this is bbc news. welcome if you're watching here in the uk, on pbs in america or around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: osama bin laden's son, hamza, chosen successor to lead al-qaeda, has reportedly been killed. it's unclear if the us played a role in his death. ten democratic hopefuls have gone head to head in a second televised debate. the victor earns the right to take on president trump next year. president putin orders the russian army into siberia to help fight the wildfires raging across the region.
hello. intelligence officials in the us are claiming that hamza bin laden, son of the founder of al-qaeda, has died. hamza bin laden, thought to be 30 years old, had released audio and video calling for attacks on the us and other countries to avenge his father's assassination by american special forces eight years ago. the us had offered $1 million for information on him, and saudi arabia stripped him of his citizenship in march. chris buckler has this update. media reports are saying that they have now confirmed military officials that hamza bin laden is dead. however, there's been no official word from the pentagon and what we don't know is how or where he died. although there are some suggestions that it happened during what the pentagon is describing privately as some kind of operation. certainly there have been real attempts to find hamza bin laden
in recent months. about five months, ago us officials offered $1 million for information that led to his capture. and that signified two things about hamza bin laden — first of all, they were concerned about him. that's because, as far as they were concerned, he was emerging as a key figure within the current leadership of al-qaeda. but beyond that, they also felt that he was seen as a significant figure for propaganda purposes for al-qaeda, and that is of course because of his father. he was responsible for the notorious september 11 attacks that caused so many deaths and so much destruction in america, back in 2001. and in some of the online messages that have been put onto video and audio sites in recent months, there have been attempts to try and get supporters to attack america and some of its western allies with a specific aim from hamza bin laden‘s point of view to really avenge his father's death.
chris, it is quite common, isn't it, for leaders of terror groups to be reported killed, and quite often those reports turn out to be wrong. what credence are you giving to this report? yeah, and i have to say that in recent months it isn't the first time we've had private conversations recent months in which some people have said that they believe there's going to be information coming out about hamza bin laden very soon. and there have even been some reports that have suggested this is a confirmation of his death and that perhaps it may have happened some time ago. at this stage, we simply do not know. but it does reflect that, as far as the americans are concerned, that they have been doing their best to try and get information about hamza bin laden and he's been a figure who has been very clearly on their radar. hence all of this gossip and speculation about him in recent months. and certainly, if you take a look at osama bin laden and the attacks
on 9/11, hamza bin laden would've been a child at that stage. and if you listen to the legends from al-qaeda and some of the propaganda, they would say he was beside him at the time, but he was a child. nonetheless, osama bin laden did say in some letters found in the compound where he was killed by us forces back in 2011 that he was grooming him to succeed him in the leadership of al-qaeda. and we should also emphasise that even if it does prove that hamza bin laden is dead, that doesn't take away from some of the threats that are still existing from the extremist group. chris existing from the extremist group. buckler for us t washington, chris bucklerfor us there in washington, dc. the democratic party's contenders to take on donald trump for the us presidency next year have challenged each other in the second round of tv debates. the candidates, including front—runnerjoe biden and kamala harris, discussed subjects like healthca re, immigration, the criminal justice system and climate change. a delegation from the us congress, led by speaker
of the house nancy pelosi, has ended a 3—day visit to ghana. she spoke with evident emotion to the ghanaian parliament on the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved africans arriving in america, and recalled the horrors of the slave trade. she also paid tribute to the contribution african—americans have made to the united states. thomas naadi reports from accra. this trip has been about what connects the united states and ghana — friendship, but also a dark past. it is 400 years since the first africans were sent across the atlantic, the start of a trade that would claim millions of lives and shape both countries forever. this is the door of no return at elmina castle, the main exit through which thousands of enslaved africans were forcibly shipped to america and the caribbean to live a life of slavery. visiting the castle clearly had a profound impact on the us lawmakers, as speaker pelosi told
the ghanaian parliament. at elmina castle, we saw the dungeons where thousands were grotesquely tortured. at cape coast castle, we stood before the door of no return, where countless millions caught their last glimpse of africa before they were shipped to a life of enslavement. being here has been a transformative experience for all of us. for gahna, 2019 has been celebrated as the ‘year of return‘, a call for african diaspora everywhere to reconnect with their ancestral home. for many, it has reminded them of the way the country's past has shaped their future. it's offering us a moment of sober reflection to get to know the things that our forefathers went through. we were sold by our own chiefs, by our own uncles and our own
fathers, and we should stop blaming people and those things. we should... we should concentrate on working hard, looking after ourselves. 400 years down the line, remembering how they were taken off our shores, it's a privilege to be alive today. when nobody, no—one will be left out or left behind because of their race, their colour or their background. the trip finished with a press conference at the us embassy. it has come at a time of heightened racial tensions in the states, a reminder that the legacy of cross—atlantic slave trade is still felt to this day. thomas naadi, bbc news, accra. unseasonal weather has brought devastating fires and floods to siberia. people in the region of irkutsk are experiencing their second floods in a month, and president putin has ordered troops to tackle the fires that have produced days of toxic haze in the centre and east.
