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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  January 4, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> 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.
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nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> and now, "bbc world news." jane: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i'm jane o'brien. president trump threatens legal action against steve bannon after his former aide is quoted in a disparaging book about the white house. it is the latest page in this political drama. fears of fake news are spreading worldwide as an election approaches in sweden. they are clear who they think is behind the misinformation. >> we are not shy to say that the biggest threat to our security in that perspective is russia. jane: and from a bomb cyclone to thundersnow, freezing temperatures on the east coast are stretching clothes and descriptions to the limit.
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jane: welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. the book hasn't even come out yet, but no one in washington can stop talking about michael wolff's "fire and fury." so far, the excerpts don't exactly paint a good picture of the white house, which has been quick to claim that it contains many falsehoods. but the comments by former strategist steve bannon have clearly gotten under the president's skin, and his lawyers have sent a cease-and-desist letter. the bbc news north america editor jon sopel starts our coverage. jon: hell hath no fury like a bannon scorned, it would seem. steve bannon, who was described as the brains behind donald trump, is out in the
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washington cold after his extraordinary attack. the warm words of last summer but a distant memory. president trump: i like him, he is a good man, he is not a racist, i can tell you that. he is a good person. he gets very unfair press in that regard. but we will see what happens with mr. bannon, but he is a good person, and i think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly. jon: bannon was fired soon afterwards, and has now had his revenge, rounding on the president's son and son-in-law over a meeting they had with the kremlin-linked lawyer at trump tower during the campaign, saying, "even if you thought this was not treasonous or unpatriotic or bad [bleep], and i happen to think it is all of that, you should have called the fbi immediately." that has provoked rage and fury in the white house. the president issuing this unprecedented statement about a close colleague. "when he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. steve doesn't represent my base. he is only in it for himself.
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steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have influenced you fool a fewluence to people with no access and no clue." today at the white house, they are lawyering up. orders to steve bannon to cease and desist, threats to the publisher, too. the response from mr. bannon last night, to declare his unfailing support for the president. steve bannon: the president of the united states is a great man. i support him day in and day out. giving the trump miracle speech on the show or on the website. jon: that brought this response from mr. trump today. president trump: he called me a great man last night so he obviously changed his tune pretty quick. thank you all very much. jon: the white house is pushing back hard on the content of the book, calling author michael wolff as an unreliable witness and a fantasist, despite him being given unprecedented access
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to the west wing and recording hours and hours of conversations. even if only 50% of the book is accurate, it still paints a damning portrait of the white house that is dysfunctional and a president who is paranoid. no wonder donald trump is so angry. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. jane: a brief time ago i spoke with our north america reporter anthony zurcher. what on earth does steve bannon hope to gain from this? anthony: that is a good question. it is a reflection of the fact that while he was extremely influential in the later days of the campaign and early days in the white house, he is out of power now, and he could be settling scores, he could be talking off-the-cuff, like he does sometimes. i think he is in a tenuous position at this point. he is back at breitbart news, but even his position as head of breitbart news looks like it could be in jeopardy. he has made a very dangerous enemy with the president. jane: donald trump and steve bannon used to be in political lockstep.
