13/01/2017 World News Today


13/01/2017

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

:00:00.:00:12.

As congress is briefed on the US intelligence report

:00:13.:00:14.

into Russian hacking, Donald Trump has hit out again

:00:15.:00:17.

at the intelligence community, blaming them for releasing

:00:18.:00:19.

The motion reconsidered is laid upon the table.

:00:20.:00:39.

The US House of Representatives votes to begin the process

:00:40.:00:41.

A woman dies in the US from an infection which resisted

:00:42.:00:45.

Disease Control calls it a nightmare bacteria.

:00:46.:00:47.

Dying from the cold - the UN warns that refugees

:00:48.:00:50.

and migrants are struggling to survive in Europe's

:00:51.:00:52.

And one for the money, two for the show.

:00:53.:00:55.

How Elvis impersonators are reviving the fortunes of outback

:00:56.:00:57.

Intelligence agencies are briefing the US House of Representatives

:00:58.:01:15.

about their investigation into Russia's alleged

:01:16.:01:18.

campaign to influence the US presidential election.

:01:19.:01:21.

This comes after a storm of controversy over a leaked dossier

:01:22.:01:23.

alleging that the Russians have compromising information

:01:24.:01:26.

The president-elect has sent out another barrage

:01:27.:01:31.

of early morning tweets, accusing his opponents

:01:32.:01:34.

He's promised a report into allegations of Russian

:01:35.:01:41.

hacking within 90 days, as our North America Correspondent,

:01:42.:01:43.

There are storylines that could easily come from a Cold War

:01:44.:01:49.

spy thriller and plot twists involving sex allegations

:01:50.:01:52.

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

:01:53.:01:55.

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

:01:56.:02:00.

the Presidency airs in just one week's time.

:02:01.:02:04.

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

:02:05.:02:07.

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

:02:08.:02:16.

together by my political opponents and a failed spy

:02:17.:02:18.

Totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives.

:02:19.:02:21.

Probably released by intelligence even knowing there is no

:02:22.:02:29.

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

:02:30.:02:33.

On Capitol Hill today, lawmakers received a behind closed

:02:34.:02:36.

doors briefing on the unverified dossier and Russia's

:02:37.:02:38.

alleged interference in the presidential election.

:02:39.:02:39.

And many are left demanding more answers.

:02:40.:02:46.

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

:02:47.:02:50.

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

:02:51.:02:59.

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

:03:00.:03:01.

A senior US official confirming today there were frequent contacts

:03:02.:03:07.

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

:03:08.:03:11.

ambassador here in Washington and that those contacts took place

:03:12.:03:14.

on the day that President Obama expelled dozens of Russian

:03:15.:03:17.

officials in retaliation for the alleged hacking.

:03:18.:03:22.

It again raises questions about the Trump team's

:03:23.:03:24.

All this as Barack Obama performs his final act and one

:03:25.:03:30.

of them took his deputy completely by surprise.

:03:31.:03:34.

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

:03:35.:03:37.

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

:03:38.:03:47.

But Washington moves on, it has always been a city

:03:48.:03:54.

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

:03:55.:03:59.

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

:04:00.:04:13.

The US House of Representatives, where the Republican Party has

:04:14.:04:17.

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

:04:18.:04:21.

landmark Affordable Care Act - known as Obamacare.

:04:22.:04:24.

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

:04:25.:04:31.

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

:04:32.:04:39.

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

:04:40.:04:43.

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

:04:44.:04:47.

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

:04:48.:04:52.

act or Obamacare is one of these defining legacies of President

:04:53.:04:58.

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

:04:59.:05:03.

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

:05:04.:05:08.

Democrats say an extra 20 million people now have health insurance

:05:09.:05:13.

thanks to that act but Republicans believe health costs are spiralling

:05:14.:05:16.

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

:05:17.:05:22.

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

:05:23.:05:27.

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

:05:28.:05:31.

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

:05:32.:05:35.

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

:05:36.:05:40.

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

:05:41.:05:46.

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

:05:47.:05:50.

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

:05:51.:05:55.

