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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 16, 2018 4:00am-4:31am BST

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it is only the middle of april. take care. to use, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is nkem ifejika. right now, at these are our top stories: —— my name is nkem —— welcome to bbc news. former fbi director james comey steps up his war of words with president trump, claiming he's not up to the job. i don't think he is said to be president. —— fit to be. more fallout after the air strikes on syria: the us threatens new sanctions against russia over its support for president assad. a drive—by shooting at a church in pakistan leaves two dead. the islamic state group says it was behind the attack. australian firefighters tackling a huge bushfire outside sydney say the blaze is still out of control. and capturing the sound of the stars: nasa's new mission to seek earth—like worlds and alien life. hello and welcome to bbc news. this
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is just happened in the last hour or two. the former fbi directorjames comey has said he believes donald trump is morally unfit to lead the country. during a television interview with abc news, mr comey said it was "possible" that the russians had material that could be used to blackmail mr trump. he fired mr comey in may last year, citing the fbi's behaviour in investigating hillary clinton and its probe into possible trump campaign collusion with russia to tilt the 2016 presidential election. in the interview with abc mr comey said donald trump was incapable of holding presidential office because of his constant lies, and his views on race and women. here's a taste of what he had to say. maybe, although if he did not know
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he was doing anything improper, why would he the attorney general and the vice president of the united states, and the leaders of the intelligence community? why am i alone if he does not know the nature of the request? it is possible that any moment another person would have said, sir, you cannot ask me that, it isa said, sir, you cannot ask me that, it is a criminal investigation, that is obstruction ofjustice. was he obstructing justice? there is certainly some evidence of it. we'll have more clips of that interview later and analysis from washington. in other news, the arab league has joined calls for an international investigation into the use of chemical weapons in syria. the united states is preparing new sanctions against russia, targeting companies supplying damascus with chemical weapons capability. president putin meanwhile warned that any further western missile strikes against syria would cause international chaos.
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here's our middle east editorjeremy bowen. in damascus, journalists were shown one of the targets. the syrians deny it was a chemical and biological weapons site. the attacks were limited, a punishment, a message that the west won't tolerate the use of chemical weapons. the operation was designed to minimise the risks of starting a new war, by avoiding russians and iranians, the syrian regime's main allies. the russians still insist that the attack in douma a week ago was a conspiracy organised by britain. but these desperate attempts to decontaminate civilians, and pictures of many others who died in agony, foaming at the mouth, prompted military action by the us, france and the uk. diaa al—mohammed, his wife, umm al—mour, and their children
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were among hundreds who were treated that traumatic night. their daughter masa's face, her pain and distress, went around the world. now, the bbc has managed to track them down to the relative safety of a camp in northern syria. the family's detailed accounts seem to corroborate the use of chemical weapons. translation: people were dying. suddenly, the civil defence came. they put us on the ground and poured water on us. then they took us to the medical centre, sprayed us, gave us injections. i was fainting. my heart was aching. when we went to sleep, the planes shelled, and we were covered in dust. we went back down to the basement, and i saw how they were bringing the martyrs. instead of breathing air, we breathed the smell of blood. translation: i saw white smoke, like fog. our legs started to get weak. we started to lose the nerves in our legs.
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i had a shortness of breath and burning in the nose and chest. there was no oxygen, and we were fighting death to go upstairs and reach the higher floors. masa's father, diaa al—muhammed, says he heard a helicopter. the rebels don't have them, and the accusation is that the regime has delivered chemical weapons. translation: after four to five minutes, the regime started to shell us with artillery and rockets. after some moments, a helicopter passed over and some guys told us to go down one floor. president assad met russian politicians, with his regime, its air force and helicopters untouched by the weekend's attacks. the us, france and britain decided against forcing regime change years ago. no wonder the president looked relaxed. jeremy bowen, bbc news. the american ambassador to the united nations, nikki haley, has declared that washington is now preparing sanctions on russia over moscow's support of syria.
