19/03/2017 World News Today


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19/03/2017

The news programme for audiences who want more depth to their daily coverage. With a focus on Europe, Middle East and Africa.


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I'm Geeta Guru-Murthy with BBC World News.

:00:00.:00:00.

"No evidence of collusion" between the Trump election

:00:07.:00:11.

That's according to the head of the panel investigating the claims.

:00:12.:00:19.

He also rejected the President's accusation that Trump Tower

:00:20.:00:21.

was wiretapped on Barack Obama's orders.

:00:22.:00:28.

Was there a physical wiretap? No, but that never was.

:00:29.:00:33.

Iraqi forces push on in the battle to retake Mosul -

:00:34.:00:35.

now the Mosque where Islamic State declared its caliphate

:00:36.:00:37.

Could this man be the next Chancellor of Germany?

:00:38.:00:41.

Martin Schulz officially becomes the number one challenger

:00:42.:00:43.

to Angela Merkel for the top job in Berlin.

:00:44.:00:47.

And in sport - four of the English Premier League's top

:00:48.:00:50.

six were in action - we'll reveal who had the best day

:00:51.:00:53.

in the chase to close the gap on leaders Chelsea.

:00:54.:01:12.

There is no evidence so far that President Donald Trump's campaign

:01:13.:01:17.

team colluded with Russia during the 2016 US election -

:01:18.:01:21.

Devin Nunes, head of the House of Representatives intelligence

:01:22.:01:26.

committee also said there was also no evidence that Barack Obama had

:01:27.:01:29.

ordered wiretap surveillance of Mr Trump's headquarters,

:01:30.:01:33.

Let's get more on this with Laura Bicker who joins us

:01:34.:01:37.

First of all on the statement about collusion with Russia what have we

:01:38.:01:55.

heard? When it comes to the accusation that Russia meddled in

:01:56.:02:02.

the 2016 US presidents election the question is did they do it and what

:02:03.:02:08.

the Donald Trump and his aides now? 17 intelligence agencies have come

:02:09.:02:13.

forward and said they have evidence that Russia tried to meddle with the

:02:14.:02:17.

election and many of them say they did so to help Donald Trump win so

:02:18.:02:22.

that brings you to the second question, the Donald Trump or his

:02:23.:02:25.

aides know anything about it, did they collude with the Russians? So

:02:26.:02:30.

far we have heard evidence to say there is nothing to say that Donald

:02:31.:02:35.

Trump or his aides knew anything about that and that is what we have

:02:36.:02:40.

heard from the represent of this morning on Fox News. I am going to

:02:41.:02:48.

be very simple, no. No evidence. And this was after getting this

:02:49.:02:53.

information from the FBI? After everything I have this morning. No

:02:54.:02:59.

evidence of collusion. Russia has always denied being involved in the

:03:00.:03:04.

2016 election and Donald Trump has always denied knowing anything about

:03:05.:03:09.

it. But there are some Democrats who also sits on this intelligence panel

:03:10.:03:15.

who say there is some circumstantial evidence that something took place

:03:16.:03:19.

and they want it continually investigated. Here is one

:03:20.:03:24.

representative from Texas. This will be an opportunity for us to have an

:03:25.:03:29.

open discussion about this investigation, I am sure we will not

:03:30.:03:32.

hear everything because we are not in a classified setting but I think

:03:33.:03:36.

there are a few things I'm hoping to hear. Firstly whether any Americans

:03:37.:03:41.

are being investigated for cooperating are conspiring with the

:03:42.:03:45.

Russians who interfered. Second are the scope of that investigation and

:03:46.:03:52.

third time I bark resolving it. What about the allegation President Obama

:03:53.:03:55.

somehow ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower? Leading Republicans and

:03:56.:04:04.