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

:05:56.:06:01.

concerns. Paul Ryan the House Speaker and the senior elected

:06:02.:06:04.

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

:06:05.:06:09.

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

:06:10.:06:13.

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

:06:14.:06:17.

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

:06:18.:06:21.

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

:06:22.:06:25.

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

:06:26.:06:31.

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

:06:32.:06:34.

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

:06:35.:06:40.

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

:06:41.:06:44.

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

:06:45.:06:48.

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

:06:49.:06:52.

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

:06:53.:06:56.

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

:06:57.:07:01.

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

:07:02.:07:04.

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

:07:05.:07:11.

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

:07:12.:07:16.

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

:07:17.:07:20.

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

:07:21.:07:23.

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

:07:24.:07:25.

that problem. A woman has died in the US

:07:26.:07:30.

with an untreatable infection that could resist

:07:31.:07:32.

all available antibiotics. The case occurred last year

:07:33.:07:40.

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

:07:41.:07:43.

for Disease Control and Prevention. She was infected with

:07:44.:07:46.

Klebsiella pneumoniae - which normally lives in the gut

:07:47.:07:51.

without causing disease. Helen Branswell is a senior writer

:07:52.:08:01.

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

:08:02.:08:14.

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

:08:15.:08:29.

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

:08:30.:08:31.

attempts? So this is a woman who spent a long

:08:32.:08:39.

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

:08:40.:08:45.

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

:08:46.:08:48.

the bone and got Over two years she was treated

:08:49.:08:51.

in Indian hospitals. They were unable to clear

:08:52.:09:02.

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

:09:03.:09:24.

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

:09:25.:09:29.

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

:09:30.:09:37.

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

:09:38.:09:41.

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

:09:42.:09:45.

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

:09:46.:09:50.

translates what seems like a theoretical risk into reality. This

:09:51.:09:53.

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

:09:54.:09:58.

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

:09:59.:10:06.

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

:10:07.:10:11.

could have transferred from that woman in the US hospital treatment

:10:12.:10:14.

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

:10:15.:10:22.

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

:10:23.:10:26.

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

:10:27.:10:30.

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

:10:31.:10:38.

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

:10:39.:10:41.

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

:10:42.:10:47.

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

:10:48.:10:52.

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

:10:53.:10:55.

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

:10:56.:10:57.

our hospitals. More than 65 people have died

:10:58.:11:00.

as a result of icy storms Snow and strong winds

:11:01.:11:03.

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

:11:04.:11:07.

in place on the eastern coast of England, with

:11:08.:11:10.

thousands of homes at risk. In Scotland, heavy snowfall

:11:11.:11:13.

has caused 19 schools In France, power cuts have affected

:11:14.:11:15.

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

:11:16.:11:21.

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

:11:22.:11:26.

forced the airline Lufthansa to cancel 125 flights

:11:27.:11:28.

at Frankfurt Airport. Well, the sudden cold snap

:11:29.:11:33.

is severely affecting The United Nations Refugee Agency

:11:34.:11:35.

is urging governments to do more. The UNHCR said several

:11:36.:11:41.

migrants had died from cold and exhaustion in Bulgaria,

:11:42.:11:45.

and it called on Greece to move migrants from poor conditions

:11:46.:11:48.

on islands to better facilities Desperate to get out

:11:49.:11:50.

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

:11:51.:12:02.

migrants and refugees that were rescued from

:12:03.:12:05.

the Mediterranean Sea yesterday. The Italian coastguard helped them

:12:06.:12:10.

out of the six rubber boats Freezing temperatures in Europe over

:12:11.:12:13.

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

:12:14.:12:22.

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

:12:23.:12:26.

that this ship was sent to Lesbos at the request

:12:27.:12:29.

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

:12:30.:12:32.

that condition at the main camp Hundreds of others in Lesbos

:12:33.:12:35.

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

:12:36.:12:44.

know where I go. At the European Parliament

:12:45.:12:46.

