welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is andrew plant. our top stories: a toast for queen elizabeth after she tells leaders of 53 nations it's her "sincere wish" that prince charles succeeds her as head of the commonwealth. the former director of the fbi, james comey, has told the bbc that he doesn't believe there is anyone around donald trump who can contain him. president miguel diaz—canel promises to continue communist rule in cuba as the castro dynasty is finally brought to an end. a plastic: how the world's waterways are being clogged by bags and bottles which will never disintegrate. i am in indonesia where there is so much plastic waste joe pinder rivers that the army called in been called in to help. —— there is so been called in to help. —— there is so much in the been called in to help. —— there is so much - in the rivers. welcome to the programme.
the leaders of more than 50 countries have been attending a state banquet at buckingham palace at the end of the first official day of the commonwealth heads of government meeting in london. prominent among the topics discussed were development issues, climate change, and holding governments to account. on friday, the commonwealth leaders will discuss who will succeed the queen as head of the commonwealth. our royal correspondent nicholas witchell reports. the diplomatic term for it is "transition". the careful, discreet preparation for the inevitable, when a monarch, who will be 92 this saturday, is no longer on the throne. commonwealth leaders at a banquet at buckingham palace tonight must decide who will be the next head of the commonwealth. the title is not hereditary, but it is clear that the commonwealth's choice is prince charles. in the palace ballroom this morning, the 53 commonwealth leaders prepared the way. # god save our gracious queen #
they know that this will almost certainly be the last commonwealth conference over which the queen will preside in person. change is coming, and prince charles reminded the commonwealth of his long—standing involvement in their affairs. for my part, the commonwealth has been a fundamental feature of my life for as long as i can remember. i pray that this commonwealth heads of government meeting will not only revitalise the bonds between our countries, but will also give the commonwealth a renewed relevance to all its citizens. from britain's prime minister theresa may, a reminder of the incredible opportunities offered by the commonwealth, important, of course, in the post—brexit world. but then to the topic that bound them all emotionally today, a tribute to the queen. you have seen us through some
of our most serious challenges and we commit to sustaining this commonwealth, which you have so carefully nurtured. and then it was the turn of the queen to speak. she had committed her life to the commonwealth at the age of 21. now, 71 years later, it was apparent that she was keen to prepare the ground for the leadership of the commonwealth after her death. it is my sincere wish that the commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations and will decide that one day the prince of wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949. by continuing to treasure and reinvigorate our associations and activities, i believe we will secure a safer, more prosperous and sustainable world for those who follow us. the commonwealth has big issues for discussion. preserving the oceans,
democracy, trade, gay rights, but the significance of today was that for the first time publicly, through the medium of the commonwealth, elizabeth ii looked ahead to the time after her reign is over. well, the south african president, cyril ramaphosa, is cutting short his visit to the commonwealth summit in britain to deal with violent protests back home. mr ramaphosa has used the visit — his first such summit since taking over from jacob zuma in february — to try to encourage more investment in south africa. but the clashes have worsened over two days in north west province. protestors are demanding jobs and housing as well as an end to corruption. mr ramaphosa has called for calm and ordered police to exercise restraint. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. the disgraced cyclist lance armstrong is reported to have settled a federal fraud case
over his use of performance—enhancing drugs at the tour de france. he was due to face a trial next month over claims that he defrauded the us government when he doped while racing for his united states postal service—sponsored team. there'll be no criminal charges against anyone over the death of the musician, prince. the singer died two years ago from an opioid overdose at his paisley park complex near minneapolis. the official cause of death was a self—administered overdose of the painkiller fentanyl, but no prescriptions were found. work is underway in salisbury to put up hoardings around the areas contaminated by the nerve agent attack last month on the former russian spy, sergei skripal and his daughter, yulia. work to fully decontaminate several sites in and around the city is expected to start in the next few days but they've warned that the process could take up to eight weeks. ousted fbi directorjames comey is continuing to speak out against his former boss. today he said he'd think twice
about sharing sensitive information with president trump if he still had his job. he's chronicled his service in the trump administration in a new memoir and escalated a feud with the president, who has labelled him a liar and a "slimeball". mr comey was speaking earlier with my colleague emily maitliss for the bbc‘s newsnight programme. ifi if i were to describe your role in the 2016 us election as pivotal, would you accept that?” the 2016 us election as pivotal, would you accept that? i would try to say i hope not, that it was certainly an important role and a prominent role — whether it made a difference in our election, i don't know, and i hope not. after vladimir putin, perhaps, nobody had more influence on what happened there. that is the thing that i hope is not true. certainly no one had a more difficult role than the fbi, but they do not know the answer to the ultimate question. you described a
