12/03/2018 BBC World News America


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12/03/2018

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


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Pointing the finger at Moscow, the

Prime Minister says a nerve agent

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was used to poison a former Russian

spy in the UK.

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White House backs away from raising

the age limit for buying guns,

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Democrats accuse the president of

caving in to the NRA. His clothes

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were the stuff of movie magic and

fashion show fantasies, French

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designer Givenchy has died at the

age of 91.

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Welcome to our viewers on public

television here in the US and around

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the globe. The UK Prime Minister

says it is highly likely that Russia

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was behind the poisoning of a former

spy in Britain, speaking in

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parliament, Theresa May said that

Sergei Skripal and his daughter were

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attacked with a nerve agent,

irrelevant by the Soviet military.

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Moscow denies any involvement. The

White House called the attack

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reckless. The dramatic correspondent

James Landau has more.

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Today, police continued to examines

all three home of Sergei Skripal,

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more than one week after the former

Russian intelligence officer and his

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daughter were attacked with a nerve

agent.

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So, this morning

ministers gathered for a

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meeting of the National Security

Council, looking for answers.

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An update on the

investigation from the

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police and intelligence services

that would allow them and the Prime

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Minister to decide

what steps to take next.

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For some days ministers have been

pushing Theresa May for

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tougher response.

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This afternoon she was clear

who she thought was

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responsible, and

what they should do.

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It is now clear that Mr Skripal

and his daughter were poisoned with

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a military grade nerve agent

of a type developed by Russia.

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It is part of a group of nerve

agents known as Novichok.

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Based on the analysis

of world leading experts

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at Porton Down,

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our knowledge that Russia has

previously produced this agent

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and would still be

capable of doing so,

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the Government has concluded that it

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is highly likely that Russia

was responsible for the act against

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Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

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She said the Foreign

Secretary had summoned

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the Russian ambassador

and told him he had

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until the end of tomorrow to

explain whether this was a direct

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act by the Russian state or by

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others who now control

the nerve agent.

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Mr Speaker, this attempted murder

using a weapons grade nerve agent

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in a British town was not just

a crime against the Skripals,

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it was an indiscriminate

and reckless act against

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the United Kingdom,

putting the lives of

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innocent civilians at risk.

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And we will not tolerate such

a brazen attempt to murder

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in innocent civilians on our soil.

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The Labour leader called

for tougher sanctions

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on oligarchs living in London.

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We need to continue seeking a robust

dialogue with Russia

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on all the issues currently

dividing our country is,

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both domestic and international.

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Rather than simply cutting off

contact and letting the tensions

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and divisions get worse.

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and divisions get worse.

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Earlier today, before the statement,

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President Putin was visiting

an agricultural centre

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in southern Russia

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and dismissed a question

from the BBC's Steve Rosenberg.

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President Putin, BBC News,

is Russia behind the poisoning

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of Sergei Skripal?

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TRANSLATION:

We are dealing

with agriculture here, as you see,

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to create conditions for people's

lives, and you talk to me

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about some tragedies.

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First get to the bottom of it

there and then we will discuss this.

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But now that Russia has

been blamed officially

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for what happened in Salisbury,

it has 24 hours to

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decide how to respond.

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Earlier, Moscow correspondent Steve

Rosenberg explained why officials in

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Moscow don't seem too concerned

about the Prime Minister's

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accusation.

Biggest problem the

British government faces here is the

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way it is perceived by the Kremlin,

it is perceived as pretty weak.

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Britain is perceived as quite weak.

Here, politicians criticising

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Russia, huffing and puffing, but the

politicians do not believe that

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Britain will blow the house down and

take strong measures against Moscow

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so the key question is, if, come

Wednesday, Britain and improve this

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was an act of state-sponsored force

by Russia, what kind of measures

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will Britain, together with our

allies, take against Moscow?

Steve

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Rosenberg

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reporting from Moscow.

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Another twist in the debate over gun

regulation here in the US, with

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President Trump putting off action

on raising the minimum age for

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buying guns. This was an idea that

he championed after the school

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shooting in Florida. Now the one

White House wants to fund programmes

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to train school staff to use

firearms, encourage military

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veterans and retired police to

become teachers and improved

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background and mental health checks.

