mrs may stressed that she was the best person to lead brexit negotiations and mr corbyn promised a left—wing alternative to the government's planned spending cuts. the white house has defended donald trump's decision to pull the us out of the paris climate agreement. administration officials say it's now up to other world leaders to decide whether to sit down and negotiate a new deal. however, china, india and the eu have recommitted to the original agreement. the new leader of the biggest party in ireland's coalition government, fine gael, is leo varadkar, the son of an indian immigrant who is ireland's first openly gay minister. aged 38, he is set to become ireland's youngest prime minister in a few weeks‘ time. syria's national football team has a real chance of qualifying for the world cup. it's an astonishing achievement for a country entering its seventh year of a bloody civil war. the team can't play at home and many of its star players
have left syria. richard conway has spent time with members of the squad in damascus, and the whole team in malaysia where they won a qualifying match against uzbekistan. he reports now for our world. they are the unlikely sporting heroes in a country route is apart by conflict. —— country ripped apart. syria is in the midst of a bloody civil war but the national football tea m bloody civil war but the national football team is trying to send a message it hopes canon transcend political and religious differences. —— hopes can. iam i am following the team as they compete for a place in football's biggest tournament, the world cup. some syrians refused to support the tea m some syrians refused to support the
team because it is associated with the aside regime. —— assad. but for others, even those who have fled for their lives, the team is a symbol of national pride. the team has defied the odds by beating some of asia's guest at best. —— biggest and best. now they are on the road again competing for so are on the road again competing for so much more thanjust are on the road again competing for so much more than just football glory. it is friday afternoon in damascus,
and the weekend is under way. prayers in the morning, and like so many places around the world, football in the afternoon. it is here that i meet tarek, a stint coach of syria's national team. —— assistant coach. i am joining him as he watches a low—key fixture in syria's premier league, which is also attempting to carry on despite the conflict. syrian football fans have much to cheer about right now. their national side has performed beyond expectations, as they try to qualify for next year's world cup in russia. economic sanctions mean the country and therefore football has little money. what cash there is
comes from the assad government, keen to use football to give the impression of a united, functioning state. need somebody to support him, oui’ state. need somebody to support him, our federation, state. need somebody to support him, ourfederation, our government. add equipment, our conditions, not what we want. —— our equipment. equipment, our conditions, not what we want. -- our equipment. syrian government officials are keen to show us that football is flourishing. let's go and meet the man who can tell us more about this. it is half—time, and tarek introduces me to his boss, the head coach of the national football team and the man responsible for their recent good results. you beat china 1-0. recent good results. you beat china i—o. you drew with south korea. there is a real opportunity here for syria to go to the world cup. do the players now believe, do they
have the belief in their hearts, that they can qualify for the world cup? syria's president, bashar al—assad, wa nts syria's president, bashar al—assad, wants the perception to be that his country is returning to normal. sport helps with that. but regardless of his intentions it is clear that sport, that football, coming back to syria provides the people with the chance to forget about their worries, at least for 90 minutes. after six years of war, more games are being played and fans are slowly returning. but football is only possible in government—held areas, and not in large parts of this country outside the regime's control. this season is interesting
because all syrian people want to come back to stadiums, want to support the teams. i think it is 2-2 at the moment. we will see who can get a late winner. first time on this field, two team scored four goals, because all games on this field finish higher. there is another! 3—2. field finish higher. there is another! 3-2. all games on this field finish in 1—0, 1—0. the first time this year, five goals. a bit because you came here. it is the bbc‘s fault. we should come every week. what looks like normal life does go on in president aside's damascus. you could be forgiven at times for
thinking there is no war. that is how syria's leader wants it. here on the east side of damascus, we are at a football field that has been hit in the past by mortar fire. very few of the national team play in syria, but 5—star players i hear training with their local club. for a variety of reasons they have stayed in syria, their career choices complicated by the war. every so often you can hear the sound of an aerial artillery shell going off somewhere in the distance. we are very close year to one of the front lines, even as we are in the centre of damascus —— close here. the players are not fast. they haven't even raise an eyebrow. it is the sound of war, something they have grown up sound of war, something they have grown up with. 0mar midani is one of the younger members of the team. does this team really believe it can
