welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is duncan golestani. our top stories: saudi—led forces attack the main rebel—held port in yemen, threatening vital aid supplies for millions. the american secretary of state is in seoul, saying there's a lot of work left to do on the deal with north korea. pledges to rival camps and a walk—out by scottish nationalist mps, theresa may has another tough brexit day. welcome to russia. president putin welcomes the footballing world to russia just hours before the first match kicks off in the world cup. hello and welcome to the programme.
attempts are being made to secure aid supplies for millions of people in yemen after pro—government forces, backed by saudi arabia, launched an attack on a key port held by rebel fighters. the coastal city of hudaydah has been held by the houthis backed by iran for more than three years. the united nations says 8.4 million yemenis are on the verge of famine, and for most, the port is the only route for food supplies. around 10,000 people have been killed since the start of the war four years ago. the british government has called on all sides to exercise restraint and it's requested an urgent meeting of the un security council to discuss the situation. 0ur security correspondent, frank gardner, reports from yemen. trained and equipped by the uae and saudi arabia, yemeni government forces have been advancing on the
red sea port of hodeidah. facing them are yeaman‘s houthi rebels, who reportedly fanned out across the city of half 1 reportedly fanned out across the city of half1 million. diplomats have been scrambling to prevent a bloodbath. but the uae, which is leading much of the ground force, said their patients with diplomacy has run out. we've waited over a yearin has run out. we've waited over a year in order to secure hodeidah out of third—party hands into houthi hands, there's been a lot of diplomatic work based on that and it's come really to nothing because the houthis have not been very clear, not been very honest in all these efforts. the houthis, who control the board of hodeidah, say the coalition are invaders and that the un is biased against them. they accuse the saudis of bombing the poor‘s trains, in order to make it harder to offload supplies. translation: the battle in hodeidah will lead to a humanitarian disaster
with food supplies. hodeidah is a city full of civilians and it holds the main artery for all yemenis in the north and south. 70% of all humanitarian aid comes through the port, therefore this age will stop. aid agencies fear up to a 250,000 people pass slides could be at risk in the fighting. yemen is the country with the worst food insecurity in the world. more than 70 million people here have no idea where their next meal is coming from. many of them live in hodeidah, they only have one meal a day, with this conflict, the escalation of the conflict, the escalation of the conflict and the level of violence thatis conflict and the level of violence that is happening right now in hodeidah, it means many of those people will lose that one meal. yemenis have already suffered over three years of disease, food shortages, coalition airstrikes and shelling by houthis. what happens now in hodeidah will decide the course of this war. yemen has reached a turning point in
the three—year war that has ravaged this mountainous, isolated country. the un backed government and its coalition partners say they had no choice but to drive the houthi rebels out of the port of hodeidah so as rebels out of the port of hodeidah so as to not to prolong the war, but international aid agencies said this assault risks an humanitarian catastrophe. frank gardner, bbc news, yemen. president trump has declared there is no longer a nuclear threat from north korea. he's arrived back in the united states from the summit in singapore and said his meeting with kim jong—un was a truly historic event. his secretary of state, mike pompeo, is in south korea to begin talks about the details of the process of denuclearisation. this report from john sudworth contains some flash photography. in north korea, most of the information—starved masses had heard nothing about the summit until today. it is, of course, being sold
to them as a great victory. "donald trump is halting the us south korean joint military exercises", the newsreader says. the suspension of the drills, for so long such a key feature of america's alliance with south korea, appears to have taken many in the region by surprise. not least south korea itself. the japanese defence minister made his concern clear today. translation: the drills and the us military stationed in south korea play a vital role in east asia's security. but back on the ground after his flight home from the singapore summit, donald trump was on twitter again. "there is no longer a nuclear threat from north korea", he said. and yet, having criticised his predecessors for being outplayed,
