welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: it's not a witch hunt. the likely next head of the fbi says investigations into president trump are fair. as the future fbi director, do you consider this endeavour as a witch hunt? i do not consider dr mueller to be on a witch hunt. nine—and—a—half years in jail for brazil's ex—president, lula, but he says he's still running for election again next year. mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world forjournalists. we sent our own reporter to find out why. a state visit to london for the king and queen of spain, with brexit and the future of gibraltar lurking in the background. "the greatest witch hunt in history," donald trump's
description of the inquiry into russian interference in last year's election. he's said it before, he said it again today as controversy surrounded his eldest son, and donald junior‘s confirmation that during last year's campaign he did meet with a russian lawyer, expecting to receive documents that would damage hillary clinton and help get his father elected. today, though, the man mr trump has chosen to lead the fbi said he saw no witch hunt. gavin hewitt reports. hannity: tonight, we have donald trump jr. .. donald trump's son out defending himself after revelations from e—mails that last year he met a russian lawyer who he believed would offer him incriminating information and hillary clinton. in retrospect, i probably would have done things a little differently. again, this is before the russia mania, this is before they were building it up in the press. for me, this was opposition research... in his interview, donald trumer said he hadn't referred the meeting to his father.
it was such a nothing — there was nothing to tell. i mean, i wouldn't have even remembered it until you start scouring through this stuff. it was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame. president trump was quick to praise his son's television performance, tweeting: so who are the key players involved in the meeting last year? the initial approach to donald trumer about a potential russian meeting came from rob goldstone, a british publicist. he helped schedule the appointment with natalia veselnitskaya, a russian lawyer. also in the room was paul manafort, trump's campaign manager, and jared kushner, trump's son—in—law — a clear sign they thought the meeting would be significant. the e—mail shows an intent and a desire to have a foreign government interfere in the american election of the president. asking for that kind of assistance, if that was the assumption of the meeting, that in and of itself can be a crime. the white house has been active,
pointing out that there has been no illegality, no law broken, no sensitive information exchanged. but that doesn't mean there are no risks in all of this for the trump administration. in this atmosphere of political crisis, focus turned towards capitol hill and the confirmation hearings for the new director of the fbi. he was asked whether he agreed with the president that the investigation by special counsel mueller into russian meddling in last year's election amounted to a witch—hunt. do you believe that, in light of the doanr e—mail and other allegations, that this whole thing about trump campaigning in russia is a witch—hunt? is that a fair description of what we're all dealing with in america? senator, i can't speak to the basis for those comments. i can tell you that my experience with director mueller... i'm asking you as the future fbi director, do you consider this endeavour a witch—hunt?
i do not consider director mueller to be on a witch—hunt. in an interview with the christian broadcasting network today, president trump tried to refocus attention back onto his latest legislative agenda and away from the questions about russia so preoccupying his administration. gavin hewitt, bbc news, washington. well, president trump left washington a few hours ago, leaving the storm behind him as he heads for paris to celebrate france's bastille day on friday as president macron‘s guest of honour. our correspondent, david willis, gave me this update on the situation in washington. there is word from the white house that the whole administration, if you like, is in a state of paralysis. president trump is said to be furious and frustrated with the fact the russia probe seems to be dominating the headlines and just
won't go away. according to news channels, he has been holed up in the white house virtually since returning from the g20 trying to figure out what to do about all of this that, of course, has stalled the domestic agenda, including moves to revise and replace obamacare. there is a feeling that he really cannot work out how to move the agenda on from this. now, he is currently on his way to france for a meeting with a —— the president of france. tomorrow there will be the first chance for journalists to france. tomorrow there will be the first chance forjournalists to ask donald trump directly about the extraordinary e—mails. donald trump directly about the extraordinary e-mails. even if you area extraordinary e-mails. even if you are a donald trump supporter, and as
