welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is gavin grey. our top stories: exit polls in ireland's referendum on abortion suggest a big winforthe campaign to liberalise the law. the official count begins later. hollywood mogul harvey weinstein is charged with rape and sexual abuse. his lawyer says he'll plead not guilty. it's on, it's off — and now it could be back on again as president trump says he is having very productive talks with north korea. exit polls in ireland suggest that people have voted strongly in favour of liberalising abortion laws in the country. they forecast a two thirds majority for the yes campaign. emma vardy has the
latest from dublin. the irish leader who supported the changes said it looks like history could be made. cheering. an emotional day for ireland. for some, casting one vote was worth travelling many miles for. i've come from amsterdam. i've come home because i think it's very important for irish women. hopefully it will be an historic day and we will vote yes and finally irish women will have the right to autonomy over their bodies. it has been really horrible to watch from away and not be able to do much except for tweeting and facebooking and i really wanted to come home and cast my vote. a yes vote in this referendum would pave the way to legalise abortions up to the 12th week of pregnancy. i work in brussels and i am coming home to vote no. i believe this legislation is far too extreme. i believe killing for convenience is terrible. ireland's traditional catholic roots have led to the country retaining some of the strictest abortion laws in the world. what is known as the eighth amendment of the country's constitution gives an equal right
to life for a mother and the unborn. but leo varadkar, the country's first openly gay prime minister, has been leading the call for change. i always get a little buzz from voting. it always feels like democracy in action. not taking anything for granted, of course, but quietly confident, there has been a good turnout so far. this referendum is the culmination of an intense debate over one of ireland's most emotive issues. its result will be a measure of the country's social and political change. the disgraced hollywood film producer harvey weinstein has been charged with rape and sexual abuse, after appearing in court in new york. mr weinstein‘s lawyer said he denies the criminal charges and will mount a vigorous defence. nick bryant reports from manhattan. new york city can often feel
like a giant movie set but this was the criminaljustice system being put into action for real. and, as harvey weinstein arrived to be charged, i managed to confront him. this must be very humiliating, mrweinstein. mr weinstein, this must be very humiliating for you. he walked into the police station with three large books under his arm, one about broadway musicals. but what mattered today were words on his charge sheet, accusing him of two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act for incidents involving two separate women. inside the police station, he was arrested, fingerprinted and formally booked. then, about an hour later, he was brought out flanked by two detectives wearing handcuffs and what looked like a wry smile. harvey weinstein is now being taken to a criminal court and this is the day his accusers longed to see. his demeanour had noticeably changed by the time he was led into court. the movie mogul who once loved parading on the red carpet forced to take what the americans
call a "perp walk". he looked numb during the short arraignment hearing as prosecutors outlined their case. this defendant used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually. his lawyer claimed his client was innocent and said he couldn't be prosecuted for "bad behaviour", just for criminal behaviour. mr weinstein did not invent the casting couch in hollywood and to the extent that there is bad behaviour in that industry, that is not what this is about. bad behaviour is not on trial in this case. it's only if you intentionally committed a criminal act, and mr weinstein vigorously denies that. as news of his arrest and charges came out, the reaction on social media was swift and celebratory from some of those who have accused him of wrongdoing, and others who worked hard to see him in court today. to see him in cuffs on the way out, whether he smiled or not, that's a very good feeling.
the actress rose mcgowan has accused him of raping her. this is a big strike into the heart of abuse of power and it shows people worldwide, which is what i was hoping the whole time, that this cannot and will not stand. harvey weinstein not only used to dominate an industry, he commanded almost every room. but to watch him today was to see his power drain away. donald trump has raised the possibility that his summit with the north korean leader, kim jong—un could go ahead next month after all. the us president said both sides were in renewed negotiations. here's our north america editor, jon sopel. explosions. as north korea set charges to their only known nuclear test site, it seemed that all hopes of a summit went up in smoke at about the same time that these buildings were blasted to smithereens.
