welcome to bbc news, broadcasting at home and around the globe. i'm lebo diseko. our top stories: protests in paraguay as senators back a law allowing the president to stand for a second term. and we have a special report from china, as the country brings to an end centuries of ivory trading. hello and thank you forjoining us. protestors have stormed paraguay‘s congress building and set it on fire. demonstrators in the capital ascuncion were angry after a secret senate vote was held earlier in the day to approve a bill that would allow the country's president horacio cartes to run for a second term. greg dawson has the latest. flag waving and flames at paraguay‘s c0 ng ress flag waving and flames at paraguay‘s
congress building. it was stormed by protesters hours after senators held a secret vote inside that could allow the country's president to run for another term of government. local media reports claimed some politicians who backed the plans had their offices ransacked and satellite. these people say they are defending democracy in their country, and fear the vote puts paraguay on the path to dictatorship. horacio cartes candu power in 2013. the paraguayan presidents have been banned from re— election since 1992. —— came to. the stand—off between police and protesters lead to tears and teargas on the streets. rubber bullets were also fired. the people of paraguay can fight against these rubber bullets. they have installed a dictator in this country. the bullet against paraguay ‘s will soon be metal. the controversial bill still
needs further approval, with another vote in the congress. that was due to happen on saturday, but has now been postponed as lawmakers appeal for calm. greg dawson, bbc news. the attorney general of venezuela has broken ranks with president nicolas maduro to condemn a supreme court ruling that stripped the opposition—led congress of its powers. luisa 0rtega expressed ‘great concern‘ and president nicolas maduro now says he will resolve the situation within hours. in other news, at least 2a people have been killed and more than 70 injured in a blast outside a moque in north west pakistan. the explosion happened in the city of parachinar, a mainly shia muslim area on the afghan border. reports say a car packed with explosives was left near the women's entrance of the mosque. new laws have come into force in the western chinese with authorities stepping
up their campaign on what they regard as islamist extremism. measures include a ban on muslim ethnic uighurs wearing veils in public places or growing long beards. it may be one of the most significant steps ever taken in the fight to save the african elephant. china has closed down almost half of its official ivory carving factories and shops. conservationists say today's move is a "game changer", as our beijing correspondent john sudworth reports. chinese ivory carving dates back hundreds of years. but these craftsmen will be the last. the un's top wildlife official is on hand to witness the shutdown. this is a momentous day in china, where we see this decision being rolled out in the field. we are here in the marketplace. we have seen a shop that is closed. this is a momentous decision and it's worthy of attention. china's move comes not a moment too soon. the african elephant is teetering on the brink of extinction. and the majority of this slaughter, perhaps as much as 70%,
is done to feed chinese demand. but campaigners, including prince william, who has personally lobbied china's leaders on the issue, disagree. factories like this one, they argue, send a signal to consumers that ivory is ok to buy and they provide criminals with an opportunity. certifications for pieces like this one can in fact easily be forged and the reality is, however inadvertently, china's illegal ivory trade has acted as cover for a much larger illegal black market smuggling operation. so that's why the step being taken here is so important. the complete closure of china's officially sanctioned domestic trade. it is a bold and important step. china is sacrificing this ancient art in order to save an ancient species. john sudworth, bbc news, beijing.
