07/09/2017 World News Today


07/09/2017

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Hurricane Irma hits, and leaves a trail of devastation.

:00:00.:00:12.

The eastern Caribbean islands were first in line for a battering.

:00:13.:00:15.

We had cars flying over our heads, 40-ft containers

:00:16.:00:26.

And all we had to do was pray and call for help.

:00:27.:00:36.

As the scale of the devastation in Barbuda is becoming clear,

:00:37.:00:39.

Irma is headed for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

:00:40.:00:41.

This is what they were escaping - the homes of Myanmar's Rohingya

:00:42.:00:47.

The number who've fled to Bangladesh reaches almost 150,000.

:00:48.:00:52.

We report from the largest official detention centre in Libya,

:00:53.:00:57.

where the BBC found desperate conditions.

:00:58.:01:06.

For many who set out hoping to get to Europe, who took the risk with

:01:07.:01:13.

their lives of trying to cross the Mediterranean, this is where the

:01:14.:01:16.

dream of reaching Italy has come to an end.

:01:17.:01:27.

Hello, and welcome to World News Today.

:01:28.:01:31.

Hurricane Irma - one of the strongest ever recorded

:01:32.:01:33.

in the Atlantic Ocean - has left a swathe of destruction

:01:34.:01:35.

in its path as it sweeps across the eastern Caribbean.

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At least ten people are known to have died.

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The islands of Barbuda and St Martin were first to feel the full force

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Then came Puerto Rico, and now it's heading northwest

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towards Cuba and Florida. The category five hurricane has

:01:53.:01:54.

disrupted communications, making it difficult to get

:01:55.:01:56.

information from some of the worst hit places.

:01:57.:02:00.

In Puerto Rico, 70% of the population have

:02:01.:02:01.

Our correspondent Laura Bicker was on the island when Irma struck.

:02:02.:02:10.

Hurricane Irma, as storm the size of France, has carved a destructive

:02:11.:02:13.

In Puerto Rico, three people were killed as winds

:02:14.:02:19.

As daylight came and the clear-out began, most felt lucky to have

:02:20.:02:32.

I prayed, go, don't come here no more.

:02:33.:02:47.

This family told me they felt blessed to be

:02:48.:02:50.

This family told me they felt blessed to be alive,

:02:51.:02:53.

was downed power lines and fallen trees in the street.

:02:54.:02:56.

There is a collective sigh of relief in Puerto Rico.

:02:57.:02:58.

There is work to be done, up to 30 foot waves threw up debris

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and downed trees, but when it comes to that catastrophic

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eye of the hurricane, that only skirted the island,

:03:05.:03:06.

On the tiny island of Barbuda, barely a building

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Thousands of families find themselves homeless.

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My house, I lose my home, I lose my shop.

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And right now, I don't have nowhere to go to sleep.

:03:25.:03:41.

We had cars flying over our heads, 40 foot containers

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And the story that you are getting from most of the residents

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is that the eye of the storm came just in time.

:03:48.:03:50.

Persons were literally tying themselves to their roots

:03:51.:03:51.

The Prime Minister said the island was barely habitable.

:03:52.:03:55.

In neighbouring St Martin, the full force of the eye of

:03:56.:04:09.

Winds of 185 mph hammered the island.

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More than 70,000 people live in this area, which is made of Dutch

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Shipping containers were tossed around like Lego bricks.

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Moored boats were smashed in the harbour, and there

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are warnings that the death toll is likely to rise.

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France has sent three emergency teams to help with the clear-up,

:04:37.:04:39.

and has already set up a reconstruction fund.

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In the British territory of Anguilla, the UK response

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The only hospital has been badly damaged, and residents say they need

:04:55.:04:59.

A British task force is on its way there,

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including Royal Marines and army engineers.

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Efforts are also under way to get supplies to the

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The French government says the priority is making sure people

:05:09.:05:12.

The British Virgin Islands is the latest place to be pummelled.

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It is a tropical paradise transformed.

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She has maintained her wind speeds, and is barrelling

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towards another British territory - the low-lying Turks

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The US sunshine state of Florida will be next in her sights.

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They are nervous, after watching others endure her wrath.

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Laura Bicker reporting from Puerto Rico.

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Hurricane Irma is now the longest lasting category five

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superstorm ever recorded - surpassing the record

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set by Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in 2013.

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So why has it gathered so much energy?

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And are these types of storm becoming more frequent?

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Our Science Editor, David Shukman, explains.