controlled syria on touched by the regime. —— untouched. every facet of society, especially where there is success , society, especially where there is success, such as with the national football team, is presented as a sign ofa football team, is presented as a sign of a functioning state. but the allusion is easily shattered. —— illusion. we were filming at the market when we heard a loud explosion nearby. there were reports a number of people had been killed. we are going out to see if we can find out what has happened and what damage has been caused. two devices have detonated. 0ne damage has been caused. two devices have detonated. one by the roadside, another by a suicide bomber targeting mainly shia pilgrims visiting from nehra. all of a sudden, i am a war reporter. our correspondent, richard conway, is at the scene. this is the largest attack to hit a mass kyuha sim
sometime. a suicide bomber detonated his device in this commercial district in the centre of damascus, killing at least a0 people and injuring dozens more. working as a sports correspondent means you simply don't see devastation like this. the number of people killed arose over to 7a. the experience is arose over to 7a. the experience is a shocking and harrowing insight into the painful realities of life in syria. what before had just been words about the conflict, war and bombings was now very real in my mind. i had come to syria to find out how football could possibly thrive and matter in a time war. —— time of war. right now, that question seemed more difficult to a nswer question seemed more difficult to answer than ever. this is important.
tarek has devoted much of his life to syrian football. in this box are the medals that prove it. this is you? with the captain's armband? yes, number five. that was before the war. there are many players now in the national team, but... the war. there are many players now in the nationalteam, but... so now you are the coach? today the majority of the most talented players look to play abroad. today it is different. before the six yea rs, it is different. before the six years, all the syrian players in the national team played here. now we need our players to play outside syria. lookout that. this is for you and your group. you baked us a cake? so kind, thank you. tarek is preparing to say goodbye to his family and fly
to say goodbye to his family and fly to malaysia. sanctions in the war mean this team must play its games on neutral ground, a ia,000 column thatis on neutral ground, a ia,000 column that is round—trip awaiting them. —— ia,000 kilometres round trip. the game against uzbekistan is arguably the most important match in syria's history. there is political capital for the assad regime in the team's success. but i cannot help but wonder if those forced to flee syria will be supporting the team as well. nearly 5 million people have sought
refuge abroad from the syrian civil war. 80,000 of them i hear indie zatari camp in northernjordan. —— are here in the. it is a living, breathing testament to the human cost of war. muhamed was a professional footballer with the syrian top—flight club el majd. when his brother was hit by a shell which hit their house, he and his family escaped over the border to jordan. like many here, he is angry. muhamed
is beginning to get his football career back on track. he still supports the national team. are all from playing football inside zatari. he was a young talent with a professional side in the city of dara, but in 2012, he fled with his family. like mohammed, he is tried to resurrect his career. he coaches the children here in the camp. —— trying to resurrect. he admits to me that like many, it is hard to do. the guarded language used even here in the refugee camp makes it clear just how fearful people are talking
about politics. but still, like mohammed, he supports the side. right here in camp it is tough, but people are safe, having escaped from the war. football is one of the central activities children get to enjoy. it is fun and gives them a sense of purpose. but it also gives them something that is very precious, having escaped from the conflict. it is essentially normal childhood. what is your favourite team? real madrid! real madrid! what about england? team? real madrid! real madrid! what about england ? has team? real madrid! real madrid! what about england? has anybody like any english teams? what about ute newcastle united ? —— english teams? what about ute newcastle united? —— what about newcastle united? —— what about
newcastle united. you are like a little rinaldo. for yourfavourite in syria? , somma. i had wondered how much these children would know of sarin football, but clearly, the players are heroes. —— ronaldo. football matters because of the hope it can provide. —— amar soma. even here, amongst those displaced by civil war and who have lost loved ones that are region, i got a sense of the love and pride that they hold, that endures despite the suffering. it feels as though the country's football team provides people with a safe focus for those