stay with us on bbc news. still to come, a blast from the past: the famous steam train the flying scotsman makes a rare reappearance. there will be tough and sometimes even confrontational talks ahead for britain and the eu, as they try to negotiate the terms for brexit. that's the warning from the president of the european council, who says there's just no way around it. 0ur europe editor katya adler has more. the chiefs of eu institutions are usually little known outside the brussels bubble. but brexit has changed all that. this is my first divorce... donald tusk, president of the european council, today presented the draft brexit guidelines. the mood music — polite but steely. the talks, which are about to start, will be difficult, complex, and sometimes even confrontational. mr tusk was the recipient
of the prime minister's brexit letter this wednesday. why him? because he represents all eu countries here in brussels and they call the shots on big eu political decisions. the eu says it doesn't want to punish britain. it wants to keep the uk close with trade and security ties. but gone are those words of sadness and regret that poured out of brussels after the brexit vote. now that the formal process of leaving has begun, the eu's message today: we're ready for you. the eu is committed to a phased approach to brexit. phase one — the divorce. top priorities for the eu — safeguarding the rights of eu citizens in the uk and of britons across the eu. agreeing a one—off exit fee for the uk to cover outstanding financial commitments. and resolving ireland's land border issue without harming the good friday agreement. phase two — discussing
future eu—uk relations, but only once significant progress has been made on the divorce. phase three — making traditional agreements, if needed, to bridge the end of article 50 talks and start a new era in eu—uk relations. but there are bumps in the road aplenty, british and european ones even before negotiations start. today there was a surprise row over gibraltar. the eu draft guidelines say no future agreement with the uk can apply to gibraltar without a nod from spain, which disputes britain's sovereignty over the territory. while the foreign secretary had to defend the prime minister's brexit guidelines, the eu perceived a uk threat to withdraw security cooperation if it didn't get a good trade deal. the uk's commitment to the defence and the security of this region, of europe, is unconditional and it is not some bargaining chip in any negotiatiations.
but eu countries are wary. if we see the letter that has been sent by the british prime minister, some would say it was a little bit aggressive. and that's not the attitude that we will be having around the table. i mean, yes, we are willing to come to an agreement, but if you ask too much, then maybe there is no agreement, and i'm not sure if that's a good thing for the british. picking and choosing is fine, in belgian chocolate shops. but brussels says britain can forget having a bit of this and none of that when it comes to the single market. there is goodwill on both sides, but having cake and eating it will be one of britain's brexit challenges. katya adler, bbc news, brussels. president trump has signed executive orders which he says will crack down on foreign trade abuses, and bring down america's
half—a—trillion dollar trade deficit. this comes after news that his former national security advisor mike flynn might be prepared to talk about russia's meddling into the election. 0ur north america editor jon sopel reports. the allegations that just won't go away — that there was collusion between the russian government and the trump team during last year's election. and much of the attention is now focused on this man, general michael flynn. until a few weeks ago, he was the national security adviser, and one of those closest to the president. but his fall from grace has been swift, after he was found to have lied to the vice president over his contacts with the russians. michael flynn held conversations with the russian ambassador in washington, which, among other things, discussed the lifting of us sanctions against russia — which he denied. he was paid $45,000 to attend a dinner in moscow, hosted by the tv station russia today, and was seated at the same table as vladimir putin. he also lobbied on behalf of another foreign government, turkey, although that wasn't
disclosed at the time. today, donald trump rallied to his side with this tweet: "mike flynn should ask for immunity, in that this is a witchhunt, excuse for big election loss by media and dems of historic proportion." but this is what donald trump and michael flynn said during the campaign, when it emerged that clinton aides had sought immunity over disclosing information about her use of a private e—mail server: if you're not guilty of a crime, what do you need immunity for? when you're given immunity it means you've probably committed a crime. so is there worry at the white house that his information could implicate the president? no — he believes that mike flynn should go and testify. he should go up there and do what he has to do to get the story out. in the meantime, the russians are again dismissing as fake news suggestions that they've been up to no good. lots of americans, they do think that yes, russian hackers are everywhere, russian hackers are in every fridge, russian hackers are in every iron and so on and so forth, but this is not true.
but the defence secretary james mattis, who's in london at the moment, expressed about russia, stretching beyond their involvement in the most recent presidential election. russia's violations of international law are now a matter of record, from what happened with crimea, to other aspects of their behaviour in mucking around inside other people's elections and that sort of thing. 0n capitol hill, investigations into russian activity go on, but sources are saying it's unlikely that michael flynn will be given the immunity he seeks. 0ur washington correspondent, laura bicker, has been keeping across developments in the white house, including president trump's apparent faux pas at the signing of the new executive orders.