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A menacing swirl of cloud stretching over the Caribbean.

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This view from space of Hurricane Irma shows

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If it was over Britain, it would cover most of the country.

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A brave flight crew ventures right inside.

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And facing them are the staggeringly large walls

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This hurricane has set a new record for having dangerously fast winds

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On the ground, the effect is shattering.

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This part of the world knows all about hurricanes, and early

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warning has definitely saved lives, but this one is stronger than most.

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So, how do hurricanes become so destructive?

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The strongest, like Irma, form off the coast of West Africa,

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warm waters caused the air to rise, triggering thunderstorms

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and that is when the winds can circulate,

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crosses the Atlantic, it grows and becomes stronger.

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If the winds are moving in the same direction

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at all levels, as with Irma, they reached devastating speeds.

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Closer to the Caribbean, the hurricane gets another boost

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as it passes over yet more warm water.

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And ocean temperatures are unusually high this year, making the winds

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On top of this, the low pressure inside the hurricane

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creates a storm surge - a huge wave that strikes the coast.

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And because climate change is raising the level of the sea,

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As the people of the Caribbean try to cope with the terrible aftermath,

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many are asking if there will be even more scenes like this

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Scientists say they do not know if hurricanes will become more

:07:50.:07:56.

frequent, but they do think they will become more violent.

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One of the things we know about climate change is a warmer

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That means when a hurricane hits, more rain can

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and cause more flooding, and that is one thing we definitely

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And another thing is the warmer oceans feed the hurricanes,

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they are the energy source, so a warmer ocean will lead

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This comes as the people of Texas are still recovering

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There are plenty of quiet years, but this one is shaping up to be one

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This sequence shows how right behind Irma there is another

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distinctive swirl of clouds - Hurricane Jose.

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The research patrols have been kept busier than ever before.

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Well, are is now crossing to the north of the Dominican Republic,

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heading for the Turks and Caicos Islands. Emergency officials admit

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they are anxious about writing out the storm. Doctor John Freeman is

:08:57.:08:59.

the governor of the British territory.

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Of course, everyone is nervous and anxious here.

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But, we've made the preparations we should do.

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We've evacuated, we ordered the evacuation of two islands.

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We've got our shelters operating and people going into them.

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We're messaging out as best we can to make sure people do that.

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Yesterday, we spent a lot of time encouraging visiting tourists to get

:09:16.:09:22.

We've reduced the number of people who are here who don't live

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So, yes, we're anxious, and we're going to have to ride it out.

:09:28.:09:34.

And, you know, this is a country that's been hit

:09:35.:09:36.

And therefore, you know, a surge means more water coming

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on here, which means more flooding, which causes more problems in terms

:09:46.:09:48.

of utilities and the functioning of the islands.

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Those in the most low-lying are the ones who also have

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vulnerable structures, and we've been encouraging them

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As I say, they are moving into the shelters now.

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Along with the surge you mentioned, of course it's the wind speed

:10:05.:10:07.

that we are waiting to see what the impact of that is.

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And I'm afraid we're not really going to know this

:10:11.:10:13.

until of course it's hit us, but already we can see

:10:14.:10:15.

We are already within the frame, she's already touching us remotely.

:10:16.:10:28.

The United Nations says as many as 164,000 Rohingya Muslims,

:10:29.:10:32.

mostly civilians, have now fled into Bangladesh from Myanmar

:10:33.:10:34.

The exodus was sparked by a crackdown by Burmese security

:10:35.:10:38.

forces after Rohingya militants attacked police posts.

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Our correspondent Justin Rowlatt has been to a refugee camp in Teknaf,

:10:41.:10:44.

Their shoes lost in the mud on the long journey here.

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This is an exodus on a truly massive scale.

:10:56.:10:59.

The truth is, no-one knows for certain how many Rohingya

:11:00.:11:02.

refugees have crossed the border here to Bangladesh.

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We've joined this kind of river of humanity,

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because we've been told a refugee camp has erupted in

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Apparently thousands of people have come here and made camp.

:11:17.:11:23.

A UN official was told there were 15,000 people here.

:11:24.:11:28.

She told the BBC she couldn't say how many refugees have

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And everyone has a horrific story to tell.

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TRANSLATION: My three sons were taken.

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Villages burning, allegedly torched by soldiers from the Myanmar army.

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TRANSLATION: Lots, lots, lots of people died.

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And then they shot us from helicopters and from the ground.

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Mr Shafiq saw some appalling scenes on his long trek.

