a very warm 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 20 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 very concerned about the outbreaks around athens. north korea appears to de dismantling part of a key rocket testing 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. in an exclusive interview with the bbc, donald trump's former press secretary denies undermining the importance of truth in politics. hello and welcome to bbc news. at least 20 people have died and dozens more taken to hospital
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 years. prime minister alexis tsipras, has declared a state of emergency with several people killed and dozens more injured. translation: we will do whatever is possible in order to control the fires. i am very concerned about the outbreaks around athens. we will do whatever it takes. police are now searching for a boat with 10 tourists on board that 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 bake in soaring summer temperatures. sweden is battling some of its worst forest fires for decades, with almost no rainfall since mid may, an area twice the size of paris has really been destroyed. nowhere has had its hottest day on record, and the uk is seeing its driest summer for more than half a century, with some areas recording zero rainfall for several some areas recording zero rainfall forseveralweeks. emergency services in greece they are working around the clock to fight the fires. sweden is threatening to prosecute
anybody lighting a barbecue in the open. meteorologists, meanwhile, a warning that most places will bring in the heat will see no significant rainfall for the next two weeks. andrew plant, bbc news. north korea has begun dismantling a rocket testing facility seen as instrumental in its nuclear programme. the sohae station, monitored by 38 north, appears to be being dismantled. earlier i spoke with our correspondent, laura bicker, who gave her assessment of the latest development from seoul. 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 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 injapan that they are concerned about 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 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 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 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. jenny town is a specialist in korean
affairs and managing editor of 38 north. you have seen these images. what do you make of it all? these are the signs that we are looking for and certainly after the singapore summit, in the press conference that donald trump did, he did mention that there was a promise from the north koreans to dismantle and take apart the sites. this is what we have started to see happen at the sohae launch facility. i think it is even more interesting, though, that we are seen even more interesting, though, that we are seen dismantle the structures on top of the launch pad itself, which is used for space launches or
satellite launches, which north korea considers part of its civilian programme, and which stood in the way of diplomacy in the past. so i think this is a large confidence building measure in a longer process to help try and keep momentum going for the negotiations themselves. so i guess in the context of the entire process, it might be a small step, but it has bigger implications, and, of course, it comes ahead of any technical agreement. that is right. there is no agreement in place so these are still unilateral measures that north korea is offering to show commitment to the process, to keep momentum for the process, and, again, ithink momentum for the process, and, again, i think the launchpad is more interesting because the discrepancy or the distinction between space launches and ballistic missile launchers has been a point of contention in the past, and has derailed you know, negotiations, as recently as the deal back in 2012.|j
recently as the deal back in 2012.” guess if it has just been spotted now, it has properly been going on for some weeks. but is it any surprise? the dismantlement of the engine test site itself is not necessarily a surprise. we would expect to see this because north korea has made good on the commitments and the specific commitments and the specific commitments that it has made in the negotiation process. it was a surprise to see the movement on the launchpad as this was not something that north korea had indicated it was going to do, and that certainly does broaden the gesture and, again, has put the indications of how things might move forward. so even if many people felt that donald trump came back with an overblown assessment of what he achieved, it does seem that north korea is actually moving on this? yes, certainly north korea is still moving and still providing — you know, still making good on commitments it has made. i am sure
it is still waiting to see what the us does in response. but i think it is important to remember that this is important to remember that this is the beginning of the negotiation. we did not have something very agreed to. these are still unilateral measures. —— mandatory. certainly there is a long way to go. but these measures are not irreversible. —— pre—agreed. these are reversible but it does give momentum to the process. thank you very much forjoining us. 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 international court of justice has ordered the united arab emirates to protect the rights of qataris. the uae was one of several gulf states that last year imposed
a blockade on qatar, accusing it of supporting jihadi groups and being too close to iran. the court's ruled that the emirates must allow families separated by the dispute to reunite and allow qatari students there to complete their education. five days after being 11 of the 12 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 buddhists who have experienced a traumatic event. one of the boys who is a christian won't be taking part. 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, accused of beheading western and other hostages in 2014. 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.
