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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 24, 2018 2:00am-2:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: officials in greece say at least twenty people have been killed as deadly wildfires burn near the capital, athens. translation: we will do whatever is possible in order to control the fires. i'm concerned over the outbreaks around athens. north korea appears to de dismantling part of a key rocket launch site in the north west of the country. the uk government sparks a political row — saying it won't object to the execution of two islamic state suspects if they're convicted in america. to control the fires. and — beloved by the base — why president trump has rock—solid republican support despite his negative press. at least 20 people have died and dozens more taken to hospital
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in forest fires that have broken out in greece. the authorities there have called for international assistance to tackle the flames, but the high temperatures are continuing to cause problems in dozens of other countries around the world. andrew plant reports. homes engulfed in flames on the outskirts of athens as greece fights some of its worst forest fires for yea rs. some of its worst forest fires for years. the prime minister has declared a state of emergency with several people killed and dozens more injured. translation:. i say we will do whatever is possible in order to control the fires. i am very concerned that the outbreaks around athens. we will do whatever it takes. police are now searching
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for a boat with ten tourists on board but set sail to escape the fire. in the height of the tourist season, hundreds of firefighters battling to control the blaze here, the smoke visible above the acropolis, as countries across the globe bacons soaring summer temperatures. japan recorded its highest temperature on record, 41.1dc highest temperature on record, alidc on monday, the heat linked to 40 alidc on monday, the heat linked to a0 deaths, and ai.idc on monday, the heat linked to a0 deaths, and experts warn it will continue, with the potentialfor even higher temperatures towards the end of this week. it's the sort of summer many end of this week. it's the sort of summer many hoped for but the extended higher temperatures and the lack of rain are having serious side—effects. sweden is battling some of its worst forest fires the decades, with almost no rainfall since mid—may, an area twice the size of paris already destroyed. norway has had its hottest mail
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record and the uk is seeing its driest summer for more than half a century, with some areas recording is zero rainfall for several weeks. emergency services in greece say they are working around the clock to fight the fires. sweden is threatening to prosecute anyone lighting a barbecue in the open. meteorologists meanwhile are warning that most places sweltering in the heat will see no significant rainfall for the next two weeks. andrew plant, bbc news. north korea has begun dismantling a rocket—engine testing facility seen as instrumental in the development of the country's ballistic missile programme. satellite images of the sohae station in the north west of the country seen by the monitoring group 38 north suggest kimjong—un may be fulfilling a promise made to president trump injune. north korea has always said the site was used to launch satellites for its space programme but the us has always suspected it was used to test ballistic missiles. we can now talk to our correspondent laura bicker in seoul. what are they making of this there
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are? well, this is a site based in the north—west of north korea, right by the chinese border. they have been monitoring it sometime because it was at the centre of a promise allegedly made to president trump in singapore. the north koreans said they would dismantle the site and everybody has been watching it several weeks wondering if any activity would be seen. now we are seeing it. it is certainly activity, it is not major activity but there appears to be dismantling of one of the rocket launch test sites, thought to be at the centre of the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles. many people will say, what about its nuclear programme and yes, there are thought to be hundreds of sites hidden throughout north korea and still
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processing nuclear material however this site is at the centre of a promise and it's this site that we are monitoring right now and when it comes to those intercontinental ballistic missiles, those other missiles, certainly here in seoul in japan that they are concerned about because they would be within range. it isa because they would be within range. it is a small but significant step forward because since singapore, we've been wondering if there would be any progress in this whole process. now we be any progress in this whole process. now we are be any progress in this whole process. now we are beginning to see just those few steps forward. is that thinking that there may be further moves towards denuclearisation, after this? with north korea, i'm being told by many a nalysts north korea, i'm being told by many analysts that the keyword is patient but how patient is the united states prepared to be, criticising president obama for his strategic patience stands and donald trump had
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asked for north korea to start its denuclearisation process and get it finished by 2020 survey wanted some kind of speedy process but now donald trump is saying, no rush. north korea wants a peace deal and thatis north korea wants a peace deal and that is one of the reasons why they are trying to be willing because recently we understand they had been pushing the us for a peace process and not getting anywhere on that so there is a bit of an impasse, this may be some way to kind of bridge that gap. the british home secretary has come under criticism after it emerged the uk has dropped its demand for assurances that two men from london won't face the death penalty if they're sent for trial in america. the men are accused of being part of an islamic state group cell which murdered western hostages. they were captured in syria injanuary and have been stripped of their british citizenship. our security correspondent frank gardner reports. the four british jihadists, nicknamed the beatles,
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accused of beheading western and other hostages in 201a. alexanda kotey, el shafee elsheikh, ian davies and mohammed emwazi, dubbed jihadi john by the media. he was killed in a drone strike in 2015. davies is in prison in turkey. kotey and elsheikh were captured by syrian kurdish forces injanuary and are still being held. now britain has dropped its usual insistence that they would not face the death penalty if convicted in a us court. the american video journalist james foley was one of their alleged victims. today his mother spoke out against any possible death sentence. i think that would just make them martyrs in their twisted ideology. i would like them held accountable by being sent to prison for the rest of their lives.
