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. no security guarantees have been given yet. it has been noted. 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 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. earlier, us secretary of state, mike pompeo, spoke with the south korean foreign minister and the japanese foreign minister at a joint news conference in seoul. he said the countries would work together to make sure north korea gives up its nuclear weapons. rest assured we all remain committed to achieving the complete and verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of north korea. the us alliances with japan and korea are ironclad. we have developed a
close friendship, and together we will continue to closely co—ordinate as we move forward together. this is japan's top envoy, taro kono. he was more cautious in his statement, saying no security guarantees had been given by north korea yet. we understand that the us will advance the discussion on provision of a security guarantee while carefully monitoring whether north korea takes concrete steps to fulfil its commitment to denuclearisation. we also note no security guarantees have been given yet. 0ur washington correspondent, chris buckler, has been watching the news conference. he says mike pompeo was asked again about the sequencing of sanctions relief. he was asked that question about com plete he was asked that question about complete irreversible and verifiable
nuclearisation. that his complete denuclearisation. that was mentioned. the other words are continuing to haunt the white house. what we have heard from mike pompeo is he will speak to the allies, the countries concerned, about how quickly this deal was done and how they get it in detail. when you watch the news conference, it is clear the questions concern both japan and north korea. they are interested in getting rid of nuclear weapons. there is a feeling japan and south korea were caught out by donald trump to recall the war games, the exercises byjoint military corporation. this is an
attempt by mike pompeo to smooth things over and address concerns and make things look better than they are, but to also sell what has been achieved. donald trump's continued talk, which can on his twitter account, that the nuclear threat is gone, that is not something all of the press will buy. it is not something all of japan and the press will buy. it is not something all ofjapan and south korea will buy. the job of mike pompeo is to sell what has been achieved, but there will be different cold questions going forward. —— difficult questions. chris buckler from seoul. the situation in yemen now. joining me live from washington is sheba crocker, vice president of care usa. thank you forjoining me. we have talked about this port and how important it is to yemen. can you
give us a sense of what could be lost if fighting really intensifies in this location pucela we are obviously all concerned. —— crackle and this port services 70% of imports. you are talking about a country with 22 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, 8 million people on the brink of starvation. in a worst—case scenario, an attack on this support, if you cut off lifelines and assistance, assistance to millions in the country, it is a more dire situation than is already occurring. we are concerned and watching it closely. and, you know, it is hard to overstate how important this is forgetting assistance out and around
the country, and to think about the people in and around the port and the danger they are in. —— for getting. this is not a country that was poor before the war in the fighting. there is not really much slack in the system. there is no healthcare. if you cut off the few supplies to get through, it could be catastrophic. it is about close to half of the people in yemen do not have access to healthcare. the healthcare have access to healthcare. the healthca re system have access to healthcare. the healthcare system has collapsed. when you think about something like a port with 70% of imports coming into the country, and it is a country reliant on getting stuff into the country from outside, food, fuel, medicine, things desperately needed by people, it is a place with 70 million people food insecure, 8 million on the brink of starvation.
-- 17 million on the brink of starvation. —— 17 million. close to half the population has no access to healthcare, when water. it is a desperate situation. it was poor before the war. three years of war 110w. before the war. three years of war now. this is only the latest salvo ina now. this is only the latest salvo in a situation alreadyjust so difficult for civilians living there with this. . thank you. 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 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 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 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 7 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. 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. 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.
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 1a weeks of pregnancy. abortion is currently illegal, except in extreme cases such as rape or if the woman's life is at risk. 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. 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's 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'll 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 tale brought the internet to a halt, and began when construction workers disturbed this furry pioneer. hoping to make a quick getaway, the racoon decided there was only one thing for it. # the only way is up, baby, # for you and me now.# it all looked fairly perilous. a small animal clinging to the side of a 23—floor office building. but our daring racoon seemed pretty blase about the whole thing, taking time to rest as people near and far looked on in disbelief. it's crazy. you know, thousands and thousands of retweets of this little raccoon story, people gathering on the streets to watch it from below. i think the world really captivated,
wondering if he would make it safely up the office tower. 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? not when he's scared. people do what they can to get away from scary things. it's a fight or flight instinct. later, mission accomplished, the animal was released in an undisclosed location. so why did the raccoon climb the office building? because it was there. tim allman, bbc news. that's the way it's looking this hour. i'm duncan golestani and you're watching bbc news news. thank you're watching bbc news news. thank you very much for your company. 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 just 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 initially 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 towards 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, towards 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. there are signs of concern among american allies in asia after president trump's meeting with the leader of north korea. but at a joint press conference in seoul, japan's foreign minister said he had been assured that any pause in military exercises
would depend on progress in talks on denuclearisation. 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, it's hardtalk with zeinab badawi.