welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: reaching the final furlong — president trump makes one last pitch, ahead of the us midterm elections. a blast from the past — barack obama stumps for the democrats. he calls this a defining moment. a major search is underway to find 79 children kidnapped from a boarding school in north—west cameroon. and how we shall remember them — a hundred years of changing attitudes towards the first world war. millions of people have already voted and, for the rest, polls open in just a few hours, right across the united states, for the mid term elections that will determine president trump's ability to govern for the next two years. he's not on the ballot,
but if his party loses control of even one of the houses of congress, it will have a huge impact on what he can do, for the rest of his first term. this from the bbc‘s north america editorjon sopel. his name is not on the ballot anywhere across the united states, but the forthcoming elections are all about donald trump. he's put himself at the absolute centre of this campaign, hurtling around the country energetically. and so it's impossible to avoid the conclusion that the results of tomorrow's midterm elections will be a referendum on his presidency. today he was in ohio. everything we have created and achieved is at stake on election day, it is. if the radical democrats take power, they will take a wrecking ball to our economy and to our future. the issue that's grabbed more attention than any other is this, the caravan of immigrants making their way up from central america and heading towards the us border.
the president has deployed thousands of troops and fearsome rhetoric. "america is about to be invaded," he says. fear mongering, say his opponents. getting fewer headlines is health care, but arguably of far greater concern to many more americans. the administration stands accused of watering down people's ability to get insurance cover if they have pre—existing conditions. the democrats in this climate are struggling to find their voice and so they are relying on someone who seems to have lost his. if you vote, you might save a life. that's pretty rare, the way that happens. barack obama was today campaigning today in virginia and has been the one democrat still able to draw a crowd and enthuse supporters. healthcare for millions is on the ballot. a fair shake for working families is on the ballot. and most importantly,
the character of our nation is on the ballot. the numbers turning up at rallies, the numbers turning out to vote early, are extraordinary. these are midterm elections like no other. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. the bbc‘s dan johnson in washington says voting turnout is high. it doesn't really, we just know american politics has been very polarising over the last two years, many people feel very strongly even in favour of donald trump or against him, and the signs are whichever side they're on, they're likely to turn out and vote tomorrow in record numbers, if they haven't already cast their ballot in early voting or through postal votes, because about 35 million americans have already done that, that's way up on the last mid—term elections four years ago. there's an excitement and energy about these elections that no one can remember at any other previous mid—terms. it's become a cliche to say american
opinion is polarised, but it absolutely is. yes, there's very little middle ground to be found in any of this campaigning. the strategy from both sides and seems to have been in the last few days just to appeal to their core, natural supporters and try and get as many of those to actually turn out and vote as possible in the hope that will enable the democrats in their aim to turn over the house of representatives and take control there. that would let them frustrate the president's plans over the next couple of years, because they would have the control of key committees that would determine how much money they can spend and what acts of congress he can actually put through. the president thinks if he can cling on to the senate and if he can also do well in the house of representatives race, he will be emboldened to carry on with his strategy and the make america great again slogan, sort of direction. that's what he's been repeating at his rallies,
the core messages of how well the economy has been doing but the threat of immigration, something he's returned to time and time again. the democrats say this is about the character of the country and the direction of america over the next two years. although donald trump's name isn't on the ballot paper, everybody is seeing this as a test of how his presidency‘s performing so far. danjohnson dan johnson for us in danjohnson for us in dc. let's get some of the day's other news: in the wake of the larry nassar scandal, the us olympic committee has taken a first step towards stripping usa gymnastics of its status as national governing body for the sport. in an open letter, the usoc chief executive has said usa gymnastics is still struggling "to change its culture, rebuild its leadership and effectively serve its membership." since the scandal broke, 3 ceos of usa gymnastics have quit, under fire for the way they handled it. the european union's chief brexit negotiator has said negotiations with london