it has been a rather bruising week, another bruising week for the trump administration. and there he went on to try and sign two executive orders. perhaps more comfortable territory for the businessman, and these two trade orders are aimed at reducing the half a billion — $500 billion deficit, and also to reduce the number of cheap foreign imported goods in america. but as he went to sign them, he went to the podium and said a few words, and then seemed to forget to sign them as he went out the door. so it seems that — and that was because a question was asked about michael flynn. so it seems russia is a scandal that he cannot shake. he said on twitter that these talks with president xijinping —— they have president xi jinping coming to the us. he will be treated to a few days at mar—a—lago.
they will be tough talks. that is what donald trump acknowledged earlier today. he said these talks would be difficult. why? because other that $500 billion annual deficit that i talked about, $357 billion of it is — the source — the source is china. part of the problem is goods can be made cheaper in china than in the us. but donald trump wants to stop both us companies making goods in china, and also china importing goods into the us that are cheaply made there in their own country. so the problem is if he puts a tariff, because of these goods coming in, onto these goods coming in, the markets are slightly concerned what effect that might have. so it will be interesting to see how far he pushes, and how far president xi jinping pushes back. this is bbc new. the headlines: violence has broken out in the paraguayan capital, asuncion, after senators backed a bill to amend the constitution to allow president horacio cartes to stand for a second term. a senior aide of venezuelan president nicolas maduro has broken
ranks with him to condemn a widely criticised supreme court ruling that stripped the opposition—led congress of its powers. the first troops from four nato battalions have started to arrive in poland in an attempt to reassure eastern european countries dealing with increased tensions with russia over crimea and the ukraine. the thousand strong us led battle group will be based in northern poland and new troops will rotate through every six months. 0leg boldyrev reports. a long time in the planning, major deployment is finally on the way. here in the north of poland, the first of four new battalions is finishing a journey from germany. 1,000 soldiers, mainly americans, but also from uk and romanian forces, will spend six months here before being rotated. it's called atlantic resolve — a nato campaign to reassure eastern
members of the alliance who are alarmed by russia's actions in crimea and the south—east of ukraine. the new battalion arrived close to an important point on the polish—crimea border. the so—called suwalki corridor is squeezed between belarus and the russian enclave of kaliningrad. as you know, the suwalki — that gap connects the baltic nations to poland. it's very important for those lines of communication that we have to keep the alliance continuous and to allow free movement of goods, services, and also just the freedom that those countries have and that we all enjoy as part of nato. they are no stranger to military here. for decades poland held a large garrison here. the locals need more protection, and if you ask from whom... i think enemies. but i don't know who is our enemies and i don't know who will
be our enemies. translation: the closest adversaries in the east, it's russia, putin. in russia, the sequence of events is exactly reversed. politicians in moscow are convinced nato was planning to militarise eastern europe way before the annexation of crimea and the war in the south—east of ukraine. they say that russia has to defend itself. translation: when soldiers arrive, this is the last signal that the atmosphere in poland and the baltic countries is militarised. russia has to react by creating two infantry and one tank division in a western military district. we show that we are ready to react to such militarisation on our borders. both sides speak of dialogue, but there is very little hope that this mutual demonstration of military resolve will stop
