welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is lebo diseko. our top stories: donald trump's nominee for the us supreme court and the woman who accuses him of sexual assault give dramatic testimonies on capitol hill. dr ford, with what degree of certainty do you believe that brett kavanaugh assaulted you? 100%. i swear today, under oath, before the senate and the nation, before my family and god, i am innocent of this charge. senior republicans are now discussing a timetable for the next votes in the process to confirm judge kavanaugh. also on the programme: cast out for refusing to kill their disabled babies. we meet the kenyan mothers standing up for their children. hello, good to have you with us.
it has been an emotional day of testimony at the us senate as president trump's nominee for the supreme court, brett kavanaugh, repeatedly denied allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl some 30 years ago. earlier, his accuser, professor christine blasey ford insisted the attack did happen and she described its devastating impact. here's a bit about what both had to say at the beginning of the hearing. and here today not because i want to be, and terrified. i am and here today not because i want to be, and terrified. iam here and here today not because i want to be, and terrified. i am here because i believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while brett kava naugh tell you what happened to me while brett kavanaugh and i work in high school. my family and i intend no ill will towards dr ford or her family but i swear today, under oath, before the senate and the nation, before my family and god,
i am innocent of this charge. —— were in. earlier, i spoke to our correspondent in washington, chris buckler, about the testimony and what stood out for him. yeah, it was striking to hear two people, both with incredibly powerful testimony, but strikingly different approaches, different tones to how they gave evidence to thisjudiciary tones to how they gave evidence to this judiciary committee. we tones to how they gave evidence to thisjudiciary committee. we had christine blasey ford was very calm, very controlled, but nonetheless very controlled, but nonetheless very emotional, her voice shaking as she talked about what happened 36 yea rs she talked about what happened 36 years ago and she talked about that alleged attack. on the other hand from judge cavanaugh, we had someone who was angry on occasions. what republicans want everybody to refer to asa republicans want everybody to refer to as a kind of righteous anger, he spoke often shaking at times, saying he was not responsible, carefully not saying that christine blasey ford had not been attacked but
simply saying that he was not in any way involved. but what we got were two different people saying two very different things about many years ago, and it was left to the committee to decide who they believed. i was pushed on bed and brett got on top of me, he began running his hands over my body and grinding into me. iyelled, hoping that someone downstairs might hear me andl that someone downstairs might hear me and i tried to get away from him but his weight was heavy. he tried to take off my clothes, he had a ha rd to take off my clothes, he had a hard time because he was very inebriated and because i was wearing a i—piece bathing suit underneath my clothing. i believed he was going to rape me. i categorically and unequivocally deny it the allegation against me by dr ford, and never had any sexual or physical encounter of any sexual or physical encounter of any kind with dr ford. i never
attended a gathering like the one dr ford describes in her allegation. i have never sexually assaulted dr ford, or anyone. so, chris, you said there that the republicans really tried not to go after doctor ford directly but they did accuse the democrats of politicising this? yeah, this is ultimately a political process. this hearing to try to appoint a new supreme courtjustice. and it is a deeply political one in terms of washington. but it also felt incredibly personal today. and there is no doubt that when you talk to a democrat or a republican, they will tell you there are people who are having their reputations dragged through the dirt, or alternatively people have been forced into difficult questions about things they say happened many years ago and they're having to relive them. and as a result, we have democrats
and republicans essentially fighting with each other as they listened on this committee to two people telling two very different stories. but you could tell particularly, as far as republicans were concerned, there was a great deal of frustration. just listen to senator lindsey graham hit out at the democrats. to my republican colleagues, if you vote no, you are legitimising the most despicable thing i have seen in my time in politics. you want the seat, i hope you never get it. i hope you are on the supreme court, thatis hope you are on the supreme court, that is exactly where you should be, asi that is exactly where you should be, as i hope that the american people will see through this charade. and i wish you well, and i intend to vote for you and i hope everybody who's fair—minded will. for you and i hope everybody who's fair-minded will. chris, this has become so politicised, it is so politicised, just remind us why this matters so much in what is at stake for each party? yeah, it is
