president erdogan‘s crackdown against those he believes have plotted against him. from early morning on wednesday, police launched simultaneous operations across the country. more than 1,000 detained were themselves turkish police officers. many are accused of having links to this man, us—based cleric fethullah gulen. a former ally of president erdogan, he's accussed of inspiring last summer's failed plotted military coup. he denies it but turkey is still the mind in the us extradite him. since the july the 15th failed coup attempt, 117,000 people have been arrested across turkey. that includes more than 10,000 police officers and more than 7,000 military personnel. around 100,000 people have been forced to leave governmentjobs,
including policing and teaching. the latest purge comes after president erdogan narrowly won a controversial referendum to increase his powers. he says it makes his country safer, but opponents claim he's steering it towards dictatorship, an argument firmly rejected by turkey's prime minister in a bbc interview. translation: i really can't agree with any of those claims because approximately 50 million people voted. they all went to the ballot boxes and made a choice. 23 or 2a million said no and more than 25 million people said yes. but this crackdown has further soured relations with turkey's eu allies. the arrests were criticised by the german government and also by lawmakers in the eu parliament, who demanded a formal suspension of talks for turkey to one dayjoin the union. greg dawson, bbc news. let's take a look at some
of the other stories making the news. venezuela says it's withdrawing from the organisation of american states, accusing it of interfering in its internal affairs. there were more demonstrations on wednesday for early elections, there is an acute economic crisis and at least 20 people have died in protests since march. the us treasury secretary has claimed the trump administration is to carry out the biggest tax reform in american history. steve mnuchin said the president planned to slash corporation tax from 35% to 15%. small businesses would also be affected, part of a campaign pledge mr trump made last year. and he has signed an executive order to review decisions by previous presidents to designate large areas as national monuments. it could open up more federal land to development, including drilling and mining. mr trump said the people's ability to access and utilise land had to be protected. the kremlin has accused nato of a military build—up in the arctic close to russia's borders.
russia has been increasing its military presence in the arctic. steve rosenberg is the first british journalist to get access to its arctic brigade close to the border with finland. on its northern frontier, russia is flexing its muscle. this is the arctic brigade in training in case there's confrontation their neighbours. for in the arctic now, there is a battle for supremacy that russia is determined to win. this base close to finland is normally off—limits to western media but we've been invited to meet russia's arctic army. it is the ultimate cold war. temperatures here can fall to —40 centigrade. today, the brigade is on exercises, repelling an enemy attack. recently, washington accused moscow of acting aggressively in the arctic
to increases military presence. russia's respone, "what's the problem?" translation: i think any country, no matter where it is, has its own interests and protects its territory. this is our land, russian land, and we will defend it. this is the first time foreign journalists have been allowed to film this brigade, and by bringing us here, the russian military are sending a clear message to the outside world, that russia is ready and determined to protect its national interests in the arctic. that's because there is money to be made here. the arctic waters are thought to contain one quarter of the planet's undiscovered oil and gas. with polar ice shrinking, there's now an opportunity to extract the energy. there are new shipping lanes too. russia is competing with other arctic powers for a slice of the profits.
it's also building a string of arctic bases. president putin visited one last month. russia's attempt to back up its economic claims with a show of strength. but it's a fashion show we're treated to back on base. to survive the arctic, you need the right clothes, and the right food. for the arctic brigade, that means russian sausages and fresh fish. then it's back on patrol. russia says it doesn't seek conflict in the arctic, but there are competing interests in this region and russia is in no mood to back down. steve rosenberg, bbc news, at the alakurtti base in the russian arctic. mexico won't pay for it, and at least for now neither will congress, but donald trump insists his border wall with mexico will get built.
and there are signs the project is moving forward. landowners in texas have received letters ordering them to sell to the government to make way for the wall and at least 200 construction firms have submitted bids to build it. as james cook reports from el paso in texas, at least one of the bidders has been receiving death threats. on the us—mexico border, a bizarre beauty contest is about to begin. some 200 companies have submitted bids to build donald trump's wall. soon, a handful will be invited to make prototypes. the bids include some eye—catching designs. there's a wall in the medieval style. another which doubles as a nuclear waste store. this one, made of solar panels, and even a design for a barrier adorned with glittering gems. some, though, are less outlandish. this will be 30 feet high and then six feet below in the footing. michael evangelista said he had to search his soul before bidding. as a latino who wants to build
the wall, he has received numerous death threats. his voice mail is not pleasant. i know that y'all are trying to build that wall and i think it's disgusting, a disgrace, and you are a traitor. you'd better watch your back. there are plenty of people out here like me that would love to see you get hurt. so why on earth did he get involved at all? members of my own family were initially upset about it. but when they understood and i explained to them that the reason why we are entering this conversation is because we don't want this wall to have lethal options, including an electrified fence or razor wire. the border wall is a reality and if it is going to be done, we need it to be done right. it won't be easy. a treaty with mexico prohibits building on the edge of the rio grande. instead, the proposed route slices through private property. bitter battles loom.
