31/03/2017 World News Today


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Hello, I'm Kasia Madera with BBC World News.


Michael Flynn says he'll talk to investigators examining


ties to the Kremlin, as long as he won't be


As guidelines are issued for the European Union's Brexit


strategy, it warns the UK of tough times ahead.


The talks, which are about to start, will be difficult, complex and


sometimes even confrontational. There is no way around it.


Europe and Australia announce a sweeping probe into tax evasion,


as they coordinate raids across several countries.


And could love be in the air for Pamela Anderson and Julian Assange?


He's very sexy. LAUGHTER


A witch hunt - that's how Donald Trump has described


a congressional investigation into alleged Russian


interference in last year's presidential election.


It comes after a lawyer for his former National Security


Adviser Michael Flynn said he is prepared to testify,


but only if he is granted immunity from prosecution.


Live to Washington in a moment, but let's first remind ourselves


of what's been a turbulent six months for Michael Flynn.


Back in November, he was controversially appointed


as Donald Trump's national security adviser, having once been fired


He's also been criticised for dabbling in conspiracy


In February, he was sacked by the Trump administration,


after it was revealed he'd lied about discussing sanctions with


Now, his links to Russia are under scrutiny.


In asking from immunity to testify, Mr Flynn's lawyer said


We're joined now by Gary O'Donoghue in Washington.


So, by asking for immunity, there's so much speculation about what


Michael Flynn, what that story has is?


Usually, people ask for immunity when they think they need it. That's


why people are speculative and quietly about what he might have to


say what he's prepared to say, that this is something that is trying to


keep him out of the spotlight of the big prosecution, potentially. If you


look at the words of the man himself, back in September last


year, he was talking about the Clintons and he said, you only


usually look for unity when you've committed a crime. Those White House


suddenly come back to haunt him in the last -- those words have


certainly come back to haunt him in the last few days. The Senate


intelligence committee may have turned that requests for immunity


down for the time being, that has not been confronted by them, nor has


it been confirmed by Michael Flynn's lawyer. The difficulty is that there


is this FBI investigation also going on. The question is has he asked


them for immunity humour we don't absolutely know that. They would


only be really interested in granting immunity, the FBI, if there


were bigger fresh to thrive. For instance, if they wanted access or


get someone further up the food chain, they might grant someone


immunity in order to cooperate. Now, it doesn't get much higher up the


food chain than Michael Flynn, in terms of where he was in the Trump


administration. He was national security adviser, so the suggestion


or the thought is, as these things start to emerge, thereby bits,


step-by-step, it will get closer and closer to the Oval Office.


There is lots to watch out for, but thank you very much for the time


being frame us the latest. Authorities in Europe


and Australia have announced There have been a series


of internationally coordinated raids in several countries including


Britain, France and the Netherlands. Dutch investigators said they'd


received information about some 50,000 suspect accounts


at a Swiss bank. They reported the seizure


of paintings, a gold bar and jewellery and had


arrested two people. The authorities haven't named


the bank, but Credit Suisse of Switzerland said its offices


in London, Paris and Amsterdam When the British Prime Minister,


Theresa May, triggered the UK's departure from the European Union


two days ago, she stressed that Britain was keen on a trade deal


to protect its exports Today, the European


Union has responded. In draft guidelines for negotiating


Brexit, the EU ruled out trade talks before outstanding issues


were cleared up. Speaking in Malta, the president


of the European Council Donald Tusk made citizens' rights


the top priority. Our Europe correspondent


Damian Grammaticus has more. After the Shadow books and, now


coming into focus the EU's terms of the Brexit. Donald Tusk will insist


the UK sorts out its excitons first. Once and only once we have achieved


sufficient progress on those developments, can we discuss the


framework for our future relationship. Starting parallel


talks on all these issues at the same time, as suggested by some in


the UK, will not happen. So, if the EU is explicitly


rejecting Theresa May's positions. No talks at first, future ties only


outline to June two phase of investigations. No special access


with things like as banking, the EU excludes a sector by sector approach


to the single markets, and the transition period will be under EU


clause, as it would require... In our book, participation means


your sole member, or have access to a membership situation. If you have


such an access, it is obvious, it goes without saying, that the


institutions will have sent to agreed upon the governments of that


period. Inside the EU, there had been months


of preparations and lobbying to draw up these guidelines. UK citizens


living in the EU, EU said since living in the UK, all worried about


losing their rights, have the air of the EU's get-go shooter. Ireland has


been pressing its case over its border. In Gibraltar as a surprise


inclusion, the result of Spanish lobbying. The EU says no future


trader can be applied to Gibraltar unless Spain agrees. The EU will


defend the interests of its 27 after Brexit. And that was a shock for the


Foreign Secretary, it didn't show as he arrived for a meeting at Nato HQ.


He sought to calm EU fears that the EU might tie security and trade


together. The commitment to security of this


region is unconditional, and it is not some bargaining chip to be used


in any negotiations that may take place.


