this is newsday. i'm rico hizon in singapore. the headlines: american spy agencies tell congress that russia is still meddling in us politics, posing a threat to the mid—term elections. the us calls for more pressure on the myanmar leadership to acknowledge the suffering of the rohingya muslims. this council must hold the military accountable for their actions and pressure aung san suu kyi to acknowledge these horrific acts are taking place in her country. i'm sharanjit leyl, in london. also in the programme: headwinds at the winter olympics olympics in pyeongchang. some events have been postponed due to high windspeeds. and how long should you wait before getting married 7 we meet one couple in australia who had to wait 44 years to be allowed to tie the knot. live from our studios in singapore
and london, this is bbc world news. it's newsday. glad you could join us. it's 8am in singapore, midnight in london and 7pm in washington, d.c, where the heads of us intelligence have warned that russian attempts to meddle in american politics are continuing unabated and pose a threat to mid—term congressional elections in november. testifying to a senate committee, the national intelligence director said russia believes its interference in the 2016 presidential election largely achieved its main aim to weaken faith in american democracy. jane o'brien has more. pa rt part of thejob part of the job of america's intelligence chiefs is to sound the alarm and dan coats rang it loud and
clear. the united states is under attack. under attack by entities that are using cyber to penetrate virtually every major action that ta kes pla ce virtually every major action that takes place in the united states. and while iran, north korea and china were all named, russia was emphasised. we expect a rush to continue using propaganda, social media, personas, sympathetic spokesman and other means to influence the try to build on its wide range of operations and exacerbate social and political fissures in the united states. us intelligence agencies all agree that moscow meddled with the presidential election and we'll try to mess with november's bid terms. it is an assessment apparently at odds with the president's view. we can't confront this threat which is a serious one with the whole of government response when the leader
of the government continues to deny that it exists. this was the first major appearance for the newly appointed fbi director christopher ray. his predecessor james appointed fbi director christopher ray. his predecessorjames comey was fired after coming into conflict with president trump over russia. today the fbi contradicted the white house over rob porter, a senior aid who left after allegations of assaulting his two ex—wives. the administration has been vague about what it knew and when, but mr ray gave a clear timeline of information gathered during border security clea ra nce. gathered during border security clearance. the fbi submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in march and then we administratively closed the file in january and then earlier this month we received some additional information and passed that on as well. the white house had said the fbi checks were ongoing. it will adjourn until the close session at 2:30pm. the rest of the hearing took
place behind closed doors, but the public statements imply that america's domestic divisions are becoming a threat, even as its foreign enemies circle. what does the white house make of all of this? i spoke to our correspondent david willis in washington. president trump has attempted to portray the suggestions of russian interference as sour grapes, if you like, on the part of hillary clinton and her campaign, what i have to say that we've had this basically across—the—board agreement on the pa rt across—the—board agreement on the part of the us spy chiefs, including the heads of the cia and fbi and the national security agency, out of russia attempted to meddle in the forthcoming mid—term elections here. it was said that it believes its effo rts it was said that it believes its efforts in 2016 as far as the
presidential election were concerned we re presidential election were concerned were successful and it intends to adopt the same tactics, if you like, which includes cyber attacks and of course the posting of fake news reports on social media and so on. and, david, north korea and china we re and, david, north korea and china were considered threats too and we know this is an annual meeting of the intelligence chiefs will stop in the intelligence chiefs will stop in the past they focused on concerns around islamic state, terrorism. are these concerns now less of a threat to the united states than these other concerns they mentioned? well, there's no doubt that north korea is seen as an there's no doubt that north korea is seen as an existential as the threat, as dan coats the national intelligence director put it. there isa intelligence director put it. there is a feeling that they have to be, despite all that's going on regarding the olympics and so on, on alert and mindful of the threat that
is posed by north korea. mr coates said the goal was to get a peaceful settle m e nt said the goal was to get a peaceful settlement to the situation there, but he said north korea was expected to continue weapons testing throughout this year, 2018, and he said that washington has repeatedly said that washington has repeatedly said that washington has repeatedly said that all options are on the table as far as dealing with north korea is concerned, including a military strike. let's take a look at some of the day's other news. the american ambassador to the united nations has called on the security council to put pressure on the burmese leader, aung san suu kyi, to acknowledge that horrific acts are taking place against rohingyas in myanmar. nikki haley said the burmese military must be held accountable and that there must be no more excuses. u nfortu nately unfortunately the security council has so far failed in its responsibility to act in response to the clear threat to international peace and security that has resulted
from recent events in northern rakhine state. we can't look the other way in this situation. what happened in burma and is still happening in burma is not ok. this council must hold the military accountable for their actions and pressure aung san suu kyi to acknowledge these horrific acts are taking place in her country. no more excuses. also making news today: a south korean court has sentenced. a friend and adviser to former president park geun—hye to 20 years injailfor corruption, influence—peddling and abuse of power. choi was at the heart of a massive corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of ms park, the country's first female president. a lawyer for choi said she will appeal against the sentence. israeli police say they will recommend to the attorney general that the country's prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, should be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust. they say they have evidence that he gave special treatment