this is where they want to build a wall. this would be part of the section that they want, 60 feet wide by over a mile long. but it would be no—man‘s—land, because who is going to want that property? noel benavides has received a government letter telling him his land will be cut into by the wall. we need access to the river, we have water rights, we have several feet of water rights from the river that right now we're not using, but in the future we probably will. a wall, you go back in history, it has never worked. it's just a wall. people just go over it. you've got a 20 foot wall, someone's going to build a 21 foot ladder to go over it. he's not the only critic. in fact, all along the border, there is scepticism. here in texas, opposition to lengthening and strengthening this barrier comes notjust from president trump's democratic opponents, not just from mexico across there, but also from quite a few republicans.
among them is this congressman. will hurd used to be a cia spy. now he's battling his own president on the home front. i think building a wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security. we should be using technology, we should be using people, we should be increasing intelligence on the bad guys that we're trying to stop and stop them before they get through our border. these are all things that are better use of american taxpayer dollars. the white house continues to claim that the cost of a bigger, better barrier will be met in the end by mexico. critics say that's fantasy. but president trump still insists that his wall will be built. james cook, bbc news, el paso in texas. tributes have been flowing in from across hollywood for the oscar—winning film—makerjonathan demme, who's died aged 73. he'd been suffering from cancer. he was probably best known for directing the silence of the lambs but also made the ground—breaking aids drama philadelphia and the talking heads documentary stop making sense.
anthony hopkins, who also won an oscar in silence of the lambs, said jonathan demme had a great spirit and every day being with him was a high five. that's it for now. thanks for watching. hello again. our weather's set to turn a little bit milder over the next couple of days, quieting down in many respects. but before we get there, yesterday we had some really big thunderstorms around, this one brought some hail to west hamstead. thanks to our weather watcher dg perry for sending us that picture. you can see the extent of the showers as they've worked in. the showers have tended to die away overnight, just one or two left over, working towards parts of central and southern england. but by and large today we're looking at quite a cloudy weather picture for many of us, and there will be some showers knocking around as well.
ok, let's take a look at how the weather starts off in the morning. quite a lot of cloud around, some showers really from the word go across north—western areas. towards southern parts of england and wales, this is where the clearest weather will be. certainly a cold start to the day. we're looking at some patches of frost around. probably the lowest temperature about —3 or so. so a cold and locally frosty start to the morning but it should be reasonably bright. the brightness won't last, though, because quite quickly we're going to see an area of cloud comedown from the north and that will tend to trap all cold air at the surface. so it's one of those days i think when temperatures will be very slow to rise. across more northern areas, northern england, northern ireland, scotland, quite a cloudy start to the day, occasional brighter spells, but already a few showers from the word go. quite breezy for northern scotland as well and through the rest of the day, the showers that are really associated with these weak weather fronts will continue to slide southwards, it will tend to turn cloudier and cloudier as the day goes by and eventually we'll start to see those showers working in across east anglia and south—east england as well.
while the weather brightens up for scotland, northern ireland and late in the day the far north of england. temperatures generally about 11 degrees for many of us. now, looking at the weather picture through the night time and those showers will continue to push southwards. so quite a bit of cloud initially but then the showers fade away and the skies clear during the second half of the night. again that will allow things to get quite chilly. there'll be some pockets of frost developing by the time we get to friday morning across parts of scotland and the far north of england in the countryside. here's friday's weather picture and generally quite a quiet weather day. again we're looking at a few showers, most of these will be across eastern parts of scotland, eastern england, but for many of us it's a dry and a bright kind of day, amounts of cloud coming and going through the day and temperatures will be rising a little bit. highs between 11 and 1a celsius. feeling a little bit more pleasant. and that trend i think continues on into the first part of the weekend. saturday by and large a dry day with some sunny spells, a few isolated showers possible across western areas, but for most of us a quiet weather picture.
those temperatures continuing to rise, 12—15 degrees, not bad for the start of the weekend. that's your weather. this is bbc news, the headlines: after days of military manoeuvres, the trump administration now seems to be reverting to the policy of past presidents — tighter sanctions and diplomatic pressure — to end north korea's nuclear and missile programmes. it wants china to agree to do the same. a bbc investigation has revealed the scale of organ trafficking in egypt, with thousands of illegal operations each year. venezuela has announced it will withdraw from the organisation of american states, accusing the regional group of interfering in its internal affairs. there've been more demonstrations for early elections — at least 20 people have died in protests since march. tributes have been flowing for the oscar—winning film—maker jonathan demme, who's died aged 73. he was probably best known for directing the silence of the lambs, but also made the ground—breaking aids drama,