about leaving the eu are not driven by any sense of revenge. in brussels, michel barnier said a no—deal or hard brexit would spell trouble for expatriates in both regions. britain's prime minister theresa may has said she's confident of reaching agreement on trade and security on the irish border — a big obstacle to any deal. a tourist has died after being mauled by a shark in australia's whitsunday islands. paramedics travelled by helicopter to cid harbour, off the queensland coast, where the man had been swimming, on monday. the 33—year—old died later in hospital. it's the third serious shark attack in the same area in the past two months. the trump administration is claiming that the iranian economy will collapse, unless the government in tehran changes its policies. the us has reimposed sweeping economic sanctions. president trump claims iran has violated the international agreement which limits its nuclear programme, although other countries who signed the treaty say it has not. the uk has criticised
the american decision and says it will carry on trading with iran. this from our diplomatic correspondent james landale. across iran today, they tested their air defences, an annual display of military prowess which happens to coincide with the moment american sanctions came back into force. translation: we are in a situation of economic war confronting a bullying power. we will proudly bypass your illegal and unjust sanctions. in tehran, protesters burned the american flag in a familiar ritual, but the sanctions on oil, banks and shipping are expecting to make it harder for people to buy food, fuel and medicine in a country already suffering economic hardship. these sanctions had been lifted in a ground—breaking dealfour years ago when iran agreed to limit its nuclear programme in return for more trade with the west.
but donald trump claims iran has not kept its word. he calls it the largest state sponsor of terrorism using the money it's raised through trade to destabilise the region, by, for example, supporting terrorist hezbollah militias in syria and houthi rebels in yemen. acting in ways that threaten american allies. for a few months, iran will be able to keep selling some of its oil to a few countries including china and india to avoid destabilising the market, but the us is clear about what it wants. the islamic republic of iran is the destabilising force in the middle east today. the iranian regime has a choice, it can do a 180 degrees turn from its current course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble. the question is how much these sanctions will also hit british and european businesses. firms like rolls—royce and airbus that have worked closely with iran in the past.
some financial firms could also be hit. the eu does have a plan to try and help companies avoid sanctions. but many have already pulled out for fear of losing their trade with the us. the british government is disappointed by the actions taken by the united states, although it's no surprise. the action we are taking is to maintain a position within an agreement which the iranians are sticking to, and we believe we should stick to as well. we don't agree with the concerns the united states have about iranian behaviour, we just think there's a different way to go about it. so there are deep divisions between europe and the united states over this whole approach to iran, and the fear amongst some diplomats is that in the face of all these sanctions, iran, instead of improving its behaviour, simply hunkers down and perhaps even steps up its nuclear programme. the one thing that is clear is life for people in iran is about to get harder. james landale, bbc news. john downey, whose trial
for the murders of four soldiers in the 1982 ira hyde park bombings collapsed because he had a letter from the government giving him immunity from prosecution, has been arrested. downey was arrested in the irish republic on suspicion of the murder of 2 ulster defence regiment soldiers in 1972 and aiding and abetting an explosion. the 66—year—old will appear in court in dublin tomorrow. a full—scale search is underway to find 79 children kidnapped from a boarding school in north—west cameroon. it's thought the school's principal is among three staff also abducted by gunmen. separatist rebels are being blamed for the attack, though they have denied responsibility. caroline rigby has the story. abandoned, the scattered belongings of missing students, left behind after gunmen broke into their dormitory. in all, 79 pupils were abducted from bamenda's presbyterian secondary school, along with the principle and two other staff members. one student who witnessed the attack described hiding under a bed in order to escape a similar fate to his classmates.
one of my friends, they beat him up mercilessly. so they took him outside. all i could think about is just stay quiet. they will shoot. so everybody... one boy escaped. all the big boys, they rounded up. any small ones, they left them behind. the armed raid happened in bamenda, the capital of the english—speaking north—west region of cameroon. the regional governor blamed the attack on separatist rebels. this is not the first time students have been abducted in the area, but it's the worst incident so far in an insurgency that's become increasingly violent. they are going to face a strong, powerful reaction by the powers that be. not only here in bamenda, but elsewhere in the north—west region. parents of the missing children are anxiously waiting for any news. a major search involving the army is now under way to find their children.