john mcmanus reports. summerfires are common in russia, but not on this scale. around 3 million hectares of land in the centre and east of the country are on fire — the flames triggered by dry thunderstorms and temperatures above 30 celsius and fanned by high winds. workers with russia's forest protection agency are monitoring the blazes from the air in an attempt to contain them. but it's a huge job, the majority of the fires are in remote and inaccessible locations, the authorities are reluctant to tackle them due to the cost. but the smoke they're producing is drifting across inhabited areas, the effects graphically illustrated by videos posted by residents. and after days of complaints, a petition with more than 800,000 signatures, president putin has now ordered the military to join the thousands of firefighters on the ground. translation: there's a lot of moss, a lot of new growth,
so the fire spreads really fast. of course, the weather has an effect as well. the russian branch of greenpeace says that nearly 12,000 hectares of forest has been incinerated this year, meaning even more climate changing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. and alongside the fire, there's also floods, some of them in the same region, irkutsk, which was first hit a month ago. 25 more settlements are now underwater after river levels rose by metre following a cyclone six days ago. emergency services have delivered aid to trapped villagers, others have been evacuated. this may be the new normal. russia's meteorological services warn that these effects of climate change are likely to worsen every year. john mcmanus, bbc news. thursday marks a year since the beginning of the ebola outbreak in the democratic republic of the congo. at least 1,800 people
have died so far. this week, a second person died of ebola in goma, a city of two million people on the border with rwanda. that's raised fears the outbreak could spread quickly in the city and across the border. gaius kowene sent this from goma. this patient travelled hundreds of miles before reaching the city of goma, a hub of over1 million people and shares a border with rwanda. here, right here — he arrived here two weeks ago, but it's only last week that he started showing symptoms and was directly put in an ebola treatment centre that was newly built in the town of goma. professorjean—jacques muyembe, who is the co—ordinator of the ebola response team in the whole drc, says that this patient reached the treatment centre in critical condition, and unfortunately died. now teams have been deployed to track everybody who may have been in touch with him so that they will be offered vaccination or tested to see if they don't have any treatment. and professor muyembe said
he is very optimistic about the fight against ebola. so, a year of ebola in our country, it is unresolved. —— unusual. and we are there to stop this outbreak, and we will work to avoid the spreading of the disease, and to close the borders and to go to other countries. so i am confident that we'll work and stop this outbreak as soon as possible. this thursday will mark one year since the ebola outbreak was declared in drc. this is the tenth, and so far the worst, to hit the country. it has affected more than 2,500 people and has killed more than 1,700 people. community resistance and insecurity have been slowing down the response. however, the response leaders have said they are changing their strategies to make sure they contain and eradicate it in the coming months. gaius kowene, bbc news, goma.
live now to washington dc and to lawrence gostin, professor for public health at georgetown university. professor, thank you very much your time. health workers have talked about similarities between this year—long outbreak and the 2014 west africa outbreak. do you see similarities and other lessons to be learned from them? there are certain similarities and there are differences. let me begin with the differences. now we have a highly effective vaccine and investigational treatments that seem to work as well. so there's no reason why we should have gotten a full year into this epidemic with so many deaths and so much suffering when we really have a wonderful scientific full. so that's the
difference. i think if we didn't have that vaccine, we'd be talking about an epidemic on the scale of west africa. but there are also really marked similarities. the world health organization has performed much better now, but they still waited months before declaring a global health emergency. and the international community has been really, really sadly slow to respond, particularly because there's been no cases in europe or north america. until recently, we've really seen very little in our newspapers and our media. the governments of the uk, other european governments and the united states, and, until very recently, have not given very many resources. president donald trump has actually banned the us centres for disease and from going into the hot zone and
they were a big part of the solution in west africa. there are those similarities and it should never have come to where we are now. professor, seems to be a particular problem in the drc because it's a war zone and there's a lot of distrust of officialdom. disinformation, health workers being attacked and now these cases popping up attacked and now these cases popping up in attacked and now these cases popping upina attacked and now these cases popping up in a very porous border area? yeah, that's exactly right. 0ne up in a very porous border area? yeah, that's exactly right. one of the problems is the world health 0rganization the problems is the world health organization and the international community have really been playing by the old public health rulebook. you just heard it on your feed, which was we're going to isolate people we can find, we're going to do contact tracing, we're going to find treatment and vaccines. but the