to wealthy friends after receiving lavish gifts. mr neta nyahu vigorously denied the allegations. the bbc‘s james reynolds has more. there appear to be similar recommendations from the police. they say that mr netanyahu. .. recommendations from the police. they say that mr netanyahu... they recommend he faces charges in both cases, fraud, breach of trust, bribery. most important thing to say is this. the most important step is yet to come. the files now get handed to israel's attorney general and it is up to the attorney general to decide whether or not to indict or whether or not to do nothing and that decision is expected to take at least several months. the pacific island of tonga is dealing with the consequences of the worst storm to hit the country in over 60 years. the parliament building is among the structures that have been completely flattened. high winds battered the island overnight into tuesday, lifting roofs of houses and bringing down electricity lines. at its peak, cyclone gita reached 233 km/h. the dutch foreign minister has
resigned after admitting he lied about meeting vladimir putin in 2006. halbe zijlstra had said he had heard mr putin outline expansionist ambitions. on monday he admitted the information was second hand, yet his source then later refuted the content. here's zylstra on tuesday in parliament. police in portugal have detained a man at lisbon's international airport accused of carrying one kilogram of cocaine in fake buttocks. it's reported the man was a brazilian citizen who'd arrived on a flight from belem, in northern brazil. police say the quantity of the drug seized would have been enough to make 5,000 individual doses. in south africa, the ruling african national congress has asked
presidentjacob zuma to resign. the anc says he's agreed to stand down, but only after a transition period of three to six months which the party rejected. mr zuma has come under mounting pressure to leave his post, following a series of corruption scandals. 0ur africa editor fergal keane reports from johannesburg. not quite the night of the long knives, but still the party moving definitively to be rid of a defiant president. late last night the convoy of the anc leader cyril ramaphosa coming to tell his executive that after a short meeting jacob zuma was refusing to resign voluntarily. with the media kept at bay, the party debated what to do next. it's half—past midnight and they're still talking in there, more than ten hours after they started. there's a sense that the whole future of the anc, and indeed of this country, hinges on what happens now. this afternoon in johannesburg, after a meeting that eventually ran for 13 hours, the anc revealed
that its patience was exhausted. in its wisdom, the nec decided as follows — one, to recalljacob zuma. recall, in other words they were ordering jacob zuma to resign. and if he doesn't it's likely they'll force him out through a motion of no confidence in parliament. but it's potentially risky. the president still has many supporters in the party. do you worry that this is going to split the anc, divide the movement irreparably? i don't know whether the anc will split. but we are leaders, we belong to branches and we are appealing to our structures to understand that the national executive committee has taken decisions. so, as the anc officials leave, they've now thrown down a gauntlet to president jacob zuma. they've given him time,
lots of time, they say, to respond to their demand that he step down. it's now up to him. nobody could accuse the anc of rushing to remove jacob zuma. the leadership did nothing while corruption scandals multiplied during nine years of his rule. an indian immigrant family, the guptas, was allowed to purchase vital national enterprises, employing the president's son in what became known as ‘state ca pture'. now the opposition believes president zuma no longer cares about dividing his party or country. now he's just defiant. you know, these are the last kicks of a dying horse. but it becomes dangerous. he doesn't care. he's not even scared of impeachment. so, he is prepared to lose everything. jacob zuma has lived and ruled in the shadow of greatness. however it comes about, he will leave office a humiliated figure. we've got some breaking news from
the united states. a case of multiple people are reported to have been wounded in a shooting in west valley city, outside salt lake city. police officers are securing the scene after the incident. of course we will bring you much more on that as soon as we we will bring you much more on that as soon as we get it. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: we'll take you on a whistle—stop tour of the winter olympics venues and we have all the latest on how high winds have disrupted some of the events. there's mr mandela. mr nelson mandela, a free man, taking his first steps into a new south africa. iran's spiritual leader, ayatollah khomeini, has said he's passed a death sentence on salman rushdie, the british
author of a book which many muslims say is blasphemous. the people of haiti have flocked to church to give thanks for the ousting of their former president, 'baby doc' duvalier. because of his considerable value as a stallion, shergar was kept in a special secure box in the stud farm's central block. shergar was driven away in a horse box the thieves had brought with them. there stepped down from the plane a figure in mourning. elizabeth ii, queen of this realm and of all her other territories. head of the commonwealth, defender of the faith. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm rico hizon in singapore. i'm sharanjit leyl in london. our top stories: american spy agencies have told
congress that russia is still meddling in us politics and posing a threat to the mid—term elections. the us ambassador to the un has called for more pressure on the myanmar leaderhsip to acknowledge the suffering of the rohingya muslims. and a malaysian newspaper has sparked protest and ridicule by publishing a list on how to spot gay people. activists are warning it could put lives at risk in the conservative country. that story is popular on bbc.com across asia. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. the philippine star leads with the probe into president duterte's bank accounts. the government's top lawyer confirmed that all charges have been dropped. china daily looks at the end of president xi jinping's new year tour. the chinese president pledged to make poverty alleviation
a priority during a four—day visit to sichuan province. and finally, france's le figaro looks at baghdad's appeal for reconstruction investment. iraq says its needs $88 billion to repair damage to cities, towns and infrastructure in the north and west of the country. now, sharanjit, what stories are sparking discussions online? quite a disturbing one, rico. four men in pakistan have been arrested for stealing spinal fluid from women. the suspects reportedly told the victims that they needed blood samples in order to qualify forfinancial support from the government. police say that the men then attempted to sell the spinal fluid on the black market. it's day five at the winter olympics in pyeongchang and the action begins in just about an hour.
