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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 6, 2018 3:00am-3:31am BST

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welcome to bbc 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 twenty 5% 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. it is completely unacceptable for oui’ it is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate toorak ‘s event will targets, or four—hour streets, our parks,
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toorak ‘s event will targets, or four—hourstreets, our parks, our towns, to be dumping grounds for poison. —— deliberate or accidental targets. hello, and a very warm welcome. it was, according to critics, a question of when and not if. now, after being under pressure for 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." now, the trump administration is no stranger to a political scandal or two, butjust what do you have to do to get sacked in the trump administration? this is a list of scott pruits indescretions. $105,000 on first—class
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flights in his first year. a round—the—clock security detail costing $3.5 million, renting a condo at a below—market rate from an energy lobbyist, getting staffers to negotiate a fast food franchise for his wife. he sent an aide to find a specific mattress from the trump international hotel. and then there is the latest report — he sent his security detail on a mission to find a special moisturising lotion. it can only be sourced at certain retail outlets. james lacy is a us election laywer and author on the republican party. he joins us now via web cam from dana point, california. thank you forjoining us. democrats pleased he has stepped down, but
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less enthusiastic about the acting replacement. what are republicans like salt saying? well, first of all, these scandals are not unusual. they happen in many administrations. under the 0bama administration, general petraeus, vca director, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour for the mishandling of classifieds information. —— be cia director. and of course we have bill clinton's activities with monica lewinsky, which pale in comparison to the charges against scott pruitt. there have not been any and all charges brought yet again scott crook —— scott pruitt, but i think he has been a distraction, and his activity shouldn't distract from the importance of donald trump's policies at the environmental protection agency. under the 0bama administration we had slow growth,
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only i% toi.5 administration we had slow growth, only i% to 1.5 cent administration we had slow growth, only 1% to 1.5 cent growth, job growth was stagnant and middle—class wages went down. so what trump promised the people is that he would do things that would spur the economy, and deregulation, including deregulation of unnecessary environmental rules, has really helped this economy. i will give you one example. the keystone pipeline, which 0bama failed to approve over eight years of his presidency, that isa eight years of his presidency, that is a pipeline that would allow canadian petroleum to come through the united states and then be sent out and delivered through the caribbean sea meant that according to even 0bama's administration, 42,000 jobs, well, this administration approved that pipeline almost immediately. so jobs and the economy are very important, and the economy are very important, and those policies shouldn't be sullied simply because of the failings of this one individual. you
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say that the allegations against him are not as bad as some of the ones against people like earl clinton, you mentioned the lewinsky scandal. these are about essentially, abuse of office, aren't they? the mid—term elections are coming up. how bad is this for the republican party? first of all, you are right, i don't want to minimise that this was an abuse of office. and that the individual should be held to account, and there should be held to account, and there should certainly be a review, and if there have in any illegalities, they should be dealt with. but the reality is that this is a target that liberal democrats and be left, who do not like trump's policies, are using to exploit in order to try to advance their political agenda. —— the left. this individual may have failings, mr pruitt. i don't know the facts. certainly the charges are serious. but it was not
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scott pruitt who was elected president of the united states, it was donald trump, and there was a reason he was elected president of the united states and that is that he had stated policies of pulling out of the paris climate accord, which according to statistics, would cost the united states 2.7 million jobs by 2025. so, you know, times have changed. the environment is getting better... very briefly, sorry to interrupt you, we do have the mid—term elections not very far away, just months now. will this impact on him, on the republican party, and if so, how? i have no doubt that the democratic party will attempt to use this as a scandal and to try to prove their point that there is corruption in the trump administration, but the reality is that there is, you know, these things happen. unfortunately, these things happen. unfortunately, these things happen. unfortunately, these things happen. there was corruption in the clinton administration, there was corruption in the 0bama
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administration. they need to root it out. but the underlying factors that donald trump is more popular now than he has ever been, according to... 0k, we will have to leave its there. you say donald trump more popular he has ever been. we will have to leave its there. thank you very much indeed. thank you. 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% on $34 billion worth of chinese exports. beijing is hitting back with tariffs on american agricultural produce. so, are the world's 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.
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a trade that is about 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. mr trump is threatening a massive escalation, moving beyond the relatively obscure products on the current list
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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. let's bring you some breaking news.
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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 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. he began as a spiritual group mixing hindu and buddhist beliefs, but developed into a doomsday cult obsessed with armageddon. there's still no decision on how to rescue 12 boys and their football coach who've been trapped in a flooded cave for almost two weeks now. the children were found on 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.
