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This is BBC World News Today.
I'm Kasia Madera.
Our top stories...
Fire and fury...
The author of the incendiary
new book about Donald Trump's White
House speaks in his first broadcast
interview since publication.
I will tell you the one
description that everyone gave,
everyone has in common.
They all say he is like a child.
Brutally cold weather
in the United States
kills at least 18 people -
low-temperature records could be
broken in the coming days.
The lines of communication are open.
North Korea agrees
to talks with the South -
the first in more than two years.
The film that Kevin Spacey
was in, and then wasn't.
We talk to director Ridley Scott
about the business of replacing
the actor after allegations
of sexual misconduct.
Hello and welcome
to World News Today.
The author of a controversial book
on Donald Trump's White House has
spoken for the first time
since its publication.
He says he stands by everything he
wrote. He dismisses the President's
assertion that he never spoke to
him, saying that he spoke to him for
three hours before and after his
President Trump tried to get
the book's publication halted,
and has dismissed it
as "full of lies".
He has flown to camp David and
talked to the assembled press on the
We are going to camp David, we
have a lot to accomplish. The stock
market is setting new records and
the tax cuts are kicking in, far
beyond what anyone thought. Numerous
companies have come out and said
that they are going to come out and
said that they are going to make big
payments to the employees. Nobody
had that in mind. Where very
honoured by it. Things are looking
good over the next couple of months.
We are going to camp David with a
lot of great Republican senators and
we are making America great again.
Thank you very much.
No mention of
the book as President Trump left for
Our North America editor
Jon Sopel reports.
Not quite Harry Potter
but at midnight last night,
they were queuing to get their hands
on Fire And Fury, and
if Donald Trump had the powers
of the young wizard,
he'd have made this book disappear
but he doesn't and this
damning portrait is now available
for everyone to read.
Well, what I'm most looking forward
to is seeing what we all know
is going on just below the surface.
I'm expecting the White House to be
as absolutely dysfunctional
as the leaks make it seem.
I don't think anyone really gets
tired of palace intrigue.
The picture it paints of life
in the West Wing is unsparing,
allegations of marital strain,
of tears and tantrums,
of dysfunction and improvisation.
And at the epicentre of every
storm, Donald J Trump.
I will tell you the one
description that everyone gave,
everyone has in common,
they all say he is like a child.
And what they mean by that is he has
a need for immediate gratification.
It's all about him.
And the gravest charge of all,
Michael Wolff alleges that a number
of his unnamed sources told him
that the President was mentally
unfit to remain in office,
a charge that brought this response
from the President's spokeswoman.
It's disgraceful and laughable.
If he was unfit he probably wouldn't
be sitting there and wouldn't have
defeated the most qualified group
of candidates that the Republican
Party has ever seen.
The President has been on Twitter
to rubbish the book saying:
I authorised zero access
to White House, actually
turned him down many times,
for author of phoney book!
I never spoke to him for any book.
Full of lies, misrepresentations,
and sources that don't exist.
But that's not how
Michael Wolff remembers it.
I absolutely spoke to the President,
whether he realised
it was an interview or not,
I don't know but it certainly
was not off the record.
The author says he
stands by every word.
Although with anonymous sources
it's hard to fact-check.
The most remarkable
thing about this is -
given Michael Wolff's track record -
why White House staff gave him
access to the inner sanctum
of the West Wing for months on end
as virtually a semi-resident.
The author was asked this
morning what he had to say
about the threatening legal letter
the President's lawyers had sent.
"Where do I send the
box of chocolates?"
Jon Sopel, BBC News, Washington.
Supporters of Mr Trump
have dismissed the book
which depicts a chaotic
White House, as phoney.
Sebastian Gorka, who
was Deputy Assistant
and Strategist to the President,
dismissed the book as blatant lies
by a political assassin.
You need to have a look
at the disclaimer that the book has
on page ten of the Business Insider
just published today.
On page ten the author,
Michael Wolff, who has been caught
lying repeatedly in the past
in his previous books,
states that he cannot verify
the accuracy of anything
that is in the book.
If you did that as a journalist,
you would be fired.
