this is newsday. i'm rico hizon in singapore. the top stories: publish and be damned. a controversial book about donald trump's presidency is rushed to book stores, despite attempts by white house lawyers to block its release. south korea says the us has promised there will be no military drills during the winter olympics. also in the programme: as severe weather continues to hit around the globe, we'll have the latest on the big freeze in the us and the snow which is causing havoc in china. china's first crew to compete in one of the world's toughest ocean races, from sydney to hobart, sails into a prominent position. glad you could join us.
it's 9am in singapore. 1am in london and 8 pm in washington, where the row between donald trump and his former strategist steve bannon shows no sign of abating. lawyers for the president are trying to prevent the publication of a new book, which has mr bannon making explosive allegations about the trump presidency. and they're suing him over it. but the book is currently being rushed to stores, ready for sale on friday, four days earlier than planned. jon sopel reports from washington. hell hath no fury like a bannon scorned, it would seem. steve bannon, who was described as the brains behind donald trump, is now out in the washington cold after his extraordinary attack, the warm words of last summer, but a distant memory. i like him, he's a good man. he is not a racist, i can tell you that. he's a good person. he actually gets a very unfair press in that regard. but we will see what happens
with mr bannon, but he's a good person, and i think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly. but bannon was fired soon afterwards and has now had his revenge, rounding on the president's son and son—in—law over a meeting they had with a kremlin—linked lawyer at trump tower during the campaign, saying: and that's provoked rage and fury in the white house, the president, issuing this unprecedented statement about a close colleague. today, at the white house, they‘ re lawyering up.
orders to stephen bannon to cease and desist, threats to the publisher, too. and the response from mr bannon last night? why, to declare his unfailing support for the president. and that brought this response from mr trump today. has steve bannon betrayed you, mr president? thank you very much. i don't know, he called me a great man last night, so, you know, he obviously changed his tune pretty quick. all right, thank you all very much. the white house is pushing back hard on the contents of this book, describing the author, michael wolff, as an unreliable witness and a fantasist. that, despite him being given unprecedented access to the workings of the west wing and recording hours and hours of conversations. and even if only 50% of the book is accurate, it still paints a damning portrait of a white house that's dysfunctional and a president who's paranoid. no wonder donald trump is so angry.
jon sopel, bbc news, washington. later on newsday we'll be hearing from someone who worked closely with steve bannon and is still in touch. first, let's take a look at some of the day's other news. south korea says the united states has promised there will be no military drills during the winter olympics in south korea which start next month. but u.s defense secretary jim mattis says they will resume after the conclusion of the paralympic winter games in march. the bbc‘s richard galpin reports. these ramped—up military exercises staged jointly by the us and south korean armed forces were designed specifically to intimidate the leadership in pyongyang as tensions mounted over its nuclear weapons programme.
but now, all this is to stop, at least until mid—march. that decision comes just days after the north korean leader, kim jong—un, announced he was willing to send a team to next months‘ winter olympics in south korea, and said he was open to the idea of high—level talks with the south, which have now been scheduled for next week. it seems the winter games which start on the 9th of february are creating a window during which tensions between all sides involved in this crisis could be lowered. it's also important for the games themselves not to be overshadowed by the fear of conflict on the korean peninsula. in another development this week designed to de—escalate the crisis, the two koreas have now reopened a telephone hotline in the demilitarized zone between the two countries. at the united nations headquarters in new york, a sense of some relief
at these moves. it is always a positive development to have dialogue between the democratic people's republic of korea and the republic of korea. in that context, the secretary general welcomes the reopening of the inter—korean communication channel. we remain committed to ensuring the implementation of security council resolutions, on the denuclearisation of the korean peninsula, and hopes that enhanced diplomatic initiatives will help to achieve that goal. but, already, there has been word from the united states that these military exercises will resume after the olympics and paralympics are over. and many are very cautious about the chances of any real breakthrough in this crisis anytime soon. translation: last year, north korea once—sidedly escalated its provocative actions through missiles nuclear weapons. it is not an exaggeration to say that the security environment surrounding our country is at its most serious
since world war two. and that situation will continue so long as the north koreans push ahead with the development of nuclear weapons. but at least now there is the chance of dialogue beginning with the south. richard galpin, bbc news. also making news today. there's been an explosion in the afghan capital, kabul, killing at least fifteen people. the interior ministry said a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device, but the target was unclear. the islamic state group has said it carried out the attack. the united states says it is suspending almost all security assistance to pakistan because it isn't doing enough to combat islamist militants groups. the state department said the payment freeze would remain in place until islamabad took action against the haqqani network and the afghan taliban.
