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tv   BBC News  BBC News  February 18, 2019 3:00am-3:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. were there a high—level discussions to remove president trump? a top republican vows to investigate allegations made by a former acting fbi director. rosenstein was actually openly talking about whether there was a majority of the cabinet who would vote to remove the president? that's correct. as the battle against islamic state draws to a close, what will happen to captured is fighters? inside venezuela — we meet some of the people struggling to survive as the standoff over humanitarian aid continues. and going out with a bang — the world war ii bomb that took 75 years to explode.
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a republican senator has vowed to investigate an alleged discussion to remove president trump from office. lindsay graham chairs the us senate judiciary committee. he says he could issue subpeonas to get to the bottom of claims that, in 2017, the deputy us attorney general, rod rosenstein discussed getting support for invoking the 25th amendment, which could declare the president unfit to serve. the claims were made in a tv interview by the former acting head of the fbi — andrew mccabe, who also claims mr rosenstein offered to wear a wire to record conversations with the president. the discussion of the 25th amendment was simply, rod raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort. ididn't i didn't have much to contribute in that conversation, to be perfectly honest, so ijust listened to what he had to say. but to be fair, it was an unbelievably stressful time. i can't was an unbelievably stressful time. ican't begin was an unbelievably stressful time. i can't begin to think how many things must have been coursing through the deputy attorney general's mind at that time. so it
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was something he threw out in a very frenzied, chaotic conversation about where we were and what we needed to do next. what seems to be coursing through the mind of the deputy attorney general was getting rid of the president of the united states, one way or another. i can't confirm that, but i can say the deputy attorney general was definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity, and about his intent at that point in time. 60 minutes says that in response to their interview, the justice department sent a statement calling mr mccabe's story "inaccurate and factually incorrect." the statement reads: "the deputy attorney general never authorised any recording that mr mccabe references...nor was the dag in a position to consider invoking the 25th amemdment." our washington correspondent chris buckler has more on the reaction to the interview. now, mr rosenstein has already denied these kinds of allegations before, and denied claims that he was suggesting secretly recording president trump at one stage. he says if he ever made such comments they were only intended as a joke. but they are very serious allegations to make against a us deputy attorney—general.
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that is why republicans in washington are furious. they are already saying that potentially, they will call on both andrew mccabe and rod rosenstein to give evidence at a congressional committee, because they say it does suggest that some at the department ofjustice were out to get president trump in some way. they of course deny that, and it is worth pointing out that president trump has in the past accused the department ofjustice of leading a witch—hunt with this special investigation taking place into allegations of russian interference in the 2016 election. earlier, i spoke to steve herman, white house bureau chief with voice of america news. i asked him whether it was the job of civil servants to be doing what andrew mccabe alleges. well, that's the big debate here. of course, people who think that this president is unfit for office feel that these members of the justice department and the fbi were doing their patriotic duty. for those who support the president, and you heard from lindsey graham there, what he intends to do, this is more evidence that they exceeded their remit. he says there may have been an attempt at what he calls an administrative coup, and this is more evidence, according to the white house
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and trump supporters, evidence of a deep state within the united states government, which was attempting to undermine a legitimately elected president. we have heard some of these allegations before. what do you think is going to happen next in terms of how donald trump will react and rod rosenstein‘s reaction? it seems like both sides are just going to get more entrenched. the white house has been very defiant about this. the president, on twitter as usual, referring to this as a type of collusion, and that the focus should have been on hillary clinton in her campaign, and pointing to andrew mccabe's wife being a democratic party candidate here in the commonwealth of virginia during 2016. and for those who want to try to push this president out, what andrew mccabe is saying, and he is of course selling a book at the moment, which has more revelations in it, this adds more fuel to the fire to
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demonstrate that this president should not be re—elected or might even need to go sooner than that. that was steve herrmann with voice of america news. now to syria, where reports say jihadists have been blocking roads out of the last area the islamic state group holds, preventing hundreds of civilians from fleeing. us president donald trump has been predicting the final defeat of is on the ground. earlier he urged europe, and the uk, to take back hundreds of so—called islamic state members captured in syria and iraq and put them on trial. he warned that if nothing was done, america would be forced to release the is detainees. shaun hassett reports. this smoke is rising above the village of baghouz, part of the last pocket of land still under the of islamic state. us airstrikes are providing the syrian democratic forces with cover to advance on the area and clear out
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the remaining is militants. baghouz is largely a ghost town, but some civilians are still trapped inside. sdf fighters say they are cautiously going from house to house looking for militants who they say are using civilians as human shields. translation: thanks to the efforts of our colleagues, islamic state is generally over. only a small number of houses remain, with the homes of many people, including civilians, detainees and is militants. with total victory in sight, attention is turning to what happens next. earlier, in a series of tweets, us president donald trump urged britain, france, germany and other european allies to take back over 800 is fighters that were captured in syria and to put them on trial. he said the caliphate was ready to fall and if they did not act, america would be forced to release the fighters, warning they would permeate europe. this is a big, problematic issue, because these prisoners, these are isis fighters, prisoners, they are still detained here.