For more on this we spoke with a

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national political correspondent for

the Hill.

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The president seems to have backed

away from the idea of raising the

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minimum age at which you can

purchase a gun, how does the White

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House explain this evolving

position.

Great question, almost a

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month since the mass shooting in

Parkland, Florida, president

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initially talked about tough

measures he wanted to take to defy

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the NRA, the White House today were

stepping back and saying, the

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president has not given up on any of

those initiatives but he just wants

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to study them.

Interesting, the

president himself a few weeks ago

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was accusing politicians of running

scared from the NRA. He himself has

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had several meetings with the NRA

recently, have they had an impact?

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They definitely had an impact, the

president has met at least twice

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with representatives of the NRA,

initially publicly was saying wanted

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to be tough and take a leadership

role on guns, they talked with him

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privately about the politics of

this, their own positions on this

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and gun control, and Republicans on

Capitol Hill also were very

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instrumental in discouraging the

president from thinking in a

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mid-term election year that this

would be in any way profitable for

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Republicans running for re-election.

The fact is now, we don't have a

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discussion about restrictions on gun

ownership, it is all about mental

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health and school safety.

And

hardening schools, hardening the

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actual infrastructure of schools, as

you pointed out, by saying, that was

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the lead item from the White House

today, the United States need to

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make schools much more guarded and

at guns to the school setting, where

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students are learning. We know that

is very controversial and yet the

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president is very supportive and not

surprisingly the NRA is too.

Without

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the Florida School shooting

survivors planning a huge march on

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Washington next week, they have

called for gun restrictions, also

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something that polling suggests

Americans back too, so this is going

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to be a political issue in the

run-up to the mid-term.

Yes, but we

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know there is some Democrats running

in states that President Trump won

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in 2016 who are nervous about the

idea of being tough on guns, both

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parties have hesitations about this.

The young people who have been very

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affected and motivated by the mass

shooting in Florida are mobilising.

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The other element that is

interesting, the White House is

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referring to states. Borrowed acted

on legislation can signed by a

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conservative Republican governor.

Background checks, how much stronger

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with baby, would they cover gun

shows under what the White House is

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proposing?

No, the legislation

talked about on Capitol Hill will be

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voluntary on the state of -- part of

states, to add additional

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information to the testing database,

does not come close to being

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universal background checks.

Hank

you very much for joining us.

Thank

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you.

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Guns are not such a divisive issue

in western Pennsylvania, voters head

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to the polls are a special election

on Tuesday, both candidates are in

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favour of the second Amendment, and

wary of gun control. This should be

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a safe Republican seat but polls

suggest Democrats may be rose

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closing the gap late in the race.

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It is not even close to November but

you would not know in this

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Pennsylvania district, campaigning

in full swing. With President Trump

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just the latest to add his power to

the race. -- stump power.

The world

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is watching, they are all watching

because I won this district by 22

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points, that's a lot. Look at all

those red hats. Look at all those.

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Meanwhile, at this rally, for the

Democratic candidates...

Go out and

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make sure he wins!

The former vice

president, and Pennsylvania native,

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trying to rally his troops.

It was

awesome that he was here, and I

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loved what he said, that is exactly

what everybody here feels.

Vice

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President Joe Biden speaks to the

working class, he speaks to this

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region, it is a blue-collar region

and he is a blue-collar guy.

In the

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final days of the race, a toss-up,

between the Republican and the

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33-year-old Democrat, in and of

itself, that is quite a surprise.

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Donald

0:10:100:10:13

Donald Trump won this district by 20

points, it should be safe

0:10:140:10:17

Republican. What is really animated

these people, the single issue,

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resident tram, if you were

dissatisfied with the course, the

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direction that this government has

been taking the country, this is

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your opportunity to stand up against

that.

Su means is a councilwoman in

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the area, and a long-time supporter.

The eyes of the world are on this

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race, the eyes of the nation,

because people do see this as a

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referendum on Donald Trump.

Is he

doing a good job? I hope and pray

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that the voters realise it is not

about one seat, it is about the

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wave, for the whole mid-term

election. -- Sue Means. This is the

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first congressional race since the

Parkland shooting, surprisingly, gun

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control is not the driving factor.

