welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america on pbs and around the globe — my name is nkem ifejika. our top stories: hand delivered to the white house — a personal letterfrom kimjong—un — as president trump confirms the singapore summit is back on. i think we're going to have a relationship and it will start onjune 12. after weeks of political uncertainty — italy has a new prime minister — giuseppe conte leads a controversial populist government. europe, mexico, and canada pledge to hit back at america's new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports — promising retaliation. the german state of bavaria imposes a new law requiring a christian cross in the entrance to every public building. and vogue arabia defends its decision to feature a saudi princess as a symbol of women finally winning the right to drive. hello.
the meeting between the united states and north korea is back on, for now at least. it follows the delivery of a letter from the north korean leader during a meeting at the white house between president trump and a close aide of kim jong—un. in a hint of the negotiations behind the scenes, mr trump said he believes the north korean leader wants denuclearisation but also other things along the line. chris buckler is in washington. the white house made a point of doing everything but rolling out the red carpet to welcome a former north korean intelligence chief. in the past, the united states has accused kim yong—chol of crimes including an attacking killing dozens of south korean seamen. but today he was whisked through security to meet the president inside the oval office. and there, behind closed doors, he was handed the much talked
about letter from kim jong—un. they emerged side—by—side after more than an hour of discussions. a remarkable sight given that last year the two countries appeared close to conflict. but after all that talk of war, there were brief smiles. it seems they're prepared to discuss peace after all. the summit is back on. we'll be meeting onjune i2 in singapore, it went very well, it's really a get—to—know—you kind of situation. and i think it'll be a process. i never said it goes in one meeting, i think it will be a process. but the relationships are building, and that's a very positive thing. it's onlyjust over a week ago president trump sent his own letter, cancelling the summit on what he called north korea's "tremendous anger and open hostility. " but the last two days of talks between kim yong—chol and us secretary of state mike pompeo seems to have improved relations. but it's not clear whether they
have agreed on an aim or even what denuclearisation means. do you think kim is committed to doing denuclearisation? i do think so, he would like to see it happen, he wants to be careful, he is not going to run and do things, but i told him to be honest with you, look, we have sanctions on, very powerful sanctions, we would not take sanctions off unless they did that. if kim jong—un‘s letter did make a difference, it was the gesture, not its contents. president trump hadn't taken it out of the envelope by the time he waved goodbye to the north korean leader's right—hand man. the comings and goings of diplomacy can be difficult to follow at this white house. later in the programme we'll be talking to drjohn park from the harvard kennedy school. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. the united states has vetoed a un security council resolution calling for measures to protect palestinians. the arab—backed draft deplored any disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by israel —
and the firing of rockets from gaza against israeli civilian areas, though it didn't name hamas. visa says its card payment service is returning to normal following a system failure which left many customers across europe unable to pay for some of their purchases. the company has apologised for the hardware failure and said it had no reason to believe it was the result of a malicious attack. it's emerged that five big cats — reported to have escaped from a flooded zoo in western germany — had not in fact left their enclosures. the apparent escape of two lions, two tigers and a jaguar sparked a major search. local residents had been told to stay indoors. shares of the brazilian state—controlled oil company, petrobras, have fallen by nearly 15% following the resignation of its president. pedro parente stood down following nationwide strikes by truck drivers. oil workers had demanded mr parente‘s resignation and called for an end to the company's policy of setting prices at market rates. giuseppe conte has been sworn
in as italy's new prime minister. he'll lead a cabinet assembled by the country's two main populist parties. they are the anti—establishment five star movement and the right—wing league, and they've promised radical change. the swearing in follows months of political uncertainty, which has worried brussels and spooked financial markets. jenny hill sent this from rome. it's the moment europe's been waiting for — a new italian prime minister. giuseppe conte, a law professor with no political experience. and, sworn in one by one, a new government, an anti—establishment coalition. it almost didn't happen at all. paolo savona, first choice for foreign minister and fierce critic of the euro, was rejected by the italian president. after desperate talks, a compromise was made, for giovanni tria, a more moderate academic who will now oversee
italy's finances. an end to uncertainty, then, but perhaps the drama is onlyjust beginning. the new government already controversial. it's promised to deport half a million migrants, to lower taxes, spend more on welfare. one thing to keep in mind is that italian governments hardly ever last the entire five—year legislature. i have no reason to believe that this will be any different, especially because you have two wildly different parties in this coalition. there's the far right league, which has a very tough stance on immigration, with the five star movement, which really has a little bit more left—wing sympathies, so that is an issue between them. translation: the new government, it will be fine. even if i voted for berlusconi, it will be fine. we must change, at least we must try. translation: i hope this government will start well. we're living in a rather special moment, so i hope anyone can do well, can do better.
