hello. welcome. you are watching bbc world news. i'm chris rogers. our top story this hour: candidates step—up the fight for the french presidency. as support shifts ahead of sunday's first—round vote, it is now a four way race in the place for the run—off. welcome to the programme. our other main stories: two people are killed as venezuela's biggest anti—government demonstrations in yea rs anti—government demonstrations in years turned violent. grand slam mum—to—be. serena williams‘s agent confirms she is expecting a baby. hello. i am sally bundock. the head of the european parliament meets theresa may later with a list of non—negotiables. but will the uk's june election mean a softer approach a brexit? plus, rural revolution:
why anti—europe candidates are finding fertile ground in the french countryside. but first, one of your‘s most watched elections in years is in its fine —— final years. france holds the first round of its presidential election on sunday — and the candidates have been staging some of their last major rallies. emmanuel macron, on the centre—left, who is just ahead in most polls, told a crowd in nantes he was the only candidate capable of ensuring security. his h is closest his closest challenger is the far right leader marine le pen. she is promising a referendum on france's membership of the european union, and says she will stop all immigration. our correspondent hugh schofield was at her rally in marseille. she has gone back to the rest of the
front nationale. she bled immigration for the country's many woes and promised a new heart alone when she is in power. translation: we have to protect the unity of our people. how to protect them if we are in permanent social austerity? translation: we have to protect the unity of our people. how to protect them if we are in permanent social austerity? i want to protect the people i am part of. i want to protect the people that have seen it grow and see my children grow and who will see my children's children grow. this is marine le pen returning to the heartland, the ranks of voters who used to turn out in venues like this in marseille for her father. the people are happy to stand up and shouted out that message — "france, for the french". it was heady and uncompromising and for people in the audience a welcome return to what should be the party's core values. they have no doubt she is heading for victory on sunday and beyond. translation: she has the best solutions to put france in order again.
translation: her speech was as captivating as usual and she gives us energy to keep going. translation: for me she is the only candidate that tells the truth. that's it. translation: she is giving hope to the youth, to french people. the hope that we can reconcile and have a future together. but behind the surface euphoria, not all is as confident as it seems in her campaign. some say she hasn't been as strong as she could have been. rival candidates are catching up. sunday's victory may not necessarily be the formality for marine le pen that's long been predicted. us defence officials say an american aircraft carrier will not reach waters of the korean peninsular
until the next week. this is after a depth deployment ten days ago. —— deployment. they have been completing a training exercise in the indian ocean, rather than heading north to the sea of japan. lastly, donald trump said he was sending a powerful armada towards north korea. stephen evans is at a us base in south korea, where a joint military exercise is taking place. what more are you hearing about any military buildup? this exercise is involving 80 aircraft. us aircraft and south korean aircraft. it happens every single year. but every year, north korea says it is a preparation for war and finds it provoking more tension. this current exercise is an exercise which china wants put on hold on the
american and south korean side, in return for north korea putting its nuclear programme on hold. so if there is to be a peaceable solution to this, and it seems a long way from them even talking, it is this kind of exercise which would have two see them a long way from that. there are about 1000 american personnel involved and about 500 south koreans. on the aircraft that you are talking about, the carl vinson, that is playing not very well in this country. some people in this country are saying the president of the united states said an armada is coming to you, it is very powerful. those were his words on fox news. what they are saying in some of the editorials is you cannot believe the president of the united states when he says something like that, when can you believe him? that
is one view in this country. —— if you cannot. stephen evans there in south korea. more later. voters in the uk will go to the polls in 49 days. on the first full day of campaigning, the labour leader will say "powerful people" do not want him to win the snap general election. jeremy corbyn is vowing not to "play by the rules" if elected pm and insists the poll is not a foregone conclusion. the prime minister, theresa may has promised "strong and stable leadership" and said people want her to get on with implementing brexit. here's our political correspondent alex forsyth. the campaigning can start in earnest, now the election date has been set. at the party leaders are wasting no time. jeremy corbyn‘s pitch is as the antiestablishment party. he will promise not to play by the rules. and say labour will
fight a systems ricky the rich. he hinted at it in croydon yesterday. while we fight for a country to make the rich even richer? i know website iam on. the rich even richer? i know website i am on. you know what side you're on. this election will be fought on the streets of this country, up and down, in town and in streets, on beaches and on seafronts. theresa may wants to exploit when she sees asjeremy may wants to exploit when she sees as jeremy corbyn‘s weakness, choosing the labour held seat of bolton for her first visit. she said only the conservatives can deliver the security the country needs. only the conservatives can deliver the security the country needsm isa the security the country needsm is a choice between strong and sta ble is a choice between strong and stable leadership under the conservatives or weak and unstable coalition of chaos led byjeremy corbyn. expect the campaign messages to come thick and fast from every party in the next seven weeks. the race is on. the battle lines drawn.
