welcome to newsday on the bbc. i'm mariko oi in singapore. the headlines: israel's prime minister is indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust — he responds angrily. this evening we witnessed an attempt to carry out a coup d'etat against the prime minister on false allegations in an investigation process that was biased and contaminated. firefighters battle hundreds of blazes across australia and warn it's too late for some to evacuate. i'm ben bland in london. also in the programme: at the trump impeachment inquiry, a former security official says the president promoted a false narrative. and from war orphan
to star ballerina — a remarkable story of perseverance, dedication and survival. voiceover: live from our studios in singapore and london, this is bbc world news. it's newsday. good morning. it's 9am in singapore, one in the morning in london and 3am in israel where prime minister benjamin netanyahu has been indicted for corruption. the charges of breach of trust and fraud are the first ever against a sitting israeli leader. mr netanyahu has called it "tantamount to a coup." it adds to the uncertainty for a country that is without a stable government after two elections in a year.
barbara plett usher reports from jerusalem. it was a watershed moment for israel and for the prime minister. mr netanyahu was shaken. "i've given my life for this country", he said. but, he came out fighting. translation: this evening, we witnessed an attempt to carry out a coup d'etat against the prime minister. on false allegations in an investigation process that was biased and contaminated. it was a former ally who announced the criminal charges, attorney general avichai mandelblit. he said he had to protect the country's institutions. translation: with a heavy heart, i decided to indict him. with a heavy heart, but also wholeheartedly, out of a deep sense of duty for the rule of law and the public interest. it's unclear what this means for benjamin netanyahu's future. israel is in uncharted territory here. this is the first time a sitting prime minister has been indicted. but according to the law,
he can stay in office until there's a verdict. the allegations have plagued mr netanyahu's last few years in office. there's been a series of inquiries by the police. in one case, it is alleged that mr netanyahu tried to get tax breaks and a us visa for an israeli friend, a hollywood producer. in exchange, prosecutors claimed that the prime minister accepted a supply line of pink champagne and cigars. this is another friend of mr netanyahu's, a leading israeli businessman who owns a news website. he's involved in one of two cases where the prime minister is accused of doing deals to get favourable press coverage. mr netanyahu's legal problems have hung over israel's last two elections. he was hoping to get immunity from prosecution — that's one reason why there has been a deadlock in forming a coalition government. the prime minister's most loyal supporters remain firmly behind him.
his opponents are saying he needs to step down, and his political allies will have to decide whether to stick with him. either way, mr netanyahu's made clear he'll continue to fight for his political survival. barbara plett usher, bbc news, jerusalem. let's take a look at some of the day's other news. two senior officials have been giving their testimony in the latest televised impeachment hearings on president trump. former us national security official fiona hill and david holmes, an aide in the us embassy in ukraine. both expressed concern that american foreign policy was being mixed up with domestic politics. as republicans and democrats have agreed for decades, ukraine is a valued partner of the united states and it plays an important role in oui’ and it plays an important role in our national security. they told the committee last month i refused to legitimise a narrative that the ukrainian government is an adversary
and that ukraine, not russia attacked us in 2016. these fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for domestic, purely political purposes. in particular, i asked ambassador sondland that the president did not give an expletive about ukraine. ambassador sondland agreed that the president did not give an expert of about ukraine. i asked, why not? and sondland stated that the president only cares about big stuff. i noted that there was big stuff. i noted that there was big stuff. i noted that there was big stuff going on in ukraine, like a war with russia. ambassador sondland replied that he only met big stuff that benefited the president, like the biden investigation that giuliani was pushing. our correspondent david willis has been watching the hearings. he told me what struck him as significant during today's session. well, fiona hill, who was president trump's russia advisor and urged lawmakers not to be drawn into what she called politically driven falsehoods, that it was ukraine, not
russia that interfered in the 2016 election. fiona hill said the notion that ukraine intervened and not russia, was something that had been perpetrated by russian security services, and she warned that russia may seek to intervene again in next yea r‘s may seek to intervene again in next year's presidential election year. summing up what might well be the end of these public hearings, the house intelligence committee chairman, adam schiff, warned that president trump had in his view, gone beyond anything his disgraced predecessor richard nixon had done. he said what we're talking about here is the withholding of military aid to an allied war. well, if no further witnesses are called, then the evidence has been gathered over the evidence has been gathered over the last few weeks which will now go to the housejudiciary committee who will weigh it up and draw up
articles of impeachment if they feel so articles of impeachment if they feel so inclined. those will then be voted on by the full house. and whether a vote to impeach president trump, the matter would then go to the senate —— were there, it's going quickly but i don't think we are likely to get anything from the housejudiciary likely to get anything from the house judiciary committee until after the thanks giving holiday here, which falls in one week's time. also making news today: pressure on prince andrew is mounting. a lawyer representing some ofjeffrey epstein‘s victims says she hopes the duke of york will keep his word and co—operate with ongoing investigations. lisa bloom says she has the right to ask for a statement from anyone she believes has relevant information. yesterday, the prince said he'd be stepping back from public duties for the foreseeable future. here in the uk, the opposition labour party has launched its election manifesto with pledges to nationalise rail, water and energy companies. leaderjeremy corbyn also vowed "a green transformation"
of the economy, aiming to get the uk on track for a net—zero carbon system by the 2030s. 0ur our investment blitz will upgrade oui’ our investment blitz will upgrade our national infrastructure in every region of england and every nation of the united kingdom. and it will rebuild our schools, hospitals, of the united kingdom. and it will rebuild ourschools, hospitals, care homes in the housing we so desperately need. this will be investment on a scale you've never known before. now to hong kong, because voters will be heading to the polls this weekend to vote in the territory's district council elections. usually this would be a low—key affair in which citizens decide on their local councillor. turnout last time was less than 50%. but after six months of increasingly violent clashes in the city, there is much more at stake.