old public health rulebook doesn't actually work when you're in a complex humanitarian crisis. there's community distrust, they distrust their own government, they distrust foreign workers, even the world health organization. and there's even violence. 0n health organization. and there's even violence. on my smartphone i have a video sent to me by the world health organization of who workers under attack, gunfire, not health organization of who workers underattack, gunfire, not being able to get into villages. and most cases in the drc of ebola deaths we re cases in the drc of ebola deaths were unknown to health workers. it means they are being hit in their community. we really need to ramp up the response. professor gostin, thank you very much indeed for talking to us. my pleasure, thank you. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: bluey — the australian cartoon that's been praised for its portrayal of fatherhood in 2019,
and even credited with helping parenthood. cheering the us space agency, nasa, has ordered an investigation after confirmation today that astronauts were cleared to fly while drunk. the last foot patrol in south armagh. once an everyday part of the soldiers' lot, drudgery and danger, now no more after almost four decades. if one is on one's own, in a private house, not doing any harm to anyone, i don't really see why people should wander in and say, "you're doing something wrong." six rare white lion cubs are on the prowl at worcestershire
park and, already, they have been met with a roar of approval from visitors. they're lovely, yeah. really sweet. yeah, they were cute. this is bbc world news, the latest headlines: osama bin laden's son, hamza — chosen successor to lead al-qaeda, has reportedly been killed — it's unclear if the us played a role in his death. let's stay with that story. mia bloom is a professor of communications and middle east studies at georgia state university. she studies terror groups and she's in atlanta, georgia. thank you for your time, do you think this is true? if it is true, how significant do you think it is?
ido how significant do you think it is? i do think it's true. i heard the news, nbc news was the first to report it at around 1:30pm eastern time in the united states and initially many of the g hearty chat rooms were very quiet but around 6pm they acknowledge it in fact, they didn't say anything more and interestingly it was the isis channels talking about his death and not the al qaeda linked channels. there remained fairly quiet about the whole affair. he would have been a child, wouldn't you? when 9/11 was being planned, if this is a targeted killing with the us involved, are you comfortable with that? killing with the us involved, are you comfortable with that7m killing with the us involved, are you comfortable with that? it would have been around 11 and in fact, the day before 9/11, bin laden sent all of his sons away to be away from the base of operations for fear of
retaliation. as we know that has happened with a lackey. his 15—year—old son and daughter were both targeted and so very often we've have seen with some of these counterterrorism attacks, indiscriminate attacks against children of terrorist leaders, whether they are actually involved in operations or not. i suppose we quite often cvs reports of the leader of a terror group being killed, quite often those reports turn out to be wrong and in the senseit turn out to be wrong and in the sense it quotes use a terror group for that to be doubt about whether the leader is alive and it makes them harder to track, confuse the enemy, what you think you? one of the things that struck me was one we have seen, and isis leader who was killed, the isis chat rooms are very much alive, talking about the eulogies and how wonderful he was, homes were —— poems were written, with there is a death of the —— when
there is a death of a leader, has a rallying effect. when it calls for revenge or retaliation. very often if there is a death, they do admit to it, from what i've understood, from the result —— reports they are very sparse right now, it might have happened months ago and hamza wasn't the target. if that's the case, we won't have information for quite some time. especially since the al qaeda groups have been reticent to talk about any evidence, we don't have dna, we're going to be missing a lot pieces of the puzzle that we would ordinarily have to guarantee that the person is dead. because, for example, we have a number of different jihadis for example, we have a number of differentjihadis who have been killed several times and the reports of the deaths have been exaggerated. the british pound has continued to fall in value as the government
toughens its stance on leaving the european with no agreement, a so—called no—deal brexit. sterling fell below 1.2110 against the dollar, the lowest value since january two years ago. the government has announced £2.1 billion in extra funding to prepare britain for leaving the eu on october 31st. one major sticking point of any brexit deal is the irish border. if the uk leaves the eu without a deal at the end of october, it's likely to lead to a hard border between northern ireland and the republic. 0ur europe correspondent adam fleming has been considering what that might mean for the republic. ireland's booming economy will boom a lot less if there is no brexit deal, which means a phone call between the two prime ministers yesterday is a subject over coffee today. i think the relationship already is strained. boris has only yesterday made contact with the taoiseach of ireland. the british have chosen to come out,
and we are only defending our interests, they are defending theirs, so i wouldn't particularly want to blame anyone. hopefully it won't come to that, we'll sort something out. hello, what do you think of brexit? if something isn't sorted out, farmers like raymond will be hardest hit. most of his speech goes to the uk. he is worried there would be a further fall in the pound, and about tariffs, the taxes that would be charged on imports by the uk. both would make his beef more expensive. in the unthinkable event of a crash—out brexit, this farm would have to cease beef farming, we are going to have to do something else with the land. disruption to transport is another potential problem because lots of irish products go to the continent via britain by what is called the land bridge. today, the central bank of ireland
