this is bbc news. i'm chris rogers. our top stories: catalonia's plans to stage an independence referendum triggers spain's biggest political crisis in decades. the spanish government says sunday's vote would be unconstitutional and unnecessary. i believe that in catalonia there is a majority of people who want to be a ncestors, a majority of people who want to be ancestors, catalyst, spanish, and europeans. deadline day for ryanair — the airline must sort out compensation for passengers hit by flight cancellations or face hefty sanctions. german police hunt for a man suspected of poisoning jars of baby food in order to blackmail supermarkets. and i'm rachel horne. more connected and more at risk than ever — eu leaders gather in tallinn for a digital summit amid warnings cybercrime has risen to unprecedented levels. plus — first the hurricane, now the financial storm. puerto rico battles bankruptcy and billions of dollars in debt as it struggles to rebuild.
hello and welcome to bbc news. the spanish government has defended its decision to send thousands of extra police officers to the region of catalonia to try and stop an independence referendum from taking place. catalonia's devolved government has called on schools across the region to open so they can be used as polling stations on sunday. but in a bbc interview, the spanish government's official spokesman insisted any vote would be illegal and cannot take place. our correspondent tom burridge reports from madrid and barcelona. relations between spain ‘s central government here in madrid and
catalonia's devolved government broke down years ago but the deadlock between the two has reached critical moment. a referendum on independence plant in catalonia is perhaps the biggest political crisis spain has seen in more than 30 yea rs. spain has seen in more than 30 years. i believe that in catalonia buries the majority of people who wa nt to buries the majority of people who want to be lacked their ancestors, catalonia, spanish and europeans, and they know that the independence of catalonia means to be cut off of spain and to be cut off of europe. is it right that in a democratic european country, the government would send thousands of police officers to another region to stop police —— people from voting?m isn't a question of stopping people voting. that is what you want to do this weekend. no, no, let me be clear on this. in spain, we vote. in catalonia, we vote. they vote on local election, regional elections,
according to the law. sure but... what they are trying to do is an illegal consultation, in any european and democratic country you have to stick to the constitutional procedures. what they've done is against the law. if people try and vote on sunday what the police and catalonia do? i don't know what the people are going to do in catalonia on sunday. the referendum will not ta ke on sunday. the referendum will not take place because... should people be arrested for trying to vote? 0h, listen. in order to hold a referendum you need a kind of procedure, you need to have the ballot comment you need to have an administrative organisation, you need to have the polls. nothing has been done, nothing exists, so there will be no consultation next sunday. afterwards, this government is a lwa ys afterwards, this government is always ready to talk. not always, a lwa ys always ready to talk. not always, always within the framework of the constitution and the law. —— but always. the key question is whether
logistically speaking a credible vote can go ahead. whether the police, both spanish national police and catalonia's local police, clamped down. and are able to stop polling stations from opening. it is ha rd to polling stations from opening. it is hard to imagine, despite all the threats, catalonia's devolved government declaring independence from spain if voter turnout is low and that the scenario which the spanish government is working to avoid. tom burridge, bbc news in barcelona. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. the islamic state group has released a lengthy audio recording of what it says is its leader, abu bakr al—baghdadi. the message is not accompanied by any video or pictures but includes references to recent events. there have been repeated rumours that the is leader might have been killed — his last audio statement was made nearly a year ago. a british climber who died after a rock fall in
yosemite national park has been named as andrew foster, who was 32 and from wales. his wife, who was also injured, is undergoing medical treatment at a california hospital. roads around the base of the el capitan granite formation have been re—routed after eight rock falls in two days. the united nations‘ nuclear watchdog has warned that north korea's latest missile test proved that it has made rapid progress on weapons development. tensions on the korean peninsula have increased since the test, which led to a new round of sanctions against the north. the head of the international atomic energy agency said the isolated country now poses a real threat. it is obvious that it is much bigger than the previous one and it means that north korea made a very rapid
progress and combined with other elements, this is the new threat and this is a global threat. ryanair has just under 12 hours to sort out compensation for hundreds of thousands of passengers hit by mass flight cancellations, or it could face court action. the uk's aviation regulator has accused the low—cost airline of misleading customers but the dublin—based company now says it will do whatever is necessary. sarah corker reports. criticism of rya nair's criticism of ryanair‘s treatment of nearly three quarters of a million passengers is intensifying. accused of persistently misleading customers, the uk regulator has now issued this written ultimatum. we wa nt
we want them to make it crystal clear to every single passenger what the passenger is entitled to in terms of rerouting, expenses and compensation where that is applicable. we don't think that is a big task. the law is very, very clear. the regulator said airline must rebook passengers on rival carriers if they can't replace the cancelled flight. but that's not what ryanair said cancelled flight. but that's not what rya nair said last cancelled flight. but that's not what ryanair said last week. we will not be paying for flights on other airlines, no, it isn't you to fix on entitlement. the no-frills carrier blamed the cancellation of 20,000 flights on the overbooking of pilot holidays. customers are furious. kerry tweeted: sean rebooked tickets with another airline. kevin said: on wednesday, 3a winter roots were
suspended, including five in scotland. there was frustration at edinburgh airport. scotland. there was frustration at edinburgh airportlj scotland. there was frustration at edinburgh airport. i personally wouldn't have flown if i'd have known about this because i think the way they are behaving is, frankly, appalling. would you fly ryanair ain? appalling. would you fly ryanair again? no, probably not, probably the easyjet if it is the same price. they will lose a lot of business, thatis they will lose a lot of business, that is definite. ryanair has been anything but satisfying for those caught up in this cancellation chaos. airline says it will comply with the regulator and has issued guidance to call centre staff. that has and still is a very big is his story. rachel has more for us now. we are talking digital this morning. we start in the estonian capital tallinn, where european union leaders are gathering for a digital summit. they'll be talking about the opportunities of new technology but also some of the risks of increasing digitalization. let's show you some of the details.