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

:12:47.:12:52.

increase in numbers. We are making a call

:12:53.:12:57.

for Europe to prepare It may not happen,

:12:58.:12:59.

but we need to be prepared. We are very concerned

:13:00.:13:07.

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

:13:08.:13:09.

A or plan B. Conditions are also tough at this

:13:10.:13:14.

migrant camp in Serbia. More than 1000 men from Afghanistan

:13:15.:13:21.

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

:13:22.:13:25.

and having to wash outside Concern is growing that more

:13:26.:13:27.

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

:13:28.:13:33.

have dropped to a low as -15 degrees Celsius

:13:34.:13:42.

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

:13:43.:13:45.

of migrants, mostly men from Afghanistan and Pakistan,

:13:46.:13:47.

are staying in abandoned warehouses. The migrants are mainly

:13:48.:13:51.

in the capital Belgrade, hoping to get into the EU

:13:52.:13:54.

via Croatia or Hungary. Many have tried to cross,

:13:55.:13:57.

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

:13:58.:13:59.

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

:14:00.:14:15.

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

:14:16.:14:19.

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

:14:20.:14:26.

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

:14:27.:14:33.

There are still about 1200 people in these warehouses which are

:14:34.:14:40.

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

:14:41.:14:48.

They are still in appalling conditions. They have no

:14:49.:14:52.

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

:14:53.:14:56.

heaters provided by humanitarians they have practically no heating.

:14:57.:15:00.

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

:15:01.:15:09.

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

:15:10.:15:15.

enough for everyone. The Serbian authorities are trying to convince

:15:16.:15:18.

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

:15:19.:15:26.

Government maintained refugee camps. Many of them are refusing because

:15:27.:15:34.

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

:15:35.:15:41.

either to the Hungarian or Croatian border and then continue their

:15:42.:15:44.

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

:15:45.:15:50.

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

:15:51.:15:55.

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

:15:56.:16:00.

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

:16:01.:16:07.

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

:16:08.:16:13.

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

:16:14.:16:21.

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

:16:22.:16:26.

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

:16:27.:16:31.

problem is the camps are overcrowded. Is your sense from

:16:32.:16:34.

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

:16:35.:16:41.

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

:16:42.:16:46.

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

:16:47.:16:55.

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

:16:56.:17:08.

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

:17:09.:17:17.

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

:17:18.:17:20.

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

:17:21.:17:29.

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

:17:30.:17:32.

Iraqi forces have come up against heavy resistance

:17:33.:17:34.

after launching an attack to recapture Mosul University

:17:35.:17:36.

Elite troops entered the compound on Friday,

:17:37.:17:42.

trying to secure the area, in the last major IS

:17:43.:17:44.

There are also reports that Iraqi forces have reached

:17:45.:17:47.

In the street surrounding Mosul University, Iraqi forces gather.

:17:48.:17:58.

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

:17:59.:18:03.

So-called Islamic State, or Daesh fighters, had

:18:04.:18:05.

And it's claimed they tried to produce chemical weapons

:18:06.:18:14.

After heavy fighting, Iraqi troops say they have

:18:15.:18:17.

taken control of several of the University's buildings.

:18:18.:18:21.

TRANSLATION: The area we entered was a technical

:18:22.:18:23.

We were able to overcome the obstacles prepared

:18:24.:18:27.

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

:18:28.:18:31.

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

:18:32.:18:34.

This flag was known to be the highest one erected

:18:35.:18:37.

Government forces have been trying to capture Mosul -

:18:38.:18:41.

the last major IS stronghold in Iraq - since October.

:18:42.:18:46.

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

:18:47.:18:51.

But since the campaign was relaunched two weeks ago,

:18:52.:18:53.

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

:18:54.:19:12.

Special forces are also claiming another tactical victory having

:19:13.:19:16.

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

:19:17.:19:21.

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

:19:22.:19:23.

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

:19:24.:19:28.

launch attacks on the West, which Islamic State still fully

:19:29.:19:30.

controls as the battle for Mosul continues.

:19:31.:19:32.

French authorities have launched an investigation into car maker

:19:33.:19:34.

Renault over allegations they tried to cheat emissions tests with some

:19:35.:19:36.