the explosions taking place just as donald trump was pulling the plug on his planned meeting with kim jong—un, citing north korea's tremendous anger and open hostility. and that in turn provoked some open hostility towards the us president in south korea. but that was a whole 2a hours ago and a lot can change in that time. overnight the north koreans issued a conciliatory statement saying, the unilateral announcement to cancel the summit is unexpected and we cannot but feel great regret for it. we have the intent to sit with the us side to solve problems regardless, at any time. and that was music to donald trump's ears. you remember the summit that was off? well, it might nowjust be back on. we will see what happens. it could even be the 12th. we are talking to them now. they very much want to do it. we would like to do it, we will see what happens. at the pentagon,
the defence secretary, far from rattling sabres, was talking up the possibility, too. there is possibly some good news on the korea summit, if our diplomats can pull it off, it might be back on, even. today kim jong—un was striking an unusually relaxed pose, in pictures released by the north korean news agency. a floppy hat, a white jacket, looking to all the world as though he was quite enjoying himself. and donald trump, who loves a drama as well, might be enjoying it as well. but for all that the atmospherics might have improved, substantial policy differences remain. a spokesman insisting that north korea must commit to the quick denuclearisation of the korean peninsula. who would bet on how this is going to turn out? president putin has dismissed dutch and australian claims that russia was responsible for bringing down an malaysia airlines flight over eastern ukraine. the dutch government said
there was a ‘direct link‘ between the russian army and the missile that hit flight mhi7 in 2014 — killing all 298 people onboard. stay with us here on bbc news, still to come: we have a special report on the internet gangs from ivory coast involved in a particularly nasty form of blackmail. a burglar who attacked a world war two veteran with a claw hammer and left him for dead, has been sentenced to 20 years. joseph isaacs was found guilty of attempted murder after the attack in taunton last november. 96—year—old jim booth was left with fractures to the skull, and cuts to his head, hands and arms but insists he has not been left terribly ‘het up‘ by the attack. jon kay reports. when you've been recognised
for outstanding bravery at d—day, when you've been praised by prime ministers and have even danced with a duchess, it seems nothing phases you. and then he started lifting the thing and all of a sudden, he pushed me backwards, right up the... for the first time, 96—year—old jim booth is describing the moment he was attacked in his somerset home by a bogus builder wielding a claw hammer. he hit me six times on the head, as well as more on the arms, with the claw side. each time between it, shouting, "money, money, money!" somehow, jim booth managed to stagger out of his house into the lane to alert neighbours, even though he had a fractured skull, he was concussed and was covered in blood. to suffer that level of abuse with a hammer, most people would expect that to be fatal. but as i said, it showed jim's strength of character and resilience which helped him pull through.
maybe it was his military training, butjim reckons he did not go down without a fight and took on his attacker. i punched, i hit him, that is right. and i couldn't. .. i think i probably defended myself. but i am saying, i blame myself, because i was special services, you know, and i think i should have really been able to deal with this, but i didn't. i was too old, obviously. two days later, joseph isaacs was arrested. i am not saying anything until i have seen my lawyer. thejury was told he had been traced after using the war veteran's stolen bank cards. our father was subjected to a brutal and cowardly attack, inside his home. our father has shown extraordinary courage and determination, as he has battled with the pain and the long—term effects of the injuries. jim hopes he will soon be cycling again and playing the church organ like he did before the attack. and as a veteran of the normandy
landings, he is philosophical about what he has been through. worse things happen at sea, as they say, in the war. jon kay, bbc news, somerset. part of a shopping centre in salisbury — that's been sealed off since the nerve agent attack nearly 12 weeks ago — has reopened to the public. barriers had been in place to protect the area where sergei skripal and his daughter yulia were found slumped on a bench in the maltings. officials say that the scene has now been decontaminated and is safe for the public. a report commissioned by the snp to make the economic case for an independent scotland has said immigrants could play a crucial role in the country's future prosperity. the growth commission, which was set up two years ago, also recommends that an independent scotland should keep the pound for at least ten years. our scotland editor, sarah smith reports. the price of a drink may not be the
most important issue when choosing your country's future what currency your country's future what currency you might use to purchase that beer oi’ you might use to purchase that beer or anything else in independent scotla nd or anything else in independent scotland is a big question that needs a clear answer before there is another vote. the idea is you would still pay for a scottish beer with british pounds. just like you do now. that is meant to reassure voters that the muggy will not change. there is still the option of setting up a new scottish currency at some point in the future.|j setting up a new scottish currency at some point in the future. i think in time it is entirely credible that the people of scotland would move to its own currency it would be considered to be in the best interest of scotland and the people of scotland. even the most ardent supporters of that position recognised that there would require a period of preparation and transition. in 2014, the uk government ruled out a currency
