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This is BBC World News today.
Our top stories. The most senior
member of the Trump administration
so far is charged in the probe into
possible collusion with Russia.
Sacked National Security Advisor
Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to
lying to the FBI about his contacts
with Moscow. The White House says
that nothing about the guilty plea
or the charge implicates anyone
other than Mr Flynn. We will be
bringing you the very latest.
Also, the EU will refuse to begin
talks on a post-Brexit trade deal if
Ireland is not satisfied with the
UK's offer on the Northern Irish
Pope Francis comes face-to-face with
the agony of the Rohingya refugees
in Bangladesh and publicly uses the
word Rohingya in recognition of
Hello and welcome to World News
Today. We start with news that
President Trump's former National
Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, has
pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI
about his contact with Russia. Mr
Flynn is the most senior former
official to be charged so far in the
investigation into alleged Russian
meddling in last year's US
presidential election. Well, this is
Mr Flynn leaving court earlier,
having admitted to making false
statements about conversations he
had with Russia's ambassador to
Washington during last year's
election campaign. He has agreed to
cooperate with the probe into
alleged Russian interference, saying
it is in the best interests of his
family and his country. In response,
a lawyer for the White House has
said that nothing about the guilty
plea or the charge implicates anyone
other than Mr Flynn. Ali-macro has
It has sent political shock
waves through Washington.
General Michael Flynn,
Donald Trump's former National
Security adviser, turned himself
in to the FBI, and to a judge
admitted lying about his contacts
with Russian officials.
General Michael Flynn!
Michael Flynn developed a close
relationship with Donald Trump
during the election campaign,
at one point he was talked
of as a potential Vice President.
A truly great general.
I thank you.
At the Republican National
Convention, he famously led
Hillary Clinton to be imprisoned.
Lock her up!
All the focus is on the mistake
Michael Flynn made
after Donald Trump's win
at the polls, when Barack Obama
was still in office and had imposed
sanctions on Russia for interfering
with the US election.
On 29th December, Michael Flynn
spoke to the Russian Ambassador
on the phone in the first
of a series of calls.
On 15th January,
Vice-President Mike Pence said
sanctions were not discussed
by Michael Flynn in those calls.
Only after 9th February,
when a newspaper revealed General
Flynn did discuss sanctions
when he was not organised to do
so, did pressure increase
and Michael Flynn lost his job.
-- not authorised.
Michael Flynn then became one
of those investigated by the Special
Counsel into Russia's attempts
to influence the election
and the potential collusion
with the Trump campaign.
This is unquestionably the biggest
moment of the Russia investigation.
Michael Flynn is the most senior
member of Donald Trump's
team to be indicted,
and is accused of lying
to FBI agents while still
serving the White House.
Most importantly, we now believe
Michael Flynn will testify
that he was directed to talk
to the Russian Ambassador
when he was not supposed
to by a senior official
in Donald Trump's transition team,
bringing this investigation ever
closer to the President himself.
Aleem Maqbool, Washington.
Our correspondent Laura Bicker is in
Washington for us. First, just
explain to us, why does Michael
Flynn matter so much?
This is the
most senior member of the Trump
administration, of the Trump team,
to plead guilty to lying. That is
one of the reasons why this is so
significant. Michael Flynn was not a
peripheral character in the Trump
team, he was there at campaign, he
basically was one of the main phases
of the national security policies
when it came to the Trump campaign,
he travelled with Donald Trump on
various occasions both of you saw
him on stage, leading that charge,
about Hillary Clinton, saying to
lock her up. -- leading that child.
When it came to the claims he had
lied about his contacts with Russia,
that he lied about that meeting with
the Russian Ambassador here in
Washington. Well, Donald Trump is
alleged to them have gone to the
then FBI Director James Comey and
sat down and said to him, can you
see yourself letting Flynn go,
leading the investigation into
Michael Flynn go? James Comey at
that time thought that was so
significant that when he left the
White House and left it oval office,
he wrote down a memo and give
testimony to Congress. That is one
of the reason why there has been
such a focus on Michael Flynn
himself. He lasted only 23 days in
office, you heard from the White
House they wanted to distance
themselves from him. But he did play
a key part both in the campaign and
it was that that led him to be
appointed as National Security
Advisor. So, when it comes to his
focus and focus on him, but is why
it is so significant.
happens next? Where is this
investigation going to go next? What
are we going to see? I don't know if
you can hear me. Unfortunately, it
looks like we have lost Laura
Next, we are going to stay with this
story and go across to New York. Our
national politics correspondent at
Newsweek is here. Thank you for
joining us. I have noticed that your
publication is already asking who
spoke to Michael Flynn to say
whatever he did to the Russians was
not so, my question to you would be,
what did the President Noel, and
when did he know it? How crucial
will that be and what happens? What
did the President know?
