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,
I'm Jane O'Brien.
President Trump joins
the international chorus in blaming
Moscow for the poisoning
of a Russian spy.
He also has new problems
from the Mueller probe.
A bridge collapses in Miami
killing several people
at a local university.
We'll have the latest
from the scene.
And, it's all smiles in Finland.
Why the Nordic nation is ranked
the happiest country on earth.
Welcome to our viewers on public
television here in America,
and also around the globe.
The US has joined France,
Germany and the UK in a joint
statement demanding that Russia
explain the use of a military grade
nerve agent in an attack on a former
Russian spy in England.
The US Treasury Department also
ordered further sanctions
against a number of Russians
for meddling in the US
Moscow denies any involvement.
Today the British Prime Minister
visited the scene of the attack
in Salisbury as the BBC's
James Landale reports.
This was Theresa May's
first visit to Salisbury
since the nerve agent attack.
A chance to be briefed by the police
and public health experts,
but also a chance to meet
and reassure members of the public,
whose lives have been so disrupted.
The spirit of those that live
here has been fantastic.
She visited the scene of the attack
on the former Russian intelligence
officer and his daughter
11 days ago.
The restaurant where they ate
and a park bench, under a tent,
where they were found.
The Prime Minister thanked some
of the police officers who first
responded to the call.
Thank you, what you did
is what the police do
day in and day out.
You go to a routine call,
you don't know what you find.
Then at the local hospital
she met and thanked
Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey,
who is still recovering
from exposure to the nerve agent.
Russia, she said, was guilty
of a brazen and despicable attack.
She expelled 23 of its diplomats,
but is ready to do more.
There are other things
we're looking at.
If we face further provocation,
there are other measures we can
What is important in
the international arena and we have
taken this into Nato,
the United Nations and we will be
taking it into the European Union,
allies are standing alongside us.
That came in a joint statement
from the leaders of Britain,
France, Germany and the US,
blaming Russia for what they called
an assault on UK sovereignty.
I spoke with the Prime Minister
and we are in deep discussions,
very sad situation and it looks
like the Russians are behind it.
Something that should never,
ever happen and we are taking it
very seriously, as I think
are many others.
The joint statement is significant
because it shows the Foreign Office
and Downing Street are convincing
Britain's allies that the Salisbury
attack is different,
it represents an escalation
of Russia's hostile behaviour.
And as such, those allies are ready
to crank up the pressure on Moscow.
That diplomacy continued today
in Brussels, where British security
officials briefed Nato allies.
The head of the alliance said Russia
had clearly breached
It is important to express
strong, political support
to the United Kingdom,
sending a clear message that
the United Kingdom is not alone.
We stand together with them.
In Moscow, President Putin
discussed the Salisbury
case with his ministers,
who denied Russia and the Soviet
Union had ever run a Novichok nerve
agent programme and promised
to respond soon to the expulsion
of its diplomats.
The Porton Down military
which identified the nerve agent,
is to get an extra £48
million in funding.
Ministers confirmed it would provide
a sample to the chemical watchdog.
Ministers, whose diplomacy is not
extending to Russia.
If you are a nation and another
nation has launched a nerve agent
attack on your people,
you have every right to tell Russia
to shut up and go away.
Meanwhile, this afternoon
near Salisbury, the investigation
continued with the Army recovering
a car from the village near the home
of Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.
President Trump has often appeared
reluctant to publicly confront or
criticise Russia, and the latest
round of sanctions are the toughest
yet. Anthony Zurcher joined me a
short time ago. Has the Trump
administration actually changed its
stance on Russia? The sanctions seem
to be pretty tough?
They are, they
are the toughest so far. They will
also effectively mandated by a law
that Congress passed last year that
said the administration should
punish Russia for meddling in the
election. There is a deadline to
impose sanctions that was passed 45
days ago. So there was increasing
pressure on the Trump administration
to do something about this. You
could say they drew from some of
Robert Mueller's investigation, a
number of the people identified were
indicted in the investigation, and
then also naming the hacking into
power plants and things. I think we
are going to see more calls now to
do something directly related to the
chemical attack in the UK.
about the Mueller investigation, the
New York Times is reporting that he
has subpoenaed the Trump
Organisation for documents relating
to the investigation. How
significant is that?
