welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm duncan golestani. our top stories: president trump declares a national public health emergency, saying opioids kill more than a thousand americans every week. spain's parliament is expected to vote within hours on whether to impose direct rule on catalonia following the recent independence referendum. fewer than half of kenya's voters turn out in the rerun presidential election amid a boycott and violence. and 3,000 once—secret files about the jfk assassination are released but hundreds more are held back. welcome to bbc news. president trump has declared a public health emergency because of the widespread addiction to opioid painkillers
across the united states. he said more than 140 americans died each day as a result of overdoses, and the country faced its worst drug crisis in history. rajini vaidya nathan starts our coverage. she was very outgoing, she was an exceptional athlete and all that was robbed of her when she was introduced to opiates and then eventually heroin. so this is the future site of her house. it's been two years since kevin simmons lost his daughter to a heroin overdose. she wasjust 19. a drug squad police officer for decades, he used to lock up addicts. then his daughter became one. never saw it coming, never dream that would happen. this has reached epidemic proportions and something has got to be done. for kevin that something means
building a women's only treatment centre in her memory. he says the way to deal with the problem is through more investment in recovery and education. we are doing it all wrong. for every illness we are prescribed the pill. there is no education out here. kids are more afraid to smoke a cigarette than to take a percocet. kevin likes lives in hagerstown which sits on what is known as the heroin highway. this sleepy slice of small—town america is now played by the crisis. the scale of the opioid crisis here and elsewhere is huge. in this state, maryland, alone, more than 1100 people died of opioid related overdoses in the first six months of the year and so the challenge for president trump is to come up with workable solutions to contain this epidemic. today, the president announced what goes where. this epidemic is a national
health emergency. he stopped short of declaring it a national emergency, a public health emergency does not allocate the same level of funding but does promise extra resources and attention to the problem. we are working with doctors and medical professionals to implement best practices for save opioid prescribing. we can be the generation which ends the opioid epidemic. kevin also hopes it will force more americans to open up about an epidemic which is claiming thousands of lives. you never wanted to see your daughter was a heroin addict. you never wanted to say they had a problem with addiction in the family. but now people are talking to the kids and saying it can happen because it can happen to anybody. joining me now to discuss this further is drjeffrey singer,
a general surgeon and senior fellow at the cato institute. dr singer, think it not concerned about funding as much as i am about where the emphasis is. mistakenly most of the policymakers have bought into this notion that doctors prescribe an opioid for patient pain and the patient becomes addicted to opioids and becomes a heroin addict. according to the us government's 0wen dato, non—medical use of prescription opioids peaked in 2012 and total opioid use peaked in 2014 and total opioid use peaked in 2014 and the same year the us government said less than 25% of opioid addicts
said less than 25% of opioid addicts said they got prescription opioids from doctor. there is no question there is documentation from doctors 01’ there is documentation from doctors or nothing but basically pill pushers. they have the most part been eradicated and should have been dealt with appropriately but what is happening, doctors being pressured right now to cut back on the prescription of opioids and the fa cts prescription of opioids and the facts a re prescription of opioids and the facts are indisputable. the last seven facts are indisputable. the last seve n years facts are indisputable. the last seven years in a row, description of opioids by physicians in this country has decreased steady seven yea rs country has decreased steady seven years continuously. the drug enforcement administration ordered a 2596 enforcement administration ordered a 25% reduction in the manufacturing of opioids last year and 20% this year but as the number of opioids being available has decreased, the death rate is going up. that should tell you something. can i enter up to. i understand what you are saying about the numbers declining but even
the interim report from the opioid commission, they said, we have an enormous problem that is not often beginning on street corners but starting in doctors offices and hospitals. are you reducing then the impact that doctors and healthcare professionals a re impact that doctors and healthcare professionals are having on this crisis? yes, i am. if you look at the numbers from the cdc, last year for the first time ever the majority of the opioid overdose stats were from heroin. 51%. the number of deaths from fentanil alone and doubled over the previous year and projecting that in 2016, which will be released in december, it will show you more. the numbers are showing us that prescription opioids asa number of showing us that prescription opioids as a number of overdose deaths is proceeding wearers were in fashion 0wen proceeding wearers were in fashion owen and fentanil have been overtaking prescription opioids and that has been increasing to the death rate. the cdc data has shown,
based on the trendlines from 1999— 2006, those trendlines continued the overdose death rate from 2015 should have been 5.75 per 100,000 but instead, we are 4.8 four. that sounds good... dr singer, i want to get onto, if you don't think the bulk of responsibility lies with doctors, what are the solutions that president trump has not touched upon? most of the causes of present day addiction problems are socio cultural. they are multifactorial. people out of work for years whose jobs have become obsolete. a lot of social problems in different parts of the country. a lot of reasons why people seek mind altering drugs. if we address itjust on the supply
