welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: president trump attacks brett kava naugh's accusers, but says thursday's testimony on sexual misconduct could change his mind on that crucial supreme court nomination. they're giving the women a major chance to speak. now, it's possible i'll hear that and i'll say, "hey, i'm changing my mind." that is possible. an investigative website reveals that one of the suspects in the salisbury nerve agent attack is a high—ranking russian spy. giving up and heading home. a special report from libya on the desperate migrants who fail to cross the sea to europe. from soweto to scotland, the grammy—winning gospel choir inspired by nelson mandela, goes global. president trump has suggested
he "could change his mind" and withdraw his nomination of brett kavanaugh to the us supreme court, if some of the accusations against him prove to be true. at the same time, in a press conference, mr trump maintained a robust defence ofjudge kavanaugh, despite new and serious allegations of sexual misconduct against him by a third woman. the first to come forward, christine blasey ford, is due to testify before the senate judiciary committee on thursday. he denies all the accusations. live now to washington dc and the bbc‘s chris buckler. the impression there is a lot to follow his. we have a third accuser, a third woman whose is that brett
kavanaugh a third woman whose is that brett kava naugh was involved a third woman whose is that brett kavanaugh was involved in sexual misconduct. she talks about being at teenage parties, where he pressed himself up against girls and tried to re m ove himself up against girls and tried to remove their clothes. that follows to previous allegations from women, who will give evidence at this senatejudiciary women, who will give evidence at this senate judiciary committee. he, of course, denies all of this study he is the latest allegations ridiculous and something from a twilight zone. the pressure is in some ways on president trump, who is watching this from the sidelines. today at a news conference in new york he stood by brett kavanaugh, his pick for the supreme court and suggested that perhaps democrats we re suggested that perhaps democrats were using this politically. suggested that perhaps democrats were using this politicallylj think, were using this politically.” think, when you really look at it all, is not going to change any of the democrats minds, they are obstructionists. they are actually cofi obstructionists. they are actually con artist because they know how much quality this man is and have destroyed a man's reputation and wa nt destroyed a man's reputation and want to destroy it even more. people
will see that in the mid—term. what they have done to this family, these children, these beautiful children, and what they have done to his wife, they know it is a big fat conjob. they go into a room and i guarantee you, they laugh like hell at what they pulled off on you and the public. they laugh like hell. to keep an eye on the bigger picture here, the point of all this is not just washington infighting, the political balance for the supreme court can affect the way the us goes for a generations. yes, incredibly important. people who are not needed oi’ important. people who are not needed or supreme courtjustices important. people who are not needed or supreme court justices and important. people who are not needed or supreme courtjustices and go through this process are a fact of the sit on the court for life. that means they have an impact on decisions for the rest of their life and brett kavanaugh is a conservative judge, he and brett kavanaugh is a conservativejudge, he has a and brett kavanaugh is a conservative judge, he has a very strong conservative judge, he has a very strong concerns on conservative judge, he has a very strong concerns on lg bt of issues, on issues like abortion and will
ultimately have an impact on what the supreme court thinks. moving the court that conservative direction is something that president trump wants to see with kavanagh. but this is not a done deal yet, this is partly because of the allegations that will because of the allegations that will be tested at the senatejudiciary committee. it will be a difficult hearing, but you can imagine that during this, effectively you have senators who are trying to balance two stories. of the ones that are coming from christine ford, who said that she was sexually assaulted and that she was sexually assaulted and that brett kava naugh that she was sexually assaulted and that brett kavanaugh tried to rape her, and from rack kavanagh, who says that is simply not the case and is defending his reputation as a goes to this very importantjob. is quite remarkable when you think of it. and men who has been appointed to the highest court in america, effectively appearing before this committee as the accused. thank you very much for that. much more to come on this. speaking to journalists, president trump has also thrown in the bizarre suggestion that china's leaders "don't know what to do" about "donald trump's