incredibly important because it is about appointing a justice to the highest court in america, the court that essentially can decide and influence america's laws, and judge cavanaugh is influence america's laws, and judge cava naugh is undoubtedly influence america's laws, and judge cavanaugh is undoubtedly the peak of president trump. he wants him to sit on that court and partly that is because he is a conservativejudge. the democrats are concerned that he could push the court further to the right. —— kavanaugh. and this is ultra— important because a supreme courtjustice it's there for life, that means thatjudge kavanaugh could influence the decision of that court for decades. who exactly was each side trying to convince? because they were not going to, republicans are not likely to convince the democrats, the democrats were not likely to convince the republicans, but there area convince the republicans, but there are a few senators that undecided. yeah, infinitely small number, ultimately could argue that there we re ultimately could argue that there were two audiences here, one was president trump, and certainlyjudge
kavanaugh president trump, and certainlyjudge kava naugh was trying president trump, and certainlyjudge kavanaugh was trying to impress him, because there was some suggestion he was not impressed by the way he spokein was not impressed by the way he spoke in a fox news interview earlier this week, he wanted it to be more aggressive and defend himself more, and suddenly got that today. but there is no doubt that america was watching closely on listing to all of this, but what is important as far as senators is concerned is to try to convince those few senators who could sway one way or the other, there are a number of democrats in what are generally regarded as republican states will be watching very closely to see how both of these people get across today. —— a number of senators. some of those small group of senators, three republicans and one democrats, have been meeting in having conversations. the republican party have also been having conversations and at this stage, we understand the republican senators are going to push ahead without vote ina are going to push ahead without vote
in a matter of about 12 hours time, they want to try and get that committee vote through and that means that there can be a final senate vote as early as next week. let's get some of the day's other news now. financial authorities in the us have filed a lawsuit against the head of tesla, elon musk. they accuse him of lying to investors when he claimed that he'd secured the funding to take the car maker back into private ownership. mr musk has described the charges as "unjustified". china and russia have called on the un security council to consider easing sanctions on north korea to make progress in denuclearising the korean peninsula. the chinese foreign minister said sanctions needed to be accompanied by a political process. israel's leader, benjamin neta nyahu, has revealed what he says is a secret location where iran has been storing nuclear equipment and material in order to build a nuclear weapon. addressing the un general assembly, mr netanyahu demanded that international inspectors investigate the site. the iranians say their nuclear programme is peaceful. a new study has found that nearly
half of kenyan mothers with disabled babies were pressured to kill them. the two—year research was carried out by the charity, disability rights international. it also found that women are often blamed for the conditions of their children. our senior africa correspondent anne soy reports from nairobi. it's a life fraught with difficulty. even with the best care, things would have been tough for this boy. born in a rural kenya, where disability is considered a curse. he is literally lucky to be alive. if some of his relatives had their way, he would have been killed as an infant. translation: i was chased from home. a friend took me in. but after three weeks, she asked me to put acid in my son's food. i refused to poison my child and left. florence has struggled ever since,
doing odd jobs to survive, and she can't even afford a wheelchairfor her son. she's not alone. many women in rural kenya say they're pressured to kill disabled children. no one knows how many of them give in. but infa nticide has deep cultural roots. i'm trying to understand the cultural context, why people would kill children with disabilities, so i've come to a village near the maasai mara to meet with a traditional birth assistant. she spent her whole life delivering babies. she says it wasn't an easy choice of parents of disabled children. —— for. translation: they didn't know what to do. they had no alternative. even though they loved the baby, if the mother asked the man for a solution, he didn't have one.
those who choose to defy tradition do not always keep their babies. compassionate hands is a care home in nairobi. i have a new—found friend here. these children have learning disabilities but, as you can see, they need love, just like all other children. but the reality is their mothers and families have faced a lot of stigma, and many of them have been forced to abandon their children in institutions like this. this home was started entirely by accident. my idea was to start a day care. but in a week, we had ii abandoned children. in a month, there were 30. a child is best—placed at a home setup but, well, when there is no other option.
