this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. our top stories... a nasty war of words in washington. president trump says his former strategist steve bannon has lost his mind, after he accused mr trump's son and son—in—law of treason. i think that is a ridiculous accusation, and one that i'm pretty sure we've addressed many times from here before. the un welcomes the use of a telephone hotline between north and south korea, as relations between the two countries seem to improve. i'm kasia madera in london. also in this programme... how one of the world's most sacred rivers, the ganges in india, is also one of the most polluted — clogged with plastic waste and other rubbish. and after a year of extreme weather, with hurricanes, drought and wildfires, we look ahead to see what 2018 might have in store. live from our studios in singapore and london, this is bbc world news. it's newsday.
thanks forjoining us. it's87am in singapore, 12pm in london and 7pm in washington, where a vicious war of words has erupted between president trump and the chief strategist he fired back in august. mr trump is denouncing steve bannon, saying he had nothing to do with his election victory. it's all because of comments from mr bannon describing a meeting between the president's son, son—in—law, and a russian lawyer during the presidential election campaign as "treasonous" and "unpatriotic. " it's understood the comments will be published in a book next week. president trump hit back with scathing comments, saying: "when he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind". when asked if the president's son donald trump jr had,
in fact, committed treason, the white house press secretary had this to say. to the ridiculous accusation to be sure we have addressed many times from here before, and if that is in reference to comments made by steve bannon, i refer you back to the ones that he made previously on 60 minutes we called the collusion with russia about this president, total as. so i think when we look back to that, if anyone has been inconsistent, it has been him, it certainly has not been this president of this administration. i spoke with laura trevelyan in washington about why these comments have sparked such a strong reaction. what has really upset the president, it seems, is this description of that meeting that took place in trump tower during the presidential election campaign. 0n donald trump was still a candidate, when hillary clinton was ahead in the polls and thought to be favoured, donald trump
junior, the president's son and his son—in—law junior, the president's son and his son—in—lanared kushner took junior, the president's son and his son—in—law jared kushner took a meeting with a russian lawyer, who they knew to be offering dirt on hillary clinton's campaign. now, steve bannon describes the decision to ta ke steve bannon describes the decision to take that meeting as treasonous and unpatriotic, and he says that what those two individuals should have done immediately was to call the api. steve bannon goes on in the book to say the chances that donald trump junior and jared kushner did not take the russian lawyer and her retinue up to meet donald trump, he describes that as being a very slim chance that they did not do it. so, this meeting, which is the closest thing that has come out in the public domain the contact between the russians and the trump campaign, is something that is of great interest to robert mueller, the special counsel who is investigating links between the president and russia. and the president himself drafted a statement about this meeting, which was released to the
press when it was subsequently reported by the us media much, much later that this had happened. so, thatis later that this had happened. so, that is why the president is so marred because, and as sarah huckabee sanders says, steve bannon has completely changed his tune on the russian investigation from saying it is a vast to now saying that the trump family are standing on the pitch as a category five hurricane comes towards them, the hurricane comes towards them, the hurricane being the new investigation. he has had an extraordinary outburst, even by his standards. to steve bannon‘s allegations come as a shock to the president? well, they have had a gradual falling president? well, they have had a gradualfalling out since president? well, they have had a gradual falling out since steve bannon was either fired a left of his own volition, depending on who you talk to, in the summer. but they did remain on decent terms for a while and they were phone calls between them. this explosive book, thatis between them. this explosive book, that is just about to come out, does reveal that they kept in contact.