Democrats have said they had seen no evidence of that. However what some

:04:05.:04:10.

are asking for is an investigation is to weather wire surveillance was

:04:11.:04:15.

ordered on the Trump campaign and why. All of these questions will be

:04:16.:04:20.

answered hopefully on Capitol Hill at this panel hearing because all

:04:21.:04:25.

eyes will be on the leading directors of the National Security

:04:26.:04:27.

agency and the FBI as they give evidence to the intelligence

:04:28.:04:32.

committee. We will bring everyone more on that tomorrow, for now,

:04:33.:04:33.

thank you. Iraqi forces are pushing forward

:04:34.:04:35.

in their operation to drive so-called Islamic State militants

:04:36.:04:38.

out of their former stronghold There are reports of fierce fighting

:04:39.:04:40.

in areas of Western Mosul Iraqi authorities say 180,000

:04:41.:04:47.

civilians have fled the West bank. Conditions for those who remain -

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estimated at more than 550,000 - From the outskirts of Al Mansur

:05:05.:05:07.

district in Western Mosul, In the clamour for help many go

:05:08.:05:19.

empty-handed. The gunfire from Iraqi soldiers try to control the crowd at

:05:20.:05:29.

an age distribution. Survivors of the caliphate. Now at risk from

:05:30.:05:38.

hunger. Troops not keen for the chaos to be caught on camera. In the

:05:39.:05:45.

distance, smoke from at IS car bomb. The front line is just a mile away.

:05:46.:05:50.

Those who flee the fighting here end up in overcrowded camps. There are

:05:51.:05:57.

no good options. For the people of Western Hymn Mosul. You can see the

:05:58.:06:06.

utter desperation in this area, local people tell us this is the

:06:07.:06:09.

first aid supplies that have come here, they say they have no running

:06:10.:06:14.

water or electricity, no access to medical supplies. People in the

:06:15.:06:18.

queue are afraid the food is going to run out before they are able to

:06:19.:06:20.

get some. I am crying, she says, because my

:06:21.:06:39.

children don't understand why we have no food. They don't accept my

:06:40.:06:48.

excuses. IS took our money to buy weapons. I hope they will burden. --

:06:49.:07:00.

burn. This woman has suffered a double loss. IS killed two of my

:07:01.:07:09.

sons she says. One had just got married. As the troops keep watch,

:07:10.:07:19.

there is tension in the crowd. With the frustration building, the

:07:20.:07:28.

security forces are compared to their former oppressors. What is the

:07:29.:07:32.

difference between the IS police and these guys he asks? The IS police

:07:33.:07:39.

beat us and they beat us, just asking for food. Is this

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deliberation may have brought us? Nearby some are returning to this

:07:50.:07:56.

battle scarred neighbourhood. Like Abdul, an ice cream salesman. His

:07:57.:08:02.

home was occupied by IS for three months. He says they threatened to

:08:03.:08:08.

hang his wife because she dared to oppose them. She head in the fields

:08:09.:08:16.

to survive. IS knocked through the wall so they could move unseen from

:08:17.:08:22.

house to house. Their reign of terror has destroyed the fabric of

:08:23.:08:29.

his neighbourhood. We can never live again with those who collaborated

:08:30.:08:35.

with IS he says. If I catch the man who informed on my wife I will cut

:08:36.:08:44.

into pieces. The battle for Mosul may be in its final phases, this

:08:45.:08:50.

ancient city emerging from modelled a barbarian is. When the caliphate

:08:51.:08:54.

crumbles there will be much to rebuild including a divided

:08:55.:08:55.

community. There's been fighting on the edge

:08:56.:09:03.

of the Syrian capital, Damascus, where rebels have launched a major

:09:04.:09:06.

offensive that's brought them Syrian government forces

:09:07.:09:08.

responded with an intense bombardment of Jobar,

:09:09.:09:11.

around two kilometres east Our correspondent Ben James

:09:12.:09:13.

is monitoring the fighting from Beirut in neighbouring Lebanon,

:09:14.:09:20.

