this is bbc news. the headlines at 6pm: calling himself a "very stable genius", president trump hits back at the author who's book claims his administration is in chaos. i consider it a work of fiction, and i think it's a disgrace that somebody is able to do something like that. the libel laws are very big in this country. if they strong, it were would be very helpful, you wouldn't have things like that happen, but you can say whatever comes into your head. ambulance service apologises to the family of a woman who died after almost a four hour wait for paramedics. air strikes on a rebel—held area of syria are thought to have killed at least 17 civilians. new figures reveal women earn at least 15% less than men at a number of major companies. also in the next hour, a new way to treat life—threatening cancers in the uk. previously patients had to travel
abroad to receive proton beam therapy but the first nhs—run centre is now nearing completion. north america's east coast suffers a record—breaking freeze, the extreme weather has been linked to more than 20 deaths. in the fa cup, coventry city have claimed the scalp of the premier league side, stoke. we'll have results and the best of the action at in sportsday at 6.30pm. good evening, and welcome to bbc news. donald trump has launched a new attack on the author who's accused him of being unstable and incompetent. the president told a news conference
at camp david that the book by michael wolff was a work of fiction, saying he'd been to the best colleges and been a "tremendous success" on television. he also repeated his denials that there'd been any collusion with russia during the presidential election in 2016. david willis reports from washington. boarding a flight to camp david for meetings with senior republican leaders, the image donald trump was seeking to protect was one of order, professionalism, and control. instead, he finds cell patterning claims contained in a bit, claims would question his mentalfitness. claims contained in a bit, claims would question his mental fitnessli went to the best colleges, college, i went... went to the best colleges, college, iwent... i had went to the best colleges, college, i went... i had a situation where i was a very excellent student, came back and made millions of dollars,
became one of the top business people, went to television and for ten yea rs people, went to television and for ten years was a tremendous success, as you probably have had. perhaps the most damaging allegation, shared, claims the author by michael wolff, is that the leader of the keyboard lacks creole city, does not read, does not listen, is like child. they all came to the conclusion, gradually at first, and then faster and faster that something was unbelievably miscue, that this was more peculiar than the average imagined it could be. fire and fury also quite donald trump us formatted steve bannon, the man credited with getting donald trump elected as describing a meeting between a russian oil and mr trump us sign, donald junior, as treasonous, other revelations painted picture of ecologic white house at the mercy of a petulant, easily distracted commander—in—chief. claims denied by
a leading member of the administration. i have never questioned his mental fitness, i have no reason to question his mental fitness. we have different management styles. and i make decisions, i process information, i have to learn how he takes information in, processes it and makes a decision. having achieved a major success just before christmas, passing attacks from a decision, senior republicans had topped the new year but martin used that for the trump administration, but instead of moving forward and such psus as immigration reform, the fork —— focus again is in the present himself, has personality, and his mental competence. in the last hour, president trump was asked about the investigation into collusion between his campaign team and the russians during the 2016 election. he also responded to a question about why he felt the need to tweet about his mental state. only because i went to the best
colleges, or college, iwent only because i went to the best colleges, or college, i went to... only because i went to the best colleges, or college, iwent to... i had a situation where i was a very excellent student, made millions of dollars, became one of the top business people, went to television and for ten years was a tremendous success , and for ten years was a tremendous success, as you probably have heard. ran for president one time and won. did i hear this guy that does not know me, does not know me at all. either way, did not enter readme for .net... he said he interviewed me for three hours. it did not exist, it was and has imagination. i was heartened by the fact that so many of the people that they talk about in terms of fake news actually came to the defence of this great administration, and even myself, because they know the author, and they know he is a fraud, and when i saw some of the people said, and you
look at some of his past books comics you a book on the per model, which was a terrible expose it, and was false, so much was false. i consider it a work of fiction, and i think it is a disgrace that somebody is able to have something, do something like that, the libel laws are very weak in this country. if they were strong, it would be very helpful. you wouldn't have things like that happen, and you can see what ever comes to your head. but just so you know, i never interviewed with them in the white house at all. he was never any of it offers, we did not have an interview. i did a quick interview with him along time ago, having to do with an article. but i do not know this man. i guess sloppy steve brought him into the white house. that is why sloppy steve is now looking for a job. if robert mueller asked you to come and speak to him personally, are you committed to doing that? just so you understand, there is no collision. there has
