this is bbc news. the headlines: president trump has renewed his attacks on the mueller inquiry into allegations of russian interference in the 2016 election. you're watching bbc news. speaking to conservative i'm reged ahmad. activists in maryland, he said the forthcoming report our top stories: was part of an attempt president trump attacks to "take him out." robert mueller, saying the probe on alleged russian interference the veteran us senator bernie sanders has launched his campaign to be the democratic candidate is an attempt "to take him out." for president in 2020. vowing to fight against greed, let's inspect every hated and lies, he promised deal he has ever done, to unseat donald trump, we're going to go into his finances, who he termed the most dangerous president in modern we're going to check his deals, we're going to check... these people are sick. american history. they're sick. nasa and a private us space company have launched the first astronaut bernie sanders kick starts his campaign for the white house, capsule from american vowing to fight against soil in eight years. the craft, corporate greed, hatred and lies. owned by the spacex company, mission control: is carrying a test dummy three, two, one, zero. to the international space station. ignition, lift—off. it's hoped flights carrying real astronauts will start paving the way by the end of the year. for passenger travel — nasa and spacex test launch their new astronaut taxi. bushfires sweep south—east australia as the country struggles with the hottest summer on record.
and japan's blooming economy — why cherry blossom season has become big business. hello and welcome. it's been a busy weekend in us politics. at a gathering of conservatives in washington, president trump furiously condemned the investigation by special counsel robert mueller into russian meddling. meanwhile, in brooklyn, senator bernie sanders officially launched his 2020 campaign to be the democratic candidate for president, adding his name to a crowded field that now numbers at least ten candidates. kim gittleson has the latest. will the second time be the charm for bernie sanders? in a fiery speech at the frigid brooklyn launch of his 2020 presidential bid, the independent senator
from vermont promised to advocate for economic, racial and environmentaljustice. he also positioned himself in direct opposition to current us president donald trump, who he called "the most dangerous president in modern american history." unlike donald trump, who shot down the government and left 800,000 federal employees without income to pay their bills... crowd booing ..i know what it's like to be in a family that lives pay cheque to pay cheque. for his part, mr trump, at a major conservative gathering, also on saturday, took indirect aim at mr sanders who identifies as a democratic socialist. mr sanders has been seen as one factor pushing the democratic party further to the left. democrat law makers are now embracing socialism. they want to replace individual rights with total government domination.
mr trump also used his speech to try and discredit robert mueller, who's investigating allegations of russian interference into the 2016 presidential election. the collusion delusion... so now we're waiting for a report and we'll find out whether or not, and who we're dealing with. we're waiting a report by people that weren't elected. robert mueller never received a vote, and neither did the person that appointed him. mr mueller‘s report is set to be completed this week and it will almost certainly energise democrats and those who oppose donald trump. the question for bernie sanders is if, four years later, he still stands out to liberal voters in an increasingly crowded field of democratic presidential hopefuls. kim gittleson, bbc news. eric ham is a political analyst and author based in washington. he says president trump's criticism of the mueller investigation,
was even harsher than usual. this is the first time you seen this. the president has had a very debilitating week with michael cohen testifying before the congress, his inability to get a deal with kimjong—un, and so the president was at home around his base and so, that really helped the president. do you think that given some of the really harsh things he had to say, saying that mueller was an unelected official, is that telling us that donald trump is a little more scared than usual, or is itjust that he has had a rough week and, as you say, he likes being around his supporters? well, i think what that is telling us is that the president knows this report could very well be damning, so what the president is doing is making a political play that he could possibly discredit bob mueller and the findings
from the bob mueller report. we've seen that take place not only from the president and the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani as well, so they are actually making a political play, because if you look at what is taking place particularly in the house of representatives right now, these investigations we are seeing taking place by house democrats are potentially leading to an impeachment, and so that's a political ploy, and the president is making efforts to try to stave off a possible impeachment, which we could see coming, because already you are seeing a number of rank—and—file democrats push nancy pelosi and her leadership on this issue. let's move on to bernie sanders. he's launched his 2020 campaign. does he have a chance of winning? absolutely, he does. in fact, today, by announcing an entering into the race officially, i think bernie sanders
now has catapulted to the top of the race, because he has the universal name recognition having run in 2016 and, of course, you cannot discount his ability to raise large swathes of money from individual donors, and that is going to keep bernie sanders in the race through the entire nomination process. a new capsule for sending astronauts to the international space station has launched successfully in the united states. the craft, owned by spacex, has a dummy called ripley on board with built in sensors. 0ur science correspondent pallab ghosh reports now on what nasa is calling the start of a new era. mission control: three, two, one, zero, ignition, lift—off. up and away, the spacex mighty falcon rocket. and on top, the dragon space capsule, designed to take four astronauts into space, but not just yet. instead, just a solitary crash test dummy, wired with sensors, is in one of these seats.