we will see, but at least we should test them. the eurozone will be watching. the government rejects austerity, plans to spend its way to growth. all smiles today, but this country, with its huge debt, may yet have to do battle with the likes of brussels and berlin. spain has also a new prime minister after mariano rajoy was ousted in a vote of no confidence. his conservative people's party had been fined for its involvement in a corruption scandal. he will be succeeded by the opposition socialist leader, pedro sanchez, who will form a new government. but it's unclear how his party will govern, as it only has a quarter of seats in parliament. our europe editor, katya adler, is in madrid and has this assesment. this is huge news for spain, because it's the first time in this country ever that a prime minister
has been unseated by a no—confidence vote in parliament. that said, there is already a brand—new prime minister ready and waiting to take over as of tomorrow. so even though this is a highly unusual situation, there is no sense here at all of panic or crisis. quite unlike italy — what a dizzying political circus there for a few days, threatening to infect the whole of the eurozone. it has been a very stormy week in europe, don't forget also this blossoming new trade war between the european union and its closest ally, the united states. and all of this has an effect on brexit negotiations. david davis, the uk's chief brexit negotiator, has spent a lot of time travelling around all europe to woo eu leaders and try and persuade them to give the uk a better brexit deal. but every time a european government falls, as it has done in italy and here in spain, he has to start his charm offensive all over again with a brand—new guise in government. canada hasjoined the european union in filing a challenge to us tariffs
on steel and aluminium with the world trade organization. the eu's trade commissioner, cecilia malmstrom, said the us was playing a dangerous game. she said the tariffs would have consequences for the global economy. nick bryant has been to a steel town which has fallen on hard times to see how the measures have been received by president trump's supporters. bethlehem, pennsylvania used to be a powerhouse of the us steel industry. then it became a rust belt powerbase of donald trump. after the closure of its main steel plant 20 years ago, many people here felt like economic castaways, stranded in a globalised economy that left them behind. in the presidential election, bethlehem voted republican for the first time since the 1980s. we actually had 30,000 people working here at one time... former steelworker tom sedor doesn't even like donald trump, but he loves the imposition of these tariffs. i think they're gonna really help the economy, help the general public.
i think it's a good thing, and i don't think the sky is going to fall. you're not worried about the impact of a trade war? i'm not worried about the impact. it's been done before and it hasn't hurt. it's actually 30—a0 years too late. the trump administration claims it's protecting us national security, but this is more about protecting the us steel industry and protecting rust belt towns. donald trump believes he is rewarding his loyal supporters, and does not seem that worried about angering america's closest allies. tonight, the president singled out the european union for criticism. if you take the european union, and you see the kind of tariff they charge, and then we don't, that's called not fair trade. i want fair trade. but the european union is not taking it without a fight. it's retaliating and calling donald trump's actions a dangerous game. this is further weakening the transatlantic relations and it increases the risk of severe turbulences in the market globally. protectionism can never be a solution, and this will hurtjobs
here in the european union, but also in the us. harley—davidson motorbikes are on a tariff target list of american imports compiled by the eu that also includes iconic goods, such as levi jeans and whiskey. there's been a rapid response from america's neighbours, canada and mexico, imposing tariffs on $13 billion worth of us exports. tonight in the uk, the prime minister stressed her deep disappointment, calling it an unjustified decision. words reiterated by her trade secretary. it is very, very unfortunate if we get into this tit—for—tat position, especially with one of our closest allies. nobody wins in a trade war, there are only casualties. port talbot steelworks in wales has battled for its survival in recent years. now comes more uncertainty for its workers. it is another kick in
the teeth basically. after all we've gone through, we've worked hard to establish ourselves in the global market again, and now this has been presented, or thrown into our lap, through no fault of our own. britain exports some £360 million worth of steel to america each year, and industry chiefs warn that tariffs could have wider, devastating effects. newsreel: bethlehem, pennsylvania - where every christmas, a huge star glows from a hilltop. where every other night in the year, the sky is lit by the hungry furnaces of little steel. it's way too late to save bethlehem's steel plant, the american industry's heyday is a thing of the past. but us unemployment dropped today to its lowest level in 18 years, fuelling the sense of rust belt revival and emboldening donald trump. there's lots more on our website — including plenty of reaction from across the globe,