This is just a tissue
of lies which is about
as realistic as Harry Potter.
Let me give you just
one factual example.
He states that on the day
he won the election,
the President did not know
who John Boehner, the Speaker
of the House, was in Congress.
Any child with access to Google
can google Donald J Trump
and John Boehner and find
photographs of those two men golfing
together from two years ago.
The idea that this person
is reporting anything of factual
import is just fallacious.
Again, he is a political hack,
this is a storm in a teacup
and the book will be forgotten
a week from now.
That was Sebastian Gorka,
who was President Trump's
Deputy Assistant for
eight months last year.
Let's talk to our correspondent,
Anthony Zurckher in Washington.
I put it to him whether it was a
point about the disclaimer?
Michael Wolff said he conducted over
200 interviews, many
of which she recorded
and has notes for, he has
said that he stands
all of the reporting
and he is comfortable with it.
As pointed out, some of his past
works have been pushing the
facts as far as they can go
and focusing more on flowery
language than on actual
on the ground reporting.
But I think if you look at the book
overall, it matches up
with you what of what the mainstream
reporting has been on Donald Trump
as President over the past year.
It is no secret
that there has been a
lot of chaos within the White House
and that there is a lot of staff
The president has seemed
occasionally disinterested in the
details of governing.
These should not come
as a surprise but we should
look at individual anecdotes and
individual stories with a sceptical
eye, we cannot take it on face value
and while haters and sceptics of
Donald Trump might embrace this
book, they must look at it as a
observer and not this
just because it agrees
worldview that it is
necessarily entirely accurate.
Let's stay in the US but move on to
the weather that has been blamed for
18 deaths in the country. The brutal
cold will move across the midwest
and down to the Carolinas.
Record-breaking temperatures could
be experienced across the nation.
The storm swallowed up the very
foundations of very beach. Wind and
waves lashed the coastline. In
Massachusetts, the storm brought not
just heavy snowfall but flooding to
due to the high winds. In Boston,
there was a three foot storm surge.
If anyone wants to question global
warnings, look at the flood zones.
Those zones didn't flood 30 years
In the wake of the blizzard,
subzero conditions are making life
very difficult. The winter Hurricane
Irma conditions closed major
airports in New York though they are
reopening today. The clear up has
begun in Manhattan and the New
Yorkers are trying to take it in
I have many layers. I
keep feeling OK right now. As long
as I am at work quickly.
It has been
way too long. I just want to be nice
and warm again.
They need to clear
the snow before it turns into
dangerous eyes. The storm brought in
cold air from the Arctic and its
aftermath means we are due to have
subzero temperatures for the next
few days. It is so cold, -10
degrees, already I can barely feel
my fingers or toes.
Tallahassee Florida and we are
They haven't seen snow
here in three decades. The freezing
temperatures are prompting many
Americans to experiment. This
particular trick is proving very
popular in the deep freeze.
Some more of the stories making the
news today. 19 people were killed in
a train crash north west of
Johannesburg. The train was
travelling to Port Elizabeth when it
hit a truck burst into flames.
Nearly 200 people were injured and
police have launched manslaughter
investigation. Protest in Pakistan
after the US government announced it
was cutting nearly all security aide
to the country. Washington said that
Islamabad had failed to deal with
terrorist networks operating on its
soil and that the freeze would last
until action was taken against
groups such as the Taliban.
North Korea has agreed
to hold direct talks
with the South next Tuesday -
for the first time in two years.
They're likely to focus primarily
on next month's Winter Olympics,
which are taking place
in South Korea.
It comes a day after the US
announced that it had agreed
to Seoul's request to delay
joint military exercises.
Those drills usually increase
tensions with Pyongyang.
From Seoul, Sophie Long
sent this report.
The first talks between the North
and South Korean governments
for more than two years will take
place here, the village
of Panmunjom, which straddles
the border between the two countries
in the demilitarised zone.
The South's offer of high-level
talks was accepted via fax.
Regarding the agenda,
both will discuss the Pyeongchang
Winter Olympics and ways to improve
ties between South and North Korea.
It came just hours
after the United States
and South Korea agreed to suspend
joint military drills.