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their countries, european countries, refuse to take them back, and at the same time, the kurdish authorities, they don't have that capacity or ability to do trials for them, because the region here is not stable yet. and while islamic state might be facing military defeat, the legacy of its attempt to create a caliphate remains. the us president talks about 800 fighters. it is not a matter of only 800 fighters. there are hundreds of their family members in the refugee camps in northern syria. accepting fighters and their families back creates security issues and is often unpopular. that has been underscored by the case of the british citizen shamima begum, who travelled to syria to join the islamic state group four years ago. she has since given birth to a baby boy in a refugee camp. her family would like the uk government to accept
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its responsibility to a one—day—old uk citizen and have that baby repatriated to the uk where it is safe, hopefully with the issue of emergency travel documents. 0pinions in the uk are split on whether mother and son should be allowed to return. with the campaign against islamic state almost over, european governments will have no shortage of controversial cases to deal with. a british parliamentary committee has called for a compulsory code of ethics to regulate facebook and other big social media companies to help limit fake news and other harmful content. it said this should be overseen by an independent regulator, and funded by a levy on tech companies. the committee's report was particularly scathing towards facebook, accusing it of intentionally violating data privacy and anti—competition laws. british prime minister theresa may has called on conservative mps to put aside their "personal preferences" and support her brexit deal in the house of commons.
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her plans were rejected in a vote last week but on sunday one of her senior ministers indicated that there might be a solution to the disagreements within the party, that doesn't involve reopening the withdrawal agreement. ben wright reports. the lobbying of eu leaders will continue apace this week as theresa may tries to deliver on her pledge to secure legally binding changes to the irish backstop, the most contentious part of the brexit deal, there to ensure no hard border on the island of ireland. but today, one cabinet minister said changes could be made without reopening the whole agreement. if there are other ways of doing it that are just as effective, that perhaps we haven't explored... so you think a legal letter or codicil or something... ? well, as i say, i don't think it's the mechanism that matters, it's the objective. many brexit enthusiasts on the tory backbenches will not like that. they want the withdrawal deal rewritten or the backstop ditched
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altogether. well, the european union has said that it won't reopen negotiations at all, but that is what you would expect them to be saying until the government goes with a very firm plan. i think the ball is in the government's court. the ayes to the right, 258. the nos to the left, 303. last week, divisions in the tory party were on full display when the prime minister lost another big vote on her brexit strategy. last night, she wrote to all tory mps appealing for unity, asking them to put personal preferences aside for the national interest. labour has divisions, too, and today, there was this appeal from the leadership to mps thinking of quitting the party. we are holding the party together on brexit. those who are saying, "well, we'll split if we don't get a people's vote," well, we've still kept that option on the table. it might come about. why split over that? meanwhile, businesses watch the political limbo with alarm.