we have been hearing, he thinks all of this is coming from the left wing and the corrupt media, even then, he must be frustrated so much is getting in the way of what he was elected to do, and so would his followers. yes. the 4096 who voted for donald trump, the bedrock, there are questions about what they think about this. it really is very distracting. as i mentioned, the white house, by all accounts, is in something of a state of suspended animation trying to work out how to respond to this, and, of course, trying to make the whole thing go away. former brazilian president, lula da silva, has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison on corruption charges. it's a sentence that will deeply divide brazil, with his supporters criticising the case as politically motivated. our south america correspondent, katy watson, in rio reports. what a fall from grace for brazil's most popular politician — a president whose policies lifted
millions out of poverty. a unionist who campaigned for change, but now could face jail for similar crimes to many of his adversaries. president lula was handed down a sentence for corruption and money—laundering, accused of receiving bribes equivalent to £1 million in the form of a refurbished beachfront property. in return, he helped an engineering company win contracts with the state oil company, petrobras. it's the first of five charges against him. it's all part of brazil's biggest corruption investigation, operation car wash, an investigation that's spread its tentacles far and wide and implicated some of brazil's biggest politicians and businessmen. lula is no exception. this is a case that's divided brazilians. for many, lula is seen as the country's saviour. when he left office at the end of 2010, he had approval ratings of more than 80%. but for millions of others he's become one of the biggest symbols of the country's corruption problem. sergio moro is leading operation car wash and is the man
who handed down the sentence, someone who also divides opinion. translation: i think the judge was very clever in writing the sentencing. it doesn't matter how important you are, the law is above all of us. you have to follow the law. if lula did something wrong, and apparently he did, he has to pay for his crimes. translation: i don't believe in the kind ofjustice judge moro practises. he chooses people, he has his political parties. he doesn't look at the evidence. it's a sentiment shared by lula's lawyer. translation: ex-president lula is very calm, but, like anyone who is convicted without proof, who is convicted despite having proved his innocence, there is a natural indignation at the conviction, of a convicted person faced with this ridiculous situation. but lula won't be put behind bars for now. first he can appeal against the sentence and, while the legal process continues,
he is free torun for elections next year, something he has hinted at in the past, and he is a front he is a front—runner in the presidential polls, but he is a figure who brazilians love or hate, and a possible return to power could divide brazilians even more. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. there's been a suicide attack onjihadist rebels in idlib province in northern syria, with many casualties reported. a vehicle laden with explosives was driven into a factory commandeered by an alliance of rebel groups. idlib province, which borders turkey, has seen infighting between the main jihadist groups vying to overthrow president assad. malta has given an almost unanimous
decision to allow same—sex marriage. the united nations says it has identified an additional 38 probable mass graves from recent violence in the democratic republic of congo. more than 3,000 people have been killed and a million displaced in the area where fighting erupted after a militia leader was killed last year. by most estimates, mexico ranks behind only syria and afghanistan as the most dangerous countries in the world forjournalists. ii were killed in 2016, and already this year, seven have been murdered with almost complete impunity. and in their day—to—day work, many local journalists face intimidation and violence from both drug gangs and corrupt security forces. will grant spent the day with one of them in the dangerous eastern state of veracruz. ely avina presents the breakfast show on her local radio station. the headlines include a bank robbery, a quiet night for drug cartel violence, and the possible extradition of a former state governor. these are normal stories for veracruz, one of the most violent states in mexico.