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and earlier speaking on fox news sunday, she denied reports that president trump plans to pull us troops out of syria within six months. one — wanted to make sure that chemical weapons were not used, or weapons of mass destruction were not used, in any way that could harm american national interests. he wanted to make sure that we defeated isis completely and wholly, to make sure that all of that threat was gone, because it's a threat to american national interests. he wanted to make sure we had good grounds to watch what iran is doing, and iran is a national threat to american interests. and so i think that, no, he never thought he would get out in 48 hours. yes, it's all of our goal to see american troops come home. but we're not going to leave until we know we've accomplished those things. what he has done is talk to our allies and said they need to step up more, they need to do more, and it shouldn'tjust be us doing it. and i think that is
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the right approach. but be very clear. if we leave, when we leave, it will be because we know that everything is moving forward. in a television interview, french president macron, he has said he persuaded president trump to keep us troops in syria in the long term. president macron also defended airstrikes by france, britian and the united states, saying they were solely in response to a syrian chemical weapons attack. earlier this month, the us president had been considering withdrawing a 2000—strong force deployed in syria. nour adam is a syrian journalist from eastern ghouta and was reporting from there before the population was evacuated ten days ago. he now lives in idlib in the northwest of the country and i asked him if he felt any safer there? no. because it is maybe the same, because here oi’
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there, there is bombing. when we were in eastern ghouta, also there was bombing. but in ghouta, more than here. like hundreds of thousands of time. there in ghouta there was the chlorine gas and the sarin. all of this did not stop for about five days. and a few months in ghouta. did you yourself, while you were living in ghouta, did you yourself experience any of these chemical weapons attacks? yes, yes. i experienced this more than four times. in different cities back to 2013. and these chemical attacks, i see
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these people, the bee people and theirfamilies. —— these people. were you not happy to see the us, france strike, because the assad regime used these alleged chemical weapons? had that not make you pleased? no, actually, because when assad used chemical weapons on us in ghouta and many places in syria, and he also used on assad the missiles, the chemicals and also the warming —— the bombing and the shooting, they also kill. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. more protests have been held in barcelona, against the detention of a number of catalan
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separatist leaders. the arrests were made after last october's referendum on independence from spain, which the government in madrid said was illegal, and an act of sedition. former us first lady, barbara bush, is said to be in failing health and no longer seeking medical treatment. a statement from the office of her husband. former president george bush sr said the 92—year—old has chosen to focus on "comfort care". the islamic state group says it was responsible for killing two christians and injuring seven more in a targeted attack in western pakistan. officials said the assailants in quetta, capital of balochistan province, shot at worshippers from a motorbike as they left church. lebo diseko has more. they were leaving their place of worship when they became victims of terror, gunmen on motorbikes apparently from the so—called islamic state opening fire on these people as they left church. translation: the injured people belong to the christian community. we rushed the injured
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to the hospital. two of the injured, who were in a serious condition, died later. the drive—by shooting happened in quetta, the capital of balochistan, an area that has seen its fair share of violence, and a minority group that has done, too. it is here that four members of a christian family were gunned down after easter, and at least ten were killed by suicide bombers in a church a week before christmas. is says it carried out those attacks too. as night fell, the anger was visible, protesters blocking roads and burning tyres on the streets. but, given the violence and instability in this province, it is unlikely to be the last time that this community and others find themselves being targeted. a bushfire that has been burning out of control near sydney over
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the weekend has been downgraded on monday morning as winds eased. hundreds of people have been forced to leave their homes, and australian police say they suspect the blaze may have been started deliberately. phil mercer reports from sydney. strong winds have pushed the flames toward suburban streets, about 35 km from the centre of sydney. as the blaze approached, many residents left, while others stayed to join a huge firefighting effort. authorities said the fast—moving outbreak was aggressive and unpredictable. while 500 firefighters confronted the inferno on the ground, they were supported in the skies by more than a dozen aircraft. very warm autumn weather and a lack of rain have turned bushland on sydney's outer fringes into a tinderbox. we have to deal with the worst that mother nature can throw at us. and the worse australians are presented with by nature, the better it brings out the australian spirit.
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conditions in the fire zone are reported to be easing, but crews will again be working through the night to try to contain the blaze. south—eastern australia is one of the world's most fire—prone regions. most outbreaks are sparked by lightning, or accidentally by powerlines. sometimes, more sinister hands are to blame. australian police believe this monstrous fire in south—western sydney may have been lit on purpose. experts say that australia's annual bushfire season is starting earlier and ending later. they believe that climate change is making the threat worse. phil mercer, bbc news, sydney. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: the head of the world's largest advertising agency steps down following a probe into his personal conduct. pol pot, one of the century's
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greatest mass murderers, is reported to have died of natural causes. he and the khmer rouge movement he led were responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million cambodians. there have been violent protests in indonesia, where playboy has gone on sale for the first time. traditionalist muslim leaders have expressed disgust. the magazine's offices have been attacked and its editorial staff have gone into hiding. it was clear that paula's only contest was with the clock, and as for a sporting legacy, paula radcliffe's competitors will be chasing her new world—best time for years to come. quite quietly, but quicker and quicker, she is seenjust to slide away under the surface and disappear.