at least 18 people have died and more than two hundred and seventy were injured when a train caught fire in south africa, following a collision with a truck. officials fear the death toll could rise. the accident happened near kroonstad city in free state province. the train had been travelling from port elizabeth tojohannesburg. serena williams has told organisers of the australian open that she feels unable to compete at the top level, following the birth of her daughter last year. more details in 30 minutes of stoppage bell —— 30 minutes. in a moment we'll be seeing the bad weather affecting parts of the us. first it's been very snowy in eastern canada as this moose discovered. he got stuck in deep snow in newfoundland. luckily for the moose, rescuers with shovels were on hand. after around 15 minutes and some hard work they were able to dig
the moose out. it was able to escape the snow without harm. looking happy and think. it —— sang. it -- looking happy and think. it —— sang. it —— sang. —— thankful. the eastern united states and canada have been hit it with freezing weather and a massive storm. it's caused traffic chaos and thousands of flights have been cancelled. you know it's bad when it even snows in southern state of florida. the bbc‘s katty kay has more. gusty, snowy, and bitterly cold. winter has hit america in a big way. a massive storm, which goes by the ominous name of a "bomb cyclone," is rolling up the eastern seaboard. millions of americans could lose power, thousands of flights have already been cancelled. the truth is, i have no idea what a bomb cyclone is. i had never heard of one before. all i know is we've been
freezing for a week, and i don't like it. and the bad news is, it's about to get worse. that's because we're about to be hit by the evil weather twins, the bomb cyclone will usher in a polar vortex, which makes you wonder, are these tourists on washington's mall hardy or crazy? it's pretty cold out. freezing! my nose is numb, and so is my right hand. my fingers are frozen. i'm cold. we're from florida, so it's really cold for us. yeah, we're not used to this. i think i'm wearing four layers. actually, things haven't been much better in the sunshine state, it snowed there for the first time in nearly three decades. but at least these students know it will get hot again soon in florida, while we in the north east still have months of bitter winter to get through. and there's also lots of snow on this side of the pacific. snow is covering towers, roads and buildings in eastern china'sjiangsu province. it has brought shipping services
on one part of the canal running between the cities of beijing and hangzhou to a standstill. about 100 cargo ships have been stranded since thursday morning. but locals will have to enjoy the picturesque coatings on their parks and local buildings while they can, as the snow is forecast to stop on friday. let's return to the publication of the new book which contains explosive allegations about donald trump's presidency. i spoke to andre walker, a founding member of breitbart uk who used to work with steve bannon. i began by asking him if donald trump was right in underplaying mr bannon‘s role in the election campaign. on the one hand, steve bannon is very very tuned in with the voters that support donald trump, but on the other hand is that he literally supported ted cruz in the primary. if you take the idea that i do that hillary was a week candidate, by the
time trump called the nomination, was probably going to win the election and that is the context at which he arrived. on the other hand, he was chief strategist, as far as i understand trump wanted him to be the chief of staff but the robber who can establishment were not keen. —— republican. he is someone who is clearly significant as one herston say, it has to be said, was dogged allegations of leaking at the white house. something he denied. what is happening with his support now? he has the news site, a massive possibility to speak against trump and this revelations in this book have been suggested, he has gone supportive again donald trump. what is going on? the former white house secretary sean spicer said that what we didn't hear from steve secretary sean spicer said that what we didn't hearfrom steve bannon secretary sean spicer said that what we didn't hear from steve bannon was a denial that he said these things and there were other than those of staff is that it might have been taken out of context. i think the
truth is, they have spent so long together, they are not sure what allegations will be put forward so they are waiting for the bookjust as we are waiting for the book to see the exact context of those allegations. it is not that steve bannon is scared that he now has this enormous enemy in the shape of the president of the united states and he is losing funding because rebecca mercer, the biggest investor is suggesting that she is pulling out. we have heard that he spends a huge amount of time with michael wolff and that michael wolff has a tendency to exaggerate but clearly there was unprecedented access and therefore michael wolff has got to have something. it only stands to reason. this statement by rebecca mercer is extraordinary because her father distance himselfjust mercer is extraordinary because her father distance himself just a mercer is extraordinary because her father distance himselfjust a few weeks ago, he sold the shareholding to rebecca, didn't attack steve