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. 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. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: rare pieces of disneyland history are up for auction in tinseltown. 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 in the final instalment of harry potter. this is bbc 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. 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 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 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 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. in a rare television interview, the nicaraguan president, daniel ortega, has blamed paramilitary gangs for the killing of around three hundred people in anti—government protests since april. he told us channel fox news that the gangs were financed by groups in the us and drug—trafficking cartels. the us congress is due to pass a motion of censure against nicaragua this week. mr ortega said he would continue in office until elections in 2021, defying calls for his resignation. translation: we were elected by the
voters. so, there have been electoral period. there are term limits. and our electoral period ends with the elections of 2021, when we will have our next election. and then we will have to see who will be voted in for the new administration. mr ortega there. the family of an australian woman shot dead by minneapolis police last year is suing the city and several officers for $50 million in damages. justine ruszczyk died lastjuly after calling police to report a suspected crime near her house. she was shot dead by minneapolis officer mohamed noor as she approached the patrol car. mr noor, who's since left the police service, was charged with third degree murder and second—degree manslaughter. mr noor‘s lawyers say he will plead not guilty, arguing he used reasonable force. a spokesperson for the city of minneapolis says it's reviewing the lawsuit. 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 that if there is a day i would think i would love a do—over on, it's that one. i set the dye 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, you know, different areas of the national mall here in washington. i did not 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 hurriedly 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 day. 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. you're that would have saved your skin straight away. what people miss is they look at that one day and they look at it in isolation and they say, "how could you have done this?" without understanding the mindset and mentality going into that day. we were facing a press corps that wa constantly undermining our ability in the campaign to run an effective ground game, or an effective data operation, at every turn was saying, "yours isn't good enough, hillary clinton's 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 kind of things during the transition. then the night, as you referenced, the day before we start, the president leaves the capital after being sworn in, signs all these executive actions
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 had been falsely removed, inflaming racial tensions in the us. if you constantly feel under attack, then you feel at some point at which you need to respond and say, "enough of this." when you hear the president and other supporters constantly see this narrative where we're 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 care about the freedoms and the institutions and the democracy... i do. ..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? myjob, as i lay out in the book, was to be the president's spokesperson and communicate his thoughts and his ideas when he wasn't able to do it or wasn't present. that's my job. myjob wasn't to interpret for him. i give him the best advice and counsel that i could in private.
i shared with him what i thought the best strategy would be, but at the end of the day, he's the president of the united states, and it was his thoughts and his ideas and his feelings that it was myjob to communicate them. whether you like them or not, those were his thoughts and his feelings. sean spicer with emily maitlis there. disney fans will have the chance to own rare pieces of disneyland history, with a hollywood agent who is about to sell off his huge collection of theme park memorabilia. and they're so precious, some items are expected to fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars. tiffany wertheimer reports. disneyland, it's described as the happiest place on earth and now, from the world's most famous theme park to your home, all this could be yours. 750 disney items are going under the hammer. hollywood agent and avid disney collector richard kraft is selling off his theme park vehicles, props and artefacts. they span six decades of disneyland history. we have dumbo hanging
in the living room of our house. 800lb of elephant suspended over people's heads. mr craft began his collection 25 years ago. he also owns a disneyland ticket booth, original drawings, concept sketches and posters from the park and they're expected to fetch a lot of money. this particular auction is full of big—ticket items. i want to say upfront that there's stuff everybody. there's some pieces that start at $50 but it gets into items like haunted mansion paintings that should go from in the $100,000 to $200,000 range. the collection will be exhibited to the public next month before the auction and not such a small world after all — it's so huge, an abandoned store in los angeles has been hired to store it. some of the proceeds will be donated to children's charities. no matter how much it's worth, i really have the people who buy it appreciate it as much as i do.
tiffany wertheimer, bbc news. just before we go, 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. the good news is the british dressage officials changed the rules so dressage officials changed the rules so that wallace could compete and win atan so that wallace could compete and win at an event in the city of gloucester. christie is over the moon and wallace will compete more. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter. that's it. hello there. well, the heatwave of summer 2018 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, 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 just 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, and these slightly colder conditions
are 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 greek government says at least 20 people are now known to have been killed by wildfires burning out of control near 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 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. the uk government is insisting it has not abandoned its opposition to the death penalty — even though it is not objecting to the possible execution of militants from the so—called islamic state group, if they are convicted in the united states. the decision has been questioned by mps from all parties. now on bbc news, it's time for the travel show.