welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: the white house condemns a claim by north korea that it has the right to shoot down american warplanes outside its air space. angela merkel says she wants to win back the one million voters she lost to the anti—immigrant afd, but she won't lurch to the right. ballots are being counted in the iraqi kurdish referendum. the result is expected to be a massive vote for independence. and a remarkable school in northern nigeria where children of the victims of boko haram and children of the militants learn to live together. hello. north korea and the united states are still waging a war — of words, at least so far.
speaking in new york, north korea's foreign minister describe president trump's recent assertion that its leadership would not be around much longer as a declaration of war, and said pyongyang now had the right to shoot down american bombers, even outside north korean airspace. the white house described that interpretation as absurd. here is foreign minister ri. translation: this is clearly a declaration of war. all the member states participating in the united nations, and the whole world, should clearly remember that it was the united states who first declared war on our country. the un charter stipulates individual member states‘ right to self—defence. since the us declared war on our country, we have every right to take countermeasures, including shooting down us strategic bombers, even when they're not yet inside the air space border of our country. the question of who won't be around
much longer will be answered then. the white house had its regular press briefing not long afterwards, and a reporter put the question were president trump's tweets a declaration of war. not at all. we've not declared war on north korea, and frankly, the suggestion of that is absurd. what is the white house's reaction to north korea's threat to shoot down us aircraft, even if it's not in their airspace? it's never appropriate for a country to shoot down another country's aircraft when it's over international waters. our goal is still the same. we continue to seek the peaceful denuclearisation of the korean peninsula. that's our focus, doing that through both the most — maximum diplomatic and economic pressures as possible at this point. i spoke just now to our correspondent david willis, in washington, and asked him how the situation was looking from there. not terribly good, mike, and rather dangerous, actually, as far as some observers, china among them, are concerned. the pentagon has provided options,
apparently, for president trump, in the event that north korea should choose to make good on any of its recent threats. and this bellicose rhetoric is causing concern at the united nations, in south korea, of course, and as i mentioned, amongst the chinese, who warned of the dangers of what they called a fatal misunderstanding. and they've called for calm, saying the situation, as far as north korea and the united states is concerned, is getting too dangerous and could lead to disaster. south korea also pointing out, as is obvious, that so much depends on china and russia, north korea's biggest trading biggest trading partners, and of course members of the un
security council. yes, and as far as options are concerned, mike, they would appear to be running out. there appears less and less chance of a diplomatic solution to this crisis, given this heightened rhetoric. the united states had pinned its hopes on chinese intervention, trying to get the north koreans to scale down their nuclear missile programme. well, that clearly hasn't worked. neither have heightened sanctions. and so, with any hope of negotiation appearing to recede, it does appear that there's got to be some kind of military action, perhaps, as a solution to this problem. although the american generals concede that that is not an ideal solution, by any means, for the simple reason that north korea will almost inevitably fire back quickly, and that, of course, could imperil the south korean capital, seoul. in germany, chancellor merkel says she wants to win back the voters who deserted her party for the far—right afd in yesterday's election. she starts her fourth term
in a weaker position, and has to build a new coalition government. our berlin correspondentjenny hill has been to mrs merkel‘s home state, in the east of the country, to talk to people who voted for the afd. it is not how angela merkel wanted germany to look. in a country so tainted by the past, much was unthinkable, unsayable. not anymore. it is their time now, the many faces of afd — teacher, pensioner, labourer, businessman. they used to vote conservative, social democratic, left party, green, or, like birgit, not at all. translation: the old people don't dare leave the house after 6:00pm. i live such in a beautiful place, and when i open the door, the first thing i see
are headscarfs. and then i get on a tram, and i see groups of young men. and here, in the old east, support is particularly strong. translation: i was a dissident in east germany and experienced the propaganda methods of a totalitarian state. i now see how the mainstream parties are using those kinds of methods. violent division, painful reminders. afd would ban minorettes, close the german borders. angela merkel — down, but not yet out. many voters haven't forgiven her for opening this country's doors, though not all. opinion polls ahead of the election showed very clearly that she has a lot of support in the german population. so more than 50% of respondents actually said, if they could vote directly, they would vote for merkel, so that's really interesting to see. she commands respect, and that's also seen within the christian democratic party. afd has already tasted power here, in the splendour
of the regional parliament. but this morning, the party is split at local and national level, moderates walking out in disgust. not this new mp. afd‘s first demand, he tells us — an inquiry into angela merkel‘s refugee policy. translation: we have impact through publicity. we can't change laws, because the other parties will boycott us, though will often use our ideas later. so yes, we are important, because voters discuss our policies. a problem, perhaps, for the political powerhouse of europe — opposition to the euro, to further eu integration. afd‘s success indicates that the populism which has swept through europe in recent years is really taking root in this country. germany is a place where people have tended to identify as european first, german second.