this uncrewed test is part of an ambitious nasa project to send astronauts into space from us soil once more. what today really represents is a new era in space flight, and an era where we are looking forward to being one customer as an agency and as a country. it's been eight long years since the country that won the space race has been grounded. the shuttle was withdrawn from service because it was unsafe, and nasa had to pay the russian space agency to send its astronauts to the space station on its soyuz rockets. but in 2014, nasa awarded spacex and boeing a combined £5 billion contract, so that each could build their own spacecraft. we believe in the future of space, and i think it's important that we become a space—faring civilisation and be out there among the stars.
we want the things that are in science fiction novels and movies not to be science fiction forever. we want them to be real one day. nasa hopes to use the vehicles to send astronauts into space by the end of the year. pallab ghosh, bbc news. let's get some of the day's other news. a prosecutor in california has decided that two police officers who shot dead an unarmed black man in sacramento last year will not face charges, adding that their use of force was lawful. the two officers — one black, one white — fired 20 rounds at stephon clark after they had chased him into his grandmother's garden last march. his death sparked a wave of protests in the city. germany's chancellor, angela merkel, has come out in support of weekly walkouts by schoolchildren calling for urgent action on climate change. in a video statement, she said she welcomed the sight of the students taking part in the demonstrations, which have spread around the world. her latest statement contradicts voices from within her own party who have criticised pupils
for missing school. a memorial stone marking the site of the old synagogue in the eastern city of strasbourg has been reinstated after it was knocked over by vandals. it commemorates the building that was looted and destroyed by the nazis in 1940. the vandalism comes ten days after president emmanuel macron promised new laws to tackle the problem. the british government has rejected suggestions that food standards could be relaxed to try to secure a trade deal with the united states after brexit. earlier, the us ambassador to the uk said britain should embrace american farming methods to help seal an agreement. our business correspondent rob young reports. the trade landscape could be about to change. as brexit approaches, the uk is looking to do trade deals around the world.
the way food is produced could become a sticking point. the united states says it wants to sell more american food in the uk. currently, there are eu—wide bans on us chicken, washed in chlorine, and cattle given growth hormones. writing in today's daily telegraph, the us ambassador in london, robert wood johnson, said: british farmers are unhappy. they've rejected the call for them to adopt american farming methods to help secure a trans—atlantic trade deal. we're asking our politicians to put their promises in writing, that they will respect our high standards and they won't sell us down the river by doing bad trade deals, that don't respect the fact we have higher standards and higher costs and make us compete against farmers that have lighter regulation and lower cost.
the government has said it's clear that the uk's farming standards would not be compromised in the pursuit of trade deals. eu standards are due to be enshrined in uk law. the american government has made better access for its food products a key aim in various trade talks in recent years. so we can expect the us to push its case hard with the uk. the two governments‘ differing positions on the way some food is produced could mean reaching a trade deal is more difficult. food experts expect there to be a clash of food cultures. the us argues that it's got a problem with salmonella and campylobacter, so let's throw chlorine all over it, clean up — let me put it politely — clean up faeces that people would rather weren't there. the eu says let's prevent the faeces being on the meat in the first place. that's what the argument is about. if the uk leaves the eu on schedule, trade talks can start in earnest at the end of the month.