feelings. the historic malaysia and resort town of malacca is the sight of their game against uzbekistan. and it is days away. those members of the squad who travelled from syria have been joined of the squad who travelled from syria have beenjoined by players a much bigger money in places like china, kuwait, and saudi arabia. the range of salaries is matched by the range of salaries is matched by the range of salaries is matched by the range of religions and backgrounds within the squad. i catch up with 0maragain and he within the squad. i catch up with 0mar again and he introduces me to one of the few questions to play in the side, mardik mardikian. 0f
course, more controversial than religious differences are political ones. the site has long been multifaith, but for this important match, a first: 0ne multifaith, but for this important match, a first: one of the greatest footballers of this generation left the team, criticising the al assad regime. but he is returning to the squad for the match. beyond funding, the extent to which the al—assad
government is involved in team affairs is unknown. 0f faiths and politics within the squad certainly sends a message that the regime once heard: syria can come together, at least for football. —— wants. heard: syria can come together, at least forfootball. —— wants. but many former players have not returned. before the war, mohammed ali of him represented syria 31 times. the conflict caused him to pursue his career abroad. he has been asked to play for the national team, but he says he will not because of personal reasons. —— mohammed al—ibrahim. politics is probably not on the
isa the stadium. —— syria. —— syrian. it is a close game and at half—time it is a close game and at half—time it is goalless. in a sports club into massacres, the tension is palpable. fans watched the game head towards the final minutes. a win here is actually crucial to syria's world cup hopes. then, in the final minutes, al—katib is failed and scores a penalty. syria have a famous victory. its meaning to those
in domestic is clear: so, too, here in malaysia. lovely to meet you. good luck and south korea. this team operates under unique circumstances. they have a real belief they are playing for the syrian people. the achievement is really do seem to transcend both sport and politics. —— the achievements. it demonstrates the power of sport and how, even amidsta the power of sport and how, even amidst a civil war that has rips apart, he can matter so much to so many. —— that has ripped syria apart, it can matter. hello. we'll do the easy bit first and then i'll give you the forecast, which is probably the bit you're after, anyway. a mixture of sunny spells and showers.
friday was notjust as straightforward. you'll see why go back to friday in a moment. it started well enough, then it started to look more threatening. that is probably because many of you were getting tied up with the weather front, which had fresher air on its western flank, but ahead of it, warm, moist, muggy air, which turned into thunderstorms in parts of east anglia and the south—east, which is why some of you and your day looking more like that. yes, there were some localised flooding, due to be heavy downpours. and that muggy air is still there to be had, as we start saturday across this south—eastern quarter. the remnants of the old weather front still producing some rain across north—eastern parts of england. and it's out through the west that we see the finest conditions of the day. one or two showers to start the day across the western—facing coasts and hills. and they're there, too, through the western side of scotland. but it is out towards the east that we saw that overhang of cloud,
the remnants of friday's weather, if you like. still enough about the cloud to create murky conditions east of the pennines and on the eastern side of scotland, too. let's get you on through the day, and see how things will shape up. i know there are a lot of shows and weddings planned for tomorrow. as we get through the day, the bulk of the showers will be found across central and northern parts of scotland, through, northern ireland, too, and fewer showers, but still there to be had, across the western side of england and wales. that murk will just drift up the eastern shores and eventually, i think, the eastern side of england will improve as the bulk of that cloud and showery rain comes to lie there across the eastern side of scotland. so that's saturday. 0n into sunday, and i think it will be a quiet start for central and eastern parts, again. later on, i think we will see more showery rain in the south—west and into parts of wales, perhaps. and a slightly fresher feel through the day. this is monday. look at this. not one, two, but three areas of low pressure. this being the real driver of the weather. they could bring 50 millimetres of rain to you. so watch out for that dry start.
it won't last like that across england and wales. in some of the gusts of wind easily in excess of 50 miles an hour. here we are as far ahead as tuesday. and a slightly simplified area of low pressure still providing a really showery regime across all parts of the british isles. and a coolerfeel, too, given that the wind is somewhere between the west and the north—west. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. our top stories: brexit, nuclear weapons and the future of social care — voters quiz theresa may and jeremy corbyn ahead of the uk election. california pledges to keep on cutting carbon emissions despite president trump's withdrawal from the paris climate agreement. the british prime minister, theresa may, and the opposition