worry that hillary clinton would look illegitimate, or her legitimacy would be questioned when she won. you assume from the polls that she was going to win. why did you not have on the noise cancelling headphones that said no polls, no press, i and the director of the fbi, and that is how i make decisions. i try to have those headphones on. but they did not consider the polls in making that decision. but you must consider the public trust and the institutions of justice. despite what our mothers might have told us about not caring what others care about us, when you lead an institution to do with public justice, it is lead an institution to do with publicjustice, it is important. i thought if i spoke 11 days out of the election, it would be bad, but ifi the election, it would be bad, but if i concealed what i was doing, it would destroy it will be placed in the institution. so to that degree i cared. in 2017, donald trump had
won, and you were cared. in 2017, donald trump had w011, and you were on cared. in 2017, donald trump had won, and you were on your way to trump tower to tell the president—elect about a dossier. allegations of conspiracy between the trump campaign team and the russian government. did he seem worried by that? he seemed focused on it in one respect, which was to try to confirm that it had no impact on the actual bloat. did that strike you as odd? yes. -- vote. that is a legitimate question for a candidate to ask, but what was not asked was what is next and how we prevent russian interference in the american democracy. if you are still director, would you say there were things you would not share with the president because he might leak it, and it would be dangerous for national security? potentially. you have an obligation under our constitution and the structure of oui’ constitution and the structure of our government to make sure that the president has the information the
president has the information the president needs, and so you would have two target that in the abstract. but you would have to think about it in the way you might not with other residents. are you convinced that he has reasonable people around him to stop impulse of behaviour? i am not. so you don't sleep easy at night thinking someone will contain him. there would be an impulsive gesture or an action?” wa ke impulsive gesture or an action?” wake up some mornings and read the president is demanding the jailing of private citizens, occasionally me, and so that is one of the reasons i am confident the answer is that there are not adequate people around him to stop impulsive behaviour. and we have actually become known to it in the united states. our president calling for the imprisonment of private citizens. that is not a case. you claimed the donald trump told you to drop the investigation into michael flynn, his national security adviser, over the russian connection, something that donald
trump has denied. you think he stra ig htest trump has denied. you think he straightest of justice? was trump has denied. you think he straightest ofjustice? was he trying to obstruct it?” straightest ofjustice? was he trying to obstruct it? i think the request that we drop the investigation is potentially obstruction of justice. under the law, obstruction ofjustice requires a specific type of intention, and i don't know what the other evidence is that would reflect on his state of mind. i expect the special prosecutor is investigating that 110w. prosecutor is investigating that now. do you expect robert mueller will be allowed to finished his job? -- finish. i do. mostlyl will be allowed to finished his job? -- finish. i do. mostly i hope that he is. i do expect because i think evenif he is. i do expect because i think even if the president were inclined to find him, he would realise both that would be disastrous, a disastrous attack on the rule of law, and it would not make a practical difference. you would literally have to fire everyone in the justice department and the fbi
to stop an investigation. and so i believe that even if of molar was fired, it would be a terrible thing. at the next would pick it up, the next big, and the next would pick it up. —— robert mueller. next big, and the next would pick it up. -- robert mueller. james kelly, thank you for being here. —— up. -- robert mueller. james kelly, thank you for being here. —— james comey. thank you for having me. miguel diaz—canel has been sworn in as cuba's president. it's the first time since 1959 that a castro is not at the helm of the government. today, the new leader vowed to defend the legacy of his predecessors, and said raul castro would be involved in major decisions. from havana will grant reports this was the image they wanted to project: castro and his chosen disciple, passing the torch in an organised way. the new president was confirmed by a near unanimous vote by the parliament and now must try to replace the two men who first turned cuba to communism. but unlike them, he has a civilian past, wears a suit rather than military fatigues
and was quick to remind people of his commitment to the cause. translation: i will be faithful to the exemplary legacy of the commander—in—chief, fidel castro, historic leader of our revolution, and faithful to the example, courage, and teaching of raul castro, currently in the revolutionary process. cuba will not change its course, politically. that much is clear. and as raul castro reiterated in his last speech as leader, the decades long conflict with washington is far from over. translation: since the current us president came to power, there has been a deliberate setback in relations between cuba and the united states, and an aggressive and threatening tone in their statements. it is one thing to take over from the castros, something