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Bodies floating in the river, Rohingya refugees drowned

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the barbed wire fence that marks the border with Bangladesh.

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The BBC cannot verify any of this footage,

:12:43.:12:44.

but the stories the refugees tell are remarkably similar.

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They've been driven from their homes into this.

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Into what is a rapidly escalating humanitarian disaster.

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Let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news.

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The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, says a planned

:13:15.:13:16.

referendum on independence by the autonomous region

:13:17.:13:18.

Central government in Madrid is taking steps to prevent

:13:19.:13:23.

the vote from taking place, after Catalan lawmakers voted

:13:24.:13:26.

The region voted overwhelmingly for independence in 2014

:13:27.:13:31.

in an unofficial election, which was unrecognised by Madrid.

:13:32.:13:37.

The EU's Security Commissioner has warned that there's a real risk that

:13:38.:13:40.

so-called Islamic State will increase funding

:13:41.:13:42.

Julian King said that as IS loses ground militarily in Iraq and Syria,

:13:43.:13:47.

it's moving money out of the region, which could lead to an influx

:13:48.:13:51.

of cash for terrorism in European states.

:13:52.:13:57.

A son of the Philippine president has denied involvement

:13:58.:14:01.

in a multi-million-dollar drug smuggling operation.

:14:02.:14:03.

Paolo Duterte told a Senate hearing the allegations

:14:04.:14:05.

against him were baseless, although he refused

:14:06.:14:07.

His father, President Rodrigo Duterte, launched a violent campaign

:14:08.:14:12.

against drug crime last year, and has promised to resign

:14:13.:14:14.

if any family members were involved in the trade.

:14:15.:14:22.

Many migrants trying to reach Europe make the perilous crossing

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But what about those who get caught before the journey?

:14:26.:14:29.

We've gained access to Libya's largest official detention centre,

:14:30.:14:32.

Many have suffered deeply traumatic experiences at the hands

:14:33.:14:37.

of people-smugglers as they tried and failed to reach Europe.

:14:38.:14:41.

The BBC's Orla Guerin has been inside the Triq al-Sikka

:14:42.:14:43.

Well, for those being held in detention in Libya,

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In this centre alone, there are more than 600 men being held.

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There are women and children, even newborn babies,

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The men here have asked us to show these conditions.

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They are very anxious for all of this to be seen.

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It's hot, it's airless, it's overcrowded.

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At night, when everyone is jammed in and the doors are locked,

:15:23.:15:25.

they tell us that some have to try to sleep standing up,

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because there isn't even room to lie down.

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The men here say there isn't enough food.

:15:31.:15:32.

At breakfast, for example, all they're getting is a small roll

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Now, the authorities who are in charge here tell us

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they've run out of funding to pay the catering companies.

:15:41.:15:42.

They say they are relying on donations from Libyan companies

:15:43.:15:45.

The only hope of release for these men is to be deported back

:15:46.:15:52.

Some of those here tell us they've been languishing in these conditions

:15:53.:15:59.

Detainees in another centre told us the guards had demanded bribes

:16:00.:16:08.

Some of these migrants have been bought and sold by different

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Some have been forced into modern-day slave labour.

:16:14.:16:21.

For many who set out hoping to get to Europe,

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who took the risk with their lives of trying to cross

:16:26.:16:29.

the Mediterranean, this is where the dream of reaching Italy

:16:30.:16:31.

Today marks another milestone in Britain's Brexit journey -

:16:32.:16:45.

MPs have started debating a Bill described by the Prime Minister

:16:46.:16:48.

as an "essential step" on the way to leaving the EU.

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The Bill aims to ensure that European law will no

:16:51.:16:53.

longer apply in the UK, by repealing the act

:16:54.:16:55.

of Parliament that took Britain into the European Union back in 1972.

:16:56.:16:58.

The Bill will also convert all

:16:59.:17:01.

current EU legislation into UK law - Government ministers say this

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is to avoid a "cliff-edge" the day after Brexit.

:17:07.:17:12.

Finally, and this is controversial, it includes new powers

:17:13.:17:15.

for the Government to alter laws without full parliamentary scrutiny.

:17:16.:17:18.

Opposition parties have already said they will not support the Bill.

:17:19.:17:23.

Our Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg,

:17:24.:17:24.

Ministers say there is nothing to worry about, there opponents say it

:17:25.:17:40.

is a power grab. Put simply, this bill is an essential step. Whilst it

:17:41.:17:45.

does not take us out of the European Union, that is a matter for the

:17:46.:17:48.

