a very warm welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: the british government suffers its first defeat over its brexit bill after the house of lord rules eu nationals should be given the right to remain in the uk. in america, a congressional committee says it will investigate allegations russia colluded with the trump presidential campaign during the election. syrian government forces once again enter the ancient city of palmyra months after the so—called islamic state drove them from it. and it's being called the greatest blunder in oscar history — the pairfound responsible for that envelope mix—up are told they won't be back again. hello. the british government has been dealt a serious blow during the parliamentary process
to leave the european union. by a large majority, the upper house of parliament, the lords, has demanded that the government guarantee the rights of european nationals, already living in the uk, to stay, despite brexit. ministers have refused to give such assurances and insist they'll overturn the lords‘ ruling. this from our political editor, laura kuennsberg. they have voted. contents, 358. wow. not contents, 256. so the contents have it. "wow!" you can hear them say. the lords beat the government by more than 100 votes. a bid to force ministers to say people from other eu countries can stay here, and to say so now. it seems to me a win—win for principle, humanity, decency and honour. and i hope the house of commons will now follow the example of the lords and make sure that it confirms this improvement to what was otherwise a pretty dire set of legislation. it's very arrogant to assume that your argument is
the only one of principle and yours is the only moral one. once people start using words like "high ground", "principle" and "moral", i think it's a load of humbug. they voted so that nearly 3 million people, like engineer alexandrine cantor, whether from france or finland, poland or portugal, can have a guarantee they can stay in the uk after brexit. she got the keys to her new flat here just yesterday and doesn't want to leave. the first days after brexit was like a feeling of heartbreak. my fear is the job i left everything for is now uncertain as well. and isjust...| invest... now my life is here and i don't want to, i don't want to restart. i don't want to be in danger in my home. as we head out, the government's adamant alexandrine and others will be able to stay.
but they won't give that guarantee until the other countries in the eu are willing to do the same for brits abroad. the clash had the lords packed, even rowdy. peers vying to speak. with spot the home secretary perched next to the gilt throne, carefully watching on. we are bleeding the best academics from this country, at the present time, who are leaving one by one, or are thinking about leaving because they do not see themselves having a future in this country. that is urgent, it needs to be dealt with now. this is about the honour of this house. this is about us speaking to what people need to put their fears and their anguish at bay. and we really have a responsibility to those people. why is everybody here today so excited about an amendment which looks after the foreigners and not the british? it's true.
pass this legislation as quickly as possible to activate article 50, and then to negotiate to give these people the rights they deserve to stay in our country. reporter: are you ready for defeat today, prime minister? the prime minister is not known, though, for changing her mind, altering direction. but seven months in, she's not used to defeat. at least not yet. in washington, it's emerged that allegations of collusion between donald trump's 2016 presidential campaign and russia are to be investigated by the intelligence committee of the house of representatives. several intelligence reports and repeated leaks from agents have accused russia of interfering, with the aim of denigrating hillary clinton and promoting donald trump. earlier i spoke to our correspondent tulip mazumdar in washington and i asked her what they will be investigating. it will be a number of things.
they have released a list including cyber activity, hacking, which we heard about in the run—up to the hillary clinton campaign, looking at whether the russian activity included links between russia and individuals from particular political campaigns. that will clearly include the donald trump campaign. they will be looking into that. they will also want to find out what the government response was at that time, and whether anything can be learned from that. they will also be working at these leaks, the leaks that have been coming out various security and intelligence agencies for many weeks. part of this investigation will look into that. the white house has been resisting any further investigation. sean spicer asked in a press conference the other day whether a special prosecutor will be appointed. he said, to look into what?
it seems this is refusing to go away for the administration? yes, this has been a thorn in their side during the campaign and since donald trump was elected. the administration and people, people close to donald trump and donald trump himself has said there has been no knowledge of anyone having discussions with russian officials during the election time. this has been refuted a number of times and the president has gotten quite angry at times. he said this russian connection nonsense is an attempt to cover up the many mistakes made by hillary clinton's losing campaign. this is something they clearly want to go away, but there is already an fbi investigation and a senate intelligence committee also looking into it. the latest committee from the house of representatives have also come forward and said they will leave no stone unturned.