very, very large brain." because of it, he said, they have "total respect" for him. that didn't stop him launching a verbal attack on china at the un. chairing the security council for the first time, he accused china of interfering in november's us midterm elections. mr trump said beijing didn't want his republican party to win because he was the first president to challenge it on trade. he did not present any evidence, and he entirely failed to mention russian interference. the chinese foreign minister rejected the accusation. translation: we do not and will not interfere in any country ‘s domestic affairs. we refuse to accept any unwarranted accusations against china. to other news, and the international monetary fund has agreed to speed up emergency loans to argentina and provide a bigger bailout than first planned. the new agreement increases existing loans by $7 billion to $57 billion over 3 years. argentina has been struggling to tackle a deep economic crisis fuelled by a sharp drop in the peso and rising inflation. the real name of one of the men
accused of the nerve agent poisoning in the english city of salisbury in march has been revealed. two online investigative groups say the man who called himself ruslan boshirov and said he was a tourist, is in fact a colonel in russian military intelligence. british officials say they won't comment, but the bbc understands there is no dispute about the identification. our security correspondent gordon corera has more. ruslan boshirov — that's who this man said he was when he arrived in the uk in march. this is him in a 2009 passport application. but this is who he is believed to really be, anatoliy chepiga, a colonel in russian military intelligence. that picture of anatoliy chepiga is from a 2003 passport file. it was obtained, along with other material, by the investigative group bellingcat. british officials say
they won't comment on an ongoing investigation, although the bbc understands there is no dispute about this identification. so what do we know about anatoliy chepiga 7 the passport application says he was born in 1978 and links him to the russian military. he's thought to have served in chechnya and was awarded the country's highest decoration, hero of the russian federation, usually bestowed personally by president putin. at some point, it's believed he joined russian military intelligence, the gru, and rose to be a colonel. also adopting the identity of ruslan boshirov. using that name, he and another man, calling himself alexander petrov, flew to britain on the 2nd of march this year. on march 4th, cctv captured them in salisbury, heading in the direction of sergei skripal‘s house. police believe this perfume bottle was used to smear novichok nerve agent on his door handle. that led to skripal and his daughterfalling ill, and, three months later, to dawn sturgess dying
after the perfume bottle was found. two weeks ago, they appeared on state—funded russian tv, denying they were spies. mr president... today, speaking at the united nations in new york, the prime minister restated the british position, that these were two men acting on orders from above. the united kingdom has presented detailed evidence, clearly laid out in charges of attempted murder and the use and possession of a chemical weapon, against two agents of the russian state. russia has only sought to obfuscate through desperate fabrication. in response, russia's foreign minister said there had been an increase in what he called unsubstantiated rhetoric and he said the uk was stubbornly avoiding a joint investigation. but with ruslan boshirov apparently
identified as a decorated colonel, the russian account of salisbury is again being challenged, and the evidence that the attempt on sergei skripal‘s life was an intelligence operation, authorised at the highest levels, is growing. gordon corera, bbc news. a russian activist who invaded the pitch during this summer's world cup final, and subsequently fell ill, has accused vladimir putin's government of poisoning him. pyotr verzilov, who's a member of the anti—kremlin group pussy riot, is recovering in germany. speaking exclusively to the bbc, he said it could have only been russia's spy agency who poisoned him. jenny hill spoke to him in berlin. pussy riot knows how to steal the limelight. protests, stunts aimed at exposing what they say is the reality of russia under putin. now they're back in the headlines.