Neither candidate supports measures

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like banning assault rifles, and the

Democratic candidate played up his

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programming David -- his

pro-government credentials.

Guns are

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as American as apple pie.

He's also

a cop, and he teaches self defence.

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People are afraid guns will be taken

away. My goodness, I have eczema of

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money, I had better buy a gun before

the politicians take it away from

0:11:340:11:37

us. -- by amount of money.

Guns may

be a popular past time here, but

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whoever wins, it is more about

money. Jobs and money.

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All eyes on that special election

tomorrow. In other news, in Nepal,

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at least 49 people have been killed

a plane crash in the capital,

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Kathmandu, the aircraft belonging to

a private Bangladeshi carrier

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careered off the runway at the

International Airport and burst into

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flames, the airline has blamed air

traffic control but the airport says

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the plane approached from the wrong

direction. 71 people on board, 20

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were rescued.

0:12:210:12:23

Meghan Markle has made her first

official appearance alongside Queen

0:12:230:12:29

Elizabeth, Prince Harry joined other

members of the Royal family

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including the monitor at the

Commonwealth Day service

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held at Westminster Abbey. The

former US ambassador to Panama

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decided to step down from his post

over the Charlottesville riots last

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August because of the President's

failure to speak out against

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neo-Nazis, now he has written a

piece for the Washington post

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saying, why I can no longer serve as

president. He says the unilateral

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and isolationist path is making

America less welkin in the world,

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you joined me earlier from Miami. --

less

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welcome in the world. You say you

resign because traditional values

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have been warped and betrayed, how

so?

It is clear to see in the

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rhetoric of the campaign, that the

president ran, and in the reality of

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trying to build a wall which is more

of a metaphysical wall, to keep

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people out, than to actually work on

border security. The language that

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demonises the Latin migrants is the

same kind of language that was used

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over 100 years ago to demonise the

Italians and the Irish, and the

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Russians and the jury is -- and the

Jewish who came to the United

0:13:400:13:46

States, I felt we had overcome that

and established a post-world order

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with allies like Great Britain that

focused on human rights, tolerance,

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inclusion. I'm an old Marine, I

believe that we are strongest when

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we are compassionate, I didn't see

any of that coming out after about a

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year with this administration.

On

immigration, you write that the

0:14:020:14:08

President's policies are foolish,

delusional, anti-American, apart

0:14:080:14:11

from building the wall, where else

do you feel that to be evident?

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Well, I think in the way in which

the administration has treated

0:14:150:14:18

traditional allies. Look, the world

is a dangerous place, and nobody

0:14:180:14:24

wants to go at it alone. Going it

alone in today's world when you are

0:14:240:14:29

talking about security, talking

about commerce, means making

0:14:290:14:33

yourself weaker, that unfortunately

is what we have done. We have not

0:14:330:14:37

continue to build the relationships

that got us to the very good

0:14:370:14:41

position we were in.

What impact

would you say as a career diplomat,

0:14:410:14:46

all these resignations from the

State Department and the vacancies

0:14:460:14:49

are having on the important work of

diplomacy, preparing for a summit

0:14:490:14:53

with the North leader, for example.

Absolutely, the effect has been

0:14:530:14:57

quite frankly very difficult, I left

because I felt a line was crushed,

0:14:570:15:05

my colleagues stay because they

still want to serve. One of the

0:15:050:15:08

things I think a lot of people don't

realise is just how patriotically

0:15:080:15:11

most diplomats are, from any

country, you voluntarily

0:15:110:15:15

circumscribe your own first

Amendment rights, you work

0:15:150:15:18

independently of partisan conflict,

and what you do is you dedicate

0:15:180:15:22

yourself to learning a region,

learning and issue. Right now, as we

0:15:220:15:28

possibly get ready for North Korea,

or looking at Nafta discussions, you

0:15:280:15:32

have people who are experts in Nafta

for over 25 years, and we had the

0:15:320:15:36

President's son-in-law leading

discussions with the Mexican Foreign

0:15:360:15:40

Minister... I just felt, and many

feel like I do, that we are walking

0:15:400:15:45

off the field of competence, and

into a realm where we sort of how to

0:15:450:15:52

decipher the tweets to figure out

what policy will be! That does not

0:15:520:15:56

make America safe.

