13/01/2017 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me Geeta Guru Murthy.


As congress is briefed on the US intelligence report


into Russian hacking, Donald Trump has hit out again


at the intelligence community, blaming them for releasing


The motion reconsidered is laid upon the table.


The US House of Representatives votes to begin the process


A woman dies in the US from an infection which resisted


Disease Control calls it a nightmare bacteria.


Dying from the cold - the UN warns that refugees


and migrants are struggling to survive in Europe's


And one for the money, two for the show.


How Elvis impersonators are reviving the fortunes of outback


Intelligence agencies are briefing the US House of Representatives


about their investigation into Russia's alleged


campaign to influence the US presidential election.


This comes after a storm of controversy over a leaked dossier


alleging that the Russians have compromising information


The president-elect has sent out another barrage


of early morning tweets, accusing his opponents


He's promised a report into allegations of Russian


hacking within 90 days, as our North America Correspondent,


There are storylines that could easily come from a Cold War


spy thriller and plot twists involving sex allegations


and potential Russian blackmail that even the TV series House Of Cards


But this is reality, not a show, and the first episode of Trump


the Presidency airs in just one week's time.


For now, Donald Trump mainly delivers his lines on Twitter.


It now turns out that the phoney allegations against me were put


together by my political opponents and a failed spy


Totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives.


Probably released by intelligence even knowing there is no


My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days.


On Capitol Hill today, lawmakers received a behind closed


doors briefing on the unverified dossier and Russia's


alleged interference in the presidential election.


And many are left demanding more answers.


The American people are owed the truth and there is a great deal


of evidence to say this is an issue of high interest to the American


people, the strength, the integrity of our own democracy.


A senior US official confirming today there were frequent contacts


between Donald Trump's top national security adviser and Russia's


ambassador here in Washington and that those contacts took place


on the day that President Obama expelled dozens of Russian


officials in retaliation for the alleged hacking.


It again raises questions about the Trump team's


All this as Barack Obama performs his final act and one


of them took his deputy completely by surprise.


I am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honour,


I can say I was part of the journey of a remarkable man who did


But Washington moves on, it has always been a city


And this time next week this capital, this country, will be under


President Obama hasn't yet vacated the hot seat, but how much


The US House of Representatives, where the Republican Party has


a majority, has voted to begin the process of repealing Mr Obama's


landmark Affordable Care Act - known as Obamacare.


Live now to Washington, and the BBC's Laura Bicker.


Tell us why there is such strength of feeling about this and what


changes are we going to say no? You mentioned President Obama trying to


define his legacy in these final days, and his Republican opponents


are trying to dismantle a key part of it. The affordable health care


act or Obamacare is one of these defining legacies of President


Obama's time in office. He introduced an act which means that


insurers have two insure those even with pre-existing conditions.


Democrats say an extra 20 million people now have health insurance


thanks to that act but Republicans believe health costs are spiralling


out of control. They say people have lack of choice no and they believe


it is Government overreach. The campaigns, and Donald Trump they did


a key campaign pledge much to replace and repeal it. Repealing it


might be the easy part. That is underway. But replacing it is far


more tricky. That is because part of it are still popular, including that


mandate which means that people with pre-existing conditions have to have


health insurance, so they get health insurance which they otherwise would


not get. There is a worry if they pull that right away, what would be


left? No we have even a feud Republicans who are voicing their


concerns. Paul Ryan the House Speaker and the senior elected


Republican in the House has already said that they will find a way to


make a smooth transition, although we have yet to hear the details of


that. Can you briefly explain, because this has been the case with


Obamacare all the way through the legal process, still to the rest of


the world, they do not understand why it allows such strong antipathy


because for many people for example in the UK used to the NHS, it seems


exact a good idea? Part of the problem is Republicans say that


health and shouldn't costs have risen. Because health insurers have


two insure those with pre-existing conditions, or those who would not


get injured and is otherwise. That means that they have to spread the


cost site. For some people insurance premiums have gone up. That is why


it has been such a contentious issue. Part of the problem is, how


do you go about ensuring those who do not have health insurers, who


either cannot afford it, or who do not have health insurance through


their employers, get their health coverage they need, without, making


sure that others paying for it, the costs go up? That is the problem for


both Democrats and Republicans. There is a call now even from


committees who have so far been conservative, they have been calling


on both Republicans and Democrats to come together to find a solution to


that problem. A woman has died in the US


with an untreatable infection that could resist


all available antibiotics. The case occurred last year


and details have just been released in a report by the US Centers


for Disease Control and Prevention. She was infected with


Klebsiella pneumoniae - which normally lives in the gut


without causing disease. Helen Branswell is a senior writer


on Infectious Diseases for Stat News What do we know about this woman and


why this particular bag has resisted all attempts to clamp down on it?


