hello and welcome to bbc news. i'm duncan golestani. president trump has described economic growth in the us as "historic", after it rose at an annualised rate of more than 4% between april and june. the growth was driven by strong consumer spending and a surge in exports, as firms rushed to beat new trade tariffs imposed on the us. the white house hopes the strong economy diverts attention away from controversy surrounding alleged russian involvement in the 2016 election. here's our north america editor, jon sopel. the sun shone and donald trump beamed as he basked in the warm glow of these latest economic figures. this is what he promised the american people and now 18 months or so into his presidency, he can say this is what he's delivered. these numbers are very, very sustainable. this isn't a one—time shot. i happen to think we're going to do extraordinarily well in our next report next quarter. i think it's going
to be outstanding. i won't go too strong because then if it's not quite as good, you will not let me forget it. the economy is powering ahead, but these figures don't take account of the trade war launched against mexico, china and the european union and the retaliation taken against us products. and though donald trump says the economy is set fair, the effects of the tariffs are yet to feed through. i think there probably will be a lower number in the next quarter of data, just because there will be some give—back. we had a temporary surge in exports and that is not going to happen, that is people buying stuff ahead of the tariffs going up. the other reason why these figures are such a welcome tonic is that it allows the president to try to shift the conversation away from russia, a subject which took another murky twist last night. the white house believes that people will be much more interested in their wages, their livelihood and the state of the economy than they will be in whether there was collusion between donald trump and the russians over the last election.
michael cohen, his long—time lawyer and personal bag carrier, has let it be known that he is prepared to testify, that donald trump was lying when he said he knew nothing about meeting held at trump tower before the election, with a kremlin linked official promising to dish dirt on hillary clinton, a potentially explosive claim. donald trump's current lawyer was sent out to do a number on the ex—lawyer. there's nobody that i know that knows him who hasn't warned me that if his back is up against the wall, he will lie like crazy because he's lied all his life. but this was rudy giuliani just a couple of months earlier. the man is an honest and honourable lawyer. the president entered the fray this morning, saying: thank you very much, everybody. reporter: mr president, are you going to go to moscow? as donald trump left the south lawn, there were no shouted questions
about the economy. it was all russia. the issue thatjust won't go away. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. let's get some of the day's other news: a leaked report by a group of british mps has warned that democracy in the uk is being plunged into crisis by targeted campaigns of hate and misinformation on social media. they want a change in the law so big technology firms like google, facebook and twitter are held accountable for harmful content on their sites. shares in the american broadcaster cbs have slumped as the company investigates claims of sexual assault and harassment by its boss, les moonves. six women have told the new yorker magazine that mr moonves sexually harassed them. in a statement published in the article, mr moonves admitted making some women uncomfortable but denied sexual assault. greece's prime minister
alexis tsipras says he assumes full political responsibility for the bushfires which killed more than eighty people around athens. the government has faced calls from the opposition to apologise, forfailing to respond quickly enough to the disaster. but mr tsipras said the authorities would act quickly to tackle unlicensed residential building development. a group of political parties in pakistan say they have rejected the results of wednesday's general election alleging widespread rigging. results declared so far show the party of former cricket star, imran khan, has emerged as the single largest in parliament. pakistan's election commission has dismissed the allegations of manipulation. britain and ecuador say they're in talks about the future of the wikileaks founder, julian assange, who's been holed up at the ecuadorean embassy in london for six years. the british government says mr assange will be arrested if he steps out of the embassy, for breaching bail conditions. millions of people around the world
have been gazing skywards to catch the longest lunar eclipse this century. those lucky enough not to be dissapointed by cloud cover, saw the phenomenon known as a "blood moon". at least part of the eclipse was visible from europe, the middle east, africa, australia, most of asia and south america. victoria gill reports. passing through the shadow of our own planet, in the darkest skies, stargazers took in the view of the moon during the longest lunar eclipse of the century. our natural satellite spent one hour and 43 minutes cast spectacularly red, as it was totally eclipsed by the earth. the moon is passing right through the centre of the earth's shadow, so it is where the earth's shadow is at its widest. and so it lasts the longest. the only light from the sun that can reach it is actually the light that has been filtered through the earth's atmosphere
