tv BBC News BBC News August 25, 2019 1:00am-1:31am BST
this is bbc news. i'm reged ahmad. our top stories. the french president calls for a de—escalation of trade tensions — at an informal dinner ahead of sunday's g7 talks. hundreds of new fires rage in the amazon — as international pressure mounts on brazil's president over his environmental policies. prince andrew defends his former friendship with the disgraced sex offenderjeffrey epstein. the prince says he saw epstein once or twice a yearfor over a decade, but didn't see or suspect criminal behaviour. and violence in hong kong — as police target pro—democracy protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets.
hello and welcome to bbc news. world leaders have gathered at the g7 summit in france, and there have already been calls for donald trump not to intensify america's trade war with china. trade isjust one issue where the leaders could find themselves more divided than united. climate change and the iran nuclear deal will also be discussed. the white house has shared these pictures of the leaders having an informal dinner together at the biarritz lighthouse — ahead of talks on sunday. ros atkins is in biarritz and sent this report. and here is donald trump. not the first time they have met today. we saw them sitting at a very prettily decorated table in a hotel in
biarritz a little bit earlier on. a slightly awkward affair. emmanuel macron spoken english and in french. a whole range of issues yet the g7 will tackle across this three—day summit. trump said a little less. he said they had a great friendship having met each other a few times. mr trump clearly enjoyed having dinner at the eiffel tower, he referenced that. but he did not get into any of the policy details which divide these two men in these two countries. perhaps a more useful guide in regard to mr trump's mood was a statement he gave just before he got on the plane to fly to france where he said, look, i'm not happy with how europe is behaving in terms of trade and if need be we will put tariffs on french wine among other european goods. already donald tusk of the european union has said, look, if that happens we will retaliate. the backdrop to this is that donald trump is farfrom happy about the trading relationship
between europe and the us, the trading relationship between china and the us, it will be one of the big issues to play out across the summit. all of the european leaders to a lesser or greater extent have said that trump's approach to this trade war with china and nascent trade war with europe is not helping the global economy. translation: tensions, particularly trade tensions are bad for everyone. we need to de—escalate and stabilise things to avoid the trade war that is starting to set in. data is going to bring a focus on africa among other things. five african leaders have been invited including the presidents of south africa and egypt. it will be interesting to see whether below this grand political drama of these big hitters of the political world coming together we will also get some firm policy commitments on education, on health care and on gender equality in africa.
hundreds of new fires are raging in brazil's amazon region, according to official figures. after coming under international pressure, the president has deployed the army to help fight the fires in the world's largest rainforest. these pictures are from boca, an area located in the state of amazonas where the fire has already reduced large swathes of forests to ashes. protesters have ta ken to streets in many cities in south america demanding more action. andy moore has this report. this is what remains after a fire has run its course. large swathes of ra i nfo rest has run its course. large swathes of rainforest cleared to the ground, its wildlife dead or flood. parts of the world's biggest tropical forest reduced to charred remains. and every day for the past few weeks new fires start and die. across brazil, there have been more than 76,000 so
far this year. the highest in nine yea rs. far this year. the highest in nine years. under pressure from international leaders brazil's president has said the army will help stop the blaze. he has sent in the military to help put out the fires after coming under pressure from the international community, saying he wanted to protect the amazon. military staff could be deployed to nine different states. they are already acting here. a day after he said he would send in army troops to help put out the amazon fires local government here in this state, one of the most affected by the bases, has launched a special operation combining special forces including army troops, firefighters and an elite group from the environmental protection agency. the chief of operations told us that the aim is to have a fire under control in the next few days. for some this
is not enough. at the weekend, many hundreds turned out to demonstrate and outside brazilian embassies all over the world. they say the government was slow to act and that the president encourages farmers to burn down the forest to clear land for agriculture. fires in the amazon ra i nfo rest for agriculture. fires in the amazon rainforest are nothing new during summer rainforest are nothing new during summer but the scale and the speed with which they are spreading has alarmed brazil and the rest of the world. alarmed brazil and the rest of the world. joining me now from sao paulo is 0liver stoonkel — professor of international relations at the jetoolyoh vargas foundation. thank you so much for your time. first of all, we are hearing about the concerns from the international community about the amazon ra i nfo rest. community about the amazon rainforest. what do you think the president is worried about in terms of what the eu or g7 could do about
