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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 6, 2018 2:00am-2:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news world news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is lebo diseko. our top stories: the controversial head of the us environmental protection agency quits afterjust five months. scott pruitt‘s facing at least a dozen investigations into his conduct. moving towards a trade war? a wide range of chinese exports will be hit by donald trump's 25% tariffs from today. racing against the rain: rescuers step up their efforts to get the trapped boys out of a flooded cave in thailand — before the weather worsens. police investigating the new novichok poisoning in britain say the victims probably picked up something used in the attack on sergei skripal, four months ago. hello, and a very warm welcome to
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bbc news. it was — according to critics — a question of when and not if. now, after being under pressure for many, many weeks, the head of the environmental protection agency, scott pruitt, has stepped down. his resignation follows a series of ethics scandals that have dogged his tenure. president trump announced it in his usual way, by tweeting. he said: "i have accepted the resignation of scott pruitt as the administrator of the environmental protection agency. within the agency scott has done an outstanding job, and i will always be thankful to him for this." mr pruitt has been the subject of numerorus stories which have called his conduct in office into question. our north america editor jon sopel has more. it talks about the toll that it took on his family and the vile accusations that have been levelled against him. if you go through the
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charge seek to make sheet, it is something. the resignation is in tone. —— the charge sheet. it says it is extremely difficult to see is serving you in this role because i counted as a blessing to be serving you in any capacity. and so it goes on in that rather, if you use to british politics, stomach churning, if you have just eaten a meal. but for scott pruitt, the list of allegations that would have kind of failed anyone else. the get draining the swamp, he was a i—man swan. only the swamp, he was a i—man swan. only the replacement is the easy bit. getting a replacement through a confirmation hearing, that is the really difficult bit. if donald trump wants to appoint another scott pruitt who is going to kind of package himself in a similar way to scott pruitt, i think that becomes immensely difficult. and you cannot just point and eba secretary. that has to go through the senate, and thatis has to go through the senate, and that is where it could be compared.
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-- epa. he that is where it could be compared. —— epa. he could be complicated and ta ke —— epa. he could be complicated and take months. —— it could be. eric ham is a political analyst and author on the republican why now? as the scene, scott pruitt is under investigation. he is under 13 investigations. i think where he went too far was with this issue as it relates tojeff sessions, the embattled attorney general. and that led to the president. and so wildly was willing to look over many of scott pruitt‘s ethical lapses in controversies, the fact that this final controversy landed right at the president's doorstep, that was a bridge too far. as any cabinet member knows, your first order of business is to do no harm, particularly to be president. and this is an issue where the president finally saw the writing on the wall
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and had to urge scott pruitt to go on. what impact will this have on things within donald trump's inner circle, do you think? we are looking at at circle, do you think? we are looking atata circle, do you think? we are looking at at a white house already stretched very thin. if you look at what is going on, the president is looking to announce his nominee to the supreme court on monday. so that will be a very bruising nomination fight that will take place in the fall. he still has two see his dad appenines affairs nominee kept to a confirmation fight as. —— he still has to see. add to that a third possible asian fight for his next epa administrator. we took about three nomination fight is moving into the all—importa nt three nomination fight is moving into the all—important mid—term elections. i think even for this president, that is going to be a lot that is going to relate tax the
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people around him to try to move all of this foreword at the same time when he is trying to ensure that republicans keep the house in the senate. a lukewarm reaction by the democrats. you would have thought that they would have been pleased. talk us through thislj that they would have been pleased. talk us through this. i think right 110w talk us through this. i think right now because you are looking at so many issues taking place, in fact, when you look at it, i spoke this afternoon to congressmen elijah cummings. as you know he is the ranking democrat on the house oversight committee, and he did inform me that they are looking at additional investigations. in fact they sent a letter the inspector general of the epa, so even though scott pruitt has left his position 01’ scott pruitt has left his position or will be leaving his position, it he is still not out of the woods on these investigations. they can still
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dogged this white house as well as scott pruitt for some time to come. thank you for taking the time to go through some of that with us. when president trump and xijinping met in november, they were all smiles and handshakes. but a lot can change in a matter of months, and the trade war between the us and china is about to step up. in the next few hours, the us starts imposing tariffs of 25% beijing is hitting back with tariffs on american agricultural produce. so are the worlds two largest economies on the brink of a fully—fledged trade war? here's our china correspondentjohn sudworth. here is just one of the products on the us tariff list. 12,000 of these chinese—built machines have been shipped to america this year. a trade that is about
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to be flattened. translation: an extra 25% tax, of course, affects us very much. it will reduce our potential profits. is cfmoto stealing american jobs? if you take a look at our factory, you will realise we have got where we are on our own strength, and by respecting international rules. but such individual protests are now in vain. china's incredible economic success, donald trump argues, has been built on bending the rules. in particular, the large—scale theft of us intellectual property. tariffs, he hopes, will force china to change its behaviour. china hopes its matching tariffs on us imports will force america to back off. if it's not yet a fully fledged trade war, then it's the beginnings of one.