one of the activists who invaded the pitch at this year's world cup says he has been poisoned. i remember being sick and losing my eyesight in a weird way and, after that, it is like a black hole and i don't remember what has happened. the day before, we were drinking coffee in cafes, so there were many, many options for somebody at some point to insert something if they really wanted to. and who do you believe was responsible? it's most likely russian law enforcement. it's a question of on which side? we have the russian version of the fbi, the fsb, and we have the russian version of the cia called the gru. no proof yet to determine who did this, and doctors in berlin found no trace of poison but, they confirm, pyotr‘s symptoms were most likely caused by a drug which affects the nervous system. no single entity exists in russia, or probably in that part of eastern
europe, which actually can develop and carry out poisonous attacks like that. do you think vladimir putin had knowledge of what happened? in russia, vladimir putin, he does not give the final approval to, in his eyes, such small actions like this. but he definitely creates an atmosphere, he creates an atmosphere where such paramilitary groups and agencies do what they can do. so it generally falls into the line which has been determined by vladimir putin. and why you? i'm intrigued as to why they would pick on an activist like yourself, a young man, who... can he really be described as a thorn in vladimir putin's side? we are only making a distinction like that, because the actions we do are as loud as anything happening in russia. for them, it is quite a big deal and they think of ways
to counterbalance that. and yeah, that's just the price you have to pay in russia. if you want russia to change and be a different country, then you have to be ready for things. are you frightened now? are you frightened ? i wouldn't say i really... maybe it is my psychological problem, i do not really feel what can be described as fear in this case. so, essentially, no. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: what do you give a man who has everything for his birthday? hollywood superstar will smith goes out on a limb. benjohnson, the fastest man on earth, is flying home to canada in disgrace. all the athletes should be clean going into the games.
i'm just happy that justice is served. it is a simple fact that this morning, these people were in their homes. tonight, those homes have been burnt down by serbian soldiers and police. all the taliban positions along here have been strengthened, presumably in case the americans invade. it's no use having a secret service which cannot preserve its own secrets against the world. and so the british government has no option but to continue this action, and even after any adverse judgement in australia. concorde had crossed the atlantic faster than any plane ever before, breaking the record by six minutes. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: president trump says allegations of sexual misconduct made against his supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh are part
of a "big, fat con job," but says he could withdraw support for his pick if thursday's testimony by alleged victims is convincing. an investigative website says its identified one of the suspects of the salisbury nerve agent attack as a high—ranking russian spy. it reports the man who said he was simply sightseeing in the city has previously been awarded russia's highest state honour. more and more people are dying as they try to reach europe from libya because of tougher migration policies, that's the warning from aid agencies and charities. there are now fewer ships patrolling the waters of the mediterranean to help those in distress, because some governments have closed their ports to humanitarian ships. clive myrie reports from the libyan capital, tripoli. and a warning, some viewers may find parts of his report distressing. you are a
libya is a land of disappointments, and these people are feeling particularly hard done by. these are the migrants you don't often hear about. they have given up on trying to reach europe. and they are heading back home to nigeria. some couldn't find the money to pay smugglers, others were rescued by the libyans from the mediterranean when their boats capsized. all have now had enough. their babies, bags and dreams in tow. we came across this group of young men, among them a medical technician, a pharmacist and college graduates. they didn't want to be identified and didn't want to blame the libyans for their misfortune. africans, we nigerians are more encouraged to go to europe because their families are suffering. they don't have jobs. i'm no longer happy. something should be done in nigeria. we are dying.
we have no future in nigeria. we are crying. we are broken. the pull of europe and the push of poverty are powerful forces. but the prospects of migrants reaching italy or greece have now diminished. an eu clamp—down means fewer rescue ships from european aid agencies patrol these waters, so those playing russian roulette on the high seas are now three times more likely to die. being rescued instead by the libyans means a one—way ticket back to north africa. here, the coastguard is trying to save three migrants, whose boat has capsized. "keep calm, slowly swim to us," shout the rescuers. remember, sharks feed in these waters. isa they make it to safety but one man needs life—support. it's touch and go. he survives.
