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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 25, 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: president trump's son—in—law, jared kushner, says he has nothing to hide despite meeting russian officials during the us election. i did not collude with russia, nor do i know of anyone in the campaign who did so. in britain, the parents of terminally ill baby charlie gard give up their legal fight to take him to the us for experimental treatment. the water is taken off in the vatican's fountains, as the holy see is hit by drought. and greenland's melting ice fuels fears of catastrophic climate change. we have a special report. only a very small amount of this ice
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needs to melt to threaten coastal communities around the world. president trump's son—in—law and advisor, jared kushner, has denied any collusion with russia in last year's american election. he is the first member of the president's inner circle to have been questioned by a congressional committee on the matter. speaking after giving evidence, he said he had been completely transparent. our north america editorjon sopel reports from washington. jared kushner, the husband of ivanka, the son—in—law of the president, and the closest confidante of donald trump to find himself in the crosshairs of the sprawling russia investigation. mr kushner! a man who is normally found studiously avoiding the limelight today found himself uncomfortably the centre of attention. after giving evidence
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to the senate intelligence committee behind closed doors, he returned to the white house to insist he had done nothing wrong. i did not collude with russia, nor do i know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. i had no improper contacts. i have not relied on russian funds for my businesses. and i have been fully transparent in providing all requested information. so what were the contacts? in april 2016, kushner meets the russian ambassador, sergey kislyak. apparently no more than a handshake and passing small talk. kushner denies two further phone calls took place after this. on 9june 2016, kushner joins donald trump jr
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and the campaign manager to hear from a russian attorney who has alleged links to the intel services in moscow. subject matter — "getting dirt on hillary clinton." after the election, he meets the russian ambassador again oni december. and two weeks later he meets a russian banker, sergei gorkov, said to have direct links to vladimir putin. but of one thing he was insistent. these meetings made zero difference to the outcome of the election. donald trump had a better message and ran a smarter campaign, and that is why he won. suggesting otherwise ridicules those who voted for him. but today, as donald trump was framed by over 100 white house interns, he was doing some ridiculing of his own, as reporters sought to ask disobliging questions. mr president, should jeff sessions resign? first by saying nothing... ..and then by letting rip. she's breaking the code. he found it similarly difficult
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to keep his opinions to himself over russia. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. now, another person within the trump administration facing a lot of scrutiny is the attorney general. jeff sessions has already recused himself from the russia investigation, but the white house communication director has told the bbc that talk of replacing him is not happening. anthony scaramucci was responding to a story in the washington post. that story came from the post's national security reporter matt za potos ky. he also broke the story about jared kushner being the focus of a federal inquiry, and joins us now. first of all, where would you say we are now with jared kushner‘s testimony? well, i think we are still very early in this investigation. today was a critical moment, and as you mentioned this was the president's closest confidant, arguably, and his son—in—law who went and talked to senate investigators and gave him his version of these meetings with
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russians. that is a critical moment, but there are so many more people we need to hear from, but there are so many more people we need to hearfrom, and but there are so many more people we need to hear from, and to see if we need to hear from, and to see if we need to... see how we can corroborate his account. and how does it work? does close door, televised testimony get shared between members of, say, a senate committee and a house committee, and between special counsel robert mueller? are they briefing each other? robert mueller is during this with interest, and anything he wants from them you can get. the degree to which the various senate and house committees talk varies depending on which committees you are talking about, but jared kushner which committees you are talking about, butjared kushner is going i think tomorrow before the house intelligence committee, and probably is going to give similar testimony to what he gave today. and more talk, as we were saying, of president trump wanting to replace the attorney general, jeff sessions. if you are not a fan of mr trump,
