tv BBC World News America PBS March 20, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT
>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the
crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> and now, "bbc world news." tim: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am tim willcox. mr. comey: no information supports those tweets. we have looked carefully inside the fbi. tim: the head of the fbi says there is no evidence of wiretapping, but the bureau is investigating possible russian meddling in u.s. election and any ties to the trump campaign. iraq's prime minister visits the white house to talk strategy against the islamic state. how the leaders hope to fight back against the militant group. ♪ tim: and celebrating the
force's sweetheart, dame vera lynn, on her 100th birthday. her voice the soundtrack to the second world war. , and welcome to our viewers on public television in america and also around the globe. the allegations had been explosive, and the question --ay, what is the testimony would the testimony be equally so? straight out of the gate the director of the fbi confirmed his agency is looking into possible interference by russia in the u.s. presidential election. by he also made clear there is no evidence to back up president trump's claims of wiretapping at trump tower. both of these issues are subjects that have consumed the u.s. public and been the talk of washington for weeks. our north america editor jon sopel has more. jon: big questions for a big
man. at 6'8", james comey stands head and shoulders above all around him. -- would he stick his neck out at the hearing? the answer, yes. mr. comey: the fbi is investigating the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the trump campaign and the russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and russia's efforts. jon: on the detail of the investigation into russian collusion, james comey wouldn't be drawn. what about the president's claims that his predecessor, barack obama, wiretapped trump tower? here he was more forthcoming. mr. comey: with respect to the tweets alleging wiretapping by the prior administration, i have no information that supports those tweets.
and we have looked carefully inside the fbi. president obama cannot wiretapally order and of anyone. mr. comey: no president could. rep. schiff: the president accused mr. obama and presumably the fbi of engaging in mccarthyism. were you engaged in mccarthyism? mr. comey: i try very hard not to engage in any isms of any kind, including mccarthyism. jon: then representative schiff turned to questions of british involvement. again, the responses were unequivocal. rep. schiff: did you say your counterparts in gchq should wiretap mr. trump on behalf of mr. obama? and will rogers: -- admiral rodgers: no, sir, that is in violation of the fisa agreement. rep. schiff: they called the allegations that they wiretapped for obama ridiculous. would you agree? >> yes, sir.
rep. schiff: does it damage our relationship with one of our closest partners to make the basis claimed that they participated in a conspiracy against them? >> i believe it frustrates them. i believe the relationship is strong enough this is something we will be able to deal with. jon: donald trump did not wait for the hearing to start before tweeting his verdict. "this story is faking news and and "theknows it," real story that congress and all the others should be looking into is the leaking of classified information. must find leaker now." at the press briefing, were they getting ready to hoist the white flag? of course they weren't. reporter: is the president ready -- withdraw the claims and apologize -- mr. spicer: no, we started the hearings and it is ongoing and
that will be ongoing. presidents one public meeting was with the iraqi prime minister, and even haider al-abadi got enough yet, grabbing the present by the arm and saying "we had nothing to do with a wiretapping." it is unknown if the president left at the joke. tim: let's get back to capitol hill with laura trevelyan. after all these decorations and allegations, one significant development. laura: very significant, tim. we know that the fbi had significant evidence from weather circumstantial or what can we don't know, to open a counterintelligence investigation into whether there were links between foreign power , russia which intelligence agencies concluded tried to interfere with the election with the aim of helping donald trump against hillary clinton, who vladimir putin doesn't like --
investigation into things between a foreign power, russia, and the trump campaign, to see whether officials colluded or coordinated at all with russian agents during the campaign. we now know the existence of this inquiry. before, it had been reported by media outlets, but now it has been officially confirmed. this is potentially a criminal investigation right at the door of the white house, perhaps not involving people currently in the white house, but involving people who were certainly known to the trump campaign or part of the trump campaign. where it leads come how long it takes, we just have no idea. all we know is the fbi director has said he will follow the facts wherever they may lead. and the existence of this, of course, is not at all good news for the white house, because it revives the whole question of whether or not the relationship with russia was too close, and the president is very sensitive about the election and the fact that he lost the popular vote to hillary clinton, and he doesn't want the whole issue of russia
revived. the also difficult for white house to save it was no evidence of wiretapping at trump tower. another the hearing today was no corset. do we expect him to be blocked as supreme court judge -- was neil gorsuch. do we expect him to be blocked as supreme court judge by democrats? talk tohe filibuster to his nomination because they are so frustrated that barack obama's nominee merrick garland was not given a hearing. gorsuch, what he does is not change the ideological balance of the court. he replaces antonin scalia. the court will still be 4-4 with a swing justice. there is the possibility of more vacancies opening up on the court in the next few years that could tip the ideological balance. did the democrats over broker now or do they say -- go for broke now or save the energy for the next fight? orsuch working to
select the most amenable conservative justice, appealing to centrist democrats. tim: as we saw were there, while most of the world's media attention was focused on the hearings, donald trump was welcoming the iraqi prime minister to the white house. haider al-abadi's visit comes as the administration plans to host a 68 hyphenation meeting on fighting islamic state. -- 68-nation meeting on fighting islamic state. abadi asked for more financial assistance from the prior administration. i spoke a short time ago to the former director for iraq at the national security council during the bush and obama administrations. what is he seeking from president trump? >> i think prime minister abadi is looking for something president trump is going to want to hear. it is all daesh daesh daesh, for islamic state.