Thank you very

much for joining us.

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Coming up: anticipating a trade war,

the UN Ambassador to Washington

0:16:020:16:10

tells us Europe is ready to respond

to President Trump's steel tariffs.

0:16:100:16:15

The world-famous dog show Crufts has

been disrupted by animal rights

0:16:230:16:27

protesters, the climax of this years

event was temporarily halted, after

0:16:270:16:32

demonstrators stormed the venue from

a group that has condemned the event

0:16:320:16:35

for in courage in some types of dog

breeding.

0:16:350:16:48

This year's winner was a two and a

half year old with Pitt, called

0:16:550:17:01

Tease but as she headed to the

podium, this happen, two protest is

0:17:010:17:05

emerged from the audience at the

national exhibition Centre in

0:17:050:17:09

Birmingham, very quickly they were

chased down and subdued by security

0:17:090:17:14

staff, no animals or owners were

harmed. It's believed they were

0:17:140:17:17

demonstrating on behalf of the

animal rights group, Peta, which

0:17:170:17:24

condemns Crufts for what it called

extreme dog breeding. A statement

0:17:240:17:27

said:

0:17:270:17:29

Crufts issued a statement:

0:17:380:17:41

the response on social media was

almost instantaneous, CJ joiner

0:17:470:17:52

tweeting:

0:17:520:17:57

as for Tease, she seemed entirely

unfazed by the whole thing, best and

0:18:130:18:22

calmest in show.

0:18:220:18:24

Earlier we were talking about Donald

Trump's trip to western Pennsylvania

0:18:320:18:36

where he talked up his tariffs on

imported steel and aluminium, in

0:18:360:18:40

response, the EU has pushed back,

reckoning tariffs of their own on

0:18:400:18:44

American product. Katty Kay has been

speaking with David O'Sullivan, for

0:18:440:18:50

her programme beyond 100 days. The

ambassador has said that the

0:18:500:19:01

European Union will stand up to

trade the bullies, is the Trump

0:19:010:19:05

administration becoming a trade

bully? -- stand up to trade bullies.

0:19:050:19:10

I think we have a disagreement over

the issue of steel and aluminium

0:19:100:19:13

tariffs, we think the proposed

imposition of the tariffs on

0:19:130:19:18

European companies is unfair, and

unjustified, and if the tariffs are

0:19:180:19:23

eventually imposed, we will react as

we feel appropriate. We hope this

0:19:230:19:29

will not happen, possibility of an

exemption for certain countries and

0:19:290:19:32

that is the channel we are going to

work in the immediate future.

The

0:19:320:19:35

European Union has not been

mentioned in those, the president on

0:19:350:19:40

Saturday and again this morning

tweeted in ways that made it sound

0:19:400:19:43

like he was not happy with the

European Union, he says the European

0:19:430:19:47

Union has large tariffs and barriers

against the United States, if you

0:19:470:19:52

don't get an exemption, will be you

retaliate against American products?

0:19:520:19:56

If the proposed steel and aluminium

tariffs are imposed on European

0:19:560:20:03

exports, then yes, we will use our

rights under the World Trade

0:20:030:20:07

Organisation to impose rebalancing

tariffs on American exports. We hope

0:20:070:20:12

that will not be the case, I know

that the president has made some

0:20:120:20:16

critical remarks about the European

Union, we don't share that

0:20:160:20:19

perspective. I don't think it is

fair to characterise the European

0:20:190:20:22

Union as protectionist or posing

barriers to exports, we are one of

0:20:220:20:28

the largest trading economies in the

world and one of the most open and

0:20:280:20:32

we trade enormously with the United

States, but if that is a

0:20:320:20:35

conversation the president wants to

have, he should hold it with his

0:20:350:20:39

European Intel occurred tos, and we

can continue his conversation but on

0:20:390:20:43

the immediate issue of tariffs, we

are looking down the avenue of

0:20:430:20:51

intervention. Failing which, we will

preserve rights under the WTO. --

0:20:510:20:55

interlocutors.