The first thing
that is significant is that it is
not a request, it is a subpoenaed,
it means you have to turn over any
documents connected to dealings with
Russia. The Trump organisation say
they are being cooperative, but they
don't have business dealings in
Russia. But it represents an
expansion, as far as we know, of the
cent Robert Mueller probe, into some
of the Donald Trump's business
dealings and shows that the probe is
not going to be winding up any time
How relevant is it to the core
of the investigation, which is to
look into allegations of collusion
with Russia during the presidential
That was the question. But
the mandate for the Department of
Justice said if you find any crimes,
look into it. Donald Trump, in an
interview with the New York Times,
asked if he would be OK with the
investigation looking into his
business dealings unrelated to the
Russian investigation, he said he
didn't think that was going to
happen, but if it did, it would be a
bad thing. Interview said, it was a
red line? Would you fire him? He
said, he wasn't going to answer that
question, he BC doesn't want this
investigation going to his personal
things. We saw Paul Manafort going
into indictment for business
dealings of his own well before the
election. It is possible it could be
an expansion of the probe.
to be in firing mood, with the
departure of Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson. How safe could Robert
Mueller or Jeff Sessions be?
Jeff Sessions is the person to
watch first and he has recused
himself from the investigation, his
replacement would have the authority
to rain in or terminate Robert
Mueller's investigation. You can go
down the chain and say Rod
Rosenstein has also been the subject
of criticism. There has been told
that this is just the first of many
staff turnovers after Tillerson.
Donald Trump tweeted that changes
come and go, but there is no chaos.
I guess we will find out in the
Thank you very much
A brand new pedestrian bridge
in Miami has collapsed,
killing several people.
At least three vehicles were crushed
and a number of victims are reported
to be trapped in the rubble.
The bridge, which opened
on Saturday, connected
Florida International University
to a student housing area.
Gary O'Donahue reports
Scrambling to rescue the trapped
and injured after 950 tonnes
of a newly installed pedestrian
bridge crashed down
onto the road below.
A number of vehicles were crushed
as the bridge came down,
shortly before 2pm.
The emergency services,
dashing to help those
pinned under the concrete.
The footbridge had only
just been completed,
designed to take students
from the Florida International
University safely across a six-lane
highway to their accommodation.
What was soon to become an iconic,
staple part of the connectivity
between the city and the University
has actually turned out
to be a national tragedy.
Our hearts are extended out
to those, the victims that
were actually able to be transported
away, as well as those that may not
be walking away from the scene.
The collapsed section of the bridge
was only put in place last Saturday,
using a method known as advanced
designed to be fast and cause
the least disruption
as possible to traffic.
Three, two, one...
The National Transportation Safety
Board says it is sending
investigators to the scene,
and the building company employed
to put up the bridge, MCM,
says it will co-operate fully.
Earlier I spoke to BBC
Mundo's Patricia Solburon,
who is at the scene.
What is the latest you have?
latest information, Jane, is that so
far there aren't any official
numbers of deaths or casualties
here, after the collapse of this
bridge. However, we can't see rescue
teams trying to rescue people from
under the debris. We are seeing four
cranes working, trying to collect
all of the concrete. Let's remember,
this bridge is 950 tonnes, and the
officers I spoke to told us that at
least eight cars are trapped
underneath the debris.
the bridge itself? How on earth did
a brand-new bridge come to collapse
Well, this bridge was
actually built and a record time, it
was built in about a week. It was
supposedly done on Saturday. It was
not opened to the public yet. It was
$40 million. We don't really know
the cause of the collapse of this
bridge yet, but we do know that it
was built in order to give safety to
the students, because we have the
Florida International University
across the place where I am talking
to you now, and we have a
residential area. The bridge was
meant to transport these students in
a more Safeway, since below the
bridge there is a very hectic
The rescue operation
is still going on, the situation
must be very confused. What are
people being told at the moment?
Well, the reports are being really
cautious right now. The police have
said that they are going to
personally addressed the families of
the injured people. So far, eight
people have been transported to
hospital. I have spoken to some of
the witnesses, some of them said
that they first thought that it was
like a bomb exploding, because it
sounded so, so hard.
Thank you very
much for the latest.
Slovakia's prime minister,
Robert Fico, has resigned
following protests sparked
by the murder of a journalist
investigating government corruption.
In his final article,
the murdered reporter Jan Kuciak
claimed that government circles had
been infiltrated by the Italian
mafia and spent years
embezzling EU funds.
Toys R Us is closing
all its shops in America,
putting about 33,000 jobs at risk.