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you would say this was to make it easier to stop, to sack robert mueller, in effect, to stop his investigation into the russia connections. isn't going to be hard for president trump, though, to find anybody who wouldn't also have the standards aside from those investigations, as jeff standards aside from those investigations, asjeff sessions had to. yes, it would be very politically difficult for him to try to put somebody in place to fire up robert mueller. though he has the power to do it. i mean, robert mueller. though he has the powerto do it. i mean, he robert mueller. though he has the power to do it. i mean, he campfire jeff sessions, he can fire on down the line, and he can find someone who would be willing to pull the trigger. he could evenjust fire jeff sessions and appoint someone in the interim, someone who more restricted who he can appoint to that spot to carry out his bidding, if that is what he wants to do. now, we understand that these conversations about removing jeff sessions are very preliminary right 110w. sessions are very preliminary right now. they are in a very early stage. the president is maybejust now. they are in a very early stage. the president is maybe just venting and maybe just feeling the president is maybe just venting and maybejust feeling out the president is maybe just venting and maybe just feeling out the ideas, as he is known to do. but,
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you know, some people see this as pa rt you know, some people see this as part of the first step in an effort to maybe get in the way of a special counsel investigation. and just briefly, the new communications director telling the bbc the situation is fluid. how do you read that? well, that is very honest. the situation is fluid. last week the president called his attorney general to the new york times, saying he wouldn't have appointed him at all if he knew he was going to recuse himself. even today he referred to his own attorney general as beleaguered. it is like he is trying to goad him into resigning, and we understand he is privately asking people around him, you know, how would the base take it if he we re how would the base take it if he were to go? and entertaining the idea that maybe he will have to remove him from office. very interesting to talk to you. thank you so much for your time, i hope we can talk again. and the republican senatorjohn mccain has said he will be returning to washington for the healthcare bill vote. senator mccain has been recovering in arizona after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
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his office said he will continue to work on important legislation and cast his vote in the senate, where republicans hold 52 of the 100 seats, making every vote critical. it is a heartbreaking case which has made headlines around the world, but now the parents of the terminally ill baby charlie gard have ended their legal battle to keep him alive. they had wanted to take their son to the us for experimental treatment. but an american doctor then said he was no longer willing to offer the therapy, and the family's lawyer told london's high court time had run out for the baby. here is our medical correspondent fergus walsh. the fight over charlie gard's future is over. this desperately sick little boy will be allowed to die. after a hugely emotional hearing where his parents said they had
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agreed to let the sun go, they emerged to face the world's media. ourson emerged to face the world's media. our son is emerged to face the world's media. ourson is an emerged to face the world's media. our son is an absolute warrior, and we could not be proud of him, and we will miss him terribly. his body, heart, and soul may soon be gone, but his spirit will live on for eternity, and he will make a difference to people's lives for years to come. we will make sure of that. we are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son, charlie, who unfortunately won't make his first birthday, injust under two weeks' time. charlie has been in great ormond street hospital since october. he has a serious inherited condition, mitochondrial depletion syndrome. he cannot move, feed, or breathe unaided. the central question in this case was whether this powder, nucleoside therapy, which is added to food, could boost his muscle function. his parents raised £1.3 million for the treatment in the united states.
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that money will now go to a foundation in charlie's name. but great ormond street, backed by many independent experts, said the treatment was futile because charlie had suffered catastrophic and irreversible brain damage. because charlie's parents and doctors could not agree, the matter went to the high court. in april, thejudge ruled that charlie's suffering should end, his life support be withdrawn. every legal appeal brought by charlie's parents failed. then came interventions from the pope and donald trump, the latter tweeting an offer of help. this has been an extraordinary case, a battle over the fate of a baby boy that was fought out notjust here, in court, but internationally. the judge said it was one of the pitfalls of social media that the watching world felt it right to have opinions without knowing the facts of the case. he said the court's paramount consideration had been charlie's best interests, at all times.