Well, we are
assuming that because Michael Flynn
took a play on only one count and he
was allowed to only take a play on
one count when there were a lot of
other things going on, that he is a
valuable source of information on
the top of the food chain. That is
one of the assumptions. The other
thing that we are discovering is
that interesting kind of issue here
is that the involvement of Jared
Kushner, the President's son-in-law,
in directing Flynn in his
conversations with the Russian
Ambassador, not just related to the
sanctions that the Obama
administration has -- had slapped on
Russia, but a Security Council
hearing involving Israel, and of
course, Jared Kushner's family is
very tied into extreme right-wing
settler organisations in Israel, so
that is an interesting angle that is
opening up here. Especially at a
time when the President is said to
be considering throwing out his
Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson,
replacing him with a much more
hardline anti-Iran official, Mike
Pompeo, and also putting in charge
of the CIA a very pro-Israel and
anti-Iran Senator from Arkansas, Tom
Cotton. So, there are all sorts of
international implications bubbling
up for them in what happened today.
Do you think that this in any way
could possibly lead directly to Mr
Well, I do think it could
possibly lead directly to Mr Trump,
because we know that he told the
former FBI Director, James Comey, to
lay off Flynn. And that is
obstruction of justice. So at that
point, if the investigation goes to
that level, it leads to the
President. As far as the
involvement, his directing these
people to say certain things to the
Russians, I cannot answer that. It
is hard to tell whether he was that
involve or whether it was just Jared
Kushner and others, Michael Flynn
making these decisions on their own.
It is hard to imagine that that was
going on, because he seems to be
ready hands on, aware of his small
group, but I cannot confirm to you
that this is leading directly to the
President of the United States. But
I think he is certainly in jeopardy.
Many people in Washington are
asking, or rather saying that this
probe could be politically
motivated. Do you think this is a
line that could stand up, that the
White House could use to control the
Well, they have been doing
that for a long time. Certainly they
have been saying it is politically
motivated, and if you watch Fox
News, they are probably talking
about that right now. They would
like to divert the attention to
investigating Hillary Clinton and
Bill Clinton's foundation and their
involvement with uranium rights sold
to the Russians. So, yes, they will
absolutely be diverting too, this is
a political witchhunt, they have
been saying that all along, and
you're going to see more of that.
You're also seeing a diversion
today, it is all about diversion,
they are no diverting too, Trump and
is today, the USA is going to
recognise Jerusalem as the capital
of Israel, which is a very
contentious issue over dare-mac, as
you know. The other thing that is
going on, the timing really could
not be worse for Trump and the
Republicans, because today was the
day that they were going to try and
vote on the tax reform Bill, which
they absolutely need to have by the
end of the year finished, because
they need to have some kind of, to
be able to point to some kind of a
victory, some kind of concrete proof
that they have actually done some of
the things that they promised to do.
He has no legislative victories as
above. So this happening today,
while they were about to debate
their big tax reform bill in the
Senate, could not be worse timing
politically for the Republicans and
Thank you very much. Zimbabwe has a
new President, but does he want a
new start, or more of the same?
Emmerson Mnangagwa's Cabinet
includes many of Robert Mugabe's
told ministers, plus two military
generals in top jobs. It is not the
radical break with the past that
opposition activists and clearly
Our Zimbabwe correspondent reports.
This was Zimbabwe's exactly a week
ago, high expectations from its
first leader in 37 years. -- this
was Zimbabwe. Emmerson Mnangagwa
made all the right noises, alien
covenant, greater efficiency and
acknowledgement that the public
expectation was high. -- a leaner
Cabinet. He is rewarding the
military whose opposition helped him
to power. Two military officers are
in prominent positions. The head of
the air force, a feared figure in
southern Zimbabwe. He is alleged to
have taken part in the brutal
massacres that killed thousands of
civilians at the request of the then
Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe. He
believes the lands of -- he leads
the agriculture and land ministry.