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what effect will this have on trump supporters? anthony: trump has 30% of the american public that will stick with him through thick and thin. are they more enamored with the ideas of trumpism or trump the man himself? as we have seen the past two years, you should not bet against trump supporters' dedication to trump the man. i think they will in all likelihood stick with him through this. jane: do you think they care about the content of this book? the economy is taking on very well. how much of a distraction could this be? anthony: 21,000 points the dow just crossed. i think we are going to hear unemployment numbers that are incredibly good. during the press conference, sarah huckabee sanders played a video of trump boasting about his tax package and how it will boost the economy and how companies are giving bonuses to their workers. that would be one of the top news stories this week if it
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weren't for this book and, honestly, donald trump tweeting like crazy on monday, multiple tweets on a variety of different subjects. those were challenges of his own making. this is an external challenge. but it does throw them off the message they need. jane: can he actually do anything at this point? he is threatening to sue. anthony: they moved the publish date from tuesday to tomorrow and it will hit the shelves here in d.c. at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. it was always a long shot, this lawsuit. libel lawsuit in the u.s., it is a very high bar to prove actual malice to be held liable for that sort of thing. i think this is trump's knee-jerk response. he has done it throughout his career. if he is threatened, he threatens to sue back, although very few times does he actually file legal players. jane: we will make up our minds when we read it tomorrow, but how credible is the book? a lot of people quoted have denied saying things they were
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attributed. anthony: although steve bannon hasn't yet, at least. we know they have had a lot of staff turnover and donald trump is not always focused on the day-to-day messaging and operations of the white house. a lot of that has been reported elsewhere in the press. some of the details, the little things that are uncorroborated, or could be corroborated by the tapes that michael wolff has, those are the ones we will have to wait and see to draw conclusions on. i think it confirms a lot of suspicions of trump skeptics, but with those of things you have to step back and say, wait a minute, see if it is true before we embrace it. jane: anthony zurcher, thanks for joining me. for nearly three years, human has been locked in a war that has driven millions to the brink of starvation. the current crisis started when loyal to iran to
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control over the -- took control over territory in the capital, sanaa. last month, saleh was killed by houthi forces over suggestions you might do a deal with -- he might do a deal with saudi arabia. a warning, you may find some of the images disturbing. reporter: the balance of power has shifted in yemen's civil war from the saudi coalition to their bitter rival iran. for years this proxy war for the theor the nation -- tore nation apart, killing thousands and leaving millions homeless and starving. last month the battle took place in the capital, sanaa, that may have killed hopes for peace. allies turned into enemies as houthi rebels fought the forces of former president ali abdullah saleh.
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civilians were caught in the middle. >> they were firing across into our house with rockets and ak-47s. it was the worst day of our lives. we were surrounded from both sides. reporter: that fighting eventually ended with the death of the former president. the houthis imposed a complete media blackout. no one knew exactly what had happened, until now. this exclusive footage, seen for the first time, shows the battle that changed the course of yemen's civil war. houthi soldiers surround saleh's complex, fighting barefoot. they blow the wall and enter. the chant goes up, "death to america, death to israel, curse the jews, victory to
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islam." news of saleh's death spreads. >> that is it, the show is over. saleh is dead. his guards came out and told me. the houthis killed him. reporter: the houthis called saleh a traitor for wanting to negotiate with the saudi coalition. inside the huge complex, the aftermath of the battle. >> the houthis are in charge now. the former president's men are there prisoners. reporter: but not all of saleh's men were captured. this man was one of his closest aides, by his side minutes before he died. his family are in houthi territory, so we are protecting his identity. >> he was defending his home with his nephews by his side. three or four tanks surrounded his house. they began firing. reporter: the houthis have
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captured all of saleh's arms, but the former allies who fled took something potentially more valuable, their secrets. i asked the aide about iranian support for the houthis, long suspected but never proven. >> there are iranians by this -- by their side, and they tell them exactly what to do. i saw them with my own eyes. they give weapons, but the information they give is most important. i met the iranian advisors when i was with saleh. they were always beside the houthi leaders. reporter: three other well-placed sources confirmed the existence of iranian advisors. in our time in sanaa, it was a city gripped with fear. most were reluctant to speak on camera. >> there is so much fear, even when you go out on the streets and think you are ok. -- and things are ok. but fear has spread. reporter: this woman was one of hundreds who took to the streets
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calling for saleh's body to be buried. the houthis retaliated. >> they hit us with wires and teargas canisters, electric rods. they would run after us and keep being us. reporter: since the protest, hundreds of the former president's supporters have been detained. the death of ali abdullah saleh, the only person the saudis could negotiate with, has undoubtedly swung the proxy war in favor of the iranians for now. what happens next is unclear. the only certainty for the people of yemen is that the suffering will continue. bbc news, sanaa, yemen. jane: a quick look at the day's other news. at least 15 people have been killed in explosion in the afghan capital, kabul. a suicide bomber on foot detonated an explosive device.