The struggling business has failed
to find a buyer for about 900 stores
and hasn't struck a deal
with creditors to rescue it
from bankruptcy after racking up
$5 billion of debts.
A 20-year-old woman has been jailed
for six months in Minnesota
for fatally shooting her boyfriend
in a botched You Tube video
they hoped would go viral.
Pedro Ruiz convinced Monalisa Perez
to shoot him at close range
with a powerful pistol,
believing that a thick
book he held in front
of his chest would shield him.
He died at the scene.
A French baker has been fined the
equivalent of $3700 for opening his
business seven days a week. The
Baker runs the only shop on his town
in north-east France, and stayed
open last summer to serve tourists.
Local employment law requires bakers
to have one day of rest a week. He
is reportedly refusing to pay the
Thousands of people have been
fleeing Syria's rebel-held
area of Eastern Ghouta,
as government forces
step up their offensive.
The month long assault has already
killed hundreds of people
and doctors say they are overwhelmed
by the number of casualties.
This report by our Middle East
editor Jeremy Bowen contains
some distressing scenes.
Thousands of people are fleeing
parts of Eastern Ghouta,
trudging into an uncertain future
that looks better now than
the deadly present.
These are the people
who have spent weeks hiding
in basements from the shelling.
Eastern Ghouta is a big area
and this isn't happening everywhere.
Many tens of thousands
are still besieged.
This was filmed by Omar, a cameraman
who gives his material to the BBC.
The attack happened
outside his building.
A small boy, Omran,
was caught up in it.
He is deaf, so he hadn't heard
warnings to take cover.
Omar, the cameraman,
worried the boy would bleed to death
and told us the eight minutes it
took for the ambulance to arrive
were the worst he had
endured since the battle
Omar carried him to the ambulance
where he was squeezed in next
to the bodies of the dead.
Omar has seen a lot of death.
He said Omran was a soul
he wanted to save.
We have been following Dr Amani,
a paediatrician in an underground
hospital, who spends every day
with the wounded and the dying.
In that place, they are all fighting
fear, where regime soldiers
are advancing into Eastern Ghouta.
Dr Amani sent a message.
It is the worst it
has been for many days,
the shelling is brutal,
all kinds of weapons.
This may be my last message.
The injured are everywhere,
the operating theatres
are full of wounded people.
We don't have enough
doctors to help them
and our own homes are being shelled.
A small amount of aid is being
brought into Eastern Ghouta.
All the talk of a humanitarian
ceasefire is being ignored.
This war started seven years ago.
Its horror goes on.
Jeremy Bowen, BBC News.
You're watching BBC
World News America.
Still to come on
Taking a closer look
Why the World Health Organization is
concerned about what's in our water.
In a remote part of Kenya,
there's a series of
islands where health care
facilities are rare.
But help is at hand from a group
called the Safari Doctors who travel
long distances by boat,
by road and by air, to
bring free medical
aid to the islands'
increasingly isolated people.
David Wafula went to
see them in action.
This is an isolated
village on a remote island
on Kenya's coast.
The people here are isolated
from basic amenities
Help is available but it is
an overnight sail away.
As day gives way to night,
the volunteers known
here as Safari Doctors
make their way here to the village.
The last box with medicine has been
put on the dhow and it is leaving.
How long is it going to take?
About eight hours, almost overnight.
As the dawn breaks,
the tide invites the dhow
on the shores of the island.
It is cost effective because it has
enough room for volunteers and
We trek to the village,
where a temporary medical centre
is set up in a school building.
Two women are already
waiting, they come with
a wide range of needs.
We are doing immunisation, we are
doing also mother care, natal care.
And then we are treating
We are also doing screening of HIV,
we are also screening for malaria.
In any case we get any of them
would put them on treatment
and do the follow-up next.
With one island already done,
the dhow will be leaving
for five more islands,
a journey taking three days
to deliver much-needed medical
services to hundreds of villagers
who have been desperately
waiting for weeks.
The World Health Organization
is set to launch a review
into the potential risks of plastic
in drinking water.
In particular, it will focus
on so-called microplastics -
particles that are small enough
to be ingested.
Our science editor
David Shukman reports.
In the latest research
into plastic, more than 200
bottles of water were put
through a screening process.
Most turned out to have particles
of plastic floating around inside.
There is no evidence this is harmful
but we asked people around the world
what they think of this discovery.
