07/04/2017 World News Today


07/04/2017

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


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This is BBC World News Today Reporting from Washington,

:00:00.:00:07.

President Trump's rhetoric in action - Russia condemns US air strikes

:00:08.:00:17.

in Syria and promises to strengthen the country's air defence systems.

:00:18.:00:24.

A barrage of tomahawk missiles hits Syria's second largest airbase -

:00:25.:00:27.

from where the chemical weapons attack's believed

:00:28.:00:29.

Tonight, I call on all civilized nations join us in seeking

:00:30.:00:38.

to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria.

:00:39.:00:44.

The dramatic reversal of his previous policy

:00:45.:00:48.

on Syria eclipses the visit of China's President Xi -

:00:49.:00:50.

At least three people are killed and many injured as a lorry ploughs

:00:51.:01:15.

into showers in the Swedish capital Stockholm.

:01:16.:01:18.

I could see bodies lying in the street and I could see the police

:01:19.:01:23.

covering a body with a orange blanket.

:01:24.:01:33.

The first American military strike against President Assad's regime -

:01:34.:01:35.

With much of the west lining up behind Washington -

:01:36.:01:43.

and President Trump's apparent restoration of the US

:01:44.:01:45.

being the world's policeman - Russia has condemned the attack

:01:46.:01:48.

as an "act of aggression against a sovereign nation".

:01:49.:01:51.

President Trump authorised the missile strike on the Shayrat

:01:52.:01:55.

air base, from where it's believed this week's deadly

:01:56.:01:57.

chemical weapons attack in northern Syria was launched.

:01:58.:02:00.

Nine civilians, including four children, and seven soldiers

:02:01.:02:02.

Our north America editor Jon Sopel reports on the strike and what it

:02:03.:02:07.

says about a dramatic change in the Trump administration's

:02:08.:02:11.

It was after dark on the east coast of America and before the sun had

:02:12.:02:21.

risen in the Middle East when the commander in

:02:22.:02:23.

From two US war ships, a volley of cruise missiles

:02:24.:02:33.

were fired at a military air base, that has been used, say

:02:34.:02:39.

the Americans, to launch the chemical weapons attack on Idlib.

:02:40.:02:43.

It is in the vital security interest of the

:02:44.:02:48.

United States to prevent and to deter the spread and use of deadly

:02:49.:02:51.

There can be no dispute that Syria used banned

:02:52.:03:01.

chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the chemical

:03:02.:03:03.

weapons convention and ignored the urging

:03:04.:03:04.

The grotesque after-effects of the attack, the United States believe

:03:05.:03:22.

a nerve agent was used, horrified the world and

:03:23.:03:24.

A line had been crossed and unlike his

:03:25.:03:28.

Assad choked the lives of men, women and children.

:03:29.:03:37.

It was a slow and brutal death for so many.

:03:38.:03:43.

Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this

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No child of God should ever suffer such horror.

:03:49.:04:03.

What is astonishing is the speed with which this administration has

:04:04.:04:05.

changed its policy to Syria and decided to act.

:04:06.:04:08.

At the start of week, President Trump saw Bashar

:04:09.:04:11.

al-Assad as a useful ally against Islamic State.

:04:12.:04:14.

But the chemical weapons attack changed everything and

:04:15.:04:24.

within two days, targets had been identified and struck.

:04:25.:04:27.

Here is what we know about the attack.

:04:28.:04:35.

59 Tomahawk missiles were issued from the eastern Med.

:04:36.:04:37.

It is deep in government-held territory.

:04:38.:04:47.

Targets included, aircraft, fuel depots and radar.

:04:48.:04:49.

Because Russian forces are also at the base, Russia

:04:50.:04:51.

was informed of the attack in advance.

:04:52.:04:56.

The aftermath shows damage at the base, but hardly devastation.

:04:57.:05:04.

The Pentagon said it didn't target the runways,

:05:05.:05:09.

the aim was to destroy the infrastructure that allows the base

:05:10.:05:12.

to function and the attack has brought the president support.

:05:13.:05:14.

The president was authorised to conduct

:05:15.:05:16.

the strike, he is not asking for a declaration of war,

:05:17.:05:21.

he was dealing with circumstances and as

:05:22.:05:35.

the commander in chief not only did he have the right,

:05:36.:05:38.