union with an independent scotland. i could not, as chancellor, recommend sharing the pound with an independent scotland. now the snp cannot stop scotland simply using the pound. of course we can use the pound. a few seconds ago admitted we could use the pound anyway. have they sold their currency conundrum? what we have seen today is modelled. we will use the currency of another country, without a central bank, and then at some indeterminate point in then at some indeterminate point in the future we will shift to something else but we won't tell you what that is and we won't tell you the steps in between. craft brewing is exactly the sort of growing industry and independent scotland would want to see fried. it would be something to know that an independent scotland would continue to use the pound, just because i
feel changing the currency would complicate transactions. there will a lwa ys complicate transactions. there will always be the possibility of a new scottish currency around the corner. if we have to worry about different currencies and another layer of bureaucracy and administration, that just makes it more difficult. the snp now suggest the more cautious approach to independence economics, one possibly less expensive, but less inspiring as a result. exit polls suggest the republic of ireland has voted strongly in favour of liberalising its abortion laws. the film producer, harvey weinstein, has appeared in court in new york charged with rape and and other sexual offences. his lawyer says he will plead not guilty. more now on that story. jonathan handel is an entertainment lawyer who has been following the story closely as a contributing editor to the hollywood reporter. he joins us from los angeles. let me start by saying that the
court of public opinion, as such, has had its say. do you think he is likely and able to get a fair trial? yes, i think here's. i think this is something of a defence attorney's nightmare because there is pervasive publicity. but everybody listens to the news, unfortunately, reads the news 01’ the news, unfortunately, reads the news or watches the news listens to the news. there are people, leave it 01’ the news. there are people, leave it or not, who are distant, more distant from the situation, then it may seem to many of us. so, yes, i think he can get a fair trial. but very difficult to get thejurien place? that is the issue, of course. to find people who have not made up their mind, who are not focused on their mind, who are not focused on the publicity. but, you know, this isa the publicity. but, you know, this is a difficult situation. if the law had been sufficient to protect women
from sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace, then we wouldn't be seeing these sorts of incidents and we wouldn't be seeing the court of robert opinion supplanting the court of robert opinion suppla nting the law. the court of robert opinion supplanting the law. —— public opinion. it has been an ineffective legal system not just opinion. it has been an ineffective legal system notjust for opinion. it has been an ineffective legal system not just for women in the entertainment industry, notjust in the united states, but let's be honest about this, the way that men treat women and the lack of equality and safety in the workplace and the home has been an issue for tens of thousands of years and i think women have finally taken hold of the cultural moment and said this is as good a time as any to change that. what did you make of the comments from his defence lawyer saying that he didn't invent the casting couch? well, you know, "casting couch" is a cute way of saying sexual harassment 01’ cute way of saying sexual harassment or in some cases sexual assault. it is not unique to the entertainment industry but it certainly it is and
has historically been a problem in the entertainment industry. i think his defence attorney is trying to draw a line and acknowledge that harvey weinstein might have committed sexual harassment while denying that he committed any form of nonconsensual sexual activity or sexual assault. what the jury ends up sexual assault. what the jury ends up the leaving, what the evidence and up showing, of course, remains to be seen. i know that you believe this trial will be a cultural moment. can you explain a bit more about what you mean by that? yes, absolutely. this is going to be, assuming this gets to trial, by the way, because his lawyers say they are going to challenge the charges in constitutional terms and try to prevent this from even going to a jury, which is what you would expect they're responsible defence attorney to do, at assuming this does go to a jury, the eyes of the country and
beyond are on this. and the question is, can the legal system step up and the sufficient to actually bring out the sufficient to actually bring out the evidence and reach a fair verdict that people can have confidence in. that also remains to be seen. jonathan, thank you. a bbc investigation has found that gangs in ivory coast in west africa are targeting british men in cases of so—called sextortion. the criminals trick their victims into filming sexual activity online and then blackmail them. angus crawford reports. how scared were you at the time? 0h...frozen. meet adrian — once a victim of sextortion, now warning others about the risk. it's very, very suspicious. we set up a fake facebook profile. out of the blue, we get a friend request. i'm asking, "where are you from?"