the deal mr trump has signed isjust as vague as any that have gone before and he appears to have given up so much more. across asia and beyond, there's a sense of people wondering on earth just happened. rather than concern, though, here in beijing, the surprise is one of delight. china has long argued for a suspension of those military exercises, although you have to wonder whether it ever thought it would get it. at a stroke, the old geopolitical certainties have been turned upside down. in the south korean capital, there are those who back donald trump's faith in kimjong—un. "we need to show trust and believe in him", this woman says. the us secretary of state has now arrived in south korea before
heading to china. some in this region will want a lot more detail before they are convinced this really is a formula for peace. john sudworth, bbc news, beijing. we can speak now to melanie hart, who is director of china policy at the centre for american progress. she's in washington. i know that your area of expertise is china, but first of all, can i get your reaction to president trump's comments that north korea now does not pose a nuclear threat? well, north korea has the same weapons it did before the summit and it has not made a concrete commitment to denuclearise. u nfortu nately commitment to denuclearise. unfortunately there's no substance oi’ unfortunately there's no substance or facts unfortunately there's no substance orfacts or commitments unfortunately there's no substance or facts or commitments to back up that declaration from president trump. instead we have a summit outcome that's more flash than
substance, and we already see indications that the north koreans and the trump administration have walked away from singapore with very different understandings about what both sides have committed to do. now we are in the process of seeing if the negotiators for both sides can bring that back around to some kind of concrete progress towards denuclearisation. so far we have not seen that from the north korean side. it does look like secretary of state mike pompeo is now going around trying to fill in some of those details with allies, and he's on his way to china. how do you think their greeting this agreement in beijing? for china, this is basically a gift —— they are. north korea was the biggest beneficiary from the summit. they achieve a reduction in the military, pressure on concessions they wanted for a long time, the meeting itself with president trump without making any strong commitments of their own.
china is the second biggest winner. it was a chinese idea to do a freeze for freeze where the us and south korea frees military exercises in exchange for north korea freezing its own provocative acts —— freeze military. instead president trump did that without unilateral concession. he even stated his willingness to eventually withdraw us troops from the korean peninsular, which is another thing beijing hoped for but couldn't have expected to happen in the near term. so far president trump is putting the biggest concessions on the table china would like to see, what china once next is an easing of economic concessions on north korea. we haven't seen movement there but the chinese foreign ministry has called on the un security council to reassess sanctions, even though north korea hasn't taken any concrete steps or made concrete commitments towards
denuclearisation. on sanctions, is it the case that there's already a lea k it the case that there's already a leak in the dandama if you like, and the policy of maximum pressure on north korea can't be sustained —— lea k north korea can't be sustained —— leak in the dam. absolutely. the us has u nfortu nately leak in the dam. absolutely. the us has unfortunately through this summit has let go of some of the leverage the global community has on pressing north korea by overselling what north korea was actually committing to and what the summit actually delivered. we need to be clear eyed and only give north korea credit for actions that are both concrete and verifiable. so far we have not seen actions that are concrete and verifiable, yet north korea has received a lot of credit and praise, including from president trump, and that makes it harderfor the un security council to hold together around the sanctions regime, which will be critical to push north korea to take steps that actually reduced the security threat it poses to the us and its allies.
melanie hart, really good to get your analysis here on bbc news. thank you very much for your time. certainly. the british prime minister is under increasing pressure over the government's approach to brexit. some conservative members of parliament who want to retain closer ties with the european union, said they fear theresa may could fail to deliver on promises they were given. during prime minister's questions on wednesday, scottish nationalist party mps staged a mass walk out, claiming that scotland's voice was being ignored in the brexit debate. 0ur political editor, laura kuenssberg, has the latest. don't walk into the pillar! farce ? what promises have you made to the tory rebels? laughs a bit of pantomime? i mean, it's a beautiful... i wanted a quiet walk to work, that's what i wanted! you might not be blamed for wondering if it looks a bit like that. but it's the woman who lives in downing street who's the one trying to keep it all together. reporter: can you really please both sides, prime minister? she's the one trying to stick to promises that perhaps can't all be kept.
