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tv   BBC News  BBC News  June 8, 2017 3:00am-3:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: as he prepares to give evidence to congress, former fbi director, james comey, details "inappropriate" and ‘very concerning' meetings with president trump. the authorities in iran say they hold saudi arabia and the us responsible for wednesday's deadly militant attacks. more tributes to the victims of the london bridge attack. eight people are known to have died and police make further arrests. and rewriting the history of evolution. why a series of new discoveries means humans could go back a lot further than we thought. hello. the former fbi director, james comey, has dropped another bombshell ahead of his much anticipated appearance before congress later. his opening statement has been published on line. in it, he says that president trump repeatedly asked for his loyalty. on a separate occasion,
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mr comey says the president urged him to drop an inquiry into his national security adviser, michael flynn, who had just been forced to resign. rajini vaidya nathan reports from washington. he has become more famous than me. there was a time when president trump had nothing but praise forjames comey. but a firm grip injanuary turned into a firing in may. he sacked the fbi director, reportedly calling him a nutjob. he is a showboat, a grandstander. the fbi has been in turmoil, you know that, i know that, everybody knows that. most people know the president's version of events. now, james comey will
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go public with his. just like his testimony in march, it all comes back to russia. the fbi, as part of our counter—intelligence mission, is investigating the russian government's efforts to intervene in the 2016 election. and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the donald trump campaign and the russian government. on the eve of his appearance before the senate, james comey released a written statement. he said "the president isn't being investigated as part of the russia enquiry," confirming statements made by donald trump in the past. if it is possible, will you let me know "am i under investigation?" he said i am not under investigation. butjames comey did say during a dinner injanuary, he was asked by the president for unwavering support. "i need and expect loyalty," he said the president told him.
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the white house has denied this. but how far did he expect the loyalty to go? james comey says he was told to drop the investigation into the former national security adviser, michael flynn. donald trump said "he is a good guy, and i hope you let this go." we are interested in learning that the president took steps to interfere and obstruct the investigation. there is no question the president wanted an end to the wider russian inquiry. but james comey says that donald trump told him it was a cloud over him. it is notjust congress looking into the donald trump campaign's ties to russia. there is also an ongoing fbi investigation. in the saga that is washington politics, james comey‘s testimony is a must see moment, but it is just one act of what is becoming a long and drawnout political drama. bbc news, washington. josh gerstein is the white house
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reporter for politico, the on—line current affairs journal based in washington. he focuses on national security, legal affairs, and transparency. he told me mr comey and the president's view of events appear to contradict each other. it does seem like a very selective statement from the president's attorney, pulling out one perhaps helpful phrase in comey‘s prepared statement and ignoring just about all the other very troubling things brought up, including this general statement that he wanted comey to "lift the cloud hanging over the presidency." and there is also the other question with all of the exchanges between james comey and the president, of course, the ultimate firing of james comey, even though there was no attempt to obstruct it up to that point, the investigation, what was the intention of dismissing him then? his supporters are saying this is just the normal new york conversations of the others say it is unorthodox, possibly illegal and inappropriate, and grounds for impeachment, a case of obstruction ofjustice. where do you think we are on that huge spectrum?
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i think it is certainly inappropriate conversation. i have seen some people try to defend it saying you have a white house with a novice. he is not familiar with the role of the president. they are in the realm of most multinational corporations, large institutions, they would be nervous about getting into the territory donald trump got into. whether the result of this is a crime or leads to his impeachment, ifeel like we have not gotten to that point yet. but it is certainly something that even his allies are as saying is inappropriate at best. just to be clear, this isjust the opening statement. there will be full testimony and questioning earlier on thursday and there will be likely more detail in that testimony ifjames comey is asked the appropriate questions. yeah, that's right. it appears mr comey does not want to draw conclusions
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on what the president's intentions were. he talks about his own reactions in these cases. there are some other conversations james comey alludes to in his statement but does not detail. he will probably be asked about it, but whether he talks about it is not clear. there have been press reports about awkward talks, for example, president trump calling james comey without any agenda they are both very busy. it is weird for them to have a weekday conversation with no item to resolve. and you can get all the very latest on the upcoming testimony, including indepth analysis, from our correspondents on our website. that's bbc.com/news. just follow the links. the revolutionary guards in iran have accused saudi arabia and the united states of involvement in twin assaults in in tehran. suicide bombers and gunmen
