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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 15, 2017 4:00am-4:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is duncan golestani. our top stories: a new witness to donald trump junior‘s meeting with a russian lawyer comes forward — a former soviet intelligence officer. a year after the nice terror attack, france remembers the 86 who were killed. as turkey marks the anniversary of last year's attempted coup, the government sacks another 7,000 civil servants. and the families taking part in an international trial to find a way of treating dementia. hello and welcome to bbc news — i'm duncan golestani. a former soviet intelligence officer has revealed that he was present when donald trump's eldest son met a russian lawyer —
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during last year's presidential campaign. donald trump junior attended the meeting in new york injune last year after being promised information about hillary clinton. the lobbyist, rinat akhmetshin — who's now a us citizen — denies having current links with russian intelligence. the bbc‘s david willis has more. and mr akhmetshin is, as you mentioned, a former officer in the soviet military, a man who was trained in counterintelligence, but who denies being involved in counterintelligence at the moment. he is actually a russian lobbyist and joint us citizen. but we didn't know until now that he was present at that meeting at trump tower lastjune, that controversial meeting which also involved, as well as donald trumer, donald trump's son, his son—in—lanared kushner, and also his campaign director
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at the time paul manafort. the big question is — this meeting was set up by natalia veselnitskaya. was it set up on the command of the kremlin? that is what we don't know. commemorations have been taking place in the french city of nice to mark one year since the bastille day attack in the city. 86 people were killed after a lorry drove through crowds who'd been enjoying a fireworks display. after hosting donald trump in paris france's president emmanuel macron flew to the city to lead the tributes. greg dawson reports. it isa it is a day traditionally marked with fireworks. this year, the skies over nice were illuminated with 86 beams of light. 0ne over nice were illuminated with 86 beams of light. one for every life lost on this night one year ago. 15 of them children. earlier in the
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day, families of the victims placed flowers on the promenade. it was on this street where a tunisian extremist drove his 19 ton truck through the crowd. they then helped to lay red, white and blue tiles to speu to lay red, white and blue tiles to spell out france's national motto. names of the victims were read aloud and pinned at a ceremony attended by french president is passed and present. translation: how do you find the words to comfort? how do you convince people you did everything possible in your powers? it is almost an impossible exercise, you knew the names, the faces, the voices. their last. their presence.
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the anniversary was powered by a concert led by the city's lamonica orchestra. —— was capped by a concert led by the city's philharmonic orchestra last year's attack has prompted divisive debate which continues in france about how best to guarantee people's security from the threat of terrorism. but in nice, this was a night for people to come togetherfor a nice, this was a night for people to come together for a sombre display of unity. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. the latest round of un—led peace talks on syria have wrapped up in geneva, without any breakthrough on key issues, including the future of president bashar al—assad. however, un special envoy, staffan de mistura, says there has been some small progress
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in the right direction. the next talks are scheduled for september. the former british prime minister — tony blair — has claimed senior figures in the eu have told him they're prepared to be flexible on freedom of movement, to accommodate britain post—brexit. mr blair made the claim in an an article written for his own charitable institute. just last week the eu's chief negotiator michel barnier said the freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital were ‘indivisible.’ a high courtjudge in london has heard that the american doctor who has offered to treat the terminally—ill baby charlie gard is to come to the uk next week to examine him. charlie's parents want him to receive experimental therapy. they have been involved in a lengthy legal battle with doctors at great ormond street hospital, who believe life support should be stopped. the turkish government has dismissed more than seven thousand members
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of the police, soldiers, civil servants, and academics, for allegedly working against state security or being a member of a terrorist organisation. the purge comes on the eve of the anniversary of last year's failed coup attempt by rogue soldiers. the turkish government is celebrating it as a victory for democracy, but some groups have voiced concern about what they see as a clamp down on legitimate opposition voices. here's our turkey correspondent, mark lowen. turkey's nightmare was unleashed, as the plotters seized the bosphorus bridge. sabri unal tried to reach it, to resist the coup attempt. a tank approached. he lay in its path, between its tracks. miraculously, he got up unhurt. then, a second. he tried to stop it again, but it ran over his arm. today, he bears
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the scars of the coup. translation: i came here for the sake of god, to gain his blessing. i was not afraid, and i'm nota hero. to be a hero, i would have had to stop the tank. i wish the coup had never happened. on 15july, rogue soldiers bombed government buildings and seized roads. more than 260 people were killed. the coup attempt failed. the coup soon became the purge, with over 50,000 arrested, accused of ties to the alleged plotter, the cleric fethullah gulen. president erdogan called it a gift from god, to cleanse the virus of gulen followers. critics say all dissent has been crushed. the government hits back that the real crime was the coup itself, not what came afterwards. they're actually saving turkish democracy, turkish rule of law, turkey's future, from a power—hungry criminal network. 140,000 people have been
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dismissed or suspended. there is now a commission to look at all those cases. you will see, when this episode is over, that turkish democracy is functioning, that turkish judiciary has been functioning. gulen followers were in every corner of society. the purge went wide — far too wide, many believe. some have simply disappeared. emine ozben‘s husband, mustafa, taught at a gulen—linked university. in may, on his way home, eyewitnesses say masked men bundled him into a car. he hasn't been seen since. translation: i pray he is alive. if they want to prosecute him, do it legally, not by abduction. i don't believe that he backed the coup. i can't raise our children without their father. others are fighting back against dismissals.
