01/12/2017 World News Today


01/12/2017

The news programme for audiences who want more depth to their daily coverage. With a focus on Europe, Middle East and Africa.


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This is BBC World News Today.

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Our top stories.

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The most senior member of the Trump

administration so far

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is charged in the probe

into possible collusion with Russia.

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Sacked national security

adviser, Michael Flynn,

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has pleaded guilty to lying

to the FBI about his

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contacts with Moscow.

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The US media reports he will

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The US media reports he will testify

that Donald Trump's son-in-law,

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Jared Kushner, was amongst those who

directed him contact with Russia.

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The White House says that nothing

about the guilty plea -

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or the charge - implicates anyone

other than Mr Flynn.

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We'll bring you all the very latest.

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The EU will refuse to begin talks

on a post-Brexit trade deal

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if Ireland is not satisfied

with the UK's offer

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on the Northern Irish border.

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Pope Francis comes face to face

with the agony of Rohingya

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refugees in Bangladesh

and publicly uses

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the word "Rohingya"

in recognition of their identity.

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And coming up in sport...

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The draw for next year's World Cup

finals has taken place.

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We'll get reaction from Moscow.

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Hello and welcome

to World News Today.

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We start with news that

President Trump's former national

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security advisor Michael Flynn has

pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI

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about his contact with Russia.

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Mr Flynn is the most senior former

official to be charged so far

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in the investigation into alleged

Russian meddling in last year's US

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presidential election.

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A lawyer for the White House has

said nothing about the guilty plea

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or charge implicates anyone other

than Mr Flynn.

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This is Mr Flynn

leaving court earlier.

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US media say that Mr Flynn is

prepared to give testimony that Mr

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Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner,

was amongst the members of the

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President's transitional team who

directed intimate contact with the

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Russians.

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Aleem Maqbool has the latest.

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It has sent political shock

waves through Washington.

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General Michael Flynn,

Donald Trump's former

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national security adviser,

turned himself in to the FBI,

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and to a judge admitted

lying about his contacts

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with Russian officials.

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General Michael Flynn!

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Michael Flynn developed a close

relationship with Donald Trump

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during the election campaign,

and at one point he was talked

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of as a potential vice-president.

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A truly great general.

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Mike, thank you.

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At the Republican National

Convention, he famously led

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chanting for Hillary Clinton

to be imprisoned.

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Lock her up!

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All the focus now is on the mistake

Michael Flynn made after

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Donald Trump's win at the polls,

when Barack Obama was still

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in office and had imposed sanctions

on Russia for interfering

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with the US election.

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On 29th December, Michael Flynn

spoke to the Russian ambassador

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on the phone in the first

of a series of calls.

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On 15th January, Vice-President Mike

Pence said sanctions were not

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discussed by Michael Flynn

in those calls.

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Only after 9th February,

when a newspaper revealed

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General Flynn did discuss sanctions

when he was not organised to do so,

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did pressure increase

and Michael Flynn lost his job.

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-- authorised.

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Michael Flynn then became one

of those investigated

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by the Special Counsel into Russia's

attempts to influence the election

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and the potential collusion

with the Trump campaign.

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This is unquestionably the biggest

moment of the Russia investigation.

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Michael Flynn is the most senior

member of Donald Trump's

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team to be indicted,

and is accused of lying

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to FBI agents while still

serving the White House.

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Most importantly, we now believe

Michael Flynn will testify

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that he was directed to talk

to the Russian ambassador

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when he was not supposed

to by a senior official

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in Donald Trump's transition team,

bringing this investigation ever

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closer to the President himself.

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Aleem Maqbool, Washington.

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Let's get more on this.

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Laura Bicker is in Washington.

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A new development, latest

development. It is developing quite

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fast. Jared Kushner is the latest

name to be thrown very squarely into

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the ring. Just take us through the

context.

There could be a number of

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officials certainly involved in

this. But this was in regards to who

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told Michael Flynn to contact the

Russians. Now according to the

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charge sheet, there was a senior

official and a very senior official.

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US media here are touting Jared

Kushner's name is one of those who

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told Michael Flynn to contact the

Russian ambassador. Now, we have not

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got that independently confirmed but

he is just one name that the US

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media are putting out there. That

would be significant. It takes this

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trail closer to the Oval Office. But

remember, when it comes to this

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investigation, it is worth looking

exactly what Robert Mueller is

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trying to figure out. He is trying

to look at whether or not Russia

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colluded with the Trump campaign to

help Donald Trump win the election.

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And part of that is to see what

contact they had with the Russians

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and when. And Michael Flynn lied

about his contact with the Russian

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ambassador. As well as to the FBI.