warned of lost growth, lostjobs and a hole in the government finances. there is a huge amount of work going into our next budget, which will happen in october. we have two budgets prepared, one is in the event of a deal, the other in the event of no deal. we have already had two budgets where we put specific funding measures in place for industries like agriculture, the food and drink sectors. and what will the relationship be like with northern ireland on a range of issues, especially the border, which will technically be an external frontier of the eu, like poland's or latvia's? but there has been a deal in one area at least. right now british and irish people can cross the irish sea and work in each other‘s countries thanks to a series of arrangements called the common travel area. both governments have agreed that will continue no matter what happens with brexit. a bit of certainty before a possible dive into the unknown. she's blue, she barks — and more than likely she's coming to a screen near you. the australian children's cartoon bluey follows the adventures
of a blue heeler dog in brisbane. the show has just been sold for broadcast around the world. it's won a lot of praise for portraying modern family life — without the stereotypes. hywel griffith went to meet its creators. meet bluey, a genuine four—legged phenomenon. the six—year—old faces pretty familiar challenges. but her success has been staggering, breaking records in australia, where the show has been streamed more than 100 million times since october. so close. bluey was born in these brisbane studios, and despite being bought by disney, the family will be keeping their australian accents. tooth fairy came. hey, nice one, bluey. way to go, kid. it's just better with them. you can feel that passion so much, that we're proud of australia, but it's just the way it was made.
everything about bluey has been kept pretty local. brisbane musician joff, who wrote the theme tune, also makes an appearance... two, three, four... ..as does the city's skyline. instead of the aussie outback, it's just everyday suburbia. and instead ofjetting off to outer space orfighting enemies under the sea, bluey and herfamily, well, theyjust battle the same dilemmas as us humans... kids, that's enough of that thing. ..like tackling too much screen time. the programme has achieved the rare feat of getting parents and kids watching together. i can feel my paws opening.
much more to come, you can reach me and most of the team on social media. thank you for watching. hello. in the last couple of days, some of the showers that we've seen breaking out across the uk have been nothing short of vicious, leading to disruption to transport and localised flooding. in the next few days, not an entirely dry story, but far fewer showers, and they should also be less aggressive. the reason being the culprit for all of the showers in the last few days, this area of low pressure, pulling out into the north sea. still close enough by, though, on thursday to exert some influence. quite gusty winds along the north sea coasts, thicker cloud piling in here at times too. and there will be some showers on the outer periphery of the low, if you like, stretching probably in a line, most likely from the north—west of scotland down into east anglia. plenty of sunny spells, however. the sunshine itself, though, could produce a few homegrown showers, for example
across the north—east of scotland. one or two of the showers, again, could be heavier. i can't rule out thunder and lightning entirely, but it should be nowhere near as extensive as it has been in the last couple of days. just a chance of a few showers developing across dorset, devon and cornwall come the afternoon. up to 25 in what should be a sunny london. there's a slim chance of one or two showers breaking out across the midlands through the afternoon. we may see some evidence of those for day one of the ashes at edgbaston, but i think hopefully we're going to get away with it here, with some sunny spells and highs about 20—21 degrees. through the evening and overnight, many of the showers clear as the low pressure centre whirls across towards the netherlands. we're left with quite a bit of cloud, though, and in some spots, with just light winds, it could turn misty and murky. 0vernight lows in the mid—teens.
as for friday, well, the lows away to the east. not a bad day, i think, in the making, again with a little bit of help from the sun, though we could see one or two showers just brewing up, probably somewhere across northern england through into the midlands. but for the majority of the uk, light winds, sunny spells, and temperatures in the low to mid—20s. for the weekend, that little bit of ridging that calms things down for friday hangs on in there on saturday. but by sunday, it looks like we'll see a weather front starting to approach, so that will bring an increasing chance of rain into western areas through the course of the day on sunday. just how far east that rain makes it is somewhat uncertain at the moment, but it does look like once those fronts start to push in on sunday, they will really work their way through across the uk as we go into the following week. plenty more showers, unfortunately, in our longer—term forecast.
this is bbc news. the headlines: media outlets in the united states are quoting intelligence sources saying hamza bin laden, son of the late al-qaeda leader osama bin laden, is dead. it's not clear if the us played a role. he had released audio and video calling for attacks on the us and other countries. ten democratic hopefuls have gone head to head in a second televised debate in detroit. the candidates discussed healthcare and immigration. another series of debates in september will whittle the candidates down to ten. whoever comes out on top eventually will take on donald trump for the us presidency next year. the russian president vladimir putin has ordered the army to help tackle massive wildfires raging in siberia and other regions in the east. so far, about three million hectares have been affected. many local people complain not enough is being done to tackle the fires.