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protests in support of two academics, on hunger strike forfour months, calling for theirjobs back. alongside, a human rights monument is now sealed off — a bleak metaphor for turkey's plight. the wife of one is herself on hunger strike in solidarity, this in a country hoping tojoin the eu. translation: one day, your name is on a list, and you're struck off. your life is turned upside down. you're killed off by the system. they're in a critical state. they want to live, but for their demands to be met. i can't think of the alternative. immortalised for generations to come as turkey's rebirth, it is being celebrated here as the legend of the 15th ofjuly. but, for others, it is a painful chapter that is still being written. i spoke a little earlier tojody sabral, an expert on turkish politics who has lived in turkey for ten years. i asked her what she makes
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of this latest crackdown. i think this is president erdogan showing who is firmly in control ahead of the national unity march planned for tomorrow, where he will speak to his supporters and commemorate last year's coup. today's dismissals of 7000 civil servant workers is just part of the ongoing crackdown. since last year at least 150,000 civil servants have been dismissed or suspended from theirjobs. so, yeah, this is not a small number. i think the timing is significant and i think president erdogan wants to show that he is firmly in control. they are huge numbers. one year on from the failed coup, how much more do we know about who is responsible? i know that erdogan has pointed the finger at gulen but is that true? intelligence officials were aware
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at least six hours before it began. an account on the president's website says he was made aware ahead of time but he was not able to contact the intelligence chief because, he claims, he had been kidnapped by the coup plotters. this led to claims by the opposition of speculation that the government allowed the coup to happen to justify the subsequent crackdown needed to purge turkish judiciary, the education system and police force from followers loyal to gulen. what we do know is that members of the gulen movement were involved but it is yet to be proven whether they were acting under direct instruction from gulen himself. we heard from people in that report but
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i am interested in your take, because you have recently returned. what is the mood like in turkey at the moment? i was in istanbul three weeks ago. the mood is extremely polarised. on one side you have supporters of erdogan who believe he is protecting turkish democracy and they will celebrate tomorrow. on the other hand you have those who are very worried that this is an antidemocratic style of rule that is ensuing. you know, since last year, emergency rule has been enforced and has granted the president extraordinary powers. we are moving towards a presidential system. people i spoke to in istanbul were worried that this is putting too much power in the hands of one man. two teenagers have been arrested after a string of acid attacks in london. five people in separate incidents had acid thrown in theirfaces — causing in the case of one man "life—changing" injuries. the attacks happened amid rising concern about the number of assaults in the capital involving
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corrosive fluids. the attacks were carried out at five separate locations in east london — within the space of less than ninety minutes. this report — from our home affairs correspondent daniel sandford — contains some disturbing images from the start. in the aftermath of an acid attack last night... where's it hurt, mate — your eyes? we need to try to get water in your eyes. keep your eyes open. ..police officers desperately trying to reduce the burning, and to save the victim's sight, rushing extra water to the scene. ijustjumped away from my bike. ijust ran. tonight, the victim of that attack, javed hussain, told me that the first help he received was from a passer—by. she asked me what happened. isaid, look, someone put acid on my face. she was shocked, she was just trying to call an ambulance. i said, i need water asap. because, if you call an ambulance, it's going to be long. i need water right now on my face because it's
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hurting, it's burning. well, she ran to the co—operative, and she got one of the bottles of water. the attack here turned out to be the first of five over the next hour and a quarter, all in a small area of east london, and all involving acid being thrown at the victim. at every crime scene, the target had been driving a moped. two of them were stolen. a 24—year—old man here in clapton was left with life—changing injuries because of the acid used. the prime minister said the attacks were horrific. police have arrested a 15—year—old and a 16—year—old. national statistics on acid attacks on people are not collated by the home office, but in london they have risen from 129 two years ago to 224 last year, and by april this year, there had already been another 66. one of the most high—profile recent attacks was last month, when 21—year—old resham khan