they are looking into russia in general and have been for a number of years, they have now said they will look at these specific claims we have heard. in other news: the company that owns the messaging service snapchat has been valued at $24 billion. it's just sold 200 million of its shares to big investors in new york, and those investment funds and banks will be able to start trading snap incorporated shares on thursday. it's the biggest wall street debut for a tech company since facebook in 2012. deadly storms have killed three people in several midwestern us states — this supercell is in illinois. torrential rain and winds above 100 miles an hour, packed with hailstones the size of baseballs, have destroyed homes and left thousands without power. these tornadoes, known as supercells, have been caused by warm spring—like conditions. barcelona football club have confirmed their manager, luis enrique, will be leaving at the end of this season. since he took over in 2015, he's led the team to two la liga titles, the copa del rey twice, and the champions league.
no reason has been given officially, but barcelona it's his decision, and that he has proven himself a great coach who brought great success. the french presidential candidate francois fillon has suffered another setback, the small centrist party udi is suspending its support for his campaign. mr fillon is refusing to quit the race, even though he now faces a formal investigation into allegations of fraud. he denies doing anything wrong. this report from greg dawson contains some flash photography. it has become a staple in the french election calendar — the candidates, the cameras, and the cattle at the paris agricultural show. in france, winning the rural vote can be key to winning office. but before francois fillon could sample the cheese, he had to deal with the awkward business of telling the country a judge is placing him under investigation over a fake job scandal. it involves claims his wife was paid
for years for work she did not do. the centre—right candidate insists he is staying in the race though. translation: i will leave it up to the french people — because only the popular vote, and not a one—sided procedure, can decide who will be the next president. i will not give up. i will not withdraw. i will go on to the very end. but already, a political ally has suspended its support. the centrist udi party says a final decision will be made next week. it is a scandal that could give further momentum to this man — emmanuel macron, the young centrist candidate who has never held elected office. later on thursday, he will put the meat on the bones of his plans for france, when he present his policy at a news conference. he criticised mr fillon‘s choice to call this investigation a political assassination. translation: words have a meaning, and i think several times this week mr fillon has chosen to use big words. it is rather the sign of a loss of nerve,
or the loss of a sense of reality. thursday is also a big day for another of the main contenders. national front leader marine le pen was the first to visit the agricultural fair this week, and she will attempt to build further support when she makes a speech about the french economy. she faces a separate investigation after being accused of misusing eu funds, which she denies. but it has not affected her poll ratings, and she remains the most likely candidate to contend the run—off vote in may. greg dawson, bbc news. there is some outrage in the us over a judge's decision to grant bail to the widow of omar mateen, who killed 49 people in the pulse nightclub in orlando, florida last june. noor salman is accused of obstructing justice and aiding and abetting her husband's support for the extremist group, the so—called islamic state. a california federaljudge has said ms salman is not a flight risk
before her trial, nor a danger to public safety. her lawyers say the release won't be automatic, as the government has the right to appeal. the magistrate ordered today that she be released on a $500,000 bond, secured by the properties of her family, into the custody of her family. we believe it is a just, equitable and appropriate decision that permits her to reunite with her children. thejudge also noted the fact that she suffers from ptsd. a treatment condition would be appropriate, that she had been battered, although the government continues, for whatever reason to contest that. on his first day as president, donald trump signed a ban on american government money going to international groups that perform or even provide information on abortions. many global charities are worried this will hit healthcare for women generally, particularly in poor and developing countries. to try to counter this, a special fundraising conference is under way in belgium — it's called "she decides". the bbc‘s yogita limaye has been to nepal, a nation that depends heavily on international aid. she's come here to get an abortion.