the outcome of those negotiations could affect how we farm and what we eat. rob young, bbc news. firefighters in australia's south—east are battling a number of out—of—control bushfires, which have forced the evacuation of residents. this week the country's bureau of meteorology announced that it had experienced its hottest summer on record. sophia tran—thomson reports. a dangerous combination — hot weather, lightning strikes and unpredictable winds. at least 100 fires across the state of victoria now cover about 1,500 hectares of bushland. the main fire emergency warnings are for the bunyip state park, around 100 kilometres from melbourne, dargo in far eastern victoria, and budgeree in the south—east. more than 300 firefighters are battling the blazes, which officials say are spreading erratically.
i know our firefighters on the ground and in the air are doing their best to protect people's homes. we've got significant resources that we have brought to bear on those fires, whether it is literally hundreds of firefighters on the ground with trucks and other appliances, but we also have significant helicopters that have been flying on these fires. the fires come at the end of australia's hottest summer on record. hundreds of individual heat records were shattered across the country over the past three months, and the higher temperatures have been blamed for the spread of fires, mass wildlife deaths, blackouts, and a rash of hospital admissions. the bureau of meteorology says the pattern of warmer temperatrues is consistent with observed climate change. sophia tran—thomson, bbc news. do stay with us on bbc news. still to come: spectacular scenes in sydney as hundreds of thousands celebrate the annual mardi gras pride parade.
first, the plates slid gently off the restaurant tables. then suddenly, the tables, the chairs and people crashed sideways and downwards, and it was just a matter of seconds as the ferry lurched onto her side. the hydrogen bomb. on a remote pacific atoll, the americans had successfully tested a weapon whose explosive force dwarfed that of the bomb dropped on hiroshima. i had heard the news earlier, and so my heart went bang and bang. the constitutional rights of these marchers are their rights as citizens of the united states, and they should be protected even in the right to test them out, so that they don't get their heads broken and are sent to hospital. this religious controversy, i know you don't want to say too much about it, but does it worry you it's going to boil up when you get to the states?
well, it worries me, yeah. i hope everything will be all right in the end, as they say. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: president trump has launched a fresh attack on robert mueller — saying the probe on alleged russian interference is an attempt "to take him out". bernie sanders has kick started his campaign for the white house — with a pledge to fight against greed, hatred, and lies. the battle to claim the last pocket of territory from the so—called islamic state group is raging on. it had been held up as thousands of civilians remained trapped in the area of baghuz. the us president had hinted he would declare the defeat of is weeks ago — although an announcement is yet to be made. joshua landis is the director of the centre for middle east studies at the university of oklahoma and author of the syria comment blog. he joins me now from norman, oklahoma.