caroline rigby, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: extraordinary security measures are in place for the trial of the world's most notorious drug lord — joaquin ‘el chapo‘ guzman. the israeli prime minister, yitzhak rabin, the architect of the middle east peace process, has been assassinated. a 27—year—old jewish man has been arrested and an extremist jewish organisation has claimed responsibility for the killing. at polling booths throughout the country, they voted on a historic day for australia. as the results came in, it was clear — the monarchy would survive. of the american hostages, there was no sign. they are being held somewhere inside the compound and student leaders have threated that, and student leaders have threatened that, should the americans attempt rescue,
they will all die. this mission has surpassed all expectations. voyager one is now the most distant man—made object anywhere in the universe, and itjust seems to keep on going. tonight, we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals. very good to have you with us on bbc news. one main headline for you. campaigning reaches fever pitch. just hours now until polls open for the us mid—term elections, which could dramatically affect president trump's ability to govern. let's stay with that now. joe uscinski is associate professor of political science at the university of miami. he's in florida now. professor, thank you very much for your time. what is the current picture telling you, what do you
think? well, like my shirt and tie, it is going to be very purple and do we know what the real results are. so particularly in my state, which is very evenly divided, in talking to the best pollsters and politicos, they all say the same thing, we just don't know what's going to happen yet. the polls are to close and, given that the fate of the house at rest largely not on a national vote, but on the culmination of 435 district boats, we're just not quite sure what's going to happen yet —— votes. yes, given that, do you think the national polls are reflecting what's really going on? there are possible reasons for the democrats to be quite nervous actually, aren't there? yes, so, about a year ago people were predicting a very big democratic blue wave and those predictions have been pulled back and pulled back and pulled back to the point now where it looks like
they are probably going to take the house of perhaps buy a seat or a few seats but it doesn't look like they have a chance at the senate at all. partly i guess because the president has been pushing very hard on immigration, which matters a lot to quite a lot of democrats as well as republicans, and the economy is so strong. so the big factor there as you mentioned is the economy. so if the economy were in the tank than the economy were in the tank than the republicans would be in big trouble. but it is not. it is actually doing incredibly well right 110w. actually doing incredibly well right now. and people tend to give credit to the sitting president when the economy is doing well. so for that reason is party is going to be treated more favourably than it otherwise would be. and on the other hand, donald trump is probably going to lose a few seats just because he has fairly low popularity numbers. and given the strength of the economy, and a lot of that has to do with his bombastic rhetoric. and it has to be said at a local level
republican governors and state legislatures have made it quite a lot harderfor legislatures have made it quite a lot harder for people who might vote democrat to vote. yes, and it is tough for everyone right now. because if you're a republic and it is not necessarily clear that you wa nt to is not necessarily clear that you want to align yourself with trump but if you don't align yourself with trump then the drum supporters might not support you. on the other hand, democrats, if they only run against donald trump then they don't really have an agenda to give the voters and if the voters are being told that trump is terrible even if the economy is really good, which is one of the few things that they judge the president on then it sort of gives them a signal and you know a lot of these people just may not turn out. what is the record early turnout telling you? it says a lot of people had their minds made up early and that a lot of people expect that there is going to be long lines come tomorrow so they wa nt to long lines come tomorrow so they want to get it out of the way as quickly as possible. we have the same thing happening here in florida
too. a lot of people have voted early and a lot of people have voted absentee. but it is not clear what that means yet. i mean one of the things here in florida is that republicans can rely on a very large contingent of dedicated voters to turn out for them on election day. democrats don't have that same advantage because the people they rely on, particularly young people, or college students, i'm not quite as reliable, particularly in mid—term elections. —— are not quite as reliable. we will know soon enough. professor, thank you very much. thank you. extraordinary security is in place in new york for the trial of the world's most notorious drug lord, joaquin "el chapo" guzman. the former leader of the sinaloa cartel is facing 17 charges, including murder, conspiracy, drug trafficking and money laundering. it's taken decades for him to face justice on american soil and officials are taking no chances with an infamous jail breaker. georgina smythe has more. joaquin "el chapo" guzman, drug