she is very pretty, flirty — in her own words, naughty. the scam develops in minutes, live in front of our eyes. so you are probably moments away from being scammed. yeah, literally minutes away. the trap set, she's keen to move from facebook to skype. now suggesting video calling, and she's said, "i'm going to show you naked and you also." but she's not real — just a pornographic video operated by a scammer, waiting to film and record us, their next victim. of course, we can't show you what would happen next. it might start with a girl, like, slowly undressing and that, you know, anything tojust basically show yourself — your face and your private parts. is it threatening? the next message was definitely threatening, saying, "you know what this is, i'll show it to friends and family." what did you have to do to stop them? give them money.
money that more and more ends up here in the ivory coast in west africa. cash transfers are easy, there's high unemployment, and even the poorest areas have access to the internet. the crime of sextortion began and was perfected in nigeria and the philippines before it went global. now ivory coast, and particularly here in abidjan, has become a hotspot of sextortion. many of the victims come from the uk. and here are the police files — a growing number being investigated by abidjan‘s cybercrime unit. on the screens, some of the videos used by the scammers. they told us they know of at least 120 recent british victims. we want to track down one of the scammers, but they're hidden in the slums, controlled by gangs, and hunted by the police. we do eventually find one who will talk. translation: you have to do it without remorse. if you think about what you're doing, you'd never do it. but you do real harm to the victims. harm? well, afterwards you can sit down and say i'm bad, but you can't put things right.
if he's thousands of miles away, how are you going to say sorry? it's no—one's fault — it's love. this is a growing crime with terrible consequences. some people actually take their own lives because of this. did that ever cross your mind? um... the truth of the matter was at one point it kind of did. so if you find yourself talking to a girl like this online, beware. south africa is making new strides into space research with the unveiling of a new automated telescope. the meerlicht, or ‘more light,‘ was revealed in the northern cape province where the country‘s space exploration project is based. it‘s part of south africa‘s
ambitious plans to became a hub of space exploration. lebo diseko has more. deep in the desert of south africa‘s northern cape, scientists launch a first. this optical telescope is linked to a radio one, letting astronomers see and hear the secrets of the skies. we want to study explosions in the universe. and explosions are stars that are like, at the end of their lives. at then suddenly they light up for a short while. maybe for a day or a maybe for a week. we have a limited amount of time to gather the information and learn what really happened in the universe. in the past, scientists had to wait for incidents to be picked up by a radio telescope and then look at them afterwards. now they will be able to both listen
and look at what is happening and in real—time. this project‘s been six years in the making by a joint team of south african, dutch, and british scientists. it‘s part of the square kilometre array, which will be the world‘s most powerful radio telescope system. under the clear skies of the karoo desert, the meerlicht allows astronomers to see an area 13 times the size of the full moon. and scientists hope it will give studying the universe is a whole new dimension. thousands of football fans are converging on kiev for saturday‘s champions league final. this was the scene as some of real madrid‘s most dedicated fans left for ukraine. but it‘s been a different story for hundreds of liverpool supporters. two tour operators cancelled flights, leaving hundreds of fans with no way to get to the match even though they‘ve bought tickets. natalie pirks has more from kiev. ole, ole, ole!
