04/08/2017 BBC News at One

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The latest national and international news stories from the BBC News team, followed by weather.

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Political pressure mounts in Washington -


a grand jury's called to look into claims that Russia interfered


in the election that brought Donald Trump to power.


Speaking for the first time since the news was announced,


the President once again dismissed concerns about his campaign's


The Russia story is a total fabrication.


It's just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history


The Royal Bank of Scotland, still mainly owned by the taxpayer,


reports substantial profit for the first half of the year.


Ireland's Prime Minister and challenges Britain to come up


with an answer to the difficult issue of the Irish border.


The Brazilian forward Neymar's unveiled at Paris St-Germain,


as the most expensive player in the history of football.


As the deadly heatwave in Europe continue, a warning


for holiday-makers and those living in countries


with temperatures now reaching over 40 degrees.


And I am here at the London stadium as Mo Farah goes for gold on the


opening day of the World Athletics Championships.


And coming up in the sport on BBC News, England won the toss


and decided to bat on the first morning of the Fourth and final


Test at Old Trafford - they lead the series 2-1.


Good afternoon and welcome to the BBC News at One.


The man leading the investigation into claims of collusion between


President Trump's election campaign and Russia, has convened a grand


jury to consider whether there are grounds for criminal charges. The


panel of ordinary citizens which hears evidence in private has


already reportedly demanded more information about a meeting between


Mr Trump's eldest son and a lawyer in Russia last year. The White House


says it will cooperate with the inquiry. At a rally last night, the


president rubbished claims about Russian interference. Tom Baric


reports. In West Virginia last night,


it felt like the president But he and his very loyal supporters


are battling allegations that his campaign in last November's


election colluded with Russia. Now, with a grand jury up


and running, the investigation is into a new phase,


and the president, as always, The Russia story is


a total fabrication. It's just an excuse for the greatest


loss in the history of American politics,


that's all it is. The grand jury is meeting


to consider evidence behind closed Their job isn't to determine


guilt or innocence. They can call witnesses to testify


or demand to see documents, and they must decide if the evidence


that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia is strong enough


for a criminal trial. The decision to call a grand jury


was made by this man, The move is a logical next step


in his investigation into the Trump campaign,


but it shows the evidence gathered so far merits


a thorough investigation. But the whole affair


is a rallying cry for His supporters are not


put off by all that's happened in Washington,


rather they've been The constant drumbeat


of opposition from the media and the resistance, as they call it,


of the Democrats in Congress. According to the US media,


the grand jury already wants information about a meeting


between Donald Trump Jr and a Russian lawyer


in June of last year. Donald Trump Jr has admitted


he was promised damaging material about his dad's opponent,


Hillary Clinton, but The White House said it


supported any action that would accelerate the conclusion


of the investigation fairly. Today, the president is off


on holiday to play golf. The US media is unlikely to take


time off from talking about what went on before


he was elected. Rajini Vaidyanathan


is in Washington. Just how significant has this -- is


this being seen? It issues the significant. It is worth reminding


that there are five different investigations going on into whether


the Trump campaigned -- colluded with the Russians. Four of those are


being led by politicians for the fifth is being led by Robert Muller,


looking into potential criminal charges. The grand jury is


significant because it has huge power to demand that witnesses come


forward with statements, to request documents as well, as it decides


whether or not to pursue criminal charges. The second reason this


matters so much is because the net is also closing in on President


Trump's inner circle. We have heard reports the grand jury has already


requested documents relating to a meeting that the President's son had


with a Russian lawyer during the election campaign meeting in which


he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. And the other reason why


this matters so much is because once again the White House is having to


play damage limitation, damage control, on another story about the


Russia investigation. Instead of focusing on what it wants to, and


policy priorities, like health care reforms, like trying to boost jobs


and the economy. President Trump has described this as a witchhunt. There


is no evidence at the moment to prove that his campaign colluded


with the Russians. But this grand jury does showed that things are


ramping up. It is being taken extremely seriously. Thank you.


The Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, has called for "unique


solutions" to preserve relations between Britain and the


Speaking during his first official visit to Northern Ireland,


he raised the possibility of a bilateral customs


union between the UK and the EU and an alternative


to the European Court of Justice to oversee any deal.


Our Ireland Correspondent, Chris Buckler, reports.


