welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: with the olympic opening ceremony hours away, the un waives sanctions to allow a senior north korean official to visit the south. but no games for 47 russian athletes and coaches accused of doping. their appeals are rejected just hours before the opening ceremony. scrambling for the votes to spend hundreds of billions of dollars. american lawmakers argue over another government shutdown. the reason why two reuters journalists are on trial in myanmar — new revelations about military killings and a mass grave. the joy of a new superhero film, with an almost entirely black cast. with the winter olympics in south korea about to begin,
officially, in a few hours, a north korean official, who's under international sanctions, has been allowed by the un security council to travel there. choe hwi will be attending with the sister of north korea's ruler — her presence is seen as a significant diplomatic move in itself. the hope is that all this could help reduce tensions on the peninsula. well, not so much of a thaw quite yet, on thursday pyongyang put on a massive parade, a show of military might and missiles. the bbc‘s stephen mcdonnell is in pyeongchang. imean, you i mean, you can imagine the excitement in pyeongchang, after all these years of reparations, finally it is opening ceremony day and that means we are going to have elite athletes competing in these mountains and, of course, this hugely significant geopolitical clash playing out in the games. we
heard that president moonjae—in will be hosting a cocktail party with vips. the american vice president p is there. and let's introduce you to kim jong—un‘s sister, how are you going? nice weather we're having. the potential for that type of thing is going to be all around the games but this engagement, this unexpectedly high level of engagement from the north korean has prompted quite a bit of debate and when they march into the stadium together, with this unified team, some people will think it is absolutely fantastic and others are not so happy about it. to give you an idea of differences in opinion, we spoke to south koreans about this and this is some of what they had to
say... but whether people like it or not, that engagement is actually going ahead. kim yo—jong, the sister of the north korean leader, is adding a mill with the south korean president, moonjae—in, and there are hopes these games might bring an ongoing dialogue following such enormous amount of tension on the korean eyre peninsula over recent yea rs. and in the past hour, appeals by 47 russian athletes and coaches hoping to take part in the games have been dismissed. it follows a ban imposed on the country by the international olympic committee after an investigation into state—sponsored doping. the ioc has already invited a further 169 russians who have met the anti—doping criteria to compete as independent athletes. let's get more from our sports reporter, alex ca pstick who was at the news conference in pyeongchang by the court of arbitration in sport,
as the decision was announced. how significant is it? it was a very short announcement, the secretary general of the court administration of sport said the cases wrought by the russian athletes, 45 athlete and two support staff, have been dismissed and they will not be able to compete at these olympics and thatis to compete at these olympics and that is significant because the ioc had been concerned this matter would escalate following a decision that turned like lung bans on 20 athletes. they were worried that this would not go their way and they would be relieved and they hope this will draw a line under the matter at this now because of these 47 russians went in front of the panel
and they were hoping they would be pa rt and they were hoping they would be part of this rush and neutral team allowed to compete here. —— russian. they looked at all of the applicant and they decided that 169 were eligible and they did not want anyone even suspected of being involved in the doping scandal. they did not want them involved at all and they have come down on the side of the ioc. in the united states, lawmakers are scrambling to gather enough congressional votes to pass a sweeping spending deal worth hundreds of billions of dollars. it's unclear whether congress will be able to pass the funding bill to avoid a partial government shutdown by midnight local time. our north america correspondent peter bowes earlier told me the bill continues to face detailed scrutiny in both houses. there are two hurdles. initially, the senate,
where senator ryan paul has been trying to introduce an amendment which are simply delayed things. assuming it passes in the senate, it then goes to the house and there are bigger disagreements out in the open from both sides. the republicans and the democrats. some republicans object to the extra spending that is laid out in this bill, some $300 billion on defence spending and domestic spending, and also the democrats have their concerns, their continuing concerns about the fact that this bill does not include any provision for the so—called dreamers, those young people brought to america without the proper documentation. that issue of immigration again is not addressed by this spending plan. if it is not passed, if it does come to another shutdown, partial or not, president trump has said in fact he would welcome it. he seems to feel that the democrats took the blame for the last one, and they could perhaps take