and they know just race is on. the battle lines drawn. and they knowjust what is at stake. notjust their and they knowjust what is at stake. not just their futures, and they knowjust what is at stake. notjust their futures, but and they knowjust what is at stake. not just their futures, but the whole country's. alex forsyth, bbc news. let's round—up some of the other main stories: monitors from the organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons, which is mandated by the un, have announced their test results confirm that sarin gas or a similar nerve agent was used in an attack in syria this month. dozens were killed in the rebel—held town of khan sheikhun. the united states' secretary of state has accused iran of "alarming ongoing provocations" aimed at destabilising the middle east. rex tillerson warned that leaving iran unchecked could increase threats around the world. earlier, president trump ordered a review of the iran nuclear deal. tehran has repeatedly denied that it was ever trying to develop nuclear weapons. the state of arkansas has suffered more setbacks in its attempt to carry out eight executions in 11 days, before one of the drugs used in the lethal injection expires.
a judge ruled in favour of one company that doesn't want its drug used. another court gave a condemned prisoner more time to prove his innocence using dna techniques. one of the best—known television presenters in the united states, bill o'reilly, is leaving hisjob at fox news following a series of accusations of sexual harassment. he's denied the claims but his employer, 21st century fox, said he wouldn't be returning from leave. mr o'reilly described the decision as tremendously disheartening. let's catch up with all the business news. sally bundock has joined us. good morning. we are focused on brexit again today. here in london, and a few hours time, the head of the european parliament will arrive in downing street to meet theresa may. his
visit comes as the country prepares foran visit comes as the country prepares for an election, which will be dominated by britain's exit from the european union. his talks are likely to do the same thing. the parliament has a vote on the final brexit deal and has set out a series of red lines. it won't copt of me is on them. it wants the final agreement to make sure the uk complies with with a range of eu policies, including on the environment, tax evasion and competition. it also stresses that the united kingdom must honour all its legal and financial obligations to the eu, including its agreement to pay into the budget until at least 2020. that could mean a hefty exit bill, a figure put by the european commission at 60 billion euros. and one that's bitterly disputed by some in the uk. and it insists two major eu regulators currently based in london, the european banking authority and european medicines agency will also have to move to the continent. lots more in 20 minutes time.
also, we will take you to rural france. provence in the south. the nation is gearing up for the first round of its presidential election this weekend. it's in the countryside that most support has been building for the two populist anti—eu and anti—euro candidates, the national front‘s marine le pen and the hard—left firebrand jean—luc melenchon. theo leggett has been finding out why. what is going on and what business leaders are saying about this race to the top in france. we will see you very soon. they are getting a bucketload of instability at the moment. aren't we
all? we will see later fought the papers. at least two people have been shot dead in venezuela in protests against the president nicolas maduro. a teenager died in the capital caracas and a woman was killed in san cristobal, near the colombian border. tens of thousands took to the streets to demand new presidential elections and the release ofjailed opposition politicians. this from our americas editor, leonardo rocha. the demonstrators arrived in their thousands for what they call the mother of all protests. they called for new elections and the release of opposition politicians. the opposition blames president nicolas maduro and his predecessor, the late hugo chavez, for the country's serious economic crisis. many venezuelans say the country is on the verge of collapse. translation: i think we will reach victory with this protest. this is the second independence of venezuela. this is the day we have been waiting for, longing for. the confrontation quickly triggered conflict with security forces.