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mr trump is threatening a massive escalation, moving beyond the relatively obscure products on the current list to almost everything china produces. for decades, successive us presidents have, whatever the difficulties and differences, seen trade with china as a good thing. not any more. donald trump is doing precisely what he said he would on the campaign trail — taking the fight to factories like this one, where falling orders may very quickly translate into lost jobs. the world's two largest economies are careering into the unknown. there's little sign of meaningful dialogue and no one seems ready to put on the brakes. john sudworth, bbc news, beijing. and for more on the possible impact of those trade tariffs including in depth analysis from our correspondents just go to our website.
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thats there is still no decision on how to rescue the 12 boys and their football coach who have been trapped ina football coach who have been trapped in a flooded cave for almost two weeks, now. the children were found in a rocky ledge around 2.5 miles from the mouth of the cave on monday. more than 128 million litres of water has been pumped out of the cave allowing rescue teams to walk further into the tunnel. but some parts are too narrow and more heavy rain is forecast. the boys are being taught the basics of diving — some need to be taught how to swim, but it's feared that option could be too risky. let's go to the bbc‘s sophie long near the entrance to the cave in tham luang. hello. your could be a few metres
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away from the cave's entrance. this is where the water has been pumped up. this has or has been a race against time. there was a massive effort here to reduce the volume of water in the cave. this is just one of the pumps. it goes cold is into the cave. this is one place where the cave. this is one place where the water has been pumped out and is flowing down as hill here. a few minutes ago, these men here, you can see, were measuring the water and testing the pressure of the water that has been pumped out here. so they can get an indication of the volume of water that is left inside the cave. that one of the operation, here, is key. the preferred option at the moment is to get the boys out of the cave the way they came in by reducing the levels of water indicates that they can make an exit without necessarily using full scuba equipment. a lot of these boys, the
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youngest just 11, cannot swim equipment. a lot of these boys, the youngestjust11, cannot swim and have no diving experience. that is key at the moment. they try to reduce the levels of water. they are really hoping, now, ifeel, that they can hope to make a restaurateur before the heavy rains come on sunday. if they do, they had been building dams to try to divert the waters that will come. and it is feared that not only could water levels rise to where they were before but even higher, still. and then potentially the boys could be stuck in the cave for many months. this is just the stuck in the cave for many months. this isjust the beginning of the monsoon season here. we certainly get the impression from the governor of the province, running the operation, here, that is a window of opportunity presents itself for the rest to come on sunday, that they are very likely to take it. how are the parents and even the boys faring? there was the elation when they were found. now it is not clear if and when they will be brought out and is prospect of months
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underground must be heartbreaking. yes. impossible really to imagine the emotional rollercoaster that the pa rents the emotional rollercoaster that the parents and the families of those boys have been on for the last 13 days, now. remember that boys have been on for the last 13 days, now. rememberthat they boys have been on for the last 13 days, now. remember that they spent nine days not even knowing if their sons were even alive. then that euphoria when the british divers found on monday. that is five days ago, now. and really we are in the same position in terms of, can we get them out? how will we get them out? entered their connectivity, the other thing that is going on at the moment that has been by the past few daysis moment that has been by the past few days is that they are trying to get a fibre—optic cable into the cave so that they can hopefully be able to speak to their parents and their families. maybe even see them. the great hope is that they can connect a video line. but they have at not much luck with that out. —— but they have not had much luck with that yet. they failed in their first attempt and we are still waiting for confirmation that will happen. it is hoped that that will be a bus not just for the morale of the families but also to the boys. at the moment
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they are trained to maintain their physical health, keep them warm with bla nkets physical health, keep them warm with blankets and to get food in there, they have medics, a doctor and nurse, and company, of course, but also their mental health and morale. it is hoped that that will give me a boost, because they do try to get them out the way that they came in, that will be important, because they need the boys to remain calm. we had from the province that they would not necessarily bring them all out asa team. not necessarily bring them all out as a team. if they felt that there we re as a team. if they felt that there were some that were strong enough given the conditions, that they would come out first. so at the moment it is very much a case of monitoring the conditions in the cave very closely, the boys' health very closely, and, of course, the weather, and that is key at this stage. sophie long, i know you will be watching what happens over the next few days. thank you for bringing us up to date. let's bring you some breaking news. we're getting reports from japanese media that the founder of the aum shinrikyo cult, shoko asahara, has been executed. he was the mastermind behind
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the 1995 sarin gas attack on the tokyo subway. he had been on death row for over a decade for the attack that killed 13 people and injured thousands more. aum shinrikyo began as a spiritual group mixing hindu and buddhist beliefs, but developed into a doomsday cult obsessed with armageddon. stay with us on bbc world news. still to come: going underground in eastern ghouta — we discover the hidden tunnels below what was once a rebel stronghold in the syrian war. central london has been rocked by a series of terrorist attacks. police say there are many casualties and berries growing backlash in that al qaeda was responsible germany will
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be the host of the 2006 world cup, they beat south africa by a single vote. in south africa the possibility of losing hasn't even been contemplated and celebration we re been contemplated and celebration were cancelled. the man entered the palace to a downstairs window and made his way to the queen ‘s bedroom and asked her for a made his way to the queen ‘s bedroom and asked herfor a cigarette. then she summoned a footman on duty who took the man away. one child, one teacher, one book. and one fan can change the world. education is the only solution. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: the controversial head of the us environmental protection agency quits afterjust five months.