plus ‘five reasons why trade wars aren't easy to win‘. just head to bbc.com/news or download the bbc news app. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: saudi women's rights campaigners hit out at the latest cover of vogue arabia. the queen and her husband began their royal progress to westminster. the moment of crowning in accordance with the order of service, by a signal given with great guns of the tower shall be shot off. tributes have been paid around the world to muhammed ali, the world to muhammad ali, who has died at the age of 7a. outspoken but rarely outfought, ali transcended the sport of boxing, of which he was three times world champion. he was a fighter and he fought all the way to the end, even through his illness.
yes, he did. uefa imposes an indefinite ban on english clubs playing in europe. today is the 20th anniversary of the release of the beatles‘ lp sergeant pepper's lonely hearts club band, a record described as the album of the century. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: after a top north korean official delivers a letter from kim jong—un to the white house, president trump says the singapore summit onjune 12 will happen. italy's president has sworn in the country's new prime minister. giuseppe conte was chosen by the anti—establishment parties which won the last election. let's get more on our top story now. joining me from washington
is drjohn park, director of the korea working group at the harvard kennedy school. thank you forjoining us. i'm a bit confused here, what happened? what was in the letter that made resident prompt change his mind?m was in the letter that made resident prompt change his mind? it was actually not the letter that the individual who conveyed the letter, thatis individual who conveyed the letter, that is kim young troll, he is a very senior, very close adviser to north korean kim jong—un and very senior, very close adviser to north korean kimjong—un and his meetings with then director of the ariake pompeo and now secretary of state pompeo has really created this bridge —— yong—chol. and it was really the individual and is a series of meetings that led to what was the outcome we resident company out that the summit is happening in singapore june 12 is the out that the summit is happening in singaporejune12 is the next stop. you are suggesting that personalities matter but how about the content and the details about
denuclearisation, whether the north koreans will get rid of all the nuclear weapons, whether the north korean is what the americans to get all of their nuclear weapons away from the korean peninsula, what about the detail? the detail parties clearly the elements that have been deferred and if anything this is very much the focus of the processors president trump mentioned, in the press conference right after his meeting with a grabove, this is going to be a process and rather than just one summit meeting in singapore he is basically laying the groundwork for a series of meetings to the idea is to create this foundation for the two sides to commit to the overall denuclearisation process but really live details later on and at the end of the day this is a political process rather than a technical one. when you say leaving the details to later, it is that men in some kind of scenario the us would be willing to ta ke of scenario the us would be willing to take its nuclear weapons away from the korean peninsula because i'm misusing a default assuming here that the us would have to ask north
korea that there is no condition may have to get rid of their nuclear weapons. well, the russell ingall be phased approach, it is an approach that the south korean government, moonjae—in has that the south korean government, moon jae—in has been that the south korean government, moonjae—in has been putting forward. basically, the north and south —— the north korean and the united states as they move forward they build confidence and they can get the more contentious issues but the idea that it is a process and in many respects i think the advice and suggestions from president moon jae—in about the process looks like thatis jae—in about the process looks like that is what we are seeing in the early stages here. that is great. i'm thinking about the japanese, what are they thinking looking at what are they thinking looking at what is going on because the us also isa what is going on because the us also is a stock forjapanese security in the region, notjust south korea. there is a lot of concern and i think the clearest sign that the concern is a priority right now, prime minister are they was able to secure a meeting with president trump kim yong—chol. he will be the