Article 50 process, it does ensure that on the day with we leave,

:17:49.:17:54.

businesses know where we stand. Consumers remain protected. But this

:17:55.:18:00.

is so much to sort out the perfect all our lives. The Government says

:18:01.:18:04.

there is not time for him is to be of every detail. So ministers will

:18:05.:18:08.

be able to make tweaks here and there. That gives them the same

:18:09.:18:12.

powers as medieval monarchs, Labour says. The combined effect of the

:18:13.:18:18.

provisions of this bill would reduce MPs to spectators, power pawns into

:18:19.:18:22.

the hands of ministers and the executives. It is an unprecedented

:18:23.:18:29.

power grab. It is an affront to Parliament and accountabilities.

:18:30.:18:31.

Bike ministers privately concede they will have to give some ground.

:18:32.:18:38.

But they also know which is the only -- it is far from the only scrap the

:18:39.:18:42.

fee. If talks about the overall Brexit deal going well, the official

:18:43.:18:47.

negotiator in Brussels to do good job of hiding at this morning.

:18:48.:18:51.

Complaining about the British unwillingness to talk about the

:18:52.:18:55.

cash. TRANSLATION: I've been very

:18:56.:18:58.

disappointed in the British position. There's problem of

:18:59.:19:04.

confidence. He is accusing the UK of backtracking. Close to home, a

:19:05.:19:08.

letter doing the rounds among Tory MPs has been leaked to the BBC.

:19:09.:19:13.

Dozens of Brexit supporters demanding the Prime Minister sticks

:19:14.:19:18.

to a crisp exit, not a longer, soft transition. Warning ministers they

:19:19.:19:21.

must not allow the country to be kept in the EU by stealth. And was

:19:22.:19:26.

circulated, if not signed, by a junior member of the government. The

:19:27.:19:33.

letter says that we are in favour of leaving the Single Market and the

:19:34.:19:37.

customs union, we want to take back control of our laws, we want a

:19:38.:19:41.

strictly time-limited transition period, we want to be able to strike

:19:42.:19:44.

free trade agreements with the rest of the world. All of that is

:19:45.:19:51.

consistent with Government policy. Remainer Tory MPs don't buy that,

:19:52.:19:56.

fearing Conservative divisions could burst again. In the Tory Party, in

:19:57.:20:00.

Parliament, and in the power struggle with the EU... No Brexit!

:20:01.:20:05.

There's not much chance of keeping the peace.

:20:06.:20:11.

As Parliament debates the bill, it is not making for happy watching

:20:12.:20:18.

according to the chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. Damian Grammaticas

:20:19.:20:19.

has more from Brussels. Well, what we've heard

:20:20.:20:22.

from today here in Brussels is the chief negotiator,

:20:23.:20:24.

Michel Barnier. He said that they were watching very

:20:25.:20:26.

closely here the debates going on in the UK, because the UK,

:20:27.:20:28.

he said, will have to come up The EU wants to know what sort

:20:29.:20:32.

of future deal the UK wants to do with the Single Market,

:20:33.:20:37.

the customs union, all And that will be crucial to what

:20:38.:20:39.

sort of negotiations happen here. But for now, he pointed to some very

:20:40.:20:43.

difficult issues he said On Ireland, the question

:20:44.:20:46.

of the Northern Irish border, he said that he was very worried

:20:47.:20:49.

by the proposals put forward He said they simply

:20:50.:20:52.

weren't good enough. The UK's decision to quit the EU

:20:53.:20:55.

and to quit the Single Market and customs union would,

:20:56.:20:59.

he said, bring complications, The onus was on the UK

:21:00.:21:00.

to come up with solutions On the issue of money,

:21:01.:21:06.

the financial settlement, he said that the UK's approach

:21:07.:21:12.

questioning the legality of what the EU says the UK's

:21:13.:21:15.

obligations are was very negative Mr Barnier said that every euro

:21:16.:21:21.

the EU is demanding, He said the EU budgets had been

:21:22.:21:30.

approved by David Cameron when he was British Prime Minister,

:21:31.:21:35.

also approved by the UK Parliament, and that there

:21:36.:21:38.

was a legal basis for that. And he said in order to move forward

:21:39.:21:42.

to discussing a future relationship, the EU has to see progress on those

:21:43.:21:46.

other issues first. Facebook says it has discovered

:21:47.:21:55.

a Russian-funded campaign to promote divisive social and political

:21:56.:21:59.

messages on its network. It said there were about 3,000 ads

:22:00.:22:01.

over a two-year period. The ads did not back any political

:22:02.:22:04.

figures specifically, but instead posted on topics

:22:05.:22:06.

including immigration, Our Silicon Valley reporter,

:22:07.:22:07.