their parents simply never returned. such is the demand, there are now 86 children here, living in conditions experts say will only make their health worse. and she says the only thing the government gives them are more children to care for. every month, florence meets up with other mothers who have gone through similar things. like lydia, she was asked to insert needles into her son's wrists, she was told it would cause a slow but secret death. they draw strength from each other in a society where some would rather their children did not exist. do stay with us on bbc news. still to come: tributes have been paid to the creator of postman pat,
john cunliffe. he has died at the age of 85. in all russia's turmoil, it has never come to this. president yeltsin said the day would decide the nation's destiny. the nightmare that so many had feared for so long is playing out its final act here. russians are killing russians in front of a grandstand audience. it was his humility that produced affection from catholics throughout the world, but his departure is a tragedy for the catholic church. israel's right—winger, ariel sharon, visited the religious compound, and that started the trouble. he wants israel alone to have sovereignty over the holy sites, an idea that's unthinkable to palestinians. after 45 years of division, germany is one. in berlin, one million germans celebrate the rebirth of europe's
biggest and richest nation. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: donald trump's nominee for the us supreme court and the woman who accuses him of sexual assault have given dramatic testimonies in front of the senate's judiciary committee. senior republican senators are now discussing a timetable for the next steps in the process to confirm mr kavanaugh, with a first vote expected friday. the hearing on capitol hill is commanding attention right across the united states, way beyond the limits of washington, dc. the stakes are high. the balance of power on the us supreme court and the future direction of lawmaking in the us will be decided by the success orfailure ofjudge kavanaugh's nomination. our correspondent nada tawfik has been watching the hearings with people in bloomsburg, pennsylvania. across the nation, generations
of americans stopped what they were doing and watched as christine blasey ford and brett kavanaugh testified on capitol hill. this is a pivotal moment, because the future of the supreme court will shape america, from cities to small towns, like bloomsburg, pennsylvania. brett's assault on me drastically altered my life... at this gathering, friends were emotional watching the hearing. they sympathised with dr ford, and felt she was unfairly on trial. she was very candid and straightforward. i mean, my heartjust went out to her. you know, it's heartbreaking to listen to her account. she is tremendously brave. she is tremendously brave, to be able to make this statement and take this risk for herself. while they dread the consequences of a conservative majority on the court, the issue for them is even bigger than that. they feel the hearings could set back progress made by the #metoo movement.
i think — i don't have any problem with sort of innocent until proven guilty, but my problem is that the same sort of consideration isn't given to the victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, right? there's a sort of immediate sense of the reason they're coming forward is because they're political pawns, and she herself, dr ford, said, "i'm nota pawn." the hearings coincided with the annual state fair, where politics mixed with rides and games. there are just six short weeks before november's midterm elections, and the road to congress runs through these swing states. brett kavanaugh's nomination has become a rallying cry notjust for democrats, but republicans too. the supreme court was a key reason voters here elected president trump, and so far, they're standing by his pick. i'm very happy withjudge kavanaugh, and i hope that he gets confirmed. so as far as i'm concerned, in this country, you're still innocent until proven guilty, and they've not proven anything. she has said to lawmakers that
what has motivated her is truth, to come forward. no, what has motivated her is democrat politics. that's what's motivated her. this country has been deeply divided ever since the 2016 presidential election. the supreme court is supposed to be above the political fray, but this hearing has shown that the nation is more divided than ever. nada tawfik, bbc news, pennsylvania. the inquiry into the grenfell tower fire in london, which claimed 72 lives, has been hearing testimony from the commissioner of the london fire brigade. dany cotton said the fire in the tower was unprecedented, and like a scene from a disaster movie. she said it could not have been extinguished, and said she feared some of the firefighters going into the building would not survive. our correspondent tom symonds reports. in amongst her team, commissioner dany cotton in the lobby of grenfell tower. she was thinking that some of them might not make it through the night, as they repeatedly tried to save lives.
she saw the flames racing through the tower‘s plastic cladding, and today, she said something to the inquiry that no firefighter ever wants to admit. we wouldn't have been able to extinguish the fire. so it's very difficult to stand here and say to you, yes, we could have done this and that, because it wouldn't have made a difference, the response on the night. the building had failed. but could firefighters have been trained to spot the dangers of a cladding fire? i truly don't think it would have benefited anyone to have any more detailed knowledge about cladding, to respond to the fire at grenfell, because it wouldn't have enabled them to extinguish the fire. some people might say that that information was kept to the suits, and not disseminated to the helmets? i think there's large numbers of detailed professional advice that stays amongst professional officers. if we tried to impart all the detail around fire safety regulation to our firefighters, we would never be able to train them in the basics of breathing apparatus, hose and ladder training.