and he sent this update. This assault has been launched from

:09:21.:09:31.

the Jobar part of the city where opposition forces still have some

:09:32.:09:34.

strength. It's been a battle ground for a couple of years, a pocket of

:09:35.:09:50.

all. This happens, it began at 5:20am this morning, monitors from

:09:51.:09:54.

the Syrian Observatory for human rights from the UK said there were

:09:55.:09:59.

car bombs, suicide attacks to begin this assault. Syrian state TV also

:10:00.:10:04.

talks about secret tunnels being used to launch the attack. Who is

:10:05.:10:10.

involved? One group that has brought under the Free Syrian Army banner

:10:11.:10:16.

but also the jihadi this is who incorporate the group formerly known

:10:17.:10:22.

as Al Nusra front. There have been rebranding is and redrawing of

:10:23.:10:29.

alliances. In response government forces have deployed warplanes,

:10:30.:10:34.

there have been air strikes, more than 42 monitors. Tanks have been

:10:35.:10:37.

seen heading into the areas in preparation for a counterattack.

:10:38.:10:42.

Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party has

:10:43.:10:43.

confirmed Martin Schulz as its new leader and the man who'll

:10:44.:10:46.

run against Angela Merkel in the country's general

:10:47.:10:48.

A former President of the European parliament,

:10:49.:10:51.

Mr Shulz was given an unprecedented endorsement from the party base -

:10:52.:10:54.

Boot, the leader after the Second World War got 99.7 but that is when

:10:55.:11:14.

he was trying to unite the party. Nobody has done anything like that

:11:15.:11:19.

since then. How much of a threat is he, where is he in the polls if they

:11:20.:11:24.

can be trusted? He was declared they Chan did it for the Chancellor back

:11:25.:11:30.

in January. Since then there was a 12 point gap between the parties and

:11:31.:11:37.

he has closed it entirely, they are now neck and neck. Not only that he

:11:38.:11:44.

has brought in 13,000 new members. A considerable achievement. Germany,

:11:45.:11:49.

so much of the political focus, Angela Merkel and Donald Trump,

:11:50.:11:54.

events like that, battles Germany is taking on an migrants within Nato,

:11:55.:11:59.

with America, with the new leadership in America, how is that

:12:00.:12:05.

affecting potentially the election? Nato is one area he could make some

:12:06.:12:09.

gains because he is distancing himself from this commit --

:12:10.:12:16.

commitment Nato have made, he says it's the wrong way to go, he does

:12:17.:12:21.

not want more spent on armaments and less on social welfare. That will be

:12:22.:12:24.

a distinct platform when the election comes around. Tell us more

:12:25.:12:34.

about who is Martin Schulz, is he that well-known? They know him as

:12:35.:12:38.

the president of the European Parliament in Germany. He has been

:12:39.:12:44.

in European politics since 1994, he was mayor of our small town on the

:12:45.:12:47.

border with Belgium and the Netherlands where he grew up. He's

:12:48.:12:51.

making a bit of a feature of that because he's a man the people. He is

:12:52.:12:56.

a book-seller, 61-year-old book-seller before he a politician.

:12:57.:13:01.

Stay with us on BBC World News, still to come:

:13:02.:13:03.

They were rescued from pirates - we'll reveal what the crew

:13:04.:13:06.

of the oil tanker which was saved from Somali hijackers

:13:07.:13:08.

Today we have closed the book on apartheid and that chapter. More

:13:09.:13:31.

than 3000 subway passengers were affected. Nausea, bleeding,

:13:32.:13:35.

headaches and the dimming of vision. All caused by apparently organised

:13:36.:13:37.

attack. It was on a pedestal in the middle

:13:38.:13:50.

of the Cabinet, this was an international trophy and we

:13:51.:13:54.

understand now that the search for it has become an international

:13:55.:13:55.

search. Above all this was a triumph for the

:13:56.:14:08.