different to step up from under their shadow. in time, different to step up from under theirshadow. in time, the different to step up from under their shadow. in time, the aljaz canal must demonstrate to the cuban people that he has his own plan to deal with the ailing economy. —— miguel diaz—canel. he announced that he would bring in new ministers, which some saw as a sign of intent. 0f which some saw as a sign of intent. of course, there are decisions which he will consult with raul castro, but raul castro does not like to be consulted much. he believes in people doing theirjob. and miguel diaz—canel does that. people doing theirjob. and miguel diaz-canel does that. this handover has been long and drawn out. replacing one staunch revolutionary for another might not seem like much, but the end of raul castro's presidency is a shift for many cubans, who just want to see the pace of change pick up. will grant, bbc news, havana. stay with us on bbc news. still to
come: just why is stella mccartney telling the fashion industry to clea n up up its act? the stars and stripes at half—mast outside columbine high, the school sealed off and the bodies of the dead still inside. i never thought that they would actually go through with it. some places and have already had nearly as much rain as they would normally expect in an entire year. for millions of americans, the death of richard nixon in a new york hospital has meant conflicting emotions. a national day of mourning, next wednesday, sitting somehow uneasily with the abiding memories of the shame of watergate. and lift off of the space shuttle discovery with the hubble space
telescope — our window on the universe. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: the queen welcomes commonwealth heads of government as she looks forward to the future of the government after her reign. more now on our top story and that meeting of the 53 commonwealth member states, taking place at buckingham palace here in britain. it's likely to be the last time the queen will preside over the gathering. one of the topics for discussion is who will take over as head of the commonwealth. in an unprecedented move, the queen's said she hopes it will be her son, prince charles. michael cooney is the national director of the australian republic movement. he's in canberra. what is the point of this
organisation? the commonwealth does some good things, it rings nations together that are friendly. it means that, for instance, the australian, new zealand, uk and canadian prime minister ‘s mean that they meet with leaders of the pacific islands and other countries. what is your take on the queen ‘s public endorsements of her son charles? it is quite a step for the queen to serve publicly recognise the end of her reign and what comes next. it demonstrates that for a nation like australia, we have got to do the same thing. we have got to do the same thing. we have to consider what our future is and the truth is that the commonwealth nations will have a democratic decision about who succeeds as the head of the commonwealth. australians want the same opportunity for a democratic
decision here. how did charles's recent trip to australia go down? will that have any bearing on the decision? in truth, it was good in parts of. the prince was received as a long—standing friend of australia and has been here many times. we also saw a bit of a sense of entitlement that goes with the monarchy, the australian people spend quite a bit of money to ensure the comfort of the visiting couple and they look very uninterested during the come what games opening ceremony when the truth is they had onejob, to look ceremony when the truth is they had one job, to look interested. ceremony when the truth is they had onejob, to look interested. at ceremony when the truth is they had one job, to look interested. at the same time, the prince will continue to bea same time, the prince will continue to be a friend of australia if we area to be a friend of australia if we are a republic and they will be received as friends. give us a sense of the feeling in this trailer of oui’ of the feeling in this trailer of our self—determination. what are the percentages, if you like, of the population and how strong is the feeling? the most recent published survey suggest that a majority think
that we should have an australian as the head and support for the monarchy falls every year. there are a lot of australians who are undecided and questions of what kind of republic. this is especially true and australians under 35 and under 50. true for australians whose national origin is from all around the world, a falling number of proportionate origin from england and scotland. thank you forjoining us. earth day will be marked on sunday, and this year, the annual event will be dedicated to cleaning up plastic pollution. it's an issue gripping countries around the world, and now, there are growing efforts to do something about it. so just how bad is this problem? our science editor, david shukman travelled to indonesia to find out. soldiers hack away at a dense mass of plastic waste. it's hard to believe, but this is actually a river, and they're trying to clear it up. you can just see the water —
underneath all the bags, containers and bottles. this is bandung, one of many indonesian cities choking in so much waste that the army's been called in. for the military, plastic is a new and strange kind of enemy. this looks like a rubbish dump, it certainly smells like one, but what's striking is that this massive accumulation of plastic is happening in indonesia's rivers, despite the country making a huge effort for several years now to tackle it. itjust shows you the staggering scale of the problem. all the time that the soldiers are at work, the flow of the river brings yet more plastic waste. it's a constant struggle for the officials in charge. do you think you're winning this battle against the plastic? i think so, yeah. we have to win.