That is why he has pleaded guilty

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today. The other question is, in

return for the guilty plea, what

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else is he told the Special Counsel,

Robert Mueller?

Indeed. The next

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question is if Jared Kushner

directed Flynn, who directed Jared

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Kushner? Hopefully we will learn

more about that. James Comey is

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another name we hear quite a lot

during this latest news. He has been

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tweeting as well. Tell us about

that.

James Comey was the former

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director of the FBI. One of the

reasons why, if you're wondering why

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the name Michael Flynn sounds most

familiar, it's because when James

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Comey was fired, he gave testimony

to Congress that President Trump

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urged him to drop the investigation

into Michael Flynn. The conversation

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that he recounted in notes he had

taken straight afterwards was that

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Mr Trump asked him to let the

investigation go. To let Michael

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Flynn go. James Comey has tweeted

and has been incognito on Twitter

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for some time, finally using his own

Twitter handle. You said, like

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justice roll down like waters and

righteousness like an ever flowing

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frame. Not hiding the fact he is

pleased.

Very quickly, we have still

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not heard anything on this subject

from Mr Trump but there has been

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talk of a bit of deflection going

on. He has tweeted today but what

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about Rex Tillerson.

Yesterday, we

were wondering if Rex Tillerson

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could survive. Whether his future

was extremely uncertain. There have

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been tensions between the two for

several months. In Donald Trump's

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tweet, he describes reports Rex

Tillerson was to be pushed out the

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door as fake news. He says Rex

Tillerson is here to stay and

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admitted that they had differences

but they are working on it. It looks

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like, for the moment at least, the

Secretary of State will keep his

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job.

OK, thank you for that.

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We can cross now to

Washington DC and talk

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to Elizabeth Wydra, a Supreme Court

litigator and legal expert.

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Thank you very much for joining us.

It is all about the deal. How is

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this deal working, as you

understand?

Absolutely. It is a deal

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that we have the former national

security adviser to President Trump

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pleading guilty to lying about

talking to Russian contacts. The

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even bigger deal is what did he

agree to give Robert -- Robert

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Mueller in exchange that plea deal?

We know that he is implicating

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senior presidential transition

officials. Rumours have been

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swirling that perhaps it is Jared

Kushner, even Mike Pence, even at

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present himself. -- the president

himself. We're getting closer to

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senior level Trump administration

officials. You don't make a deal

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with someone very high level like

Mike Flynn unless he can give you

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someone who is an even bigger fish.

Dairy Crest pleaded guilty. What

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happens next in the investigation?

-- he has pleaded guilty.

I am sure

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Robert Mueller is meticulously

putting together all these bits of

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information, as was just discussed.

Michael Flynn was key to a lot of

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what was going on in the potential

collision with the Russians and

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attentional obstruction of justice

with the filing of James Comey.

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Flynn's name comes up again and

again. You can be sure that Robert

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Mueller and his ace team are putting

together how all those dots are

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connected through Michael Flynn and

with his senior Trump characters,

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like perhaps even the President's

son-in-law has Vice President, being

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implicated, we're getting ever

closer to the Oval Office. Robert

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Mueller is not going to go there

unless he knows for sure that he has

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got the goods. Between the Flynn

deal and the earlier deal, I think

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that Robert Mueller is probably

putting together a very damning

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case.

This is a federal crime. What

does that mean in terms of the

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reality of a sentence? What is the

likelihood that will be reduced as

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part of this deal?

Yes, absolutely.

It seems, just from what we known

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reports, that Flynn could have been

charged with several other and

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perhaps even serious crimes that are

lying to the FBI, which is itself a

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very serious charge and is a felony.

It does seem that by only charging

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him with lying to the FBI, Robert

Mueller and the Special Counsel

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decided to lower the charges and

potential sentence for Mr Flynn, and

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possibly even have either a Lord

liability for Michael Flynn's son,

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Michael Flynn Junior, or perhaps

even getting Michael Flynn Junior of

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completely. We do not know exactly

the terms of how that cooperation

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deal came about. But it is very

likely. What happens in most plea

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deals is that you get a lower charge

and then also the Special Counsel or

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I commend in law sentence to the

federal judge. -- will recommend a

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lesser sentence.

You have been

watching this. A White House lawyer

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has said this guilty plea is only

regarding Mr Flynn. It was not

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impact on anybody. Did the Fat

"Wishful thinking" pass your mind?

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-- the thought.