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killed at least 12 people and injured dozens more. saudi arabia has denied having anything to do with the attack which so—called islamic state said it carried out. our diplomatic correspondent, james landale, reports. gunfire. it is the middle of the morning, and iran's parliament is under attack as never before. four gunmen, some reportedly dressed as women, have burst in, armed with grenades and explosive vests. security forces surround the parliamentary complex, as those inside, including children, try to escape. incredibly, as the attack continues, some mps in the chamber carry on with their parliamentary business. the group that calls itself islamic state claims the gunmen are theirs. is is fighting iranian backed militias in syria and iraq, but this is the first time the sunni jihadis have struck in the heart of shia iran. as the attack progresses, is posts a video supposedly from inside. one gunman says, "hold on", in english, another shouts in arabic, "we're staying forever." afterfive hours, the attackers
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are dead, leaving 11 people killed and many more injured. and there's more. a second, almost simultaneous attack a few miles away, another suicide bomb, at the shrine of the ayatollah khomeini, the founder of the iranian republic. there can be few more symbolic targets. one man is dead and others wounded. iran's powerful revolutionary guard has accused saudi arabia and the us of being involved and promised revenge, deepening even further the long—standing tensions between shia iran and sunni arab states. james landale, bbc news. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. south korea's military says
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north korea has fired a number of missiles off its east coast. it's believed the tests, fired from the coastal city of wonsan, were of land—to—ship missiles. they are the latest in a series of tests pyongyang has carried out in defiance of un sanctions. myanmar is mounting a big search operation for a missing military transport plane that's said to have disappeared over the andaman sea. reports say it was carrying 122 passengers and crew, most of them soldiers and their families. nations with the worst records on plastic pollution have promised to clea n plastic pollution have promised to clean up the rack in asia. —— their act. four workers at a nuclear research
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facility injapan have been accidentally exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. the accident occurred when workers were checking on the storage of radioactive materials, when a bag containing radioactive dust split open. eight people are now known to have died in the london bridge attack on saturday night. police searching for a frenchman who went missing during the attack have found a body in the river thames. xavier thomas who was 45 had been in london with his girlfriend for the weekend. police have made three further arrests. ed thomas has this report. in the most darkest moments... returning to london bridge. the police officers who were the first to face the london attackers, and comfort the injured, here to lay flowers and remember those who died, in a city grateful for the bravery of officers like pc green. it is really important to have that support from the public and, you know, obviously, our thoughts are more so with the casualties and everything that happened here. and today, police searching
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for xavier thomas from france say they recovered a body from the thames. he was on holiday in london and his girlfriend. she's now in hospital seriously injured. and confirmed dead today, ignacio echeverria from spain, last seenjumping off his bike to help a woman being stabbed. also named, australian, sara zelenak. she was 21 and working as an au pair. her family said she was a beautiful daughter and sister. in france, the family of sebastien belanger confirmed he was also killed. it brings the total number of deaths to eight. while police continue to look for evidence, today, this family home in ilford was raided, as offices pieced together more about the killers. khuram butt, a known islamist extremist, rachid redouane, a moroccan libyan who
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once lived in dublin, and italian moroccan youssef zaghba. police in italy suspected he wanted to join so—called islamic state and say they told british intelligence agencies. today, his mother spoke anonymously. translation: he was closely followed when he was in italy, but he wasn't at all in the uk it seems. i was very happy with the work the italian police did. from what i read, it seems in the uk they knew nothing, they weren't pursuing anything. this investigation now reaches towards morocco, italy and ireland, but the focus has always been here, east london, and those unanswered questions of how all three men met and planned their attack. men known to british security services who went on to kill. police insist there was no intelligence an attack was being planned. and we pray for those
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in our hospitals nearby... this afternoon, prayers from all faiths on london bridge. a message from a city to those who caused so much pain. ed thomas, bbc news, east london. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: fresh air bnb. the swiss hotel and the ultimate room with a view. the day the british liberated the falklands and by tonight british troops had begun the task of disarming the enemy. in the heart of the west german capital, this was "gorbymania"
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at its height. the crowd packed to see the man who for them, has raised great hopes for an end to the division of europe. michaeljackson was not guilty of all charges. the screams of the crowd testament to his popularity and their faith in his innocence. as long as they'll pay to go see me, i'll get out there and kick them down the hills. what does it feel to be the first man to go across the channel by your own power? it is pretty neat. it feels marvelous, really. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: the former fbi director, james comey, is set to testify to congress later that president trump asked for his loyalty a few months before firing him. the authorities in iran say they hold saudi arabia and the us responsible for wednesday's
