20/03/2017 BBC World News America


20/03/2017

In-depth reports on the major international and US news of the day with Katty Kay.


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This is BBC World News America, reporting from Washington.

:00:09.:00:16.

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

:00:17.:00:19.

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

:00:20.:00:25.

evidence of wiretapping. The bureau is investigating possible Russian

:00:26.:00:29.

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

:00:30.:00:34.

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

:00:35.:00:39.

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

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the militant group. # The White Cliffs of Dover #

:00:45.:00:49.

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

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

:00:57.:01:09.

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

:01:10.:01:16.

around the globe. The allegations had been explosive

:01:17.:01:20.

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

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

:01:25.:01:28.

looking into possible into parents by Russia in the US presidential

:01:29.:01:31.

elections. He also made clear there is no

:01:32.:01:35.

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

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Trump Tower. Both of these issues have consumed

:01:38.:01:44.

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

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

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

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

:01:58.:02:01.

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

:02:02.:02:05.

is investigating the Russian government efforts to interfere in

:02:06.:02:10.

the 2016 presidential election. That includes investigating the nature of

:02:11.:02:14.

any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign,

:02:15.:02:19.

and the Russian government, and whether there were any coordination

:02:20.:02:23.

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

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investigation into Russian pollution, James Comey would not be

:02:28.:02:32.

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

:02:33.:02:37.

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

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respect to those tweets from the president about alleged wiretapping

:02:41.:02:45.

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

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

:02:49.:02:51.

Resident Obama could not unilaterally order a wiretap of

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

:02:58.:03:07.

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

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

:03:15.:03:17.

the National Security Agency to answer questions about British

:03:18.:03:20.

security involvement, but the responses were unequivocal.

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Could you ever request that your counterparts at GCHQ should wiretap

:03:25.:03:31.

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

:03:32.:03:36.

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

:03:37.:03:45.

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

:03:46.:03:49.

our closest intelligence partners for the president to make a bailiff

:03:50.:03:55.

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

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

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

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start but -- before tweeting his verdict.

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

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

:04:30.:04:34.

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

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

:04:40.:04:43.

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

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

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

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

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

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whether or not the president laughed at the joke.

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

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After those allegations and speculation, a significant

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

:05:20.:05:24.

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

:05:25.:05:28.

know, to decide to open a counterintelligence investigation

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

:05:33.:05:36.

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

:05:37.:05:41.

election with the aim of helping Donald Trump against Hillary

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

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

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

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

:06:01.:06:05.

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

:06:06.:06:09.

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

:06:10.:06:12.

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

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

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

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

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

:06:32.:06:36.

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

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

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

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

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

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wiretapping Trump Tower. Another big hearing today, Neale

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

:06:59.:07:04.

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

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

:07:10.:07:17.

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

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

:07:20.:07:27.

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

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

:07:32.:07:35.

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

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

:07:40.:07:43.

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

:07:44.:07:50.

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

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

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

:08:00.:08:02.

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

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

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administration has meetings on fighting Isis. He sought financial

:08:14.:08:20.

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

:08:21.:08:32.

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

:08:33.:08:36.

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

:08:37.:08:42.

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

:08:43.:08:48.

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

:08:49.:08:53.

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

:08:54.:08:57.

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

:08:58.:09:02.

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

:09:03.:09:06.

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

:09:07.:09:10.

with President Trump and his proposed budget cuts which would see

:09:11.:09:14.

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

:09:15.:09:18.

reconstruction in Iraq? When it comes to the reconstruction,

:09:19.:09:22.

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

:09:23.:09:29.

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

:09:30.:09:32.

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

:09:33.:09:35.

they should expect to see contributions. With proposed 54

:09:36.:09:41.

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

:09:42.:09:46.

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

:09:47.:09:52.

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

:09:53.:09:58.

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

:09:59.:10:02.

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

:10:03.:10:07.

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

:10:08.:10:13.

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

:10:14.:10:22.

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

:10:23.:10:25.

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

:10:26.:10:28.

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

:10:29.:10:37.

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

:10:38.:10:43.

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

:10:44.:10:47.

Prime Minister had a receptive audience and people to carry his

:10:48.:10:51.

water into the administration and make his case.

:10:52.:10:55.

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

:10:56.:10:59.

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

:11:00.:11:03.

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

:11:04.:11:07.

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

:11:08.:11:12.

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

:11:13.:11:16.

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

:11:17.:11:21.

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

:11:22.:11:26.

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

:11:27.:11:31.

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

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

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

:11:45.:11:51.

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

:11:52.:11:56.

sins and failings from the Roman Catholic Church during the Rwanda

:11:57.:12:02.

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

:12:03.:12:06.

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

:12:07.:12:11.

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

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Brazilian meets have. In a meeting with ambassadors from

:12:18.:12:22.

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

:12:23.:12:27.

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

:12:28.:12:30.

exporter in the world. The five main candidates for the

:12:31.:12:35.

French presidency are taking part in the first of three televised

:12:36.:12:36.

debates. The frontrunners in the opinion

:12:37.:12:44.