Some of the details are not known. -- particular bug has resisted all


attempts? So this is a woman who spent a long


time in India, two years. She broke her leg, an infection got


into the bone at the point of the fracture, spread throughout


the bone and got Over two years she was treated


in Indian hospitals. They were unable to clear


the infection properly. She went to the United States. They


tried to cure her and could not. What does this mean and how worrying


is that? People have been warning for quite a while that we are


running out of antibiotics, that the bacteria are evolving faster than we


can produce new drugs. Health officials have been worried about it


a lot. The reason I was keen to write about this story is because it


translates what seems like a theoretical risk into reality. This


is happening. It does not happen daily. At least not in developed


countries. But it is happening and that is going to continue to happen


at escalating rates. Is there any concern that the bug, the bacteria,


could have transferred from that woman in the US hospital treatment


centres that she was being cared for? That would obviously always be


a concern. The hospital seems to have caught fairly quickly that she


had a multi-drug-resistant bacteria and the isolated her and the health


care team that worked on her use what are called contact precautions.


They were wearing gowns and gloves and had to obviously washed their


hands going out of her room. They have tested the health care workers,


they have tested people who were in parts of the hospital near her. So


far there is no evidence that the bug has spread but experts are


saying it is only a matter of time before we see more of these bugs in


our hospitals. More than 65 people have died


as a result of icy storms Snow and strong winds


have hit much of the UK. Severe flood warnings are now


in place on the eastern coast of England, with


thousands of homes at risk. In Scotland, heavy snowfall


has caused 19 schools In France, power cuts have affected


more than 237,000 homes as a storm swept across Normandy


and regions north of Paris. And in Germany, wind and snow


forced the airline Lufthansa to cancel 125 flights


at Frankfurt Airport. Well, the sudden cold snap


is severely affecting The United Nations Refugee Agency


is urging governments to do more. The UNHCR said several


migrants had died from cold and exhaustion in Bulgaria,


and it called on Greece to move migrants from poor conditions


on islands to better facilities Desperate to get out


of the bitterly cold waters, these are just some of the 800


migrants and refugees that were rescued from


the Mediterranean Sea yesterday. The Italian coastguard helped them


out of the six rubber boats Freezing temperatures in Europe over


the last week have caused the UN to call on governments to do more


to help migrants. In Greece, the situation was so bad


that this ship was sent to Lesbos at the request


of the Greek Prime Minister to house migrants, amidst health warnings


that condition at the main camp Hundreds of others in Lesbos


are being transferred to hotels. I am afraid but I don't


know where I go. At the European Parliament


in Brussels, a warning about how prepared the EU is for a further


increase in numbers. We are making a call


for Europe to prepare It may not happen,


but we need to be prepared. We are very concerned


in a number of situations, Europe does not seem to have a plan


A or plan B. Conditions are also tough at this


migrant camp in Serbia. More than 1000 men from Afghanistan


and Pakistan are relying on one meal a day from volunteers,


and having to wash outside Concern is growing that more


migrants will die, trying to survive Well, in Serbia temperatures


have dropped to a low as -15 degrees Celsius


in the past few weeks. It's also where thousands


of migrants, mostly men from Afghanistan and Pakistan,


are staying in abandoned warehouses. The migrants are mainly


in the capital Belgrade, hoping to get into the EU


via Croatia or Hungary. Many have tried to cross,


but have been sent back. We can speak now to Reuters


journalist, Aleksandar Vasovic, What have you seen? Can you talk us


through the situation there? The situation has slightly improved. It


is a bit warmer. The problem is note that wind has started to blow. There


is sort of a storm outside. I went to see migrants about two hours ago.


There are still about 1200 people in these warehouses which are


practically in the centre of Belgrade near the main bus station.


They are still in appalling conditions. They have no


electricity. They have very little running water. Apart from some


heaters provided by humanitarians they have practically no heating.


They are burning scrap wood they have found. They are receiving food


from humanitarians everyday. The problem is that it might not be


enough for everyone. The Serbian authorities are trying to convince


them, at least some of them, to move to permanent or properly maintained


Government maintained refugee camps. Many of them are refusing because


they are trying, some of them, two, three, four times per week, to get


either to the Hungarian or Croatian border and then continue their


journey to Europe. If they were to go to the Government camps what


would happen to them there? If they are in a Government camp they are


registered. They sign a paper which States their desire to seek asylum


in Serbia. The asylum procedure can last for quite some time. Some of


them could be at a later point in the future deported to their country


of origin. That is a possibility. But many of them simply do not want


to do it. Nearly all of them I have met so far are saying they are in


Serbia only temporarily, it is just one stop in their journey. The


problem is the camps are overcrowded. Is your sense from


talking to them that they are a mixture of economic migrants and


genuinely fleeing refugees? Or is it difficult to tell? That is also a


problem. It is difficult to tell, particularly know. Last year, and in


2015, it was fairly clear, there were people fleeing from Syria,


Iraq, Afghanistan, areas affected infighting by the Taliban. Now it


appears, people are coming from where there is no Taliban at all, or


there are people from Pakistan or Bangladesh. Some are chewy refugees,


others are economic migrants. -- some are genuinely refugees.