Despite the enthusiasm we can see, to quote Churchill, it is

:05:39.:05:42.

the end of the beginning not the beginning of the end.

:05:43.:05:45.

Donald Trump who didn't want to get embroiled in

:05:46.:05:47.

foreign conflict has just ordered US forces

:05:48.:05:49.

address last night he didn't sound like an isolationist.

:05:50.:05:54.

Good night and God bless America and the entire world.

:05:55.:05:58.

The president, not yet 100 days in, has travelled a

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Our Correspondent, Barbara Plett Usher is in Florida

:06:05.:06:13.

where President Trump is meeting the Chinese President Xi Jinping.

:06:14.:06:20.

Dramatic reversal of strategy. Also potentially, Barbara, in message

:06:21.:06:28.

that won't be lost on his guest for the past few days. Now, I suppose

:06:29.:06:35.

not in the sense that President Trump are strong that he is ready

:06:36.:06:38.

and willing to use military force when he feels he needs to and there

:06:39.:06:44.

is a discussion about a potential conflict with the Chinese offered

:06:45.:06:48.

effective North Korea. President Trump has sounded at times quite

:06:49.:06:53.

bellicose about North Korea suggesting even obliquely that they

:06:54.:06:56.

might be willing to oblige a creative strike. I would be careful

:06:57.:07:07.

about comparisons. It had a particular objective about deserving

:07:08.:07:14.

observing chemical weapons. North Korea would be a vastly different

:07:15.:07:22.

situation. The risks are in love -- are a lot higher. The risks of war

:07:23.:07:27.

are quite high. It would be quite destructive. The message is that Mr

:07:28.:07:32.

Trump is prepared to be militarily when he feels it's necessary and

:07:33.:07:37.

possible. Drawing comparisons between different conflict zones is

:07:38.:07:40.

not the correct way to see it. The United States has said it

:07:41.:07:49.

could take further military action against the Syrian government

:07:50.:07:51.

after firing missiles at a Syrian airbase, from which Washington

:07:52.:07:54.

believes a chemical weapons Our correspondent Laura Trevelyan's

:07:55.:07:56.

on Capitol Hill, where Senators have The senators have just about

:07:57.:08:06.

everything when they receive more detail on the strike last night.

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Possible next steps. I've only spoken to one senator that was

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completely opposed to what happened. He is a Republican from Kentucky's

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Angie says that the president should always get authorisation from

:08:22.:08:23.

Congress before lodging in military strike. I have been taking the

:08:24.:08:27.

temperature on both sides of the aisle. I asked for reaction to last

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night 's right. What we know happened here was for the second

:08:36.:08:37.

time and probably multiple other times. Is that basically killed

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thousands of people, little children, Jordan to death on glass.

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Defence who responded in this way and simply went after the field from

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from which these chemicals were lodged was the right thing to do.

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She made the point that a number of lawmakers have been making the same

:09:02.:09:11.

point that they must be consulted if the west escalate the conflict. I've

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also spoken to any Republican senator who was very critical last

:09:17.:09:20.

week when it seemed that members of the Trump administration were

:09:21.:09:24.

suggesting that it was a political reality that President Assad would

:09:25.:09:27.

stay in office and he said to me that he is worried about the wider

:09:28.:09:33.

Middle East strategy from the White House. My concern is that the banner

:09:34.:09:37.

demonstration and the first months of the club administration, there

:09:38.:09:43.

hasn't been a clear strategy from either Eddie Obama or from

:09:44.:09:49.

administration. We need to address some of the specific issues, whether

:09:50.:09:55.

it is Aleppo, the chemical attacks or whether it is the migration flows

:09:56.:10:01.

that have affected your work, Turkey and Jordan and other allies. --

:10:02.:10:10.

affected Europe. It has been hailed as a critical first step and asking

:10:11.:10:15.

what the administration will do next. The big question is what is

:10:16.:10:18.

the next strategy? Russia, which supports

:10:19.:10:20.

President Assad, has reacted angrily -

:10:21.:10:22.

accusing the United States There would be negative

:10:23.:10:24.

consequences, it said, the US strike, according

:10:25.:10:27.

to Prime Minister Medvedev, "on the verge of engaging

:10:28.:10:31.

in military encounters with Russia". Moscow also accused President Trump

:10:32.:10:39.

of damaging the fight against terrorism and so-called

:10:40.:10:42.