the situation? well, that evening. i think the situation to the brazilian president is about much more than just finding change or deforestation. the president, he does not believe in climate change and has made it very clear that he considers the issue to be an internal issue, that the amazon belongs to brazil, in that this is seen by him as an attempt to wea ken this is seen by him as an attempt to weaken brazil's sovereignty, to question brazil's control over the amazon and while some hope that international pressure may moderate the president's stands it also does create a rally round the flag effect and the president, who is a populist, who likes to engage in controversy, in confrontation, also enjoys this moment where the international pressure seeks to support his views at the international community seeks to wea ken international community seeks to weaken brazil, seeks to keep brazil
from developing. so i think it remains uncertain to what extent threats by the eu, for example, the threats by the eu, for example, the threat to not ratify the recently signed trade agreement between brazil and the eu will actually help the situation because so far the president has been very clear that he does not seek to moderate his stands, does not plan to moderate his stands in response to international pressure. we talk about the president of being very supportive of brazilian farmers and agriculture and he wants to expand in that area, if the international community brings in sanctions or pulls out of that huge trade deal you are talking about will it actually hurt farmers, effectively his base in that country? absolutely. we see now the creation of two blocks emerging to explain the internal political dynamic. the ideologues who reject climate
change, together with the military, which is very concerned about international engagement in the amazon. the president, also questions the role of international ngos and is very critical of ngos receiving foreign money. this is the one side. the other is interestingly enough business aligned with civil society, indigenous populations were now starting to be concerned. concerned about different things but agribusiness of course would be badly hurt if we ended up having a boycott. this may be perhaps the only thing, as you rightly point out, that is part of his base, many of the fires are suspected to have been started by smaller farmers who are been started by smaller farmers who a re less been started by smaller farmers who are less concerned about international consequences whereas the big farming company is of course are concerned about brazilreputation that does not apply to those for small—scale farmers who are seen as
the people responsible for having started the fires. where do you see this going? as i said, ithink where do you see this going? as i said, i think it is unclear to what extent the international community can exert pressure on brazil. some people have actually said that he does not even want the trade deal with the eu. he has done it, you know, to win the election. he has adopted a more liberalising rhetoric, but in fact he is an economic nationalist. he is not in favour of international trade. so to some extent some may say that he enjoys this moment of confrontation. everything will now depend on the capacity of agricultural businesses, agribusiness, to pressure the president to take a more moderate stand. it is important to point out that at the tip of the iceberg. we have seen over the past eight months a systematic weakening of environmental watchdogs, the
president has adopted a strategy which had led to the suspension of the amazon fund. it is a large—scale scheme financed by norway and germany to help brazil preserve the amazon. this is not something which has just amazon. this is not something which hasjust come amazon. this is not something which has just come up. this amazon. this is not something which hasjust come up. this is part of an integral part of the president's policy, environmental policy, farming policy, he does regard the arms are not something to be protected but something to be economically exploited. so i am very sceptical, unfortunately, at stewa rt‘s sceptical, unfortunately, at stewart's the extent the international community to moderate the stance of the brazilian president. the stance of the brazilian president. (tx astons) queen elizabeth's second son, prince andrew, has released a statement about his friendship with the disgraced financierjeffrey epstein. it's the first time he has spoken directly about his links since epstein took his own life in a new york prison cell earlier this month. prince andrew said "at no stage"
did he "see or suspect" any criminal behaviour. epstein had been awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges when he killed himself. here's our royal correspondent nicholas witchell. what was prince andrew doing at the home of a convicted paedophile in new york in 2010, peering out through the door as young women came and went? the questions about andrew's friendship withjeffrey epstein have shown no sign of abating — and so, from the prince today, a statement in which he says he is eager to clarify the facts. he states... i met mr epstein in 1999. during the time i knew him, i saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year. i have stayed in a number of his residences. the prince goes on... at no stage during the limited time i spent with him did i see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.
andrew does acknowledge that it was, in his words, "a mistake and an error" to see epstein after his release from prison. this photograph of them together was taken in 2010. andrew expresses regret that what he knew of epstein was not, as he puts it, "the real person". and yet epstein‘s behaviour was a matter of public record. two years earlier, in 2008, he had been prosecuted for procuring an underage girl for prostitution. he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. but andrew was one of his friends, emerged, when this photo was published. it had been taken at one of epstein‘s parties in 2001. it showed andrew with a then—17—year—old girl — virginia roberts. andrew has always emphatically denied any impropriety. in today's statement, the queen's second son expresses tremendous sympathy for all those affected by the actions and behaviour of his former friend, jeffrey epstein.