But now that Article 50 has been triggered, it is the EU side that


can determine much about these negotiations. In the guidelines they


want control not only the sequence, but what the UK can negotiate too.


In other news - at least 22 people have been killed and more than


70 injured in a blast outside a mosque in in northwest Pakistan.


The explosion happened in the city of Parachinar,


a mainly Shia muslim area on the Afghan border.


Reports say a car packed with explosives was left


near the women's entrance of the mosque.


The Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has praised the US


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for his strong commitment


to the transatlantic alliance, as Nato foreign ministers gathered


in Brussels for their first meeting with him.


The US is calling on all Nato states to meet their


Research conducted here in Britain suggests that western countries


are losing the battle against online extremism.


The study estimates that each month there are nearly half a million


Google searches for results dominated by extremist material.


And it concludes that people are not just being radicalised


on social media but also during their online searches.


The salvaged wreck of South Korea's Sewol ferry has reached port,


nearly three years after it sank, killing more than 300 people.


The vessel was raised from the sea floor in one piece


President Trump's administration has not criticised Israel's announcement


that it's to build the first new Jewish settlement


in the occupied West Bank in more than 20 years.


But a White House official said further unrestrained settlement


activity would not help advance peace between


The settlement near the Palestinian city of Nablus was approved


at a meeting of Israel's security cabinet on Thursday.


Palestinian officials have bitterly condemned the new building project,


and the UN Secretary General said it threatened the prospects for peace.


The BBC's Yolande Knell is in Jerusalem and told us how


this plan breaks away from established policy.


Suddenly, it has a lot of symbolic significance.


Although we don't expect this to be such a big settlement.


Israel, as we know, has continued with settlement construction,


settlement expansion, but it hasn't made an announcement


There's also been another law passed recently that retroactively


legalised outposts that were built originally without


Dozens of those legalised under this law, which is yet to be


So it is something that's very significant.


That's why the Palestinians have reacted to it very angrily.


Their leader coming out saying this is a violation of Palestinian


human rights and calling on the international community to act.


We've the statement from the spokesman of the


UN Secretary General saying he notes with disappointment


But here in Israel, the council that is one of the main


settler bodies has welcomed this decision.


It comes as there are concerns, basically within the settler


community, that the talks currently ongoing between the Israeli


government and the Trump administration could lead


to restrictions on settlement building on the future.


This after President Trump asked Prime Minister Netanyahu


when he visited the White House last month to hold back


He told an Israeli newspaper that they may not be helpful


as he tries to reboot the peace process.


Stay with us on BBC News, still to come:


President Trump supports his former national security adviser


as he seeks immunity from prosecution in exchange


for testifying about alleged Russian interference in the US election.


The European Union has insisted it won't negotiate its future


relationship with Britain until there's been sufficient


progress towards agreeing the terms of Brexit.


The Indian state of Gujarat has passed a law making


the slaughter of cows punishable with life imprisonment.


Under the new law, India's strictest ever on the issue,


cow slaughter will also become a non-bailable offence.


Until now it carried a penalty of seven years' jail.


Cows are widely considered to be sacred by India's Hindu majority,


and a state minister said the animal symbolised Indian culture.


The US Navy has accused Iran of harassing its warships as they enter


the Gulf. The Navy claims that as many as 20 rainy and vegetables --


vessels approached his warship. Iran denies acting improperly.


This warship on its way to the Gulf to continue bombing missions against


so-called Islamic state. But first it must run the gauntlet of Iran.


This, the first US carrier to pass through the strait since President


Trump took office. As they approach, the Iranians are already watching.


At some point, at some time, there could be a miscalculation. Do we


need to take evasive action? Could this be the time that something


really happens? Those are the things that each ship's captain and crew


have to a sire every time they come through.


This is what they have to go through, ran's revolution I guard


Corps practice and publicise. Swarming and attacking a larger foe,


in this case, a replica of the US carrier. Heavily armed helicopters


take to the air and escort as all ships close in. This will be a test


of the new administration that signalled a harder line on Iran.


This carrier and the warships behind me are making the transit through


the Strait. In the distance, we can see a number of small vessels


approaching us. We are told they are from the Iranian Revolutionary


guard. In total, they spot more than a


dozen fast attack boats. Some of which then threaten the helicopters


above. We had some boat that uncovered


their machine guns and loaded their weapons. It was a little


nerve-racking. A bass boat coming towards you with guns uncovered and


loaded, any miscalculation could cause catastrophic results.


Last year, Donald Trump claimed the TV became president, any Iranian


boat harassing the US Navy would be shot out of the water. That hasn't


happened, but there are signs of growing frustration over Iran's


behaviour. They had all of those weapons man's,


and we had video taped that they were arming everyone of those


weapons as we were flying in. It was malign activity, Iranian activity,


to come out and harass, essentially, an international coalition that was


in a area of international transit as we were going through the Strait.


Iran sees this as US sabre rattling, but these are international waters.