Then the Foreign Minister, he
appeared on state television to
announce the military operation,
relatively unknown until then, he
has a doctorate in International
The war veterans leader bounces back
to Cabinet as the new information
ministers will stop he was fired by
Mugabe for challenging the First
Lady and he led mast protests which
forced the former leader to resign.
Emmerson Mnangagwa has removed many
of his predecessors -- predecessor
old allies but he has retained half
of the Cabinet, some of whom were
deeply unpopular. Thousands of
Zimbabweans gathered here just a
week ago, celebrating in using Bob
Tway and some are now wondering
where -- whether this is the break
with the past they hoped for. Many
had hoped it would provide a new
direction and new confidence.
Investors will not cheer. The
indigenous Asian ministry has been
scrapped. But opposition politicians
have condemned the new Cabinet,
saying it is proof the military is
still in charge and that the
honeymoon is over. Just two weeks
ago, Zimbabwe celebrated the
people's General for leading the
military takeover. Now they wait to
see whether he also will be rewarded
with a vice presidency.
Pope Francis is visiting Bangladesh
has met some of the more than
600,000 Rohingya Muslims who fled
violence in Myanmar. He used the
word Rohingya in public for the
first time, a controversial move
because the Myanmar government does
not recognise the right anger as an
ethnic group. The refugees have been
brought to the capital, Dhaka. More
than 600,000 men, women and children
have fled their from Myanmar.
Their plight has overshadowed his
visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh,
and today, a group of Rohynga
refugees met Pope Francis in Dhaka.
One by one, they had
a chance to tell him
what they've been through.
Up until now, Pope Francis had
avoided using the term
"Rohingya", which is how these
people identify themselves.
But a word that Myanmar
refuses to recognise.
But today, the Pope
was more outspoken.
At a meeting of religious leaders,
the Pope asked for forgiveness
from Rohingya refugees for the hurt
they've endured, and for
the indifference of the world.
It's a crisis that has
overshadowed the Pope's visit
to Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Regardless of the politics
around the Pope's visit,
for many people from the Catholic
community of Bangladesh,
it was a chance to see the leader
of their religion in person.
They're a tiny percentage
of the population of this country,
but you couldn't tell that
by looking at the crowds here,
tens of thousands have come
from different parts of Bangladesh.
And they weren't disappointed.
Before he said Mass,
Pope Francis took a quick
tour through the crowd.
For some, it was a moment
they'll remember forever.
He's the first Pope to visit
Bangladesh in more than 30 years.
I'm so happy and so blessed that
I got to get here in this space,
so there are lots of people that
couldn't come over here.
So I'm so lucky!
I can see the Pope so near.
I was in tears when I saw him.
When I saw him, I thought
I'm seeing Jesus.
I was saying, "God bless you, Papa.
God bless you.
I'm so happy to see you again."
For this small community,
the Pope's visit is reassurance that
they're part of something bigger.
But for another minority,
it brought hope that one of the most
influential leaders of the world
could help them.
Yogita Limaye, BBC News, Dhaka.
US media are reporting that
President Trump is likely to make a
speech recognising Jerusalem as
Israel's capital on Wednesday. The
international community does not
recognise Israeli sovereignty over
the entire city. Palestinian
Authorities want east Jerusalem to
be the capital of a future state. US
policy in the past has been that
Jerusalem's status must be decided
in negotiations between the two
The biggest lithium iron battery if
the world has started delivering
power to Australia's electricity
grid, the US firm Tesla built the
device and says it is three times
more powerful than the world's next
biggest bat tri.
And the Spanish stream court says it
will decide on Monday, whether ten
jailed Catalan accept twists will be
granted bail so they can take part
in campaigning in regional elections
later this month. Eight former
Catalan Cabinet Ministers and two
others appeared in the court earlier
on Friday. They were arrested on
suspicion of sedition and rebellion
over their illegal campaign for
The EU will refuse to begin talks on
a post-Brexit trade deal, if Ireland
is not satisfied with the UK's offer
on the border. That is according to
the European Council President
Donald Tusk, he held a joint news
conference with the Irish Prime
Minister in Dublin. Ireland has
urged the UK to be clearer on how it
plans to avoid a hard border between
the republic and Northern Ireland.