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the case came back to court when an american neurologist, michio hirano, claimed new evidence showed his nucleoside therapy could help charlie, and last week he flew over to examine him. new mri body scans were ordered. on friday, charlie's parents accepted these showed his muscle wasting was now so severe he was beyond help. it's an incredibly brave decision by charlie's parents. they have thought through for themselves what the new evidence shows. and they've reached a conclusion, probably the judge would have reached the same. it's very brave of them to do it without waiting to hear what he had to say. in court, connie yates said they would be haunted for the rest of their lives with the what—if. what if their son had received the treatment months earlier? she said he had the potential to be a normal boy,
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but it was now too late. to charlie we say, "mummy and daddy, we love you so much." "we always have and we always will, and we are so sorry that we could not save you." the parents are now with charlie in his final hours. great ormond street said the agony, desolation and bravery of their decision humbled all who worked there. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news: israel says it will remove metal detectors from the disputed holy site in jerusalem. the un's middle east envoy has warned of catastrophic costs if the recent tensions didn't ease in time for friday's muslim prayers. the detectors were installed after two policemen were killed, sparking days of deadly clashes. a manhunt in under way in switzerland, where five people have been attacked by a man with a chainsaw in the town of schaffhausen. police have identified the man, warning the public that he is highly dangerous. they say the attack was aimed at a local health insurance company
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and it is not related to terrorism. the us special representative for ukraine says washington is actively considering whether to arm the government in its struggle against russian—backed rebels in the east of the country. kurt volker said arming ukrainian government forces could change moscow's political calculation about how much the rebels could achieve through military means. the vatican has said it is shutting off all its fountains, including those in st peter's square, because of italy's severe drought. the country has experienced one of its driest springs for 60 years. suffocating summer heat has followed two years of lower—than—average rainfall in rome, forcing the italian capital to now consider the prospect of water rationing. sarah corker reports. holiday snaps of the famous fountains in vatican city will look a little different this summer. the 17th—century masterpieces in st peter's square are among 100 fountains being switched off. large swathes of italy are suffering from a prolonged drought. as far as we know, at least in our memory, this
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is the first time we have had to shut the fountains down. as you know, in rome, rome has been blessed with lots of water. and so this is an exception. as far as we know, this is the first time in the vatican this has happened. the move comes vatican this has happened. the move co m es after vatican this has happened. the move comes after authorities called a halt on pumping water from this lake near rome. a decision that could force officials to impose water rationing in the italian capital. some areas have seen rationing in the italian capital. some areas have seen rainfall levels 80% below normal. the island of sardinia is among the worst affected regions. 4000 farms depend on this 110w near regions. 4000 farms depend on this now near empty dam for water. translation: water only one day a week? we can't stop it, therefore we can't give water to the animals. animals cannot drink only once a week. it's a big disaster. across italy, 60% of farmland is under threat. farmers say it is costing
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the nation's agriculture an estimated 2 billion euros. ten regions are now seeking natural disaster status. in florence, water levels are at a record low, while further north, some rivers are already bone dry. in central italy, olive production has been badly affected. and with no let—up in the high temperatures, authorities are warning of the risk of an environmental disaster. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: a watery world on our doorstep. scientists unlock surprising secrets about the moon. mission control: you can see them coming down the ladder now. armstrong: it's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. a catastrophic engine fire is being blamed tonight for the first crash in the 30—year history of concorde, the world's only supersonic airliner. it was one of the most vivid symbols
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of the violence and hatred that tore apart the state of yugoslavia. but now, a decade later, it's been painstakingly rebuilt and opens again today. there's been a 50% decrease in sperm quantity and an increase in malfunction of sperm unable to swim properly. thousands of households across the country are suspiciously quiet this lunchtime as children bury their noses in the final instalment of harry potter. very good to have you with us on bbc news. the latest headlines this hour: president trump's son in law jared kushner insists he didn't collude with russia
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during the us election campaign. the parents of the terminally ill baby charlie gard have given up their legal fight to go to the us for experimental treatment. the greenland ice sheet may be melting faster than expected, raising ocean levels more than predicted. that's the concern of scientists, who say warmer conditions are encouraging algae to grow in the ice and darken its surface. that matters, because darker ice absorbs more of the sun's rays and melts more rapidly. our science editor david shukman has this exclusive report. a vivid blue snakes across the greenland ice sheet. a beautiful sight, but when the ice here melts the oceans rise around the world. on the horizon, the ice sheet looms ahead of us. we've joined a team of british scientists. they're trying to understand how the ice is changing. we touch down in one of the remotest corners of the planet. the first task is to set up camp —