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police were trying to contain a group of people who are demonstrating at the time. the islamic state group has said it carried out the attack. a goodwill gesture from washington to north korea -- well, they are rather few and far between these days, but washington and seoul agreed to delay planned military exercises until after the olympics next month in south korea. mr. trump tweeted that he looks hopes for a good result from possible upcoming good talks between north and south korea. term "fake u.s., the news" is featured almost daily in the president streets, but around the world, countries are exploring the real threat posed by misinformation. in sweden, where elections are being held this year, authorities are particularly concerned, and the head of security services told the bbc that the main danger comes from russia. security correspondent gordon corera has traveled to stockholm to find out more. gordon: as fears of fake news and foreign influence spread, sweden has been a prime target.
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a general election is this year, and officials say the country has already been under attack. the head of the swedish security service, its version of mi5, told me where he thought the threat came from. >> we are not shy in sweden to say that the biggest threat to our security in that perspective is russia. they have long-term plans. if they want to do that, if they want to make uncertainty -- they are doing that. we see it from time to time. that is not real. we have seen news, fake news and so on for a long time. gordon: this lecture is one example, supposedly about an arms deal with ukraine. it used a forged signature of sweden's defense minister. allegations of russia's interference have been growing in a number of countries, including the u.s. and u.k.
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but sweden feels closer to the front line with russia just across the baltic sea. it is thought that russian fears over sweden's closer relationship with nato might lie behind attempts to influence, interfere, even intimidate. it is not just about disinformation. three years ago a russian submarine was thought to have been sighted in swedish waters. but today, concern centers on fake news. this false story about a church being vandalized by muslims was spread by automated social media accounts, known as bots, based outside of sweden. although there is no proven link to russia. sweden's public safety agency monitors the risk, it has seen the problem extend beyond the country's own borders. this about a former swedish foreign minister setting up a group to battle eurosceptics was
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picked up by the british and russian media weeks before the brexit referendum. >> reading this article, you could see there was a link, and when you clicked on that link, it would get to a fake photoshop page from one of our major newspapers. gordon: swedish society is now trying to confront the threat of disinformation. media organizations are supporting independent fact checking. and the government wants primary school children taught how to spot fake news. this year's election may be a test of how far all of this works. gordon corera, bbc news, stockholm. jane: "bbc world news america you are watching -- you are watching "bbc world news america ." still to come on tonight's program, venice is the setting of a great jewel heist. at least 18 people have been killed in south africa after a train hit a truck at a crossing and then caught fire.
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hundreds of others have been injured after several carriages derailed and burst into flames. the train was traveling on a popular tourist route from port elizabeth to johannesburg. reporter: shocked and bewildered, passengers trying to make their way to safety. as emergency services battle to bring the fire which has engulfed the train they were on under control. it is not clear exactly what happened, but what we do know is this -- a truck hit a train carrying around 700 people as it was traveling from port elizabeth to johannesburg, causing it to derail and catch fire. it is thought that the truck driver may have misjudged the level crossing. >> you can see that the truck driver was taking chances. he thought he was going to pass through. little did he know that the train was going to hit him.
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that cost a lot of lives. reporter: it is thought there were parents with young children on board, and there are reports of people trying desperately to save them. local authorities say a number of tourists were on board. >> we don't know, after we have completed our investigation, as to how many fatalities we will have discovered. there were almost 268 people that have been injured, and 4 of them are quite critical. reporter: hundreds of people have been taken to hospital, and rescue workers are still working on the scene. emergency says they are hoping to lift the carriages later today. only then will they know for sure whether any more people were trapped or injured. bbc news, johannesburg.