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but the government has come under pressure to explain what appears to be an about—face on its universal opposition to the death penalty. it's the long—standing policy of the uk to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances, as a matter of principle. yet in this case, the home secretary seems to have unilaterally ripped up those principles on a friday afternoon in summer. the decision was taken some weeks ago by senior cabinet ministers. today it was left to the security minister to defend it. in this instance, and after carefully considered advice, the government took the rare decision not to require assurances in this case, and it would be inappropriate to comment further on that specific case. campaigners against the death penalty say this sets a dangerous precedent. if we are to go abandoning that commitment and saying that, "oh, well, in some circumstances, we don't really fully oppose it," i think that undermines everything that we are setting out to do when we say that we believe in fair trial and the rule of law.
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but what if the us wants to send the pair to guantanamo bay? if that happens, says the government, then it would withhold key intelligence on the two suspects. it wants to see that facility closed. where and how these two eventually face trial is of paramount interest to the relatives of their alleged victims. they want to see them held accountable in court for some of the most hideous crimes they're alleged to have committed. frank gardner, bbc news. let's get some of the day's other news. dramatic footage has emerged which captures the moment a gunman opened fire on a busy street in toronto. at least two people died and a dozen were wounded during the attack which took place in the city's greektown neighborhood. the gunman, identifed as faisal hussain, was found dead in an alley after an exchange of gunfire with police. it's believed he was suffering from mental health problems. the nicaraguan president, daniel ortega has blamed
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paramilitary gangs for the killing of around three hundred people in anti—government protests since april. in a rare interview with fox news he said the gangs were financed by groups in the us and drug—trafficking cartels. he denied allegations by the un that his government was arming the gangs in order to crack down on the demonstrations. five days after being released from hospital, eleven of the twelve boys and their football coach who were trapped in a thai cave are preparing to enter a monastery for a short period. in the coming hours, they are due to undergo head shaving and a washing ceremony before entering the retreat. the process is undertaken by bhuddists who have experienced a traumatic event. one of the boys who is a christian won't be taking part. this week sees the start of a concerted push by british government ministers to sell their latest brexit blueprint across europe. britain's foreign secretary has been in berlin on monday where he's warned of a brexit no—deal by accident if the eu doesn't change its negotiating position. jeremy hunt said he feared such
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an outcome would change british public attitudes to europe for a generation. our political editor laura kuenssberg reports. get used to seeing this. the new foreign secretary and the rest of the government tightening the focus on brexit, as the time ticks down to the october supposed deadline. jeremy hunt meeting his vital german counterpart today, telling the eu in strong terms, the block isn't us, it's you. without a real change in approach from the eu negotiators, we do now face a real risk of no deal by accident. it would change british public attitudes to europe for a generation. and it would lead to a fissure in relations, which would be highly damaging. just in case you hadn't realised how serious he thinks no deal might be, in a later tweet he said
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the only person who would be happy is vladimir putin. remember, the government used to say that no deal is better than a bad deal. it feels different now. with the cabinet on the road in the north east today, they're surrounded by pressure from all sides. very nice to see you, and it's a joy to be here in newcastle. the eu that doesn't like much of its plan. we demand a people's vote! former remainers who think the government's proposal doesn't really add up. brexiteers who think it would keep us too close to the eu for good. and, most importantly, many members of the public who have their doubts, who, for the first time in more than a year... thanks very much, everybody, and it's great to be here today. ..were able to put questions directly to theresa may. what confidence do you have that you will sell this plan to the rest of europe? with the divorce bill being so high, will we still reap the benefits of the projects that that