bannon but distanced himself. rebecca says she hasn't spoken to stephen in months and there is talk about him being removed from them. i haven't worked for the company in sometime but it is hard to see how you can be in this situation where the biggest supporters of donald trump, the leviathan new service is being run by somebody who has such a poor relationship with the president. it not even kim jong—un was attacked as badly as donald trump attack steve bannon. —— i think. what happens to the voters? who has the hearts ands of donald trump's voters? look at it this way, re—election, it is important that that based stays together. this has gone some way to fracture it, we don't know to what extent it will fracture it and whether that will exist election time. there is no way you can say this is helpful, clearly
it will be a problem and it difficult. at what is this do to the leadership of breitbart will they stopped listening? i think it cuts both ways. and he is still in touch with steve bannon. you're watching newsday from singapore and london on the bbc. still to come on the programme: chinese sailors finish in the top twenty in one of the world's toughest ocean races, the sydney to hobart. the japanese people are mourning following the death of the emperor. thousands converged on the imperial palace to pay their respects when it was announced he was dead. good grief! after half a century of delighting fans around the world, charlie brown and the rest of the gang are calling it quits. the singer paul simon starts his tour of south
africa in spite of protest and violence from some black activist groups. they say international artists should continue to boycott south africa until majority rule is established. teams were trying to scoop up lumps of oil as france recognises it faces an ecological crisis. three weeks ago, the authorities confidently assured these areas that oil from the broken the tanker would head out to sea. it didn't. the world's tallest skyscraper opens today, the burj dubai, has easily taken over its nearest rivals. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: with china's legal ivory trade now the publication of a book that donald trump's lawyers are trying to block has been brought forward to
friday. in what's being seen as a goodwill gesture to pyongyang, washington and seoul have agreed not to hold planned military exercises during the winter olympics in south korea. the let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. the weather bomb in north america is front and centre on the financial times. the storm has led to the cancellation of thousands of flights across the us and canada. the japan times shows a celebration to open a new year of trading on the nikkei, where the market surged to a 26 year high. and the china daily reports president xi jinping wants a high tech upgrade to the countries military ca pabilites. those other top stories of key publications around the world. in trending, a sumo wrestler‘s troubles are sparking discussions online?
indeed, they are. it's the news of a fine for former sumo grand champion, harumafuji, has been much discussed. it's not so much the amount, he's just been fined 500,000 yen, that's $4,400, he was found guilty of assault. the wrestlerfrom mongolia had apparently hit a junior colleague over the head during a night out injapan. it was a serious injury. the younger man had a fractured skull. but his weapon of choice was a karaoke machine remote control. now to a disturbing story from australia where three people are still in the hospital after snorting a powder they mistook for cocaine. nine young backpackers in total were rushed to hospital in perth after ingesting the mystery powder which arrived in the post addressed to someone else. they suffered seizures, paralysis and hallucinations. officials say the drug hyoscine
was found in the powder —— powder. it's gaining notoriety as a date rape drug and was the likely cause of the mass overdose. joining me from perth is steve allsop with australia's national drug research institute. bank intojoining bank into joining us. bank intojoining us. tell us more about this drug called hyoscine and how dangerous is it. —— thank you for joining how dangerous is it. —— thank you forjoining us. how dangerous is it. —— thank you for joining us. can how dangerous is it. —— thank you forjoining us. can you hear me? ok, we have a clear view right now to perth, australia. unfortunately, we are having some communication problems. it does happen, the mysteries of television. the technical gremlins sometimes get the better of us. hopefully we will bring you that guest when we resume
communications with him. it may surprise you to know that china has won six olympic medals in sailing, making it the 18th most successful nation in history. well, now they could be making their mark outside the olympic regattas. the first crew from mainland china has just completed the prestigous sydney to hobart race. from sydney, phil mercer reports. on sydney's harbour, the chinese are on a mission to conquer the world of sailing. with an average age ofjust 2a, the crew onboard this yacht includes professional athletes and former members of china's special forces. they've been here both training and competing for weeks. back home, sailing continues to ride a wave of popularity. a sailing club from shanghai has been flying the flag for china
during the summer racing season in australia. they've been up against some of the most formidable ocean racing crews in the world. and that's a sign of china's ambition — they are notjust here to make up the numbers, ultimately they want to win. britain, the netherlands and australia dominated sailing at the rio olympics, but china, which won a silver medal, has lofty ambitions in a sport that requires money and motivation. you could probably draw some comparisons with maybe some other sports that they've taken on and there's always a timeline and sailing is a complex sport, so it will take a while, but if they are committed to it they will win medals eventually, that's for sure. it's crucial to the sport. it's not that big a sport, really, and to have a population of china starting to get interested in the sport is fantastic.