any time soon. in september, russia will hold massive military manoeuvres on its western flank, just a couple of hundred kilometres away from here. and there are enough voices in eastern europe who say nato must continue to build up its military capability here. authorities in europe and australia have announced a sweeping tax evasion investigation. there have been a series of internationally co—ordinated raids in several countries, including britain, france and the netherlands. dutch investigators said they'd received information about some 50,000 suspect accounts at a swiss bank. they reported the seizure of paintings, a gold bar and jewellery, and have arrested two people. the authorities haven't named the bank, but credit suisse of switzerland said its offices in london, paris and amsterdam had been contacted. 0ur correspondent in geneva, imogen foulkes, gave us the latest. credit suisse is switzerland's second—largest bank, but also a huge
player in global finance. as you see, it has admitted that its branch in paris, amsterdam and london were the dutch say rated at credit suisse says revisited and we are copper rating fully. —— cooperating. we know the dutch also visited homes in holland and confiscated not money but goods. this is a classic trick with trying to hide your assets, to invest it in gold bars, jewellery, paintings and the dutch even released photographs of some of those things today. so it looks like a very, very, very eager investigation and one which could have pretty widespread ramifications. —— big investigation. thousands of people in peru are struggling to recover from another wave a severe flooding in the country. the peruvian government has declared a state of emergency in the piura region in the northwest of the country where many are without supplies
of food and fresh water. more than 90 people have been killed by floods in the country since the start of the year. russell trott reports. when a road becomes a river you need to improvise. this man uses a makeshift raft to get his children to dry land. in the piura region of northern peru, people are salvaging their property and their pets. translation: i am carrying him to where it is dry because he was drowning. so i am taking him to safety. days of continuous heavy rain burst the banks of the local river, which rushed into the streets and filled up people's homes. the river has one, this man says. he says he has great for the flood arrived in the daylight so his family were able to escape. 0fficials family were able to escape. officials say 5000 people have been rescued in this region, many ending up rescued in this region, many ending up in cabs like this where food is handed out. apologies are struggling
for supplies. at the roadside these children cry out for water. translation: the water has taken everything. we don't have anywhere to live. my children are sleeping on the ground. we don't have anywhere to sleep. the current has taken it all. these people are the latest among hundreds of thousands in peru to suffer at the hands of severe weather in 2017. the authorities say more than 90 people have died since the start of the year. warm temperatures in the pacific have led to torrential rain, flooding and mudslides. as well as lost homes and lives, it is estimated the damage will cost more than $1 billion. the us, china and europe have pledged to donate to the relief effort, it's believed it will take several years before repairs are completed. there's growing criticism of south africa's president zuma from within his own party, after a reshuffle in which he removed some key figures from government. there's been particular anger and protests in the street
over his decision to sack the widely—respected finance minister pravin gordhan, who fell out with mr zuma over the economy. 0ur correspondent milton nkosi explained what this might mean for the president well, he is under a great deal of pressure tonight as his comrades are calling for him to resign. he has been under pressure before, for his lavish lifestyle, for example for spending public funds renovating his private home. but the sacking of the finance minister, pravin gordhan, is seen by many here as the last straw. this has also affected the currency, the rand, which has devalued by about 8% since the reshuffle drama began. there is also the wider implication politically for him, because opposition parties are threatening a vote of no—confidence. others are saying that they will institute the impeachment proceedings as soon as they can.