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scott pruitt‘s facing at least a dozen investigations into his conduct. a wide range of chinese exports are set to be hit by donald trump's 25% tariffs from today — prompting fears of a new trade war. in southern syria, government forces helped by the russians are continuing to push ahead as they try to recapture territory from the rebels. the shelling and bombing has forced up to 325,000 civilians from their homes according to the un refugee agency. it's one of the last rebel strongholds in syria and government forces have been spurred on, after defeating the rebels in eastern ghouta on the outskirts of damascus earlier this year. our middle east editorjeremy bowen has been back to find out what's happened to the people who lived there. time has passed. seven dark years. the war isn't over, but it's changing. in the spring, the regime won
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the battle of damascus, smashing the last rebel enclaves. for the war weary, it's a kind of peace. the great souks in the old city survived, unlike the suburbs, where the fight for damascus was lost and won. this is douma in eastern ghouta, the last major rebel enclave to fall. even the graveyard is in ruins, hit by shells. the firepower of the syrian army and its russian allies was overwhelming. the heavy guns have been moved to other battlefields. no—one shoots now when you walk past the empty ruins. life never stopped here, but now they can live it in the sun. when the war was being
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fought they retreated underground into cellars and a network of tunnels. they were built to last by skilled engineers. the regime says prisoners of the rebels were forced to do the digging. some tunnels are wide enough for vehicles. one area, used as a car park, was burnt out in the last days of the siege. in this section the system goes down four levels into deep concrete basements. there are jail cells, and close by the command centre forjaysh al—islam, which was the dominant rebel group. the commanders down in this bunker thought that they were going to win and for a while it looked as if it might happen. but in 2015, the russians intervened and since then everything has changed. president assad and his generals,
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who have been ostracised by the western world, by the saudis and others, are now heading closer to victory. with the guns quiet, grandparents were checking their home in douma's wasteland for the first time in six years. it was even worse than they had thought. it wasn't just their flat or the block — the entire neighbourhood was gone. around 12 million people, half syria's prewar population, have fled their homes. translation: it's happened to everyone, notjust us. we've lost everything we've ever worked for. the apartment was all we had. translation: it's god's will, god protect the soldiers and the president. everything is much better now.
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thousands of eastern ghouta's people, some from the losing side, are in camps without even ruins to visit. some of the men said this camp was a prison, because they're not allowed out to work. people were desperate to talk, despite our usual military and civilian minders. they were frantic about 100 men who'd been taken away six days earlier. we arrived at this place only about 20 minutes ago and there are lines of people queueing up to tell their stories, and they are similar stories. they are stories about family members going missing, men being taken, and women being very worried about the state they may be in now. translation: we are here under international guarantee. they say the young men are fine, but where are they? we need to know. we came out of one siege to land in another.
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one mother claimed her 15—year—old son and husband had been taken. the authorities denied that and said the missing men included killers and others on the run from army service. translation: they took my son, left his wife and child and me. we want bashar al—assad to give our young men amnesties. ismail haidar was killed in 2012 when he was 21. his father says he forgives his killers. ali haidar, bereaved father, is also minister of reconciliation. he says only forgiveness will heal syria, but he accepts some people in the camps fear the state. translation: i understand that the families of the young men who were taken to detention centres to fix their problems are scared, because of those
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human rights reports. we know they've written to put pressure on the syrian government, like the chemical weapons file, even if they're wrong. the war blew through douma for six years. it's moved on while the president and his allies deal with their remaining enemies. douma is just one fragment of the wreckage of syria. it might be too late to put this country back together. jeremy bowen, bbc news, damascus. police say the couple who are fighting for their lives after being exposed to a nerve agent in wiltshire fell ill after touching a contaminated item. dawn sturgess and charlie rowley have been poisoned by novichok— that's the same nerve agent used on the former russian spy, sergei skripal and his daughter in march. the home secretary, sajid javid, once again pointed the finger at russia.