an employee at the british consulate in hong kong who was detained in mainland china has been released. china says simon cheng was detained for visiting a prostitute. but his supporters have dismissed that claim and suggested his case was linked to the political crisis in hong kong — which erupted again today, with the worst violence in more than a week. 0ur china correspondent john sudworth is there. hong kong's protesters have become battle hardened... gunshots ..with the crisis well into its third month. what began as opposition to a proposed extradition law is now a full—scale, pro—democracy movement, fuelled by fears that the city's freedoms are being eroded under chinese rule. just before the barricades went up, news came that a staff member at the uk consulate in hong kong had been released
from custody in mainland china. but the claim that simon cheng was detained for playing a prostitute has been met with disbelief. they got him and faked the picture. they photoshopped the picture which he was with a so—called prostitute just to detain him for 15 days. some suspect a political motive, the protests are the biggest challenge to communist party rule in decades and china has been accusing the uk of meddling. hong kong's political stand—off descends once again into violence. the police firing tear gas and rubber bullets as they chase the protesters away down the main street. it continued late into the night, with the protesters already planning further battles in the days ahead. john sudworth, bbc news, hong kong. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: a
passport — on a phone. how new technology could make travel documents a thing of the past. he is the first african—american to win the presidential nomination of a major party and he accepts exactly 45 years ago to the day that martin luther king declared i have a dream. as darkness fell tonight an unfamiliar light will appear in the south—eastern sky, an orange glowing disc that is brighter than anything save the moon, our neighbouring planet mars. there is no doubt that the selection is an important milestone in the birth of east timor as the world's newest nation. it will take months and billions of
dollars to repair what katrina achieved injust hours. three dollars to repair what katrina achieved in just hours. three weeks is the longest break the clock has been on duty in hundred and 17 years so been on duty in hundred and 17 years so it was with great satisfaction the clockmaker swung the pendulum to set the clock going again. the clockmaker swung the pendulum to set the clock going again. this is bbc news, the latest headlines. emmanuel macron has called for a de—escalation of trade tensions — at an informal dinner ahead of tomorrow's g7 talks. hundreds of new fires continue to burn in the amazon as international pressure mounts on brazil's president over his environmental policies. let's have more on the g7 summit in biarritz. for boris johnson it's his first international gathering as prime minister. high on the agenda for him is brexit. the european council president donald tusk said he was "willing to listen" to his ideas for brexit —
as long as they were "realistic". but the two men clashed over who would be to blame in the case of a no—deal brexit. 0ur chief political correspondent vicki young is in biarritz. landing for his first summit, and it could be a tense one. borisjohnson is determined to leave the eu but says britain won't be walking off the world stage. the prime minister wants to show he's got an important role to play and has strong views on global trade. i'm very worried about the way it's going, the growth of protections, of tariffs that we are seeing. the uk thrives mightily on being an open, outward—looking, free—trading nation. that's what we're going to be promoting because i think it's good for the world. there is a lot on the g7 agenda here in biarritz, but right now for borisjohnson nothing is more important than brexit. can he persuade eu leaders to give him a new brexit deal? that's something brussels has said it won't do, even though parliament rejected the withdrawal agreement
that theresa may negotiated. so is this man likely to help the prime minister? donald tusk famously said there was a special place in hell for those who promoted brexit without a plan. most saw that as an attack on mrjohnson. he will be the third british conservative prime minister with whom i will discuss brexit. the one thing i will not co—operate on is no deal. and i still hope that prime ministerjohnson will not like to go down in history as mr no deal. mrjohnson is optimistic it will be the eu who changes the direction the end. downing street is playing down the chances of a breakthrough here biarritz but thinks leaders like emmanuel macron are ready for some meaningful conversations about the so—called backstop to avoid checks at the irish border.
the prime minister insisted again today that it has to go and said donald tusk said remember that if he does want to go down as mr no deal brexit. mrjohnson hopes he can depend on the american president for support. donald trump said that brussels has not treated the uk very well over brexit. tomorrow they sit down together and discuss a post brexit trade deal. so far so good. the weather is perfect. the guestlist‘s fantastic, everybody‘s getting along and we'll accomplish a lot this weekend and i look forward to it. friendly words, but they may not be able to disguise the serious differences between leaders here. vicki young, bbc news, biarritz. let's get some of the day's other news north korea's state media has released images of its leader kim jong un personally overseeing saturday's test of a very large multiple rocket launcher. mr kim said his country must step up the development of new strategic and tactical weapons. he said that young scientists who developed new missiles were a precious treasure.