and that is why it goes this beautiful dusky red colour. at the same time, our solar system neighbour, mars, will be as close as it is possible to be to the earth on its own journey around the sun, significantly improving our view of it. this recent picture captured by the hubble telescope shows the detail of a dust storm on the red planet. so where it's clear, skywatchers will see a blood moon in the same sky as a brighter, redder mars. and there won't be a longer luna eclipse than this until 2123, so it's a very good night to look skywards. victoria gill, bbc news. and there's plenty more on all the stories we're covering on our website. the prince of wales has told an inquiry that he at no stage sought to influence a police investigation into a bishop, who was later convicted of paedophile offences. in a written statement to the independent inquiry
into child sexual abuse, prince charles wrote that he'd been friends with peter ball, the former bishop of gloucester, between the 1970s and 1990s. but he said he was unaware of his crimes, and felt "deep personal regret" at being misled. peter ball, who is 86, was jailed in 2015 and released in 2017. he is too ill to give evidence to the inquiry in person. sophie long reports. and what hurts our hearts most... peter ball was a senior figure in the anglican church for decades. he was bishop of lewes from 1977 until he became bishop of gloucester in 1992. he was a man with friends in high places. prince charles attended his installation and invited him to his home. but in 1993, peter ball resigned his position and accepted a caution for gross indecency. reporter: any message
for the victims? i'm very sorry. it wasn't until 2015 that he was convicted for abusing 18 teenagers and young men and jailed. today, while prince charles was at raf marham, he tried to distance himself from the man he once called a loyal friend. in a letter read out to the inquiry by its senior counsel, he said he had ceased contact with mr ball when he was found guilty of serious offences against young people. it remains a source of deep personal regret that i was one of many who were deceived over a long period of time about the true nature of mr ball's activities. clarence house said prince charles didn't know about the caution until 2009 and he said he hadn't been aware that a caution carried an acceptance of guilt. one of ball's victims, who wants to remain anonymous, told me he did not feel that was good enough. i felt very let down by prince charles. we have been fighting for 25
years for this inquiry. and the fact that prince charles did not come out and say that he was absolutely devastated as to what had happened to us was hurtful. in 1997, peter ball and his brother were found this house in rural somerset, then owned by the duchy of cornwall. prince charles wrote to him, saying he longed to see him settled somewhere that gave him peace and tranquillity. the two men exchanged letters over two decades. "life continues to be pretty nasty for me," ball wrote to the prince. "it seems my accusers still want to continue their malicious campaign". "i wish i could do more," prince charles wrote later, "about the monstrous wrongs that have been done to you and the way you have been treated." two years later, the prince calls one of ball's accusers "a ghastly man", adding, "i will see off this horrid man if he tries anything again". in his letter to the inquiry, prince charles said he did not recall whether this was in reference
to an individual accuser or a member of the press. prince charles said he hadn't been aware of the true context and details of the complaints against peter ball until his trial in 2015. he said during the 1980s and ‘90s, there was a presumption you could take people such as bishops at their word, but he was clear that he never sought to influence the outcome of a police investigation into peter ball, nor did he instruct any of his staff to do so. sophie long, bbc news, south london. so how embarrassing is this for prince charles? here's our royal correspondent, nicholas witchell. knowing what we know now, for prince charles to have written what he did, expressing sympathy for bishop ball is undoubtedly embarrassing and suggests a degree of naivete and a
disinclination. that is a 2018 perspective and we must remember that act in the 1990s many people and institutions were failing to ask proper questions, at the bbc included, aboutjimmy savile. vicious ball was extremely well connected —— bishop ball. among the establishment there were people with a wilful blindness. he is keenly interested in faith, and track the two charismatic men of faith, prince charles. he said bishop ball was interesting and engaging. we also must remember that trials felt he was unfairly criticised in the 1980s by the critic and that made him attracted to this figure. certainly, today, within clarence house, there
is deep regret, as the prince said in his statement. there is frustration and anger that the good faith invested in this man was so grievously betrayed. the extreme weather has caused major disruption for travellers, with problems on the roads and railways. flights are also being disrupted with air traffic control placing limits on the number of departures; leading to delays and cancellations at airports including edinburgh, gatwick and birmingham. the storms are expected to continue overnight, with a yellow weather warning in place for the east of england and scotland. chi chi izundu reports. the summer holiday getaway, stopped abruptly in a car park. those hoping to go via eurotunnel told they can't because of the heat. and there's caution for those planning long drives. in london, in surrey, in new york. the summer heat wake breaking in
spectacularfashion. the met the summer heat wake breaking in spectacular fashion. the met office issued an amber warning for heavy rain and thunderstorms will not flash flooding could pose a risk to life. police have been warning of the danger of swimming. it in your boy remains missing. the body of a 17—year—old boy was found. boy remains missing. the body of a 17-year-old boy was found. --7 —year—old boy. concerns were raised about a boy reported entering the water. formal identification is yet to ta ke water. formal identification is yet to take place but next of kin have been informed. earlier today, lightning caused severe disruption after damaging signalling equipment in york. it is stifling hot. no air conditioning. there is now to get water. extreme weather led to travel problems for the tunnel travellers. we spent approximately five hours