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a home in an utterly barren wilderness. from the air, all you can really see is what looks like a vast expanse of endless white, but that isn't the whole story. because what's hard to grasp as i stand here is that this isjust the surface of a vast mass of ice that's unbelievably thick. so, let's imagine cutting it away right in front of me. the ice sheet stretches for as much as two miles, three kilometres, from the surface here, right down to the rock below. in fact, it's so thick you could take the world's tallest building, the burj khalifa in dubai, and fit four of them, end to end, inside. and as we walk around, there's a real surprise: white ice is turning dark — and the darker a surface, the more it absorbs the sun's rays. and, like wearing a black
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t—shirt on a hot day, the more it warms up. you've got this dark ice here. yeah, so we've got a dark surface... martin tranter, the chief scientist here, says one reason for the dark ice is algae, tiny plants. algae have always been here but, with higher temperatures and more meltwater, they can flourish. what we want to know is how far the algae can spread over the greenland ice sheet as the climate warms. and it might well be that they will cause more melting, and an acceleration of sea—level rise. in the evening light, the shimmer of gentle streams, thousands of them. until recently, the amount of ice melting in summer was balanced by snowfall in winter. but in the last 20 years the flows of water have multiplied, each one eventually adding
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to the level of the oceans. no—one's saying that this whole thing is going to melt in the next decade, or even in the next hundred, or even the next thousand years, but it doesn't all have to melt for more people to be in danger. only a small amount, a very small portion of this ice sheet has to melt to raise the sea levels, and then threaten millions of people in coastal communities around the world. what's striking is that this massive block of ice may be vulnerable if more algae darken the surface and lead to faster melting. down at the edge of the ice sheet, the streams become a torrent. we already know that meltwater is raising the level of the sea bit by bit, but the researchers here want to find out whether that rise will accelerate. and for people in low—lying areas of florida, bangladesh, parts of britain, getting an accurate forecast really matters. david shukman, bbc news, in greenland. we can now speak to professor aradhna tripati, a climate expert from the ucla who was formerly based at cambridge university.
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i know you study the effect of changes in climate on ice levels. you seeing this reflected in ice melt across the globe? is accelerated everywhere? in 04 happily on the programme. i want to highlight that this type of process is one that is notjust important on bleachers in greenland, but across the world, from norway, to alaska, to the andes, kilimanjaro... this is a process that we need to study because it can have impacts across the globe. —— glaciers. because it can have impacts across the globe. -- glaciers. when the climate panel published their most recent report in 2013, it did not include the possibility of biological darkening in those
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estimates for sealevel rise, did it? and those estimates were pretty frightening. so this could be an acceleration on that? that is correct. it is concerning because it was not included in any of our readers estimates. so that means that our current forecasts might be too conservative. —— our recent estimates. there are other findings, such as the effect of melting on methane levels, that also need to be included. what is clear from the work that i have done is that this is an example of a process that really should impact the court melting of glaciers. sadly because it reflects the effects of the sun on the ice. the effects of melting can have an enormous impact. particularly the presence of white
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glacial ice means that 90% of the sun's energy is reflect back. the fa ct sun's energy is reflect back. the fact that it is dark because of this algae, this could reflect as little of 1% to 30% of it. that means they will melt more quickly and at a more rapid rate. this is another example really of positive feedback that is going to accelerate warming and climate change, but it is remarkable because it comes from tiny organisms that are microscopic. it means that the greenland ice sheet has the potential to warm more rapidly in places where these algae proliferate, and thereby accelerate service melting. if we combine that with evidence that has been published, much more rapid nothing will happen due to the greenhouse effect, and we could see that the
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ice sheet in the 21st century melts more rapidly. professor, i suspect we will be talking to this again. thank you so much forjoining us. finding water is not always bad news — new research shows that the moon has more water than previously thought, and its deep below the lunar surface. i spoke with ralph milliken, who's behind the new research at brown university. he told me exactly what his team has discovered. the basic idea, here, is about ten years ago some colleagues vows found there was water preserved in these volcanic glass beads returned by the apollo missions. and what we did now is a look at some satellite data so we could get a more global view of the moon and we found that this giant, very extensive carboplastic deposit across the lunar surface, we found evidence for water in all of those. this tells us the lunar sample the apollo collection are not anomalous
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but they seem to be quite common when you look at these volcanic deposits on the moon. we are told we would need the moon is a stepping stone to training in a mission to mars. would it be worth extracting it? it certainly is possible to extract this water. you have however a lot of material to work with. you would have to harvest a lot of it but you could extract the water. now, is enough to sustain a human presence on the moon long—term, that remains to be seen but it does tell us these are places on the moon potentially viable spots for future outposts and you could extract some water and not have to carry it all from water and that is big cost savings. much more on that all the news on our website. and you can reach me and most of team on twitter. i'm @bbc mike embley. thank you for watching. hello there.