but, for the very first time, a significant proportion of people here are voting for a party which wants to claw back powers from brussels, and regain its national sovereignty. and it speaks to supporters of all ages. yeah, i support the afd, because it's the future of my friends — me, of course, my friends, my schoolmates, and so on. and it will be a dark future if nothing really happens. fear for the future, nostalgia for a country considered lost, voices which won't be ignored. jenny hill, bbc news, scheuring. the furore from nfl players refusing to stand for the national anthem is continuing in the us, with dozens of players and coaches joining silent protests. president trump has condemned players for taking a knee during the star—spangled banner, saying it shows disrespect for the country. jen kerns has been following
the story as a contributor for the washington examiner. she joined me a short time ago. i think this is a significant moment in us sports history, but i think the ending of this is going to be quite different than the nfl players who are kneeling on the field expect it to be. i think that these players are thinking from one week to the next. they're thinking from one sunday to the next sunday, and i think that president donald trump is thinking of the long game here, of — look, we know... we've seen the trend here. the ratings for the national football league in america are down 14% already this year. that is quite significant. those are the lowest ratings in nearly a decade. we saw the — what i call the trump effect happen last november. in the same month that president donald trump was elected, and spoke about this issue
on the campaign trail, we saw 600,000 viewers unsubscribe from espn. i think that these multimillionaire football players are sorely mistaken if they think that the rest of america believes that they are somehow in this position where we should feel sorry for them. these are multimillionaires, with multimillionaire deals. i — my vote here is with president trump on this. i think he's thinking of the long game here. he knows americans are sick and tired of this political correctness that has spilt over onto the field, and i think he'll end up being the victor here. jen, i think you know that they are not asking anyone to feel sorry for them. they say they're making a stand against police brutality and racism. and it is significant, isn't it, that so many of the owners, trump donors, many of them, are in solidarity with their players. and, after all, you would know this. it was the president who put a match to this. it was a low—key protest by one player, colin kaepernick, until president trump decided
at a rally to attack him, suggest he should be fired, then, excuse the phrase, started calling other black athletes sons of bitches. well, look, i do agree, i think the president could have used a different tone, different language here. but the truth remains that, if these nfl football players wanted to truly make a difference, why shouldn't they go out into their communities, that they grew up in? why don't they give back to the communities? brandon marshall, who worked for the denver broncos last year, was a great example of this. he is an african—american wanting to give back to his community. he — instead of taking a knee now, he has actually raised money, put that back into the community, and rolled up his sleeves and got back to work. i think that's a much more productive solution than disrespecting the american flag. that is something that our troops overseas, who are fighting in the war on terror,
feel very strongly about. it is something that our law enforcement officers here feel very strongly about. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: one of the most spectacular racetracks on earth. jockeys compete in the high mountains of the caucasus. ben johnson, the fastest man on earth, is flying home to canada in disgrace. all the athletes should be clean going into the games. i'm just happy that justice is served. it is a simple fact that this morning, these people were in their homes. tonight, those homes have been burnt down by serbian soldiers and police. all the taliban positions along here have been strengthened, presumably in case the americans invade. it's no use having a secret service which cannot preserve its own secrets against the world. and so the british government has no option but to continue this action,
and even after any adverse judgement in australia. concorde had crossed the atlantic faster than any plane ever before, breaking the record by six minutes. this is bbc news. our main headline: the white house has condemned north korea's claim that it now has the right to shoot down us bombers, even if they are outside its air space. lets get more analysis on that. earlier i spoke to bonnie glaser. she's senior advisor for asia and director of the china power project at the centre for strategic and international studies. she was at an event where the south korean foreign minister was speaking and i asked her how dangerous a time she thought it was.
