24/03/2017 World News Today


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He campaigned on a promise to junk Obamacare.


Right now Congress is debating the replacement bill.


This is Donald Trump's first real test as President,


Will his make or break strategy pay off?


More details emerge about the man who carried out Wednesday's terror


He was a British Muslim convert, with a string


In the splendour of the Vatican, EU leaders put the troubles behind them


to celebrate 60 years of the union. And this extraordinary ancient site


was under the control of so-called Islamic State. Now they have been


driven out and we return to Palmyra to see the extent of the damage


done. Donald Trump promised to drain


the swamp if he became President. But his first experience of cutting


a deal with Congress in Washington has a real sink or swim


feel about it. He's been working frantically to get


enough support for his replacement for Obamacare to be passed,


but it's still not clear And that's because even though


the Republicans have a majority, some of Mr Trump's own party are not


happy with his proposals. This is the scene live in the House


of Representatives in Washington, where the vote is due to take place


at any time in the next The live coverage comes


directly from Congress. When voting does start,


we expect a live tally to appear on the screen,


with 216 representing a majority. Live now to our correspondent


on Capitol Hill, Laura Bicker. My goodness, it's a real high drama


in Washington. What can we expect? When can we expect the thought? We


are hearing that the vote has been delayed a little further. It was


going to be 3:30pm. It will now be 4pm. He cannot... You can even feel


the drama in Capitol Hill because there are a number of people running


backwards and forwards. It's not just arm-twisting but are breaking.


Republicans are trying to push forward this thought. -- this vote.


What is at stake? There are millions of Americans watching this closely


to find out how they will be covered by health insurance. We are hearing


that maternity care, mental health care will not be in the bill. That


means that a number of woman will not be covered by their insurers.


There are various people that will be extremely worried about what is


in this bill. Then you look at the sticks politically. Republicans and


Donald Trump have made this a key campaign pledge. Bradley after


rally, he shouted repeal and replace Obamacare. Now the deal-maker


doesn't seem to be able to push forward its ultimate steal. His


first test as president. --/ ultimate deal. Now they are going to


vote on it despite maybe not having the fit to be in hand. It's


extraordinary, isn't it? Republicans have control of Washington and the


agree that Obamacare has to be changed. Who we have Donald Trump


have with this business card saying just vote on it and regarded. It


could backfire, it's a cunning strategy because it forces the hand


of Republicans. The problem is that there aren't moderates in the party


that good at this goes too far. -- that feel that this goes too far.


There are conservatives that believe this doesn't go far enough as well.


They want to peel back more of the so-called Obamacare measures. These


two sides cannot agree. They can't come to some consensus. Donald Trump


has tried to meet with both eyes and tried to convince and tinker with


the bill. He's been here on Capitol Hill all week. He still cannot seem


to find a compromise that would fall. It is a cunning strategy in


some ways, handing an ultimatum, it forces the hands of conservatives


who for seven years have said they want this bill repealed. Then they


have to go back to the conservative districts and say, I didn't do much


at all true I wouldn't. There are those moderates that I worried that


they have to face their constituents and says, Gloucester health care


because devoted to quickly. -- we lost your health care because we


voted to quickly. Laura saying that this thought has


been delayed by another half hour. We are expecting this in just under


one hour's time. The row over the health care fraud is not the only


story coming out of Washington at this hour.


-- The row over the health care vote is not the only story coming out


of Washington at this hour - we're also hearing that


the investigation into claims Russia interfered with the US Presidential


election is to hear from Donald Trump's former campaign


That's causing ripples because of his alleged links


with a Russian oligarch before he signed up


Here's the committee chairman Devin Nunes.


The counsel for Paul Manafort contacted the committee yesterday


to offer the committee the opportunity to interview his client.


We thank Mr Manafort for volunteering


and encourage others with knowledge of these issues to


voluntarily interview with the committee.


Here in the UK, Police say they've made two more significant arrests


as they try to establish whether the man who launched


the attack on Westminster was working alone or with others.


More details have also emerged about the attacker.


He was 52-year-old Khalid Masood, who went under several different


names, including Adrian Elms and Adrian Ajao.


Here's our special correspondent Lucy Manning.


The face of Khalid Masood, the face that confronted police


The face that looked out of the car at pedestrians


The 52-year-old was known by a number of names.


Born Adrian Elms in Kent, by the time he was at this boys'


secondary school in Tunbridge Wells, he was called Adrian Ajao


School friends remembered him as a sporty pupil who liked


Adrian was a nice lad, a fun guy, always laughing,


always joking, worked reasonably hard, good at sport,


But Khalid Masood was soon developing


In this sleepy Sussex village where he lived in his 20s,


at the local pub he slashed a man in the face with a knife


Didn't have a very good reputation, definitely.


I remember he was a bit of a troubled character,


I think would be the way to describe it.


A family friend said this was not the only time he turned violent.