side like we have been doing for the last six or seven years, it is only making it worse. it makes it worse as we clamp down on supply. we should focus on harm reduction. that is where we should go towards. 0ur goal should be focused on not cutting down supply but cutting down deaths and the way you do that is by expanding for example clean needle exchange programmes or better yet, safe injection rooms. methadone maintenance programmes. the availability for suboxone and other therapies. the antidote should be available, which is easy for people to get. many states need to pass good samaritan laws so if a person is witness to an overdose, they are not a frayed to call first responders to rescue that person with naloxone and not feel they are
fea rful of with naloxone and not feel they are fearful of arrest. that would be a good thing in your country and in many other developed countries, for example, switzerland and the netherlands. . dr singer, ithink we could talk and talk and talk on this one, i'm going to be terribly rude but thank you very much your time. the crisis over independence for the spanish region of catalonia is expected to intensify on friday, with two key votes in madrid and barcelona. the spanish senate is set to approve central government plans to remove some powers from the autonomous region. 0ur europe editor katya adler reports now from barcelona. hope and excitement filled this barcelona square this morning as on so many mornings during the catalan crisis. the independence—minded crowd once again arching and chanting its way towards the catalan government building, believing, after many weeks of waiting,
the catalan leader inside now had a dramatic announcement to make. until he didn't. after more than an hour of waiting, in the end it was a no—show. the catalan leader never turned up to make his much anticipated declaration. the press are leaving and outside on the streets catalans are none the wiser as to what their future holds. now i feel very very angry because i want an answer of someone. who is going to tell me something about this because i'm very very confused. there followed hours of more confusion. the catalan leader had a difficult decision to make — declare unilateral independence and incur the wrath of the spanish government or back down, call regional elections instead and face mutiny in his own political ranks. finally, with catala ns for and against independence hanging on his every word, he opted for neither,
blaming the spanish government. translation: my responsibility as president of catalonia was to exhaust all the options available. what we need is de—escalation and dialogue. but once again i have not had a satisfactory reply from the spanish government. 300 miles away in madrid, the spanish government was unimpressed. it is ploughing ahead with a vote tomorrow here in the spanish senate to unravel catalonia's autonomous powers. we came here to meet a senator from the governing popular party. translation: launching article 155 of the constitution, which will affect catalonia's autonomy, is the last resort. it's the only way to restore legality, tolerance, democracy and economic stability to catalonia. this is all the fault of the catalan president. this is one of the most dramatic moments in modern spanish history. never before has a government
here moved to strip the autonomous powers of one of spain's regions. the spanish prime minister will be sitting here and most of the senators in this room belong to his party so we know he will win the vote but what we don't know is what impact that will have not just on catalonia but on spain as a whole. back in barcelona tonight, with the possibility of an independence declaration still in the air, the catalan leader was hounded by the press. his regional administration and the spanish government are on a collision course. tomorrow promises to be an explosive day in spain. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. a un—backed report has concluded the syrian government was behind a chemical attack on the town of khan sheikhoun earlier this year which killed about 90 people.
investigators said the nerve agent, sarin, was dropped from an aircraft. syria has previously denied responsibility. police and immigration officers have carried out one of the uk's biggest ever operations against people trafficking. 11 people were arrested in britain, another 15 were detained in simultaneous raids in across europe. north korea has announced that it will release the crew of a south korean fishing boat within hours on humanitarian grounds. the vessel was seized on saturday after being found illegally in waters under the north's control. meanwhile, the us defence secretary, james mattis, has arrived in south korea for a crucial leg of his asia tour as tensions continue to escalate between washington and pyongyang. he's expected to visit the demilitarized zone dividing the north and south with his south korean counterpart. in recent days, mr mattis has said pyongyang's missile tests "threaten regional and global security." still to come. rescued after five
months at sea. the two sailors and their two dogs who disappeared in their two dogs who disappeared in the pacific ocean. indira gandhi, ruler of the world's largest democracy, died today. 0nly yesterday she'd spoken of dying in the service of her country and said, "i would be proud of it, every drop of my blood will contribute to the growth of this nation". after 46 years of unhappiness, these two countries have concluded a chapter of history. no more suspicion, no more fear, no more uncertainty of what each day might bring. booster ignition and liftoff of discovery, with a crew of six astronaut heroes and one american legend. well, enjoying the show is right — this is beautiful. a milestone in human history.