Islamic State group in Syria. Our Moscow Correspondent,

:10:43.:10:44.

Steve Rosenberg, has this report Until recently, the Russian

:10:45.:10:46.

media have been singing Today, state TV accused him

:10:47.:10:51.

of an unprovoked show of force with the missile strike he ordered

:10:52.:11:00.

on a civilian air base. Moscow said it was a gross,

:11:01.:11:08.

groundless violation It's definitely an aggressive act

:11:09.:11:11.

against international law, against a sovereign country,

:11:12.:11:14.

and without any true evidence of the Assad regime

:11:15.:11:16.

using chemical weapons. It is Russian military

:11:17.:11:23.

power that's been keeping Russia's air force and navy

:11:24.:11:25.

is helping Syria's leader turn the tide of the country's civil war

:11:26.:11:39.

and boosting Moscow's Today, the Kremlin accused

:11:40.:11:41.

Washington of inventing a pretext Those American Tomahawks may have

:11:42.:11:45.

been targeting the Syrian military, but judging by what the Kremlin has

:11:46.:11:58.

been saying, it's US-Russia relations that will take

:11:59.:12:00.

a real battering out as a result The Russians had been hoping

:12:01.:12:03.

that with Donald Trump in the White House relations

:12:04.:12:06.

with America would improve. So far, there's been

:12:07.:12:08.

no sign of that. Today, Moscow suspended a deal

:12:09.:12:10.

designed to prevent incidents between US and Russian

:12:11.:12:14.

warplanes over Syria. Which means that we have two big

:12:15.:12:26.

military powers in the area operating without any contact

:12:27.:12:29.

and any coordination, The Russians are hoping that this US

:12:30.:12:30.

strike was a one-off, but tonight, they are strengthening air defence

:12:31.:12:37.

systems across Syria, just in case. Until this week's chemical

:12:38.:12:42.

attack in northern Syria, President Trump had appeared set

:12:43.:12:46.

against any intervention against Our Middle East Editor,

:12:47.:12:49.

Jeremy Bowen, reports now on the implications of the US strike

:12:50.:12:55.

for the six-year Syrian war. The war crime that killed so many

:12:56.:13:02.

in a village pushed the Americans The long-term impact

:13:03.:13:06.

on the war itself depends More chemical attacks would provoke

:13:07.:13:14.

a tougher American response. But the US might accept a return

:13:15.:13:19.

to conventional killing. The Syrian regime denies it has ever

:13:20.:13:23.

used chemical weapons. I think President Trump himself

:13:24.:13:26.

knows that Syria did not use any chemical weapons,

:13:27.:13:30.

it does not have any chemical weapons, as it has given

:13:31.:13:36.

all its stock pile too the international organisation

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responsible for that. The Americans say they have clear

:13:39.:13:41.

that the proof that the Syrian forces carried out war crimes,

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they're certain of that, that is why they carried

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out this raid. 14 years after the invasion of Iraq,

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we see Iraq has been destroyed. Syria is the second secular state

:13:59.:14:01.

after Iraq that is being targeted by the west,

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simply because it is secular and it has an army and it is against

:14:06.:14:10.

the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In one of the Damascus suburbs,

:14:11.:14:27.

people stopped believing the regime years ago and want more military

:14:28.:14:30.

action from the Americans. TRANSLATION: We hope that any

:14:31.:14:35.

foreign intervention will be an intervention to bring an end

:14:36.:14:37.

to the suffering of the Syrian TRANSLATION: The solution

:14:38.:14:40.

is for the Assad regime The end of massacres,

:14:41.:14:44.

the end of targeting of civilians. A reason why the war is so hard

:14:45.:14:53.

to stop is that so many With different interests

:14:54.:14:56.

and objectives. President Assad's main allies

:14:57.:14:58.

are Russia and Iran. These days the rebels still fighting

:14:59.:15:12.

the regime are mainly Some approved by the west and some

:15:13.:15:14.

are jihadists. There is also the war

:15:15.:15:22.

against so-called Islamic State. Think of it all as

:15:23.:15:24.

layers of conflict. And sometimes they intersect

:15:25.:15:28.

and now Donald Trump has The events at Khan Sheikhoun

:15:29.:15:34.

and the US response will force the Syrian regime to take

:15:35.:15:50.