lord, jail skp and now defendant. the new york trial of one of the world's most notorious criminals is under way and security is understandably tight —— escapee. us prosecutors say they have spent yea rs prosecutors say they have spent years piecing together the case and they want to put the 61—year—old away for life for crimes including drug trafficking, conspiracy and murder. he is accused of leading the largest drug—trafficking organisation in the world, smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the united states, as well as heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana. the former leader of the sinaloa cartel, guzman has twice escaped prison in mexico — once hidden in a laundry cart, a second time crawling through an opening in a shower and through a mile long tunnel. extradited to the us in
2017, guzman has been in solitary confinement since, spending 23 hours a day in his cell. but even in custody, his infamy has the us government on edge. a 12 personjury will remain anonymous for their safety, and many witnesses are in protection and may testify under aliases. the prosecution says it has hundreds of thousands of pieces of evidence and the case is expected to run into next year. in a slightly surreal move, the gru, russia's military intelligence agency, has celebrated its 100th anniversary. internationally, it's accused of interfering in the us presidential election and carrying out a deadly nerve agent attack in britain. on home soil, russia's military spies have been praised by vladimir putin for their dedication and unique abilities. the bbc‘s steve rosenberg reports. dimitri tells me that, if what the west is saying about the gru is true, it means the russian agents are doing a good job. it means they are scared of us.
not everyone here is so upbeat. with the gru also implicated in election meddling in the west, and in a failed coup in montenegro, some russians believe the spy agency is playing a dangerous game. translation: this situation is not normal. if every country did the kind of things the gru is accused of, this could end very badly for the whole world. as for the show, well, it ends bizarrely, and rather violently. when russia has a problem, it throws everything at it, all its power. then again, if there is one thing russia despises, it is weakness. it plays tough, and it plays to win, and controversy about its intelligence agencies
isn't going to change that. now to a spectacular sight in london. you're looking at thousands of flames, individual torches in the moat of the tower of london. they're part of a new art installation to commemorate the centenary of the end of the first world war. this will happen every night leading up to and including armistice day on sunday. our special correspondent allan little reports on how the way we look at the war, and its consequences, has changed in the past 100 years. no war in history had demanded so much, mobilised so many, or killed in such numbers. and, when it was over, the men who fought it began asking questions that have never gone away. what was it for, and was it worth it?
we remember them now with public reverence, but the way that we think about the war they fought has changed dramatically in the 100 years since it ended. this is dryburgh abbey in the scottish borders, where britain's military commander, earl douglas haig, is buried. when he died, ten years after the war ended, he was a venerated public figure, the architect of victory and national salvation. his funeral procession in both london and edinburgh drew more than a million people onto the streets. haig's reputation has risen and fallen over the century, as each new generation reinterprets the first world war in the light of its own values. by the 1960s, haig wasn't a national hero anymore. he was a public villain, the ‘butcher of the somme', who had sent hundreds of thousands of young men to their deaths needlessly. in this version the war was, above all, futile. in 1917, the war poets wilfred owen
and siegfried sassoon met here at craiglockhart war hospital in edinburgh. but it wasn't until the 1960s, the age of emerging youth culture, vietnam and anti—war sentiment, that their depiction of the horror and pity of the war gained widespread popular attraction. timed well, both in terms of the cultural narrative, but also the military political scene within the world at that time. and all of those things have come colliding together, and given owen a renaissance and a rebirth, and that message of futility really strong in people's narrative at that time. the britain that emerged from the armistice would never be the same. the war had had a powerful democratising effect, for the men who fought it came home to demand a new place in society for the common citizen. we were promised lands for heroes to live in, and all that sort of thing, but when we came home we found nothing.