Absolutely. I'm sure

he would like that to be true but it

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is not the case. What we have found

from the charging information is

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referenced a very senior transition

officials. This is definitely not

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the end of it. It is indeed wishful

thinking if they think that the

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Special Counsel investigation will

wrap up very soon and without this

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touching even closer to the heart of

the Trump administration.

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Interesting. Elizabeth, thank you

very much. Thank you.

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Let's move on and look at the fair

is taking place in Europe. --

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affairs.

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The EU will refuse to begin talks

on a post-Brexit trade deal

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if Ireland is not satisfied

with the UK's offer

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on the Northern Irish border.

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That's according to

the European Council President.

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Donald Tusk held a joint news

conference with the Irish Prime

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Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin.

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Ireland has urged the UK to be

clearer on how it plans to avoid

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a hard border between the Republic

and Northern Ireland.

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Mr Tusk - who will chair

a crunch summit of EU

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leaders in two weeks' time -

said the border within Ireland must

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remain a symbol of cooperation.

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We have agreed today that before

proposing guidelines on transition,

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I will consult the Taoiseach if the

UK offer is sufficient for the Irish

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government. Let me say very clearly,

if the UK offer is unacceptable for

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Ireland, it will also be an

acceptable for the EU. I realise

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that for some British politicians,

this might be hard to understand.

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But such is the logic can't the fact

that Ireland is an EU member while

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the UK is leaving. This is why the

key to the UK's future lies, in some

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ways," at least as long as Brexit

mega- sheesh and is are you ongoing.

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-- in Dublin, at least as long as

Brexit negotiations are ongoing.

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Pope Francis, who's

visiting Bangladesh,

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has met some of the more

than 600-thousand Rohingya Muslims

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who've fled violence in Myanmar.

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He used the word "Rohingya"

in public for the first time -

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a controversial move

because the Myanmar government

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doesn't recognise the Rohingya

as an ethnic group.

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The refugees had been

brought to the capital

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Dhaka from Cox's Bazar,

where more than 600,000

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men, women and children

from Myanmar's Rakhine

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state have fled.

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Yogita Limaye is following

the Pope's visit.

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Their plight has overshadowed his

visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh,

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and today, a group of Rohingya

refugees met Pope Francis in Dhaka.

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One by one, they had

a chance to tell him

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what they've been through.

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Up until now, Pope Francis had

avoided using the term

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"Rohingya", which is how these

people identify themselves.

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But a word that Myanmar

refuses to recognise.

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But today, the Pope

was more outspoken.

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At a meeting of religious leaders,

the Pope asked for forgiveness

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from Rohingya refugees for the hurt

they've endured, and for

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the indifference of the world.

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It's a crisis that has

overshadowed the Pope's visit

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to Myanmar and Bangladesh.

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Regardless of the politics

around the Pope's visit,

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for many people from the Catholic

community of Bangladesh,

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it was a chance to see the leader

of their religion in person.

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They're a tiny percentage

of the population of this country,

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but you couldn't tell that

by looking at the crowds here.

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Tens of thousands have come

from different parts of Bangladesh.

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And they weren't disappointed.

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Before he said Mass,

Pope Francis took a quick

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tour through the crowd.

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For some, it was a moment

they'll remember forever.

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He's the first Pope to visit

Bangladesh in more than 30 years.

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I'm so happy and so blessed that

I got to get here in this space,

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so there are lots of people that

couldn't come over here.

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So I'm so lucky!

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I can see the Pope so near.

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I was in tears when I saw him.

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When I saw him, I thought

I'm seeing Jesus.

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I was saying, "God bless you, Papa.

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God bless you.

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I'm so happy to see you again."

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For this small community,

the Pope's visit is reassurance that

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they're part of something bigger.

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But for another minority,

it brought hope that one of the most

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influential leaders of the world

could help them.

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Yogita Limaye, BBC News, Dhaka.

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Stay with us on BBC

World News, still to come...

0:17:050:17:08

Prince Harry and his

fiancee Meghan Markle

0:17:080:17:11

are on their first joint official

public engagement in the UK.

0:17:110:17:14

We'll find out why the city of

Nottingham in the English Midlands

0:17:140:17:17

has a special place

in the prince's heart.

0:17:170:17:20

I am feeling so helpless. The

children are dying in front of me

0:17:340:17:40

and I can't do anything.

Charles

Manson is the leader of the hippie

0:17:400:17:55

cult who called Sharon Tate and at

least six others in Los Angeles. --

0:17:550:17:58

killed.

0:17:580:18:00

At 11 a:m., just half a metre of

rock separated Britain from

0:18:070:18:11

continental Europe. It took the

drills just a few moments to cut

0:18:110:18:14

through the final obstacle. And then

this mine was shaking hands and

0:18:140:18:21

exchanging flags with his opposite

number. -- miner.

