11/01/2017 World News Today


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Hello and welcome, this is BBC World News Today


Donald Trump faces the media over his relationship with Russia. There


are suggestions intelligence agencies could have leaked false


information that Russia has come promoting detail about him. I saw


the information and read the information outside the meeting. It


is fake news, it is phoney, it didn't happen. His choice for US


Secretary of State has also faced questions. Rex Tillerson said Russia


did pose a risk but Washington weakness created the problem.


The number of migrants seeking asylum in Germany has


We report on how refugees living in camps in Greece are coping.


So, Donald Trump's first press conference in six months,


and his first as President-elect - and it was highly unusual,


The event had been scheduled for Mr Trump to announce how


he will handle his vast business empire while President.


Instead, it was dominated by allegations carried by some


US media organisations that his election team


colluded with Russia and that there were videos


of his private life held by the Russian security services.


Our diplomatic correspondent, James Robbins has this report.


Donald Trump is nine days away from inauguration as president and


America's commander-in-chief, but his path to the White House is now


tangled in extraordinary controversy.


What role might the Kremlin under President Putin have


played to help Mr Trump to undermine Hillary Clinton and perhaps also


uncover compromising material to use against President Trump


My friend and the President-elect of the United States


This afternoon Donald Trump was blunt.


The allegations against him are totally untrue,


It's all fake news, it's phoney stuff.


And it was gotten by opponents of ours, as you know,


because you reported it and it and so did


many of the other people, it was a


group of opponents who got together, sick people, and they put


In shadowy work both to promote Donald Trump and also gain a


Here he is visiting the Russian capital in 2013 for the Miss


Universe pageant, then co-owned by Mr Trump.


The most lurid claim is that he used the same hotel suite


which President Obama had stayed in for unusual acts involving sex


workers, all allegedly recorded by Russian spy


I was in Russia years ago with the Miss Universe contest, which did


very well, in the Moscow area, did very, very well.


And I told many people, "Be careful."


Because you don't want to see yourself on television.


And again, not just Russia, all over.


Does anybody really believe that story?


The source for the unproved claims are said to be a former


British spy, an ex-MI6 officer once based in Moscow.


Today President Putin's spokesman said the


allegations were pulp fiction, a clear attempt to damage relations.


Mr Trump said he is in no way compromised by Putin's


preference for him as the next president.


If Putin likes Donald Trump I consider that an asset,


We have a horrible relationship with Russia.


I don't know if I will get along with Vladimir Putin.


I hope I do, but there is a good chance I


And if I don't, do you honestly believe that Hillary would


The press conference got most heated when CNN, one news


organisation which covered the latest allegations extensively,


You are attacking our news organisation, can you give


I'm not going to give you a question.


He also used the occasion to talk about legal


documents turning his businesses over to his family.


It is his response to accusations of future


But the controversy surrounding Donald Trump


Those who voted for him and those who


rejected him all know his presidency will be a stormy one.


The BBC has known about these allegations for some time but


decided to report after it became clear the US intelligence agencies


were taking them seriously enough to brief the president and President


elect. Our North America correspondent


Paul Wood has been following this He told us more about


the allegations against Mr Trump. It was commissioned


by an opposition research company, funded by a Democratic party donor


but written by a British former MI6 agent and he spoke to members


of the Russian security service, the FSB, paying them for information


and several FSB officers told him


there was a blackmail tape. I understand the CIA believes


this is credible and That is not the same


as endorsing it and saying it But I passed a message to the case


officers dealing with this file through an intermediary


and the message coming back was there was more than one take,


audio as well video and it was more than one date


in more than one place, not just the presidential suite


at the Ritz-Carlton Moscow, In addition it is not just the MI6


officer who is the source for this. I was told by a retired spy


in August that the head of an East European intelligence


agency had told him also of the existence


of a blackmail tape on the Republican


presidential candidate. Having said all that,


these are allegations. Mr Trump is literally


correct when he said so The BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan joins


us live from Washington. An extremely heated conference at


times but did Donald Trump effectively dismissed the four Rory


over the allegations and turn the conversation back to what he wanted


to talk about? -- the storm. He tried but reporters in that


conference continue to ask questions about unverified reports about his


relationship with the intelligence community and indeed his business


dealings, which originally was the reason why he hosted this news


conference in the first place. I think some of the key takeaways from


bad news conference are when it comes to those three areas I


mentioned, the relationship with Russia, with his business dealings,


and the intelligence community, it all just shows how unpredictable the


presidency is going to be. Take the intelligence community. It really is


unheard of for an incoming president, a President elect to have


such language towards the intelligence community who he is


supposed to work with. In that conference he said if they were


found to have leaked information it would be a blot on the intelligence


community. He did not mince his words in that respect. In other


areas he was certainly in a trademark sense very forthright in


the way he addressed some of the concerns, certainly around Russia


and the intelligence community. Tell us about what he has said he will do


with his large business empire and how reassuring his plans will be for


those who worry about a conflict of interest. That was always the


concern. Mr Trump said he will hand control of his company to his two


sons. But notably his daughter will no longer have any dealings with the


Trump industry is moving to Washington, DC and her husband is


going to be one of Mr Trump's advisers. Many people will say it


does not go far enough. Some people say he should have sold off his


business assets to avoid a conflict of interest. In the news conference


there was a bizarre moment when one of his lawyers took over from him


and set out some of the ground work for his business dealings and showed


piles of paper and documents and in that conference try to address some


of those concerns. She said there had been more conflict of interest


if Mr Trump sold off some of his companies, because there would be


issues in terms of receiving the royalties from those businesses.