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deadly militant attacks, claimed by so—called islamic state. let's stay with that story. henri barkey is director of the middle east program at the woodrow wilson centre and a professor of international relations at lehigh university. he joins us live from washington. thank you for your time. very difficult time in the region with the crisis between carter and its gulf neighbours. what do you make of what happened ? gulf neighbours. what do you make of what happened? —— gulf neighbours. what do you make of what happened? -- qatar. an operation like this takes a long time to plan so it was not necessarily co—ordinated with the crisis in qatar. the timing, in many ways, it is advantageous to islamic state because it is seen as a powerful organisation that can organise a major terrorist attack in the middle of tehran just as
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tensions have increased dramatically. i think islamic state leaders must be very, very happy with the timing and the success of the operation. what you of iran 's accusations of saudi arabia and us and the chances that it will retaliate? in the middle east, everybody blames everybody else, conspiracy theories run wild. it is not surprising that they would immediately blame saudi arabia and the united states. it does not make any sense for those countries to do something like this. islamic state managed to broadcast during the attack of video from their satellite service so this is not... this could not have been an american attack. but it makes good copy in iran. it
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isa but it makes good copy in iran. it is a way of deflecting criticism, especially because this was an operation and iranians for them to admit it was a homegrown attack and therefore instead of accepting blame for their lack of security blaming it on the others is always convenient. i do not think this is going to escalate. the stakes are far too big. going to escalate. the stakes are fartoo big. i going to escalate. the stakes are far too big. i do not think they have the capability to retaliate and this is a very, very tense period in the region and one mistake, one wrong move can actually create an enormous backlash so i think calmer heads will prevail and nothing will happen as a result. thank you very much. thank you. a teenager has been killed during opposition protests against the government of president nicolas maduro in
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venezuela. witnesses said the seventeen year old was hit in the chest by a tear gas canister fired by a policeman at point blank range. the country is in the midst of a severe economic crisis and widespread demonstrations are being held on an almost daily basis, as sarah corker reports. for more than two months, violent demonstrations have overwhelmed the venezuelan capital, caracas. protesters angry with the government of president nicolas maduro and demanding early elections to remove him. they blame him for the country's desperate economic crisis. despite vast oil reserves, venezuela's economy has collapsed. translation: we are afraid of losing an eye due to gas, a bomb blowing up in our skull, but we are even more frightened this repression will last forever. translation: because i believe in freedom and justice. and these youngsters are our heroes, the present and future of venezuela. a 17—year—old boy was killed in these latest clashes, taking the death toll to 66 since april.
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hundreds more have been injured, and thousands arrested. and an increasing number of foreign companies have now suspended operations in the country. tyre manufacturer pirelli says a lack of raw materials means it is halting production in venezuela indefinitely. it comes a month after general motors said it was leaving the country, and earlier this week colgate—palmolive announced it would no longer produce dishwashing liquid and detergent in venezuela, again, due to a lack of raw materials. and from july, united airlines is suspending its houston to caracas route due to a lack of demand. but mr maduro said the crisis is a us—backed conspiracy, and brands the protesters insurgents and terrorists. there have been pro—government demonstrations too. while the us ambassador to the un had these stern words for mr maduro. ..
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the venezuelan government is in the midst of destroying human rights and democracy in venezuela. it is conducting a campaign of violence and intimidation against unarmed demonstrators, businesses, civil society and freely—elected political opposition. the head of venezuela's military has warnes his troops not to commit atrocities agianst protesters and, with venezuelans facing severe shortages of food and medicine, these demonstrations show little sign of abating. sarah corker, bbc news. fossils discovered in north africa have cast new light on how modern humans evolved. they reveal that homo sapiens existed a hundred thousand years earlier than previously thought. and they were present all across africa — notjust the east — which was previously thought to be the cradle of humanity. pallab ghosh reports. this is the face of one of the very first of our kind, and more casts of bone fragments of the earliest known homo sapiens. the discovery of these fossils
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were presented at a news conference in paris. they have completely changed the theory of how modern humans evolved. the common wisdom that there is probably some kind of beginning human in sub—saharan africa a million years ago, what our works have shown is that we have to push back in time much further the age of the origin of our species. human remains found in kenya and tanzania, suggested that east africa was a cradle from which the species emerged 200,000 years ago. the discovery of 300,000 year old human remains in morocco show humans began to emerge much earlier. and notjust there, stone tools found across the continent suggest homo sapiens were all over
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africa at the time. this is a skull of the earliest known human of our species. and this is a modern human. you can see the faces are practically the same aside from the slightly pronounced brow region. another difference. the earliest human has a slightly smaller brain. scans of the skull published in thejournal, nature, show that we did not emerge rapidly, but over hundreds of thousands of years. it took longer to make homo sapiens in evolutionary terms than we thought. it was complex. different parts of africa probably evolved differently. some evolved in southern africa, some in east africa. there was no single place where homo sapiens became us. the search is on to find