in caracas, police fired teargas and rubber bullets at demonstrators who attempted to converge on the office of the state ombudsman. the violence wasn't restricted to the capital. this was the scene in san cristobal in the west of the country where protesters also clashed with riot police. but the president remained defiant. speaking at a rally of his supporters, he accused the opposition of plotting a coup. and the protesters of attacking the police and looting shops. translation: we have captured more than 30 hooded people, violent terrorists. we have caught more than 30 today, fully identified. venezuela, an oil—rich country, seems to be locked in a political stalemate while its economy collapses and violence flares up again. leonardo rocha, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news, still to come:
unlocking the mysteries of magma. how satellites could predict volcanic eruptions from space. we will tell you more. the stars and stripes at half—mast outside columbine high. the school sealed off, the bodies of the dead still inside. i never thought they would actually go through with it. some places have already had nearly as much rain as they'd normally expect in an entire year. for millions of americans, the death of richard nixon in a new york hospital has meant conflicting emotions. a national day of mourning next wednesday sitting somehow uneasily with the abiding memories of the shame of watergate. and lift—off of the space shuttle
discovery with the hubble space telescope, our window on the universe. this is bbc world news. i'm chris rogers. the latest headlines: candidates for the french presidency have staged some of their last major rallies before the election. sunday's first round vote looks too close to call. two people have been killed after violence marred venezuela's biggest anti—government demonstrations in years. more now on the french presidential election. the two apparent front runners are a centrist who believes in globalisation and the european union
and a nationalist who wants to suspend all immigration. it's an illustration of the contrasting ideas of french national identity, as alan little reports. a warning, his film contains flash photography. france has two faces — the proud, independent nation, its imperial past still visible, and the france that has led the drive to ever closer european unity. two rival ideas of what france should be. france would love to see a french europe. you know, that was the plan, in a way, in the ‘50s and the ‘60s. it's a kind of bonapartist vision for europe. there's an ambiguity, contradiction in french politics and in french minds about one's love for one's country and one's love for europe. you know, it's a contradiction, but it's what makes us. that contradiction has never been sharper. marine le pen has brought french
nationalism in from the cold. she is slowly shedding her party's association with the shaming memory of france's wartime collaboration with nazi germany, she has allied it instead with euroscepticism. unlike in britain, that euroscepticism is growing among the young. this group hold different political views — some left, some right — but they all reject what they see as a rigid, pro—european orthodoxy. france has a long history which has always fought out for its independence and its ability to rule itself by its own means and its own will. i can't understand obstinate will that some people, especially in the older generations now, they seem to have to surrender this independence and this sovereignty to unelected bodies. our generation didn't know the war, so we are not as afraid as they were about the conflict between nations.
the framework for politics, the framework for democracy, is the nation state. we're in a europe right now where there is rising insecurity. there is no growth, there is high unemployment. we have to get rid of that eu which is doing harm to the people. this revolt has been brewing for years. a generation ago, the french nearly derailed the european train. in a referendum then, they voted to accept the euro byjust 51% to 49%. a tiny majority for so profound a change. post—war europe's founding statesman was a frenchman. robert schuman's vision has guided french thinking for 70 years, but that other france, the france that wants a return to national sovereignty and clear borders, is getting stronger in its challenge to his legacy.
in the end, every generation has to hand its dreams and hopes down to the care of posterity and it's up to those who come afterwards to decide whether to nurture or amend or discard those dreams altogether. but france has always been, even in their day, in two minds about how far it wants to be absorbed into a broader european identity and that's at the heart of this election campaign. allan little, bbc news, in eastern france. there's much more on our website, including a profile of all the main candidates. you can find out more about all of them at bbc.com/news. do check it out. serena williams's agent has confirmed social media reports facebook has assembled a team to create technology which can
read our brain activity. facebook execs hope one day it will be common for people to carry out tasks on their computers using brain—control. they think it is still years away, but the ambition is to make it possible to type straight from your brain via non—invasive sensors. facebook insists it only wants to help people share thoughts they want to make public. serena williams's agent has confirmed social media reports that the tennis star is pregnant. serena has posted a selfie on snapchat showing a small bump, and the words 20 weeks. now, that's quite a big deal news—wise in itself but it also suggests she was in the early stages of pregnancy when she won the australian open injanuary. a little earlier our sports presenter mark edwards gave me more details. her agent did confirm it is the end of the season. but she is looking forward to a return to the tour in 2018. as you mentioned, mike, she teased us when she posted the picture snapchat, showing the bump, adding the caption "20 weeks". she deleted the post. she announced her engagement earlier to reddit co—founder alexis ohanian, and hasn't played since winning
the australian open citing injury. it now seems she was pregnant. eight weeks pregnant. she would not be the first top women's player to return to competition after having a baby. australians evonne goolagong and margaret court also won grand slam titles after having children. but the 35—year—old would be the oldest. belgium's kim clijsters came out of retirement at the age of 26 after having a child. she won three grand slam titles. while former number one victoria azarenka won indian wells and miami titles in march last year before missing the rest of the season as she awaited the birth of her child in december. but an incredible 23 grand slam titles. and her open—era record—equalling one was somewhere around the two—month mark of being pregnant. you may remember a few weeks ago
we brought you the story of the bbc crew caught up in an explosion on mount etna. well now we can bring you the story that they were there to film. while such explosions are difficult to predict, researchers have devised a new method of detecting when volcanoes will erupt using satellite technology. our science correspondent rebecca morelle reports. it's one of the most active volcanoes in the world and last month we experienced mount etna's devastating power first—hand. we'd gone to see a lava flow, but the boiling hot rocks mixed with icy melt water underneath, the pressure built up, causing this. we were lucky to survive. this sort of explosion is rare and hard to predict. by contrast, though, the eruption from the crater
that caused it can be forecast. that's because etna's monitored 24/7 by scientists using an array of instruments. mount etna is one of the most thoroughly monitored volcanoes on earth but, obviously, there are many other volcanoes and many dangerous volcanoes, especially in poorer countries where monitoring is much more rudimentary or, in many places, completely absent. but now a groundbreaking project will change that. using our satellites, with radars onboard, we can actually see magma moving beneath the earth's surface. at leeds university, scientists are about to start using satellites to monitor every volcano on earth to provide an early eruption alert. so for people that are living on volcanoes that really aren't monitored this could have a huge impact, of course.