if not, this is very dangerous for our life. but how long will it take you? i'm sure within ten years. within ten years, you could clear everything up? yes. while we're filming, the soldiers realise they don't have enough trucks to carry away the waste. so they use a diggerjust to push it downstream. it's not exactly a long—term solution and the plastic floats away to become someone else's problem. right beside the river, another nightmare sight, incinerators openly burning plastic. a desolate scene as children stand in the path of the toxic fumes. this is illegal, but the authorities turn a blind eye because it does do something to reduce the mountain of waste, and campaigners say everyone must take responsibility. and part of that problem is that this landfill site
is the only one bandung has. the convoys of rubbish trucks collect just a fraction of the waste generated by several million people in the city. a new load is dumped. flies swarm in the tropical heat. people rush to be first to search the rubbish. it's incredibly risky. dodging an excavator. someone died here recently. but ironically, they're after the very things that most people want to get rid of. a plastic bottle. 500 people make a living on the dump, including this woman and her children. little by little, the message is spreading that recycling can create an income. in a village outside the city, this scheme is tiny, but it's one of many, and separating the different types of plastic earns a higher price. experts say that a culture of just throwing things away is now changing. i think particularly young people here are very much aware of that they don't want to be part of this problem, and they want to have a future that is at least a plastic—free environment. so they're working hard for that. but a view from the air reveals just how massive the challenge is. plastic dumped close to the river soon finds its way into the water
and then downstream. near the coast, we came across this canal on the edge —— and down at the coast, a fishing village looks like it's drowning in plastic. the children here are growing up surrounded by the stuff. it's depressing evidence of how much still needs to be done to clear up. so what begins as a local problem of failing to handle waste turns into a global one, as the oceans fill with plastic. david shukman, bbc news, indonesia. the fashion industry is recognised as one of the biggest polluters in the world. over the past 15 years, the rise of throwaway fast fashion has seen clothing production double. and it's estimated that the contents of one rubbish truck per second goes to landfill or is incinerated due to textile production. the v&a in london is looking at the relationship between fashion and the natural world. and among the designers looking at creating a more environmentally—sustainable industry is stella mccartney. she spoke to our arts editor will gompertz. this is a fashion show with a twist.
it's not simply celebrating the designers who have drawn inspiration from nature over the past 400 years, it is also exploring the abusive side of the relationship. the negative impact this voracious global industry has had on the environment is a hot topic for activists and brands. so, stella, the fashion industry and the environment, how big an issue? erm, sadly, a bigger issue than i think anyone really realises. it is the second most harmful industry to the environment currently on the planet. so, it's, you know, it has a massive impact. and i guess when you start to ask that question, it does make perfect sense, if you think about how much fashion there is — whether it be luxury or fast. you know, it's sort of swamping the planet. we've been relying on an industry that is essentially mediaeval. you know, and it's a really amazing moment that we're living in as humans, for change.