the blame for this one if it comes. yes, we have been getting mixed messages from the president. he did say that, and he said it repeatedly, let's have shutdown. there are also concerns of, as far as he is concerned, about whether there will be any funding for his wall on the southern border with mexico. but then he seemed to change his tune because the message from the white house was that they approved of this spending plan as it was written. in fact, it was bipartisan, it had the support of the leadership of both parties. it is unclear really were president trump actually comes down on this. i think the bottom line certainly coming into this today is that all of the key players, at least those key players in a position to make this happen, believed in the same thing. they wanted to make this happen, to see it go ahead, they did not want to see another government shut down. there are concerns about adding to the deficit with this bill,
when the tax cut went through, which clearly ballooned the deficit, no question. yes, that is right. there is a dichotomy there and it is certainly something, well, he feels very strongly about this because he said that he objected to similar messages, similar excessive spending that he objected to similar measures, similar excessive spending when the democrats were in control, when president obama was in the white house, and he said he was just paraphrasing him, he said it would be hypocritical not to take the same approach when it is the republicans also proposing as he sees it excessive spending. we will bring you the latest as soon as we get more from washington. the russian government has blocked a un security council resolution calling for a month—long humanitarian ceasefire in syria. four days of airstrikes on the rebel—held area of eastern ghouta, near damascus, have left more than two hundred people dead. residents say the suburb is running short of food, water and medical supplies. in a separate development, syria has accused the us—led
coalition of war crimes, after a series of air and artillery strikes killed 100 pro—government fighters in the eastern deir el—zour province. the confrontation was the deadliest between the two so far. well nowjoining me live from washington is jim jeffrey, a former us ambassador to iraq and turkey. i naked have long experience. people may be wondering why a base with us troops attacked. general mattis saying it is perplexing. in a sense it is not, it is clear to everyone that the other players in the region, the sirius government, russia, iraq turkey simply do not wa nt russia, iraq turkey simply do not want the us there. absolutely. you have three laws on top of each other. the syrian government,
russians and iranians against another. there is an attack in eastern ghouta. you have counter terrorism campaigns, the turks against the pkk of sheet in the north, in the us against isis in the east and finally you have got the clash between the us and syria and effort by the us, turkey and israel, not what co—ordinated all spelt out the pressure of the russians to find an overall solution to this conflict that will end the bloodshed and push back or an which seems to be behind most of the really bad things that seem to happen. —— iran. most of the really bad things that seem to happen. -- iran. is there any hope for eastern ghouta? russia is saying a ceasefire is not
practical. people in the midst of all this. doctor saying these are the worst for days eastern ghouta has ever gone through, never the level of bombardment we have seen in the past 96 hours. absolutely. let's be clear, the russians agreed with the turks for a ceasefire in eastern ghouta and the russians are violating that. they are the primary source slaughtering civilians and vladimir putin is doing this in part for the claim that was shot down and many people will die for the death of one pilot. ajournalist many people will die for the death of one pilot. a journalist tried to cover it says it gets to the point we do not even want to ask anyone to fill for it because it is so incredibly dangerous. what difference will it make any way?
well, in the short run, that could well be because there is a lot of the un pressure police —— pushing the un pressure police —— pushing the russians. the fighting will eventually end. on a larger scale, this is very similar to bosnia in the 1990s, until the us decides to ta ke the 1990s, until the us decides to take a leading role and use all elements of american power, military, diplomatic, with a large coalition in a co—ordinated fashion to bring the entire conflict to an end we will have new ghouta, between different components, as far as the eye can see in this horrible, horrible conflict. thank you for that. thank you. we ta ke we take it to pictures live to taiwan scene of that earthquake.