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many of us have had more than ourfair share of wet and cloudy weather of late, but that certainly hasn't been the whole story. monday brought some sunshine for many places. that was the scene across the scottish islands. the sunshine was not shared out equally though. suffolk seeing a lot of cloud. many eastern areas had rather cloudy conditions. out west, in the atlantic, there's another lump of cloud hurtling its way in, that'll bring some rain on the wednesday but for tuesday we are between weather systems and that means actually a fair amount of fine and dry weather in the day ahead. where it has been so cloudy across eastern england and eastern scotland, that cloud will break up a little bit. there will be more in the way of sunshine. could just see the odd shower breaking up across the south—west and south wales later in the day. in the sunshine, this is problable where we'll have the highest temperatures — 24, maybe 25 degrees. certainly a little bit less cool than it was on monday, across the south—east and east anglia, because there will be more sunshine. through north wales, northern england, it should be fine, some sunny spells.
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clouding over a little bit in northern ireland later in the day and maybe a shower for scotland. most places dry, if a little on the chilly side, close to the east coast, 14 degrees in aberdeen. most places will have a fine evening but things then begin to change. into the early hours of wednesday, we'll see quite a band of rain working in across northern ireland, south—west scotland, wales and the south—west, courtesy of an area of low pressure. quite a deep low, actually — this is not a usual weather chart for this point in july. closely squeezed isobars, that means some fairly strong winds and weatherfronts, bringing a band of rain eastwards, across the country. especially across the northern half of the british isles, this rain will be quite heavy. it will go on for quite a few hours, as well. not as much rain getting across into the south—east. and then for the south—west, wales and northern ireland, later in the day, things will brighten up with some spells of sunshine. those blustery winds making it feel cool. 18—21 degrees. and although the weather front responsible for the main body
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of the rain will clear away to the east, this area of low pressure is still close by on thursday and that means very strong winds, especially up to the north—west. there'll be some heavy showers here, as well. drier, brighter weather towards the south—east. just 15 degrees in glasgow. maybe 22 in london. we stick with that blustery theme as we head to the end of the week. some spells of sunshine on friday. some showers as well. highs of 17—22 degrees. as we head towards the end of the week, a cooler, fresherfeel. yes, there'll be some spells of sunshine but some heavy blustery showers as well. this is bbc news. the headlines: president trump's son—in—law and adviser, jared kushner, has denied any collusion with russia in last year's us election. in his first live televised comments on the allegations, he insisted there had been nothing improper about his contacts. he's the first member of mr trump's inner circle to be questioned. the parents of the terminally ill baby, charlie gard, have ended their legal challenge to take him to the us for experimental treatment. chris gard and connie yates said an american expert had told them
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it was now too late to give the child the therapy that he'd offered. the moon has more water than previously thought, and its deep below the lunar surface. researchers at brown university in the us say that they've found evidence of water trapped in volcanic deposits. it's thought the reserves could be used to sustain a lunar base and support future space exploration. now on bbc news, the travel show.
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