but for theresa may, it's certainly not a laughing matter. there may now be a meltdown. they're not actually my words, but those of the foreign secretary. even as his fellow cabinet ministers are preparing the government's negotiations. joking apart, listen carefully. this is theresa may committing to think again about giving parliament more power if they vote down the eventual deal with the european union. i have agreed this morning with the brexit secretary that we will bring forward an amendment in the lords, but there are a number of issues, a number of things, that will guide our approach in doing so. the prime minister made it to this morning, avoiding defeat last night, because some of the wannabe rebels believe she made them a promise behind closed doors that she'd change her plans for what happens if the final brexit deal explodes. i trust the prime minister
and i know she will be true to her word. it would be a terrible betrayal if she weren't. and she is a woman of her word, and she's just given an absolute undertaking at the despatch box. job done. but in what feels like a game of "she said, he said," not everyone's version of exactly what was promised is precisely the same. it will, in the end, be determined by what actually is conceded, and it's too soon to tell. my fear, however, is that the damage, frankly, has already been done. the tories are hardly talking each other‘s language, let alone the rest of ours. but what's happening is that the prime minister is trying to please a faction of her party, who want a parliament to have more control if the final brexit deal goes sour. but she also has to keep on board dozens of others who think, if that happens, the best thing might be simply to walk away. but you can hardly please all of the people, all of the time, even on your own side.
the leader of the snp in westminster was cross, too... given the disrespect that was shown... last night, there were only minutes of debate about how brexit affects scotland, so they used dusty rules of the commons to provoke a row. i order the right honourable gentleman to withdraw immediately from the house! predictably thrown out by the speaker... applauded adoringly by his own side. we have had changes to the devolution settlement that were pushed through last night without scottish mps' voices being heard. that's a democratic outrage! but labour had its own drama tonight. 90 mps went againstjeremy corbyn's orders on yet another vote about keeping close ties to the eu. five of his front bench, including some of his shining new mps, quit their roles to do so.
brexit is complicated for all the parties, and that gives the government's foes many reasons to attack. the prime minister is not the only one struggling to contain every peck. laura kuenssberg, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: released into the wild. the raccoon that climbed a multi—storey building is back in the woods. the day the british liberated the falklands, and by tonight, british troops had begun the task of disarming the enemy. in the heart of the west german capital, this was gorbymania at its height.
the crowd packed to see the man who, for them, has raised great hopes for an end for the division of europe. michaeljackson was not guilty on all charges, the screams of the crowd testament to his popularity and their faith in his innocence. as long as they'll pay to go see me, i'll get out there and kick 'em down the hill. what does it feel like to be the first man to go across the channel by your own power? it's pretty neat. feels marvellous, really. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: the american secretary of state, on a visit to seoul, has said he hopes there will be major disarmament of north korea within two and a half years. the saudi—led coalition in yemen has launched a major offensive on the rebel—held port
of hodeidah, through which, almost all aid supplies enter the country, where millions face malnutrition. the antarctic ice sheet has lost about 3 trillion tonnes of ice since 1992, according to the most complete, satellite study of the continent ever undertaken. an international team of polar scientists say antarctic ice losses have increased global sea levels by almost 8mm since 1992, and the melting is speeding up. 0ur science correspondent, victoria gill, looks at the findings. up close, it's a pristine, frozen wilderness. but viewed from space, antarctica is changing rapidly. this study combined 2a analyses into the best picture ever of this ice sheet. it revealed ice loss at the bottom of our planet is speeding up over time. the continent now sheds almost 200 billion tons of ice per year. we used to think the earth's polar
ice sheets were slumbering giants that were not responsive to climate change, but that's clearly not the case. the ice loss we see today is because the ice sheet is melting due to warm ocean around the continent. the concern is how much sea level rise the ice sheet might contribute in the future. globally, sea levels are already rising by about three millimetres per year, and this study estimates as much as 0.6 millimetres of that comes from antarctic ice loss. it's a result that could shift the forecast of how our planet will respond to climate change. at the moment, we have projections going through to 2100, which is sort of on a lifetime of what we can envisage, and the sea level rise we will see is 50—60 centimetres probably, and that is not only going to impact people who live close to the coasts, but actually when we have repeated major storm surges and flooding events, it's going to be exacerbated because of the sealevel rise. satellite—based studies continue