after the show, ely shows me a few stories she has covered recently, from shootouts to funerals. they all share one theme — the turf war raging between two major cartels in the region, the zetas and the jalisco nueva generacion. translation: a killing a day is the minimum. we have to go to the crime scenes so we tried to unite as reporters. our media might want us to get an exclusive, but it's your life at stake. it's too dangerous to go alone. the most recent example was a gruesome mass killing on the outskirts of the town. ely took us back to the crime scene. these are the stories that local journalists run most risks while reporting. an entire family, including four children, were murdered in their home by unknown gunmen. the youngest victim, just three years old. unfortunately, such events are becoming part of daily life in veracruz and, as such, an increasing part of a reporter'sjob. while covering it, ely says
she was intimidated by a police officer, and when she complained, she received a death threat online. i was scared, obviously, and i took down my social media accounts. twitter, facebook. all my photos. everything. many mexicanjournalists have paid the ultimate price for reporting on the drug cartels, like well—known reporter javier valdez, gunned down in may, outside his office. but the dangers of reporting the drug war don'tjust come from the cartels, also from corrupt elements of the security forces. in some states, say campaigners, they are one and the same thing. when you kill a journalist such as javier valdez, you are killing a messenger, and that in orderfor him to become the message. back in veracruz it has been a day without drug violence for ely avina. instead, she spent the afternoon on report about abandoned vehicles, stories localjournalists
used to write before the drug war worsened. these days, though, the murder of colleagues is increasingly part of thejob. translation: as the killings never end, sometimes we ask ourselves, what more can we do? yet they continue to kill us. with a young family to think about, ely doesn't want to die for her profession, so she tries to tread the most careful path she can while still reporting truthfully about the state of veracruz. we should add that the bbc repeatedly requested a response from mexico's federal police and the state governor's office in veracruz on the issue of violence against journalists for this report. none was provided. stay with us on bbc news. still to come. our latest stop along the new silk road is kazakhstan. with chinese companies pouring workers into the country,
what's in it for the locals? and the flamboyant italian fashion designer gianni versace has been shot dead in florida. the multimillionaire was gunned down in his home in the exclusive south beach district of miami. emergency services in central europe have stepped up efforts to contain the worst floods this century. nearly 100 people have been killed. broadway is traditionally called the great white way by americans but tonight it is completely blacked out. it's a timely reminder of all americans about the problems the energy crisis has brought them. 200 years ago today a huge parisian crowd stormed the bastille prison, the first act of the revolution which was to topple the french monarchy. today hundreds of thousands thronged the champs—elysees for the traditional military parade. finally, fairy penguins have been staggering ashore and collapsing after gorging themselves on a huge shoal of their favourite food, pilchards.
some had eaten so much they could barely stand. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: the nominated head of the fbi has told senators he doesn't regard the investigation into russian intervention in last year's american elections as a witch hunt, as president trump has claimed. let's stay with that story now, and look at what the president's supporters make of the latest revelations about his campaign team and the mounting questions about their links with russia. our north america correspondent, nick bryant has been to nebraska, a state that voted for mr trump in last year's election. supporters make of the latest revelations about his campaign team and the mounting questions about their links with russia. our north america correspondent, nick bryant has been to nebraska, a state that voted for mr trump in last year's election.
here we go, ladies and gentlemen... in the rollicking ride of the trump presidency, you often wonder how long he'll stay on the horse. every day seems to bring a new wrestle in the mud — with the media, congress, international leaders — but here in nebraska, a trump state at the election, there's still strong support for his presidency, despite the attempts of opponents to ensnare him. did you vote for him? yes, idid. are you happy with thejob he is doing? you bet. he's a good businessman and that's what the country needs. get the country out of debt, get a lot of people back working, and i think that's what he's doing. on the night donald trumer‘s bombshell e—mails were released, the pigs were more agitated than the people. no one at the county fair was in the least bit concerned that team trump might have been telling porkies about the its contacts with russian figures. they echoed the white house line that the controversy is a nothing—burger. the media has taken it out of proportion. but there's e—mail proof now... yeah... some, iguess. i don't know. i haven't followed it for a while now because of that. does it worry you? no.