They say exercises like
this one are defensive
but the North Korean leader sees
them as rehearsals for invasion.
Both South Korean and US Marines
are taking part in this exercise
in the mountains of Pyeongchang.
They are training together to deal
with winter war conditions
and temperatures of below minus 20.
But these drills will stop
for the duration of the Winter
Olympics and Paralympics.
The South Korean President
Moon Jae-in has said the Games
could be a ground-breaking chance
to de-escalate tensions
on the Korean peninsula.
Xin Gu-sop hasn't seen his
sister for 70 years.
He and 61,000 others whose families
remain divided by the border
hope these talks could be
the prelude to change.
I am old now
and I don't know how many
more years I will live.
It is my only wish that
I meet my sister once and for all.
This is the wish not only for me
but for all divided families.
But others are sceptical
about Kim Jong-un's motives.
The commander of US forces
in South Korea said
they are keeping their expectations
at an appropriate level.
My mission remains the same,
to quietly and under control operate
a military force in greater
and greater readiness in the event
that it's the negative outcome,
not the positive one.
But scepticism didn't stop
President Trump claiming
credit for the potential
thawing of relations.
Does anybody really believe that
talks and dialogue would be
going on between North
and South Korea right now,
he tweeted, if I wasn't firm, strong
and willing to commit our total
might against the North?
Sophie Long, BBC News, Seoul.
Stay with ours here on BBC News.
Lots more to come including
artificial intelligence, virtual
reality and digital currencies. All
big in 2017. We look at what to
expect from tech trends in the
Japanese people are in mourning
after the death of Emperor Hirohito.
Thousands of people came to pay
their respects after it was
announced it was dead. After half a
century of delighting friends around
the world, Charlie Brown and the
rest of the gang are calling it
quits. Paul Simon starts his tour of
South Africa tomorrow in spite of
protests and some violence from
activist groups. He said that
artists should boycott South Africa
until majority rule is established.
Three weeks ago, the authorities
assured these areas that oil from
the broken tanker Erika would head
out to sea. It didn't. The world's
tallest skyscraper opens today in
Welcome. You are watching BBC World
News today. The author of a new book
about Donald Trump says everybody he
talked to at the White House says he
is like a child. Now let's get all
the support. Let's bring you
up-to-date with the two FA Cup
third-round ties being played. Still
going in the Merseyside derby,
Liverpool leading Everton by a goal
to milk banks to James Milner's
first half penalty. Virgil Van Dijk
making his debut in that game. Still
goalless between Manchester United
and County at Old Trafford. Not
involved in the Merseyside derby is
Ross Barkley who has joined Chelsea
from Everton in a fee thought to be
£50 million. He is yet to play this
season after hamstring surgery but
is approaching match fitness and has
signed a 5.5 year contract at
Stamford Bridge. He joined Everton
as an 11-year-old.
player, a young player, a good
prospect for Chelsea. I think that
the club decided also for his
contract. I think these are good
opportunities for the club to buy
Arsene Wenger has been
handed a touchline ban and fined
£40,000 by the FA over comments he
made about the refereeing of
Sunday's game against West Ron. He
has also been asked to provide
observations about what was said
about penalty decisions in each of
their last two matches over the
festive period. Natalie Perks has
more. The FA says the ban follows an
independent regulatory commission
hearing today in which Arsene Wenger
admitted his behaviour and language
was abusive and improper and
questioned the integrity of the
match referee. That ban means he
will miss the game this weekend. He
will miss the first leg against
Arsenal's semifinal in the League
Cup against Chelsea and he will miss
a Premier League match away at
Bournemouth. In a separate cases
been asked for observations about
what EZ around festive period
relating to penalty decisions. He
seems to be suggesting there is a
conspiracy against Arsenal. He
doesn't seem to be a happy bunny at
the moment. He has got form for
this, last year he served a
four-game touchline ban after
swearing at Anthony Taylor during a
home game against Birmingham and
calling him dishonest. Australia
once again in control, after day two
of the final Ashes Test. The hosts
193-2 in reply to England's 346. It
is the most often repeated sentence
of the Ashes, Steve Smith is still
there, alongside Osman choir jerk
who is not far short of his century
and they are batting Australia into
a very strong position. England lost
Davit Milan thanks to a spectacular
catch from Smith but the rest of
their catching was not in the same
class, Pat Cummins and Josh
Hazlewood made terrible mistakes in
the field. Are the rest of the lower
order made useful contribution as
England put on 113 before being
bowled out. They made the perfect
start in the field with Stuart Broad
clean bowling Cameron Brannagan of.
