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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 25, 2017 4:00am-4:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. our top stories: president trump's son—in—law, jared kushner, says he has "nothing to hide" despite meeting russian officials during the us election. i did not collude with russia, nor do i know of anyone in the campaign who did so. in britain, the parents of terminally—ill baby charlie gard give up their legal fight to take him to the us for experimental treatment. falluja one year after being retaken from islamic state. and greenland's melting ice fuels fears of catastrophic climate change. we have a special report. only a very small portion of this ice sheet has to melt to raise sea levels and put people in danger. president trump's son—in—law
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and advisor, jared kushner, has denied any collusion with russia in last year's american election. he's the first member of the president's inner circle to have been questioned by a congressional committee on the matter. speaking after giving evidence, he said he had been completely transparent. our north america editor, jon sopel, reports from washington. jared kushner, the husband of ivanka, the son—in—law of the president, and the closest confidante of donald trump to find himself in the crosshairs of the sprawling russia investigation. reporter: mr kushner! a man who is normally found studiously avoiding the limelight today found himself uncomfortably the centre of attention. after giving evidence to the senate intelligence committee behind closed doors, he returned to the white house to insist he had done nothing wrong.
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i did not collude with russia, nor do i know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. i had no improper contacts. i have not relied on russian funds for my businesses. and i have been fully transparent in providing all requested information. so what were the contacts? in april 2016, kushner meets the russian ambassador, sergey kislyak. apparently no more than a handshake and passing small talk. kushner denies two further phone calls took place after this. on 9june 2016, kushnerjoins donald trumer and the campaign manager to hearfrom a russian attorney who has alleged links to the intel services in moscow. subject matter — "getting dirt on hillary clinton."
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after the election, he meets the russian ambassador again on i december. and two weeks later he meets a russian banker, sergei gorkov, said to have direct links to vladimir putin. but of one thing he was insistent. these meetings made zero difference to the outcome of the election. donald trump had a better message and ran a smarter campaign, and that is why he won. suggesting otherwise ridicules those who voted for him. but today, as donald trump was framed by over 100 white house interns, he was doing some ridiculing of his own, as reporters sought to ask disobliging questions... mr president, should jeff sessions resign? ..first by saying nothing... ..and then by letting rip. she's breaking the code. he has found it similarly difficult to keep his opinions to himself over russia. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. now, another another person
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within the trump administration facing a lot of scrutiny is the attorney general. jeff sessions has already recused himself from the russia investigation. but the white house communication director has told the bbc that talk of replacing him is premature. anthony scaramucci was responding to a story in the washington post. matt zapotosky, is national security reporter for the washington post. he broke the story about jared kushner being the focus of a federal inquiry. he told me we're still at a very early stage in the russia collusion investigation. this was the president's closest confidant, arguably, and his son—in—law, who went and talked to senate investigators and gave them his version of these meetings with russians. that is a critical moment, but there are so many more people we need to hearfrom, and to see if we need to — see how we can corroborate his account. and how does it work? does close—door, non—televised testimony get shared between members
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of, say, a senate committee and a house committee, and between special counsel robert mueller? are they briefing each other? robert mueller is viewing this with interest, and anything he wants from them he can get. the degree to which the various senate and house committees talk varies, depending on which committees you are talking about. butjared kushner is going, i think, tomorrow before the house intelligence committee, and probably is going to give similar testimony to what he gave today. and more talk, as we were saying, of president trump wanting to replace the attorney general, jeff sessions. if you are not a fan of mr trump, you would say this was to make it easier to stop — to sack robert mueller, in effect, to stop his investigation into the russia connections. isn't it going to be hard for president trump, though, to find anybody who wouldn't also have to stand aside from those investigations, as
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jeff sessions had to? yes, it would be very politically difficult for him to try to put somebody in place to fire robert mueller, though he has the power to do it. i mean, he can firejeff sessions, he can fire on down the line, and he can find someone who would be willing to pull the trigger. he could even just fire jeff sessions and appoint someone in the interim, someone more restricted who he can appoint to that spot, to carry out his bidding, if that is what he wants to do. now, we understand that these conversations about removing jeff sessions are very preliminary right now. they are in a very early stage. the president is maybe just venting, and maybejust feeling out the ideas, as he is known to do. but, you know, some people see this as part of the first step in an effort to maybe get in the way
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of a special counsel investigation. it's a heartbreaking case which has made headlines around the world, but now, the parents of the terminally—ill baby, charlie gard, have ended their legal battle to keep him alive. they had wanted to take their son to the us for experimental treatment. but an american doctor then said he was no longer willing to offer the therapy, and the family's lawyer told london's high court "time had run out" for the baby. here's our medical correspondent, fergus walsh. the fight over charlie gard's future is over. this desperately sick little boy will be allowed to die. after a hugely emotional hearing where his parents said they had agreed to let their son go, they emerged to face the world's media. our son is an absolute warrior, and we could not be prouder of him, and we will miss him terribly. his body, heart, and soul may soon be gone, but his spirit will live on for eternity, and he will make a difference to people's lives for years to come, we will make sure of that.