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how long will they stay down there? the boys are now getting care and food, but the thai authorities are still debating whether to risk bringing them out quickly or waiting, possibly for months. dozens of volunteers are helping the navy divers. this is an exhausting and sometimes dangerous operation. this television actor is one of them. "water is the main obstacle," he says. "if we can get the water level down, the boys can be brought out."
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but while a massive pumping effort is reducing it in the first section of caves, it's having less effect deeper in, where the boys are trapped. so, the thai army has been taking equipment to the other end of the mountains to try and lower the water table here, close to their location. they have a number of ideas they want to try. but their first effort has been to divert the streams which feed the underground pools. we followed them up, alongside pipes that had been laid just in the past few days. this creek has completely dried up. a week ago it was filled with water. so you can see that this project, with all these pipes, is definitely having an impact. higher up, we were shown in newly built dam. work like this is now going on all over these mountains. no—one is sure yet how much they can
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bring down the water that is blocking the boys' escape, or whether they'll win the battle against the imminent monsoon rain. they just know that they have to try. jonathan head, bbc news, tham luang caves, northern thailand. coming up on bbc world news, we will be in syria, going underground in eastern ghouta, where we discover the hidden tunnels alow what was once a rebel stronghold. —— be low. central london has been rocked by a series of terrorist attacks. police say there have been many casualties and there is growing speculation that al-qaeda was responsible. germany will be the host of the 2006 football world cup, they pipped the favourite south africa by a single vote. in south africa, the possibility of losing hadn't even been contemplated and celebration parties were cancelled. the man entered the palace through a downstairs window
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and made his way to the queen's private bedroom, then he asked her for a cigarette. and on the pretext of arranging for some to be brought, she summoned a footman on duty, who took the man away. one child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. education is the only solution. (applause) this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: 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. 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.
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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. 0ur 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 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,
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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 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
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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, 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
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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. thousands of eastern ghouta's people, some from the losing side, are in camps without even ruins to visit. some of the men said
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this camp was a prison, because they're not allowed out to work. people are 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. 0ne 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
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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 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
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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. here in the uk, police say the couple who are fighting for their lives after being exposed to a nerve agent after touching a contaminated item. dawn sturgess and charlie rowley have been poisoned by novichok, the same nerve agent used on the former russian spy, sergei skripal, and his daughter in march. britain's home secretary sajid javid once again pointed the finger at russia. he said that britain must not be used as a dumping ground for poision. 0ur security correspondent gordon corera reports. scientific analysis here at porton down labs has said
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to confirm that both incidents contained the same type of the 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 they visited just a mile from sergei skripal‘s home. but would novichok be dangerous four months on? 0ne expert says it could be. it doesn't surprise me that they are still in the environment for months after use.
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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 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.
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until they find that evidence, they cannot know for sure how it came about. a new zealand man has become the first to kayak solo from australia to new zealand. it took scott donaldson two months to make the 3,000km kilometre journey across the tasman sea, paddling 16 hours a day. he slept inside the kayak, wearing a seat belt in case it capsized. 0n the way he had to deal both sharks and six metre waves. here he is speaking to the bbc after returning to land. there was one particular shark that was very interested in my rudder and we had a discussion for about half an hour, 40 minutes, he came in, went away very agitated, probably a bit lonely like me. nothing fragile out there lasts very long at all. the solo attachments got pounded. there is tons of water that smashed over that boat in the rough weather.
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you've got the whole range out there. you saw some amazing stuff and it was anywhere from a millpond, that didn't happen very often, to over six metres, i didn't measure it and some of the solar panels gave way. about four solar panels that got hammered off, basically. just wanted to take those down from affecting the rest of the solar but the integrity of the boat, it's carbon fibre, it's top grade, top—quality and really, and a coffin, it's about that size so it's just a case of practice, you get to spend one night in there and cope and then two nights and so on so there was a lot of mental skills going on to learn how to cope with all of that. there was an amazing crowd, a few thousand there, the beach was full which was pretty nice because it was a pretty cold miserable night so it great was to see everybody and a little bit of sensory overload for a while. what a feat. you can reach me on twitter. i'm @ lebo?diseko 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. as we head through friday morning, into the afternoon,
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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 of the uk. notice the cold front, a weak cold front, it means a bit
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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. he faces at least eight dozen investigations
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into his spending habits and alleged abuse of office. president trump said he has done an outstanding job. in the next few hours, the us is set to begin 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 up their efforts to get be trapped boys out of the cave before the weather closes in. houses of litres of water have been pumped out of the cave, ringing the flood doubles down, at the window of opportunity for rescue is not expected to last long. —— bringing the flood levels down. it's looking increasingly likely that interest rates will rise next month after the bank of england governor said he has more confidence
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