0:18:210:18:28

This is BBC World News Today.

0:18:380:18:39

The latest headlines...

0:18:390:18:41

President Trump's sacked

national security adviser,

0:18:410:18:42

Michael Flynn, pleads guilty

to charges that he lied to the FBI

0:18:420:18:45

about contacts with Russia.

0:18:450:18:51

US media reports he will testify

that Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared

0:18:510:18:55

Kushner was amongst those who

directed him to make contact with

0:18:550:18:57

Russia.

0:18:570:19:04

Dutch pathologists say that an

autopsy suggests the former Bosnian

0:19:040:19:13

Croat leader died of cyanide

poisoning. He swallowed the Floyd

0:19:130:19:16

Wells in the dock at the Yugoslav

war crimes tribunal on Wednesday.

0:19:160:19:21

The child Bruno has begun an

internal investigation which it

0:19:210:19:25

hopes to complete before the court

as wind up at the end of the year,

0:19:250:19:29

focusing on how he got hold of the

poison.

0:19:290:19:33

Now for all the sport.

0:19:330:19:39

Now the planning can really begin

for the 32 teams preparing

0:19:390:19:42

for the World Cup in Russia.

0:19:420:19:44

The draw for the tournament's group

stage has taken place in Moscow,

0:19:440:19:46

so let's show you how

the balls came out.

0:19:460:19:50

The hosts will open their

World Cup with a match

0:19:500:19:52

against Saudi Arabia on June 14th.

0:19:530:19:55

The first game of the tournament.

0:19:550:20:00

Group B has paired Portugal

with neighbours Spain

0:20:000:20:03

while Argentina have been

drawn alongside Iceland,

0:20:030:20:04

who have qualified for

the tournament for the first time...

0:20:040:20:07

That's in Group D.

0:20:070:20:13

The task for Brazil and Germany

is to win their groups.

0:20:130:20:18

Or they'll be playing each

other in the last 16.

0:20:180:20:21

And Belgium,

0:20:210:20:24

with their host of Premier League

stars, are in the same

0:20:240:20:26

group as England.

0:20:260:20:28

Who are also joined by Panana.

0:20:280:20:30

Another team making

their tournament debut.

0:20:300:20:32

It's a fairly even distribution

of talent across the eight groups

0:20:320:20:35

with plenty of coaches

and players relieved to have

0:20:350:20:37

avoided each other.

0:20:370:20:41

Perhaps with the exception

of Portugal and Spain,

0:20:410:20:43

together in Group B,

0:20:430:20:45

with the European Champions

the seeded team of course.

0:20:450:20:50

But not necessarily the favourites.

0:20:500:20:52

Their defender Jose Fonte told us

they'll make sure not to focus

0:20:520:20:55

too much on just that match.

0:20:550:20:57

We have to look at the Moroccan side

with exactly the same respect as

0:20:570:21:01

France. There are no easy games, as

we found out in the group stages. We

0:21:010:21:05

look forward to the first game. It

will be fiery. You had better put

0:21:050:21:09

your shin pads on. Exciting. I am

excited. I'm sure everyone in

0:21:090:21:16

Portugal will be excited. It is not

an easy grip. But we look forward to

0:21:160:21:20

it. -- group.

0:21:200:21:26

Italy a notable absence

in the World Cup draw.

0:21:260:21:29

But their two best club sides

are playing in Serie A.

0:21:290:21:32

Leaders Napoli and defending

champions Juventus are first

0:21:320:21:34

and third in the current table.

0:21:340:21:37

And it's Juve who lead

through Gonzalo Higuain's goal

0:21:370:21:39

against his former club.

0:21:390:21:43

They'll move second and reduce

the gap to Napoli to just

0:21:430:21:45

a point if they win.

0:21:450:21:50

Earlier, Roma beat Spal

3-1 and stay fourth.

0:21:500:21:52

It's just a few hours

until the second Ashes

0:21:520:21:55

test starts in Adelaide.

0:21:550:21:56

It will be partly played under

floodlights as the experiment with

0:21:560:21:59

day-night test cricket continues.

0:21:590:22:00

England are one down

against Australia and have concerns

0:22:000:22:03

over all rounder Moeen Ali,

who may not be able to bowl

0:22:030:22:06

because of a finger injury.