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we are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son, charlie, who unfortunately won't make his first birthday, in just under two weeks‘ time. charlie has been in great 0rmond street hospital since october. he has a serious inherited condition, mitochondrial depletion syndrome. he cannot move, feed, or breathe unaided. the central question in this case was whether this powder, nucleoside therapy, which is added to food, could boost his muscle function. his parents raised £1.3 million for the treatment in the united states. that money will now go to a foundation in charlie's name. but great 0rmond street, backed by many independent experts, said the treatment was futile because charlie had suffered catastrophic and irreversible brain damage. because charlie's parents and doctors could not agree, the matter went to the high court.
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in april, thejudge ruled that charlie's suffering should end, his life support be withdrawn. every legal appeal brought by charlie's parents failed. then came interventions from the pope and donald trump, the latter tweeting an offer of help. this has been an extraordinary case, a battle over the fate of a baby boy that was fought out notjust here, in court, but internationally. the judge said it was one of the pitfalls of social media that the watching world felt it right to have opinions without knowing the facts of the case. he said the court's paramount consideration had been charlie's best interests, at all times. the case came back to court when an american neurologist, michio hirano, claimed new evidence showed his nucleoside therapy could help charlie, and last week he flew over to examine him. new mri body scans were ordered. on friday, charlie's parents accepted these showed his muscle wasting was now so severe
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he was beyond help. it's an incredibly brave decision by charlie's parents. they have thought through for themselves what the new evidence shows, and they've reached a conclusion. probably the judge would have reached the same. it's very brave of them to do it without waiting to hear what he had to say. in court, connie yates said they would be haunted for the rest of their lives with the "what if." what if their son had received the treatment months earlier? she said he had the potential to be a normal boy, but it was now too late. to charlie we say, mummy and daddy, we love you so much. we always have and we always will, and we are so sorry that we could not save you." the parents are now with charlie in his final hours. great 0rmond street said the agony, desolation and bravery of their decision humbled all who worked there.
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let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. israel says it will remove metal detectors from the disputed holy site injerusalem. the un's middle east envoy has warned of catastrophic costs if the recent tensions weren't eased in time for friday's muslim prayers. the detectors were installed after two police were killed, sparking days of deadly clashes. a manhunt in under way in switzerland, where five people were attacked by a man with a chainsaw in the town of schaffhausen. police have identified the man, warning the public he is highly dangerous. they say the attack was aimed at a local health insurance company and is not related to terrorism. much more to come, including a prolonged drought in italy leading the government to turn off more than
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100 fountains. mission control: you can see them coming down the ladder now. armstrong: it's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. a catastrophic engine fire is being blamed tonight for the first crash in the 30—year history of concorde, the world's only supersonic airliner. it was one of the most vivid symbols of the violence and hatred that tore apart the state of yugoslavia. but now, a decade later, it's been painstakingly rebuilt and opens again today. there's been a 50% decrease in sperm quantity and an increase in malfunction of sperm unable to swim properly. thousands of households across the country are suspiciously quiet this lunchtime as children bury their noses in the final instalment of harry potter. and very good to have you with us on
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bbc news. the latest headlines this hour: president trump's son in law jared kushner insists he didn't collude with russia during the us election campaign. and the parents of terminally ill baby charlie gard have given up their legal fight to go to the us for experimental treatment. the iraqi government is still celebrating its defeat of so—called islamic state in mosul. but the fight back against is has now been going on for three years. one by one, the cities captured by is in 2014 have been taken back. our diplomatic correspondent, paul adams, has been to fallujah, which was recaptured just over a year ago, to see how life there has changed. what does a city do when islamic
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state has gone? wendy caliphate, with all its religious austerity and extreme violence has been driven out. —— when the caliphate. is showed off a scene at this fun fest yea rs showed off a scene at this fun fest years ago, but it is no longer the same. but the scars are everywhere will stop nine mohamad was caught in an explosion three years ago. he lost a leg and is still suffering. —— but the scars are everywhere. lost a leg and is still suffering. -- but the scars are everywhere. -- 90 mohamed. yes, we cannot say that the islamic state is there. we are still afraid. —— nine—year—old. for
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example, this morning there was an explosion. i lost it, and when i came to, i was shaken. falluja has barely known peace in 1a years. the americans fought bitter battles he hadn't left the government in baghdad divided. isis took advantage. when the government finally took control, the city was almost deserted. look at it today. over the past year, 80% of the city's population has returned. falluja feels secure. but it is a fragile peace. at friday prayers, which is as —— would are told to abandon the violence in a city. afterwards, the concerns are more basic. this city's hard mayorfaces