it's not illegal in nepal, but there's extreme social stigma around it. and so she doesn't want to show her face. for women like her, a proper medicalfacility, like this one run by a global charity, is a refuge. many end up going to illegal clinics. this man lost a loved one to an unsafe abortion. miles away from his village, he agrees to meet us at a tea shop. his wife's sister died after having pills she was given to end her pregnancy. she wasjust 19. translation: the clinic she went to didn't even have a sign board. somebody that looked like a nurse gave her medicines and told her she would be fine in a couple of days. that evening, she started bleeding heavily. we tried to rush her to a proper hospital, but she bled to death on the way.
nearly half of all pregnancies in nepal are unintended, which means safe abortion services are crucial. this country heavily depends on charities to provide them. but now, those organisations will no longer be able to get aid money from america if they continue to perform abortions. the us government doesn't directly fund abortion services in any country. here in nepal, a lot of theirfunds go towards family planning activities, provided by ngos. but typically, large charities offer both. and now they stand to lose us aid money, which could leave a big hole in theirfinances. president trump's order goes one step further than previous republican governments. 0rganisations won't even be allowed to tell women that abortion is an option. marie stopes, which runs the centre, says they simply can't agree to those terms. and so the family planning services
they provide with us money could be severely impacted. if we lose that funding, then there's one in four women that want family—planning and can't access it. the reality is those women who can't get family planning because this funding is cut will need abortion services at some point in their life. we estimate that around 80,000 women will actually seek abortion due to this, of which half of those, through no fault of their own, not knowing where the safe providers are, not having choice, will go to an unsafe provider. it's a move that's meant to be anti—abortion. but they won't end it in countries like this one, they could become more unsafe. yogita limaye, bbc news, nepal. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: 0rphaned and gravely injured in an airstrike — we travel to turkey with a british surgeon to see how one of the syrian war‘s youngest victims is faring 110w.
first the plates slipped gently off the restaurant tables. then suddenly the tables, the chairs and people crashed sideways and downwards and it was a matter of seconds before the ferry lurched onto her side. the hydrogen bomb on a remote pacific atoll. the americans had successfully tested a weapon whose explosive force dwarfed that of the bomb dropped on hiroshima. i had heard the news earlier and so my heart went bang and bang. the constitutional rights of these marchers have their rights as citizens of the united states and they should be protected even in the right to test them out so they don't get their heads broken and are sent to hospital. this religious controversy, i know you don't want to say too much about it, but does it worry you it's going to boil up when you get to the stage? well, it worries me, yeah.
but everything will be all right in the end of the day. this is bbc news. i'm mike embley. the latest headlines: the british government is beaten on its brexit bill after a vote in the house of lords rules ministers must guarantee the rights of eu nationals to remain in the uk. a us congressional intelligence committee has announced it will investigate all contact between the trump presidential campaign and russia during the election amid allegations of interference. iraqi soldiers say they have taken control of the last major road out of western mosul preventing militants from so—called islamic state from escaping. government forces already control the eastern side of the city, a major offensive is now under way to take the west. they suggest more than 25,000 people have fled the fighting but it's thought there are still thousands more civilians inside. meanwhile, human rights observers
say the syrian army and its allies have entered palmyra, the desert city that's home to some very ancient ruins. it is currently occupied by so—called islamic state. these pictures show pro—government forces on the outskirts of the city two days ago. the development comes after fierce battles against is. it's understood the army has taken control of a western neighbourhood in the city. barak barfi is a research fellow at the new america foundation. he met and interviewed syrian president bashar al assad in october and visited aleppo in november. i asked him how important palmyra is to the war and the future of syria. not very much. it's been a hot potato, exchanged between isis in the regime since 2015. the big key cities here are raqqa, which is the self—proclaimed capital in syria of isis and deir ez—zur, a border town on the iraqi border, very important. and the gas fields in the homs basin and that the regime needs