the president is known, that he does like to keep in contact with old foes. what he calls is no nationalism, what his critics call racism and being against immigrants, he really propelled that strain of the trump campaign, took nuclear and help donald trump get elected. he gave more of a vision to the basic trump message, so gave more of a vision to the basic trump message, so now that they have fallen out, what are the implications of this feud? where's the alt right go? does that go with stephen bannon, does it stay with donald trump? that is why it donald trump has made these comments, he feared the damage that he could do with the breitbart news website. so, now it is open warfare. if you check out the bbc news website, there is an article dedicated to the ten explosive revelations from the new
book. let's take a look at some of the day's other news. un secretary general antonio guterres has welcomed the reopening of a hotline between north and south korea. he says that he hopes more diplomatic initiatives will go ahead to end the peninsula's nuclear standoff. earlier, north and south korea conducted their first direct communication in nearly two years, reviving the dormant hotline. its use was ordered by the north korean leader, kim jong—un. the bbc‘s sophie long reports from seoul. that is the first direct telephone call to ta ke that is the first direct telephone call to take place between the two countries for nearly two years, and it is being seen as another step towards the reopening of dialogue between north korea and south korea. south korea offered what it called a high—level talks to the north yesterday, we still do not know whether the north will accept that offer what it has been proposed for the ninth of january, offer what it has been proposed for the ninth ofjanuary, next offer what it has been proposed for the ninth of january, next tuesday, in fact ahead of the olympics getting under way here in south
korea. as those talks take place, it is expected that that is what they will discuss, whether north korea will discuss, whether north korea will send a delegation to the winter 0lympics. south korea's president has said previously that he really feels that those games could mark a turning point in relations and help de— escalate tensions you on the korean peninsula. —— here on. also making news today.... the united states may withhold financial aid to palestinians. on twitter, president trump said the us received "no appreciation or respect" from them in return for the money. he also asked why "future payments to them" should continue, while they're "no longer willing to talk peace" with israel. the iranian authorities have intensified their efforts to end several days of anti—government protests. state media have been showing
pro—government rallies. the head of the revolutionary guards said the unrest was now over. but social media has continued to report more demonstrations against the government. thieves have outwitted sophisticated security systems at the doj palace in venice to stealjewellery on loan from a member of the qatari royal family. police say that at least two thieves took a brooch and earrings that had a minimum value of $1 million. the theft was on the last day of an exhibition called treasures of the mughals and the maharajahs. now, if you've ever got annoyed during a flight, i suspect you never went to these lengths. after being delayed getting off a ryanair plane, this man decided to leave through the emergency exit, and then went on to sit on the wing. the flight from london had reportedly been delayed for an hour on departure, and then another 30 minutes on landing. not unexpectedly, he was arrested by airport security. the problem of plastics and the impact they're having on our planet is a subject we have been exploring this week.
according to a recent study, 95% of plastic pollution in the world's oceans comes from just 10 rivers. and one of them is the ganges in india. 0ur correspondent, sanjoy majumder, reports from the banks of the holy city of varanasi. this looks like a drain carrying sewerage, but it's actually a tributary of the ganges. the waste along its banks choking and contaminating one of the world's greatest rivers. every day wrappers, bottles, cups and other plastic waste is deposited here, slowly sliding into the water and then eventually flowing into the ganges. for centuries, some of india's greatest cities have been built along its banks, varanasi the oldest one of them. it's only when you come to the ancient city of varanasi that you realise how this mighty river, that's so central to the hindu faith, that sustains the lives and beliefs of nearly half a billion people, is as polluted as it is.
the ganges is more than a river to indians, it is sacred to hindus who pray and worship along its banks and cremate their dead in it. from the time it flows out of the icy heights of the himalayas, until it gets here, its crystal clear waters give way to a fetid, muddy flow, contaminated by the millions who live along its banks. five generations of sanjit‘s family have lived along the ganges in varanasi, living witnesses to its gradual degradation. translation: there's an old saying here that the ganges belongs to everyone. you are free to do what you want, throw what you want, cremate dead bodies, bathe, wash, and you'll achieve salvation. but we are being irresponsible, we do not have the right to pollute the ganges this way. three years ago, the indian government pledged more than £2 billion to clean up the ganges, but much of the money remains unspent and the focus, in any case, is on treating sewerage
and industrial effluents. so the only people trying to prevent plastic waste being dumped into the river are these scrap pickers. translation: every day, we pick up about ten to 20 kilos of plastic. we have to sift through the rubbish and segregate the plastic. it is estimated that every year, 1.2 billion pounds of plastic waste is dumped into the ganges, much of it carried into the bay of bengal, where the river eventually empties out. sanjoy majumder, bbc news, varanasi. now, we are getting live pictures from sydney in australia of the operation that has just begun to recover the wreckage of this that crashed near sydney. you will remember that five members of the british family were killed on board that seaplane on the hawkesbury
river on new year's eve. the people on board british catering tycoon,
richard cousins, his fiancee died, his two sons and her daughter. police divers are using inflatable bags to try to lift seaplane from the bottom of the river will stop it was down very, very deep and a crane is on the surface, it is going to try to pull it from the water, and the aim of this recovery operation is to try to keep the aircraft has intact as possible for the investigation to follow. you're watching newsday on the bbc. life in london and singapore. —— live from. still to come on
the programme... hurricanes, drought, sub—zero temperatures tomorrow in holland,
i'm rico hizon in singapore. and i'm kasia madera in london. our top stories: donald trump accuses his former chief strategist of losing his mind after steve bannon reportedly accused mr trump's son, and son—in—law, of treasonous behaviour. north korea dials a number it hasn't used for two years, as kim jong—un reopens a special hotline with the south, sparking hopes of a new diplomatic initiative. let's ta ke let's take a look at some newspapers from around the world. the front page of the new york times is reporting on the mexican
authorities interfering in the country's press. the article says the government spends billions on advertising and dictates what should be reported. the philippine daily inquirer says elections in the country could be dispensed with. the paper has a report from congress, which is considering extending the term of president rodrigo duterte as well as lawmakers. elections are due next year. and the gulf news has a warning for chocoholics. it seems the favourite treat could be no more by 2050, with cacao trees struggling to grow in the warming climate. now, what stories are sparking discussions online? rico, an ancient story has caught people's attention on line, in fact it's thousands of years old. the remains of an infant girl have been found in alaska from 11,500 years ago. scientists say the child's dna is from a previously unknown group.