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jane: many of our viewers in the u.s. have already felt the bitter chill of the powerful winter storm sweeping the east coast. it has been called a bomb cyclone, and it is bringing strong winds, biting cold, and heavy snowfall. millions of americans could lose power, and thousands of flights have already been canceled. even southern states like florida have had unusually frigid temperatures. winter is not just court ting things complica here. this moose in western canada got into a chilly situation in a deep snow drift. a group of people on a snowmobile spotted it and came to the rescue. it took 15 minutes of taking was -- before the moose yeah, got to say it -- back on the loose. for more, my colleague katty kay spoke to a former nasa scientist who is at the university of georgia for her program "beyond 100 days." she started by asking him to explain what a bomb cyclone
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actually is. >> it is really just a storm that intensifies really rapidly, it drops in pressure 24 millibars or so in one day. a millibar is how meteorologists measure pressure. when you hear the term "bomb," think of a rapidly intensifying storm. it is something in our field for a long time, but it is quite new to the media and public. katty: does that explain why it is so cold in washington? >> well, it is cold in washington, a couple of reasons. the simple answer is it is winter and we expect it to be cold. but we have an arctic air mass entrenched in the eastern part of the united states for several weeks now. because of the differences in air mass between the arctic air mass and the warmer air, we see this rapid development of the
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storm, the so-called bomb cyclone we are hearing about in the media. it is a combination of a unique weather event, winter, and an arctic air mass. katty: it is meant to be a cold winter in washington, but it is not meant to be a cold winter in florida. why have they got snow? >> again, this particular storm system is so unique, in the air mass moved so far south into florida that we saw snowfall in parts of florida and coastal savannah, georgia. that is unusual if not unprecedented. we see those types of events and snowstorms. it is indicative of this particular system and the fact that it is intensifying so fast off the east coast and now is moving up into parts of the northeast. katty: last time we spoke it was before the hurricane in florida, and we spoke about the issue of global warming and the impact on extreme weather conditions. should we be looking at global warming when we look at the extreme weather pattern at the moment in the east coast of the u.s.? >> the link between climate change and global warming and the extreme cold is interesting,
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because you have some people say, what are you talking about, climate change, look at the cold weather. but that just illustrates a misunderstanding of the difference between weather and climate. weather is mood, climate is your personality. there is research that suggests that the jet stream patterns and that dips and waves in the atmosphere -- because of the changes in the arctic -- may be causing a more amplified or wavy jet stream pattern, and that counterintuitively leads to call -- colder events like we are seeing and more extreme warmth. katty: my personality is sunny but my mood is rather blue at the moment because of freezing temperature. what can we expect in the next few days? >> we will watch this bomb cyclone as it moves into the north atlantic and northeast. we're looking at a foot of snow in some places, perhaps more strong hurricane-force winds, coastal flooding.
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people in those regions need to be aware. eventually it will move to parts of canada, and the cold air will state entrenched for a few days, and then a moderating warm pattern. katty: i feel bad for the canadians, but i cannot wait for it to go. thank you for joining us again. >> thank you. from halfing just got back florida, i can confirm it is pretty chilly there, too. now to a real-life jewel heist. the daring robbery took place in venice where members of the qatari royal family on the loan. 2 thieves broke into a reinforced cabinet. james reynolds has the details. james: the exhibition at the palace in venice was called "treasures of the moguls and the maharajas." the jewelry on display, some of it on loan from the ruling family of qatar, was worth millions of pounds. for one criminal gang, this was all too tempting. at least 2 thieves held
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-- helped themselves to a golden brooch and a pair of earrings. incredibly, they did so during normal visiting hours. >> while the exhibition was open to the public, one of the glass cases of jewels on display was open. some jewels were stolen and the thieves made their getaway by mixing with the public. james: officials suspect the gang may have spent several months planning the theft. investigators are trying to work exactly how the thieves managed to switch off the museum's alarm system and how they managed to walk away whilst hiding among visitors. experts from rome have been sent to find out who did it. the police described the gang with some understatement as very skilled professionals. james reynolds, bbc news, rome. jane: i bet someone is already
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looking at the film rights on that. you can find more on this story and all the day's news on our website. i am jane o'brien. thanks for watching "world news america." >> with the bbc news app, our vertical videos are designed to work around your lifestyle, so you can swipe your way through the news of the day and stay up to date with the latest headlines you can trust. download now from selected app stores. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> 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
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crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, a massive winter storm blasts the east coast with blizzard conditions stretching from virginia to maine. then, i sit down with former vice president joe biden for a wide-ranging conversation on the state of the nation under a trump presidency and if he believes the u.s. is closer to nuclear war than ever before. >> yeah, i do. and that's why i think, what i worry about, and i've worried from the beginning, is about fundamental miscalculations. >> woodruff: and, orchestrating a better business culture-- making sense of what executives can learn about collaboration

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