A chap was looking at him, and I were sitting at the pool


table, and he took umbrage against the landlord for looking at him


like he was, the landlord was looking at him, and he flew over


the bar, he got a glass, he was going to do him.


Khalid Masood spend time in three prisons.


Around ten years ago, he worked in Saudi Arabia.


It is not clear when he converted to Islam, but he started


using his current surname at least 11 years ago.


His mother now lives in a remote farmhouse in Camarthenshire,


They have not been in any sort of contact with their sun


for well over 20 years, I understand.


When it comes to terrorism, unfortunately, nobody can be


responsible for the action of their children.


We now know he launched his terror attack after staying overnight


He seemed happy, staff said, untroubled by


That he was about to leave his hotel room to drive to London to kill.


He was joking and smiling and friendly.


He was a lovely guest, the receptionist said she liked him,


and she even put comments in the system as a nice guest.


There was nothing in his conduct or demeanour which would have


let me get a feeling, there was something


And he's just on his way to commit mass murder.


Detectives have searched the hotel and there have been


In Manchester, a car was taken away by police in Didsbury.


Two arrests described by senior officers as significant were made


Police are still trying to build a picture of the man who came


They say their main aim now is to try and work out


if he was acting alone, inspired by terrorist propaganda,


or if they are others still out there who encouraged him,


supported or even directed this attack.


But it's clear there are still gaps in the police chillies knowledge.


We are appealing to the public today to say, if even in hindsight now


you realise something about Khalid Masood,


something about his associates, his movements, now is the time


A bright student, turned violent man, turned terrorist.


Prince Charles, who's heir to the British throne,


has been visiting some of the victims of Wednesday's


He went to King's College Hospital in South London to talk to patients


and some of the staff who'd treated them.


Afterwards, one patient, Travis Frain, tweeted this


photograph of the Prince of Wales at his bedside.


The father of the pilot who deliberately flew


a plane into the Alps killing 150 people has marked


the second anniversary of the crash by holding a news conference


The official report into the German Wings crash found


that Andreas Lubitz may have been suicidal and locked himself


in the cockpit before flying the aircraft into the mountainside.


But his father, Guenther, told reporters that Andreas was not


depressed and may have been overcome by fumes in the cabin.


TRANSLATION: We didn't choose today to hurt the other victims' families,


we chose today because we think that today people will listen to us and


hear that our son wasn't depressed at the time of the crash.


With this report we are just looking for the truth.


That claim has been badly received by the relatives of those who died,


one of whom described it as an affront to all of the parents


It's also received a barrage of criticism online.


A lawyer for several of the victims' families said Mr Lubitz's actions


He said, I imagine that Mr Lubitz wants to promote a theory that


would absolve his son of any responsibility.


Martin Hoffman, a journalist, asks, Why are the German media


giving the father of the German Wings pilot


so much room to elaborate on his absurd theories?


Let's turn to the conflict in Syria, and in particular the battle


The militant group has suffered a series of setbacks,


and earlier this month Syrian forces, backed


by their Russian and Iranian allies, recaptured the city of Palmyra


for the second time in the past year.


Our chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet travelled


to Palmyra to see what progress is being made in the


Syria's desert highway, a straight line through the brutal


Until a few weeks ago, all of this was IS territory,


IS occupied this site twice in the last two years.


But they've just lost this prize, Palmyra -


ancient Roman ruins, precious world heritage.


IS occupied this site twice in the last two years.


Their last target, the Roman theatre.


Smashing its centrepiece and staging their grisly executions,


slitting throats or shooting soldiers and civilians here.


How big is the risk that Syrian forces could lose Palmyra again?


TRANSLATION: We no longer face that threat.


We've taken back the military airport and the mountains.


That's almost 70 square kilometres in under a month.


Palmyra matters but the battles which lie ahead, Raqqa,


for instance, the IS's self-declared capital, matter more


That's because confronting IS in Syria means confronting


Are the west and countries of this region now willing to work


with President Assad and his Russian and Iranians allies


In the basement of a deserted building, we're shown what is called


And the paper trail of its brutal rule.


Crimes listed in these files include leaving Islam,


The city of Palmyra, next to the ancient


People fled IS and the ferocious fighting here, including Syrian


Russian soldiers are still on the ground demining this area.


This is where some of the displaced have taken shelter for now.


An abandoned school in the ruins of another city,


Including this woman and her five children.


She remembers the exact moment when IS fighters came to her door.


TRANSLATION: It was 4:45am, we were asleep and heard a knock.


I opened the door and saw men shouting at me.


They came in, weapons in hand, and took my husband had my niece.


I was told they chopped off his head.


I was afraid for my daughter and especially my 15-year-old son.


They took my nephew, who was only 15.


She doesn't know how her family will cope.


IS no longer occupies their home but its dark shadow


Russia's President Putin has held a meeting with the French far-right


Presidential hopeful, Marine Le Pen.