Christian Democrats of the West offering reunification as quickly as

:14:09.:14:09.

possible. That is what voters want. The latest headlines, the head of an

:14:10.:14:28.

American congressional committee on intelligence says he's seen no

:14:29.:14:32.

evidence that Donald Trump's team worked with Russia during the

:14:33.:14:37.

presidential election campaign. And Iraqi forces fighting to recapture

:14:38.:14:42.

Mosul from so-called Islamic State are closing in on the great Mosque

:14:43.:14:45.

where they declared their caliphate in 2014.

:14:46.:14:49.

The German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen,

:14:50.:14:51.

has rejected a claim by President Trump that Germany owes

:14:52.:14:53.

Nato and the United States vast sums for the defence of her country.

:14:54.:14:58.

It follows a tweet by the US President which said

:14:59.:15:01.

"Germany owes vast sums of money to Nato, and the United States must

:15:02.:15:04.

be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it

:15:05.:15:07.

Von der Leyen responded in a statement, saying

:15:08.:15:19.

into UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions

:15:20.:15:23.

and into our contribution to the fight against IS terrorism."

:15:24.:15:26.

Well, America's former ambassador to Nato, Ivo Daalder,

:15:27.:15:31.

is among those who felt the need to correct Mr Trump,

:15:32.:15:34.

Thank you for joining us. Why is Donald Trump incorrect? He is saying

:15:35.:15:46.

all nations sued contribute 2% of their budgets to defence and that

:15:47.:15:53.

doesn't happen. He is correct in saying all countries need to do more

:15:54.:15:58.

on defence, that the Europeans in particular over the last 15 years or

:15:59.:16:03.

so have been cutting defence at a time when in fact more spending is

:16:04.:16:11.

necessary. Nato agreed in 2014 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and

:16:12.:16:15.

the annexation of Crimea to take the 2% guideline and make it policy and

:16:16.:16:19.

said countries not spending 2% of GDP on defence should do so by 2024.

:16:20.:16:26.

All Nato countries agreed including Germany and as Chancellor Merkel in

:16:27.:16:31.

her press conference on Friday reaffirmed, that commitment. We must

:16:32.:16:37.

have that commitment implemented, some of us would like it sooner

:16:38.:16:41.

rather than later. That's not the same as saying anyone owes the

:16:42.:16:46.

United States vast sums of money. As the president put it in his press

:16:47.:16:52.

conference and then this tweet. We owe to our countries to defend

:16:53.:16:57.

ourselves, everyone makes a national decision about how much defence is

:16:58.:17:01.

going to be done within Nato. There is no kitty in which people pour

:17:02.:17:06.

money so they can pay the United States or anyone else for that. But

:17:07.:17:11.

if you are sitting in America are paying taxes, why should you feel

:17:12.:17:16.

you have been subsidising Europe's security and why should nations not

:17:17.:17:20.

have a much tighter deadline by which they have got to put the money

:17:21.:17:28.

in? On the deadline we can have that discussion. When it comes to the

:17:29.:17:34.

Nato summit Donald Trump may try to change the deadline from 2020 42

:17:35.:17:38.

something sooner. But let's be clear why the United States on defence and

:17:39.:17:44.

why it has troops and capabilities in Europe. Over the past century the

:17:45.:17:49.

United States has fought two active wars and one cold war in Europe

:17:50.:17:53.

because we believe the security of Europe and the freedom of Europe,

:17:54.:17:58.

the prosperity of Europe is fundamental to the National security

:17:59.:18:02.

of the United States. We do not think it is a favour to the Germans

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anyone, we are in Europe because it's important for the United States

:18:07.:18:10.

and our security. It is important to prevent the kind of conflict we saw

:18:11.:18:17.

in the world wars at great costs to Americans and of course Europeans.

:18:18.:18:26.