been no crime. and in theory, everybody tells me, i am not under investigation. maybe he really is, but i am not. there has been no collision, there has been no crime. but we have been very open, and they could have been very close, and it would have taken years. when you have done nothing wrong, let's be open and get it over with, because honestly it's very, very bad for our country. is making a country like foolish. and this is a country that ido foolish. and this is a country that i do not want looking foolish. and it is not going to look foolish as long as i am here. we have been very open, and we just long as i am here. we have been very open, and wejust want long as i am here. we have been very open, and we just want to get that of rubber. —— get that over with. david willis is in washington. donald trump pointed out the justification of ie as capable. he made billions of pounds. will this be enough for the american people to believe in him, or has the book, the
book do him real damage?|j believe in him, or has the book, the book do him real damage? i think what it does, actually, just reacting to all this, is it keeps the ball rolling, as far as this controversy is concerned, and emotive response to it, and the more he fires off these fiery tweets and so on, the more it will dominate the headlines, taking the headlines and weight, for example, family gathering at camp david this morning will stop republican leaders discussing legislative priorities. and the midterm elections later this year. that is the sort of thing that you would have thought you'd be the headline, and it would have been otherwise, had president trump resisted, only resisted the temptation to fire off my tweets saying that he was notjust smart but a genius, and then going out before the cameras disabled
basically that the author of this book was a fraud, and the book itself a work of fiction. he clearly believes that there is a need for him to defend himself, but it is an open question as to whether any of his best support at this sort of people who would actually want to read a book such as this. yes, david. on the subject of fake news, he said he was surprised that the people he had labelled as been part of fa ke people he had labelled as been part of fake news contingent had actually come to the defence of the trump administration. of him personally. if this is that every action that you have seen in the us to debate? well, i mean reaction here has been very mixed, as people are basically picking their way through this book, and there is a lot of stuff in there. a lot of, i might add, quite scandalous revelations,. there. a lot of, i might add, quite scandalous revelations, . people there. a lot of, i might add, quite scandalous revelations,. people are trying to work out what is truth in
what is fiction, not least because the author himself, michael wolff, said that they were very often contrasting accounts of particular conversations, so it was very difficult in many cases to actually scrap the truth, and where it lay. there is no question at that this man givena there is no question at that this man given a lot of access to the west wing, and he says that although donald trump diffused having actually entered into an interview with him, that he absolutely, as he put it, spoke to president trump. he added, whether he realised it was an interview or not, i don't know, but it was certainly not off the record. 0k, it was certainly not off the record. ok, we believe it there. thank you. an ambulance service has apologised to the family of a pensioner who died after waiting nearly four hours for help to arrive. the 81—year—old woman had rung 999 complaining of chest pain. the east of england service said it was stretched, and had warned of the pressures its staff and the nhs were facing. our correspondent sarah campbell
reports from clacton in essex sirens the period over new year was, according to the local ambulance service here in essex, the busiest ever. on the day in question, they received more than 4000, 999 calls, far more than usual. a statement in response to the death of the 80—year—old woman said... the union representing health workers, also blames wider pressures on the health service. i think there is chronic underfunding. it is endemic. it tells us the public sector is under so much strain that it is now beginning
to kill people. this is the second death in recent days which has been linked to an overstretched service. 88—year—old josephine smalley died following a seven—hour wait for a bed at the queen alexandra hospital in portsmouth. in recent days, the health secretary and the prime minister have both apologised to patients after thousands of nonurgent operations were cancelled. the health service says a combination of winter flu and cold weather are adding to pressure on the service. here in clacton, the local mp is demanding answers. i am furious. it shouldn't happen. we need an enquiry, we need to get to the bottom of it and find out what happened and make sure it never happens to anybody again. is the government doing enough, your government? we'll find out when we have that enquiry. with temperatures once again dropping, the worry is the health service simply won't be able to cope. sarah campbell reporting from clacton in essex. 17 people are reported to have been killed in syria in further air strikes on a besieged, rebel—held stronghold close to the capital, damascus.