and they think this means a single wave of migrants moved to the area 20 thousand years ago. the pioneering settlers became the ancestors of all today's native americans. from hurricanes, to drought, and then a deep freeze, for parts of north america, 2017 saw plenty of extreme weather. it also delivered rising temperatures across the globe. so, what should we be looking at in 2018? let's hear from one of our bbc meteorologists. this is this is the this is the weather this is the weather to this is the weather to look
this is the weather to look out this is the weather to look out for this is the weather to look out for this is the weather to look out for in 2018. last year, we had wild weather and high temperatures. there we re weather and high temperatures. there were multiple storms hurricane irma sustained category 5 longer than any other hurricanes in recorded history. will we see more like this in the future? many things could happen. but if the ocean waters, the tropical atlantic, happen. but if the ocean waters, the tropicalatlantic, remain happen. but if the ocean waters, the tropical atlantic, remain warmer than normal, like in further powerful tropical storms may be on the cards. 0n the subject of rising temperatures, 2017 did not break all—time temperature records, but it was the third warmest. so far, the zist was the third warmest. so far, the 21st century has in warmer than any
time in recorded history, often with disastrous consequences. climate computer models indicate 2008 in will be another warm year. however, the climate is very complicated, and does not work evenly across the planet. ice in the arctic is knocking at an unprecedented rate due to global warming. the melted ice water could cool off the north atla ntic ice water could cool off the north atlantic and slow down atmospheric warming, or even make it cold. and large—scale patterns like el nino and learning will be closely watched. —— la nina. the only happen every few years, and alter the patterns across the globe. el nino creates air currents across the tropics which tend to rip powerful storms apart before they have a chance to strengthen. currently, we
are ina chance to strengthen. currently, we are in a la nina, the opposite to el nino, with cooler waters in the pacific, which may last for months, dividing a stable environment for even more hurricanes in 2018. it is difficult to make it clear prediction this year as there are many complicated patterns in the atmosphere which influence each other. one thing is for sure, it will be an interesting year to watch. it will be fascinating. i spoke about flooding. blair trewin is a senior climatologist at the bureau of metrology in melbourne, australia. we see significant floods somewhere in asia almost every year. this last year, on the one hand, was actually relatively quiet in terms of tropical cyclones in the pacific unlike the atlantic. there were only two super typhoons in 2017, which is unusual. even tropical lows,
tropical storms, can produce enough rain to produce flooding. you saw flooding in the philippines, twice in vietnam. earlier in the year in sri lanka as well. and in august in north—east india and bangladesh. we do see flooding across those tropical parts of asia most years. la nina years tend to be more active for flooding la nina years tend to be more active forflooding in la nina years tend to be more active for flooding in south—east asia. and, of course, we saw hurricanes as well. we will not know quite yet, we will not know until may, what the hurricane season will be like in 2018 to be what is your gas? the hurricanes were strong in 2017. —— what is your guess? they were devastating. one of the biggest
influences is la nina and el nino, and what you tend to see with those is that the total number of hurricanes around the world does not change much. the places where they occui’ change much. the places where they occur shifts. with la nina, you see more hurricanes in the north atla ntic more hurricanes in the north atlantic and fewer in the east pacific, more around australia, but fewer in the south pacific. it does not change numbers much, but it changes where they happen. a new type of bionic hand is being tested in the real world for the first time. the extraordinary thing about it is that the person wearing it can actually feel what they're touching. but until now it has only ever been used in labs. 0ur medical correspondent, fergus walsh, has been to rome to meet the woman who's been using it to see what difference it
makes to her life. here's his exclusive report. a bionic hand with a sense of touch, and here's the proof. blindfolded, almarina mascarello knows whether what she's holding is soft or hard. she gets it right every time. 0ver lunch, she told me that nearly 25 years after losing her hand here's how it works.