president zuma himself has got factions within the african national congress that he is trying to manoeuvre around. he is, through this reshuffle, paying some of the loyalists in the party and also punishing his opponents. there is a leadership contest later this year for the leadership of the party and he wants his wife to take over. the current deputy president is very keen to take over the post as well. an advertising campaign has been launched in mexico city to raise awareness about sexual harassment on subways. videos of the campaign showed violent reactions —— showed reactions to seats moulded in the shape of a nude male body. most people were surprised all looked uncomfortable. any perseid @ breeds, it is unpleasant sitting here, but nothing compared to the sexual abuse women face every day on their
commute. the un says nine out of ten women in mexico city have been subjected to some kind of sexual abuse while riding the subway. some entertainment news. pamela anderson became a little camera shy when asked about the rumoured romance with the wikileaks founderjulian assange. the actress has been seen visiting the equatorial embassy, where julian assange took refuge, to avoid being extradited to sweden over rape allegations. swedish tv asked her about their relationship. he is in prison which would make it difficult. let's see what happens when he is free. i have probably spent more time with him than any other man socially, which is very odd. i don't want to go into any private details. he is very sexy! issey? —— is he? it was full steam ahead for britain's most famous locomotive
the flying scotsman as it celebrated the re—opening of the scenic settle—to—carlisle rail line in northern england. the route was closed by a landslip a year ago. danny savage's report contains some flashing images. one of the most famous names in the world of steam on one of the most famous railway lines in britain. the settle—to—carlisle route runs through yorkshire and cumbria. but for 16 months there's been no through traffic because of a landslip. today the line reopened and hundreds of people came along to see the celebratory service and breathe a sigh of relief. it is absolutely wonderful because it is my lifeline to get up to carlisle. i'm a non—driver, but i love to escape to the shops at least once a month. although this wonderful, old locomotive is attracting all the headlines today, the big issue for the more remote communities along this line is they got their main transport link back, and that means a return
of visitors and business. £23 million has been spent repairing the line. it's the biggest fix network rail has ever undertaken, which is why it took so long. built in the 1870s, threatened with closure in the 1980s, this old—fashioned but much loved railway route is open again. a new era celebrating old style. don't forget, you can get in touch with me on twitter. coming up, headlines. first, the weather forecast. hello. this past week has seen some really varied weather across the uk, but this weekend we'll even out the differences. we are all pretty much in the same boat for saturday, in that there will be a fair amount of showers around, some quite heavy. quite a chilly night to come on saturday night. then the vast majority will have a fine and dry sunday, with some sunny spells around. this is what the start of saturday looks like for early risers.
looks pretty wet across north—west england. it will take much of the morning before that begins to ease. already through western parts of the uk the showers are getting going, so out and about through parts of south—west england. this is the picture at 9am in wales. increasingly into parts of the midlands as well, dotted about are some of these showers. much of eastern england will have a fine morning. the rain, more persistent compared with elsewhere in the uk to begin with, in north—west england. standing water and showers around in northern ireland, through the west and north of scotland. dry to begin within in eastern scotland. it will take much of the morning before this rain in north—west england eases to showers, going into the afternoon. look at the showers breaking out elsewhere. some of them will be heavy. the risk of hail and thunder, fairly slow—moving too. some bright and sunny spells in between. it looks like an improvement gradually through the afternoon in northern ireland, western parts of scotland, western coastal fringes of england and wales. in the sunny spells, at 13—16, not feeling too bad. showers should fade away into sunday morning. looks mainly dry.
a ridge of high pressure building in for the second part of the weekend. it means quite a chilly start on sunday morning, compared with recent mornings. a touch of frost in scotland and northern ireland possible and a frost on the ground in the northern half of the uk. but we're rewarded on sunday with some cloud around, but some good sunny spells too and the very vast majority will have a dry day, with light winds. in that sunshine, feeling quite pleasant. again, temperatures mostly at around 11—15. just a few spots getting warmer than that going into sunday afternoon. the races on sunday, so looking fine and quite calm too. the weather shouldn't be causing too many dramas. enjoy the action. as we go into the start of next week, there are some weather fronts to come through and here they come. but once they push their way through, they will be weakening further south later on monday and into tuesday, and once they are gone high—pressure builds
back in across the uk. so wednesday onwards, much of next week is looking dry and there will be some sunny spells coming through this cloud. the latest headlines from bbc news. i'm lebo diseko. violence has broken out in the paraguayan capital, asuncion, after senators meeting behind closed doors backed a bill to amend the country's constitution to allow president horacio cartes to stand for a second term. reports say opponents of the change set fire to the congress building. the attorney general of venezuela has broken ranks with president nicolas maduro to condemn a supreme court ruling that stripped the opposition—led congress of its powers. luisa 0rtega expressed great concern, describing the court ruling as ‘a rupture of the constitutional order‘ in the country. the president of the european council, donald tusk, has warned of tough and sometimes confrontational talks ahead, as britain and the eu start two years of brexit negotiations. the eu has now published its strategy, refusing