joshua, thank you so much for your time. first of all, we know what is happening in the battle for the blues and white is taking so long? there are lots of civilians. we don't know how many ices vices are still there. —— isis fighters are still there. —— isis fighters are still there. —— isis fighters are still there. they have tunnels they built and have occupied for close to four years. it is difficult to wipe them out. the coalition would like to use tons of firepower. but there are still lots of civilians, wives, children. they are negotiating, they are working slowly, they are trying not to leave behind a massacre of these civilians. it sounds like it is still going to take some time for that battle to be over. we are dissipating, at some point, the us
president wanting to declare the end of the caliphate in syria, the islamic state caliphate. what do you think after that point syria is going to look like as a country. cirio, the war is far from over. first of all, this is the end of isis as a state, but it is not the end of isis as a terrorist organisation. in a rock we are seeing isis attacks on a regular basis —— inna rock. 30% of syria is occupied by foreign forces. in the north there is a us zone, which is ruled by the ypg and the syrian defence forces, democratic forces. which the americans have put up. there is a turkey zone and a rebel zonein there is a turkey zone and a rebel zone in idlib. the syrian government is insisting it will reconquer the territorian. this war is far from
over. that isjust territorian. this war is far from over. that is just one territorian. this war is far from over. that isjust one of them. what about syria's future economically. what will happen to the country, which has really been destroyed, in many ways. well you should ask. the real struggle that is going to continue is an economic struggle. bashar al—assad has won the battle in many ways for syria. but economically he cannot reconstruct the 2019 budget he has put together. it isa the 2019 budget he has put together. it is a little bit less than $9 billion. that is smaller than the budget of lebanon lord jordan, which are much smaller countries. 0nly budget of lebanon lord jordan, which are much smaller countries. only $1 billion has been allocated for reconstruction. most international agencies are saying it will take half $1 trillion to rebuild syria. that tells you something of the terrible situation syria is in. the
western countries, they are putting crushing sanctions on assad to bring him down economically when they could bring him down militarily. this means that the war will continue in an economic arena. and the syrian people are going to be left under a brutal regime and under brutal economic sanctions. they are going to be the losers. not a great future for syria at this time. joshua landis, thank you for that. pleasure. a rare fish, thought only to live in the southern hemisphere, has been found washed up on a beach in california. it took researchers several days to identify the hoodwinker sunfish, which is named for its elusive nature. the species was only discovered in 2014 — now marine experts around the world are wondering how it ended up so farfrom home. earlier, i spoke to myanna newcore a marine scientist who first discovered the species. i discovered the good winter sun fish back in 2015. i was about two
months into my ph.d. —— hoodwinker sunfish. i was doing population genetics in indonesia and was dabbling in australia and new zealand to compare with the population is there. and as i did the analysis i found that there was something there that we did not know what it was. and from there i had to try to find the fish. so it took several years to track it down. that was before we finally found it and could describe it fully. it is pretty extraordinary to find a new species of fish. i believe this was the first new species identified for 130 years. what has brought this particular fish so 130 years. what has brought this particularfish so far 130 years. what has brought this particular fish so far from home? 130 years. what has brought this particular fish so far from home7m is really ha rd particular fish so far from home7m is really hard to say. it is so newly described. we have only started now to be able to identify it. we do not know where it occurs. but it looks like it is a southern hemisphere temperate species. it is quite intriguing made it —— what
made it across the equator into california waters. i think it could just be an individual that is lost. it does happen in the ocean with other animals as well. but it opens this question as to whether this could be linked to climate change. but unfortunately it is too early to say and we need lots more data to speculate, basically. so this particular hoodwinker sunfish, obviously found washed up on the beach, are they going to be tests done on it to figure out why it may have perished? the university of california, they went and did a fish necropsy. they took a range of different samples from it and that has been distributed to research is with various interests. so my interest is genetics, so i have secured a sample which is now on its way to denmark to my sister who is a geneticist there. she will do the genetics and we will then compare it
to the sun fish here in new zealand, to the sun fish here in new zealand, to see how they relate to each other. that is really exciting. you are trying to figure out if it is the same species? we know it is the same species, we can see that really clear la p same species, we can see that really clearlap —— same species, we can see that really clear lap —— clearly from how it looks. but how closely related it is to be won in new zealand as individuals of the same species, thatis individuals of the same species, that is what i am interested in. 0nce that is what i am interested in. once you do that genetic testing, how will that help you understand the species? we don't know very much about sun fish in general, many of the species. we have onlyjust started to be able to distinguish between the species reliably. now it is interesting to look at populations who break with each other and are there any gene flows between populations. don't know anything about that basically in the sunfish world at the moment. it will