Measures against

European steel and aluminium exports

0:20:550:21:01

to America, would that have a

material impact on European

0:21:010:21:05

producers, Germany is only 3% of the

total import of steel.

We are

0:21:050:21:11

actually the largest exporter of

steel to the United States,

0:21:110:21:14

second-largest by volume and the

largest by value, so total European

0:21:140:21:18

Union exports of steel are quite

important, the total value of those

0:21:180:21:21

exports is around $8 billion, and

that is the value of the European

0:21:210:21:27

export which will be affected by

these tariffs if they are imposed.

0:21:270:21:32

So it would have an impact on

European companies?

Very much, and

0:21:320:21:37

we of course feel obliged to protect

their interests.

Going through the

0:21:370:21:40

list of things that the EU has

talked about in terms of retaliatory

0:21:400:21:45

measures, bourbon from Kentucky,

Harley-Davidsons from Wisconsin,

0:21:450:21:48

orange juice from Florida, all very

important states in American

0:21:480:21:53

politics, is this a political

gesture that the EU is proposing?

0:21:530:21:58

The commission has proposed an

indicative list, this has been

0:21:580:22:02

discussed with member states, in

choosing the products you always

0:22:020:22:05

look at those which will have a

maximum impact, in terms of the

0:22:050:22:08

effect desired.

Impact politically,

you mean.

Also economically, because

0:22:080:22:14

the desire is to is to send a

message that the damage inflicted on

0:22:140:22:18

European exports will be

reciprocated in terms of having an

0:22:180:22:23

impact on American exports. I want

to emphasise, this is not where we

0:22:230:22:28

want to be and we hope we will not

take this forward.

If there is going

0:22:280:22:33

to be a trade war, to be clear, the

European Union will fight back?

I

0:22:330:22:38

really don't think it would be right

to characterise this as a trade war,

0:22:380:22:43

we sincerely hope that it is

possible to have a dialogue and come

0:22:430:22:47

out of this situation without

tariffs being imposed on either

0:22:470:22:49

side, that is the objective, if

tariffs are imposed, then indeed, we

0:22:490:22:54

will have to protect the interests

of our industry in the where we best

0:22:540:22:59

see fit.

Thank you very much for

joining us.

You are very welcome.

0:22:590:23:04

One of the great names in French

fashion, the designer Givenchy, has

0:23:050:23:11

died, he was 91, among his clients,

first Lady Jackie Kennedy and film

0:23:110:23:17

star, Audrey Hepburn.

0:23:170:23:20

It is one of the most famous dresses

in cinema history, designed by

0:23:220:23:26

Hubert de Givenchy four Audrey

Hepburn, to show off what he said

0:23:260:23:32

was her very good shoulders and long

neck and to hide her skinny

0:23:320:23:35

collarbone. Givenchy was fated

throughout his career for mixing

0:23:350:23:42

innovation with timeless simplicity,

is fashion house founded in the

0:23:420:23:45

1950s showcased the concept of

separates, skirts and blouses,

0:23:450:23:51

designed to give women more freedom

in the way they dressed.

0:23:510:23:56

TRANSLATION:

The dresses must be

well on a woman's body, too many

0:23:560:24:00

decorations onto a garment will

contradict the piece itself. The

0:24:000:24:03

material has a life of its own, one

should never contradict it if you

0:24:030:24:08

want the fabric to speak.

His

creations were worn by the Duchess

0:24:080:24:12

of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, and the

former American first Lady, Jackie

0:24:120:24:15

Kennedy, something that had to be

kept secret from the American press,

0:24:150:24:19

to preserve a sense of national

loyalty. He sold his fashion house

0:24:190:24:26

to the luxury French brand 30 years

ago but his views on haute couture

0:24:260:24:31

were sought right up until his

death, at an exhibition to celebrate

0:24:310:24:35

his work last year he told one

interviewer, the perfect dress can

0:24:350:24:38

make many things happen in a woman's

life, it can bring happiness.

0:24:380:24:43

A fashion legend there are, and

remember, you can find much more on

0:24:470:24:51

all the news on the website plus see

what we are working on at any time,

0:24:510:24:55

make sure to check out the Facebook

page. Thank you for watching world

0:24:550:25:00

news America.

0:25:000:25:02