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a barrage of questions about the lack of electricity and jobs. he gets a little support from baghdad, and hisjob gets a little support from baghdad, and his job feels gets a little support from baghdad, and hisjob feels impossible. the so—called islamic state preyed on poverty and people's frustration with the government in baghdad. that is why it was able to take over in places like this. three years on, the poverty is still evident, and so, too, is the frustration of the people here. they should be warning signs for the government in baghdad. not everyone has returned to the city. we travel out into the desert to find the people nobody wants back. in dismal cans and —— in dismal camps, they better future for those suspected of working with
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islamic state. this woman only fled last year. they have all been cleared to return, but they cannot. it is not clear why. it could be jealous neighbours, tribal politics, 01’ jealous neighbours, tribal politics, ora jealous neighbours, tribal politics, or a vengeful militia. translation: we found the man in charge and said if you have any proof that my sons were involved with the islamic state, that they just like them, or carried kalashnikovs, we are ready to slaughter them. the war against the so—called islamic state is being won, slowly and at great civilian cost. the challenges that come in its wake are immense. if falluja is model for life after the caliphate, it isa model for life after the caliphate, it is a model with many flaws. —— is a model. the greenland ice sheet may be melting faster than expected, raising ocean levels more than predicted. researchers studying the ice sheet say warmer conditions are encouraging algae to grow
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and darken its surface. that matters, because darker ice absorbs more of the sun's rays and melts more rapidly. our science editor david shukman has this exclusive report. a vivid blue snakes across the greenland ice sheet. a beautiful sight, but when the ice here melts the oceans rise around the world. on the horizon, the ice sheet looms ahead of us. we've joined a team of british scientists. they're trying to understand how the ice is changing. we touch down in one of the remotest corners of the planet. the first task is to set up camp — a home in an utterly barren wilderness. from the air, all you can really see is what looks like a vast expanse of endless white, but that isn't the whole story. because what's hard to grasp as i stand here is that this isjust the surface of a vast mass of ice
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that's unbelievably thick. so, let's imagine cutting it away right in front of me. the ice sheet stretches for as much as two miles, three kilometres, from the surface here, right down to the rock below. in fact, it's so thick you could take the world's tallest building, the burj khalifa in dubai, and fit four of them, end to end, inside. and as we walk around, there's a real surprise: white ice is turning dark — and the darker a surface, the more it absorbs the sun's rays. and, like wearing a black t—shirt on a hot day, the more it warms up. you've got this dark ice here. yeah, so we've got a dark surface... martin tranter, the chief scientist here, says one reason for the dark ice is algae, tiny plants. the algae are microscopically small, but they may be having a big impact.
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what we want to know is how far the algae can spread over the greenland ice sheet as the climate warms. and it might well be that they will cause more melting, and an acceleration of sea—level rise. in the evening light, the shimmer of gentle streams, thousands of them. until recently, the amount of ice melting in summer was balanced by snowfall in winter. but in the last 20 years the flows of water have multiplied, each one eventually adding to the level of the oceans. no—one's saying that this whole thing is going to melt in the next decade, or even in the next hundred, or even the next thousand years, but it doesn't all have to melt for more people to be in danger. only a small amount, a very small portion of this ice sheet has to melt to raise the sea levels, and then threaten millions of people in coastal
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communities around the world. what's striking is that this massive block of ice may be vulnerable if more algae darken the surface and lead to faster melting. down at the edge of the ice sheet, the streams become a torrent. we already know that meltwater is raising the level of the sea bit by bit, but the researchers here want to find out whether that rise will accelerate. and for people in low—lying areas of florida, bangladesh, parts of britain, getting an accurate forecast really matters. david shukman, bbc news, in greenland. most of have got used to microchips in our bank cards and even in our pets, but how about under your own skin? it's already being done in europe and a company in wisconsin is the first in the us to implant microchips inside its staff. so far more than half its employees have volunteered to have a chip put into their hand. earlier, i spoke to patrick mcmullan, director of that company, three square market. our employees, they are innovators. we are a technology company, they are
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excited about it and what it can mean. this is not a job performance tracker, there's no gps functionality. what it has is different things that help you identify who you are to our businesses, to use it as a form of payment. by no means is it something that we use to track where people are and what they are doing, not at all. i suppose, a company smart phone or swipe card can generate similar data, but employees can separate themselves from those quite easily. you have to think the ethical issues are going to get bigger, more sophisticated the chips become? we heard about a swedish railway company that is gaining —— scanning chips in passenger's hands. some of the conductors were apparently getting people's linkedin profiles
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rather than their tickets when they scanned their hands. there are a lot of concerns, and rightly so. the concerns about cyber security, the reality is that this is an encrypted device that is very prevalent. almost every person in the world now has a chip, whether it's a debit or credit card. it takes security to a whole new level. yes, it has to be handled right. one of the things we are very much in shoring is that it —— much ensuring is that it is responsible information, ensuring it is used correctly, for the purpose it is intended. not for something that nobody would want to have happened. the vatican has said it is shutting off all its fountains, including those in st peter's square, because of italy's severe drought. the country has experienced one of its driest springs for sixty years and rome is considering water rationing.