but it is a key question for the inquiry. was the fire brigade of a high—rise city simply unprepared for high—rise fire like this? it turns out the risk was on the radar. five years after this fire, the government published specific guidance on high—rise fires in 2014. it said commanders should consider the impact of building materials and contents on fire spread. the commissioner said she did not read it at the time. this cladding fire on a dubai skyscraper, the torch, in 2015, was one of similarfires reported around the world. and, after this 2016 fire at shepherd's court in west london, warnings about cladding were circulated by the london fire brigade. but dany cotton said it did not result in new training for firefighters. in the same manner that i wouldn't develop a training package for a spot of land on the shard, you know, we would respond to it and deal with it in the same professional manner we do. that is an incident of that scale.
so i wouldn't expect us to be developing training as a response to something that simply shouldn't happen. but it did. if firefighters had known the cladding was fuelling the flames, they might have considered getting the residents out earlier, rather than telling them to stay put. but the commissioner said an evacuation could equally have resulted in deaths. her evidence has not reassured some survivors of the fire. she spoke a lot about consoling and pep—talking, and putting her arms around people that are devastated. of course they're devastated, because you've just sent them in to risk their lives without adequate training. so you have a duty of care to them, but you also have a duty of care to residents that live in tower blocks. what isn't in doubt is that firefighters willingly risked their lives to save the people of grenfell. we've heard weeks of evidence of that. tom symonds, bbc news, at the grenfell tower inquiry. the world's killer whales are under threat, according to scientists. they say a banned chemical has built up in the mammals' bodies, stopping them from reproducing. scientists from the zoological society of london they could be extinct in british
waters within a century. our science correspondent victoria gill has more details. there are some distressing images in this report. the ultimate marine predator is falling prey to an invisible threat — manufactured chemicals lingering in the ocean. polychlorinated biphenyls, or pcbs, that were once used to heat—proof everything from electrical components to paint and glue, are leaching into the marine environment and are found at toxic levels in the bodies of killer whales. the very highest levels in the killer whales are actually levels that we think would completely suppress reproduction. the effects of these chemicals have been at the heart of years of investigation by scientists, including this team from london's institute of zoology, who have carried out detailed postmortems on the bodies of marine mammals. the pcbs alone, no other threat,
just the pcbs alone, is enough to cause the extinction of more than half of the world's killer whale populations, which is really devastating, really. this is a killer whale apocalypse. polychlorinated biphenyls are extremely stable, heat—resistant chemicals. they were used in a huge range of products, including paints and sealants, until research revealed them to be toxic. they were widely banned in the 1980s. their legacy, though, has proven just as toxic. the un estimates that 1a million tons of pcbs have yet to be disposed of safely, and they may still be leaking from landfill sites today. in the ocean it is killer whales, apex predators, who suffer the worst consequences. it is killer whales' position at the very top of the marine food chain that leaves them particularly exposed to these chemicals. the killer whales eat everything in the sea, from penguins, to seals, to even other species of whale.
and because pcbs are everywhere in the environment, they're in every marine animal, so each contaminated meal is another dose of these chemicals. they're also transmitted from mother to calf — pollution passed from generation to generation. but, while this study forecasts a bleak future for many killer whale populations, scientists hope it will also provide a catalyst to clean up this chemical legacy, ensuring that populations that escaped it will continue to thrive. victoria gill, bbc news. tributes have been paid to the creator of postman pat, john cunliffe, who has died at the age of 85. the popular children's tv programme, which began in the early ‘80s, was sold to more than 50 countries around the world. tim allman has more. # postman pat, postman pat. # postman pat and his black and white cat... whimsical, nostalgic heartwarming. postman pat and his black and white cat — a television favourite
for generations of children. in the fictional town of greendale, everyone was your friend, and every new day was an adventure. it was a place inspired by creator john cuncliffe's own home in the lake district. who else lives in the countryside? and a postman who travels around and meets a lot of people, friendly character and they said, "sounds quite likely, i don't think anybody‘s done it." ok, you go back to kendal and write an outline for 13 episodes. john cunliffe also wrote and appeared in rosie andjim, another gentle programme aimed at entertaining and educating youngsters. born in colne in lancashire, he had been a librarian and a teacher. he would go on to write nearly 200 books, and also several
volumes of poetry. but he will be best remembered for postman pat, a character of genuine warmth and charm, who lived in the hearts of millions of children. john cunliffe, the creator of postman pat, who has died at the age of 85. elephant keepers at san diego zoo got a big surprise on thursday. they discovered a 28—year—old elephant had given birth to a healthy female calf. while zookeepers were expecting the birth, it came earlier than expected. the calf began nursing shortly after it was born. you can reach me on twitter. i'm @lebo underscore diseko. hello, good morning. it's fair to say that yesterday across england and wales felt a bit more like summer.