final leader to meet with president trump before the summit in singapore and billy amen is the abe will convey the urgency of these types of security concerns over us ally really what we are looking at again is not the idea of trying to solve everything at the summit, as president trump has mentioned, but the idea rocked the process of their race ambiguity frankly in the beginning part but i think that is recognition that there is a significant amount of gap in this comes to these definitions about denuclearisation and what does what, who, when and how. thank you, doctor park. venezuela has released almost a0 opposition activists who had spent months in detention. but many of them are still banned from giving interviews, posting on social media, and leaving the country. the opposition says all political prisoners should be released. lebo diseko reports. an invitation for dialogue, says venezuela's government, a token gesture by a dictatorship, says its critics. this is the first of the 39 opposition activists to be released,
seen opposition activists to be released, seen here at a press conference organised by the state shortly before being allowed to go home. translation macro we formally announce the beginning of this process and will continue working and we will gradually announce more measures of this nature. one person who wasn't released was leopoldo lopez, one of president majuro's most vocal critics. he is pictured here on house arrest before being taken by here on house arrest before being ta ken by police here on house arrest before being taken by police and placed in detention. venezuela is in crisis. last year there were months of running street battles between police and opposition protesters angry about changes to the constitution. it is facing tough sanctions from the us, eu and canada as well as neighbouring countries who say they are concerned about democracy. and its economy is on its knees, meaning queueing forfood and basic necessities is a daily reality. the opposition boycotted the recent election which saw mr
jarreau voted in for another six yea rs. jarreau voted in for another six years. he promised to freeze some political opponents, to overcome the wounds left by last year's richard. but as his country teeters on the brink of collapse, more work may need to be done to heal its bitter divide. the german state of bavaria has introduced a controversial new law which requires all public buildings to display a christian cross in theirfoyer. the man at the centre of the law, markus soeder, says the crucifix is at the heart of bavaria. but critics have slammed him for politicising a religious symbol to woo far—right anti—islamists. tiffany wertheimer‘s report contains flash photography. this will be a common sight in bavaria from now on. as of friday morning, nearly all government buildings in the south—eastern german state must display a crucifix. as the law came into effect, its mastermind, premier markus soeder, was not even in bavaria. he was at the vatican enjoying a private audience with the pope. soeder says the cross is at the heart of bavaria's
identity, but the new law has germans divided. translation: i think it is a good thing because it is a part of our tradition and i am a religious person. translation: i don't need to hang one on the wall. sometimes i even feel a bit uneasy about the cross. but i am of the opinion that everyone should be able to decide for themselves. markus soeder is the leader of bavaria's conservative christian social union. it's the sister party of angela merkel‘s christian democratic union. with state elections looming, critics say the crucifix law is designed to claw back votes from germany's afd party, whose supporters are generally right wing and anti—islamic. translation: it's a move by the election campaign. the afd talks a lot about christian values and i think markus soeder had to do something before the regional election next october,
in order to win at all costs. outrage at the law has come from far and wide, including the head of the german bishops conference, who said the move was never discussed with him and he doesn't support it. soeder has also been mocked. the state premier of neighbouring baden—wurttemberg compared this photo of him to a vampire film. in an effort to wind back the critical lashings, the bavarian government said while it is compulsory for buildings like police stations, courts and government offices, it is merely a recommendation for schools, museums and theatres. vogue arabia has defended its decision to feature a saudi princess on its cover as a symbol of women in the kingdom finally winning the right to drive. the magazine has been criticised for ignoring the contribution
of saudi women campaigners, some of whom were arrested recently. laura westbrook reports. vogue arabia's latest edition has not got quite the reaction it was hoping for. it is because of who was chosen to be on the cover. the saudi princess whose family is lauded for being the "driving force," while activists who fought for women's right to drive remain behind bars. that's wrong, say human rights activists, because not mentioned are campaigners who helped draw international attention by driving illegally and posting videos online. just weeks before women in saudi arabia are allowed to drive, some activists were labelled as traitors and arrested. given the significant loosening of certain restrictions on women's activities on saudi arabia in recent months, including the forthcoming ending of the ban on women driving, it's perplexing why both women and men engaged in campaigning for such positive developments are now being targeted by the authorities. one activist, manal al—sharif,