born today, this girl in india is the 7 billionth person on the planet. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: president trump has declared the opioid epidemic which is killing tens of thousands of americans every year to be a public health emergency. the crisis over independence for the spanish region of catalonia is expected to intensify on friday, with two key votes in madrid is expected to intensify on friday, with two key votes in madrid and barcelona. violent protests in kenya have disrupted a rerun of the presidential elections. millions went to the polls on thursday, but the unrest forced the country's electoral commission
to delay voting in four areas. it's the second election in less than three months. the supreme court annulled the first result because of irregularities. the bbc‘s fergal keane reports from nairobi. it was a day of striking contrasts. and of vastly different realities. when this diverse nation seemed further away than ever from unity. as the polls opened, the overwhelming sense was of weariness. for months, the kenyan electorate has watched politicians indulge in ever—more bitter exchanges. this was downtown nairobi, where they heeded the president's call to turn out. come here to vote and to make the way. this kenya is ours and we
have to fight for it. so it's a must. i have to make it, yes. all morning they have been voting here. it's very painstaking checking people's identity. here you have a box full of presidential ballots, people who have already cast their votes. there are some international observers but far fewer than before amid concern over security and the credibility of the entire process. president kenyatta is confident of victory. not surprising, the opposition is not taking part. he saw kenya's vote as an inspiration. we believe we are setting an example as kenya and we want our entire continent to continue in this particular path. but contemplate the empty polling stations in opposition strongholds, and a big fall in the official turnout. and the anger of those who took to the streets today.
in kibera, a vast nairobi slum, we saw running battles between the opposition and police. demonstrators driven back from a polling station. elsewhere in western kenya, two people were shot dead. so they are continuing here to try to prevent any polling taking place at this station. rocks being thrown and at some point they expect, they know there is going to be a response from the security forces. tear gas being fired. what do you want? i want a credible election to be done in kenya. and you don't believe this is credible? this is not credible. this is a sham election. inside the polling station, beleaguered officials were forced to acknowledge defeat. so as we go back to the vehicle,
they need to be escorted back. i'm not safe here. the gas is effecting me. violence is localised, kenya is not sliding into anarchy. but on a day of such division, the fear is for the very credibility of democracy here. fergal keane, bbc news, nairobi. the us navy has rescued two american mariners who had been drifting at sea for five months. jennifer appel and tasha fuiaba — and their two dogs — had been trying to reach tahiti when their engine stopped working. tim allman takes up the story. bobbing along in the pacific ocean, this was a journey at sea that it not go quite to plan. a small sailboat drifting around 1500 kilometres south—east of japan but when a crowd from the us navy ship,
ashland, arrived alongside, they got the warmest of welcome. jennifer appel and tasha fuiaba had set off from hawaii this spring. 0r intended destination was to hit each but their engine was damaged in bad weather and they were forced to drift india open sea. the two women managed to survive thanks 0bote purifier and a straw of dry good like that milan pastor. despite sending daily distress calls a mother only discovered when a time when is fishing vessel spotted them adrift. also rescue, their two dogs. sailors, dogs now heading to the next port of call. what happened in dallas on november 22, 1963 has fuelled conspiracy theories for decades. on that day of course, presidentjohn f kennedy was assassinated. now, another batch of classified files on the killing are being released by the us
national archives while another batch are being held back pending further review. but experts say they don't expect any dramatic revelations from the thousands of documents. here's nick bryant. november the 22nd, 1963. archive: it appears as though something has happened in the motorcade route. something, i repeat, has happened in the motorcade route. notjust one of the most shocking days of american history, but also, one of the most disputed. archive: president kennedy has been assassinated. it is official now. the president is dead. the official explanation is that john f kennedy was assassinated in dallas by a lone gunman, lee harvey oswald. but the case has never been closed in the american mind. were the soviets involved? the cubans? the mafia? renegade elements within the government he led? the national archives holds 5 million documents on the assassination. 99% have already been opened in some form. but it's that final 1% of mainly cia and fbi files that's so intriguing.