medals are up for grabs in six events, but aside from the sport, the weather has also been getting a fair share of attention. strong winds have forced the men's downhill and the women's giant slalom to be rescheduled for thursday. stephen mcdonell has been taking a look at all the different venues where the action is taking place. here i am in the mountains of pyeongchang. in this area naturally we have the downhill and cross—country skiing. in the next valley along is the louche and nearby, the ski jump. were all the other venues? let's have a look. that was a ten minute dry to get to the main stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies. this facility for 35,000 spectators is going to be too big for a count this size so
it's just a temporary 0lympic structure. here we're still in what you michael the mountain precinct of the games. to get to all the other venues we have to head to the coast. a pretty scenic a0 minute drive ta kes you a pretty scenic a0 minute drive takes you through forests off to the east. the road winds down and down and before you know if you're there. this is what you might call the coastal precinct of the games. in those large domes there is the speed skating, figure skating carnival ice hockey. there's also a fair amount of attention around this being the main base for the north korean team. in recent times it's not been unusualfor in recent times it's not been unusual for the winter olympics to be over a vast area, but does it mean there isn't a fair amount of spirit generated for this major festival of sport? stephen mcdonell, bbc news, at the pyeongchang 0lympics. stephen has now returned to seoul and he told us how high winds had disrupted some events.
it's funny, people are probably looking at the weather in terms of the temperature in celsius, it can't be that cold, they think, but the crucial thing is the wind and uc reporters out there struggling to talk. it's like they've been to the dentist. at one stage i remember i was having to lean at a a5 degrees angle into the wind to stop being blown over and this is why you mention it is playing havoc with some of the winter sports. 0f mention it is playing havoc with some of the winter sports. of course you think the winter olympics, it's cold, durr! but it has been up on that mountain windy to a dangerous level and some athletes have criticised in certain events in the snowboarding for example the officials for not postponing it. finally it looks like it might be
going to turn around a little bit and even if the wind eases off a little bit, it will be quite good but we have had some pretty bad luck in terms of the weather so far for the pyeongchang games. apart from the pyeongchang games. apart from the weather, the winter olympics, stephen, has also been dominated by politics, closer relations between north and south korea. are we now seeing the sporting events taking over? well, you know, i was going to just say yes but every day we think that will be the case and then the north or south korean government, or the united states, says something else and we're dragged back into this huge political story, which has been swirling around the games. it could well be that now the time has come for a bit more focused on the actual sport. mind you, we are, though, waiting for an announcement from the south korean president, is he going to ta ke south korean president, is he going to take up this offer to visit pyongyang? we're still waiting for
more details on whether or not the united states government will go along with these initial low conditions talks with north korea. any one of those could drag us back into more and more discussions about this remarkable thawing of relations we've seen with the two koreas but it has seen kind of quiet on that front and maybe we're going to pay more attention to the sport. so what else do you need to know about the winter olympics? we've compiled a few fascinating facts. in the first month since australia's new law on same sex marriage was introduced, around a00 couples have married and today, as it's valentine's day, more weddings are planned. for one couple, the change in the law brought an end to decades of waiting. 0ur correspondent hywel griffith reports. coming together in the eyes of the
law at last. after four decades, brian and lake said they've always don't like a married couple but the law has never allowed them that privilege until now. our family and friends have been very good and essentially accepted has all the way through but to have it legal and to know that society also acknowledges the relationship is special. they became a couple a week after they first met in 197a, when homosexuality was still illegal across australia. it took more than two decades for it to be decriminalising in every state, but the hardest decriminalising in every state, but the ha rd est battle decriminalising in every state, but the hardest battle for bryan and link was persuading people that gay people could be in a long, lasting and loving relationship. people could be in a long, lasting and loving relationshiplj people could be in a long, lasting and loving relationship. i will love you for ever, more especially if you keep providing that magic and peeling food that has nourished me over the years. when life is so