here's hong kong—based journalist ilaria maria sala on the significance of sunday's polls. so the district council elections, hong kong has a three tier government, the district council elections, which return counsellors that mainly deal with livelihood issues are returned by universal suffrage. however, they have very limited power. they basically deal with smaller issues like opening a convenience store, garbage collection, bus schedules, things like this. both the legislative council and especially the executive council are not entirely returned by universal suffrage. the legislative council is elected by universal suffrage only half of it, only half of it is by universal suffrage. the chief executive who selects him or
herself, the members of the executive council, that is elected by 1200 people only. so when protesters are asking for universal suffrage, what they mean is the universal suffrage of the legislative council and of the executive council, which are the ones that have the real power to govern the city. so, if those local counsellors, as you mention, have such little power, why does this weekend was my collection matter? they matter for, most importantly, because as you said in the introduction, this is a first test after six months of increasingly violent protests to gauge what the situation is and what the population feels both about the pro—establishment camp and about the newer candidates that come, mostly from the pro—democracy and even
protesters' damp in some cases. so many people have been describing the selection is a referendum on the government, but also a referendum on the protests. that was ilaria maria sala speaking to mariko earlier. firefighters are battling at least 100 bushfires across australia as record—breaking temperatures and strong winds hamper efforts to contain the blazes. the state of victoria declared its first code red fire warning in almost a decade on thursday, although conditions there have now eased. this map shows the sheer number of fires in the south—east of australia. and summer hasn't even begun. james morris is from the new south wales royal fire service. look, obviously significant fire activity across the landscape here in australia, especially in the eastern and southern parts of those states. but here in new south wales we still have more than 60 bush and
grass fires burning across the state. thankfully at this stage they are all under the advice and alert level. but we have had significant threats over the last couple of days to homes especially over north of syd ney to homes especially over north of sydney in the auditory area, and the gosford fire burning at 170,000 hectares. we've seen significant loss of homes, especially around the mid north coast and do a number of koala habitats in those areas. so we're still seeing significant work done by firefighters emergency service personnel, trying to contain these fires, but it certainly will be some weeks and months before we see some containment. we've been busy herewith was far since the beginning of august. typically we don't see our was fire danger period start until october one, so seeing a lot of fire activity, more homes lost tha n lot of fire activity, more homes lost than in our more significant fire seasons in
lost than in our more significant fire seasons “119911, 2001 lost than in our more significant fire seasons in 1994, 2001 and 2002. a lot of these fires have been in remote and rugged terrain. until we see significant rain, we need weeks of it, significant, persistent rain to put these fires out. if we get rainfor to put these fires out. if we get rain for one day that will assist, but obviously not enough with these large landscape fires we have. we need days and weeks of consistent, heavy rain to put these fires out and to put moisture back into the fuel loads, so that reduces the potential for new fires across the season. that was james morrison the new south wales royal fire service. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: what happened when viking treasure — that could potentially rewrite england's history — went missing? also on the programme: why coldplay have announced that they won't be going on tour to promote their latest album.