dangerous escalation of words. we have statements by president trump that he would totally destroyed north korea, a tweet that said kim jong—un would not be around much longer. then we had statements by north korea's foreign minister earlier today, saying that in fact north korea sees itself as the targets of a threat of war, that the us has declared war now on north korea, and that therefore north korea, and that therefore north korea has the right to actually attack american planes, take them down, if they are near or in north korean airspace. so this is really a very dangerous period. the one small step back that was taken today is that a white house spokesperson did say that the us has not declared war
on north korea. so i think that is a positive development which may defuse tensions a bit, although they are still really running quite high after the speeches at the united nations by both president trump and the north korean foreign minister. to try to give this a bit of historical context, there have been previous occasions, haven't they are, when north korea has shot down american aircraft? though it would be quite a different matter if it was in international airspace. yes, there have been instances where aircraft have been shot down, including south korean aircraft, by north korea, and times when even be pueblo, years ago, was captured by north korea. —— even the pueblo. so you could say that we have been an even more dangerous places in the past. but at present, we really do
have a number of it bought us president who, in my view, doesn't seem president who, in my view, doesn't seem to understand the dangerous escalation dynamics, the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation, and the fact that kim jong—un really cannot back down. the nature of him and the system that he is in, if he is seen as being threatened and his regime is seen as being threatened and his regime is seen as being threatened, then there isa seen as being threatened, then there is a good chance that he will strike the united states. bonnie glaser has three decades of experience in policy in that region. votes are being counted after an independence referendum in iraq's kurdistan region. the poll went ahead despite fierce objections from the central government in baghdad, and from other countries with kurdish minorities. the referendum result is expectedly to be heavily in favour of independence but it won't trigger an immediate attempt to break away.
0ur middle east correspondent 0rla guerin reports now from the city of irbil. waiting patiently, as they have for generations. kurds arriving before the polls opened, defying the international community and the government in baghdad. first in line, 65—year—old azahd. "i came here at 6am," he told us. "this is the greatest day of my life." and for many, it's a day of remembrance, like the ali family, who lostjaffah, a proud peshmerga fighter, killed last year by the so—called islamic state. his widow says the vote has brought him back. translation: it's a very happy day for him and for us. we feel like he is right here. he sacrificed himself for this land. his blood was not shed in vain. then, at last, time to cast her ballot.
"we hope that we aregett'mg the fear is it. eguld spark: ' " "' is about self—determination, about democracy in action. far from trying to stop them, they say the international community should be giving them strong support. there is a real sense here of history in the making. and whatever comes next,
the votes being cast today could reshape the middle east. even before the result, kurds took to the streets in the city of kirkuk. we are free now! the oil—rich city is controlled by kurdish forces but also claimed by the central government in baghdad. and the divisions here are now all too clear. in arab neighbourhoods, we found a very stark contrast. no referendum fever here. riyad abdul satar didn't vote and is worried about the future of iraq. do you feel like you might lose your country? "yes," he says, "we didn't before, but we do now." but for the kurds, tonight, time to celebrate. they say the referendum is a mandate for negotiations with baghdad. they won't be redrawing borders or declaring independence in the morning, but they have passed a point of no return. 0rla guerin, bbc news, irbil.