Ms Le Pen was invited to the Kremlin, where Mr Putin


told her that he attached great importance to Russia's


But he added that he did not want to influence events


in the run-up to the French election in any way.


In return, the National Front leader said that if she won the vote,


she would consider lifting sanctions on Moscow.


It's the eve of the 60th anniversary of the European Union.


Saturday marks six decades since France, Germany, Italy,


Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg all signed


That treaty paved the way for the modern EU, 28 countries


And European leaders are gathering in Rome to celebrate the occasion.


But with Brexit about to be triggered and deep internal


divisions over migration policy, the future of the union has


27 leaders have spent the first part of the evening inside the Vatican


just behind me in a private audience with the Pope in the magnificent


surroundings of the Regal room, reserved for the most important VIPs


Perhaps they were seeking some divine inspiration.


We certainly saw Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor,


taking notes while the Pope was giving his address.


But there was, figuratively speaking, an empty chair,


that of the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, who did not attend


the events this weekend because of the Brexit


And here's what the president of the European Commission,


Jean Claude Juncker had to say about Britain's absence this weekend


Speaking to our Europe Editor, Katya Adler.


I will be sad, as I was sad when the vote for the referendum


For me it is a tragedy to be such a long-standing part of the related


history of the continent and Britain that I did have an explanation for


-- I don't have an explanation for that although I have particular...


Well, that was the BBC's Katya Adler speaking to the president


of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker.


Saturday is going to be a huge day here in Rome.


The leaders will go to the building on Rome's Catiline Hill


where the original Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957 but at the same


time as that we are expecting a huge demonstration on the streets


of the city and the city is in absolute lockdown.


There is a huge security presence for the 27 leaders


who are here and the threat of potential violence


It is going to be a very big moment for the EU but one


where they are analysing where to go from here.


They hope to come away from this meeting with some kind


of signed document charting a path for


She'll have special coverage across the whole weekend.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced that their son


Prince George will start at a private school in September


He'll become a pupil at Thomas's Battersea.


In a statement, the royal couple said they were


George with a happy and successful start to his education.


The headmaster said he was greatly looking forward to welcoming


Let's bring you more now on our main story this hour -


Donald Trump's struggle to get Congress to approve his replacement


for the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.


Here's Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer's thoughts on Obamacare -


We believe this bill is a very positive bill.


It does have problems, as any proposal would have,


particularly one that affects so many millions


of fact, all Americans, but what your point is then,


we ought to come together and fix those parts of Obamacare


or the Affordable Care Act that are not working as well as


The vote is expected at 4pm Washington time -


that's just over half an hour from now - and it will take


place here, in the House of Representatives in Washington.


If it's passed the bill will then have to go to the Senate,


and that may also not be a straightforward process.


We've just heard that the speaker has told President Trump Tower the


health care bill will not pass the house. Simply not enough votes. That


was the issue yesterday and why it was delayed yesterday. Regardless,


President Strother says that the slaughter means to go ahead. Those


are the images their life. -- President Trump says that the vote


leads to go ahead. Niall Stanage, associate editor


at The Hill newspaper, My goodness, such a political drama.


Who knew that health care could be so complicated? What's going to


happen? Well, as you pointed out in your introduction, this bill is not


going to get past, it seems. The Republican leadership simply doesn't


have the votes. They could only afford about 22 defections. By our


count, there are at least 54 sets to vote against. President Trump has


indicated that he will leave it there. We don't do if that is a


negotiating tactic on his part but the future is uncertain. What does


this mean if he does get defeated, his political clout is going to be


seriously damaged. I think that's right. Of course, when Donald Trump


is a candidate, he makes a lot of play out of this idea that he was


the ultimate deal-maker, as a political uncertainty could getting


stun. -- he could get things done that other politicians couldn't.


That claim will have a significant setback dealt with if that thought


fields. -- if that vote fields. This is going to really harm the real


election chances in the polls of the mixture. Yes, I think for the


Republican lawmakers who are very fervently Republican district, the


call to dismantle Obamacare has been especially strong. One of the


complications in this process is that the proposed replacement is not


particularly populariser. The political calculus here is quite


come together. I see. Of course, let's remember that we've got 24


million Americans who are looking at this. There are the ones that could


potentially lose their health insurance if the reforms go ahead.


We are talking about real people, real lives. They had seven years to


sort something out. Why have they not done it? Essentially, the


Republicans face pressure from both flanks of the own party. The most


conservative members believe this proposal does not do enough to


completely undo Obamacare. Then you have more moderate members who are


worried about exactly the point you just raised, the number of people


who have -- who will lose health insurance. It's not just the health


care, of course, tax reform. The travel ban issue. It's not looking


good for President Trump. It's not. We are getting a report, people have


told me within the past 24 of is that supporters of President Trump


would have preferred him to do something different first out of the


gate. An issue of tax reform could be more palatable. President Trump's


approves -- approval rating is already very low for a new


president. This could be a blow inflicted on. We will leave it


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