Leo Varadker crossed the Irish border for the first time as


Ireland's PM -- Prime Minister to set out his concerns about what


could happen to it after Brexit. He arrived after upsetting unionist


about Brexiteers. But in Queens University the new Taoiseach was


quick to point out how much relationships have changed in a few


decades. The border itself was a very different place. A place of


bloodshed, of violence, of checkpoints. He is of a new


generation. The first time Leo Varadker voted was in the referendum


for the Good Friday Agreement. But there is a new challenge and the


potential of a new border. There are people who do want a border, a trade


border, between the United Kingdom and the European Union, and


therefore between Ireland and Britain, and therefore, across


Ireland. These are the advocates of the so-called hard Brexit. At a time


when Brexit threatens to drive a wedge between North and South


between Britain and Ireland, we need to build more bridges and fewer


borders. There are scores of cross-border links. He wants to keep


them completely open. Today Mr Varadker post is demand for any reds


agreement to protect the free movement of people, goods and


services across this island. -- Anni Brexit. When people talk about the


border of the past, they refer to the troubles when huge security was


needed. That is not the case any more. This is the dividing line


between the countries, not so you would notice. The political tensions


in Northern Ireland are obvious. Those questions of what will happen


to the border after Brexit. The Irish Prime Minister will be on the


EU's side of the table during negotiations. On a shared island


there is a shared interest in finding solutions. They only have


months to discover them. Chris Buckler, BBC News, Northern Ireland.


The Royal Bank of Scotland, which is still predominantly


owned by the taxpayer, has reported a substantial profit


after a ?2 billion loss for the same period last year.


The bank made almost ?940 million in the six


They also announced they were in talks to move


their European headquarters to Amsterdam after Brexit.


Our Business Correspondent, Joe Lynam, reports.


It's been posting annual losses almost a decade but today at least,


it can say that things were looking up in the first of the year.


RBS made what's called an attributable profit


of ?939 million over the past six months.


That reversed losses of more than ?2 billion over


And unlike Barclays or Lloyds, RBS won't be setting aside


Its boss admitted that taxpayers would not be getting their money


back in full if the government sold its shares in RBS immediately.


If we sold it, they wouldn't get their money back, but it is...


What we're trying to do is create a good bank so they get as much


And a 70% stake won't be sold overnight.


So it will take some time and this bank is getting


And the bank's capital buffers have reached a new high.


It means it should have more than enough money


set aside in the event of another major downturn.


But RBS still expects to post a loss for all of 2017,


that's because it is still dealing with past misdeeds.


It is expected to pay a further multi-billion pound fine to US


regulators for mis-selling specialist investments called


mortgage-backed assets before the financial crisis.


The estimates for the Department of Justice's fine is anything


Most of us would estimate it is going to be between five


and six but if it is more than that, then actually, it is


The difficulty we have is we don't know how big that fine could be.


And what we have signalled very clearly, that it could be large


We haven't got into those conversations with the


It's the last big issue this bank has to face.


The bank has also had to take steps to minimise any


It has chosen Amsterdam for its European headquarters,


Up to 150 staff may have to move to the Dutch city.


At terror suspect in Australia tried to smuggle a bomb on a plane by


planting it on his unsuspecting brother, according to police, who


say they plan to ring down the plane was directed by so-called Islamic


State. Investigators believe the bomb was made using military grade


explosives and another device had been found to release toxic gas in a


public place. Howell Griffith has more. Described as one of the most


sophisticated terror plots ever on Australian soil, officers say they


have ended a plan which could have caused catastrophic loss of life.


They believe that Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat were sent military


grade explosives by so-called Islamic State on a cargo flight.


They allege they then put together a bomb packed inside a meat grinder.


On July 15, it's alleged the men went to take the improvised


explosive device onto an Etihad flight out of Sydney. But officers


say it was never checked in. We will be alleging in court that a fully


functioning IED was to be brought on that flight on the 15th of July. One


thing that is important to state is it did not get through security.


Having aborted the first attack, it's alleged the mental part of the


bomb to try and create a chemical device instead, which would emit


poisonous hydrogen sulphide. Officers say the men were arrested


before that plot became advanced. Detailed forensic searches are


continuing. A third man is still being questioned by police. Airport


security routines have secured -- returned to normal. Passengers are


being assured the threat has been disrupted. But new questions have


been raised over how explosives could be sent into Australia by


Islamic State, and how the terror threat is evolving.


British holiday-makers and people across Europe are being urged


to take great care as the dangerous heatwave continues -


in parts of Italy, Spain and the Balkans, temperatures have


Several countries have issued red alert health warnings, and some


regions are still contending with drought and forest fires.