if a volcano becomes restless and through this mechanism we are able to provide warning to these people, this could really save lives. this will be a worldwide volcano watch, and this is how it works. before a volcano erupts, magma begins to rise from deep beneath the earth, causing the ground to swell. it's only auto tiny movement, hardly noticeable, but it can be detected from space. satellites can measure these changes, down to even a few millimetres, and if anything's detected, it's a sign that the volcano might be about to explode. our experience on etna showed the danger that volcanoes can pose. forecasting major eruptions there and elsewhere could be a game—changer. by the end of this year, scientists should have all 1,500 of the world's volcanoes under their watch. rebecca morelle, bbc news. here's an example of why you should
always keep a close eye on your guests, especially when they've got something to celebrate. this is president trump hosting the new england patriots, the american football team, of course, to congratulate them on their victory in the super bowl. so far, so good. but here's what happened during sean spicer‘s daily briefing to journalists. we'll see what pans out in the negotiation but i think... can ijust? need some help? i think i got this, but thank you... maybe. thanks, man. i'll see you in a minute! hold on one sec. all right. that was cool! real quick... how do you follow that? coming up injust a couple of minutes, sally has all the latest business news in world business report. first a look at the weather where you are. hello.
several days of quiet weather to come with a good deal of cloud around but actually mainly drier. that covers it for many of us during thursday. although from thicker cloud, northern and western parts of scotland, maybe northern ireland, north—west england at times, generally wherever the cloud is thick enough you could encounter a bit of patchy rain. low cloud too so misty and murky. an area of thicker cloud in wales, the midlands and yorkshire producing patchy light rain, not much at all. to the south of that song will get off toa to the south of that song will get off to a sunny start but chilly here and cloud will increase —— some. a few brighter breaks will develop into south—east scotland, north—east england, east wales, the west midlands and perhaps the eastern side of northern ireland but where the cloud is thicker in northern and western areas of scotland, western
northern ireland and parts of north—west england you could encounter a few spots of rain but especially into the north—west of scotland. fairly warm where you break out into sunshine on thursday, 15, 16, maybe 17. break out into sunshine on thursday, 15,16, maybe 17. a break out into sunshine on thursday, 15, 16, maybe 17. a lot of cloud through thursday night into friday morning, we pep up the rain in northern scotland with the breeze but for most it will be a mild start to friday. on friday we take an area of cloud and rain further south across scotland reaching into parts of northern ireland, brighter cooler weather following into scotland after that with wintry showers in shetland, head of that wintry showers in wales, in the sunshine things will feel quite pleasant, 15, 16, 17. friday things will feel quite pleasant, 15, 16,17. friday night into things will feel quite pleasant, 15, 16, 17. friday night into saturday morning the weather front goes further south, barely any rain left on it, it is the leading edge of cooling air. lots of places will be dry with extra cloud and sunny spells, temperatures have come down. on sunday while a lot of places will
continue to be dry in england and wales and northern ireland, although the wind picks up, in scotland we are expecting wet and windy weather in the day. the area of low pressure in the day. the area of low pressure in the north of scotland is significant because as it pulls away next week it goes south, much colder airand some of next week it goes south, much colder air and some of us will be seeing some snow. so keep checking the forecast. this is bbc world news. the headlines: the main candidates for the french presidency have held some of their last major rallies before sunday's first round vote. none of the four front—runners is likely to secure an outright majority — a run—off between the top two is expected in may. at least two people have been shot dead in venezuela in protests against the government of president nicolas maduro. tens of thousands took to the streets to demand new elections and the release of jailed opposition politicians. china, one of north korea's few allies, has called for the denuclearisation of the entire korean peninsula. amid rising tensions,