20/03/2017 BBC World News America


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This is BBC World News America, reporting from Washington.


I'm Tim Willcox. No information support base, and we have looked


inside the FBI carefully. The head of the FBI says there is no


evidence of wiretapping. The bureau is investigating possible Russian


meddling in the US elections and any ties to the Trump campaign.


Iraq's Prime Minister visited the White House to talk strategy against


Islamic State, and how the two leaders hope to fight back against


the militant group. # The White Cliffs of Dover #


Celebrating the forces sweetheart, Dame Vera Lynn on her 100th


birthday, her voice the soundtrack to the Second World War.


Hello, and welcome to our viewers on public television in America and


around the globe. The allegations had been explosive


but the question today, would be testimony be equally so? Straight


out of the gates, the director of the FBI confirmed his agency is


looking into possible into parents by Russia in the US presidential


elections. He also made clear there is no


evidence to back up President Trump's claims of wiretapping at


Trump Tower. Both of these issues have consumed


the US public and been the talk of Washington for weeks.


Jon Sopel has this. Big questions for a big man, at 638


inches, James Comey stands head and shoulders above all of those around


him, would he stick his neck out at the hearing today?


The answer is yes. The FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission,


is investigating the Russian government efforts to interfere in


the 2016 presidential election. That includes investigating the nature of


any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign,


and the Russian government, and whether there were any coordination


is between the campaign and Russia's efforts. On the detail of the


investigation into Russian pollution, James Comey would not be


drawn. What about the President's claims that his predecessor, Barack


Obama, wiretapped Trump Tower? He was more forthcoming here. With


respect to those tweets from the president about alleged wiretapping


directed at him from the prior administration, I have no evidence


to support those and we have carefully looked inside of the FBI.


Resident Obama could not unilaterally order a wiretap of


anyone? -- president. No president could. President Obama has been


accused of engaging in McCarthyism, do you? I tried very hard not to


engage in any isms of any kind. Then, they turned to the director of


the National Security Agency to answer questions about British


security involvement, but the responses were unequivocal.


Could you ever request that your counterparts at GCHQ should wiretap


President Trump on behalf of Barack Obama. That would break the FISA


agreement that has been in place for decades. They called this nonsense,


would you agree? Yes, sir. Does it damage the relationship with one of


our closest intelligence partners for the president to make a bailiff


-- baseless claim that the British participated in this against him? It


frustrates a key ally. This relationship is strong enough, we


can deal with this. Donald Trump didn't wait for the committee to


start but -- before tweeting his verdict.


At the White House briefing, were they getting ready to hoist the


white flag? Of course not. Is the president prepared to withdraw that


accusation and apologise? No, we started a hearing. It is still


ongoing. As for collusion with the Russians, what pollution? There is


no evidence, according to the people who have been briefed, of any


collusion or activity leading them to believe it exists. The president


had a public meeting today with the Iraqi Prime Minister, and even he


got in on the act, grabbing the arm of the president at the end and


said, we had nothing to do with the wiretapping. It is not recorded


whether or not the president laughed at the joke.


Let's go straight to Capitol Hill, and Laura Trevelyan.


After those allegations and speculation, a significant


development about the investigation? Yes, we now know the FBI had


sufficient evidence, whether circumstantial or what, we don't


know, to decide to open a counterintelligence investigation


into whether there were links between a foreign power, Russia,


which we know intelligence agencies concluded, tried to interfere in the


election with the aim of helping Donald Trump against Hillary


Clinton. Remember, Vladimir Putin does not like her. An investigation


into foreign powers, Russia, and the Trump campaign to see if officials


colluded or coordinated at all with Russian agents during the campaign.


We now know the existence of this enquiry. Before it had been reported


by media outlets, but now it has been officially confirmed.


Potentially this is a criminal investigation, right at the door of


the White House. Upstart involving those currently in the White House


but those who were known to the Trump campaign or part of it.


Where it leads or how long it takes? We have no idea. All we know is the


FBI director has said he will follow the facts wherever they may lead.


And, the existence of this? Of course, it's not good news for the


White House as it revives the whole question of whether or not be


relationship with Russia was to close, and the president is very


sensitive about the election and the fact he lost the popular vote to


Hillary Clinton and doesn't want the issue of Russia revived.