0:22:060:22:08

The decision was to give him an

extra day of trying to wrest it and

0:22:080:22:12

make sure that it is as ready as it

can be. Have another look at things

0:22:120:22:18

after practice and see how he is

then and see if there is any more

0:22:180:22:21

damage to it, then we will make a

decision from the. We will have a

0:22:210:22:25

clear indication of whether he will

be fit to tet-mac three. His batting

0:22:250:22:31

has been strong for some time, so

you would still close the batting.

0:22:310:22:34

We know these wickets well. Making

sure we adapt accordingly to

0:22:340:22:40

whatever the wicket. And whatever

England's plans throw up. Ensuring

0:22:400:22:43

that we are on from the first ball.

Hopefully we can get into the game

0:22:430:22:53

early and take some momentum from

the last game as well.

0:22:530:22:57

Tiger Woods continues to impress

in his first competitive

0:22:570:22:59

golf for more than 300 days

0:23:000:23:01

as he remains in contention

after two rounds of the Hero World

0:23:010:23:04

68 on Friday to add to his

0:23:040:23:06

Challenge in the Bahamas.

0:23:060:23:08

A 68 on Friday to add to his

0:23:080:23:10

opening round 69 has him

on seven under par,

0:23:100:23:12

five shots off the lead held

by fellow American Charley Hoffman

0:23:120:23:14

who's three ahead of Jordan Spieth.

0:23:140:23:16

Woods is one of four

players on seven under

0:23:160:23:18

and admits he's still got a long way

to go after more than 10 months out.

0:23:180:23:22

And that's all the sport for now.

0:23:220:23:24

Prince Harry and his fiancee

Meghan Markle have taken

0:23:240:23:27

part in their first

official engagement together.

0:23:270:23:34

They were greeted by crowds of

well-wishers in the city of

0:23:340:23:36

Nottingham as they visited world

aids Day charity fair.

0:23:360:23:42

As an actress, she's been

used to a public stage.

0:23:550:23:57

She's accustomed to meeting crowds

and dealing with fans.

0:23:570:24:00

Little surprise, then,

that Meghan Markle handled her first

0:24:000:24:02

official public appearance

in her new role with

0:24:020:24:04

considerable confidence.

0:24:040:24:05

Husband-to-be was on hand,

solicitous and supportive,

0:24:050:24:06

with a lot of eye contact

between them and supportive arms

0:24:060:24:09

going around each other's backs.

0:24:090:24:10

At times, they met the crowds

together, but then Meghan

0:24:100:24:13

branched off on her own,

stopping and taking

0:24:130:24:14

time with people.

0:24:140:24:18

While Harry did the same thing

on his side of the street.

0:24:180:24:24

Moments later, they were reunited,

the cue for more back-rubbing.

0:24:240:24:26

This clearly is a team effort

and the new recruit seems a natural.

0:24:260:24:30

She will do hundreds

and hundreds of events like this

0:24:300:24:35

in the years to come,

but she will remember this one,

0:24:350:24:38

her first official encounter

with the British public.

0:24:380:24:40

And the verdict on her performance?

0:24:400:24:42

I think she's great.

A good addition to the Royal family.

0:24:420:24:45

Definitely.

0:24:450:24:46

Yeah.

0:24:460:24:47

An American.

0:24:470:24:48

Go, mixed kids!

0:24:480:24:49

Yeah, mixed kids in

the royal family now.

0:24:490:24:51

It was just fabulous and we're just

so excited that they've come

0:24:510:24:54

to Nottingham for their first public

appearance and we're very excited

0:24:540:24:56

about the wedding in May.

0:24:560:25:04

The couple heard about the work

of the Terrence Higgins Trust,

0:25:040:25:07

the charity which has worked

for years to help people

0:25:070:25:09

suffering from HIV-AIDS.

0:25:090:25:10

It's a cause Harry, now with Meghan,

wants to take forward

0:25:100:25:13

in tribute to his late mother.

0:25:130:25:18

At a local college, they heard

about the effort to help young

0:25:180:25:21

people keep out of trouble,

serious issues to which Harry,

0:25:210:25:23

through a charitable trust,

is devoting serious attention.

0:25:230:25:25

But for all that, there was no doubt

who sparkled the most today -

0:25:250:25:28

the woman with the diamond.

0:25:280:25:32

I saw her ring and the

diamond is massive!

0:25:320:25:34

It's absolutely gorgeous.

0:25:340:25:38

Just knowing that you're sitting

near Meghan and Prince Harry,

0:25:380:25:41

it's jaw-dropping, it's really nice.

0:25:410:25:46

A glittering future, then?

0:25:460:25:47

It certainly seems to augur well.

0:25:470:25:57

There is more coming up on BBC World

News. Stay with us.

0:25:570:26:00

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