yeah, yeah. on everything. on energy, an architecture, you know. this is a moment to really look to the future, for our children. what about something really simple — fewer seasons, less shows? so, as opposed to having four seasonal shows, why not two? i always ask myself that. it's great. i'm like, who is telling me that i have to make so much stuff? surely we don't need to make this much stuff? there is also merit to... you know, there's also, you know, this is an industry and people are working in it and people are paying their wages from it. the thing is looking at the waste. you know, that's the conversation. there's 500 billions worth of waste in the fashion industry every year, and that is ridiculous. you are being successful because you're marrying art and science together. yeah. two subjects which we tend to think of as separate. you know, in fashion, we only use about ten materials. i'm trying to challenge that. i'm trying to look at technology, i'm trying to grow silk in a lab, i'm trying to use dyeing in a whole new way, and i'm trying to... you know, i don't think that you can tell the difference.
you have to think in a kind of sexy way. i think it's sexy. i don't think that... you know, it's science, but it's sexy science. and that wedding dress, are you designing it? oh, shut up! a reminder of our top story: the leaders of more than 50 countries have been attending a state banquet at buckingham palace at the end of the first official day of the commonwealth heads of government meeting here in london this topic on friday, the commonwealth leaders had private talks at windsor castle west of london, where it is expected the issue of who should succeed queen elizabeth as head of the group will be discussed. that is all from me so now. thanks for watching. —— for now. hello again. yesterday proved to be a real scorcher. temperatures got up to 29.1 celsius in london's stjames's park,
making it the warmest april day for nearly 70 years. you have to go all the way back to 19119 to find a warmer april day. and for many of us, we had clear blue sunny skies like this pretty much all day. for the early risers this morning, some mist and fog patches to watch out for, particularly western wales and running through the bristol channel as well. there will be some changes in our weather today because the area of high pressure is still there that it's drifting a little bit further eastwards. the warmest air still across east anglia and south—east england but otherwise the air is increasingly blowing in off the atlantic and that will bring some cooler conditions to the uk. now, weatherwise, the early morning mist and fog patches should clear out of the way widely and most areas should see lots of sunshine again. there will, though, be a few showers for western scotland but most of these will be across the western highlands and really for the northern half of the uk, temperatures a few degrees down. still feeling pleasant if you're out and about in the sunshine but the warmest air more limited
to east anglia and south—east england. highs of 27 in london but i wouldn't mind betting that somewhere like in gravesend, it could even get warmer than that, 28 or maybe even a 29. friday night, we do it all again. clearing skies, a few mist and fog patches forming but but it will be a cooler night across scotland, northern ireland and northern england, quite chilly here indeed by the end of the night, with temperatures around 4 or 6 degrees. still in double figures, though, further south. the weekend, we will see some further changes in our weather. the temperatures will continue to ease back. there will still be some warm sunshine around but increasingly, we will see some thundery downpours breaking out and becom quite windy as well as the weekend goes by, particularly in the north—west. the changes are all brought out by this area of low pressure. a cold front will be bringing that cooler air in. but ahead of the front, we are going to be seeing some thundery showers. now, on saturday, we start the day on a fine note, plenty of sunshine out and about. we will start to see some showers moving up from the south. now, initially, the rain might not be too heavy but it will come down
in big drops. later in the day, as those showers become more extensive across the midlands, western england and wales, the showers will be heavy and thundery as well, temperatures reaching a peak of around 23 so you will notice that drop in temperatures and that trend will continue. through saturday evening and overnight, the showers and thunderstorms become quite extensive, our cold front swings its way eastwards across the country, introducing much cooler and fresher air so by sunday, temperatures at best into the low 20s. that's your weather. this is bbc news. the headlines: queen elizabeth has told commonwealth leaders that she hopes they will choose prince charles to succeed her as head of the organisation. the leaders have been attending a state banquet at buckingham palace at the end of the first official day of the commonwealth heads of government meeting. ousted fbi directorjames comey is continuing to speak out against his former boss. mr comey was speaking to the bbc‘s newsnight programme. he said he'd think twice about sharing sensitive information with president trump if he still had his job. president trump has
labelled him a liar. miguel diaz—canel has been sworn in as cuba's new president. it's the first time since 1959 that a castro is not heading the government. he's vowed to defend the legacy of his predecessors. the us state department said it was disappointed cuba's government was maintaining its repressive monopoly on power. now on bbc news, thursday in parliament.