to generate electricity. those are the big three places that the regime really needs to move on isis. i think this is more a symbolic than a significant victory for the regime. we have been reporting on the huge setbacks for is, but it does seem that the coalition support for the the rebels is being gradually chipped away. we are told that peace talks in geneva are kind of edging forward. what hope to see from them? where you ultimately see the country? i am very pessimistic about will be any progress between the regime and the opposition at any peace talks. the regime has been very, very strong in its view of negotiations. whether weak or strong, it refuses to negotiate. it wants to negotiate a complete and utter surrender of the opposition. and at this point, with the support of the russians in the air, and the shia iranian troops, the proxies on the ground, and the isolationist approach of donald trump in america, it is very close to reaching its goal. that said, the regime will not be able to extend throughout the country. there are too many different
groups in the country. it is too fragmented for president assad to put back together humpty dumpty. barak barfi of the new america foundation. now, last year we brought you the story of five month old maram, the little girl who lost both her parents when her home in syria's aleppo was bombed. she was terribly injured with a broken arm and two broken legs and her plight made her a symbol of the suffering in syria's war. a british surgeon david nott operated on her before she was sent to safety in turkey. he didn't know whether she would survive. now, several months later, he's travelled to turkey to see her. 0ur correspondent quentin sommerville was with him. so much of aleppo's pain is anonymous, but maram's suffering was unforgettable. an air strike killed her parents and left her gravely ill. inside syria, dr david nott worked to save her leg. there was shrapnel inside her hip.
from here, and only five months old, she was evacuated to turkey, lost and alone. but after months of searching, the bbc tracked her down and reunited the two. everything at home at christmas is — is lavish. we have lots of food. we have lots of happiness, and i left this little girl without any food, and without any happiness. it's going to be a bit emotional, to be really honest. a bit emotional. right. oh, my goodness me. well, well, well. well, well, hello. gosh. gosh, she looks beautiful.
you look beautiful. absolutely beautiful. look what i've got for you. it's a dolly. dolly. it's a dolly. is her leg healing? the final surgery was nearly too much. maram almost didn't make it. well, that's not bad at all, actually. i mean that is... her wounds are healing, but then there will be work to reconstruct her bones and repair damaged nerves. it's said children can't remember pain. few, though, have as much to forget as maram. when i saw maram today, it was very emotional.
and as a doctor, you try and stay fairly unemotional when you're dealing with lots of people with injuries. i suppose, having got children as well, now, and how much you love that child and, you know, a tiny piece of my heart was left with maram. and that's what i've been thinking about every day since leaving. and this morning was a beautiful moment to meet her again. the british surgeon david nott and young maram, whose life he helped to save. the best blockbuster movies often end with an unpredictable twist, and this year's 0scars surely lived up to that. a mix—up saw la la land named best picture
when it was actually moonlight. now it's been announced the two accountants responsible for muddling up the main award envelopes will not be employed to do thejob again. with more from hollywood, here's james cook. the president of the academy of motion picture arts and sciences, cheryl boone isaacs, is effectively blaming the two accountants employed by the oscars to check the integrity of the results, brian cullinan and martha ruiz. although it seems like it was really mr cullinan who was at fault. he's been accused of treating a pitcher in the moments before he should have been checking the best picture award. emma stone had just come off stage, having received her 0scar for la la land, and supposedly, mr cullinan was taking a photograph of her rather than attending to his work. the result was he handed over the wrong envelope to presenters warren beatty and faye dunaway.
and bonnie and clyde went on stage, and of course, we all know what happened next. the academy says it is reviewing its relationship with pricewaterhousecoopers, the accountancy firm — it's a relationship that goes all the way back to 193k in terms of counting and checking results of the oscars. it's been reported here that the two partners of pricewaterhousecoopers in question, they are senior partners with the firm, they are not going to lose theirjobs with that company. but you have too think that in an industry which is entirely built in its reputational terms on being precise and on being accurate and on being reliable, you have to wonder whether these two people will ever live this down. europe's most active volcano has continued to erupt for a third day. footage from a drone camera shows fire and sparks bursting from sicily‘s mount etna and streams of lava running down the volcano into the snow. etna has been largely dormant for the past two years. authorities say there is no danger to nearby towns and no disruption to air traffic. it's said elephants never forget.