be extremely interesting to see how closely related the californian hoodwinker sunfish is with the ones from here. myanna newcore, marine scientists who first discovered the hoodwinker sunfish species. every spring, japan celebrates cherry blossom season — with tourists flocking to the country in droves to enjoy the spectacle. but the cherry blossom is also an economic powerhouse — as catherine karelli reports. their appearance heralds the start of japanese spring. for many, they are a symbol of renewal and happiness. japan's season of cherry blossoms, or sakura, is in full bloom, but it is more than just a seasonal spectacle. cherry blossom season is also big business. locals and visitors have been enjoying all manner of cherry blossom products, from decorations to fabric, even wine. by the end of february, all major shopping malls based in tokyo had launched cherry flower products in a bid to increase sales, and according to one
manager, it's working. translation: we try and attract more customers to our stores by selling products featuring cherry flowers. during cherry blossom season, our sales tend to almost double. it isn't always easy to know when exactly the flowers will be in full bloom, but a few weather agencies are doing their best launching forecasting apps, and for those who just want to enjoy some time outside? there is an app that too, which lets you know if there are cherry blossoms flowering outside. catherine karelli, bbc news. hundreds of thousands of people have turned out on the streets of sydney to celebrate the annual mardi gras pride parade — one of the biggest street parties in the world. this year was just as colourful as ever. more than 12,000 people took part — including drag queens, surf lifesavers and members of the armed forces. among those enjoying the fun was australian singer, kylie minogue. the theme for this year's parade was "fearless" — recognising organisations which continue to work across a range of lgbtqi issues.
while gay marriage was legalised in australia in 2017, some say much more needs to be done to change attitudes in the country. the legislation has gone through but there is a lot more acceptance to be done in our society, you know what i mean? just because the law is passed does not mean that people are living friendly and happy, because some people still hold mixed opinions about that. love is about hearts, not parts, and everyone should be able to love who they want and without being judged. the largest cruise ship to be christened in the uk has sailed into southampton ahead of its star—studded naming ceremony on sunday. the msc bellissima was built in france at a cost of more than £750 million. the huge vessel is 315 metres long and 65 metres high. the surface of the deck is equivalent to the size of 63 football pitches.
do stay with us on bbc news. hello. we have already had one area of low pressure affecting the uk this weekend. there is another on the way for sunday. the first eases away from northern scotland during sunday. here comes the second rapidly deepening area of low pressure, coming right out of storm freya, and things will be turning stormy across parts of england and wales in particular, later on sunday. that said, it's a very windy start to sunday. northern scotland, from still that first area of low pressure, some gusts up to around 70 miles an hour and plenty of heavy showers moving in. a cooler start for many of us, milder in southern england and outbreaks of rain. during sunday, heavy showers and very strong winds in northern scotland are going to ease. to the south, we see the rain pushing north across more of england and wales as we go through the day, eventually into parts of northern ireland and southern scotland. you can see a bit of hill snow as well in the northern highlands, the pennines and uplands. it clears away as we go through sunday night and monday
morning, do not be surprised by that. still fairly mild into the south but then again, the wind is becoming more significant as we go further into the day. these black arrows indicating some of the wind gusts we are going to see as the day goes on, they are getting stronger late in the day. initially in parts of wales in the west of england, feeling the force of these isobars. the strongest swathe of winds from freya as we go into the later stages of the afternoon and evening. let's take a look at that. some gusts around 60 to 70 miles an hour. maybe some of the coasts of wales up to around 80 miles an hour for a time, the very strongest gusts. we could see gusts elsewhere of 60—65 miles an hour, a hint of hill snow, as we go into monday, those winds will gradually ease. but there could well be some damage and some disruption, so it's worth keeping in touch with the travel situation near you as we go through sunday night, but i think especially before you head out on monday morning. a slight improvement on monday, it will still be very windy as the day begins across eastern parts of the uk in particular, we're going to push away the early rain here. then for many of us, there'll be some sunshine, a few showers start to push
in from the west during the day. it stays quite breezy, it's just a gradual improvement in terms of the strongest winds easing down. it will be a cooler feeling day though. that's a sign of things to come as we go through the week. temperatures lower compared with last week. sun and showers to start the week, it looks like another spell of wind and rain will be coming our way mid week. that's your latest forecast.