waiting in queues. there was nowhere to go. no refreshments. no updates. in margate those who could talk to the beach. kids are off school. a day off work. we just want to be in sunshine at the beach. lacko said, you come to the beaches to cope with the heat in london is not very nice. —— like the heat in london is not very nice. -- like i the heat in london is not very nice. —— like i said. the reason the pool which i really like. the heat is set to come back next week. this is bbc news, the latest headlines: donald trump celebrates the strongest us economic growth infouryears, despite warnings it might not last. the prince of wales tells an inquiry he never sought to influence a police investigation into an anglican bishop, convicted of child sexual offences. austria's chancellor is understood
to have backed an idea put forward by the british prime mimister, for european union leaders to hold formal talks about brexit at a summit in september. theresa may has been speaking to sebastian kurz and the czech prime minister, as she seeks support for her plans. from salzburg, our diplomatic correspondent, james robbins sent this report. a warning, it contains repeated flash phtography. arriving for a night at the opera, at the end of yet another bruising brexit week. theresa may is finally starting her holidays with mozart's the magic flute, in the city of his birth. she's the guest of austria's chancellor, sebastian kurz. in a session of talks earlier, she tried to persuade him to urge a softer brexit stance from the entire eu side. but, at this particularly tense moment, both deliberately said
very little publicly. and i hope that we can find a way that also after the brexit, the relations between the uk and austria and the relations between the uk and the european union remain very strong. we are delivering on the vote that the british people made. they chose to leave the european union and we will deliver. so, could austria prove to be a british ally? this is a country both highly conservative and eurosceptic. hostile to migrants from outside the eu, but not to freedom of movement inside it. tonight, austria's foreign minister told me brexit has now pushed her country deeper into european unity. the current uncertainty on what brexit will be like, has in a different way shaped austrian public opinion, that interestingly enough, people have become a little bit more pro—eu than they used to be. a little bit more supportive therefore of the 27? exactly.
but it doesn't look as if theresa may got much comfort from the czech prime minister either. another leader she's been meeting here in salzburg. the overwhelming problem for theresa may is this — some other eu leaders may be sympathetic, but, and it's a big but, when britain says "you must blink first", they tend to stand solidly together and say "no, after you". so, for mrs may, tonight's mozart, a serious fairytale, offers an escape and her holiday in italy does start tomorrow, but it's only an interval before the hardest bargaining britain has ever faced. james robbins, bbc news, salzburg. the government is terminating its contracts with private firms running probation services in england and wales, after admitting they‘ re not providing value for money. the probation service was split in two under reforms implemented in 2015, by the then justice secretary chris grayling. but now all the private contracts will end in 2020, two years early, at a cost to
the taxpayer of 170 million pounds. tom symonds reports. lunch, shortly to be served in this 0ldham community centre. but back in the kitchen, the staff are also serving sentences. this is community payback. you have criminals working for you here. is that a bit odd, what you think of that? it's great, to be quite honest. yeah, it is. we're happy with them, they don't ask us questions, and we don't ask them. i've been sent here because of benefit fraud, so obviously it's payback, isn't it? it's unpaid, but the fact i've been place here, it's an amazing place. you know when you've been convicted with something, you have to do your time, and it's the best way to do it. this is privatised probation. the government contracted out
to encourage new ideas for getting criminals out of crime. but it's run into trouble, in particular, financial trouble. these companies are paid for each offender they persuade not to reoffend. but the courts have been sending fewer of them, partly because judges and magistrates are uncertain as to whether these sorts of schemes work. sure, since the new system was introduced, 2% fewer criminals are reoffending, but those who do are reoffending more often. and the chief probation inspectors says staff cuts mean they get less attention. a good proportion have been supervised by telephone, telephone—only contact. and i have long argued that is just unacceptable, that you don't change people by not engaging with them and not meeting and seeing them. the then—justice secretary chris grayling came up with the privatisation plan. he is culpable, here drove this
through without advice, refused to centred experts, refused to listen to his own internal risk assessments, who said it was 90% of failing, he bears responsibility.” think the level of support needs to big data, that is the case at the moment. it has been a bit of a mix, there are some places where it is working more effectively than others andl working more effectively than others and i think we need to make sure that we raise the standards across the board. so he is terminating the contract is two years early, private companies will still be involved in future but will be given tougher standards to ensure that they get criminals out of crime. tom symonds, bbc news, 0ldham.