Do you feel, just briefly, that Nato is under real threats now from this

:18:27.:18:35.

current administration? No, I think we have seen re-commitments by the

:18:36.:18:37.

president and the vice president and others but if we are starting to

:18:38.:18:43.

condition our security commitment to Europe on particular outcomes with

:18:44.:18:47.

regard to defence spending then we are in uncharted waters. We have

:18:48.:18:52.

been here since 1949, we should continue to be here, it is important

:18:53.:18:56.

to us. We want Europe to pay more, we have been saying that many years,

:18:57.:19:02.

but fundamentally Nato is not about just securing Europe, it's about

:19:03.:19:06.

securing the security of the United States. Thank you so much for your

:19:07.:19:08.

time. Let's take a look at some

:19:09.:19:13.

other stories now. Brazilian police have arrested

:19:14.:19:16.

a number of employees of the meat-packing company BRF over

:19:17.:19:18.

allegations of exports of rotten They're investigating alleged bribes

:19:19.:19:21.

to health inspectors to overlook Three major meat-packing

:19:22.:19:24.

factories have been closed. Brazil's President Michel Temer

:19:25.:19:29.

is due to hold crisis talks. The Socialist candidate

:19:30.:19:34.

for the French presidency, Benoit Hamon has told supporters

:19:35.:19:36.

at a rally that "everything begins today" in an attempt

:19:37.:19:39.

to boost his campaign. A poll published on Sunday

:19:40.:19:41.

showed him dropping four Since he won the Socialist primary

:19:42.:19:43.

in January, the 49-year-old has failed to unite the party

:19:44.:19:49.

behind him. We start with football, the teams

:19:50.:20:09.

chasing runaway Premier League leaders Chelsea have been in action,

:20:10.:20:12.

third against fourth as Manchester City drew 1-1.

:20:13.:20:16.

After James Milner's opener, Sergio Aguero equalised for City,

:20:17.:20:19.

and he'll be disappointed he wasn't able to convert his chance in injury

:20:20.:20:22.

It means City have fallen back in their pursuit of Chelsea.

:20:23.:20:26.

It's one of the more special days of my life because after defeat on

:20:27.:20:36.

Tuesday, Wednesday was so tough for us. Then recover how we recovered

:20:37.:20:40.

today with his mentality to play and attack an attack, we could not

:20:41.:20:44.

attack more often because Liverpool is a top team. I want to stay with

:20:45.:20:48.

these guys for a long time, do not want to change anything, in terms of

:20:49.:20:51.

the club I want to stay here and help the squad to make a step

:20:52.:20:57.

forward. Between 50 and 65 we could have decided the game and we didn't

:20:58.:21:02.

so that is may be our fault but how can we speak today about faults and

:21:03.:21:09.

mistakes? I said before the game if somebody tells me you would get a

:21:10.:21:13.

point at City OK. I would not take it immediately but you would do, you

:21:14.:21:18.

would take it. And today we have to take it and that's what we did.

:21:19.:21:21.

That draw keeps Tottenham safe in second place.

:21:22.:21:23.

And they've reduced Chelsea's lead to ten points after beating

:21:24.:21:25.

There was much talk before the game about how Spurs would cope

:21:26.:21:30.

This man, Christian Eriksen, put them ahead.

:21:31.:21:35.

Before James Ward Prowse celebrated his England call-up

:21:36.:21:39.

I am very pleased, and happy with the performance of the whole team.

:21:40.:21:52.

Obviously it's a big impact when you miss, you miss Europe main striker

:21:53.:21:58.

but I think our offensive players worked very well, working very hard,

:21:59.:22:03.

our offensive line. And I think the team, we running a fantastic

:22:04.:22:06.

position for us. Keep going. Manchester United are up to fifth

:22:07.:22:08.

after a 3-1 win at Middlesbrough. Maroune Fellani put United

:22:09.:22:11.

ahead before the break, then a stunning strike

:22:12.:22:13.

from Jesse Lingaard put them 2-0 up. After Rudi Gestede pulled a goal

:22:14.:22:16.

back, it looked as though Boro But a terrible mistake

:22:17.:22:19.

from goalkeeper Victor Valdes gifted The spirit is fantastic and the good

:22:20.:22:38.

thing is that we have two doors still open for Champions League

:22:39.:22:42.

football. So we are going to try Europa League, we're going to try

:22:43.:22:47.

the fourth position in the Premier League and let's see what happens.