benazir bhutto has claimed victory in pakistan's general election, and she's asked pakistan's president to name her as prime minister. jackson's been released on bail of $3 million after turning himself in to police in santa barbara. it was the biggest demonstration so far of the fast—growing european anti—nuclear movement. the south african government has announced that it's opening the country's remaining whites—only beaches to people of all races. this will lead to a black majority government in this country and the destruction of the white civilisation. part of the centuries—old windsor castle, one of the queen's residences, has been consumed by fire for much of the day. 150 firemen have been battling the blaze, which has caused millions
of pounds worth of damage. this is newsday on the bbc. i'm mariko 0i, in singapore. i'm ben bland, in london. our top stories: the israeli prime minister has been formally indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. he says it's tantamount to a coup. firefighters are battling at least 1,000 blazes across australia, hampered by strong winds and high temperatures. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world: the straits times leads on singapore's economy, which has experienced a difficult year. despite being affected by the us—china trade war and a slump in the electronics sector, it says, next year is tipped to bring modest growth.
the china daily‘s top story is about cybersecurity in the country, as it expands its 5g market. but it also quotes the minister of industry as saying it's wrong for any country to use the excuse of cybersecurity risks to practise trade protectionism. and we think he is talking about the united states. and the japan times leads with the fading hopes for a key tokyo—seoul intelligence—sharing deal. but its picture story is a little more optimistic, showing people visiting the daijokyu halls at the imperial palace in tokyo. it's all part of the enthronement of the new emperor. now, what stories are sparking discussions online? yes, let's looks at what is trending right now. "stealing a viking hoard" doesn't sound like something from modern britain, but that's exactly what two men have been convicted of doing. they dug up 300 coins, in a field, which are 1100 years old. crucially they didn't declare them,
as the law requires, instead selling them to dealers. now they're facing jail. on saturday the people of bougainville will begin voting in a referendum that could see the autonomous island region become the world's newest country. bougainville is currently part of papua new guinea and is situated to the east of the mainland, in the south pacific ocean. it's been a province of png since png achieved its own independence in 1975. a previous attempt to break away started a bloody separatist war, in which up to 20,000 people were killed. with the help of international mediation, a peace agreement was signed and the war ended in 1997. it led to the formation of an autonomous government in 2005, and the promise of a non—binding referendum on independence, which is of course
happening this weekend. annmaree o'keeffe is from the pacific islands programme at the lowy institute. she's been telling me what happens once the votes are counted. well, once the results of the referendum are known, in fact, there are two parts to the question — one is independence. do you want independence or do you want greater autonomy? at this stage, it is expected that the vast majority will vote for independence and that in part is because there will be civic and social pressure on people to vote that way. remember, the conflict lasted 10 years. it was a very nasty conflict. tens of thousands of people were killed in the conflict. there is a lot of blood attached to this referendum, if you like, so voting
against independence would be quite difficult from a social pressure perspective. briefly before we let you go, how self—reliant is bougainville at the moment? could it actually go on its own? frankly, no it couldn't. to be independent and to be an effective and vital to be independent and to be an effective and viable and unsustainable country, it would need at least 2—3 times its current gdp, which currently is only something like a$68 million. they‘ re giants of the music industry, they've sold millions of albums, and performed to packed stadiams around the world. and performed to packed stadia around the world. but now the british band, coldplay, have said they won't be going on tour to promote their latest album because of concerns about the environment, as our entertainment correspondent, colin paterson, reports. the amman citadel injordan, where tomorrow coldplay will perform two concerts —
one at sunrise, one at sunset — but to no audience. instead, it will be streamed live for free to fans around the world watching online. coldplay‘s last tour visited five continents and was seen by more than five million people. but this time, they will not be hitting the road in support of their new album, everyday life. chris martin says for environmental reasons. we're taking time over the next year or two to work out how can our tour not only be sustainable, but how it can be actively beneficial? the hardest thing is the flying side of things. but, for example, our dream is to have a show with no single—use plastic, to have it be largely solar powered. is it possible to be a carbon neutral band on tour? i hope so — that's what we're trying to work out. so i think it's a question ofjust accepting that you have
to do your best, not to be too overzealous in criticising others because everyone will catch up, i think, if you prove that it's easy to do it the right way. and there's one festival close to home that they won't be playing again in a hurry. glastonbury — you are so part of that festival now. you cropped up a couple of times on the main stage last year. it's been announced paul mccartney's going to headline next year. any chance of coldplay joining him on the bill? no. why not? i did pop up on stage last year, and i loved doing so. stormzy, kylie... and then i saw a tweet afterwards that said, "you can always rely on him to come on in a tracksuit "and ruin everything." so, i was like, you know what? a, i should work on my trousers. and, b, i shouldn't be online. and, c, maybe just go and watch