Mr Tux who will chair a crunch
summit in two weeks' time said the
border within Ireland must remain a
symbol of cooperation.
agreed today, that before proposing
guidelines on transition and future
relations to the leaders, I will
consultant the Taoiseach if the UK
offer is sufficient for the Irish
Government. Let me say very clearly,
if the UK offer, if unacceptable for
Ireland, it will also be
unacceptable for the EU. I realise
for some British politicians this
may be hard to understand, but such
is the logic behind the fact that
Ireland is the EU member, while the
UK it is leaving. This is why the
Quito the UK's future lies in some
ways in Dublin. At least as long as
Brexit negotiations continue.
That was Donald Tusk, at least nine
people have been killed and almost
40 injured after gunmen stormed the
campus of a university north-west
Pakistan earlier today. The attack
took place at the Agricultural
Training Institute located in
Peshawar. This report from
Islamabad. Three gunmen opened fire
after entering the compound housing
the agricultural training institute
this morning. Loud gunfire was heard
from the scene until security
officials announced they had killed
the attacker, today is is a national
holiday marking the birthday of the
Prophet Muhammad. So the training
college was closed although a number
of students were present. They make
up the bulk of those killed and
injured. Some as young as 17. A
number of students were injured
leaping out of the windows trying to
escape the attackers. The Pakistan
Taliban claimed responsibility. It
was the scene of one of the most
gruesome attacks when over 130
children were killed by militants in
an assault on their school three
years a since then the number of
attacks in Pakistan has greatly
reduced all those militants are
still clearly able to operate.
Japan's emperor will abdicate in
favour of his son in 2019. The
38-year-old emperor said last year,
that his age and health would make
it difficult to fulfil his duties.
-- 83. He could not choose to about
Kate himself, a ten member panel
chaired by the Prime Minister agreed
and set a date today. Today. There
is a cliche here that change never
comes quickly, and in the abdication
of the emperor that is certainly
appears to the case, the emperor
went on television to ask to be
allowed to retire more than a year
ark he said he was old and in poor
health and was corned he could no
longer carry on its duty, it took
until June to pass the relevant
legislation, now the imperial
household council has met to decide
when it will happen. The answer,
April 30th 2019. The following day
on May 1st, Crown Prince will ascend
the throne and a new era will be
declared and the emperor and empress
will finally be allowed to retire.
Now the draw for the 32 teams who
have made to it the 2001 football
World Cup has taken place in a
ceremony at the Kremlin, our sports
news correspondent Richard Conway
who is in Moscow for us casts his
eye oh the draw.
The draw has been made here at the
Kremlin state Palace in the heart of
the compound. Vladimir Putin
welcoming all 32 teams to come in,
and look, to take a look forward to
next summer's tournament. Russia
will kick off the entire
competition, on June 14th, next
yore, against Saudi Arabia. That
will be here in Moscow. I have been
given by Fifa my little wall chart,
already, so I have the map all laid
out of who will play where and where
they will be taking place, some
interesting matches. Portugal taking
on Spain, those neighbours clashing
once again, that will be a
fascinating tie. Argentina in group
D, they will have to take on Iceland
who are making their debut at the
World Cup, and England of course who
will be wanting to overturn a
frankly terrible record in recent
years at the World Cup, they will
take on Belgium, Tunisia, and
Panama, so some interesting games
there as well. Belgium having a
heavily contingent. Roberto
Martinez, he knows about managing
the top English sides. So that is
another one to look out for.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have
taken part in their first official
engagement together. They visited a
World Aids Day charity fair, meeting
representatives from the Terence
Higgins trust. Harry has become a
prominent campaigner on the issue
following in the footsteps of his
mother Diana, Princess of Wales, if
you are wondering where they went,
they were in Nottingham. You of
course will not forget the
announcement was made on Monday that
they will be guessing married.
A reminder of our top story.
President Trump's former national
security adviser Michael Flynn has
pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI
about his contact with Russia. She
the most senior former official to
be charged so far in the
investigation into alleged Russian
meddling in the US Presidential
election. Plenty more on this story
right here on BBC World News. Do
stay in touch with us.