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he said that britain must not be used as a dumping ground for poision. our security correspondent gordon corera reports. —— poison. scientific analysis here at porton down labs has said to confirm that both incidents contained the same type of novichok nerve agent. so far it cannot be proven they were from the same batch. the skripal‘s are believed to have been poisoned after novichok was placed on the handle of theirfront door. sites they visited afterwards were decontaminated and the amesbury couple are not believed to have come into contact with the nerve agent at any of these sites. that has left police with one primary theory, that dawn sturgess and charles rowley had handled something that was dumped by the attackers back in march — that could be some kind of container in which the nerve agent was held. one possibility is that they came across something in the park
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they visited just a mile from sergei skripal‘s home. but would novichok be dangerous four months on? one expert says it could be. it doesn't surprise me that they are still in the environment for months after use. work i have done has shown presence of agents four years after they have been used. it might suggest it was residual contamination or perhaps something was in a container, for example, and that is what was discarded. the government's emergency committee met today. speaking afterwards, the home secretary suggested this could be the case of novichok leftover from the attack on the skripal‘s. an attack the government has blamed on moscow. it is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets — or for our streets, parks or towns to be dumping grounds for poison. but the russian foreign ministry, as it did on march, cast doubt on britain's claims. translation: we call
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on theresa may's government to stop it's intrigues and games with chemical agents. and to stop obstructing a joint investigation. today, forensic teams are urgently searching for the source of the latest contamination. until they find that evidence, they cannot know for sure how it came about. we wa nt we want to remind you of our top story. the ahead of america's environmental protection agency has stepped down and environmental protection agency has stepped down and said it follows a series of scandals that have dogged his tenure. there is lots, lots more about that online. thanks to watching. thanks for watching. well, i'm sure you will know what i'm going to say,
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we're in for a hot and sunny day, no changes to our weather. in fact, the weekend is looking particularly hot across england, temperatures expected to rise. i will say, though, there is a chance of one or two storms across south—eastern parts of the country on friday, or at least a big downpours. we had that on thursday, tunbridge wells with some flash flooding. there's a lot of clear whether across the country now, no widespread cloud rain or anything like that but the heat is so intense that it has been sparking off some showers. this is a picture from thursday from east sussex where we had some downpours and we could see further downpours around sussex in kent and maybe even greater london a bit later on friday afternoon. in the short—term, early hours of friday look fairly quiet across the uk, no rain out there. temperatures on the muggy side, 17, the starting temperature in london. 13 in newcastle. a bit fresher in rural parts of scotland.
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as we head through friday morning, into the afternoon, it's basically sunny. a bit of fair weather cloud developing so it may not be clear blue skies but sunny enough and those temperatures will peak at around 30 degrees in london. we had 30 on thursday, we will get that probably on friday. to the north of that, comfortably warm. the low to mid—20s and those showers around kent and sussex at some point in the day. through the weekend, familiar pattern. weather systems away to the north of us, there could be a frontjust about sneaking into wester, north—western parts of scotland later on in the weekend, probably sunday, but still a while away. here's saturday, lots of clear weather around in the morning, lots of sunshine in the afternoon. temperatures will be skyrocketing across the south, posibly up to 30 or 31. 30 is not of question in the midlands too and in the north of the country, northern ireland and also scotland, temperatures up into the mid—20s as well. come sunday, the heat continues to build across many parts
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of the uk. notice the cold front, a weak cold front, it means a bit of cloud, some spots of rain, you see the yellow colours so a lot fresher for our friends in the outer hebrides and the western isles, maybe around 16, cool north atlantic air but the heat is very much present across many parts of england and wales. so, hot sunday on the way and beyond that, guess what? there's little change. the heatwave continues throughout much of next week with temperatures expected to remain on the high side. this is bbc world news. the headlines: the controversial head of the us environmental protection agency, scott pruitt, has resigned. mr pruitt faces at least a dozen investigations into his spending habits and alleged misuse of office. president trump said he had done an outstanding job. in the next few hours, the us is set to start imposing tariffs of 25% on $34 billion worth of chinese exports, including industrial machinery and medical devices. china has hit back with tariffs on american agricultural produce. rescuers in thailand are stepping
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up their efforts to get the trapped boys out of a flooded cave before the weather closes in. thousands of litres of water have been pumped out of the caves, bringing the flood levels down. but the window of opportunity for any rescue is not expected to last long, as more rain is expected on sunday. now on bbc news, thursday in parliament.
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