i would welcome a eureka moment. i doubt that we get a eureka moment. most of what we are going to see is going to be about details and incremental advances in our knowledge about the assassination. but, again, i hope i'm surprised. fuelling the conspiracy theories, the shooting of lee harvey oswald, by dallas nightclub ownerjack ruby. he died hours later. the documents may reveal more about a trip 0swald made to mexico just weeks before, where he met soviet and cuban spies. it's more than 50 years since america mourned the loss of its young leader. a national wound that has never truly healed and a chapter in the national story that has never had a satisfactory ending. the assassination ofjohn f kennedy was a turning point notjust because a 46—year—old president had been cut down in his prime, but because many americans came to believe that their government
simply wasn't telling them the truth. part of the reason why congress ordered this document dump was to regain that lost trust. the historical irony is that the decision to release the files rests with a modern—day president, donald trump, who has promotedjfk conspiracy theories himself. but will they bring a sense of closure? nick briant, bbc news, washington. in thailand a ceremony to collect royal relics and the ashes from where the revered late king bhumibol adulyadej was cremated on thursday is currently taking place. hundreds of thousands of mourners had lined the streets of bangkok for the cremation ceremony. he died last year at the age of 88. the elaborate cremation was steeped in buddhist traditions. here are some of the images of the day. (music playing).
bhumibol adulyadej. thailand saying goodbye to king bhumiboladulyadej. stay thailand saying goodbye to king bhumibol adulyadej. stay with us, we are back in a few minutes. well, friday is looking beautiful and sunny across most of the uk — how about that! at least that's the forecast. the morning might be a little cloudy and misty in some areas, particularly across the south of the uk but by the time we get to the second half of the morning, and certainly lunchtime, it really will be a case of a beautiful autumn day across the country. we had a lot of cloud and drizzle earlier on but now that has pushed out of the way, it is moving further east and south. this high pressure is building. it is squeezing out that weather front which will be just about hugging the south coast
during the early morning, so temperatures still here on the mild side. it's the tlick cloud and a bit of drizzle that keeps those temperatures from dropping too low. but the clear skies further north means that it will be quite nippy start to the day. so in glasgow, i think, six degrees first thing in the morning. a little bit less cold in belfast, around nine degrees. but wherever you are across the country, it will be somewhere within that range. the far south still around about 11 or 12 and, notice, that parts of somerset, devon, maybe cornwall, still underneath the cloud. this is a during the early morning. even a spot of drizzle but that should quickly fade away and then we are left with a mostly windless day, sunny skies and very decent temperatures. nothing to be sniffed at, in fact. across the south of the country, up to around 15. notice that the winds are a little bit stronger, more arrows here, across scotland. in fact, the northern isles will be very blustery and those winds will be increasing and there is a change on the way because friday will be the best day overall of the next few. by the time we get to friday night, and into the early hours of saturday, the winds keep
on strengthening across many northern and north—western parts of the country and that cloud returns off the atlantic. there will be drizzle in places and some hillfog too, so i think quite a grey picture on saturday for many of us but eastern parts of the country, anywhere from aberdeenshire the borders, say, hull, london, down to the south coast, these areas will have another sunny day. and then saturday into sunday, we see colder air coming in, from the north — not desperately cold — we are not forecasting a freeze or anything like that — it's just that it's going to feel quite a bit fresher compared to what we would have had recently. so temperatures, i think, on saturday and certainly sunday around 8 or 9 degrees across northern areas. a few showers scattered around. further south you are, the milder it will be — in london and plymouth, for example, still around the mid teens. so a big contrast between the north and the south but still relatively settled with high pressure. later on, monday into tuesday, we'll start to see weather fronts marching in off the atlantic. bye— bye. this is bbc news — the headlines:
donald trump has officially declared a nationwide public health emergency in response to the growing use of prescription painkillers and other opioids. 0verdoses of opioids kill more than a thousand americans each week. critics have complained that the announcement does not allocate extra money. the crisis over the spanish region of catalonia is expected to intensify on friday, with two key votes in madrid and barcelona. the spanish senate is set to approve government plans to remove some powers from the autonomous region. the catalan parliament is expected to declare independence. the electoral commission in kenya has estimated that turnout in the rerun presidential election was just 48%. that's significantly down on the figure of nearly 80% in the original election in august. now on bbc news, thursday in parliament.