digital business is already the fastest—growing area of trade in the eu but it could be a lot bigger. the eu says almost $9.5 billion a year could be saved by removing barriers to data flowing across borders. but there are also huge risks. according to the eu presidency, by 2019, cyber crime will be costing $2.1; trillion a year. the challenge for cyber security is getting bigger all the time. it's estimated that over a third — 36% — of the entire global population will be using a smartphone by next year. and these days, it's not just our computers and smartphones that are vulnerable to hackers. the number of connected devices is expected to triple over the next decade, as everything from household appliances to cars are linked to the internet. this week, the eu police agency europol released its annual report, warning that cybercrime has risen to unprecedented levels. we'll be speaking to a top consultant to the digital industry in 20 minutes' time. we are also talking about the us
territory of puerto rico. it's of course dealing with the aftermath of the worst storm in a century. but even before hurricane maria ravaged the island, financial storm clouds had been gathering for years in the form of its spiralling debt. puerto rico declared bankruptcy early this year and with power and water still out across the island, the question now is how to do they raise the money to rebuild? you can see our report in 20 minutes' time. don't forget, you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter. i'm @bbcrachelhorne. police in germany are hunting an extortionist who threatened to plant poisoned foodstuffs in supermarkets in the south of the country and elsewhere in europe, unless retailers paid millions of dollars. officers in the city of konstanz, close to the swiss and austrian border, have recovered a small amount of contaminated baby food. donna larsen reports. german police want to question this man, thought to be in his 50s. cctv footage shows him with an empty
basket wandering around a drug store, in the city of friedrichshafen on lake konstanz. he is suspected of poisoning jars of baby food in an attempt to extort millions of euros from supermarkets. translation: this is an extraordinary case of blackmail and we have to consider that we are chasing a very ruthless criminal who is risking very serious damage to people's health. several supermarkets received an email threatening to poison food throughout europe, unless an 11.7 million euros ransom was paid. the email said five jars of baby food had already been poisoned as proof the threat was serious. the jars were found to contain ethylene glycol — an odourless toxic liquid used to make antifreeze. authorities in south—west germany said there is no need to panic. no cases of poisoning have been reported so far but shoppers should check products for signs of tampering.
translation: correctly packaged food in glass jars usually have a cover which is curved due to the vacuum inside and you hear a clacking sound when you open it. this footage has been made public so that german police can, if necessary, rule this man out of their enquiries. 220 officers are working on the case and the authorities say they are taking the threat very seriously. donna larsen, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: 45 men who made america — the exhibition taking a close up look at every us president. in all russia's turmoil, it has never come to this. president yeltsin said the day would decide the nation's destiny. the nightmare that so many people have feared for so long is playing out its final act here.
russians are killing russians in front of a grandstand audience. it was his humility which produced affection from catholics throughout the world. but his departure is a tragedy for the catholic church. israel's right—winger ariel sharon visited the religious compound and that started the trouble. he wants israel alone to have sovereignty over the holy sites, an idea that's unthinkable to palestinians. after 45 years of division, germany is one. in berlin, a million germans celebrate the rebirth of europe's biggest and richest nation. this is bbc news.