The company's share price dipped 4% in morning

:19:37.:19:39.

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

:19:40.:19:44.

On Wednesday, German car maker Volkswagen agreed to pay

:19:45.:19:49.

$4.3 billion in fines after admitting it installed

:19:50.:19:53.

emissions cheating software in 11 million diesel vehicles.

:19:54.:19:58.

On Thursday the US Environmental Protection Agency accused

:19:59.:20:01.

Fiat-Chrysler of violating pollution restrictions in some

:20:02.:20:03.

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

:20:04.:20:40.

Volkswagen is struggling, with emissions as in this particular case

:20:41.:20:46.

the US environment protection agency, is it possible that other

:20:47.:20:49.

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

:20:50.:20:53.

surprise. Two slightly different issues.

:20:54.:20:59.

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

:21:00.:21:04.

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

:21:05.:21:08.

supposed to do? The first answer is to highlight

:21:09.:21:11.

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

:21:12.:21:16.

deliver what the customer wants in terms of performance and deliver

:21:17.:21:19.

emissions so customers have been cheated here because they were told

:21:20.:21:22.

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

:21:23.:21:27.

car was driving the condensation caused by keeping the emissions all

:21:28.:21:32.

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

:21:33.:21:36.

have two as customers understand that technically this is very

:21:37.:21:39.

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

:21:40.:21:43.

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

:21:44.:21:47.

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

:21:48.:21:51.

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

:21:52.:21:56.

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

:21:57.:22:00.

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

:22:01.:22:09.

They are unlikely saviours, but Elvis Presley, ABBA

:22:10.:22:11.

and Bob Marley are helping to revive the fortunes of small

:22:12.:22:14.

Their enduring music, fashion and legend have spawned

:22:15.:22:17.

festivals that are reversing the demoralising effects of drought

:22:18.:22:19.

The most glittering takes place this week in Parkes,

:22:20.:22:23.

a farming community 350km west of Sydney, from where

:22:24.:22:26.

# A little less conversation, a little more action #

:22:27.:22:34.

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

:22:35.:22:37.

his appeal here remains as magnetic as ever.

:22:38.:22:41.

The annual festival in the farming town of Parkes,

:22:42.:22:43.

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

:22:44.:22:50.

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

:22:51.:22:57.

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

:22:58.:23:00.

A lucky few arrived on the Elvis Express from Sydney -

:23:01.:23:07.

surely Australia's most boisterous and colourful rail journey.

:23:08.:23:10.

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

:23:11.:23:12.

The local economy just goes through the roof

:23:13.:23:18.

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

:23:19.:23:24.

prestigious Elvis celebration, I suppose.

:23:25.:23:27.

The festival was born out of economic necessity.

:23:28.:23:37.

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

:23:38.:23:40.

But founders Bob and Anne Steel had a plan -

:23:41.:23:43.

to host an event at their Graceland restaurant to celebrate Elvis

:23:44.:23:45.

Although some locals did take a bit of persuading.

:23:46.:24:05.

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

:24:06.:24:07.

We have flower shows and all this sort of stuff.

:24:08.:24:09.

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

:24:10.:24:12.

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

:24:13.:24:14.

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

:24:15.:24:17.

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

:24:18.:24:20.

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

:24:21.:24:46.

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

:24:47.:24:51.

complained the subject matter was not appropriate for young teenager.

:24:52.:25:01.

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

:25:02.:25:09.

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

:25:10.:25:15.

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

:25:16.:25:20.

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

:25:21.:25:22.

to complete it. Intelligence agencies are briefing

:25:23.:25:23.

the US House of Representatives about their investigation

:25:24.:25:27.

into Russia's alleged campaign to influence the

:25:28.:25:30.

US presidential election. President Obama will announce his

:25:31.:25:44.

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

:25:45.:25:50.

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

:25:51.:26:00.

BBC. Goodbye. We are still watching the Eastern

:26:01.:26:13.

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

:26:14.:26:20.

moving southwards. There are flood warnings still in

:26:21.:26:21.

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