in the sunshine in lincolnshire, we had temperatures here as high as 25 celsius. now, today, still going to be dry in most places. there'll still be some sunshine around, but it will feel much, much cooler. we've got high pressure sitting to the west of the uk. the warmth is getting pushed away into the continent, and around the top of the high pressure, we've got these cooler winds coming in behind a band of cloud, which in the morning is affecting southern counties of england. it'll clear away, could get one or two light showers coming in on a north—easterly wind into the south—east corner of england. the north—westerly will bring more cloud into the highlands and islands, and a few scattered light showers here. temperatures, though, will be significantly lower for the likes of newcastle. six degrees lower than yesterday in london. and those temperatures will fall away sharply underneath the clear skies, with the winds falling light. the northern half of the uk sees a little bit more breeze,
some cloud perhaps pushing into northern ireland, more especially the north and west of scotland. not quite as chilly here, but it will be much colder further south, 2—3 into rural parts of england and wales. sunshine, though, will boost those temperatures on saturday, lighter winds too. a bit more of a breeze across the north, more cloud coming into scotland and northern ireland, some rain in the north—west, perhaps arriving into the central belt later on in the day. but ahead of that, it may feel a bit warmer, temperatures 17 or 18 degrees. that weather front that's coming into the north—west, actually, is very weak. it's not going to amount to very much, and as it heads south, more a band of cloud with little or no rain on it at all. there's the band of cloud moving into england and wales. sunny spells following on behind that. north—westerly wind will start to drop the temperatures, and there'll be a fair number of showers coming into scotland. some of those in northern scotland could be quite heavy as well. so sunday will feel a little cooler, those temperatures 12—16 typically north—south. so we've got high pressure out to the west of the uk,
those showers getting pushed away into the north sea. a northerly airflow as we head into monday. that's never a good direction, and that means some sunny spells, yes, but we will see quite a chilly feel on monday. and into the north—west of the uk, the next weather system arrives, clouding over in scotland and northern ireland, some more substantial rain into the north—west by the end of the day, but temperatures struggling to 11—14 degrees on monday. that rain will push southwards overnight, leaving us with more of a westerly airflow, so not quite as chilly by day or by night. there will be a lot of cloud, and probably not much rain. this is bbc news.
the headlines: the woman who accuses donald trump's nominee for the us supreme court of sexual assault has given a powerful testimony in front of the senate judiciary committee. dr christine blasey ford told senators she's100% certain that it was brett kavanaugh who tried to assault her, and she said the alleged incident changed her life dramatically. appearing in front of the committee after dr ford, judge kavanaugh emphatically denied the allegation of sexual assault. he accused democratic senators of destroying his family and his good name for political reasons. senior republicans are now discussing a timetable for the next steps in the process to confirm mr kavanaugh. a first vote in thejudiciary committee is expected on friday. those are your headlines here on bbc news.
now on bbc news, it's time for panorama. our children are facing a mental health crisis. at least one in ten kids is struggling to cope. i'm never gonna get better, i'm going stay in this dark hole for my whole life and eventually i'm going to do it, i'm gonna take my life. overstretched health services are turning kids away — leaving families desperate. i had a bit of a mini—breakdown and said that if she's not admitted, it is going to be a complete and utter blood bath at my house. just how sick do our children have to be to get treatment? you feel like you need to be completely and utterly the illest you could ever be without dying just to receive help. we were crying out for help and support for a very,