19/03/2017 World News Today


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I'm Geeta Guru-Murthy with BBC World News.


"No evidence of collusion" between the Trump election


That's according to the head of the panel investigating the claims.


He also rejected the President's accusation that Trump Tower


was wiretapped on Barack Obama's orders.


Was there a physical wiretap? No, but that never was.


Iraqi forces push on in the battle to retake Mosul -


now the Mosque where Islamic State declared its caliphate


Could this man be the next Chancellor of Germany?


Martin Schulz officially becomes the number one challenger


to Angela Merkel for the top job in Berlin.


And in sport - four of the English Premier League's top


six were in action - we'll reveal who had the best day


in the chase to close the gap on leaders Chelsea.


There is no evidence so far that President Donald Trump's campaign


team colluded with Russia during the 2016 US election -


Devin Nunes, head of the House of Representatives intelligence


committee also said there was also no evidence that Barack Obama had


ordered wiretap surveillance of Mr Trump's headquarters,


Let's get more on this with Laura Bicker who joins us


First of all on the statement about collusion with Russia what have we


heard? When it comes to the accusation that Russia meddled in


the 2016 US presidents election the question is did they do it and what


the Donald Trump and his aides now? 17 intelligence agencies have come


forward and said they have evidence that Russia tried to meddle with the


election and many of them say they did so to help Donald Trump win so


that brings you to the second question, the Donald Trump or his


aides know anything about it, did they collude with the Russians? So


far we have heard evidence to say there is nothing to say that Donald


Trump or his aides knew anything about that and that is what we have


heard from the represent of this morning on Fox News. I am going to


be very simple, no. No evidence. And this was after getting this


information from the FBI? After everything I have this morning. No


evidence of collusion. Russia has always denied being involved in the


2016 election and Donald Trump has always denied knowing anything about


it. But there are some Democrats who also sits on this intelligence panel


who say there is some circumstantial evidence that something took place


and they want it continually investigated. Here is one


representative from Texas. This will be an opportunity for us to have an


open discussion about this investigation, I am sure we will not


hear everything because we are not in a classified setting but I think


there are a few things I'm hoping to hear. Firstly whether any Americans


are being investigated for cooperating are conspiring with the


Russians who interfered. Second are the scope of that investigation and


third time I bark resolving it. What about the allegation President Obama


somehow ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower? Leading Republicans and


Democrats have said they had seen no evidence of that. However what some


are asking for is an investigation is to weather wire surveillance was


ordered on the Trump campaign and why. All of these questions will be


answered hopefully on Capitol Hill at this panel hearing because all


eyes will be on the leading directors of the National Security


agency and the FBI as they give evidence to the intelligence


committee. We will bring everyone more on that tomorrow, for now,


thank you. Iraqi forces are pushing forward


in their operation to drive so-called Islamic State militants


out of their former stronghold There are reports of fierce fighting


in areas of Western Mosul Iraqi authorities say 180,000


civilians have fled the West bank. Conditions for those who remain -


estimated at more than 550,000 - From the outskirts of Al Mansur


district in Western Mosul, In the clamour for help many go


empty-handed. The gunfire from Iraqi soldiers try to control the crowd at


an age distribution. Survivors of the caliphate. Now at risk from


hunger. Troops not keen for the chaos to be caught on camera. In the


distance, smoke from at IS car bomb. The front line is just a mile away.


Those who flee the fighting here end up in overcrowded camps. There are


no good options. For the people of Western Hymn Mosul. You can see the


utter desperation in this area, local people tell us this is the


first aid supplies that have come here, they say they have no running


water or electricity, no access to medical supplies. People in the


queue are afraid the food is going to run out before they are able to


get some. I am crying, she says, because my


children don't understand why we have no food. They don't accept my


excuses. IS took our money to buy weapons. I hope they will burden. --


burn. This woman has suffered a double loss. IS killed two of my


sons she says. One had just got married. As the troops keep watch,


there is tension in the crowd. With the frustration building, the


security forces are compared to their former oppressors. What is the


difference between the IS police and these guys he asks? The IS police


beat us and they beat us, just asking for food. Is this


deliberation may have brought us? Nearby some are returning to this


battle scarred neighbourhood. Like Abdul, an ice cream salesman. His


home was occupied by IS for three months. He says they threatened to


hang his wife because she dared to oppose them. She head in the fields


to survive. IS knocked through the wall so they could move unseen from


house to house. Their reign of terror has destroyed the fabric of


his neighbourhood. We can never live again with those who collaborated


with IS he says. If I catch the man who informed on my wife I will cut


into pieces. The battle for Mosul may be in its final phases, this


ancient city emerging from modelled a barbarian is. When the caliphate


crumbles there will be much to rebuild including a divided


community. There's been fighting on the edge


of the Syrian capital, Damascus, where rebels have launched a major


offensive that's brought them Syrian government forces


responded with an intense bombardment of Jobar,


around two kilometres east Our correspondent Ben James


is monitoring the fighting from Beirut in neighbouring Lebanon,


and he sent this update. This assault has been launched from


the Jobar part of the city where opposition forces still have some


strength. It's been a battle ground for a couple of years, a pocket of


all. This happens, it began at 5:20am this morning, monitors from


the Syrian Observatory for human rights from the UK said there were


car bombs, suicide attacks to begin this assault. Syrian state TV also


talks about secret tunnels being used to launch the attack. Who is


involved? One group that has brought under the Free Syrian Army banner


but also the jihadi this is who incorporate the group formerly known


as Al Nusra front. There have been rebranding is and redrawing of


alliances. In response government forces have deployed warplanes,


there have been air strikes, more than 42 monitors. Tanks have been


seen heading into the areas in preparation for a counterattack.


Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party has


confirmed Martin Schulz as its new leader and the man who'll


run against Angela Merkel in the country's general


A former President of the European parliament,


Mr Shulz was given an unprecedented endorsement from the party base -


Boot, the leader after the Second World War got 99.7 but that is when


he was trying to unite the party. Nobody has done anything like that


since then. How much of a threat is he, where is he in the polls if they


can be trusted? He was declared they Chan did it for the Chancellor back


in January. Since then there was a 12 point gap between the parties and


he has closed it entirely, they are now neck and neck. Not only that he


has brought in 13,000 new members. A considerable achievement. Germany,


so much of the political focus, Angela Merkel and Donald Trump,


events like that, battles Germany is taking on an migrants within Nato,


with America, with the new leadership in America, how is that


affecting potentially the election? Nato is one area he could make some


gains because he is distancing himself from this commit --


commitment Nato have made, he says it's the wrong way to go, he does


not want more spent on armaments and less on social welfare. That will be


a distinct platform when the election comes around. Tell us more


about who is Martin Schulz, is he that well-known? They know him as


the president of the European Parliament in Germany. He has been


in European politics since 1994, he was mayor of our small town on the


border with Belgium and the Netherlands where he grew up. He's


making a bit of a feature of that because he's a man the people. He is


a book-seller, 61-year-old book-seller before he a politician.


Stay with us on BBC World News, still to come:


They were rescued from pirates - we'll reveal what the crew


of the oil tanker which was saved from Somali hijackers


Today we have closed the book on apartheid and that chapter. More


than 3000 subway passengers were affected. Nausea, bleeding,


headaches and the dimming of vision. All caused by apparently organised


attack. It was on a pedestal in the middle


of the Cabinet, this was an international trophy and we


understand now that the search for it has become an international


search. Above all this was a triumph for the


Christian Democrats of the West offering reunification as quickly as


possible. That is what voters want. The latest headlines, the head of an


American congressional committee on intelligence says he's seen no


evidence that Donald Trump's team worked with Russia during the


presidential election campaign. And Iraqi forces fighting to recapture


Mosul from so-called Islamic State are closing in on the great Mosque


where they declared their caliphate in 2014.


The German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen,


has rejected a claim by President Trump that Germany owes


Nato and the United States vast sums for the defence of her country.


It follows a tweet by the US President which said


"Germany owes vast sums of money to Nato, and the United States must


be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it


Von der Leyen responded in a statement, saying


into UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions


and into our contribution to the fight against IS terrorism."


Well, America's former ambassador to Nato, Ivo Daalder,


is among those who felt the need to correct Mr Trump,


Thank you for joining us. Why is Donald Trump incorrect? He is saying


all nations sued contribute 2% of their budgets to defence and that


doesn't happen. He is correct in saying all countries need to do more


on defence, that the Europeans in particular over the last 15 years or


so have been cutting defence at a time when in fact more spending is


necessary. Nato agreed in 2014 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and


the annexation of Crimea to take the 2% guideline and make it policy and


said countries not spending 2% of GDP on defence should do so by 2024.


All Nato countries agreed including Germany and as Chancellor Merkel in


her press conference on Friday reaffirmed, that commitment. We must


have that commitment implemented, some of us would like it sooner


rather than later. That's not the same as saying anyone owes the


United States vast sums of money. As the president put it in his press


conference and then this tweet. We owe to our countries to defend


ourselves, everyone makes a national decision about how much defence is


going to be done within Nato. There is no kitty in which people pour


money so they can pay the United States or anyone else for that. But


if you are sitting in America are paying taxes, why should you feel


you have been subsidising Europe's security and why should nations not


have a much tighter deadline by which they have got to put the money


in? On the deadline we can have that discussion. When it comes to the


Nato summit Donald Trump may try to change the deadline from 2020 42


something sooner. But let's be clear why the United States on defence and


why it has troops and capabilities in Europe. Over the past century the


United States has fought two active wars and one cold war in Europe


because we believe the security of Europe and the freedom of Europe,


the prosperity of Europe is fundamental to the National security


of the United States. We do not think it is a favour to the Germans


anyone, we are in Europe because it's important for the United States


and our security. It is important to prevent the kind of conflict we saw


in the world wars at great costs to Americans and of course Europeans.