but, for so many others, the sea has the last word and the images of those drowned, their bodies mutilated by sharks, are too gruesome for us to show. colonel abu abdel bari co—ordinated the rescue that saved the lives of the three migrants. he says it's vital rescue boats from aid agencies stay away to prevent more people being lured to the mediterranean. translation: we have been through horrific experiences. it can be emotionally difficult for our crews. seeing so many overcrowded, migrant boats sinking, sometimes it is women who havejust had babies, drown — their infants floating, dead in the water, beside them. we are not against the migrants trying to find a good life, we are against the traffickers
and smugglers who take their money and don't care and leave to die. it's the chaos that followed the end of the gaddafi regime here in libya that's allowed the traffickers free rain. there's no government in control and islamic state fighters are now on the ground. while we were in tripoli, the oil corporation headquarters was attacked. eight people died, including five suicide bombers. we saw members of two militias squabbling over who should take credit for ending the attack. we were told to stop filming. the attack on the oil corporation here comes barely a day after several armed factions agreed to lay down their weapons and maintain a ceasefire that quelled days of violence earlier this month. what happened here is clearly a sign of the fragility of the security situation here. and, caught in the middle
of all the violence are the refugees and migrants, thousands abandoned by their guards in filthy detention centres during the recent fighting. this group fled one facility. they left us without food, without security, anything. how long were you there when the guards left? 22 days. 22 days? yes. the situation is terrible in libya for refugees and asylum seekers. for some, it's even hell, especially if they fall into the hands of traffickers, then anything is possible — systematic rape, torture, mutilation, all kinds of abuses. no wonder these migrants want to head back to nigeria. the eu has succeeded in cutting the numbers of people illegally crossing its borders, but at what price? clive myrie, bbc news, in tripoli. from the churches of
south africa to the world, the grammy award—winning soweto gospel choir is taking its gospel sounds to a global audience. the choir was inspired by nelson mandela's legacy and now has a0 members who tour the world regularly. the bbc‘s ben hunte followed the choir to scotland for the next part of their international tour. from the churches of south africa to the world! the soweto gospel choir is taking its sweet gospel sounds to a global audience. with over a0 choir members... free costume changes per person... and so many traditional african instruments... touring with the choir takes a lot of work. and i'm here for the next
pa rt of work. and i'm here for the next part of their international tour... in scotland. let's go! yes, the choir was started in 2002, and since then, they've won to grammy awards and taken their message all over the world. they host auditions like any other musical, like idols. they take back what it means to get a train to go tojohannesburg back what it means to get a train to go to johannesburg to go to the audition. i sang amazing grace. amazing grace! it was my dream to be overseas one—day and to be onstage. how sweet the sound... audiences love their singing. but usually they don't actually understand what the choir is singing about. we have 11
official languages in south africa, so we sing in about 6—7 languages in our show. because we want people to feel what we sing about, even though they don't understand. it means we put more soul in it so people will be, like, wow, i can't understand what he's talking about but it's good. as well as the sound, the look is also very important. the pattern symbolise the community. these bracelets symbolise the beauty. the headband is the crown. we symbolise ourselves in africa as women as queens. the colours show of the country. red and turquoise. purple and gold. red and pink. red and turquoise. green and pink. all of the choir are from south
africa, and one man heavily influenced all of their lives. mandela. when we won our first grammy in 2007, he was the first person to receive us. we are here today because of him. he wants to make sure the rainbow nation is a beautiful nature. when we are on stage, through music, and how we portray the mandela part, i think it's wonderful. ben hunte having so much fun with the soweto gospel choir. actor will smith has been celebrating his 50th birthday in an unusual fashion. instead of an expensive party, he headed to arizona to jump out of a helicopter. it was all in aid of highlighting global poverty. the bbc‘s tim allman takes up the story. it's an honour age—old dilemma, what
do you get the man who has everything? a nice bottle of scotch, perhaps? 0r everything? a nice bottle of scotch, perhaps? or maybe a comfortable sweater? well, if you're a hollywood superstar turning 50, you treat yourself to an unforgettable experience. will smith strapped to the side of a helicopter rising up above the grand canyon. it seems his ideal birthday present is a little death—defying. the bungee jump ideal birthday present is a little death—defying. the bungeejump to end all bungee jumps. death—defying. the bungeejump to end all bungeejumps. he may have fought aliens, robots and gangsters, but he's not going to beat gravity. his wife and family looking on, the actors seemed a little uneasy, but eventually it was time to make the leap. three, two, one, bungee! down he went. the crowds cheering as he goes. then, back heath kane, bouncing up and down. —— back heath kane. this was a man who had flown