there was no cheering, no singing. we were drained of all emotion, really. that's what it amounted to, you see. they started marching round the camp, singing out, "we want food, we want money!" the government was obviously very concerned about what would happen when the guys came back, particularly because the labour party had grown, and then there'd been the russian revolution in 1917, so they were really scared there'd be some socialist uprising. and the term "citizenship" comes into use in the ‘20s and ‘30s, which it never had been before, because the british were subjects of the crown, they weren't citizens, which i think is something new after the war. they thought they had fought the war that would end all wars. they had not. but the britain we inherit today, its citizens' democracy, grew out of their extraordinary sacrifice. allan little, bbc news. just briefly for you that mean
story. millions of people have already voted. for the rest, the polls opened across the united states in a few hours for the mid—term elections that will determine president trump's ability to govern for the next two years. he is not on the ballot of course but it is republican party loses control in even one of the houses of congress, which opinion polls suggest they might, it will have a huge impact on what he can do for the rest of his first term. much more on that and all of the news any time on the bbc wesbite. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter, i'm @bbcmikeembley. thank you for watching. hello there.
the pressure patterns set up across the uk for the next few days will be crucial to how the weather is going to look and certainly feel. we've got a big area of high pressure over the continent, spinning clockwise, and a big area of low pressure over the atlantic, to the west of us, spinning anti—clockwise. and this is driving up southerly winds right across the country, and this mild air moving up from the mediterranean, through france, and across our shores. but as we go through the next few days, this area of low pressure across the west will slowly encroach into our shores, so although it's going to be mild, it will start to turn windier, and there will be outbreaks of rain pushing in from the west. now, early this morning, it's going to be a largely dry start. some mist and murk around from the bonfires and fireworks on the previous evening. but there will be some splashes of rain pushing into some western areas, but generally light at this stage. and a very mild start to the day, no lower than 8—11 degrees. so for tuesday morning, we start off on a largely dry note. for much of england, wales and scotland, there will be some spells of sunshine around, but quite a bit of cloud too.
as we head into the afternoon, this more active weather front will start to throw in some pretty heavy rain at times through parts of cornwall, devon, in towards western wales as well. could even be a rumble of thunder with this rain as it moves in. could also be pushing into north sea coastal areas, maybe the far west of north—west england, in towards northern ireland, certainly be wetter here, and then eventually western scotland. and it will be a blustery day for all, but certainly across western areas. temperature—wise, pretty good further east. where we have the dry and bright conditions, 17 or 18 degrees. but even further west, with the cloud, the rain and wind, 13 or 1a degrees. and then through tuesday night, that rain will continue to edge its way eastwards, perhaps not reaching the far east of scotland and england until we head into wednesday morning. we've got a secondary area of low pressure developing out of this as it moves across our shores, so wednesday is looking particularly unsettled — very windy, cloudy, some heavy rain pretty much anywhere through the morning. maybe a rumble of thunder or two, particularly in the showers,
these blustery, heavy showers, which will arrive across southern areas into the afternoon. temperature—wise, not quite as high as monday and tuesday, looking at 12—14 celsius. and it will be a windy day, with gales in exposure, certainly around coasts and over hills. and then as we end the week, well, we maintain a south or south—westerly wind, with low pressure still out towards the west. but because low pressure will still be close by, it could remain dry. even longer spells of rain, but again, with the winds coming in from the south, it should be pretty mild for the time of year. this is bbc news. the headlines: in the final stages of campaigning for the mid—term elections in the us, president trump has told supporters his republican party is delivering the american dream. for the democrats, former president barack obama said the character of the country was on the ballot. the government in cameroon has
launched a huge search for 79 children kidnapped from a boarding school. unidentified gunmen seized the students and some of the staff. students have described hiding as the hostage—takers ransacked the building, in bamenda in the north—west of the country. the us secretary of state, mike pompeo, says washington will exert relentless pressure on iran unless it changes its current course. at the first sweeping economic sanctions. the us post. speaking after the reimposition of sanctions, mr pompeo said the objective was to starve the country of the revenue he said it used to fund violence. now on bbc news — the travel show.