Do you feel, just briefly, that Nato is under real threats now from this


current administration? No, I think we have seen re-commitments by the


president and the vice president and others but if we are starting to


condition our security commitment to Europe on particular outcomes with


regard to defence spending then we are in uncharted waters. We have


been here since 1949, we should continue to be here, it is important


to us. We want Europe to pay more, we have been saying that many years,


but fundamentally Nato is not about just securing Europe, it's about


securing the security of the United States. Thank you so much for your


time. Let's take a look at some


other stories now. Brazilian police have arrested


a number of employees of the meat-packing company BRF over


allegations of exports of rotten They're investigating alleged bribes


to health inspectors to overlook Three major meat-packing


factories have been closed. Brazil's President Michel Temer


is due to hold crisis talks. The Socialist candidate


for the French presidency, Benoit Hamon has told supporters


at a rally that "everything begins today" in an attempt


to boost his campaign. A poll published on Sunday


showed him dropping four Since he won the Socialist primary


in January, the 49-year-old has failed to unite the party


behind him. We start with football, the teams


chasing runaway Premier League leaders Chelsea have been in action,


third against fourth as Manchester City drew 1-1.


After James Milner's opener, Sergio Aguero equalised for City,


and he'll be disappointed he wasn't able to convert his chance in injury


It means City have fallen back in their pursuit of Chelsea.


It's one of the more special days of my life because after defeat on


Tuesday, Wednesday was so tough for us. Then recover how we recovered


today with his mentality to play and attack an attack, we could not


attack more often because Liverpool is a top team. I want to stay with


these guys for a long time, do not want to change anything, in terms of


the club I want to stay here and help the squad to make a step


forward. Between 50 and 65 we could have decided the game and we didn't


so that is may be our fault but how can we speak today about faults and


mistakes? I said before the game if somebody tells me you would get a


point at City OK. I would not take it immediately but you would do, you


would take it. And today we have to take it and that's what we did.


That draw keeps Tottenham safe in second place.


And they've reduced Chelsea's lead to ten points after beating


There was much talk before the game about how Spurs would cope


This man, Christian Eriksen, put them ahead.


Before James Ward Prowse celebrated his England call-up


I am very pleased, and happy with the performance of the whole team.


Obviously it's a big impact when you miss, you miss Europe main striker


but I think our offensive players worked very well, working very hard,


our offensive line. And I think the team, we running a fantastic


position for us. Keep going. Manchester United are up to fifth


after a 3-1 win at Middlesbrough. Maroune Fellani put United


ahead before the break, then a stunning strike


from Jesse Lingaard put them 2-0 up. After Rudi Gestede pulled a goal


back, it looked as though Boro But a terrible mistake


from goalkeeper Victor Valdes gifted The spirit is fantastic and the good


thing is that we have two doors still open for Champions League


football. So we are going to try Europa League, we're going to try


the fourth position in the Premier League and let's see what happens.


There are five matches from Spain's La Liga to update you on.


The pick of the ties is Barcelona against Valencia,


There's about 20 minutes to play, and what an eventful game it's been.


Barca have come from behind, they're currently winning 3-2.


In the other games, Atletico Madrid increased their chances


of Champions League football next season, beating Sevilla 3-1


Towards the bottom of the table, Sporting Gijon beat Granada 3-1.


Deportivo couldn't follow up their shock win over Barcelona.


It looks set to be a tight finish to the Arnold Palmer Invitational


in Florida, with no fewer than six players within two


Overnight leaders Charley Hoffman and Kevin Kisner have both


dropped shots today, but are one clear of


They've just been joined by four-time major winner Rory McIlroy.


Marc Leishman has just made an incredible eagle on the 16th to move


to 11 under. And Elena Vesnina has defeated fellow Russian Svetlana


Kuznetsova in three sets in the women's final at Indian Wells.


The crew of an oil tanker hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia


say they feel as if they've been born again, after being


The seizure of the Aris 13 - the first hijacking of a large


merchant vessel in almost five years - had raised fears that Somali


Heading for calm waters, surrounded by Somali forces almost


The boat is crewed by eight Sri Lankans, now relieved


Everybody here helped us a lot and saved our lives,


What I can say is we are dead and born, all I can say, dead and born.


At 68 years I am, I am dead and born.


The vessel was hijacked by gunmen as it made its way


from Djibouti to Mogadishu, reportedly just 18 kilometres


It was forced to change course and head towards Alula.


A fierce firefight then followed between the coastguard and armed men


on board a skiff believed to be taking supplies to


A number of civilians were injured by stray bullets.


And the Puntland coastguard had threatened to use force to retake


the ship if negotiations with the pirates failed.


The circumstances of the ship's release aren't clear,


but the authorities say no ransom was paid.


The incident had raised the spectre of a return to the days


of the rampant Somali piracy which disrupted a major


international shipping route and cost the global economy billions


Armed escorts and other anti-piracy measures finally ended attacks


on commercial vessels in 2012, and there are hopes that the crisis


We've been watching a week weather front slowly slipping its way south


across the UK so far today, it extends quite a long way out into


the Atlantic and


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