on the silver screen and was now getting the chance to do it for real. soon enough, he was back on the ground, and all was well. he said it was both terrifying and exhilarating. from bad boy to birthday boy. tim allman, bbc news. hgppy happy 50th, will. i can't imagine the insurers form they had to fill out before that! —— insurance form. a kayaker in new zealand has got more than he bargained for while trying to get up close to a group of seals during their lunchtime. this footage captures the moment a seal slaps the unsuspecting paddler in the face with an octopus. a fellow kayaker, who filmed the incident, says the seal was trying to chew the octopus's leg but got a bit too carried away. that's it good morning. it's been a lovely spell of autumn warmth for some
of you so far this week. yesterday, we saw temperatures reach 2a degrees in lincolnshire. same spots, though, by the time we hit friday could be a good 10 degrees lower, if not a little bit more. and it's during the next 2a hours we'll see those changes take place. it's all because we've got cold air at the moment pooling to the north of this weather front, which is set to work its way southwards. to start the day, it's across parts of north and west scotland, and because of the more cloudier outbreaks of rain, notice the warm colours on the temperature chart to start the day. coolest colours in the south, where we've got temperatures in single figures for the morning commute, even a touch of frost in one or two spots. but lots of sunshine through england and wales to start with. bit more cloud north—west england perhaps compared with yesterday. sunshine to the south and east of scotland, northern ireland, but in the north and west, cloud, outbreaks of rain, most persistent in the highlands and islands in the morning before it turns to sunshine and showers as that showery band of rain pushes across the rest of scotland through the day, northern ireland into the afternoon and the far north of england. and so by the end of the day, notice how we reverse the fortunes. cooler air‘s to the north, warmer air‘s to the south,
where we could be a degree or so higher as far as temperatures are concerned than we were during yesterday afternoon. the sunshine continues. finished with sunshine across the north, but temperatures in the teens. those clearer skies will work their way southwards behind a fragmenting area of cloud and just one or two showers as it works towards southern counties of england. not quite clear on the south coast for the start of friday, so it'll be a milder night here to take us into friday morning rush—hour. a colder one further north with a touch of frost possible just about anywhere. into friday, high pressure is building in, keeping things dry. but as that cold front clears away, we've got all of us seeing the door open to the colder conditions. so a much chillier day on friday right from the start. we'll see the morning cloud in southern counties of england clear. that will lead to some sunnier conditions for the rest of the day. sunny spells really for most, just a few showers in the north and west of scotland, northern ireland later. but friday, note the temperatures, 12—16 degrees — a big drop on what some have been used to so far this week. and we continue with the cool conditions through the night and into the start of the weekend. high pressure, though,
largely in charge. so a dry start, even if it's a little bit of a frosty one for some of you. sunshine best across england and wales, but clouding over to scotland, northern ireland through the day. showers and outbreaks of rain mainly limited to the highlands and islands, and temperatures still generally around the mid—teens for the most part. by sunday, though, we'll see a bit more cloud drift southwards across england and wales. greater chance ofjust one or two showers here and there. showery scene, though, both scotland and northern ireland. bit more of a breeze, and we stay with things on the cool side. a big change from what we've had so far this week. this is bbc news. the headlines: donald trump is standing by his supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh as a third person makes claims of sexual misconduct against thejudge. the president said the allegations were part of a "big fat con job" but did hint he could withdraw support for mr kavanaugh if testimony due to be heard later is convincing. the real name of one of the men accused of the nerve agent poisoning in the english city of salisbury in march has been revealed.
an investigative website says the man who called himself ruslan boshirov and said he was a tourist is in fact a colonel in russian military intelligence. and the anti—kremlin activist pyotr verzilov who is believed to have been poisoned has been released from hospital. the pussy riot band member who fell ill in germany two weeks ago says he "firmly believes" he was the target of russian secret services.