the british—based syrian observatory for human rights said another 60 people were wounded in the enclave, which is known as eastern ghouta. earlier, aid workers said that over ten hospitals had been hit by air strikes in as many days in both this area and the rebel—held, province of idlib. hamish de bretton—gordon, an adviser to the union of medical care and relief organisations, gave us this update a little earlier. as you have already said, although the past ten days, we have seen a vast increase in the air attacks, particularly in ghouta, and particularly in ghouta, and particularly in ghouta, and particularly in places which were supposed to be systems, which was agreed a while ago. but we have seen great intensity, and as you report says, is not focused on the hospitals, focused, as you say, an
ten hospitals that were put out of commission in the last ten days, and only today, again, major attacks entered ghouta. 400,000 people trapped there. 125 children who desperately need life—saving surgery. we, with the un and the international red cross, managed to get 29 people out on the 27th of december who needed desperate, life—saving surgery, and at the moment, i understand 25% of the children in ghouta and dying of malnutrition. they have had no food or medicine is delivered to them for the last four months, and in fact no real proper aid for a couple of yea rs. real proper aid for a couple of years. so, it is an absolute desperate situation in ghouta at the moment. you work very closely with the folks on the radio scripts down on the ground. any idea as to the justification as to why the russians and the syrians would have targeted these hospitals? unfortunately, over
these hospitals? unfortunately, over the last 2—macro three years in syria, hospitals have been a target under the geneva convention, hospitals, and medics, are supposed to be protected, but they have almost been used as a key target, and it really does break the will of the people when you see the hospitals destroyed. ghouta has the last conclave that the syrians and the russians have not defeated, and it appears that they are having a final push. we are all hopeful that these talks will start again. i think a lot of us very closely involved had been devastated by the silence of ireland politicians and western politicians are really calling on president trump, who we just heard, prime minister may, president macron, and others to get behind a ceasefire. we feel if a season that can be imposed, this humanitarian aid that is stacked up on the borders of syria can get in
and said those people, and the un peace process will develop to allow free and fair elections in some time. but at the moment, things are absolutely desperate. we have been in direct contact with the russians, with president putin and in direct contact with president assad, and they have in their path and lead ceasefires, and i think what we really need now is a countrywide ceasefire, otherwise we are going to see continuing desecration of these civilian areas in ghouta. as you say, people have died today. we are in the last chance saloon, here. but the russians have in their path and lead ceasefires, and we really need our leaders now to be bold and really direct legal act is so that he can get some sort of peace and get the desperately needed aid and medical support into syria. the headlines on bbc news: donald trump angrily hits back at an author's claims
he is childish and impulsive — calling him a total loser, and describing himself as a "very stable genius". an ambulance service apologises to the family of a woman who died after almost a four—hour wait for paramedics. air strikes on a rebel—held area of syria are thought to have killed at least 17 civilians. women in britain are paid on average 18% per hour less than men, according to figures released by large companies. at the airline easyjet women earn 52% less per hour than men. and at virgin money the gap is 33%. the company with the biggest gap to publish so far is the women's clothing chain phase eight. the shop pays its women staff on average 65% less an hour than their male colleagues.
siobhan endean is the national equality officer for the union, unite. she told me a little earlier that she's frustrated that so little progress is being made on narrowing the gap in pay between men and women in the workplace. i'm not surprised the gender pay gap exists. we have been calling, as a trade union movement for a long time, for transparency and fair pay systems. the best way you can get fair pay at work is have a collective bargaining and a system of pay where everybody knows what everybody else is getting, and it's really clear you are being properly valued for the work that you do. that boosts staff morale, it improves organisations and it improves performance of business. the whole business. so a fair business and equal pay business, it is one that is better for the uk economy. and we've worked very closely with organisations who do tackle the gender pay gap, and these figures are no surprise to us.