And, difficult for the White House, saying there was no evidence of


wiretapping Trump Tower. Another big hearing today, Neale


course edge, do we expect him to be blocked as a supreme court judge by


the Democrats Russian market is a question as to whether they invoke


the filibuster, talking out that. The nominee by Barack Obama was not


given a hearing by Republicans, they correctly counted that they could


win the election and have the chance to fill the vacancy. What he does


isn't changing the ideological balance of the court. The court


would still be split 4-4 with a swing justice. It is the possibility


of more vacancies opening up in the next couple of years that could tip


the balance. Do they go for broke now, or do the Democrats wait and


save their energy for the next fight? That is big question, he is


doing his best to appear like the best judge you can appealing to


central Democrats. Thank you. And as we saw earlier,


much of the world's media attention was focused on congressional


hearings but Donald Trump welcome to the Iraqi Prime Minister to the


White House. His visit comes as the Trump Prime Minister --


administration has meetings on fighting Isis. He sought financial


and military assistance from the prior administration. I spoke to a


an expert on the matter. What is he seeking from President Trump? I


think Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is looking for President Trump,


something that he will be wanting to hear, it is all Daesh Daesh Daesh,


or Islamic State. You will want there to be programmes to keep it


from being as effective as a terror group, they had a terrible coming in


Baghdad today that killed over 40 people. He will want some help. It


looks like Mosul may finally be retaken but he is also looking for


Reconstruction and that. -- money for that as well. How does it have a


with President Trump and his proposed budget cuts which would see


the State Department losing a lot of money which would be responsible for


reconstruction in Iraq? When it comes to the reconstruction,


President Trump may tell them to look elsewhere, like the Gulf states


and possible donors, Germany and other European countries. But the


USA has pulled most of the weight on the security side which is where


they should expect to see contributions. With proposed 54


billion US extra for the Pentagon, more money could be earmarked for


the fight against Daesh, Islamic State, in Iraq and Syria? Yes, they


could request a long-term military presence to train their army and


police forces. It could easily fit into the new budget proposals. Where


are we at the moment in terms of US forces fighting in Iraq? How many


thousands are there? In Iraq? There are about I've thousand, 5500. Most


of them in a kind of training role. Mostly high-end special forces with


Iraq on the battlefield. We've heard of these conversations with Haider


al-Abadi asking Donald Trump in the early days about these restrictions


on Iraqi forces. He has won a battle against the USA


administration? Or has found allies. Secretary matters, the new National


Security Advisor, General McMaster, they work well and I expect the


Prime Minister had a receptive audience and people to carry his


water into the administration and make his case.


And we have President Trump hosting this meeting, 68 countries in the


fight against Islamic State, what do we expect America will offer to


spearhead any agreement with all of those different countries? I expect


the 68 countries are going to be looking less at Iraq, as you


mentioned. That fight is nearly done, and focus more on Syria where


that problem is more complicated and answers are more difficult to find.


America promises more cash in the fight against Islamic State as well?


Possibly, but money can only take you so far. What you need our boots


on the ground and good allies, not American boots but local forces who


carry the fight to Islamic State. On the Syrian side of the border, they


are more difficult to find. It's a pleasure talking to you.


Pope Francis has asked for God 's forgiveness for what he called the


sins and failings from the Roman Catholic Church during the Rwanda


genocide, and it came after he met the president of Rwanda.


He asked for an apology for the role that some Catholic priests played in


the manner scope -- massacres. Some of the biggest consumers of


Brazilian meets have. In a meeting with ambassadors from


Europe, the USA and China, the Brazilian president said that the


government is confident in the meat's quality, the biggest red meat


exporter in the world. The five main candidates for the


French presidency are taking part in the first of three televised


debates. The frontrunners in the opinion


polls, Marine Le Pen and her opponent, they are hoping.


The divorce date is set, the UK will start the Brexit process on March


the 29th. The Prime Minister will notify the


EU that Britain is leaving the union.


Downing Street says Theresa May will write a letter to the European


Council to make it official and earlier she spoke about the expected


benefits of Brexit. When people voted in the referendum


last year it wasn't just about leaving the EU but voting for


change, they wanted a change in how the country works, to make sure it


works for everyone, not just the privileged few. As part of that, we


have a plan for Britain and part of it is about building a stronger


economy. Against the backdrop of Brexit,


President Trump made it clear he wants to renegotiate the North


American Free Trade Agreement which could be bad news for Texas cattle


ranchers, as the trade agreement eliminates trade barriers between


the US, Canada and Mexico. Since the introduction in 1984, US


beef exports have soared. Coleman Lock is a fifth-generation


Texas cattle rancher. My family have been raising cattle since 1915, a


little over 100 years. His fortunes are tied to International Trade


Commission significant number of his Brahman cattle are sold abroad,


including just south of the border in Mexico. We've been dealing in


international trade since 1933 when we first expect -- exported cattle


to Australia. The export market is important to you? It is very


important to our organisation. Some years, I've seen our international


sales be 85% of all of our business that we did that year. The North


American Free Trade Agreement is really important for those exports.


It allows his beef to enter Mexico duty-free. So any changes could hurt


him and other American cattle owners. Donald Trump enjoyed strong


support in rural communities like this one, as well as the rust belt.