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this is bbc news. the latest headlines: james comey, the man sacked as director of the fbi, has said he believes donald trump is morally unfit to be president. let's stay with that story now. we can speak now to political commentator, eric ham. just looking at some extracts from this interview, looking at it and reading about it, these comments, the things he said, they are pretty serious allegations against the president. they are. he describes president. they are. he describes president donald trump as a keen to a mob boss. he says he believes that the president is morally unfit to
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actually lead the nation. this coming from the former head of the fbi, the top law enforcement agency in the country. so it is not a vote of confidence, clearly. then what it does is it ratchets up this battle between the former head of the fbi and the president of the united states. all the while we are seeing a president who is moving into one of the most critical moment in his presidency, staring down a chemically armed syria, trying to find a way forward on a nuclear armed north korea, and yet this turmoil continues to, i think, bear down on his presidency, the inner turmoil here at home. it seems that it must be difficult for mr comey to be seen as an actor who does not have a dog in this fight, because he was sacked by mr trump, this could be seen as him reacting to that. absolutely. not only that, but here
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isa man absolutely. not only that, but here is a man who, as he describes it, agonised over placing himself in the middle of an election and wanting to add here to this long—held tradition of independence for the fbi and now here he is, in the middle of a wall, a political war with the president of the united states. the very place he did not want to see himself and thatis he did not want to see himself and that is where he is right now. looking at comments from sarah huckabee sanders, he is a man desperately trying to rehabilitate his tattered reputation and in which —— emmrich is a bank account. his tattered reputation and in which -- emmrich is a bank account. it is difficult to find one in this instance. what we are seeing from james comey is an attempt to try to set the record straight. many of the things we have heard him say about
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president trump are things many people already know about this president. we are seeing a man here who doesn't really have a home on the left or the right in this country, where, of course, partisanship is at such a high place right now. so i think what this becomes is a continued fight, a continued destruction on the way forward for this president. and staring over all of this, of course, is bob mueller. his investigation is bearing down on 1600 pennsylvania avenue. stay with us. we will play more of the interview. just stay with us. this is some of the comments that the former fbi directorjames comey made when he was on the abc interview. this
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donald trump unfit to be president? gas. but not in the way i often hear people talk about it. i don't buy the stuff about him being mentally incompetent, early stages of dementia, he strikes me as a person of above average intelligence there's tracking conversations and knows what is going on. i don't think he is medically unfit to be president, i think i is morally unfit to be president. now, this is really important, he talks about the president being morally unfit to be president. but the point is, the american people knew a fair bit about the president before they voted him in. and they did anyway. so what is the point of describing him as such? it is a miss like an insult to the american people. him as such? it is a miss like an insult to the american peoplem does. —— it almost seems like. you hearjames comey say he doesn't want to see this president impeached. he wa nts to to see this president impeached. he wants to see a political solution to donald trump 0smo presidency. and the people voted donald trump into office. it is the people who should
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vote don trump out of office, if thatis vote don trump out of office, if that is what they want. not political leaders make a decision on whether donald trump stays in office. i think that is very striking and startling considering the bad blood, the enmity between this president and his former fbi director. thank you very much. that is the political commentator eric ham joining us from washington. the founder and chief executive of the world's largest advertising group wpp, sir martin sorrell, has resigned — less than a fortnight after it announced he was being investigated for misconduct. he leaves after 33 years in the job and denies any wrongdoing. our business editor simonjack explains. advertisers want you to remember the products they're selling, not the name of the company that made the ads. many of the biggest ad agencies, marketing companies and pr firms in the world are owned by an even bigger one. it is called wpp, and was founded and run since 1985 by this man, sir martin sorrell. he gobbled up dozens of businesses,
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creating a £15 billion global giant with enormous influence. sir martin has defined british advertising for almost 30 years as a businessman. so his departure has caused an enormous shockwave through the industry. a big figure on the world business stage, his views were sought—after. .. if the eu does not give on that, then our access... ..and he was happy to oblige. after 33 years at the top, he stepped down with immediate effect, after recent accusations he may have misused wpp funds — claims he denies. meanwhile, upstarts have changed the industry, with more advertisers going direct to facebook and google rather than via wpp agencies. the company has lost a third of its value, prompting this farewell statement. his critics say he ran the company like a private fiefdom,
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when he actually owned less than 2%. a pay packet of £70 million in 2015 drew outrage from politicians and rebellion from shareholders, some of whom told the bbc this weekend it was time for change. for many in the world of advertising, sir martin sorrell was more of a money man than an ad man, treating it like a professional service rather than a creative industry. but he was a powerful advocate for it, and in his departure, british business has lost a true giant. simon jack, bbc news. nasa is set to launch a mission to look for planets around the stars closest to us. a critical part of the tess mission is to capture the vibrations from the stars, which can be turned to sounds. this will help researchers identify their age and size. 0ur science correspondent, pallab ghosh has been to the kennedy space centre in florida where the space telescope is due to be launched monday night. the night sky is littered with stars