to be a critical part of the effort to monitor antarctica as the changes in this remote wilderness begin to flow into the rest of the world. victoria gill, bbc news. the french national assembly has overwhelmingly backed a landmark bill to overhaul the country's heavily indebted state—run railway company, sncf. the vote is seen as a victory for president macron and a blow to rail unions who staged rolling strikes over the bill. it marks the biggest change to the company since its nationalisation in the 1930s. an off—duty fbi agent who accidentally shot a man while dancing in a night club has appeared in a denver court. chase bishop was charged with second degree assault after handing himself into police on tuesday. the agent was performing a backflip when his gun fell out of his pocket and shot a bystander in the leg. russia take on saudi arabia
in moscow on thursday as the 2018 world cup kicks off. 32 teams will compete for the trophy with the matches being played in 11 different cities. away from the games there's been some focus on security concerns and political tensions. here's our sports editor, dan roan. whether you like it or not, russia is about to play host to football's greatest showpiece. and wherever it is staged, there's still nothing quite like it in sport. fans from around the world already enjoying the build up here in moscow. politics is never far away from such occasions and today, president putin himself made a surprise appearance at a fifa meeting. "our country is ready to host the world cup," he said, "to provide all those who come to russia the best time and the most positive experience". welcome to russia.
putin's ordered a crackdown on the kind of russian hooliganism that marred euro 2016. sergei was one of those convicted after the violence and served seven months in a french prison but told me there would be no repeat. a lot of work was made by the police on supporters, fans, hooligans, to protect this world championship. i suppose no, i suppose this will be a holiday of football. racism continues to mar the game here. russian football authorities fined after france players suffered racial abuse during a friendly in march. for russia, this is a very big moment because relations with the west have soured immeasurably since they were awarded this tournament. they are now trying to carve out a niche for themselves on the world stage and to have, you know, basic levels of racism taking place
will mean that their big moment is being tarnished. amid geopolitical and diplomatic tensions, many in the west see this as a vanity project for president putin and he is sure to play a prominent role here at the luzhniki stadium tomorrow when the tournament kicks off. but despite the fact that sport and politics have neverfelt quite so closely linked, on the pitch, russia 2018 has the potential to be a footballing spectacle. the drama's already begun. one of the favourites, spain, remarkably sacking their coach today over his decision tojoin real madrid. and when the action does start, the first use at a world cup of var, the video assistant referee, is sure to spark debate. hopefully the system they are using here can be really smooth and everything can go well. obviously, it's good for the game if we get the right decisions because there's so much riding on the decisions. and spare a thought for this man, the coach of russia managing a warm welcome despite his team being the worst ranked in the tournament. the whole team must be good because the people have interest in it, not only our team. lots of pressure on you? not pressure. no? it's a normaljob. the world's best players will now compete for the sport's greatest prize.
the countdown almost complete to a world cup that could be as compelling as it is controversial. dan roan, bbc news, moscow. it was the daring animal adventure that captured many people's imagination, the small raccoon that decided to climb a skyscraper in the american city of st paul. you'll be glad to hear the animal was safely captured and has now been released into the wild. tim allman tells us the story of a brave raccoon that, for a little while at least, rocked the world. 0ur epic tail brought the internet toa 0ur epic tail brought the internet to a halt, and began when construction workers disturbed these pioneer. making a quick getaway, he decided there was only one thing for it. the only way is up. you and me
now. it all looked fairly perilous. a small animal singing to the side ofa 23 a small animal singing to the side of a 23 floor office building. —— clinging. but he seemed pretty blase, taking time to rest as people near and blase, taking time to rest as people nearand far blase, taking time to rest as people near and far looked on in disbelief. it is crazy. thousands and thousands of retweets of this little raccoons story, people gathering on the streets to watch it from the low. the world was captivated, wondering if he would make it safely up the office tower. —— below. and eventually, in the early hours of the morning, it did. but when it reached the summit, the adventure was over. he was soon captured. was this all a little out of character? he was fairly scared. you do what you can to get away from scary things. fight or flight instinct.