he wants to make sure this is stomped out in mosul and there are programs in place to keep it from coming back and being as effective terrorist group. they had a terrible bombing in baghdad today that killed upwards of 40 people. he will want help with that as well. tim: it looks as if mosul will be retaken, but he is looking for money for that, for reconstruction. how does that go with president trump and his proposed budget cuts? it will see the state department lose a lot of money, and that perhaps would have been responsible for reconstruction in iraq. >> i suspect when it comes to reconstruction money, president trump may tell them to look elsewhere, the gulf states and other possible donors, germany and other european countries, but that the united states has put most of the weight on the security side and that is where they should expect to see the contribution. tim: with the proposed $54 billion u.s. extra for the pentagon, more money could be earmarked for the fight against islamic state in iraq and syria.
>> in terms of military tasks, were iraq to request a long-term military presence to continue training their army and police forces, that could easily fit into the new budget proposal. tim: so in terms of u.s. forces fighting in iraq, how many thousands are there? >> in iraq there is about 5000, 5500, most of them in some type of training. a very few mostly high-end , special forces for iraqis on the battlefield. tim: we heard of the conversations between the two men, haider al-abadi asking donald trump in the early days about visa restriction on iraqi forces. he has won one battle against the new u.s. administration. >> well, he found the right allies within the u.s. administration. secretary mattis, the new national security advisor general mcmaster, these are men who know iraq well, and i suspect the prime minister had a receptive audience and people to
carry his water inside the administration. tim: we have president trump hosting this meeting of 68 countries on the fight against islamic state. what do we expect america will be offering to spearhead any agreement with all those different countries? >> i suspect the 68 countries will be looking less at iraq -- that fight is almost done -- and focus more on syria, where the problem is more complicated. the answers see much harder to find. tim: with america offering more cash in the fight against islamic state there as well? >> possibly, although money will only take you so far. what you really need are good boots on the ground, good allies , not american boots, but local forces that can carry the fight to the islamic state. we have got those in iraq, with the iraqi army. on the syrian side of the border harder to find. tim: thank you very much indeed. >> pleasure. tim: in other stories, pope
francis has asked for god's forgiveness for what he calls the sins and failings of the roman catholic church during the genocide back in 1994. it came after he met with the rwanda president. his government requested an apology from the vatican last year for the role that some catholic priests played. some consumers have brazilian meat have suspended imports on allegations that companies have been selling unsafe me for years. in a meeting with investors from europe, united states, and china, brazil's president says he is confident of the quality of brazilian meat. it is the world's biggest red meat exporter. thefive main candidates for french presidency are taking part in the first of three televised debates. the two current front-runners, liberal centrist emmanuel macron and far right politician marine le pen, are hoping to consolidate their positions ahead of the election's first round next month.
the divorce date is set. the u.k. will start the process commonly known as brexit next wednesday, march 29. downing street says theresa may will write a letter to the european council to make it official. earlier she spoke about the expected benefits of brexit. p.m. may: when people voted in the referendum last year, it wasn't just about me and you. i think they voted for change, a change in the way the country works, to make sure it works for everyone, not just the privileged few. and as part of that we have a , plan for britain and part of that is about building a stronger economy. theresa may. against the backdrop of brexit, president trump has made it clear he wants to renegotiate the north american free trade agreement, and that may be bad news for texas cattle ranchers.
nafta eliminates trade barriers between the u.s., canada, and mexico, and since its introduction in 1994, exports of u.s. beef have soared. reporter: he is a fifth-generation texas cattle rancher. >> my family has been raising since 1915, a little over 100 years. reporter: his fortunes are tied to international trade. a significant number of his cattle end up being sold abroad, including south of the border in mexico. >> we have been dealing with international trade since 1933. reporter: the export market is important to you? >> the export market is very important to our organization. some years i've seen international sales be 85% of all business that we did that year. reporter: the north american free trade agreement is really important for those exports. it allows his beef to enter mexico duty-free.