after surviving the brutal war in syria, a group of child refugees and their classmates will take to the stage in london on sunday. they'll be performing a poem about the conflict, written for the bbc proms. caroline hawley went along to rehearsals. it's a long way from the rubble of war to this. welcome to royal albert hall! what do you think? it has been a tough but extraordinary journey for these children. this is sajeda, who is 1a. several of her family members were killed in syria and her story is not unique. mohammed is also 1a. he escaped lebanon before coming here and still dreams of home. for the first time, the voices of child refugees are being heard here at one of the country's most prestigious venues, with a poem they have
written themselves. it makes me feel i am in syria, eating falafel for breakfast with my family. what you want people to take away from the poem? to understand syria is a very nice country, that people would like to live in all their lives. but because of the war, everything is gone now. neither mohammed nor sajeda spoke english when they arrived. it was hard settling in. some children was bullying me, like, go away, go back to your home, we don't want you here. iremember iraq. iremembersyria. iam, isaid... like, when i was small i didn't think, i am going to be on stage in front of all these people. very exciting, and i hope that the audience will
really enjoy it. now, to something fishy sweeping paris. a new craze is attracting growing numbers of people keen to capitalise on the city's clean waterways. ‘streetfishing' is catching on — as andy beatt reports. casting a spell on the beautiful banks of the seine. thousands of urban anglers are going hook, line and sinkerfor a urban anglers are going hook, line and sinker for a fashionable pastime. they are ignoring the countryside and reeling in catches fire closer to home. translation: right now we are in the heart of the city, but when we street fish i am in my own bubble. i may be in the middle of the traffic, but i com pletely middle of the traffic, but i completely forget about it. shunning bulky equipment and armed with little more than lightweight rods,
this dynamic new breed say they are celebrating the city i reclaim its waterways and it is purely for the pleasure of the moment. converts follow a strict rule of catch and release. has a far cry from the polluted waters of the past, now 32 species of this —— fish are found here, including perch, trap and pikes at the while the cleanup has been dramatic, the hobby carries a health warning. translation: you absolutely must not eat these fish, especially not kids. they be won every six months or so is fine, but definitely not every week because the catch is often contaminated high chemicals. also, there can be other polluta nts chemicals. also, there can be other pollutants like bacteria and germs, which can lead to live a disease, eczema and other serious problems. while it is notjust fish that come out, for those that can't or don't wa nt to out, for those that can't or don't want to travel further afield, street fishing's glory is to resist.
we —— lure is irresistable. finally — if you've not been lucky enough to catch a sight of the blood moon eclipse — here's a collection of the best images from around the world. hello there. violent thunderstorms broke out across southern and central parts hello there. violent thunderstorms broke out across southern and central parts of the country late on friday. this marks the end of the current heatwave. the thunderstorms continued to clear northwards and eastwards and then things turn cooler, with showers following on behind. that is the culprit for the change to our weather, the big area of low pressure that has been moving in off the atlantic. you see the thunderstorms, a line of them across east anglia and into england and eastern scotland. as we head into the early hours of saturday, most of the thunderstorms will clear off into the north sea. they could, however, mingle on a bit longer into the north—east of scotland. behind those, further pulses of rain pushing in to start saturday morning. it is going to be slightly cooler and fresher here but for england and wales, again, another
warm and humid night. saturday, we start off with showery rain, maybe some of the country. quite a wet start for north—east scotland. some of these producing longer spells of rain in northern ireland. could be even heavier thunder across england and into the west of wales. this is something we have not seen for a while, blustery winds. i have got the wind areas on here because it is going to be quite gusty, 20 to a0 miles an hour in some places. it is going to be a lot cooler and fresher to what we have been used to. 10 degrees cooler now than what we saw thursday and friday. the low pressure is still with us as we head into part two of the weekend. in fact, this feature running up in the south—western parts of england could bring a spell of storms. windier and cooler pretty much across the board. some of this rain will be pretty heavy and prolonged, good news for gardeners and growers, as it continues to push its way northwards into much of scotland. behind that, we could see a few
sunny breaks, but it is going to be another windy day, particularly across england and wales, and even fresher on saturday, temperatures at best 21 or 22 across southern areas. closer to the high teens celsius further north. yes, it is going to be a cool, fresh week, with some strong outbreaks of rain. the signs are as we head into the new working week, high—pressure continues to push in and these temperatures are going to be on the rise again. this is bbc news, the headlines: donald trump is celebrating the strongest us economic growth infouryears, despite warnings it might not last. the increase of 4% between april and june, was driven by strong consumer spending and a surge in exports. the president has described the figures as "historic". millions of people have been gazing skywards to catch