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

:12:45.:12:56.

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

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the 29th. The Prime Minister will notify the

:13:00.:13:03.

EU that Britain is leaving the union.

:13:04.:13:05.

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

:13:06.:13:08.

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

:13:09.:13:12.

benefits of Brexit. When people voted in the referendum

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

:13:16.:13:20.

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

:13:21.:13:24.

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

:13:25.:13:29.

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

:13:30.:13:32.

economy. Against the backdrop of Brexit,

:13:33.:13:40.

President Trump made it clear he wants to renegotiate the North

:13:41.:13:42.

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

:13:43.:13:46.

ranchers, as the trade agreement eliminates trade barriers between

:13:47.:13:50.

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

:13:51.:13:53.

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

:13:54.:14:03.

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

:14:04.:14:09.

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

:14:10.:14:13.

Commission significant number of his Brahman cattle are sold abroad,

:14:14.:14:18.

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

:14:19.:14:22.

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

:14:23.:14:29.

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

:14:30.:14:32.

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

:14:33.:14:39.

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

:14:40.:14:43.

American Free Trade Agreement is really important for those exports.

:14:44.:14:48.

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

:14:49.:14:55.

him and other American cattle owners. Donald Trump enjoyed strong

:14:56.:14:58.

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

:14:59.:15:03.

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

:15:04.:15:09.

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

:15:10.:15:14.

Texas agriculture Commissioner called for calm. Syd Millar was part

:15:15.:15:18.

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

:15:19.:15:22.

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

:15:23.:15:26.

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

:15:27.:15:30.

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

:15:31.:15:35.

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

:15:36.:15:40.

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

:15:41.:15:45.

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

:15:46.:15:49.

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

:15:50.:15:54.

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

:15:55.:16:01.

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

:16:02.:16:05.

about $400,000 worth of beef or that would

:16:06.:16:09.

be going. It is not. It is a quantifiable

:16:10.:16:17.

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

:16:18.:16:25.

opening negotiation tactic. You are watching BBC World News

:16:26.:16:30.

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

:16:31.:16:33.

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

:16:34.:16:35.

north-east. The hundreds of years, the unique

:16:36.:16:48.

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

:16:49.:16:53.

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

:16:54.:17:01.

want to stop that. And bring it back.

:17:02.:17:05.

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

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

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their children so it will be used future generations.

:17:48.:17:55.

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

:17:56.:17:59.

the land which relevant so their generation cares enough about the

:18:00.:18:00.

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

:18:01.:18:18.

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

:18:19.:18:22.

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

:18:23.:18:24.

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

:18:25.:18:53.

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

:18:54.:18:57.

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

:18:58.:19:01.

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

:19:02.:19:05.

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

:19:06.:19:11.

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

:19:12.:19:18.

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

:19:19.:19:21.

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

:19:22.:19:31.

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

:19:32.:19:36.

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

:19:37.:19:40.

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

:19:41.:19:44.

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

:19:45.:19:51.

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

:19:52.:19:58.

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

:19:59.:20:07.

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

:20:08.:20:11.

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

:20:12.:20:19.

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

:20:20.:20:27.

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

:20:28.:20:33.

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

:20:34.:20:39.

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

:20:40.:20:44.

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

:20:45.:20:48.

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

:20:49.:20:53.

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

:20:54.:20:58.

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

:20:59.:21:04.

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

:21:05.:21:08.

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

:21:09.:21:15.

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

:21:16.:21:22.

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

:21:23.:21:27.

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

:21:28.:21:32.

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

:21:33.:21:37.

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

:21:38.:21:44.

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

:21:45.:21:48.

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

:21:49.:21:53.

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

:21:54.:22:03.

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

:22:04.:22:16.

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

:22:17.:22:20.

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

:22:21.:22:23.

Lynn provided hope and reassurance to millions during the Second World

:22:24.:22:30.

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

:22:31.:22:38.

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

:22:39.:22:43.

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

:22:44.:22:51.

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

:22:52.:22:57.

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

:22:58.:23:03.

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

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soundtrack for a nation in peril. # Will meet again

:23:10.:23:15.

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

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She soothed fears and stiffened resolved

:23:18.:23:21.

. Some sunny day... But Dame Vera Lynn

:23:22.:23:29.

can still recall her brush with a demanding voice coach.

:23:30.:23:33.

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

:23:34.:23:39.

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

:23:40.:23:49.

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

:23:50.:23:54.

veterans and friends came to celebrate her milestone birthday.

:23:55.:23:59.

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

:24:00.:24:07.

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

:24:08.:24:16.

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

:24:17.:24:20.

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

:24:21.:24:25.

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

:24:26.:24:29.

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

:24:30.:24:36.

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

:24:37.:24:40.

grateful nation. Duncan Kennedy, BBC News.

:24:41.:24:46.

# All over the world will #

:24:47.:24:56.

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

:24:57.:25:00.

available on the website. From all of us, thank

:25:01.:25:02.

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