i think it's a farce spun by the left because they lost. what is noticeable about coming to the heartland is that people are not glued to their smartphones all the time. they are not following his presidency minute by minute, tweet by tweet. but you do get the sense that some people think donald trump is fixated by his problems rather than theirs. that's the concern of the local republican mayor, josh moening. what i hearfrom people is less tweeting and more doing. i think there's kind of a bewilderment about the compulsion to tweet about anything and everything, and so i think people would like to see him focus more on working on some of his campaign promises. in america's fiercely patriotic heartland, it seems anomalous that voters are that concerned about russian meddling, but here they seem more mistrustful of the media than moscow. it's been four weeks since the grenfell tower disaster
in west london and new footage released by london police shows forensic officers climbing a burnt out stairwell, the block's only escape route, to carry out investigation work. at least 80 were killed in the june 14 fire. survivors clashed with council representatives and investigators at a public meeting. feelings are running very high about the response from authorities. this week, we've been reporting on china's ambitious plan to recreate the famous silk road — the ancient trading route between east and west. it's thought it'll cost almost a trillion dollars and involves a new rail link from china to the uk being paid for by the chinese. it passes through countries like the former soviet republic of kazakhstan amid growing concerns about china's influence. our china editor carrie gracie started out in eastern china on her 7000 milejourney along the new silk road, and now she's reached kazakhstan. bells chime kazakhstan got its independence
when the soviet union collapsed. but russian remained the language of business — until now. this is china's new silk road in action. the economy slowing back home, state construction companies put to work abroad. master builder xu xiwen delivering a cutting—edge urban railway. translation: china's advanced technology is bringing convenience and more comfort and safety to travellers in kazakhstan. if this project goes well, it will serve as a model for others. china says its plans are for the benefit of all. but mostjobs here will go to chinese workers, and the loan was tied to a chinese design. it's not just building across central asia, china's buying into banks and oil fields too. some locals say they see no benefit. ardak kubasheva complains of pollution, and jobs
going to outsiders. translation: the chinese have done nothing. there's a huge oil industry here, but nojobs orfacilities for young people. china says its presence abroad is a win—win, a win for china and a win for the people in its path. but that's not the experience here. they say their oil wealth is going elsewhere and that win—win means china wins once, and then china wins again. back at almaty‘s zenkov cathedral, dosym satpaev says the nations of central asia are like billiard balls in a game between the big players, russia and china. china, i believe, will be like some threat for our independence. why? because for china, kazakhstan is not an equal partner. for china, kazakhstan only is like one of the players in the big china geopolitical game.
that game stretches far beyond these mountains. but already, it's changing lives, shaping the destiny of young nations in the shadow of the chinese giant. carrie gracie, bbc news, kazakhstan. the king and queen of spain have attended a state banquet at buckingham palace, and king felipe earlier addressed both houses of parliament. he said he was confident the uk and spain can reach an agreement over the future of gibraltar. not everyone is so sure. this from our royal correspondent nicholas witchell. a state banquet at buckingham palace, where hospitality is deployed in pursuit of diplomacy. tonight, one of the world's oldest monarchs, elizabeth of the united kingdom, accompanied one of its newest, and tallest, felipe of spain, to dinner. a lavish occasion with an opportunity for britain to cultivate another important european nation. the queen didn't mention the word brexit in her speech.
but she did dwell on the power of the anglo—spanish connection. a relationship like ours, founded on such great strengths and common interests, will ensure that both our nations prosper, now and in the future, whatever challenges arise. the state visit had begun on horse guards parade, with a greeting between two monarchs who are distantly related — they‘ re both descendants of queen victoria. from horse guards to the carriage ride up the mall, one of the highlights for visitors, something donald trump is keen to do if he ever comes. and in this relaxed atmosphere, business can be done and difficult issues touched upon. in the case of britain and spain, that means gibraltar. last year, king felipe called it a colonial anachronism. today, in a speech at westminster, he was more tactful. but he did call for a negotiated settlement. i am confident that, through the necessary dialogue
and effort, our two governments will be able to work out towards arrangements that are acceptable to all involved. to that, the british government said the sovereignty of gibraltar was not up for discussion. a firm response, among the warm words of a state visit. nicholas witchell, bbc news, buckingham palace. cuba and the us have enjoyed a tumultuous relationship down the yea rs. tumultuous relationship down the years. geographically, of course, they are right next door to each other, and a group of kayakers want to make the trip in a slightly different kind of vessel. if you're heading to the high seas anytime soon, this could be your flexible friend. a collapsible kayak that can fit inside a suitcase. this the mode of travel for four americans setting out on a bold adventure. we want to demonstrate this kayak, that is a foldable kayak, that can operate in the ocean like this.