glastonbury for a year or so. did that hurt you? sometimes these things hurt me, yeah, because i'm human. # i hearjerusalem bells are ringing...# as for coldplay, they have a lot to work out. their last tour used 32 trucks and there was the carbon cost of flights for over 100 crew members. but the band, famous for their song yellow, are serious about going green. colin patterson, bbc news, jordan. now here's an inspiring story. michaela deprince was born in sierra leone, where she was orphaned in the conflict there. she was adopted by an american couple and became a soloist in the dutch national ballet. she's been telling us how she fell in love with dance, and her struggle to fit into a world dominated by performers who are fair—skinned. i remember my teacher saying, ‘we don't put a lot of effort into black girls
"because they end up having big boobs and big thighs." i don't have big boobs, so he was wrong about that. i could have easily said, "i just quit," but i love proving people wrong. i first discovered my passion for ballet was when i was in sierra leone in the orphanage and there was this magazine that blew up right against the gate. seeing this woman do something so incredibly beautiful gave me everything, for me to be able to be, like, you can be happy, you can be everything they are saying you are not. dancing gave me a chance to figure out who i wanted to be. you get into the studio and you get
to surround yourself in this little bubble. i get to be in my own little world. it took a lot of having to deal with so much criticism constantly about the fact that i was black, the fact that i didn't have a typical body type. one of the big things about classical ballet is that most of the call girls are caucasian and they wear pink tights because their upper body and lower body needs to complete the line and for years and years, i had to fight for it because i'm brown, i should not wear pink tights. for once in my life, i felt like myself on stage. i didn't feel like two different people. and these two little black girls came in the next day and they started ballet because of me. inspiring little girls, that is one of the most incredible things.
that is what is most important to me, is to pave this way so people have an opportunity to be able to have this passion. extraordinary story of dedication and holding on to your dreams. you have been watching newsday. i'm ben bland, in london. and i'm mariko 0i, in singapore. stay with us. i will be back with business news. twitter‘s ban on all political adverts takes effect today, but facebook has a different view on the issue. and before we go, we'd like to leave you with these pictures. let's give you an update on bei bei, the giant panda, who's now settling into his new home in china, after waving bye—bye to his home in washington zoo. jet lag doesnt seem to be a problem. bei bei will be under quarantine for a month, before being shown to the public. clearly ravenous, as you are after a long flight. from all of us, bei
bei! well, there's a lot of damp weather out there at the moment. the rain for most of us isn't particularly heavy but drizzle, low cloud, grey skies, that sort of thing. in the north of the country, the weather is actually driest. so i think not much rainfall at all here in western scotland and this is where the temperatures will be lowest, around 6 or 7 degrees low grey skies with drizzle, mist and murder, particularly across south of the country and areas was the early hours of friday, showers, affecting the south coast, maybe wales as well. here a little bit
milder. 6—8d in the south. cold and clear in western and central scotland, maybe three degrees. showers in the south of the country, in the south—west, some spots of rainfor in the south—west, some spots of rain for central and southern scotla nd rain for central and southern scotland on friday. the real rain arrives in wales and the south west of england, may be the midlands, later in the afternoon so this will be the soggy bit. this is saturday, and a blog of rain sitting here. —— blob. the driest weather across the north of scotland and actually later on saturday it might dry out in london, the south—east, possibly east anglia as well. sunday is looking a little bit better, we think and that is because we are going to be in between weather systems a re going to be in between weather systems are so a low pressure system south—west of the uk on sunday, one
moves out of the way so we are in between. this is that in between bed and if there are bound to be some sunny breaks sofa places like liverpool, manchester, birmingham, london, sunday might be a pretty decent day whereas in the south—west, with the next lower project, eventually the rain will reach. it looks like it might be raining early in the day in places like cornwall. that sunday low is still over us on monday, very slow moving. these are very sluggish and it decides to park itself across the uk. very autumnal and typical for the time of year next week. at times rain. that's it.
i'm ben bland with bbc world news. our top story. the israeli prime minister has been formally indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. the accusations relate to cases that involved gifts mr netanyahu received from wealthy figures, as well as alleged efforts to get better media coverage in return for favours. mr netanyahu said the indictment was "tantamount to a coup". firefighters are battling hundreds of bushfires across australia. authorities have warned it's too late for some to evacuate. as thick smoke blanketed sydney, residents were advised to keep children indoors. and this video is trending on bbc.com. here in britain two men have been convicted for stealing a hoard of ancient coins. they dug up 300 coins in a field which are 1,100—years—old, but they didn't declare them as the law requires, selling them to dealers instead. now they face jail. that's all. stay with bbc world news.