the crew from shanghai was the first team from mainland china to compete in the famous sydney to hobart race. it will also take its place in the australian yachting championships in melbourne. after a dogged pursuit of success, it will there be time to head home in time for chinese new year. joining me from perth is steve allsop with australia's national drug research institute. tell us more about this drug called hyoscine and how dangerous is it. hyoscine is a substance manufactured from clients. some of the plants are
similarto from clients. some of the plants are similar to datura. these substances they use for medicinal purposes, to help with nausea, travel sickness in relation to illness. unfortunately, they are sometimes abused. and the risks are significant. an individual can have mine symptoms such as dry mouth to very severe symptoms. regular, very fast heartbeat. alicia nations and paranoia and difficulty breathing. is this a drug that has been known to be abused in australia? it been known to be abused in australia ? it is been known to be abused in australia? it is also being called a party drug. it's not a drug that is commonly used. there is not widespread use but it does appear from time to time. fortunately, it hasn't been in widespread use you. how disturbing is it that it was a decent backpackers without knowing what it really is? part of the
problem. a lot of substances are appearing the market. when somebody uses something they don't know what it is. even if somebody used last week, it might be a different product and they may have an individual vulnerability. they may... unfortunately, we are having problems again are all sold. thank you again. —— we are having problems with our guest. we'll be
looking at how shakespeare can teach us about leadership. we find out shortly in asia business report. and before we go, let's take a look at these pictures. we've been hearing about how bad the weather is in the states and canada but it's been pretty windy here in britain too. this giant balloon is part of a festival of lights just outside the bbc building that i'm in and it came loose on busy oxford street and caused a bit of traffic chaos, as well as scaring some pedestrians. hello, there. the wet and windy weather we've seen to start 2018 will bring in quieter weather towards the weekend.
this is how we ended the day on thursday in stevenage. clear spells, a bit of cloud and fairly heavy showers have been moving west to east overnight. they will tend to ease from the south—east on friday. still windy in south—western parts of the country. further north we have lingering rain and hill snow in many eastern parts of scotland. snow accumulating here. not a bad start in northern ireland. chilly, with frost and fog patches. similar in the south—west scotland and parts of england. in the england and wales there will be cloud with outbreaks of rain through the midlands and towards the south—east on friday it should be fairly dry and fine. further spells of showery rain into the south—west of england and wales. still strong and gusty winds, but not as strong as the winds we've had on thursday. further north, less windy and more sunshine into the midlands, north wales.
temperatures between 4— nine degrees. that cooling trend continues through into the weekend. we've got this north—east wind, bringing further snow showers in scotland and northern england, over higher ground. temperatures dropping too close to freezing in towns and cities. colder than that in the countryside. slightly milder, with frost and fog further south. so the weekend is dominated the fact that we've got high pressure building and the wind coming in from the north—east. through saturday the cold northerly wind will bring more sunshine in scotland, northern england and northern ireland. further south across central, southern england and wales, still cloudy, with a few spots of rain. temperatures are dipping. on saturday night we have some cold conditions developing a with clear sky satellite winds. perhaps the odd wintry showers around exposed coasts. for most of it —— for most of us it will be a cold and frosty start on saturday. freezing across many northern and western parts in particular. high pressure keeps hold
of the weather through the second part of the weekend, so for many of us sunday should be a fine day. lighter winds and we've had after the cold and frosty start. plenty of sunshine developing. top temperatures between freezing and about seven degrees. wintry scene continues into monday, but most of us should see plenty of sunshine to compensate. i'm kasia madera with bbc news. our top story: the publisher of a controversial book about donald trump's white house has brought forward its publication date after attempts by the president's lawyers to block its release. michael wolff's fire and fury is said to contain damaging remarks attributed to former trump strategist, steve bannon. it'll now be published on friday, four days early. south korea says the united states has promised not to hold military drills during the winter olympics. north korea has not yet committed to formal talks, which could begin next week. and this video is trending on bbc.com. former sumo grand champion, harumafuji, has just been fined.