Iraqi forces have come up against heavy resistance


after launching an attack to recapture Mosul University


Elite troops entered the compound on Friday,


trying to secure the area, in the last major IS


There are also reports that Iraqi forces have reached


In the street surrounding Mosul University, Iraqi forces gather.


This, the latest target in the push to take back the city.


So-called Islamic State, or Daesh fighters, had


And it's claimed they tried to produce chemical weapons


After heavy fighting, Iraqi troops say they have


taken control of several of the University's buildings.


TRANSLATION: The area we entered was a technical


We were able to overcome the obstacles prepared


by the terrorists, and we controlled the college and the dorm areas.


We also brought down the large Daesh flag in the university.


This flag was known to be the highest one erected


Government forces have been trying to capture Mosul -


the last major IS stronghold in Iraq - since October.


Initially, progress was slow in the face of tough defence.


But since the campaign was relaunched two weeks ago,


they've made swift progress on the eastern side of the city,


Special forces are also claiming another tactical victory having


They have now taken the east side of two of the five main bridges that


across the Tigris River that runs through the city, dividing Mosul


They aim to take full control of its east bank before they can


launch attacks on the West, which Islamic State still fully


controls as the battle for Mosul continues.


French authorities have launched an investigation into car maker


Renault over allegations they tried to cheat emissions tests with some


The company's share price dipped 4% in morning


It's the latest trouble involving a major car manufacturer and diesel


On Wednesday, German car maker Volkswagen agreed to pay


$4.3 billion in fines after admitting it installed


emissions cheating software in 11 million diesel vehicles.


On Thursday the US Environmental Protection Agency accused


Fiat-Chrysler of violating pollution restrictions in some


It did raise the question who knew about it at Volkswagen. Obviously if


Volkswagen is struggling, with emissions as in this particular case


the US environment protection agency, is it possible that other


car makers are struggling with the same thing? In a way it is no


surprise. Two slightly different issues.


For those of us driving cars, one minute you are told to buy diesel,


one minute petrol. We cannot keep changing our cars. What are we


supposed to do? The first answer is to highlight


what Volkswagen in the end are saying, it is not possible to


deliver what the customer wants in terms of performance and deliver


emissions so customers have been cheated here because they were told


this story that was not true. In the case of Fiat they were told when the


car was driving the condensation caused by keeping the emissions all


was causing damage to the engine so they allowed emissions to go up. We


have two as customers understand that technically this is very


difficult to do so we have got to make a choice between the


performance we expect out of a car realistically, and what it is doing


to the environment. More and more, customers are conscious of the


environment, because these gases, these makers of side gases, are part


of the climate problem. So we have to recognise that and we know that a


big city like London, many people have problems with their lungs.


They are unlikely saviours, but Elvis Presley, ABBA


and Bob Marley are helping to revive the fortunes of small


Their enduring music, fashion and legend have spawned


festivals that are reversing the demoralising effects of drought


The most glittering takes place this week in Parkes,


a farming community 350km west of Sydney, from where


# A little less conversation, a little more action #


Elvis never travelled to Australia, but 40 years after his death


his appeal here remains as magnetic as ever.


The annual festival in the farming town of Parkes,


350 kilometres west of Sydney, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.


More than 20,000 Elvis fans, many in jumpsuits,


a galaxy of sequins, and jet black wigs are pouring in.


A lucky few arrived on the Elvis Express from Sydney -


surely Australia's most boisterous and colourful rail journey.


The five-day party generates about $10 million for Parkes,


The local economy just goes through the roof


People come from far and wide and across the world to come to this


prestigious Elvis celebration, I suppose.


The festival was born out of economic necessity.


Back in the early 1990s, Midsummer trade in Parkes was sluggish.


But founders Bob and Anne Steel had a plan -


to host an event at their Graceland restaurant to celebrate Elvis


Although some locals did take a bit of persuading.


Wh're a country place, we have agricultural shows.


We have flower shows and all this sort of stuff.


And that's all very good, but that doesn't draw the people.


There's also a legion of buskers that brings Parkes to life.


For a few short days, performers and fans get to turn back


the clock and remember the King of Rock and roll in the heat


A secondary school in the United States has apologised after its use


the topic of child sexual assault in a maths assignment. Parents


complained the subject matter was not appropriate for young teenager.


Let us go into space no free to astronauts have been on a spacewalk.


They have been upgrading the space station with two batteries. During


that time there was no food and beer spacesuits became stiff in the


vacuum of space which apparently is tough on the body. But they managed


to complete it. Intelligence agencies are briefing


the US House of Representatives about their investigation


into Russia's alleged campaign to influence the


US presidential election. President Obama will announce his


final press conference on wed in state next week, just two days


before resident elect Trump takes office. We will have coverage on the


BBC. Goodbye. We are still watching the Eastern


coast and the possibility of coastal flooding because of that storm surge


moving southwards. There are flood warnings still in


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