And with neither side backing down, there's always a danger that this


brinkmanship could become a more serious confrontation. They're


It may be one of the most significant steps ever taken


in the fight to save the African elephant.


China has closed down almost half of its official ivory carving


factories and shops, and by the end of this year


will force the remaining legal businesses to shut.


Conservationists say today's move is a game changer,


as our Beijing correspondent John Sudworth reports.


Chinese ivory carving dates back hundreds of years.


But these craftsmen will be the last.


The UN's top wildlife official is on hand to witness the shutdown.


This is a momentous day in China, where we see this decision


We are here, in the marketplace, we have seen a shop that has


We're in another one that is going to close


This is a momentous decision and a momentous day,


China's move comes not a moment too soon.


The African elephant is teetering on the brink of extinction.


And the majority of the slaughter, perhaps as much as 70%,


This business is one of those being forced to close today.


The owners shows off the system of markings and certifications meant


to prove that his supply comes only from China's authorised


TRANSLATION: I feel sad, I love this art.


And even if you abolish it, it won't necessarily


But campaigners, including Prince William, who has personally


lobbied China's leaders on the issue, disagree.


Factories like this one, they argue, it sent a signal to consumers


that ivory is OK to buy, and they provide criminals


Certifications for pieces like this one can, in fact, easily be forged.


And the reality is, however inadvertently,


China's legal ivory trade has acted as cover for a much larger,


So that's why the stand being taken here is so important.


The complete closure of China's officially


It is already illegal to sell ivory in China over the internet.


And yet it took us just a few clicks to find it.


Our investigation suggest that China's new restrictions won't stop


Nonetheless, it is a bold and important step.


China is sacrificing this ancient art in order


Hollywood film stars Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac


are taking on new roles set against the backdrop of a little


known historical event, the Armenian Genocide.


The Promise, directed by Terry George - who won


an Oscar for Hotel Rwanda - depicts the last days


of the Ottoman Empire in 1914 and the eventual massacre of one


Where were you? We just took a walk.


You see the German battleships? A gift from the Turkish navy. A


perfectly innocent gift. Richard tonic friends.


Turkey has every right to have a strong Navy.


That was a short segments, Terry Jones, the director, joins us now.


This is a hugely sensitive subject, Armenians described the event as


genocide, the Turks say it shouldn't be. You are making a Hollywood film


about it, how did that happen? We received finance from a Armenian


businessman who was anxious to have the story told. I co-wrote and


erected what is essentially a love story, set against the Armenian


genocide. -- co-wrote and erected. Most historians recognise it as a


genocide, and Turkey and others do not for strategic reasons. We wanted


greater from on epic scale, similar to Dr Zhivago or Ryan's Daughter.


That was the intention. That was something you are very keen


to do, make a love story at the centre. Is that what humanises what


is historically a very difficult time you?


That has been my strategy and modus operandi in doing the rind and


genocide with Hotel Rwanda and the troubles in Northern Ireland with In


The Name Of The Father. I like to pick characters the audience can


identify with and work them through these tragic events.


Your films do have such difficult subject matter is, it's just


extraordinary that so few people really know about this. We had the


100th anniversary of the Armenian massacres around two years ago, and


yet it's still not that well known? Is big still success of the Turkish


Government in denying this and having it suppressed. Draxler two


films try to be made, one of the 30s, and one in the 70s about the


subject. The Turkish Government intervened on both times. Luckily,


we were inserted from that. Years are saying this is 1.4 million


people lost their lives, the Turks are disputing that, they say it


wasn't as many people as that. The agreement is that it was an


uprising and Asa Boer War, they had to drive the Armenian community out


of that region. If you presented that argument in the Second World


War, the Nazis said there was an uprising in the Warsaw ghetto, and


we had to move these Jews to a area where we could handle them, it is


this period is argument. This was a genocide by any definition.


You spoke about hotel Rwanda, you have such difficult films, historic


moments that you have encapsulated. How are the audience reacting to


something that is good to be a hard watch, no matter how beautifully


filmed it is? I always try to make it not a hard


watch in terms of the visuals. You can't recreate the horror of these


events, and therefore, I zoned in on the characters and allow the


audience to imagine what took place. And at the same time find characters


that are inspiring. Terry George, it has been a


privilege to speak to you, thank you. Staying with celebrities,


swelling back American actress Pamela Anderson


when asked about a rumoured romance with


Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.


The former Baywatch actress has been seen visiting


London's Ecuadorian Embassy where Mr Assange took refuge


to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape allegations.


On Swedish television, Anderson was asked about their relationship.


If he's imprisoned, it would make it difficult.


Is that why it's difficult to answer?.


Let's see what happens when he's free.


I probably spend more time with him than any other man socially.


I don't want to go into any private details, but I don't know.


there you go. Pamela Anderson speaking on Swedish


television. I is bringing to date with our top story -


Michael Flynn says he will talk to investigators examining ties to the


Kremlin, as long as he won't be prosecuted for it. As always, thanks


We're changing our month and changing our weather at least


temporarily. As we head into April, April showers,


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