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perhaps even older remains. the past of humanity has now been rewritten. pallab ghosh, bbc news. now if breathtaking scenery, fresh alpine air and unparalleled peace and quiet sounds appealing, you may be interested in a new hotel opening tomorrow in switzerland. the accommodation is a piece of conceptual art, aiming to redefine luxury. but there is a catch — as andy beatt reports. it is a room with a view, but not much else. forjust over $300, guests can book into the zero star hotel and enjoy unobstructed views of flower meadows and majestic mountains. what it lacks in creature comforts, it hopes to make up for in alfresco charm. and it is proving popular. translation: we have had requests
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from all over the world. the beds are almost 80% booked up. people are coming from america, africa, australia, the uk, iraq — everybody, young and old. intrepid travellers receive a drink on arrival, organic breakfast, and the services of a butler, typically a farmer in rubber boots. less appealing perhaps is the three—minute walk to the bathroom, in an alpine hut that also serves as a backup in bad weather. it's notjust a place to stay. the creators say their room aims to explode traditional approaches to hospitality, challenging our ties to the property market. and while local hoteliers are not great fans of the project, some 1300 people already are, already paying out for a night out under the stars. andy beatt, bbc news. do you remember green heinz
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source, coca cola black... probably not. they're all commercial lemons. but a new museum of failures in the swedish town of helsingborg is celebrating product flops including a trump board game, google glasses and a mask that promises beauty through electric shocks. it's curator samuel west says we should not be afraid of failure — we can all learn from mistakes. tell me about it. james comey is to testify the congress. president trump asked for his loyalty. much more news any time on the bbc website. thank you for watching. hi there.
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most of us at least saw some sunshine yesterday. but for today sunshine is going to be a little bit harder to come by. for most of us it's going to be quite cloudy. and that cloud thick enough to bring some rain for some of us. now, the relatively clear weather we had yesterday working out into the north sea, replaced by this big lump of cloud. the area of low pressure still well out in the mid—atlantic. the low spinning around there, throwing south—westerly winds across the uk. so it is going to be a mild day coming up. but that cloud will be thick enough for some of us to get pretty wet weather. the wettest of it, first thing in the morning, across wales, north—west england. some low cloud and mist and hill fog patches across the south—west of england. but a mild start to the day as well — 13—14 degrees, something like that. a bit cooler across the north of scotland. but at least here, you've got a chance of seeing a bit of morning sunshine. now, it's going to be quite a gusty start to the day across wales and south—west england. the gusts running in at around a0 miles an hour. quite blowy, too across the midlands and east anglia and south—east england.
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a lot of dry weather. the occasional spit of rain just about possible. that weather working in across north—west england. quite misty over the pennines. that rain will probably get in right across northern ireland, first thing in the morning. it will be edging across scotland, too. the north though, probably staying dry, with some early morning sunshine. as we go on through the rest of the day, a bit of uncertainty about the northward spread of this rain. but it could get a little bit further north than we are showing, perhaps threatening the north of scotland as we go into the afternoon. heavy showers returning to northern ireland late in the day. a few showers across wales and south—west england, moving into the midlands, too. east anglia and south—east england, well, it will try to brighten up here late in the day. through thursday night, low pressure still with us. we are going to see showers continue to push across the uk. the winds turning a little bit lighter. still coming in from the south—west, so it's going to be another mild night and a mild start for friday. friday, well, generally a better kind of day. pressure will begin to build and htat means fewer showers. more in the way of sunshine. showers tending to be
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limited to scotland, really, as we head into the afternoon. given a bit more sunshine and lighter winds, it is going to feel warmer. 19 in belfast. not bad at all. 22 in london. should feel pleasant enough in those lighter winds. and a fine evening will follow. again, a few showers continuing to affect parts of scotland. now heading into the weekend, we do have an area of rain that's lurking just behind me. that is tied in with another area of low pressure. it's going to be bringing wet and fairly windy weather to start the weekend, across many area of the uk. so brace ourselves for a soggy start to the weekend. it's not all bad news though, because the rain will clear through. sunday should be a dry day. it will start to turn a bit warmer as well, with highs of 23 in london. that's your weather. this is bbc news. the headlines: james comey, the former fbi director, says president trump pressured him to drop an inquiry into links with russia. ahead of a senate hearing, mr comey issued a statement which said the president demanded his loyalty and asked him to lay off investigating the former national security advisor. in tehran, gunmen and suicide bombers have attacked iran's
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parliament and at the shrine of its revolutionary leader, leaving 12 people dead and many more injured. the group calling itself islamic state said it was responsible for one of the worst terror attacks iran has suffered in decades. eight people are now known to have died in the london bridge attack on saturday night. police searching for a frenchman who went missing during the attack have found a body in the river thames. xavier thomas, who was a5, had been in london with his girlfriend for the weekend.
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