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what we're concerned about is the prospects of a no—deal. there's no such thing as a managed no—deal. it is absolutely catastrophic for us. the prime minister's missive to her warring party warns that a no—deal brexit will disrupt the economy and damage jobs. and it is the default position if parliament doesn't approve a deal by the end of march. but will theresa may really let that happen? it's one of the biggest unknowns in this crisis. what is clear is that soon, some mps, maybe even some ministers will try again to shut down the option of a no—deal brexit and force an extension to the brexit talks if the prime minister can't get a deal through. and today, president macron echoed what other eu leaders have said all along — the withdrawal deal is not renegotiable. this week, again, the prime minister's room to manoeuvre looks very tight. ben wright, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news. still to come, we have a special report from inside venezuela, where people are struggling to survive as the economy collapses. nine years and 15,000 deaths
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after going into afghanistan, the last soviet troops were finally coming home. the withdrawal completed in good order, but the army defeated in the task it had been sent to perform. malcolm has been murdered. it has a terrible effect on the morale of the people, i'm terrified of the repercussions in the streets. one wonders who is next. as the airlift got under way, there was no let—up in the eruption itself. lava streams from a vent low in the crater flowed down to the sea on the east of the island, away from the town for the time being, but it could start flowing again at any time. the russians heralded their new generation space station
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with a spectacular night launch. they've called it mir, the russian for peace. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: the former acting director of the fbi says the deputy us attorney—general considered measures to remove president trump from office. reports from syria sayjihadists have been blocking roads out of the last area the islamic state group holds, preventing hundreds of civilians from fleeing. humanitarian aid meant for venezuelans has been arriving in us military planes on the colombian border. president nicolas maduro denies there's a humanitarian crisis, saying the relief is a cover for a us invasion, and his troops will not let it through. but venezuela's opposition leader,
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juan guaido, has called for crowds to converge on the border to collect the aid. 0ur international correspondent 0rla guerin reports from yare where the lack of food and medicines are claiming lives. the eyes of the revolution are everywhere. president maduro's militia still trying to keep the people in line. and in the town of yare, locals queue to sign his petition against the us. many here have given years to the socialist cause, and this was a venezuelan showpiece. but the facade is crumbling. if you need medical help in yare, you don't look to the government. it struggles to provide even a painkiller. you come here, to a clinic run by the catholic church, with support from the european union. outside, the local priest,
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padre pancho, tries to reassure his suffering flock, urging them to keep faith. translation: it's a catastrophe, a dictatorship. the people are on the verge of rising up. it's like gunpowder about to explode, because every day is more difficult. the padre says between 10 and 20 babies are dying every month. and when we asked who had already buried a loved one, here was the show of hands. this is just one street corner in one town. everybody here has raised their hands, every single one of these women say they have lost a relative in the last few years because of hunger or because of lack of medicine. and imagine that
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across the whole country, imagine how many people may have died needlessly. we went from the clinic to the cemetery with lisette and her granddaughter, winifer. it's a year since they buried winifer‘s cousin. they say the sweet—natured, outgoing girl was admitted to hospital with a respiratory infection. there were no drugs to treat her. one day later, she was dead. "every time i remember her, i feel like crying," says winifer. "she was just 22, just beginning to live, and she was studying. "my auntjust cries all the time." and the further you go, the more suffering you find. in the countryside nearby, a landscape of lush beauty — until you look closer.
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this putrid stream brings parasites and sickness to the village of tocoron. it's the only drinking water. so, jusobele has to do this every day. her dream of being a doctor has been left behind. her family can't afford to send her to school. at 1a, her lessons are about hardship. "before, we never went hungry," she told me. "we always ate well. "everyone is hungry now, and mums and dads have "to stop eating so they can feed their children." her aunt, angie, is an example of that, going hungry herself
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to spare her children. her husband complained at work about how they have to live. the next day, he was dismissed from his governmentjob. her neighbour, esteban, also lives hand to mouth with his family. he can't let go of the dream of venezuela's revolution. but for others here, it's long gone. 0rla guerin, bbc news, yare. a fire has swept through more than 200 slum dwellings in southern bangladesh. police and firefighters say at least nine people were killed and more than 50 others injured in the city of chittagong. sodaba haidare reports. the fire broke out in the early hours of sunday morning when the slum dwellers were asleep. more than 200 shanty homes were destroyed. the houses of bamboo, tin and tarpaulin
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never stood a chance. these people are already amongst the country's poorest. now, they have nothing. a mother shouts, "everything is gone!" they can only comfort each other. amongst the dead, four members of the same family. more than 50 others were injured. the death toll is expected to rise. officials are investigating the cause of the fire, but say it may have been generated by a short circuit. fires regularly break out in bangladesh's slums where millions live in squalid conditions. safety regulations are rarely followed and accidents like these kill hundreds every year. the prime minister of poland has cancelled a visit to israel
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in a growing row over anti—semitism. he was angered by comments from the israeli prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, that poles had been responsible for the killing ofjews during the second world war. rescue workers in zimbabwe have pulled nine people from a gold mine, which has been flooded since tuesday. more people remain underground and are feared to have died. they're reported to have gone in to the mine shafts illegally to look for gold, before heavy rain destroyed a dam upstream, causing the floods. the government has declared the accident a national disaster. parts of paris came to a standstill on sunday as police detonated a huge unexploded bomb. it's believed to have been dropped by the raf during the second world war. nearly 2,000 people had to be moved from their homes and a number of eurostar trains were cancelled. the bbc‘s tim allman has more. the heart of paris turned into a ghost town.