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money's been set aside for? in the event that parliament rejects the deal that is negotiated with the european union, is it inevitable that there will be a no—deal brexit? we're going into a negotiation. we're making sure that we're prepared for a no deal, and government is stepping up its preparations for no deal, because it only makes sense to be prepared for all contingencies. but i'm working to get a deal that parliament will support because they'll see that it's a good dealfor the uk. this place packs up officially tomorrow, but there is a huge summer of work ahead. the outline of the brexit deal is meant to be done in 12 weeks' time in october, and while the rhetoric is getting hotter, there is still no guarantee that the eu, and then parliament, can agree. that will matter not just to the cabinet's future, but all of ours. laura kuenssberg, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: not so much hot hot hot, but more ho ho ho. why thoughts are turning to christmas despite
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the record temperatures. ok, coming down the ladder now. that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. a catastrophic engine fire is being blamed tonight for the first crash in the 30—year history of concorde, the world's only supersonic airliner. it was one of the most vivid symbols of the violence and hatred that tore apart the state of yugoslavia. but now, a decade later, it's been painstakingly rebuilt, and opens again today. there's been a 50% decrease in sperm quantity, and an increase in malfunctioning sperm, unable to swim properly. thousands of households across the country are suspiciously quiet this lunchtime, as children bury their noses
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in the final instalment of harry potter. this is bbc world news, the latest headlines: officials in greece say at least 20 people have been killed as deadly wildfires burn near the capital, athens. north korea appears to be dismantling part of an important rocket engine testing site in the north—west of the country. there's good news for president trump as his approval rating edged higher in a new wall streetjournal/nbc news poll. it shows he achieved an 88% approval rating among registered republican voters, it's the second highest rating of any president in recent history. among the wider net of registered voters, a5% gave him the thumbs up. it's the highest approval rating of his presidency and up i% from june. robert erikson is professor
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of political science at columbia university. he has written extensively on american elections and public opinion. and public opinion. it's not that long until the midterms in november, there is a much talked about idea of one house of congress changing hands. how do you read these poll numbers? trump's popularity stays in the low a0s overall. a5% in one poll is a bit of an outlier because on average its 4196, an outlier because on average its ai%, a2% and his popularity‘s been at that level for probably months. the most remarkable two things about his popularity is roughly first how low it's always been, it's never been close to 50%, and also how sta ble been close to 50%, and also how stable it is. it doesn't move. normally for a president, when events happen more positive or
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negative, like the helsinki conference, you expect the needle to move but it doesn't seem to. pretty striking for anyone in the media too, isn't it? it seems for his supporters, none of what we go on about doesn't matter at all, russia doesn't matter at all either. whatever the media says reinforces his popularity with his core voters. one sign you can look at, of course, and is popular with his base, his strong approval numbers are much lower than the strong disapproval numbers. more people really dislike him and... there is a symmetry there in terms of how strongly people feel eitherfor or in terms of how strongly people feel either for or against. the conventional wisdom is that he's probably going to lose the house, and losing the senate would be much more uncertain, but if he loses the house of representatives, there would be a major shift. if he doesn't lose the house, that would
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be major as well. the october midterms are shaping up as a very big battleground. when we talk to his core supporters, lots of them say as long as he delivers for us, tax cuts, more supreme court justices delivers for us, tax cuts, more supreme courtjustices on the supreme courtjustices on the supreme court, perhaps changing abortion law, we can hold our nose about the rest. there's a suggestion the economy you might make a difference, the tariffs might make a difference. the tariffs might make a difference, particularly if the economic effect is directly felt. it's conceivable too that the russia investigation, or other investigations, if they ta ke or other investigations, if they take a really strong turn, they can finally make a major impact but so far that hasn't happened. it's an obvious point, but a great deal depends on the democrats, doesn't it? it doesn't feel as though they've got it together yet. they haven't got it together but it's hard to unite when they're strictly in the opposition in the us