American threats more seriously, Force equals influence in Syria

:15:51.:15:53.

and more foreign intervention I'm joined now by former

:15:54.:15:56.

State Department official Vali Nasr, who is now dean

:15:57.:16:02.

of the Johns Hopkins School What does this tell us about

:16:03.:16:15.

President Trump's international doctrine? Driven on a motion? It's

:16:16.:16:24.

driven on domestic consideration. He had no option to act on the red line

:16:25.:16:27.

that President Obama didn't because otherwise he would be accused of

:16:28.:16:32.

being no different than President Obama. He has found that his America

:16:33.:16:36.

first strategy does not work and he is acting as the policeman of the

:16:37.:16:39.

world and gone back to the of the United states upholding

:16:40.:16:49.

international law. This was a one-off strike. What happens if

:16:50.:16:52.

another chemical attack or another atrocity? He has said -- set the

:16:53.:17:01.

precedent. He is also already crossed the line in which he now

:17:02.:17:07.

owns this conflict more than he did before. His allies in the Middle

:17:08.:17:21.

East, it be expected that the US will set order in Syria. The problem

:17:22.:17:28.

with President Trump is that he's never said what is interested in

:17:29.:17:34.

Syria. The consequences of this in terms of blowback potentially, the

:17:35.:17:43.

relations with Russia, they are now dead, I do? They are not where they

:17:44.:17:48.

were. The two may find a way to get back to the middle but the Russians

:17:49.:17:52.

are clearly not happy with any American action in serve that would

:17:53.:18:02.

chose injury week or forced the Russians to reassert their imperial

:18:03.:18:10.

grandeur. This is viewed as a challenge and they would have to

:18:11.:18:15.

react. He might have a cycle that reflect itself in Ukraine and

:18:16.:18:19.

elsewhere as well. -- you might have a cycle. This is a man who many

:18:20.:18:25.

pupils are at an amateur. Now he looks like a world leader. He is

:18:26.:18:34.

eclipsing some domestic problems. We always knew he was decisive. He was

:18:35.:18:38.

decidedly non-in favour of intervention.

:18:39.:18:51.

This has forced in this direction. Asset created a situation in which

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Trump could not say no to the general is already traditional

:18:59.:19:02.

foreign policy people. We should not offer a bridge into this. Trump was

:19:03.:19:08.

not driven by the facts or conflict by what it would mean domestic

:19:09.:19:14.

league defeated the same as what President Obama did. Russia, Iran

:19:15.:19:20.

are completely against him and the coalition behind. Russia and Iran

:19:21.:19:27.

are supporters of assets. Even if they think that President Assad

:19:28.:19:32.

roentgen four and jeopardise their position, they still cannot publicly

:19:33.:19:36.

criticise the other or condone any American punishment of Assad.

:19:37.:19:44.

Privately, I suspect they are pretty furious with Assad.

:19:45.:19:45.

You can get much more on the US attack on Syria

:19:46.:19:48.

on the BBC News website, but now it's back to

:19:49.:19:50.

London where Kasia has the rest of the day's news.

:19:51.:19:53.

One other story dominating the news today -

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a lorry has been driven into a crowd of pedestrians in Stockholm,

:19:57.:19:59.

killing at least three people and injuring many others.

:20:00.:20:01.

The Swedish Prime Minister said everything suggested

:20:02.:20:02.

The incident happened outside a department store on a busy

:20:03.:20:09.

pedestrian shopping street at around two o'clock local time.

:20:10.:20:13.

The driver of the truck is still at large and police

:20:14.:20:16.

Our security correspondent, Frank Gardner, has the latest.

:20:17.:20:21.

A moment of panic in a peaceful city.

:20:22.:20:27.

This was Stockholm this afternoon, as people fled in terror

:20:28.:20:31.

from a truck which appeared to drive deliberately into crowds of shoppers

:20:32.:20:34.

TRANSLATION: I saw exactly where the lorry went in, just there.

:20:35.:20:41.

There wasn't much of a reaction, then the police arrived.

:20:42.:20:43.

The police just said, you have to run.

:20:44.:20:50.

Initial reports said two people were killed,

:20:51.:20:52.

then at least three, and several injured.

:20:53.:20:54.

Stockholm has seen nothing like this for years.

:20:55.:21:02.

