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. president putin welcomes the footballing world to russia just hours before the first match kicks off in the world cup. 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 4 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 yemen's houthi rebels, who've reportedly fanned out across the city of half a million.
diplomats have been scrambling to prevent a bloodbath. but the uae, which is leading much of the ground force, says its patience with diplomacy has run out. we've waited over a year in order to secure hodeidah out of houthi hands and into a third party. 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 port of hodeidah, say the coalition are invaders and that the un is biased against them. they accuse the saudis of bombing the port's cranes, making it harder to offload supplies. translation: the battle in hodeidah will lead to a humanitarian disaster in terms of 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 aid will stop. aid agencies fear up to a 250,000 people's lives could be at risk in the fighting. yemen is the country with the worst food insecurity in the world. more than 17 million people here have no idea where their next meal is coming from. many of those people live in hodeidah, they only have one meal a day, with this conflict, with this escalation of the conflict and the level of violence that's 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 to not to prolong the war, but international aid agencies say this assault risks a 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. study forces have attacked the main port in yemen. joining me live from washington is former us ambassador james jeffrey. now with the washington institute, ambassadorjeffrey served in ankara and baghdad, and has focused on relations with iran. it is great to have you here on bbc world news. you agree that this offensive in the port of hodeidah risks the humanitarian catastrophe as many aid agencies are now saving? i'm not so sure about a catastrophe.
i checked 20 minutes ago on the un report on how many civilians have been killed in the last 3.5 years, it's about 6000. every death is tragic but compared to ten complex i've experienced in the middle east, thatis i've experienced in the middle east, that is not a large number. we have a catastrophe potentially because yemen is a failed state. at any given time, there is a danger of starvation and cholera and this port is the major artery for relief supplies into the country so relief agencies have a right to be concerned but this port is also the mains supply route for iranian weapons to the houthi rebels who are fighting both the government of yemen and the saudi— led forces and those forces are trying to block this supply route. do you think united states has a role to play and should it be standing aside and
allowing this offensive in the port of it is going to make the humanitarian situation that much worse? having lived through, including on the ground as ambassador in iraq, the 0bama years, iam ambassador in iraq, the 0bama years, i am convinced we have to look at the region as a whole, as a campaign to stop iranian expansion. it has a slice in iraq, a big slice with over 400,000 killed in syria, a slice in lebanon, also slicing yemen and that is the bigger picture. the united states is trying to do two things. preserve the flow of humanitarian goods to those who need it, much of the population, and support the offensive against the houthi rebels. the houthis have been given a chance to evacuate the port and they have not ceased that opportunity and the danger is they will fight on every block. are you willing to see the
humanitarian situation get worse in orderfor it to humanitarian situation get worse in order for it to get better? we would have to debate about what worse is. in yemen, every day... getting worse, isn't that blocking off the main supply route into the country, the main supply route for medical supplies in the country with barely a healthcare system? it didn't have won a dozen years ago when i was there. it's something the us is watching closely. the us and the un through martin griffiths, the un co—ordinator, are trying to broker a ceasefire and get the two sides to separate service city can be declared an open city, and there are various ways, but this requires the houthis, who are under the thumb of the iranian revolutionary guard to ee, the iranian revolutionary guard to agree, and they haven't. ambassador, with your extensive diplomatic experience, do you hold out hope for
aun experience, do you hold out hope for a un meeting on thursday? first of all, the meeting will happen. i'm pretty optimistic. the m iraqi forces and the saudi forces have been warmed by washington that the support is contingent upon no massive new debts or humanitarian catastrophes. —— emirati. they will be careful. the houthis are under pressure as well. i wouldn't give up hope that that can't be a peaceful solution of the evacuation of the houthis and the city back doing its job providing assistance to the people of yemen. thank you very much for joining people of yemen. thank you very much forjoining us. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the 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. pro— and anti—abortion demonstrators have been gathering
outside argentina's congress, as lawmakers are due to vote on a bill that would allow women to have abortions in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. abortion is currently illegal — except in extreme cases such as rape or if the woman's life is at risk. comcast, the giant us cable television provider, has opened a bidding war for the media assets of 21st century fox. it's offered $65 billion, i9% more than a rival bid by the walt disney corporation. comcast says its cash deal is superior to disney's all—stock offer. 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 curb! 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. the prime minister is not the only one struggling to contain every peck. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: all footballing eyes turn to russia with final preparations
under way before the world cup kicks off on thursday. 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 saudi—led coalition in yemen has launched a major offensive on the rebel—held port of hudaydah, through which almost all aid supplies enter the country, where millions face malnutrition. 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. we are going to stay with the story. mike pompeo is due to speak any moment in seoul in a press conference with his south korean and
japanese counterparts. you can see the lectern setup and the flags out for that press conference. i think it will be quite an interesting press c0 nfe re nce . it will be quite an interesting press conference. while that summit in singapore was unprecedented, that meeting between kim jong—un and donald trump, of course, the detail was a little thin on the ground. maybe from this press conference we might start to see some sort of plan being fleshed out. and, of course, this is two countries with incredibly vested interests in any deal with north korea, given the security arrangements between the united states and south korea and japan. south korea, we believe, taken by surprise by donald trump's promised to end military exercise. and, of course,japan,
promised to end military exercise. and, of course, japan, mindful of its security umbrella from the united states. it will be interesting to see the three countries at the speaking. it is a live event we are hoping to bring it in the coming power. the united nations has passed a resolution calling for international protection for civilians living in occupied palestinian territory. 120 members voted in favour, with eight against, and 45 abstaining. the ambassador to the un for the palestinian authority, riyad mansour, said he didn't understand why some countries opposed the resolution. to condemn, to regret, to express concern is not sufficient. we need action, we need protection of our civilian population. and why should that be offending anyone? we are just asking for a simple thing. we wa nt just asking for a simple thing. we want our civilian population to be protected. is that a crime to ask
for? the resolution, which condemned israel for excessive use of force, was criticised by the united states, who had lobbied for palestinian militant group hamas to be included in the text. what makes gaza for different —— different for some is that attacking israel is their favourite political sport. that is why we are here today. the nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day. it is totally one—sided. it makes not one mention of hamas, who routinely initiates of violence in gaza. such a one—sided resolutions at the un do nothing to advance peace between israel and the palestinians. nikki haley speaking there. russia takes 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. that is just the way it is looking
at this hour. let us go back to tsonga where we are waiting for that press c0 nfe re nce tsonga where we are waiting for that press conference between mike pompeo and his counterparts from south korea and japan. we are expecting to hear them giving reaction to that unprecedented meeting between donald trump and the north korean leader kim jong—un trump and the north korean leader kimjong—un and trump and the north korean leader kim jong—un and hopefully getting more details about what was in that agreement and exactly what was agreed to from south korea's perspective what will happen to the military exercises that carries out for the united states and the troops stationed in south korea, and japan's point of view, it will have security concerns. we will stay with these pictures. you are watching bbc world news. 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. let's cross live to seoul now, where the us secretary of state mike pompeo is holding a news conference with the south korean foreign minister kang kyung—wha and japan's foreign minister taro kono. while president trump committed to
providing north korea with security guarantees. this is the first time that the highest authority of north korea promised the president of the united states to work towards the com plete united states to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the korean peninsula which we believe has bolstered the political momentum for action to resolve the north korean nuclear issue. secondly, we share the understanding that the june 12 summit is not the end but a new beginning towards a denuclearisation peaceful korean peninsula.