Plane spotting at wildfires in Corsica. Last week, the North of the


Mediterranean island burned. Now it is the South. The extreme heat has


sparked wildfires across Europe. Swathes of the South of France were


scorched. Now hungry, too. Here, hundreds of hectares in grassland --


of grassland burn. Firefighters battled to put out flames before


they spread to urban areas. Italy is experiencing its worst drought in 60


years. Thousands of tourists travel there every year in search of


sunshine. But the intense heat means people are desperately searching for


shade. We have had some nice weather this year but it is not as hard as


Rome. Nowhere near. Drinking lots of water. It is fantastic having the


water fountains around Rome. Across the country, 26 major towns and


cities are on heat alert. Hospital admissions have increased by 15%.


And the prolonged drought is said -- set to cost agriculture billions,


with 11 regions facing critical water shortages. Arlit crops are


already 50% lower than normal. -- Olive. In Sicily, beaches are


quieter than usual as people follow the leader of the local and staying


indoors. Others do what they can to protect themselves and keep cool, as


forecasters see no respite. Sophie Long, BBC News.


Gavin Lee is in the town of Castellammara del Golfo


As we heard from Sophie, the beach is very quiet.


What is it like where you are now? It is 43.5 degrees here, an all-time


high of Sicily this year. You have to go back to 1999 when the


temperature was higher, 48.9 degrees, and for some comparison we


are talking about average temperatures for August in the


south, on the Mediterranean, of about 33 degrees, 10 degrees higher.


This is the main square in Castellammara del Golfo, very close


to Palermo, Sicily. Usually packed, look at it now. The restaurants in


front of us, the tourist information completely empty, goes down. They


say mad dogs and Englishmen in the midday sun, there are just a few


waiters and me at the moment. Talking about the fires, above this


building here, there are three fires going on right now being put out by


fire crews, those are the charred remains of there, it started a few


days ago and was put out two days ago now, and that is the big risk.


We are told, stay indoors, it is a Government emergency, there are


seven countries like Italy saying the same advice for the afternoons,


if you are going to go out, this is the best place to be right now, by


the sea. Gavin, thank you very much indeed.


Serious situation indeed, thank you. He's now the most expensive player


in the history of football. Paris Saint-Germain have completed


the record ?200 million transfer deal for Neymar


with the Brazilian forward The French club have been


unveiling their star player Our correspondent, Jonny Dymond,


is outside PSG's stadium in Paris. The anticipation finally over?


The anticipation is over and I think the focus of the fans is on the


skills of this astonishing player. The focus of the rest of the world


is on the staggering amount of money he is being paid. There are already


complaints from Barcelona and from La Liga about the way that this deal


has been made, and there is focus on the extraordinary position of Paris


St Germain, because this is not a normal football club, this is a club


that is entirely owned by a country, by oil and gas rich Gulf state


Qatar, the accusation is that Qatar is not just buying one of the best


footballers in the world but buying global influence and political power


with that purchase. Neymar, when asked about the money, said it was


not about the money but about the new challenge, and for the fans it


is all about the football. One person I spoke to coming in here


said, every footballer has their price, so long as he wins.


Thank you. Political pressure mounts on Donald


Trump as a grand jury is called to look into claims that Russia


interfered in the election that brought him to power.


Coming up, we will be live at Old Trafford for the first day of the


fourth test between England and South Africa.


Coming up in sport, Neymar has arrived in Paris ahead of becoming


the most expensive player in the history of football. He signed a


five-year deal with Paris St Germain.


The deadline for submissions on what the Grenfell Tower fire


inquiry should cover will expire later today.


Hundreds of suggestions have been received, with the total expected


Our home affairs correspondent Tom Symonds is at the tower


What have people been telling you? There is a big debate in this


community about the terms of this inquiry. To give you the context,


the judge said, when he was appointed, that he would look


primarily at the causes of the fire, and a lot of people took that to


mean that would be a very narrow focus. He later clarified and said


actually he would look at the whole history of Grenfell Tower and its


fire safety record and therefore it would be a much broader examination


of the issues, but that still has not been enough.


I have been at public meetings at this church in the last week or so


where he has faced a lot of angry pressure from people in this area


for him to expand the scope of the inquiry, and today one of the


residents' groups, justice for parental, has published a document


setting out in detail the kind of green that they would like to see


for the inquiry. For example, they would like him to look at the way in


which councils, this council in particular, Kensington and Chelsea,


has effectively outsourced the provision of social housing and the


effect not just on the fire safety issues, standards of fire safety at


Grenfell Tower, but also the standards of housing in this area,


and potentially much more widely. Now, sources at the Justice


Moore-Bick inquiries said he will have to take on board that sort of


pressure, he may have to find another way of delivering that sort


of an inquiry, because he is intent on keeping the inquiry manageable.