who has left the country, was interviewed by vogue. on twitter, she urged people not to forget three leading women's rights campaigners who are still in detention. but vogue stands by its choice. its editor describes the cover as: the man on the left, crown prince mohammad bin salman, was behind the decision to lift the driving ban. he took on the country's powerful clerics to do so. cinemas and theatres were recently reopened after a ban which lasted three decades. and back in september, women were allowed into a sports stadium, previouslyjust for men, to watch a concert for the first time. the reforms are part of the royal family's plans to modernise saudi arabia and improve its reputation. as the royal family is being celebrated for bringing about this change, pressure will grow on them to acknowledge those who campaigned and are now faced with
draconian sentences. now, the excitement for the football world cup in russia has built up so much, it has reached into space. these russian cosmonauts are testing out the official world cup match ball onboard the international space station. adding a more acrobatic edge to the beautiful game, anton shkaplerov and oleg artemyev showcased some of the possibilities for zero—gravity football. u nfortu nately unfortunately they will not be able to get back in time for the opening match. nigeria will win. obviously! and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter. hello there.
friday was another day when we had plenty of thunderstorms around but this time they were mainly focused across the northern half of the uk. flashing away across the north of wales, northern england, northern ireland and scotland, where we had some localised surface water flooding issues as well. what catches my eye on the satellite picture at the moment is this area of cloud extending out from europe across east anglia. it is bringing outbreaks of rain. most of it's quite light but i think this will have a bearing on the weather forecast across eastern counties of england, as i'll explain in a moment. for the time being, a few splashes of rain for the next few hours across some of these eastern counties. not as murky a night as it has been, particularly across southern england, although around coastal areas there are still some patches of mist and fog. perhaps a few patches of mist, too, around the pennines and north midlands, we have the most humid air. thunderstorms developing through today. i think they will be mostly in scotland. one or two for northern ireland, one or two for east anglia. so this is how the day starts. we will see this cloud and light rain working in across parts of norfolk, moving across
lincolnshire and in across yorkshire. that might get to northumberland and durham as well later in the afternoon. what that area of cloud will do is stop temperatures rising so high. further north we can see some sunshine, with heavy thundery showers for scotland. a risk of localised flooding here, but it's not certain these showers will develop across eastern england. that cloud that i showed you might actually stop the showers from falling here. there could be a few thunderstorms, though, to the south in east anglia. southern counties of england and across southern wales, this is where the driest weather is going to be with the best of the day's sunshine. the heaviest of the downpours, i'm pretty sure, will be across scotland and maybe into east anglia. those showers will fade away through the night. on sunday, a lot of dry weather for the second half of the weekend. not completely dry. a few showers around. northern england, parts of southern scotland, the favoured areas for catching those showers. quite a bit of cloud around the north sea coast of scotland. the best of the sunshine further south with a ridge of high pressure
keeping the weather settled here. and it will be a bit warmer. temperatures could reach 25 degrees around london and the south—east. on into the early stages of next week. this area of high pressure to the north—west of the uk is going to start to draw in some north—easterly winds. there will be some cloud coming onto the north sea coast. it might well start out cloudy on monday before that cloud tends to thin out. it will burn back to a degree, to the coasts, with some brighter and sunny spells, but it will certainly be a bit cooler and fresher. temperatures in london around about 20 degrees on monday. that's your weather. this is bbc news, the headlines: after receiving a letter from kim jong—un — president trump says the summit between the us and north korea will take onjune 12 in singapore. mr trump held talks with kim yong chol — the highest level representative from pyongyang to visit the white house since 2000. europe, mexico, and canada have rejected america's new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. canada said it would join the european union in filing a challenge at the world
trade organization. washington claims the policy would safeguard national security. giuseppe conte has been sworn in as italy's prime minister, ending a period of political deadlock. the leaders of two anti—establishment parties who nominated him will serve as ministers. the president had previously rejected his pick for finance minister. now on bbc news, the witch hunts of papua new guinea.