This phenomenon is really
a cause for concern.
And with the usage going up,
I think it's going to hit a large
segment of the population.
They tell you to not eat this
or drink this, that or the other.
I prefer bottled water than tap
water so I just have to carry on.
I'd rather just boil my own water.
That is more important,
than actually buying water
at an expensive price
which is actually a health risk.
It's kind of like damned if you do,
damned if you don't.
If you drink the bottled water,
if you drink the water it's scary.
Tests on this scale have
never been tried before.
A special dye which sticks
to particles of plastic was added
to more than 200 bottles.
In the right lighting conditions,
it makes the plastic glow.
And when the dyed water
was poured through a filter,
each particle was cracked so it
could then be counted and analysed.
each particle was tracked so it
could then be counted and analysed.
So what are the results from this
laboratory testing showing us?
On average, each litre contains ten
larger pieces of plastic.
That's bigger than the
width of a human hair.
And with smaller particles,
which were probably plastic, you get
an average of 314 per litre.
So, does this matter?
There's no evidence that ingesting
plastic causes any harm
but scientists say they can't
rule it out.
Plastic could release
chemicals inside the body.
Tiny particles could cross
from the gut into the bloodstream
and potentially they might
accumulate in organs like the liver.
The risks may turn out to be minor
but the World Health
Organisation wants to be sure.
We need to understand
what's in the plastic,
what the plastic might actually
carry on it - whether that's
microbes or chemicals -
and when it happens in the body.
So all those things need to be
explored with research.
There's a lot that scientists don't
know but they say it's plausible
could have an effect.
These are non-degradable persistent
particles that can enter the body
and cause an inflammatory response,
and there's potential for more
complex situations to arise
because of the plastic
itself and its chemicals.
The companies involved
told us they stand by
the safety of their products.
They've questioned how the study
was conducted, and they point out
there are no regulations
on microplastics or any agreed way
of testing for them.
This is a totally
new area of science.
The research is in its earliest
days but there a growing
demand for answers.
David Shukman, BBC News.
If you're feeling a little blue
today and think a change of scenery
would lift your spirits -
The country has overtaken Norway
as the happiest nation on earth
according to the UN's latest
World Happiness report.
Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland
are also in the top five.
The annual ranking asks
residents in 156 countries
to rate their lives.
It also looks at factors like
economic strength, life expectancy,
and perceived corruption.
For more on what makes
a happy nation I spoke
earlier to Arnu Partenan,
author of The Nordic
Theory of Everything.
Thank you for joining me. Why do you
think Finland is now the happiest
country in the world?
That is the
question, isn't it? If you ask them,
they will tell you that Finland is
not that happy, they complain a lot.
But I think it is because Nordic
countries do well because they have
systems that help people better to
combine work and family, feel like
they are in control of their lives.
Feel like they have freedom of
choice is. I think that is what we
often don't think, that Nordic
people, all people, people tend to
think that America is where you have
all of the choices and most freedom.
But much of the social security
systems that are put in place in
Nordic countries give people a sense
they are in control of their lives.
You live in America, having been
born and bred in Finland. What can
America do to catch up?
people, these are simple things,
paid parental leave, affordable
daycare, paid vacation time,
universal health care. These are
things that love of European
countries have come at the Nordic
countries have, that the United
States don't have. It goes a long
way in helping people feel they can
manage their lives better.
seems very serious for being happy.
Do the Finns also have a very good
sense of humour? You seem happy!
That is a good question. I think
they can seem very dour, very
deadpan, often, they don't smile and
laugh a lot. I think I learned a lot
of that in the United States. But I
do think that they have a good sense
of black humour, an understanding of
life. Also, being tough, but
appreciating good moments as well.
What is your personal secret to
being happy? As a person from
I think it is just
appreciating... The cliche, but it
is your family, health, nature, all
Nordic people love walking in the
forests, enjoying nature in a
relaxed way. Living in the United
States, one great asset that the
United States has is that Americans
are very keen to achieve things, to
pack their days with all kinds of
activities, work hard, and it is a
wonderful quality, but it can also
become too much and create anxiety,
make life tough for you. I think the
Nordic people and I certainly value
a lot of downtime as well, just
appeared to be with your loved ones
Thank you very much
indeed for joining me.
In case you're wondering, the US
dropped four points to 18, and the
UK is still behind the US on 19. But
I am a happy Jane O'Brien! Thanks
for watching Bbc World News America.