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sarah corker reports. holiday snaps of the famous fountains in vatican city will look a little different this summer. the 17th—century masterpieces in st peter's square are among 100 fountains being switched off. large swathes of italy are suffering from a prolonged drought. as far as we know, at least in our memory, this is the first time we have had to shut the fountains down. as you know, in rome, rome has been blessed with lots of water, and so this is an exception. as far as we know, this is the first time in the vatican this has happened. the move comes after authorities called a halt on pumping water from this lake near rome, a decision that could force officials to impose water rationing in the italian capital. some areas have seen rainfall levels 80% below normal. the island of sardinia is among the worst—affected regions. 4,000 farms depend on this now—near—empty dam for water. translation: water only one day a week. we can't stop it, therefore we can't give water to the animals. animals cannot drink only once a week. it's a big disaster.
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across italy, 60% of farmland is under threat. farmers say it is costing the nation's agriculture an estimated 2 billion euros. ten regions are now seeking natural disaster status. in florence, water levels are at a record low, while further north, some rivers are already bone—dry. in central italy, olive production has been badly affected, and with no let—up in the high temperatures, authorities are warning of the risk of an environmental disaster. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter. thank you for watching. hello there. many of us have had more than ourfair share of wet and cloudy weather of late,
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but that certainly hasn't been the whole story. monday brought some sunshine for many places. that was the scene across the scottish islands. the sunshine was not shared out equally though. suffolk seeing a lot of cloud. many eastern areas had rather cloudy conditions. out west, in the atlantic, there's another lump of cloud hurtling its way in, that'll bring some rain on the wednesday but for tuesday we are between weather systems and that means actually a fair amount of fine and dry weather in the day ahead. where it has been so cloudy across eastern england and eastern scotland, that cloud will break up a little bit. there will be more in the way of sunshine. could just see the odd shower breaking up across the south—west and south wales later in the day. in the sunshine, this is problable where we'll have the highest temperatures — 2a, maybe 25 degrees. certainly a little bit less cool than it was on monday, across the south—east and east anglia, because there will be more sunshine. through north wales, northern england, it should be fine, some sunny spells.
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clouding over a little bit in northern ireland later in the day and maybe a shower for scotland. most places dry, if a little on the chilly side, close to the east coast, 1a degrees in aberdeen. most places will have a fine evening but things then begin to change. into the early hours of wednesday, we'll see quite a band of rain working in across northern ireland, south—west scotland, wales and the south—west, courtesy of an area of low pressure. quite a deep low, actually — this is not a usual weather chart for this point in july. closely squeezed isobars, that means some fairly strong winds and weatherfronts, bringing a band of rain eastwards, across the country. especially across the northern half of the british isles, this rain will be quite heavy. it will go on for quite a few hours, as well. not as much rain getting across into the south—east. and then for the south—west, wales and northern ireland, later in the day, things will brighten up with some spells of sunshine. those blustery winds making it feel cool. 18—21 degrees. and although the weather front responsible for the main body of the rain will clear away to the east, this area of low pressure is still close by on thursday and that means very
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strong winds, especially up to the north—west. there'll be some heavy showers here, as well. drier, brighter weather towards the south—east. just 15 degrees in glasgow. maybe 22 in london. we stick with that blustery theme as we head to the end of the week. some spells of sunshine on friday. some showers as well. highs of 17—22 degrees. as we head towards the end of the week, a cooler, fresherfeel. yes, there'll be some spells of sunshine but some heavy blustery showers as well. this is bbc news, the headlines: president trump's son—in—law and adviser, jared kushner, has denied any collusion with russia in last year's us election. in his first live televised comments on the allegations, he insisted there had been nothing improper about his contacts. he's the first member of mr trump's inner circle to be questioned. the parents of the terminally ill baby, charlie gard, have ended their legal challenge to take him to the us for experimental treatment. chris gard and connie yates said an american expert had told them it was now too late to give the child the therapy that he'd offered.
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the moon has more water than previously thought, and it's deep below the lunar surface. researchers at brown university in the us say that they've found evidence of water trapped in volcanic deposits. it's thought the reserves could be used to sustain a lunar base and support future space exploration. now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk.
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