The timescale is quite punishing for him, he has to deliver his recommit


to the Prime Minister next week, she will respond the week after because


it is her decision in the end as the sponsoring minister what the inquiry


examines, he will then work throughout the rest of the summer


until September, when the inquiry is due to start, and then he has to


produce some form of an interim report within probably a year. He


has said it will take some months to do that but that could be quite


detailed, it could go to some detail about the causes of the fire.


So there is a lot of pressure on this judge.


I get the sense that in the area generally people have accepted him


as the chair, but their raw a lot of people who feel he is not right for


the job and this inquiry will run into difficulties. OK, Tom, thank


you. Amid the controversy over air


pollution and debate about the merits of electric cars vs


diesel and petrol, today sees Our business correspondent


Jonty Bloom is here to go They basically show there has been


another fall in new car sales, down 9% in July alone. That is the fourth


month in a row that car sales have gone down. Previously the Society


for motor manufacturing and trading said it was due to changes in


vehicle excise duty, now they say they are noticing lack of consumer


and business confidence caused by uncertainty around Brexit, a popular


whipping boy at the moment but not the full story, because we have seen


a collapse in diesel sales in particular. Petrol


cars not so bad but diesel cars down 20% in just one month, that is bound


to be about the controversy about pollution and fears the Government


may step in and do something about that, so making diesel less


attractive. The other side of that, a large increase in electric and


hybrid cars, up 65% in just one month, so sales taking off there but


it still accounts for only one in 20 of new car sales.


What about predictions going forward?


As predicted by the Society for motor manufacturing and traders, it


predicted a slowdown but putting the best possible spin on it it says


there will be bargains out there because all of those companies have


a lot of cars on their hands they are trying to sell.


OK, thank you. It's the first day of the fourth


Test between England England lead the four match series


2-1 and won the toss Our sports correspondent


Patrick Gearey is at Old Trafford. England haven't actually won a test


series in more than a year, they have lost the final test in eight of


the last nine series. Their form is as changeable as the local weather


here in Manchester so just as well they have a man in their side who


knows this ground so well he is officially now part of it.


The first morning of the test, a good time to get a new bit of kit.


James Anderson took this frame, part of Old Trafford took his name. The


Pavilion End now the James Anderson end, a title chosen by Lancastrians


for a Lancastrian. England's record wicket taker had to watch the first


over bowled from it, Kagiso Rabada of South Africa nearly channelled


Jimmy, Keaton Jennings escaped this time. The outfield here has suffered


since a Radiohead concert was held on it a few weeks ago, still no


alarms and no surprises for anyone in the first half an hour. Nothing


is truly calm when you are still finding your way in this game,


though. Young Jennings edgy, caught behind the 17. After that nervous


energy departed, all was becalmed, the occasional Alastair Cook push


all that moved the match from a standstill. No matter,


England lead the series, they have time. The plan was to keep South


Africa waiting, and, wherever possible, chasing. It is, after all,


a good idea in Manchester to stay out there as long as you can while


it is dry. And dry is by no means a given in


this part of the world, Monday and Tuesday look like a chance of rain


and that is bad news for South Africa. The onus is on them to win


this match, remember, in order to win the series, they must make the


running. England will be pleased with their morning work, 67-1. They


know in this case slow and steady might well win the race.