so any changes could hurt him and other american cattle ranchers. donald trump enjoyed strong support in rural communities like this one, as well as the rust belt. now the challenge is can he come up with a trade policy that can help both manufacturing and farming? in the state capital, austin, the texas agricultural commissioner called for calm. he was part of the trump campaign's advisory council. like the president, he believes that changing nafta is a good thing, even if it does shake things up. >> i predicted that. i said when this president takes office it will be a rocky start because he will upset people and rock the boat and people with a sweet deal, they will not want to renegotiate it. reporter: the honeymoon with the cattle industry isn't over yet, but is it starting to fray? according to one cattle dealer, trump's decision to walk away from the transpacific
partnership, a trade pact with for, meant lost dollars ranchers. >> you can quantify -- what would be going to those countries today's $400,000 worth of beef that would be going that is not today. that is a quantifiable number. reporter: ranchers fear they may end up a casualty of donald trump's trade policy. they hope his tough stance on nafta is just an opening negotiating tactic. tim: you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, a region in peril in nigeria. put hundredsm has of thousands of lives at risk in the northeast. for hundreds of years, a unique language thrived in the malign
continues for generations. facebookial media like to reach out and keep the language relevant to ensure that the younger generation cares enough about the language to keep it going. ♪ there are gaps in the language because it hasn't been spoken for many years. what we're trying to do is create new terms that fill those gaps and make the language modern. the un's has hundreds of
thousands of people are at risk in a northeastern nigeria as the army continues to push fighters from the islamist group boko haram out of towns and villages. food shortages have forced many people to flee their homes. farmers' fields in northeast nigeria don't yield crops. dusty, brownjust patches, because farmers have been unable to fill their land due to conflict. in this town,und a bullet-riddled buildings, homes ransacked, and lives destroyed. this city used to have a population of close to 300,000 people. now you walk down the main street here and there is nothing but rubble. it is a ghost town, a shell, and the -- emptied of life.
residents have to flee the islamist group boko haram, know the grounds of the derelict hospital. she escaped the bloodletting. she is 14. >> they just started killing people and burning houses, so we hide. say we will be saved, don't be afraid. but when they found us, they hacked my father, cutting his neck. reporter: exiles in their own country, the rituals of life continue. but so many people are paying the price for the twisted ideology of the few that nigeria's camps for those displaced by the fighting are struggling. this one houses 11,000 people and was so overcrowded with malnourished new arrivals a few months ago there wasn't enough
food. more than 1000 died. nevertheless, hundreds are arriving at camps like this every day, as the nigerian military continues to push boko haram back. >> a mother who had walked with three children -- they came one evening and took her. it's estimated that there may be 500,000 to 800,000 people trapped out there. what is needed is more international health, and -- lp, andtional he farmers being able to tell their land. but boko haram is still out there. the chances of a decent harvest this year are zero. this town is being rebuilt after destruction of boko
haram it but this place holds terrible memories for those who fled for their lives. she is 15. "i have no mother, i have no father," she tells me. "i have nowhere to live. i will never go back. watching "bbc world news america." hers was the voice of a generation under fire. dame vera lynn providing hope and reassurance during the second world war through her songs. now the mission is giving back to mark her 100th birthday. veterans are taking part in events at the white cliffs of dover to honor the occasion. ra says she is thrilled by the tributes. reporter: the face of defiance blended with the voice of hope. 100 years of dame vera lynn
projected onto the last piece of england troops saw as they went to battle. ♪ reporter: her heartbreaking lullabies became the soundtrack for a nation in peril. >> ♪ we'll meet again don't know where, don't know when ♪ reporter: she soothed fears and stiffened resolve. >> ♪ some sunny day reporter: dame vera can still recall an early brush with a demanding voice coach. dame vera: when she heard me sing, she said "no, i can't train that voice. it is not a natural voice." i said, "thank you very much, madam," and left. ♪ reporter: today in dover above the cliffs that inspired one of
her greatest songs, veterans and friends came to celebrate dame vera's milestone birthday, and recalled her life of sound. >> her voice came through clear, and with it was the story as she sang, and it gave you hope of coming home. >> you listen to vera's voice when you are in the jungle, and it takes the fright away. in making you think of other parts of your life and your hopes for the future. reporter: the bracing winds of the channel did not deter a -- salute above the cliffs dame vera sang into immortality, a grand gesture for a grandam, on a journey she continues to share with a grateful nation. ♪
dame vera lynn, who is 100. that is it for today. on our website. thank you for watching and please tune in again. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days,
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight... >> our counter intelligence mission is investing the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. >> woodruff: f.b.i. director james comey confirms a probe into russian meddling including possible links between moscow and the trump campaign, while saying there's no evidence for the president's charge he was wiretapped. in our other lead story, president trump's supreme court nominee judge neal gorsuch faces the senate judiciary committee on the first day of confirmation hearings. >> 97% of those 2,700 cases i've decided were decided unanimously. and that i've been in th