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because they have no leadership, because they have no leadership, because its structure that way, there's no leadership and a number of different voices... probably not as an united as we might think because they're united with one thing, and that is to damage trump's progress. just briefly, if you wouldn't mind on that, professor, just being anti—trump isn't going to be enough? it might not be enough but it's a good start and it would be nice for the democrats if they had a more positive programme and we're waiting for it. professor, thank you very much. you're welcome. the former white house spokesman, sean spicer, has denied undermining the importance of truth in politics during his time working for donald trump. in an interview with the bbc‘s newsnight programme, the first by a british broadcaster, to mark the launch of his new book, he said he was merely the channel for mr trump's views. my colleague emily maitlis began by asking him about the controversy over the numbers attending the president's inauguration. i've been very clear in the book
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that if there is a date i would think i would love a do over on its that one, i set the die on that day for a lot of what was to come. think what i was trying to do, and clearly not well, was change the focus from the number of people attending it to focus on the total audience that had watched it, and i thought we were on much safer ground there than trying to focus on the number of people in different areas of the national malt here in washington. i did not clearly do a very good job of that andi clearly do a very good job of that and i talk about it in the book, what we were thinking and what the process was and how horribly it all came together but there's no question that goes down as one of those days i would love a do over. nobody, emily, was happy with me on that date. i wonder why you didn't stand up to the president in the first place and say, you're wrong about those crowd numbers, with respect, sir and you're wrong. that would have saved your skin straightaway. what people miss is
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they look at that one day in isolation and think how could you have done that, without understanding the mindset and mentality going into that they. we we re mentality going into that they. we were facing a press corps that was co nsta ntly were facing a press corps that was constantly undermining our ability in the campaign to run an effective ground game and effective operation, eve ryo ne ground game and effective operation, everyone was saying hillary clinton was running a better campaign, there's no way you can compete with her. time and again through the campaign we heard that. then we heard similar things through the transition, then the night, as you reference, the day before we start, the president leaves the capital after being sworn in, signs all these executive actors and orders and talks about how he's getting to work for the american people and what's the narrative? not what he's been doing but the bust has been removed inflaming racial tensions in the us. if you constantly feel under attack, you feel at some point you need to respond and say enough of this. if you hear the president and
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other supporters constantly seeing this narrative where we are being undermined and maligned in terms of the validity of this thing, it wears on you. you were his press secretary and i know from what i've read that you ca re know from what i've read that you care about the freedoms and the institutions and the democracy on which your country was built, and this is the office of president spouting lies or half—truths or knocking real truths, and you were his agent for those months? my job, asi his agent for those months? my job, as i laid down in the book, was to be the president's spokesperson to communicate his thoughts and his ideas when he wasn't able to be present. myjob ideas when he wasn't able to be present. my job wasn't ideas when he wasn't able to be present. myjob wasn't to interpret for him, to give him the best advice and counsel i could in private, i shared with him what i thought the best strategy would be but at deon of the day he is the president of the united states and it was his ideas and his thoughts and his feelings but it was myjob to communicate them, whether you like them or not, those were his thoughts and his feelings. sean spicer with emily maitlis.