Now, the challenge is, can he come up with a trade policy that helps


both manufacturing and farming? In the state capital of Austin, the


Texas agriculture Commissioner called for calm. Syd Millar was part


of the Trump campaigns advisory Council, and like the president he


believes changing the trade agreement is a good thing, even if


it shakes things up. I predicted that, I said when the president


takes office, it will be a rocky start, he will upset people and rock


the boat, we will renegotiate deals, people won't want to re-negotiate


deals if they don't have a sweet deal. The honeymoon isn't over yet,


but is the cattle industry is beginning to fray? According to this


cattle dealer, Trump's decision to walk away from the transpacific


partnership, a trade pact with Asia, means lost dollars for ranchers. We


can qualify TPP today, what could be going to those countries today is


about $400,000 worth of beef or that would


be going. It is not. It is a quantifiable


number. They are hoping his tough stance on the trade agreement is an


opening negotiation tactic. You are watching BBC World News


America and still to come... A region in peril in Nigeria. Our Boko


Haram has put hundreds of thousands of lives at risk in the country's


north-east. The hundreds of years, the unique


language thrived in the Malayan archipelago but now there are only a


handful of people who speak his language. One group from Singapore


want to stop that. And bring it back.


We are trying to teach this language to a new generation of learners, so


we rebuild the critical mass. These new learners pass the language onto


their children so it will be used future generations.


We use social media like Facebook to reach out to young people and keep


the land which relevant so their generation cares enough about the


language to keep it going. There are gaps in the language


because it is critically endangered, it hasn't been spoken for many years


but what we are trying to do is create new terms which fill the gaps


and leave the language relevant. The UN says hundreds of thousands of


people are at risk in north-east Nigeria as the army continues to


push fighters from the Islamist group Boko Haram out of towns and


villages. Food shortages have forced many people to flee their homes and


farms. The BBC's Clive Myrie has this report.


Farmers fields in north-east Nigeria, known to yield crops but


pity. They are dusty brown patches because farmers for years have been


unable to use this land due to conflict. On the ground in this


town, bullet riddled buildings and homes ransacked. Lives destroyed.


This city used to have a population of close to 300,000 people but now


you walk down the main street here and there is nothing but trouble.


It's a ghost town. A shell, empty of life. Residents had to flee the


Islamist group Boko Haram, and now the grounds of the derelict hospital


many call home. This woman escaped the blood let. She is 14.


TRANSLATION: They started killing people and burning houses, so we


hide. They said that they would be safe, don't be afraid. But when they


found us, they hacked my father, cutting his neck and cutting his


throat. Excels in their own country, the rituals of life continue. But so


many people are paying the price for the twisted ideology of the few that


the camps for those displaced by the fighting are struggling. This one


houses 11,000 people and was so overcrowded with malnourished and


new arrivals a few months ago, there was not enough food. More than 1000


died. Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands are arriving at camps like


this daily, as the Nigerian military continues to push Boko Haram back


and liberating villages. A woman had walked with her three children from


10pm one evening, and it took her until 9pm to reach the camp. It is


estimated there are up to 800,000 people trapped out there without


access. They are left to their fate. What is needed is more international


help, and crucially farmers being able to tell their land. But Boko


Haram is still out there and the farmers are scared. The chances of a


decent harvest this year is zero. Planting season begins in less than


two weeks. This town is being rebuilt, after the wanton


destruction of Boko Haram. But this place holds terrible memories for


those who fled for their lives. For this 15-year-old girl. TRANSLATION:


I have no mother. I have no father. I have nowhere to live. I'll never


go back. Clive Myrie, BBC News. You were watching BBC World News


America. Hers was the voice of a generation under fire, dame here


Lynn provided hope and reassurance to millions during the Second World


War through her songs -- Dame fear relent. Veterans have been taking


place at events Dame fear Lynn says she is thrilled by tributes from


veterans at the white cliffs of Dover. The face of defiance blended


with the voice of hope. 100 years of Day grid three projected onto the


last piece of England that the troops saw as they left to battle


for England's -- Dame Vera Lynn. A heartbreaking lullabies became the


soundtrack for a nation in peril. # Will meet again


# Don't know where, don't know when #


She soothed fears and stiffened resolved


. Some sunny day... But Dame Vera Lynn


can still recall her brush with a demanding voice coach.


She heard me sing and said no, I cannot train that voice! It's not a


natural voice! I said well thank you very much, madam. And left! Today in


Dover, above the cliffs that inspired one of her greatest songs,


veterans and friends came to celebrate her milestone birthday.


And, recall her life affirming sound. Her voice came through clear


and with it was a story as she sang. It gave you hope of coming home. If


you listen to her voice in a jungle clearing, it takes the fright away


by making you think of other parts of your life and hopes for the


future. The bracing winds of the channel did not deter a salute above


the cliffs that Dame Vera Lynn sang to mortality. A grand gesture for a


grand dame still on a journey as she continues to share it with a


grateful nation. Duncan Kennedy, BBC News.


# All over the world will #


Dame Vera Lynn is 100 years old. That's all for today, more stories


available on the website. From all of us, thank


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