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— they shine and they also sing. these are the vibrations of a distant star, similar to our sun, converted into sound. and this is another bigger and older star. professor bill chaplin is analysing these sounds. of course there is no air in space so the stars cannot actually be heard, but they do vibrate and so generate sound waves. and professor bill chaplin has discovered that each star has its own song, depending on how big and hot it is. when we hear the sounds of the stars, first of all, it tells us that out of this turbulence, this almost chaos, we get these ordered sounds and it is incredible that stars resonate just like a musical instrument, and this gives us a way to actually study stars and see what their insides look like in a way that is just not possible by other means. this will be the first mission
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to scan nearly the entire sky, sector by sector. the sound a star makes will tell scientists how big and how hot it is. many of them will have planets in orbit around them, some will be too close. those that are the right distance away will be the ones most capable of supporting life, in what scientists call the goldilocks zone, where the temperature is just right. george ricker is the mission's lead scientist believes one day it may be possible to send probes to some of these distant worlds and see if there really is life out there. there are about 100 stars that lie within 20 light years of earth, and if you were to send out an armada of probes to those and you can basically get up to a speed of say 20% of the speed of light, then under those circumstances, you could expect to reach these planets within100 years.
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in a few years' time, we will know how each of the stars in the night sky sound and whether the planets around them might harbour life. pallab ghosh, bbc news, kennedy space centre. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter — @nkem|fejika. reminder of our top story, james comey has said that he believes donald trump is morally unfit to be president. in a television interview with abc news, he also said it was possible that the russians had material that could be used to blackmail mr trump. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter — @nkem|fejika. good morning. i think it's pretty safe to say it's been a miserable april so far, hasn't it? but things look likely to change
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as we move through this week. yes, if you haven't already heard, we're heading for some warmer weather. there will still some rain in the forecast, mostly out to the west, and at times some strong to gale force gusts of winds. but, you want to know how warm it's going to be — well, we could see highs of 25 degrees in london, that's 77 fahrenheit. and widely across the country, we could see temperatures peaking into the low 20s. so something to look forward to. ahead of that though for today, quite a quiet start to our working week. this area of low pressure will slowly start to push in, bringing some wet and windy weather but not really until the end of the day. a little bit of showery rain to ease away from scotland, cloudy skies first thing. hopefully they should brighten, the best of the sunshine likely to be along the south coast, highs of 11 to 15 degrees. now the winds will strengthen and the rain arrives from the west. some wet and windy weather is expected, gale force gusts of winds through the night across northern ireland, north—west england and scotland.
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so some of that rain really quite intense to start the day on tuesday, but as it pushes its way out of the borders, it really will fizzle out quite considerably. a band of cloud and drizzle by then. behind it, somewhat fresher conditions but brighter conditions, so temperatures will peak perhaps at around 1a degrees. but if we can keep some sunshine ahead of that weather front, we could see highs across eastern and south—east england of 18 or 19 celsius. move away from tuesday and we look at the weather story across the near continent with this high pressure building. now, this is going to deflect frontal systems coming in from the atlantic up into the far north and west and really influence the story, and with the winds swinging round in a clockwise direction around that high, it drags in this warmer, drier south—easterly flow and hence the reason for the marked change in the story for april. so that means as we move into wednesday, we will see some showery outbreaks of rain into northern ireland and western fringes of scotland, maybe a little more cloud. but through the borders and into central and southern england and wales, we'll see some dry, sunny weather and some warmth starting to build, 19 to 20 degrees the high on wednesday. on thursday, just a little bit
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of fair weather cloud out to the west, maybe a little bit of coastal mist but nothing particularly untoward, and generally speaking, lots of sunshine, light winds and yes, that's when we could see temperatures as high as 25 degrees, 77 fahrenheit. the last time we had temperatures like that — back on the 29th of august last year. this is bbc news. the headlines: james comey, the man sacked as director of the fbi, and has said that he believes donald trump is morally unfit to be president. in an interview with abc news, he said it was possible that the russians had material that could be used to blackmail donald trump, and there was some evidence that the president had obstructed justice. the us has threatened new sanctions against russia over its support
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for president assad. the move, which follows the western air strikes on syria, will target russian companies supplying damascus with chemical weapons capability. the islamic state group says it was responsible for killing two christians and injuring seven more in a targeted attack in western pakistan. officials said the assailants in quetta, capital of balochistan province, shot at worshippers from a motorbike as they left church. now on bbc news, it's hardtalk.
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