israel has launched airstrikes on targets just outside the syrian capital, damascus. the israeli military says it targeted iranian forces inside syria, which were preparing to launch killer drones at israel. around 40,000 people have turned out in the german city of dresden for a rally against far right extremism, ahead of state elections in saxony next weekend. 0rganisers said the response far exceeded their expectations.john mcmanus reports: a colourful march and rally in dresden but with a serious message. the state of saxony is on a rise in anti—immigrantfeeling the state of saxony is on a rise in anti—immigrant feeling ever since angler merkel allow tens of thousands of refugees to enter the
country in 2015. resentment at that decision and poor economic prospects have spared the support for the alternative for germany party. if they do well here next week it could break the coalition between chancellor merkel is party and the social democrats. a similar outcome could occur in brandenburg. while the political opponents believe it is racist. i think that it is very important that we understand ourselves as a country which is indivisible and takes its strength from diversity. for others it is important to show, one week ahead of the regional election, that many people in this country stand against far right ideologies and actions and want to show that we fight for an open society. not everybody agrees, though. this march against immigration and specifically islam took place in dresden four years ago. and the leaders reject the charge of racism, saying it is time the other parties talked to them. after next week's elections they may have two. we've all had that terrifying moment
where you're getting ready to go on holiday and you think you've lost your passport — but new technology could make remembering to carry your travel documents — a thing of the past. instead, the passport would be saved on your phone and detected by a biometric scanner at the border. our business reporter simon browning has been to try it out. sunshine, holidays, city breaks. we all love our trips away. and it's the time of year when flights are full, airports are bursting, and there can be lots of waiting around. now, we all know what it's like to arrive on holiday at your destination, to arrive in the passport hall and be greeted by queues to get your passport scanned. they're a nightmare — 30 minutes, an hour. well, new technology means that could be the thing of the past when our passports go onto our phones. this kiosk is called protect. it's the start of a contactless id system designed by a group of companies and academics to speed up our transition across borders. after downloading an app
to your phone, you register your passport with itjust once. now it's going to ask you just to look into the camera and this is just simply to make a match between the passport photo and your live image. so your identity has been now verified, so that's been — the link has been established. in a moment, this will be confirmed on the screen. this has now been done. and your mobile phone now says you've been enrolled. 140 million passengers arrived at the uk border in 2017 and that is expected to double by 2050. but airports cannot double in size, so they need to process us faster so we arrive and leave much quicker. the advantage of this is that passengers can choose to use it, and if they are low—risk and eligible — that's to say you can come through without too much examination — then they can go through and not stop — they can just keep walking. whereas the rest of the passengers who have to be seen can go
to the normal control. the security of our data has never been under such scrutiny. the designers of protect insist safeguards are in place and information is encrypted. but other questions remain. what if your battery dies? what if you have bought the wrong smartphone? and can the biometric tunnel be fooled ? i'm going to test whether the passport application works, but i'm going to try and trick it with this mask. the developers say the system is ready for implementation, and the home office says it continues to investigate the application of new and emerging technologies at uk borders. we'rejust gonna see. i'm hoping it did not recognise me. that's right. it is a big negative. none of us like to queue, even though we are so good at it. but are we ready to replace them with a hassle—free biometric future? simon browning, bbc news. you can reach me on twitter —
i'm @ reged ahmad bbc. the weather we had on saturday really sets the tone for the rest of the weekend. good news a few like sunshine and you like heat. it was a beautiful day for the beach in cornwall on saturday. i think there will be more beach weather in places and the temperatures on saturday afternoon got very close to 31 degrees just to the west of london. 29 in wales making it the warmest bank holiday weekend on record for wales but in northern scotland it was a little bit cooler because of extra cloud. you can see that rain of cloud on the satellite picture. rain now clearing away northwards. you can some of this cloud has been filtering
in over recent hours into wales in the south—west. these western areas more generally see some patches of cloud as we go through the day on sunday. further east1 or 2 mist patches early on. they should send a clear and then we're going to see some sunshine. more sunshine than we had on saturday although shetland could see some extra cloud rolling its way into this afternoon. as far as temperatures go, 28 degrees in glasgow. 32 or 33 across parts of the south—east and it is going to feel increasingly humid as well. as we go through sunday night into the early hours of monday that humility could well cause some areas are mist low cloud and fog to from in western areas. could be some quite poor visibility in parts of the west as we go into the first part of monday. further east some clear spells in just the odd mist patch and the temperature is 14 or 15 degrees as we start the day. through monday there will again be plenty of dry weather and some spells of sunshine but remember that early mist in the west, some of which could take a little while to clear. this frontal system getting close to western scotland, may be some
rain into the western isles and some of the western fringes could see the odd shower. turning cooler in the west. things will be changing as we head into the coming week. through monday night into tuesday we could see some showers on this little weather front here and then a more meaningful front starts make some progress into the west. that will thicken up the cloud apart of scotland should see some rain here. the chance of the odd shower to push out here. could be heavy or thundery but still the potential for some really warm weather especially across eastern areas. however, wherever you are across the uk, things will cool off as we head deeper into the week. some outbreaks of rain around at times as well particularly across the north and west.
this is bbc news. the headlines: emmanuel macron has called for a de—escalation of trade tensions — at an informal dinner ahead of sunday's g7 talks. leaders will also try to resolve differences over climate change and brexit. the european council president donald tusk says it may be the last chance to restore harmony among leading industrial nations. hundreds of new fires are raging across the amazon — according to official figures. more than 78,000 forest fires have been recorded in brazil so far this year — most in the amazon region. president jair bolsonaro has ordered the army in — after mounting international pressure. police have used tear gas and rubber bullets to try and disperse anti—government protesters in hong kong. officers are also said to have charged at demonstrators with batons outside a police station. chief constables in england, wales and scotland will hold
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