it‘s been the soundtrack of liverpool‘s journey. a tale of the all—conquering charge to the finals. butjust having got here is reason enough to sing. hundreds were left stranded at liverpool airport today, their tickets remind us of memories never made. gutted from an emotional point of view. disgusted, from the perspective of the way i‘ve been handled. as a family, it meant so much to us. well, those fans are so desperate to be here because they truly believe this is their moment, and there‘s something about this cup run that has their manager believing his side, who he affectionately calls "my boys", will do something special against madrid. we are liverpool, and not only a really good football team, this club has in its dna that they can really go for the big things. nobody expected us to be here, but we are here, because we are liverpool.
this team clearly has "it", that magic you can‘t quite explain. can you repeat the question, please? laughter. even in front of the world‘s press, they cut relaxed figures. but they stand on the shoulders of giants. 13 years ago today, steven gerard‘s team won their fifth champions league trophy, in istanbul. it‘s time to step out of their shadows. it‘s about us creating our own history. we want to go one step further and remember it for the right reasons, and that‘s us winning the champions league. there‘s the small matter of getting past real madrid first, a side aiming for their third consecutive champions league trophy. current world player of the year cristiano ronaldo believes he and his team are beyond compare. mo salah, mo salah! liverpool fans have more than proved their dedication, simply getting here and turning kiev red in the process. now it‘s their team‘s
turn to leave its mark. natalie pirks, bbc news, kiev. weather now with chris fawkes. hello again. we are all going to see some warm spells of sunshine this weekend but it won‘t be dry for all of us. we are going to see some pretty big storms which will initially affect parts of southern england, wales and the midlands before gradually spreading further north over the next couple of days. quite a misty start to the day around the downs and the chilterns. low fog and mist patches extending in from east anglia across parts of the midlands as well. high pressure is in charge across the north for this weekend, so the north will have the driest weather. further south will be showers, working in early in the morning across southern england, probably the heaviest of these just to the south—west of london, working towards wales in south—west england before fading away during the morning. in the afternoon the cloud
will gradually break up of many of us. will gradually break up of many of us. warm spells of sunshine coming through. in the sunshine, high temperatures of 22 in edinburgh, 26 in london and the south—east of england. saturday evening, things really start getting pretty lively. we will see eight comp of thunderstorms working into central southern england, south—west england, probably wales and the south—west midlands as well. these storms are capable of bringing around 30 millimetres of rain in the space ofjust around 30 millimetres of rain in the space of just an around 30 millimetres of rain in the space ofjust an hour. that could bring some localised flooding issues. then the storms will gradually push further north overnight. probably weakening at the same time. through the night time it is going to be another mild and muqqy is going to be another mild and muggy night. temperatures falling lower than 15 or 16 in the capital. cooler and fresher further north. on into sunday‘s forecasts, another day of sunshine and showers. if anything the showers will work further north across wales and the midlands, but heavy downpours still across southern england. largely speaking,
saturday and sunday dry across northern england, scotland and for the most part northern ireland as well. things will change more on monday as we start to see those showers drifting that it further northwards, we have a little weather front just enhancing northwards, we have a little weather frontjust enhancing the rain as it works in two northern england and across the midlands as well. some wetter weather across northern areas of the uk for holiday monday. further south, probably try —— drier. fewer showers, further south, probably try —— drier. fewershowers, more in further south, probably try —— drier. fewer showers, more in the way of sunshine. maybe a slightly fresher feel to the weather as well. still warm, though, temperatures climbing up to 26 degrees in the warmest spots, cooler and fresher around the coasts. this holiday weekend, watch out for the risk of localised flooding issues from these lively thundery downpours. this is bbc news. the headlines: exit polls in ireland‘s referendum on abortion suggests a substantial majority support liberalising the country‘s strict laws. with the votes still to be counted, taoiseach leo varadkar —
who supported the campaign — says it looks like ireland "will make history". the film producer, harvey weinstein, has appeared in court in new york charged with rape and sexual abuse. the prosecutor said mr weinstein used his position and power to violate young women. his lawyer says he intends to plead not guilty. president trump says he‘s having very productive talks with north korea to reinstate the summit talks. in his latest tweet he said the meeting with kimjong—un might take place next month after all. the summit had been called off because of what he called the open