but what matters now is what organisations are going to do to close the gender pay gap. when you put that to organisations in discussions, maybe representing members, what sort of reaction do you get? do they say, yes, of course, we will be more transparent, more disclosure? what we tend to find is organisations that have got positive industrial relations agendas will work closely with us and what they will do is give us gender pay gaps and carry out equal pay audits on an annual basis, and they look at ways to close the gap, and that can take a range of measures. so, just looking at how you can invest in your own talents, how you can make sure that senior positions within organisations are available at a part—time basis, orjob share basis. letting women know that actually, if they apply to work in that organisation, they are going to be able to manage their long working hours and family funding responsibilities. so there is a lot that organisations can do. it's not rocket science
and working with their staff and talking to their staff, they can make sure they put those measures in place. who are the worst offenders, i'm talking about the sectors here? we've worked over the years, particularly with the finance sector. we've got a lot of women members in the finance sector and there is a very clear gender pay gap, even the equality and human rights commission looked at the pay gap in the finance sector. that's largely because women are concentrated in the lower ends of the organisations and there is a sticky floor. what needs to happen really is, there needs to be less gender stereotyping in work and also women's work is valued for what it it is. very often, in catering, cleaning, in caring, the work that women do is tragically and massively undervalued. if you look at, particularly for care workers, people who work in social care,
the importance of the skills they have in looking after our older people and looking after our children, that's not valued by our economy. the search for the missing mh370 malaysian airlines plane which disappeared almost four years ago is to be resumed. the jet was carrying more than 200 passengers when it vanished in march 2014. now, a private us exploration company called ocean infinity has been given permission to continue the search, which officially ended last year. the department store house of fraser has confirmed it's asking landlords to reduce the rent it pays for some of its shops. the group is set to release christmas retail figures next week — with some analysts suggesting its takings over the christmas period were disappointing. it one of the key bans on high
street. we do not know how that christmas was where has the phrase yet, but we do not the landlords have asked that might be nice to slash the event. it has got the chance that i like to browse in within the department store, so it is quite easy to just go from one place to the next. yeah, there is a lot of good quality brands and out, and quite a lot of variety as well. i think it has a good reputation for good quality products, but i not all of the high street has been affected at the moment and is not doing that well. reputation wise, it is almost up well. reputation wise, it is almost up there with john well. reputation wise, it is almost up there withjohn lewis. maybe slightly more down—market, but it is a gap in the market. it is quite expensive, i don't love. it is not unusualfor
expensive, i don't love. it is not unusual for retailers to seek vent deductions from their landlords, m&s is doing it already. retailers are facing a variety of problems. the national minimum wage is going up, that increases cost. and of course, online. one pang in every six bank is now spent online. and then that is now spent online. and then that is overall sentiment. as consumers taking their wallets, retailers suffer. conditions out there are pretty tough. inflation had met a five—year high in the run—up to christmas, and it is putting personal finances and pressure. christmas, and it is putting personalfinances and pressure. a lot of consumers spent less this year than last year, and most two thirds said they did some of their shopping online. the success or failure of one retailer will not tell us bother our high streets are healthy not, but if consumers throughout the uk cannot afford to spend as much as previous years, then more big names may struggle to survive. until now, cancer patients, many of them children,
have had to go abroad to receive proton beam therapy — a highly advanced way of treating tumours. but by the end of the year the first nhs—run proton beam centre will be up and running at the christie hospital in manchester. the multimillion pound project is nearing completion and our health correspondent dominic hughes has been to see it. you missed a hole, mum. six years ago, lucas was fighting for his life. diagnosed with cancer, he was sent to the united states to receive a potentially life—saving treatment called proton beam therapy. not being at home, being around strangers, it was awful. mum jodie says travelling all the way to the united states was a challenge for the family and with an immune system damaged by chemotherapy, lucas fell seriously ill and almost died. just being there on your own, it's a lot to be going through, just dealing with the cancer. you need your family and your friends around you,
you need people to talk to. throughout that time, you're away from that support network of friends and family. it's a long period of time. the treatment alone is six weeks. we found it really, really difficult. up till now, the nhs has sent patients who need proton beam therapy abroad, and after years of campaigning and fundraising, it will soon be available in the uk. it's inside a specially built centre at christie hospital in manchester that medicine and physics meet, offering a new way to treat life—threatening cancers. young patients will benefits because their tissues are growing and very sensitive. but there are also tumours which are next to quite critical structures in the body is the base of the skull or around the spine and this technology enables us to give a treatment dose to those patients while avoiding those critical structures.