later, mission accomplished. the animal was released in an undisclosed location. so why did the ra ccoo ns undisclosed location. so why did the raccoons climb the office building? because it was there. tim allman, bbc news. boom. before we go, take a look at this. meet achilles, one of the cats that lives at the world famous hermitage museum in st. petersburg. he's been officially revealed as the 'oracle' for the 2018 world cup in russia. and he's predicted, as you can see, that russia will beat saudi arabia in the opening game. achilles, who was born deaf, is expected to pick all the winners at russia 2018 by choosing between two bowls of food with the flags of each team attached. he's been on a strict diet to be in a shape for world cup. whatever happened to paul the 0ctopus? hello once again.
i know it's the second week injune, but i have to start this particular show by reminding you we've got a named storm on our hands, and there's an amber warning from the met office for gusts of wind on thursday morning which could, in extremis, get up to around 60mph if not 70 mph. where's all that coming from? this great lump of cloud hurtling towards us and deepening all the while and as it does so, quite a vigorous area of low pressure for the time of year. it's got into the wrong place in the atmosphere and it's been deepening all the while in recent hours. such that as we get on through the day, we will find a real squeeze in those isobars initially working its way through northern ireland, but then on through exposed parts of scotland and through the north of england as well. but, with all the cloud and the wind around, it won't be a cold start to the new day on thursday, but it will certainly be a wet one for some and certainly a very windy one as well. i'll show you now the strength of the gusts, and there you are, in the central belt of scotland, some of those gusts could be up at around 60mph, as i say, if not 70 mph. gales and severe gales quite widely across northern britain. travel disruption is distinctly possible, bbc local radio will be
all over that, i assure you. even further south, it will be a noticeably windy day after a fairly quiet spell of weather. even here, as the weather front tumbles its way ever further to the south and east, we'll find a little bit of rain. there's no doubt about it the bulk of rain will be found in scotland but i think rain becomes less and less of a problem and slowly, slowly, oh so slowly, especially in the northern half of britain, does the strength of the wind. with the sun coming out in the afternoon for many of us, we'll push the temperatures into the low 20s at the very best. friday thankfully a quieter day across the british isles, but notice the prospect of rain in the northern ireland and the possibility of downpours in dumfries and galloway, ayrshire and the western end of the central belt. what news of the weekend? none too promising to start with. look at this, another little bit of area of low pressure bringing cloud, wind and rain towards particularly initially the western side of the british isles, maybe spreading north and east through time as we get on through saturday. perhaps the best of the sunshine up into the north—eastern corner of scotland. not a complete write—off, i assure you, because sunday looks a drier and finer day
as we finish off the weekend. take care. this is bbc news. the headlines: the un security council is expected to meet on thursday for urgent talks on yemen after the saudi—led coalition attacked the rebel held port of hodeidah, through which almost all vital aid supplies enter the country. the un envoy for yemen says he's continuing negotiations to try to keep the port open.
the us secretary of state, mike pompeo, is in seoulfor talks about the process of denuclearisation of north korea. he's then expected to head to beijing for further discussions with chinese officials. he said the us expected to achieve major disarmament within the next 2.5 years. the british government is expected to put forward another compromise amendment on thursday to the main legislation on brexit. it will give more details on what kind of 'meaningful vote' will be given to mps at the end of the negotiation process — a source of tension between pro and anti—eu politicians. now on bbc news, wednesday in parliament.