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hundreds of people, some preparing for a longer trip than others, leaving their homes. police going door to door, making sure everyone was safely out of the way. the1,000—pound bomb, initially thought to be harmless, was discovered in the french capital last month. it was found by workmen at a building site at porte de la chapelle, just north of gare du nord, the train station where the eurostar operates. translation: the last bomb was found in the early 2000s in the seine. there is a risk we're likely to find others. raf lancasters of bomber command fly through a curtain of heavy flank to blast the equipment depot near paris. it's estimated more than 1,500 french cities and towns were targeted by the allies during the second world war. officials believe this was an american bomb dropped by an raf lancaster in april 19114.
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for safety reasons, tons of sand was piled on top before a controlled detonation could be carried out. mission finally accomplished for the bomb that took 75 years to explode. tim allman, bbc news. a new world record has been set over the weekend for the largest gathering of smurfs. the lovable blue characters took over a small town in germany for the official head count and for one giant party. freya cole has the story. this verse may have originated in belgium, but across the board in germany, a small town has claimed
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world record—breaking rights. —— the smurfs. 2762 people all dressed as smurfs. 2762 people all dressed as smurfs and all in the one spot. it will be approved in a couple of weeks, but that number smashes a previous record set in 2009. translation: we have made it. this is what smurfs look like. what you think of us? aren't we a nice couple? it takes a bit of preparation to transform into character. there are strict rules to qualify, but wearing a white cap, white pants and a blue top. and once you are blue from head to toe, the games could begin. papa smurfs and smurfette.
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translation: they have come from everywhere. from switzerland, japan, france, all over the world. congratulations! japanese? yes! given the record—breaking turnout of young and old, it appears in 1958 comics still resonates with people of all ages. but there appeared to be one character missing. the villainous gargamel wasn't invited. that must take forever to get a blue paint. stay with abc news. well, it's felt a lot like spring in the last few days with temperatures getting into the mid, even the high teens. it looks like the temperatures
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will ease back down a little bit for at least two or three days before they will start rising once again. and, in fact, by the weekend, it could be exceptionally mild across the uk. in the short term, clouds are drifting across the country. these are weather fronts. also, some showers in the forecast too, so not a completely dry picture on monday. in fact, the showers getting into many western parts, some across scotland too. they could be short and sharp through the course of monday, but i think as far as early monday morning is concerned, many of us still having a lot of dry weather. and very mild. when you step out there, monday morning, 9 degrees in the south of the country. that's closer to our daytime temperature and that's the start of the day. so, monday, lots of showers, i think, across western scotland, bit of a breeze here on the coasts. hail and thunder is possible. and one or two showers possible also further south. but the further east you are, the better the weather will be. i suspect newcastle and hull will probably stay dry all day and quite bright.
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tuesday's weather forecast, another weather front is approaching, but ahead of it, the winds are blowing out of the south—west, so a very mild direction. so, despite the cloud and the rain, it's still going to feel pretty mild in some western areas of the uk. i think it will eventually cloud over, at least turn quite hazy across eastern and southern areas, but it will be dry here. temperatures will still get up to 11 or 12 degrees. but rain expected for belfast and western parts of scotland in the day, and then overnight, that rain is going to sweep through. now, this is wednesday's weather forecast here. notice the mild air reaching further north. so that means that the temperatures will start to creep back up again on wednesday. the morning is looking a little cloudy and rainy. this picture here is in the morning. and then in the afternoon, that weather front moves out of the picture, the skies should clear up a little bit and those temperatures will start rising. we're expecting even 13 degrees, maybe even 1a in one or two spots on wednesday. come thursday, that's when the winds
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really switch direction. they'll start coming in from the south, so the clouds will also break up, it'll start really warming up. in fact, widely by friday, those temperatures will be in the mid—teens, notjust in the south, but even in the very far north of the uk. scotland could get up to 16 as earlier thursday or friday. —— scotland could get up to 16 as early as thursday or friday. and friday into saturday, this southerly jet stream, extremely southerly jet stream will scoop up the warm air. it could get up to 18 degrees. this is bbc news. the headlines: the chairman of the us senate judiciary committee says his panel will investigate allegations that the deputy attorney—general, rod rosenstein, considered constitutional measures to re m ove president trump from office. mr rosenstein has dismissed and denied reports that he discussed getting rid of mr trump. reports from syria sayjihadists have been blocking roads out of the last area the islamic state group holds, preventing hundreds of civilians from fleeing. president donald trump has urged europe to take back hundreds of is members captured in syria and iraq and put them on trial.
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rescue workers in zimbabwe have pulled nine people from a gold mine which has been flooded since tuesday. more people remain underground and are feared to have died. it's thought they entered the mine shafts illegally to look for gold, before heavy rain destroyed a dam upstream. now on bbc news, dateline london.
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