Dave Lee, has the story. Was in the wake of the US election

:22:08.:22:15.

result when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said it was -

:22:16.:22:20.

quote - "crazy" to think that misinformation or fake news

:22:21.:22:23.

on Facebook could have But the company's own investigation

:22:24.:22:25.

appears to have revealed those concerns were not too

:22:26.:22:29.

crazy after all. It found thousands of ads directing

:22:30.:22:34.

users to pages and profiles spreading misinformation

:22:35.:22:37.

on the world's biggest The advertisements did not back any

:22:38.:22:39.

political figure specifically, but instead posted inflammatory

:22:40.:22:46.

statements on topics such as immigration,

:22:47.:22:48.

race and equal rights. The company said it believed

:22:49.:23:00.

the advertising was bought by a group in Russia known

:23:01.:23:03.

as The Internet Research Agency. It's an outfit based

:23:04.:23:06.

in St Petersburg, and known for flooding social media

:23:07.:23:08.

with pro-Kremlin material. Facebook said it was cooperating

:23:09.:23:10.

with US investigators, who are looking into the wider issue

:23:11.:23:12.

of alleged Russian meddling Facebook is said to have now handed

:23:13.:23:15.

over its data to Robert Mueller, that's the special counsel in charge

:23:16.:23:22.

of that investigation. Prince George had his first

:23:23.:23:24.

day at school today. The four-year-old is attending

:23:25.:23:28.

Thomas's School in South London, where he'll be known

:23:29.:23:30.

to his classmates He was dropped off by dad,

:23:31.:23:32.

Prince William, but the Duchess of Cambridge missed the occasion

:23:33.:23:36.

as she's suffering from severe morning sickness

:23:37.:23:38.

due to her pregnancy. It is a daunting day

:23:39.:23:40.

for any four-year-old, understandably a little nervous

:23:41.:23:51.

for his first day at the new school in south London his parents

:23:52.:23:57.

have chosen for him. Dad was there to take his hand and

:23:58.:23:59.

carry his schoolbag, but not Mum. She had to remain at

:24:00.:24:03.

Kensington Palace, suffering Each day at Thomas's School

:24:04.:24:05.

in Battersea starts George knew what was required,

:24:06.:24:08.

as did his father. And then it was time for those

:24:09.:24:14.

shiny new school shoes to head for the classroom,

:24:15.:24:18.

to find the peg for George Cambridge and to meet the 20

:24:19.:24:21.

other four-year-olds - boys and girls - who will be

:24:22.:24:23.

in the reception class with him. For William, it may have prompted

:24:24.:24:28.

memories of the day 30 years ago when he was taken by his mother

:24:29.:24:32.

for his first day at school. Back then, it was all

:24:33.:24:35.

rather more formal. A boys-only school complete

:24:36.:24:37.

with a school cap. School caps and formality were much

:24:38.:24:44.

in evidence in 1957, when the Queen took Prince Charles

:24:45.:24:49.

for his first day at his Charles was in fact the first heir

:24:50.:24:52.

to the throne to go to school rather Fast forward 30 years, and George's

:24:53.:25:00.

school offers a broad curriculum with a strong emphasis on sport

:25:01.:25:06.

and human values. It's a choice of school

:25:07.:25:08.

which represents a bit of a break Nothing too radical, of course -

:25:09.:25:12.

it's still private and fee-paying, but it is coeducational,

:25:13.:25:19.

and the school has a strong George will find that 'be kind'

:25:20.:25:21.

is one of the guiding principles for pupils here,

:25:22.:25:25.

together with courtesy and humility. All useful qualities

:25:26.:25:27.

for a future king. Nicholas Witchell,

:25:28.:25:30.

BBC News, Battersea. Just to update you on our main news.

:25:31.:25:43.

Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean,

:25:44.:25:48.

has been making a path of destruction as it sweeps across the

:25:49.:25:51.

eastern Caribbean. At least nine people are known to have died. It is

:25:52.:25:56.

currently north of the Dominican Republic, heading towards Turks and

:25:57.:25:59.

Caicos. Thanks very much for watching BBC World News Today.

:26:00.:26:03.