and this is a sport we love and we want to test our own limits. there's little more than 100 miles between the two countries. the starting point for the trip is havana, then they would head north to key west at the very tip of the florida keys. in the last few years, the situation between the us and cuba had eased, president obama normalising relations in 2015. but that reprochement was partly reversed by his predecessor, president trump, last month. the team setting off from havana hope that in some small way their trip may make a difference. because there's a long history of doing this crossing with small craft. we think there's an opportunity to take that and pay homage to it and then look forward and then begin to celebrate what we hope is a safe and legalfuture of immigration and trade between the us and cuba. so, off they went.
next stop, florida. all being well, the trip should take about a day and a half to complete. tim allman, bbc news. pictures have emerged from nasa'sjuno spacecraft, and its flyby of one of the solar system's biggest and most fascinating storms. juno captured pictures ofjupiter‘s great red spot, which has raged for at least 350 years. the storm is 10,000 miles wide and juno managed to get as close as 5,500 miles above it. juno, launched six years ago, has been travelling around the giant planet for a year. that's it for now. thanks so much for watching. hello there, good morning. yesterday was a lovely day
across large swathes of the united kingdom. after some early rain in the south—east, that soon cleared away, and the sun came out for the afternoon. and it was a fine and sunny day in buttermere in cumbria, thanks to the weather watchers for sending in the pictures. we saw the sunshine through the day yesterday. clear skies overnight, and that will take us on into the morning. with those clear skies it will be chilly in some rural spots. major towns and cities starting in double figures for most, up to 14—15 at the very best. in more rural parts, rural scotland, three degrees, england and wales down to about four or five, so a bit on the chilly side for some. high—pressure is in charge of the weather for the most part through the day today. you will notice this weather front in the north and west, more isobars here, so a bit more of a breeze. the weather front will see cloud and will bring rain to northern ireland, and into western scotland as well. ahead of that, a lot of fine and dry weather, but not completely dry, because there will be one or two showers around. but i think east anglia and the south—east, increasing cloud in the afternoon, but it is staying dry. the low 20s quite widely.
there will be a line of showers from the south—west of england into south wales, drifting through the midlands, to the north—east of england. behind that, a lot of dry and bright weather. maybe a shower or two in aberdeenshire. here's that weather front bringing breeze and rain into western scotland and northern ireland as well. 19 degrees the top temperature in belfast. wimbledon continues and it looks like it will be a decent day for it. light winds, there will be sunshine, patchy cloud as well, and temperatures should get into the low 20s. as we go through the evening, our he weather front makes progress southwards and eastwards. that will bring some rain with it, not a great deal. it's mostly overnight rain as well. any lingering rain in the morning in the south—east won't last long, it will clear away quite quickly. then it is a decent day with a lot of dry weather. it's dry for the most part. 18 in aberdeen, 32 in london. friday night, we start to see rain across scotland, into northern ireland as well. outbreaks of rain further south in england and wales. early rain in the south—east on saturday doesn't last too long. it should clear way.
then we have scattered showers out to the west, where it is quite breezy, and the showers will be fairly frequent in western scotland. now, of course, it's the finals weekend, the ladies' finals on saturday looking pretty good. temperatures on the rise, humidity too, for the men's final by saturday. so on the weekend it will be cloudy and muggy with humidity on the rise, but some showers will crop up in the north and west of the uk. and it will be quite warm further south. this is bbc news. the headlines. the nominated next director of the fbi, christopher wray, has promised to pursue justice impartially. under questioning from members of the senate, mr wray said he did not consider the investigation into russian interference in the 2016 election to be a witch hunt, as president trump has claimed. brazil's former president, luiz ignacio lula da silva, has been sentenced to 9.5 years in prison after being found guilty of accepting bribes worth more than a million dollars in the form of a renovated beach resort apartment. his lawyers say he will appeal
against the sentence. and here in london, the king and queen of spain have attended a state banquet at buckingham palace. king felipe earlier addressed both houses of parliament. he said he was confident the uk and spain could reach an agreement over the future of gibraltar. now it is time for click. this week: is this the smartest building in italy?