Others say he should have put some of his industries into a blind


trust, that is not going to happen either. In effect at the end of four


or eight years he can take over the company again from his sons. And


briefly if we have thought a press conference might indicate soaring


relations between Donald Trump and the media, we were wrong. Yes but he


did start by thanking members of the media who had seen those reports and


the unverified reports of calls, and not gone with them and publish them.


But even before Mr Trump came on his adviser and spokesperson Sean Spicer


and then Vice President-elect Mike pence laid into the media in their


trademark style, saying the media is biased, the mainstream media, and we


keep hearing a lot about fake news. Even in Mr Trump's Twitter. It sets


the tone for the relation the media is likely to happen with the Trump


administration going forward. And CNN of course could not even ask a


question in that conference. Thanks very much.


We'll be back live in the US a little later in this


programme to talk about another marathon questioning.


At a Senate confirmation hearing, Donald Trump's choice


for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has been


trying to calm fears about his relationship with Moscow.


There's been a dramatic drop in the number of migrants seeking


Official figures released by the Federal Office for Migration


and Refugees show that 280,000 claimants arrived there last year,


The German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said that the decrease


was due to the closure of the Balkan route and the migrant deal


Our correspondent Jenny Hill has this assessment from Berlin.


It is tempting first of all to imagine the German government


Because these figures represent a real reduction in the number of


Bearing in mind the year before nearly 900,000 people arrived in


That triggered not just social disquiet but huge


These figures are not only a significant


reduction but actually come much closer to what some of Angela


Merkel's critics have called for, an annual upper limit of 200,000


On the one hand there is I think a sense of relief here.


But even ministers admit there are huge challenges ahead.


First of all there are still hundreds of thousands


outstanding asylum applications and then there's the business of trying


to integrate the people granted leave to stay and those who


This is an election year for Germany.


Angela Merkel's government has to persuade


a pretty nervous German electorate that not only can integration happen


successfully but it can also identify any potential terrorists


who have managed to come in with that migrant influx.


I think also any sense of triumph might be


tempered by the fact that actually this reduction in numbers has very


little to do with any kind of domestic policy.


Angela Merkel's government has toughened its asylum


policy gradually but the reason these numbers are down is twofold,


first it is to do with the fact those countries in the so-called


Balkans route closed their doors to migrants,


in effect sealing off the


major route through Europe into Germany and ministers I think


also are painfully aware that this reduction,


very much reliant on that deal struck tween the EU and Turkey.


They do not really know if it is going to hold together.


At the moment it is doing so but it is precarious.


The winter freeze in Europe is hitting migrants particularly hard.


In some areas temperatures dropped to as low as


The BBC's Howard Johnson has travelled to two refugee camps just


outside the Greek capital Athens, to see how people there are coping.


I have just arrived at the refugee camp here.


There is an impromptu demonstration here against the conditions


We would have a look inside ourselves but we


Apparently there's a blanket ban on media filming


It's not like people didn't know winter was coming.


It comes every year, just like clockwork.


In this particular camp, the only winterisation that's been


done as far as infrastructure has been done by us.


We built the first floor so we could move the families


in from the tent and basically none of the large organisations


could manage to do anything with the infrastructure.


I am good because I have five blankets.


The girls and boys fighting with the snow.


Now a look at some of the day's other news.


Italy's Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, is recovering from


He fell ill on his return from a meeting with


His office said he was awake and in touch by phone.


Mr Gentiloni was due to meet the British Prime Minister,


Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to criminal charges and will pay over


$4 billion to settle the test rigging scandal. They admitted in


2015 to installing software in hundreds of thousands of cars to


cheat emissions tests. Lawsuits are still ongoing in Europe.


Norway's attorney-general has told a hearing that the imprisoned mass


murderer, Anders Breivik, has to be kept in isolation to stop


him spreading far-right ideology and inspiring further attacks.


The state is appealing against a lower court ruling that


keeping Mr Breivik isolated breached his rights.


French Police investigating the robbery of the reality TV


star Kim Kardashian, have released three people including


More than $10 million of jewellery was stolen in the raid


Police are considering whether it was an inside job.


The UN envoy for Cyprus says talks in Geneva to reunify the divided


The country's Greek and Turkish leaders have come together


after several failed attempts at reunification.


In an exclusive interview, our correspondent Selin Girit has


been speaking to the Turkish-Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci.


