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.