The truck crashed into a department store and caught fire.

:21:03.:21:04.

The brewery company that owned it said a man hijacked it

:21:05.:21:07.

You could actually see bodies lying on the street and I could see

:21:08.:21:13.

the police covering the body with an orange blanket.

:21:14.:21:20.

There were lots of police around, lots of people standing around

:21:21.:21:22.

There was a lady laying with a severed foot,

:21:23.:21:25.

there was blood everywhere, there were bodies on

:21:26.:21:33.

People standing by their loved ones, but also people running away.

:21:34.:21:42.

The Swedish authorities say they had no warning of this attack.

:21:43.:21:45.

The question now is, who did it and why?

:21:46.:21:47.

The police have issued these pictures of a man

:21:48.:21:49.

they want to question, while the Prime Minister says Sweden

:21:50.:21:52.

TRANSLATION: The government is informed of the situation

:21:53.:21:59.

We support all the authorities that are working on this,

:22:00.:22:05.

and we are asking the public to be alert and listen to police advice.

:22:06.:22:08.

At least two people are dead and our thoughts are with their families.

:22:09.:22:14.

Whoever was behind today's attack, this has been a huge shock,

:22:15.:22:17.

not just for Sweden, but for all of Scandinavia.

:22:18.:22:22.

Security is now being tightened in neighbouring Norway and Finland.

:22:23.:22:25.

Already, some are saying this has been a wake-up call.

:22:26.:22:35.

Our correspondent, Maddy Savage, is live at the scene of the attack

:22:36.:22:41.

He can speak to the former Prime Minister of Sweden. Sweden is in

:22:42.:22:48.

shock. Do you have any indication as to who is behind this? No, nothing.

:22:49.:22:55.

The police are searching for that. There are right behind me. Along the

:22:56.:23:05.

pedestrian street, where the man was driving before he crashed into the

:23:06.:23:08.

department store. I think we will just have to wait for the police to

:23:09.:23:13.

do their work and eventually find out who was responsible. We.... The

:23:14.:23:19.

cover and Swedish minister has said that everything poised to visiting

:23:20.:23:27.

an act of terrorism. Do you agree? Yes, certainly. We saw this pattern

:23:28.:23:36.

in Berlin and London. A single man. Hijacking a lorry and driving into

:23:37.:23:40.

pedestrians with a clear intention of killing as many as possible. That

:23:41.:23:47.

is what we call terrorism. Is Sweden prepare for some thing like this? We

:23:48.:23:52.

live in the world where we live but no one has been killed by terrorists

:23:53.:23:59.

in this city since 1975. That was the German terrorist blowing up the

:24:00.:24:05.

embassy. We had a man who attempted to do suicide attack in virtually

:24:06.:24:13.

the same area in December, 2010. He ended up just blowing up himself.

:24:14.:24:18.

Apart from that, the other chapters. Swedish people know the world in

:24:19.:24:26.

which we live because of the media. Because of these particular types of

:24:27.:24:30.

attacks, it is difficult to guard yourself. Our security correspondent

:24:31.:24:36.

has been to Sweden and says there is not the same sense of security you

:24:37.:24:41.

have in the centre of London, not as many crash barriers and not as much

:24:42.:24:45.

CCTV. You think that'll after these events? London is unique with all of

:24:46.:24:58.

the CCTV, because of the IRA. Whether that will change, I don't

:24:59.:25:02.

know. There are privacy issues on board with that as well. Clearly,

:25:03.:25:07.

they will have to be a review of whether anything further can be

:25:08.:25:12.

done. Pedestrians are ever cars everywhere, the sorts of things are

:25:13.:25:17.

very, very difficult to have 100% guarantee against. Slowly the public

:25:18.:25:23.

transport is becoming operational again. The subway is cleared and

:25:24.:25:27.

beginning to open. Life is beginning to return to normal. Yes, the

:25:28.:25:34.

reaction in the street is immediately after attack and has

:25:35.:25:39.

been amazingly calm. There has been an amount of time while. When you

:25:40.:25:46.

close down the subway system and worldly system, this prevents

:25:47.:25:51.

anybody from running away primarily. Apologies recording of blood were

:25:52.:25:57.

out of time. -- apologies for cutting you off but we are running

:25:58.:26:03.

out of time. That's all from the problem.

:26:04.:26:05.

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