Patrick, thank you. The World Athletics Championships


get under way in London tonight, with Sir Mo Farah and Usain Bolt


both competing in the event Farah, who'll switch


to road racing next season, is hoping to win an unprecedented


fifth double in the 5000 and 10,000 metres races,


while Bolt is set to compete in the 100 metres


and the 4x100m relay. A record 650,000 tickets have been


sold for the ten-day event. Our sports correspondent Andy Swiss


is at the London Stadium. Huge excitement of course for the


next ten days. Yes, it was here exactly five years


ago that British athletics enjoyed one of its greatest days, so-called


Super Saturday at London 2012. Once again this stadium will be packed


out for the start of the world Championships and all eyes will be


on a home hero. Back on British turf,


five years on from the Olympics the stage is set once again


for the world's greatest athletes. And if this morning's for mowing,


tonight's for Mo, back in the stadium where,


on this very date in COMMENTATOR: Mo Farah


for Great Britain, it's gold! Farah goes for gold in the 10,000


metres tonight in what will be his It's once-in-a-lifetime


to have the Olympics right on your doorstep,


and to do what I did. And then you come back years later


and it's the world champs. I'm like, "You know what,


I'm going to end it at that track." But while Mo Farah's


back competing here, Britain's other stars


of 2012 aren't. Greg Rutherford's injured,


Jessica Ennis-Hill now retired. The hosts will have


to find some new heroes. One potential candidate


is Laura Muir, who goes The British team's target


here of six medals will be tough, I look at Sophie Hitchon


in the hammer, I look at Katarina Johnson-Thompson


in the high jump and the heptathlon, Many of them are young,


their futures are ahead of them, and this is a fantastic stage


for them to step up in front of a home crowd,


excite us and win medals, But, as ever, there's no


doubting the style of show, as athletics says goodbye


to the greatest. Tonight, Usain Bolt begins his quest


for a final 100 metres Some believe it's


far from guaranteed. The emotion of it being his very


last race will certainly get to him. He's an entertainer,


he's a performer, and when the crowd literally are going to give him


a standing ovation when he lines up, and how much does that take out


of him before he lines up Who knows, it's going to be


a tough one for him. It will be the very


fondest of farewells. How on earth will athletics replace


the utterly irreplaceable? So, catch him while you can,


as sport's ultimate showman looks So, Andy, Tal is a little bit more


about what we can expect tonight. It should be some opening evening,


Katy B stop we have Laura Muir going in the heats of the 1500 metres


around 7:35pm. In with a chance of a medal, she has been in exceptional


form over the last year or so. At 8:20pm, Usain Bolt goes in the heats


of the 100 metres, the final of the 100 metres takes place tomorrow


evening, a game that should be some atmosphere, one of the highlights of


these championships. At 9:20pm, Mo Farah going for gold in


the 10,000 metres, it is the first final of these championships, a


chanter Briton to win the first gold here in the London stadium at these


championships, and certainly the vast majority of the fans here will


be willing Mo Farah onto what would be the perfect conclusion to his


extraordinary career. Thank you very much, and if you


would like to follow the coverage, which I'm sure many of you will, it


is 6:30pm on BBC Two, 7pm on BBC One.


Time to look at the weather. I thought I would start with the heat


in the Mediterranean. Very high humidity, temperatures in the low 40


Celsius again today. This dangerous heatwave. The ebb away this weekend


and into the start of next week. Meanwhile, drifting northwards, an


area of low pressure gradually clearing away from our shores. In


its wake, good spells of sunshine, there have been plenty of that this


morning across England and Wales, a lovely start of the day, a few


showers around in south Wales, south-west England, probably most of


them throughout the day will be across Scotland, but largely fine


and dry for many to England and Wales.


The wind will remain a feature across southern areas as this area


of low pressure pulls away and the wind will continue to become lighter


but quite fresh across Scotland and the North East of England, most of


the showers here, Northern Ireland and Scotland with that wind around


18 Celsius. On the flip side for England and Wales the wind is much


lighter than yesterday, more in the way of sunshine, warmer air as well,


tempered is already around 23 degrees in the south-east, we could


make 2425 Celsius. The showers continue for a while this evening


and continued to fizzle out during the night away from Scotland, a


cluster of showers pushing in across Ireland and a rising across Wales by


the end of the night. That takes us into Saturday and for the start of


the weekend, sunshine and showers feature, some of those showers


across Wales pushing into the Midlands, eastern England, East


Anglia, could be happy through the David Hale and Thunder mixed in but


will gradually clear away, we should see sunshine behind, elsewhere


sunshine and showers. As we head towards Saturday evening, those


showers fizzling out so it looks like a fine, dry end of the day for


many. On into Sunday, ridge of high pressure builds in, that will keep


things fine and dry before this feature booths in late in the day


but it will bring a wet, windy day towards Northern Ireland, western


Scotland, eventually reaching north-western parts of Britain as


well, but it looks like for the bulk of the country are flying day, dry,


light wind with some sunshine. Into next weekend, we start the regard


shall we note, mid week on with the high pressure becomes established,


turning drier with more in the way of sunshine. A bit of good news!


A reminder of our main story this lunchtime...


Political pressure mounts on Donald Trump as a grand jury is called to


look into claims that Russia interfered in the election that


brought him to power. That's all from the BBC News at One,


so it's goodbye from me, and on BBC One we now join the BBC's


news teams where you are.