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and her cousin jameel muhktar were targeted while sitting in their car at a traffic light. we are concerned because the numbers appear to be going up. we will arrest people, we will enforce the law as we can, and we're working very closely with the home office to see if there are any changes in law required. stephen timms is one of the mps in east london, where the problem is most acute. he has been campaigning for a change in the law, and will lead a debate on acid attacks next week. i'd like the minister to confirm on monday that the possession of acid will be an offence in the future, in exactly the same way that possession of a knife is an offence today. i'd like the law to be changed so that sulfuric acid will only be sold to people who hold a licence. it seems likely that some criminals are using the laxer rules on acids to avoid the tough laws on carrying a knife. the home office today said it was working with police
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and retailers to tackle what it called these sickening crimes, but any change in the law would take time. daniel sandford reporting. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: on your marks, get set — crawl! new yorkers take competitive parenting to new heights. the flamboyant italian fashion designer gianni versace has been shot dead in florida. the multi—millionaire was gunned down outside his home in the exclusive south beach district of miami. emergency services across central europe are stepping up their efforts to contain the worse 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 is a timely reminder to all americans of the problems that the energy crisis
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has brought to 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 throng 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: a new witness has come forward to donald trumpjunior‘s meeting with a russian lawyer during last year's election campaign. he's a former soviet intelligence agent. speaking at commemorations to mark the first anniversary of the truck attack in nice, emmanuel macron has said france will fight without mercy to protect its values from terrorists.
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dementia in old age is the biggest cause of death in the uk. but in some families — extremely rare gene mutations can cause alzheimer's disease in middle—age. now, experts believe that studying the way the disease develops in such families could hold the key to treatment in the future. our medical correspondent fergus walsh spoke to two families with a history of alzheimer's, both of whom are taking part in medical trials. i'm almostjust waiting for the first sign, really. the minute you forget something, the minute you can't find your car keys... sophie leggett from suffolk has a 50—50 chance of having inherited a rare gene for alzheimer's. she is now around the same age symptoms first emerged in her mother and aunt.
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and if sophie has the early—onset gene, she could also have passed it on. it's really scary. i can almost cope with the thought that it could happen to me but what i can't cope with is the thought that if it happens to me, it could happen to my daughter. that's my big thing and i don't think i will ever come to terms with that possibility. but what does her 16—year—old daughter think? it's not like a taboo thing to talk about. i know a lot about it. i think it's brought us closer together. we've always been close but closer and i thinkjust cherish every day really. families from all over the world who carry rare alzheimer's genes are in london for a major conference. like the demoes from north dakota. dean has early—onset alzheimer's but is still able to work full—time. i think i'm doing all right.
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yeah, ijust live day by day with it and keep moving on. i think i'm doing well. two of dean's brothers and a sister died from dementia in their mid—50s. dean is 5a. the fear now is for their children. we are here because we don't want to watch another generation have to go through what my husband and his father and his grandmother have gone through. i worry for my husband, but that fear of the unknown our for children, and we will find a cure. dean's son, tyler, has been tested for the faulty gene but, like sophie, has chosen not to know the results. it's a life changing thing.
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if you find out, it's not only are you finding out, it's your family finding out and the repercussions it has on them. both families are part of an international trial testing alzheimer's drugs. sophie has an infusion every month. they are playing a vital role in the search for treatments. from them we understand the biomarkers, the changes in the body that happen, so you can see the disease before it ever causes symptoms. and finally from them, hopefully we will find a treatment that works in that group and we can therefore extrapolate that to the alzheimer's population in general. there is still no drug which can slow the progress of alzheimer's disease. in the past year alone two major clinical trials ended in failure. despite that there is now real optimism that decades of research will bear fruit. and for families with alzheimer's genes, that would lift a shadow over future generations.