:22:48.:22:49.

There are five matches from Spain's La Liga to update you on.

:22:50.:22:52.

The pick of the ties is Barcelona against Valencia,

:22:53.:22:55.

There's about 20 minutes to play, and what an eventful game it's been.

:22:56.:23:00.

Barca have come from behind, they're currently winning 3-2.

:23:01.:23:02.

In the other games, Atletico Madrid increased their chances

:23:03.:23:04.

of Champions League football next season, beating Sevilla 3-1

:23:05.:23:06.

Towards the bottom of the table, Sporting Gijon beat Granada 3-1.

:23:07.:23:11.

Deportivo couldn't follow up their shock win over Barcelona.

:23:12.:23:16.

It looks set to be a tight finish to the Arnold Palmer Invitational

:23:17.:23:31.

in Florida, with no fewer than six players within two

:23:32.:23:35.

Overnight leaders Charley Hoffman and Kevin Kisner have both

:23:36.:23:38.

dropped shots today, but are one clear of

:23:39.:23:40.

They've just been joined by four-time major winner Rory McIlroy.

:23:41.:23:44.

Marc Leishman has just made an incredible eagle on the 16th to move

:23:45.:23:53.

to 11 under. And Elena Vesnina has defeated fellow Russian Svetlana

:23:54.:23:58.

Kuznetsova in three sets in the women's final at Indian Wells.

:23:59.:24:02.

The crew of an oil tanker hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia

:24:03.:24:06.

say they feel as if they've been born again, after being

:24:07.:24:08.

The seizure of the Aris 13 - the first hijacking of a large

:24:09.:24:12.

merchant vessel in almost five years - had raised fears that Somali

:24:13.:24:15.

Heading for calm waters, surrounded by Somali forces almost

:24:16.:24:20.

The boat is crewed by eight Sri Lankans, now relieved

:24:21.:24:27.

Everybody here helped us a lot and saved our lives,

:24:28.:24:32.

What I can say is we are dead and born, all I can say, dead and born.

:24:33.:24:40.

At 68 years I am, I am dead and born.

:24:41.:24:45.

The vessel was hijacked by gunmen as it made its way

:24:46.:24:47.

from Djibouti to Mogadishu, reportedly just 18 kilometres

:24:48.:24:50.

It was forced to change course and head towards Alula.

:24:51.:24:57.

A fierce firefight then followed between the coastguard and armed men

:24:58.:25:01.

on board a skiff believed to be taking supplies to

:25:02.:25:03.

A number of civilians were injured by stray bullets.

:25:04.:25:11.

And the Puntland coastguard had threatened to use force to retake

:25:12.:25:14.

the ship if negotiations with the pirates failed.

:25:15.:25:18.

The circumstances of the ship's release aren't clear,

:25:19.:25:20.

but the authorities say no ransom was paid.

:25:21.:25:26.

The incident had raised the spectre of a return to the days

:25:27.:25:29.

of the rampant Somali piracy which disrupted a major

:25:30.:25:33.

international shipping route and cost the global economy billions

:25:34.:25:35.

Armed escorts and other anti-piracy measures finally ended attacks

:25:36.:25:43.

on commercial vessels in 2012, and there are hopes that the crisis

:25:44.:25:46.

We've been watching a week weather front slowly slipping its way south

:25:47.:26:16.

across the UK so far today, it extends quite a long way out into

:26:17.:26:19.

the Atlantic and

:26:20.:26:20.