the latest headlines: the spanish government has defended its decision to send thousands of extra police officers to the region of catalonia — to try and stop sunday's independence referendum. ryanair has been ordered to sort out compensation for passengers hit by flight cancellations immediately — orface hefty sanctions. un sources and aid workers have told the bbc that un leadership in myanmar tried to stop the plight of myanmar tried to stop the plight of myanmar people —— rohingya people being raised with the government. they tried to prevent human rights activists from visiting sensitive areas. hundreds of thousands of rohingya have fled, with many sheltering over the border in bangladesh. the head of the un in myanmar has denied the claims. 0liver slow is a journalist at the weekly english—language
magazine, frontier myanmar. he joins me live from yangon. thank you forjoining us. what have you found, yourself, as a journalist when it comes to the initial reaction to the plight of the rohingya? the thinking of this issue is deeply divided when you look at the way the international community looks at this issue, they look at it from human rights and see that half a million people have fled. domestically the issue was looked at quite differently. the military‘s campaign has wiped bread support. the general population he does regard the rohingya as illegal immigrants from bangladesh and there are claims made off in that they are making up these claims and they are not true. the un has been at the forefront of condemning the military
offensive against the rohingya people. and has provided, has been among the first to provide a. a difficult to criticise the government there? is it difficult to highlight human rights issues?|j think highlight human rights issues?” think the un has taken this approach we are ever since the violence started in 2012 it has taken a soft long—term development approach, believing that that will curry favour. it can be quite challenging. you still have these colonial era laws in place which are used quite often to jail human rights defenders to come um, to jail people, people have been to jail on these laws that it that said, there are people who need to speak up on this issue. the un has done a. what is like operating as a journalist in the country? do you feel you are able
get to the heart of the story? the issue with this crisis is that we cannot go into rakhine. the government blocked off access in 0ctober government blocked off access in october last year. i reported from bangladesh last week on the scale of this but from this side of the border it is difficult. a few journalists have made their way up to northern rakhine. .. journalists have made their way up to northern rakhine... all of their, a journalist in english—language magazine, talking about the difficulties of operating in that country. bringing the plight of the rohingya to the wider world. we lost the connection there but we certainly got some insight into how difficult it can be to criticise the government. much more on that story on our website. turning our attention now to the election in germany this week. the populist alternative for germany
— or afd — gained almost 13% of the vote. the afd capitalised on anti—immigrant sentiment following the european refugee crisis and vehemently opposes angela merkel‘s pro—refugee policies. we spoke to one syrian refugee now living in germany, about his reaction to the election result. iam from i am from syria and i'm living here in berlin. i can hearfour years ago to start a new life after i was imprisoned because i fight for freedom in syria. yeah, this is need. i decided to make a social experiment, i stand on the street saying that i am a syrian refugee, i trust you. at the beginning it took some time and then people began to hug me. it was one of the most emotional moments of my life. now they are into the german
parliament that this party, they use the fear of other people. they are afraid, just because new people come to the country, new refugees, they don't know them, they do not have contact with them, they do not even have a good plan, they do not have a big experience in politics. angela merkel, she did something good for refugees, she let them come inside the country. the big problem was that there was not a big plan to help those people. a lot of people are still waiting for papers, having problems. i hope now after this new election that the new government will make a better plan for better
integration. they are just around 13%, but is not a lot. 0r integration. they are just around 13%, but is not a lot. or the other parties are against them. here in germany i have had freedom that i never had and syria. to be honest, here in germany we had these elections, in syria we do not have something like that. the american golfer phil mickelson made the most of the opening day of the presidents cup in newjersey by sneaking a selfie with three former us presidents. the former occupants of the white house were there for the start of the biennial matchplay tournament which pits the united states against an international team. and, after thursday's foursomes, the americans lead as colm harrison reports. barack 0bama was one of three former us president in attendance on the opening day of the president's cup in newjersey and he saw
the americans make a blistering start to the defence of their trophy. ricky fowler and justin thomas got the ball rolling with a comfortable victory over charles schwartzel and hideki matsuyama. they never looked back after this chip in birdie at the third. and when the former masters champion missed this long putt for four, that signalled a six and four win for the americans and the first point of the day. the second soon followed to dustinjohnson, from a bunker on the seventh, against adam scott and jhonattan vegas. jordan speith and patrick reed are now a seasoned partnership for presidents cups and ryders cup. they were too good for the rookie international pairing. they won five and four and the home team were now 3—0. half of this us side are rookies, including the us open champion. he and a fellow new player enjoyed a difficult debut and paid