let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. venezuela has accused the us of psychological terrorism for imposing travel restrictions on some government officials and their families. the foreign ministry said travel bans such as washington announced on sunday were incompatible with international law. the ban on eight countries included venezuela for the first time, as well as north korea and chad. the former us congressman anthony weiner has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for sending sexually explicit messages to a teenage girl in 2016. the scandal played a role in the presidential election. his wife huma abedin, of course, a senior aide to hillary clinton. these happy faces could come from any school across africa, but these students all go to a school especially set up for young people affected by boko haram violence in northern
nigeria — and among then are the children of the boko haram militants. let's head to russia now and the republic of dagestan. it is an isolated region, high above sea level, and life can be pretty tough for the people who call it home. but the dagestanis are perhaps most renowned for one skill in particular. the bbc‘s tim allman reports now on the horsemen of khunzakh. these stark mountainous terrain of the northern caucasus. the people here, proud and resourceful. their culture, ancient and devout. they are renowned for their equestrian skills.
and what a venue this is for one of the most picturesque horse races on, galloping through this rugged land in celebration of their traditions and their faith. translation: this is a very significant event because it's held in honour of our dear mufti, the religious leader of the republic of dagestan. this carnival a showcase for local dance and local cuisine. but all eyes are on the race, a test for man and animal alike. translation: this far above sea level it's hard for horses that aren't local. the horse needs to adapt to lack of oxygen. they say here that the horse is a gift from god, a gift that is always welcome. tim allman, bbc news. a 13—year—old girl from wales has
become the first female competitor in europe to complete a wheelchair backflip. lily rice is trying to raise funds to take part in the wheelchair motocross world championships. she'd be the first british person ever to take part. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter — i'm @bbcmikeembley. hello. the week started on a fairly quiet note across many parts of the british isles. we had a weak weather front close by which really pepped up the cloud across some central and eastern areas. 0ut west, different story. some sunshine to be had but first thing on monday and again late on in the day, some areas were quite
badly affected by fog. there's that weather front gradually fizzling all the while as the pressure builds in from the continent. but there will still be a legacy of cloud first up and i think what you'll really notice about the first part of the day, one, yes, leaden skies but look at the temperatures, around 13—15 for many. just a bit cooler where the skies have stayed clear for any length of time overnight. there could well be some foggy patches around. general is to be running our general is to be rather leaden skies for many of us for the first part of the day but you get a sense from the big picture that as the day goes on, there is a greater hope of seeing a little bit of sunshine. one of the more favoured spots may well be in the north—west of scotland. the south and south—easterly breezes helping to come up and over the mountains to break up some of that cloud. a little bit cloudier perhaps along the eastern shores.
just the chance of one or two isolated showers across the northern half of britain. northern ireland faring quite nicely away from eastern coast fully exposed to that rather noticeable breeze. there is the chance, come mid—afternoon, of seeing a few showers across the north and east midlands, maybe away towards east anglia as well. many of those will just tend to fade if you happen to see them at all come evening time. top temperature, around 20 degrees or so. a little bit more in a way of breeze on wednesday across the north—western quarter of scotland. the freshening wind and the cloud filling in all the while across northern ireland, and into the far south—west of wales and the far south—west of england too as a weather front works its way in from the atlantic. generally speaking, the further east you are, the drier and finer your day will stay. top temperature, again, not bad for this time of year, 20 or possibly 2i somewhere in the south—eastern quarter. cooler in the breeze
in the far north—east. thankfully, the fourth one—day international between england and the west indies is going to be at the oval in the south—east corner of central london. that shouldn't be interrupted by the rain until perhaps very late on in the day because the front does make progress later on on wednesday. indeed into the first part of thursday, it will still be producing quite a wet start to the day across some of these eastern parts of the british isles. but once that's away, a pretty decent day in prospect for many. this is bbc news, the headlines: the united states has rejected north korea's claim that the us has declared war and that pyongyang now has the right to shoot down american bombers outside north korean airspace. its foreign minister was responding to a tweet from president trump suggesting the north korean leadership would not be about much longer. the german chancellor angela merkel has insisted her party will not lurch to the right but will try to win back the one million voters who deserted her for the anti—immigrant afd in sunday's elections.
she said she would try to regain the trust of large numbers who felt excluded. ballots are being counted in an independence referendum in iraqi kurdistan. it's expected to be a big vote for independence but won't trigger an immediate attempt to break away. iraq's central government, along with turkey and iran have all described independence as unacceptable. now it's time for hardtalk.