After numerous attempts at peace falling one by one over two decades,


that is what many people call Cyprus.


But could there be an end to the conflict inside?


Turkey's Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci told me the time has


We need to set up a united federal country now,


It is high time that we are able to create a better future


for our younger generations to develop culture, federal culture,


Cyprus has been divided along ethnic lines since 1974,


when Turkey occupied the northern third in retaliation


The Turkey-Cypriot state, founded in the north,


is recognised only by Ankara, whereas the Greek-Cypriot state


Peace talks are currently under way in Geneva


Security, the presence of the Turkish military


on the island, a rotating presidency between two communities,


just some of the biggest concerns, but Mustafa Akinci doesn't


If we try to speak about peace and so on and so forth,


of course this might create suspicion in the minds of other


people, saying that, oh, the Turkish side has other plans,


We will do our best with all our determination.


If you go again to the referendum and you get another vote


from the Greek Cypriots, of course you cannot do this.


Mustafa Akinci believes that this could be the last opportunity


The younger generation, I believe that they will not focus


on a federal setup in the future, because they are growing far apart,


they are becoming aliens in their own country.


They are like tourists visiting each other's side and they don't share


It is the last trial of our generation.


Most probably the last chance for a federation.


The Turkish Cypriot leader. Letter to the US. -- we will return to the


US. Before Donald Trump gave that press


conference in New York, his choice for Secretary of State


and America's top diplomat Rex Tillerson faced questions


from a Senate confirmation hearing. Many US politicians have expressed


concern that the former CEO of oil giant Exxon Mobil could be too


friendly with President Putin. Mr Tillerson was awarded


the Russian Order of Friendship for his business dealings


and opposed US sanctions on Russia. Mr Tillerson told Senators


today that Russia posed an international danger-


but it was in fact US foreign Our Nato allies are right to be


alarmed at a resurgent Russia. But it was in the absence


of American leadership that this door was left open and unintended


signals were sent. We backtracked on commitments


and made allies. We sent weak or mixed


signals with red lines that We did not recognise that Russia


does not think like we do. Words alone do not sweep away


an uneven and at times contentious history between our two nations,


but we need an open and frank dialogue with Russia


regarding its ambitions so we know Barbara Plett-Usher joins us


live from Capitol Hill. A very influential figure if he is


confirmed as Secretary of State but how tough a time did he get? He got


a lot of questions about Russia policy for obvious reasons. The


position of Mr Trump and the scandals floating about with regards


to Russian interference in American politics, but I think that he was


probably broadly reassuring to a of senators. He advocated a tough line.


He said Americans should get tough with Russia when it behaved badly


but also said it was not necessary to try to cooperate the Russians on


a range of issues. -- it was necessary. They need to have a


conversation about whether Russia only sees them as an adversary or if


they can have some other kind of relationship. I think that is


something a lot of senators wanted to hear. Not all of them. Some of


them pressed him on Vladimir Putin's record, particularly the Syrian


bombing of Aleppo and he declined to say who was a war criminal which


upset some other senators. On some of the issues where Mr Trump has


been a little bit away from traditional policy or has been


overly critical or people do not know quite where he is, Mr Tillerson


took up a middle line, so for the transpacific trade deal, a big part


of the foreign policy approach of this administration, and important


tool of Republican senators, he said he did not really oppose it, which


Donald Trump does, he think we can get a better deal, he took a middle


line on these issues were chatting again would reassure a large number


of the senators. We heard one senator giving him a particularly


tough line of questions over Vladimir Putin, Marco Rubio, a


former presidential hopeful. If he does not back him, how much jeopardy


does that put the administration in? The Republicans have a majority.


They would probably have to be three Republican senators voting against


him. No Republican senators about Wright said they would do that.


There is a certain amount of leeway. I doubt very much that many would


have a no vote and I doubt any word. Maybe Marco Rubio word. Especially


because you are looking at Mr Tillerson as a contrast to Mr Trump.


Mr Trump has dismayed a lot of Republicans with his freewheeling


and sometimes inflammatory approach to foreign policy where he suggests


he might question the traditional basis of it, which Republicans


accept. Mr Tillerson would be seen even by those who oppose him, could


be seen as a lesser of two evils. The issue about Russia is very


important to a small group of senators in particular. We cannot


say entirely sure which way they would go. Barbara, thanks very much.


Barbara Platt Usher on Capitol Hill. A quick mention of President Barack


Obama... He has set a personal record on social media after a


farewell speech last night in Chicago. He took to Twitter to say


thank you to everything the... This has become his most popular to date


with more than 1 million likes and more than half a million re-tweets.


Donald Trump has accused the US intelligence agencies of leaking


information and putting out false claims that Russia as compromising


information about him. -- has. He was critical of US intelligence


agencies and certain members of the media.


Don't forget you can get in touch with me and some


of the team on Twitter - I'm @ KarinBBC.


And you can see what we are working on via Facebook too


Lots there to look at about our programmes coming up


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