David Warner -- Cameron Bancroft.
David Warner made 50 but Jimmy
Anderson got him. That brought in
Steve Smith and although him and,
just rode their luck at times, Mason
Crane bowled well but they were
increasingly comfortable as the day
wore on. They will look too bad
beyond England's total and England
must work out somehow how to get to
spit out. Play gets underway in just
under two hours.
Protests continue in Iran into a
second week, they were triggered by
rising food prices. Pro-government
rallies have been organised to
counter them. Russia says that the
US is trying to meddle in Iran's
internal affairs. The United States
says it will not stay silent.
on the government of Iran to stop
censoring the voice of the people
and to restore the access to the
Internet because in the end the
Iranian people will determine their
own destiny and let there be no
doubt whatsoever that the United
States stands unapologetically with
those in Iran who see freedom for
themselves, prosperity for their
families and dignity for the nation.
The former Iranians ambassador to
the UN joined is and I asked if the
US intervention would have any
Both China and Russia will
veto any intervention and even Great
Britain and France are not
interested in being in the same camp
with respect to Western relations to
Iran. If it is actively helping some
radical elements in Iran to claim
that actually it was an American
conspiracy to start the
demonstrations, the impact of the
effort at the United Nations and the
rhetoric in general is to create the
kind of insecurity in Iran that
would be very negative on the part
of the uranium efforts to attract
foreign capital. In that sense,
United States is damaging the
Iranian economy and not helping the
Let's look at what
the protesters are doing. The
protests seem to be dying away and
we are now seeing pro-regime
protests. What is your assessment of
what is happening? Is it losing
In the short-term it is
possibly losing momentum if you mean
the presence of bodies on the
streets, how may people can risk
their lives? Hundreds of people have
been arrested and over 20 people by
official records have been killed.
There is no question that the
demonstrators are showing that the
social base of the regime is
significantly declining. The vast
majority of the demonstrators based
on information I have gathered come
from the kind of social classes that
is the working class, raw areas not
the University but the periphery.
The kind of people who used to be
attracted to the rhetoric of the
Islamic Republic. They have turned
against it because of the economic
suffering, incredible corruption and
deep feeling of inequality in Iran.
The integration of technology into
our everyday lives seems to increase
every year. Here are the top tech
trends for 2018. I'm Dave Lee in
Silicon Valley. Here is what to look
for in the tech world in 2018. The
biggest tech show in the calendar
begins on the 9th of January and you
can expect huge amounts of
announcements from companies like
Samsung and Google and intriguing
announcements from those you might
not have heard of. This is an AI
controlled car. Another thing to
look out for is whether Apple might
become $1 trillion company. Right
now it is hovering around 900
Williams but with sales of the
iPhone ten looking strong, it might
send the share price soaring. We're
expecting it to launch a smart home
Part. Uber had a rotten year. The
CEO was given his marching orders.
The new boss has plenty on his place
including a court battle with the
self driving car company spun out of
Google. They accuse Uber of stealing
their technology to make self
driving cars of their own. The trial
begins in February. At the start of
last year, the value of one bit coin
was $700. Now its value is almost
20,000 dollars. Supporters say it
will keep going up but many
financial experts warned that the
bubble could burst any moment and
your bit coin could be worth very
little. Also, keep your eye open for
other digital currencies that may
enjoy some second-hand success from
bit coin's well. Facebook has been
urged to clamp down on fake news
websites and Russian propaganda. It
is says it will hire 10,000 extra
people to moderate its network.
YouTube and Twitter are also rolling
out changes to minimise hate speech.
All companies are being told they
must be quicker to remove terrorism
related content. Can they do it? Is
using social networks harming
others? All questions that the most
powerful companies must try and
answer in 2018. If you're still