fragile, what else can you do but to offer love ? fragile, what else can you do but to offer love? their wedding was planned injust offer love? their wedding was planned in just a offer love? their wedding was planned injust a month once offer love? their wedding was planned in just a month once the offer love? their wedding was planned injust a month once the new same—sex marriage law was introduced. they saw no reason to wait. by the power invested into me by the common wild australia, after a2 years by the common wild australia, after a2 yea rs i by the common wild australia, after a2 years i can now declare you husband and husband, congratulations! i think it's good, the fact the country recognises this happens and it's normal, apart from the marriage thing i think it's a recognition and accepting, that's the biggest thing to me. the country overwhelmingly voted to do it. the ceremonialfinish with overwhelmingly voted to do it. the ceremonial finish with an unofficial blessing. many faith groups still oppose same—sex marriage in australia. churches can under the new law refuse to host a wedding. last month around a00 same—sex couples have married under the new
law. both in their seventies, bryan and linc are among the oldest, so far at least. of 55 years, you might do this to too? 55 years, who knows. no rush. bryan and linc have finally married and it's taken decades for australia to catch up with them. now i can say my husband. my husband and i. iwill i can say my husband. my husband and i. i will never regret it. i can say my husband. my husband and i. iwill never regret it. hywel griffith, bbc news, sydney. thanks for watching newsday. and before we go, let's take a look at these pictures. they show the first panda cub ever to be born in france, yuan meng. he's drawing a lot of visitors to beauval zoo, which is a 2—3—hour drive south of paris. yuan meng was very tiny at birth, weighing a mere 1a2g, but he grew up to be very healthy 12.5kg. we're actually quite lucky to see
these pictures because he normally spends up to 15 hours a day sleeping! hello once again, thank you very much forjoining me, it's time we updated you on the weather prospects for the whole of the british isles and let's take this over the next few days on into the weekend. pheonix park, tuesday, a bit wet in the south, snow further north but once the snow cleared it ended up being a really glorious afternoon and a spectacular one across the aisle of lewis. if you thought that's a bit ancient history, that's the band of weather that brought us the band of weather that brought us the rain on tuesday, here's the next great event and wounding with intent in the western side of the british isles. ahead of it it's quite important to tell you with these clear skies the temperatures will have dipped to wait. 0nce clear skies the temperatures will have dipped to wait. once we start bringing the weather elements together, we've got the cold weather
in place, in comes the moisture from the atlantic so no great surprise if i tell you that after a bright enough start for central and eastern pa rt enough start for central and eastern part is, in comes this weather front from the atlantic and because we're pushing all that moisture into that cold air, anywhere really from the north midlands and north of wales northwards, that's where we're going to see significant snowfall, especially but not exclusively on the higher ground. north—west highlands, ten to 12 centimetres, even on the southern uplands, on the m7a, you could be looking at several centimetres of snow. top end of the pennines and even a wee bit further south there's the chance that as the weather front still keeps journeying ever further eastwards and it comes up ever further eastwards and it comes up over salisbury plain, the chilterns, i wouldn't be surprised if you told me you saw something wintry. i don't think it's going to amount toa wintry. i don't think it's going to amount to a whole can of beans in the south but they will be significant depth further north. 5—8 will cover it for many, a wee bit milder out to the west, ten or 11
perhaps. that weather system eventually pushes through, low pressure still dominating the scene in many parts of the british isles on thursday. quite a few isobars on that chart so the wind will be a noticeable feature on thursday. but having said that, you know what, in many areas a decent day. in eastern scotla nd many areas a decent day. in eastern scotland and much of england and wales, dry, fine and sunny and temperatures in double figures in the south. more showers in western scotla nd the south. more showers in western scotland and northern ireland as well. as we go from thursday pushing towards the end of the week, see this ridge of high pressurejust beginning to build here? trying to dominate the scene, at least across the southern half of the british isles. but for northern ireland, for the north and west of scotland, still the chance of some showers but in the south there's some dry weather and a bit of warmth. i'm sharanjit leyl with bbc world news. our top story: the united states is "under attack", according to us intelligence agencies.
a senate intelligence committee has been told that russia is working to undermine us democracy and there is "no doubt" russia will try to interfere in the mid—terms in november. myanmar‘s denial of ethnic cleansing in rakhine state has been called "preposterous" by the us ambassador to the united nations. nikki haley accused the burmese government of preventing humanitarian access to the rakhine in order to hide atrocities committed there by the burmese military. and this story is popular story on bbc.com. a malaysian newspaper has sparked protest and ridicule by publishing a list on how to spot gay people. according to the article, gay men can be identified by their beards and lesbians by their fondness for holding hands. activists are warning it could put lives at risk.