with standard radiotherapy, a beam travels through the tumour that can damage sensitive tissues in front, behind and around it. but proton beam is much smaller and stops at the tumour, causing less damage to otherwise healthy tissue. we are now below what they call the treatment gantry where patients will be seen, and this really is the guts of this huge 200 ton machine, and it is one of three that are being built here in manchester. but down here, you really get a sense of the scale of this project. the protons, which come from the heart of an atom, are generated in a particle accelerator known as a cyclotron which is carefully lowered into place last summer, then travelling at a speed of 100,000 miles per second, they are directed with pinpoint accuracy at the tumour. put it on.
six years on and lucas is cancer—free and full of beans. where are you putting it? with the manchester centre coming on stream later this year and a second one in london to follow, the hope is those needing the life—saving treatment proton therapy will soon be able to access it closer to home. dominic hughes, bbc news, manchester. weather forecasters in the united states have warned that this weekend could bring record—breaking low temperatures in some parts of the north—east. the national weather service predicts wind chills as low as minus—40 degrees celsius. russell trott reports. the public coming to the aid of public transport on the streets of eastern boston, as snow and ice left many stranded. elsewhere in the city, the emergency services were working flat out, and in deep water, as high tides flooded roads close to the harbour. plummeting temperatures meant much of massachusetts was under huge quantities of snow.
and after a 3ft storm surge brought seas inland, the flood water froze, trapping cars in ice. for the homeless of chicago, life on the streets is now all about survival. those who do find shelter are happy to be anywhere but outside. we see an average of 700— 800 people every single day. sometimes there are people who come in when it's extremely cold who won't come in when it's not so cold. a sudden drop in temperatures can hit hard anywhere. in florida, where in some parts snow fell for the first time in 30 years, cold seas saw hundreds of turtles rescued after their muscles started seizing up. as thousands of snow ploughs are deployed throughout the eastern seaboard, forecasters warn that the weekend could bring record— breaking low temperatures. time for a look at the weather now.
hello there. a cold, breezy, sunny day for some will lead to clear skies and frost. but it's not been glorious for all. as you can see in shropshire, a weak weather front produced quite a lot of cloud, drizzly conditions at times and that, with the north east wind coming off the sea exacerbated the cold, dismal feel today. the winds will ease down as we go through the night with the exception perhaps of the south, where the cloud will linger the longest. but elsewhere, clearer skies and a frost forming. in fact, a hard frost is likely in rural parts of scotland. we're going to see temperatures down as low as minus ten, may be lower in the sheltered glens. so, a cold start but lighter winds and clear skies and plenty of sunshine likely on sunday. in fact, temperatures will gradually peak at five to 7 further south but struggling to climb above freezing in parts of scotland. there will be a little more cloud developing as we go
through the early half of next week. it stays cold for most. this is bbc news. our latest headlines: donald trump attacks the author of a new book about the white house as a "fraud" and defends his mental state. it follows claims that people around him doubted his fitness for office. i consider it a work of fiction and i think it's a disgrace that somebody‘s able to have something, do something like that. the libel laws are very weak in this country. if they were strong it would be very helpful. you wouldn't have things like that happen, where you can say whatever comes to your head. an ambitious service has apologised to the family of a woman who died