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as we've been reporting, much of the world is experiencing a heatwave, therefore thoughts of the festive period may seem a little inappropriate. but if you happen to be in denmark at the moment, christmas is something you won't be able to avoid, as the bbc‘s tim allman reports. not so much hot, hot, hot, more ho, ho, ho. multiple father christmases, more than 150 of them, in fact, parading through copenhagen. this, the 61st world santa claus congress, a chance for saint nick to mingle with chris crinkle or gel with... we needed more than ever in a world thatis we needed more than ever in a world that is divisive, is torn overall sorts of angles and so santa brings that for everyone no matter who you are or where you live. santa's more
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needed than ever before. the parade is only one element in the multi— day event. there's the santa obstacle course world championships. sa nta obstacle course world championships. santa pedant avalons. and even a children's party. it's good, nice, very interesting. which one is the real santa? -- santa pentathlons. spoilers, none of them, but they're trying their best in many different languages. merry christmas! merry christmas. and all together now... tim allman, bbc news. before we go, you need to meet wallace and his owner, christie, from the west of england. they were prevented from competing at top equestrian dressage events because wallace is a mule, half donkey, half
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horse. british dressage officials have changed the rules and wallace was able to compete and win at an eventin was able to compete and win at an event in gloucester. christie said she was over the moon and wallace will be competing some more. very briefly, that main news again. 20 people have died and dozens more have been taken to hospital in forest fires in greece. authorities have called for international assistance to tackle the flames but high temperatures will cause problems in dozens of other countries around the world right now. there's much more on that and much more on all the news any time on the bbc website. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter, i'm @bbcmikeembley. that's it for now. thanks very much for watching. come again. hello there. well, the heatwave of summer 2018
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is certainly set to continue for the next week and possibly beyond that. in fact, monday was the hottest day of the year so far, we had temperatures as high as 33.3 celsius at santon downham in suffolk. thursday, we could see temperatures as high as 3a or 35 degrees. so those temperatures building certainly over the next few days. tuesday, we're still drawing in this southerly flow of warm air, particularly across central and eastern parts of england. further north—west across the british isles, some weatherfronts moving in, some cold fronts, so they're going to be introducing some slightly fresher conditions, particularly to scotland and northern ireland on tuesday. here's that weak front, a band of cloud producing a few spots of rain across parts of southern scotland, northern england and perhaps into wales as well. hot and humid to the south—east, fresher to the north—west. a few showers pushing into the western isles but the northern isles, largely dry and sunny. lots of sunshine across western parts of scotland. the chance of a shower in the east. temperatures in glasgow and in belfast too,
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20 or 21 degrees in the sunshine. slightly cloudier zone across parts of northern england and into wales too. most places dry in the south—east. just a small risk of an isolated shower and temperatures once again getting up to 30 degrees or even a bit higher than that on tuesday afternoon. into the evening hours, looking dry across the country. tuesday night and wednesday morning, still hot and humid in the south and the east, temperatures here holding up into the mid—teens, slightly fresher further north—west, 11 or 12 degrees our overnight lows across scotland and northern ireland too. now, through into wednesday, it looks like a similar day once again. lots of dry weather, so a case of deja vu really with a forecast at the moment. just the odd shower and a bit more cloud in the far north—west and perhaps the chance of an odd isolated shower cropping up across eastern england, but temperatures in the south—east, 31 or 32 degrees, typically into the low to the mid—20s further north and west. now, looking ahead into thursday, we'll start to see an area of low pressure trying to approach from the west, bumps into high pressure sitting out towards the east, but we may well
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see a bit of a change in air mass so that hot air that is with us at the moment will get gradually eased away towards the east, with slightly colder conditions likely to move in. so a fresher feel to the weather. across england in particular, we will hold onto that heat into the middle of the week, but temperatures you'lljust notice starting to dip down into the weekend. and further north and west across the country, although many places will be dry, there will be some showers and it will cool down a touch into the weekend. bye— bye. this is bbc news. the headlines: the greek government says at least 20 people are now known to have been killed by wildfires burning out of control close to athens. a spokesman said most died in the coastal area of mati — east of the capital — where many people were trapped in their homes and cars. an american—based monitoring group says it appears north korea has begun dismantling a rocket—engine testing facility — seen as instrumental
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in the development of the country's ballistic missile programme. the group 38 north says satellite images show buildings at the sohae site are being taken down. did uk government is insisting it has not abandoned its opposition to the death penalty, even though it is not refusing to accept death penalty for two men the united states want to extradite. it has just it hasjust gone
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