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fergus walsh, bbc news. a man armed with a knife has killed two people and wounded four others after swimming ashore at a holiday resort in egypt and attacking tourists. it happened at the red sea resort of hurghada. the authorities say the two killed were german women who were local residents. the attacker has been arrested. here's our correspondent in cairo, orla guerin. what we saw today, once again, was foreign tourists being targeted on a middle eastern beach. now, today, a lone attacker swam ashore. he stabbed two women repeatedly. he left them to die on the sand. local officials then said he then managed to swim to the adjoining beach. he continued his attack, he wounded several more tourists, and only then was he arrested. now, there has been no claim of responsibility, but suspicion will fall on so—called islamic state. they are carrying out an insurgency from neighbouring northern sinai. you'll remember that they claimed responsibility for the downing of a russian aircraft in october 2015, which had just taken off from the red sea resort of sharm el sheikh. now, that resulted in the loss
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of more than 200 lives. it devastated the tourism industry here. it had begun to recover. visitor numbers were up by about a half in the first quarter of this year. i think now, for many, there will be renewed concern about visiting egypt. the united nations says there has been a significant increase in the cultivation of cocaine in colombia. figures show the amount of cocaine produced in the country in the past year has risen by a third with a 50% increase in the amount of land being used to cultivate the drug. the colombian government has stopped trying to eradicate the crop by spraying for health reasons, despite pressure from the us. colombia's vice—president said his country remained committed to combating the drugs trade. staying with sport now, albeit in the loosest sense of the word.
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a highly competitive race has been taking place in new york. but this race was a little bit different — everyone take part was a baby. the bbc‘s tim allman has more — and a warning — there's some flash photography in his report. warming up for the big race. well. . .sort of. around 30 athletes aged between six and 2a months competing in the diaper derby. although some of the competitors are more focused than others. you know, i think a lot of the kids could care less about it. it is the parents and the crowds who get extremely competitive. the challenge is simple. crawl across a three metre mat, proud parents cheering them on. first one to reach the chequered line is the winner. it was a little too stressful for some. there were a number of heats. 11—month—old brook bender from texas
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was the niftiest nappy wearer. i need her dad. she likes her dad a little bit better than me. the prize, appropriately enough, a trophy that looks like a diaper. don't forget you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter, i'm @duncangolestani. hello there.
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some decent, dry, and also for some sunny weather around this weekend. but there will be a lot of cloud around at times, threatening some rain, particularly on saturday. and throughout saturday, the air gets warmer and more muggy. it is because of this warm front pushing its way eastwards, dragging in the air from the mid—atla ntic. but it is those weather fronts which through the night have been producing rain, and to start the day, a bit of a damp start in western scotland, northern england, wales, and also parts of the midlands. the first batch is fairly rapidly spreading its way south and eastwards. not much rain at all across south—eastern areas, but the rain is there across western scotland. we could see as much as 20 to a0 millimetres of rain on the hills in the west, so not a great one here. some rain at times, some dry moments, and something drier every now and then to the east of scotland, so far from a washout. it stays fairly cloudy in northern england, midlands and wales, patchy light rain and drizzle. but across england and wales, i think it is during the morning we are best favoured for some wetter conditions. the rain tends to ease
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off into the north sea. one or two showers here and there in the afternoon, but temperatures climbing as we go, up to around 22 or 23. it does mean there could be some rain in the middle part of the day at wimbledon. the same on sunday, the best of the dry weather in the morning. to get us through into sunday, the rain will work its way southwards. by the end of the night, probably across parts of northern england and wales, and it offers a bit of a split in conditions into the start of sunday. a fresh start, especially away from city centres. to the north, a fairly muggy, misty, and for some damp start across england and wales. this is the weather front, then, which is the dividing line between the muggiest of the air and something a bit fresher. but it does mean scotland, northern ireland and northern england actually have a bit of sun on the way. lots of sunshine elsewhere, brightening up for north wales and the north midlands, staying fairly cloudy across southernmost counties. the best of your sunshine
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will be in the morning. this weather front producing the odd shower, spot of rain and drizzle. 2a to 26 degrees, potentially, in the south—east corner. the teens in the north, but it will still be quite nice. they may be some patchy rain around in the morning at silverstone, optimistic skies will brighten by the time we get to the second half of the day. but it'll be one close call, we will have to keep on watching things. but certainly, into the start of next week, that ridge of high pressure building. lots of you will be dry. note the temperatures in the south, holding onto mid—20s, and by wednesday, humid across the board. potentially hitting 30 degrees in the south—east corner, but there is a chance of some nasty storms, too. a former soviet intelligence officer has revealed that he was present when donald trump's eldest son met a russian lawyer during last year's
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presidential campaign. donald trump, jr attended the meeting in new york injune last year after being promised information about hillary clinton. president emmanuel macron has said france will fight without mercy to protect its values from terrorists. speaking at commemorations to mark the first anniversary of the truck attack in nice, mr macron said france had forgotten the name of the attacker but learned the names of his 86 victims. the turkish authorities have sacked more than 7,000 police officers, state officials and academics for alleged links with last year's attempted coup, the first anniversary of which is being marked on saturday. the purge is the latest in a series that has seen around 200,000 public servants punished.
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