the penalty for a few too many mistakes. they lost to a south african duo who stopped the rot for the internationalside. phil mickelson has played in all 12 president's cups and in the final match of the day against marc leishman and jason day, the americans are lead by two points overall. 0r lives on presidents in our next story as well. —— all eyes. after 18 months of painstaking restoration, portraits of some of america's most influential figures have gone back on display at the national portrait gallery in washington dc. the updated exhibition aims to tell the country's story
through the presidents who've helped shape it, as jane 0'brien reports. few individuals have defined america's history as much as the nation's 45 presidents, but this is no hallowed hall of veneration. these portraits are intimate encounters with men who were deeply human and mired in contradiction. they are very important to our identity as americans, today, to consider those contexts and to understand the presidents, not as these glorified men, but as individuals who had flaws and defects of characterjust like everybody else. that context is provided in various ways, throughout the gallery. this is the andrewjackson page, which offers additional information and images, including a caricature of jackson as a shakespearean villain. and the museum doesn't shy away from controversy, either. here we learn, for instance, that jackson's famous iron will was actually a contemporary euphemism for what is now recognised as the genocide and removal of native americans. the indian removal act, signed by jackson in 1830,
makes the seventh president hard to comes to terms with. the exhibition highlights the debate through art and artefacts. this is an indian peace medal, created during jackson's administration, to serve as a gift for native american representatives during treaty negotiations. but because jackson removed so many native americans from their tribal lands, it is really a hollow gift. that's why it's here, because we wanted to tell that side of the story. 0ther portraits display different aspects of humanity. we see the corpulence of grover cleveland, a surprisingly happy—looking richard nixon and an ephemeraljohn f kennedy, by elaine de kooning. one of only two portraits by women in the show. and we also discover that the often overlooked number 11, james polk — a bit of a mel gibson look—alike — was arguably the most influential president of all, securing land that turned america into a pacific nation. but the centrepiece remains the famous lansdowne portrait
of george washington. fittingly, it stands at the entrance, inviting us to explore the presidency and perhaps gain a better understanding of the current white house occupant. i think context is everything. and the more we learn about all 44 presidents before the current president, the more prepared we are to judge the present. and there's more to come. the gallery's commissioned portrait of barack 0bama will soon hang here. so, watch this space. jane 0'brien, bbc news, washington. news just newsjust coming into news just coming into us, newsjust coming into us, we hear of an attack by militants at a military base just outside the somali capital of mogadishu. 17 soldiers have been killed in the attack. the terror
group has launched a lot of attacks in the area over the last year or so. more in a moment. hi there. over the last few days, we've been carefully tracking the progress of hurricane maria, which wrecked dominica and puerto rico. lots of weather in the atlantic. a big area of low pressure and a powerfuljetstream over that, a big swell of cloud that looks like a massive ear pushing a band of rain eastwards over the uk over the next 12 hours or so. we will see some rain as we start friday, our main weather front across west scotland and western england and wales. ahead of that, patches of light rain, drizzle and foggy conditions over the hills of southern england, particularly salisbury plains and the downs. a mild start to the morning, temperatures 16—17 degrees even at eight o'clock in the morning. rain beginning to clear away from western england and wales, some sunshine coming out. the rain could be heavy for a time across north—west england. wet weather with us for some, and a soggy commute to work. most places have the chance
of seeing some morning sunshine. through the day, brisk winds pushing rain eastwards across the country. eventually clearing away from east anglia, lincolnshire and yorkshire as well. some blustery showers into northern ireland and western scotland, some quite heavy. starting to feel a good deal cooler across the north—west. temperatures 111—15 degrees. potentially reaching as high as 20 degrees, some sunshine across eastern england. further clumps of showers coming in across north—western uk, wind staying up overnight. wetter skies across central and eastern england. where those winds fall, it could turn quite chilly. temperatures potentially getting down into single figures in the countryside. the weekend, a mixed bag. a reasonable start, but turning wet and windy during the second half of the weekend. starting off with the forecast for saturday. for most of us, a decent start with some sunshine. quite windy across north—western areas. not entirely dry everywhere, one or two showers mostly across the western side.
those showers should not last too long. reasonable weather. cool in the north—west with temperatures dropping towards the south—east, highs of 18 degrees. 0n dropping towards the south—east, highs of 18 degrees. on sunday it will turn wet and windy with gales are even severe gales towards the north—western coast of the uk. rank leaders followed by blustery showers, highs up to 19 degrees. this is bbc world news. the headlines: the spanish government has defended its decision to send thousands of extra police officers to the region of catalonia to try and stop sunday's independence referendum. ryanair has been ordered to sort out compensation for passengers hit by flight cancellations immediately, or face hefty sanctions. the uk's civil aviation authority says the airline must stop misleading passengers about the option to be re—routed with another airline. police in germany are hunting an extortionist who threatened to plant poisoned foodstuffs
in supermarkets, unless retailers paid millions of dollars. officers have recovered a small amount of baby food contaminated with a liquid used in antifreeze. the international atomic energy agency says north korea has made "rapid progress" on weapons development. the agency said the country's latest nuclear test posed a threat to the international community.