and it appears they almost never sleep either. scientists tracking the behaviour of wild elephants in botswana have found that the animals slept two hours per day on average, and some days not at all. it's the shortest sleep period of any land mammal. previous studies showed that elephants in captivity slept up to six hours daily. it's not known why the elephant can survive on power naps despite sleep playing an important role in memory. a reminder of our top story: the british government is beaten on its brexit bill after a vote in the house of lords rules ministers must guarantee the rights of eu nationals to remain in the uk. the government hopes to overturn that when the bill returns to the house of commons. thanks for watching. well, a very blustery night out there for some of us, particularly across southern parts
of the uk, especially the south—west, around the bristol channel. breezy inland too. and really, the weather is going to be very unsettled over the next few days. lots of clouds, lots of weather fronts out there in the atlantic, ready to come our way. this is what we've got through the early hours. here are the winds, quite strong in the south. some rain and hill snow across more central parts of the uk. and then we've got temperatures near freezing across the north, with some showers as well. now, the good news is that the winds will ease, eventually, through the course of the morning. it will still stay relatively breezy, and you can see there's a bit of cloud and rain again across parts of the midlands wales and the north—west in the morning. but i think by lunchtime, most of the uk should be enjoying fine weather. so this is a snapshot of thursday at 3pm in the afternoon. predominantly sunny, really a very pleasant day, quite breezy, though, still, especially across that south—eastern portion of the uk. some nice weather through yorkshire, not so bad in the north—west. but then, eventually, into northern ireland and scotland,
we run into here, and there's quite a few showers around, and it feels on the chilly side as well. and there is a rain on the way for northern ireland. that won't arrive until thursday evening. clearfor a time in the evening across the rest of the country, before more rain. so these are low pressures here spiralling our way. this is the start of a very unsettled period through friday. and that's going to take us right into sunday as well. so rain around on friday, at least for some of us, not necessarily there in scotland. could be even sunny in the afternoon. and then by the time we get to saturday, that weather front‘s still with us, or at least that area of low pressure is with us, with the cloud and rain spiralling around it. it will be quite breezy as well. wherever they rain occurs, it is going to feel on the chilly side, probably no higher than about six degrees, six or seven degrees, across some of these more northern areas, and barely touching double figures in the south. plymouth, i suspect, around 9.
that takes us across saturday into europe then. and what's it looking like across the rest of the continent? actually, quite a bit slow to come across the alps. unsettled for spain. very unsettled, as we have established, across the uk, and also into france as well. so a large chunk of western europe experiencing that very changeable weather on saturday. and into sunday, the same thing continues. you can see lots of fronts here. low pressure across the uk. brolly to hand. but clearly there will be breaks in the weather. it is not pouring all the time. here is the weather for the weekend if you happen to be thinking about it already. so, wet at times, and the winds will be quite strong, and it will feel on the chilly side. the latest headlines from bbc news. i'm mike embley. the british government's brexit bill has suffered its first defeat after the house of lords said ministers should guarantee eu nationals‘ right to stay in the uk after the split. however, it is merely a setback as mps will be able remove the lords‘ changes when the bill returns to the house of commons. a us congressional committee has agreed to investigate russia‘s alleged interference in last year‘s us elections.
the house intelligence panel inquiry will scrutinise contacts between donald trump‘s presidential campaign and moscow. the white house denies any improper behaviour during the election campaign. syrian government soldiers have entered the ancient city of palmyra three months after the so—called islamic state re—ca ptu red it from them. the city, which has both strategic and cultural importance, has changed hands several times during the conflict. let‘s have a look at the front pages of this morning‘s papers. the metro leads with defeat in parliament for the prime minister after the house of lords votes to amend the brexit bill.