workers still searching the survivors. the martial hotel still leaning. they say rescue operations are still going on. one man who was rescued from basement one managed to shine on the torch from his mobile phone, he said there were two employees from the front desk he thought were still in the wreckage. there have been 100 earthquakes since february one in the area. they we re since february one in the area. they were not expecting something this big. but rescue operations still going on at the moment. asian stock markets have dropped sharply after steep falls on thursday. the nikkei in tokyo and in hong kong, both down by more than 3%. shanghai down fight
a cent. the record highs reached in late january putting the market in what is known as correction territory. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: when this car goes to auction later in the year, it could reach $14 million. we kick the tyres. there's mr mandela. mr nelson mandela, a free man, taking his first steps into a new south africa. iran's spiritual leader ayatollah khomeini has said he's passed a death sentence on salman rushdie, the british author of a book which many muslims say is blasphemous. the people of haiti have flocked to church to give thanks for the ousting of their former president, 'baby doc' duvalier. because of his considerable value as a stallion, shergar was kept in a special
secure box in the stud farm's central block. shergar was driven away in a horse box the thieves had brought with them. there stepped down from the plane a figure in mourning. elizabeth ii, queen of this realm and of all her other realms and territories, head of the commonwealth, defender of the faith. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: a north korean official under international sanctions, choe hwi, has been allowed by the united nations security council to travel to the winter olympics in south korea. but there'll be no games for 47 russian athletes and coaches who were accused of doping. their appeals have been rejected just hours before the opening ceremony. in december last year, two reuters journalists were arrested in myanmar — wa lone and kyaw soe oo. they are still in jail,
awaiting trial for allegedly obtaining confidential government documents. it was known that the two journalists were covering the aftermath of some of the brutal violence inflicted on the rohingya last year, but since their arrest rumours have circulated around what those journalists were investigating. now, reuters have published what they believe is the real reason for their arrest, revealing details of the story that they were working on — a detailed investigation into a mass execution in a village in eastern myanmar. james clayton from newsnight has the story. on december 12 last year, two myanmarjournalists working for the reuters news agency, wa lone and kyaw soe oo, travelled to a restaurant in northern yangon to meet two police officers. they never came home. they were arrested and later charged under the official secrets act for allegedly obtaining confidential documents. they're being held in a jail in yangon. reuters have published
what they believe was the real reason for their journalists' arrest — an investigation that focused on the village of inn din. the violence that took place here in late august and early september last year was echoed across parts of northern rakhine state. this image shows the extent to which the rohingya part of the village was burnt to the ground. only the buddhist area, to the top left, was spared. but what reuters claim to have found was even darker. theirjournalists had been told by a number of sources that ten men had been picked out of a crowd of rohingya muslims and executed. reuters say that after a day of interrogation, they were led into a wood. reuters say this image was given to theirjournalists by a local buddhist. we've decided to blur parts of the graphic image. back in myanmar‘s capital, naypyidaw, at around the same time as the arrests, myanmar authorities
were themselves looking into the execution. on january 10, the military announced on its facebook page that they had undertaken their own investigation and that soldiers and local buddhists had indeed taken part in an execution. but the military were forced to kill the bengali terrorists, they said, because police stations were being attacked by rohingya militants, and it was unsafe to transport them. "a decision was made to kill them", says the military statement. but reuters say that buddhist villagers their journalists interviewed reported no attack by a large number of insurgents on security forces in inn din, or that the ten men had any connection with terrorism. the news agency claims theirjournalists also gathered unique evidence of military involvement in attacks on rohingya muslims, speaking to not only local villages in inn din, but police officers and members of the paramilitary.
reuters believe that the evidence the journalists obtained is the real reason for their arrest. but the myanmar authorities are continuing to pursue charges against the two journalists. will telling the story help wa lone and kyaw soe oo? we'll find out in court. james clayton there. myanmar government spokeswoman told reuters we are not denying the allegations about violations of human rights and are not giving blanket denials. the government said: the government defended its operation in rakhine state. that is the word in the statement,.
the latest superhero film from marvel had its european premiere in london on thursday night, but what makes it different is its predominantly all—black cast playing the heroes. the film's become a sensation on social media with many fans using the hashtag what black panther means to me to highlight its significance for black audiences. our entertainment correspondent lizo mzimba has the story. a free cinema trip would have been welcome enough for these american schoolchildren — their sheerjoy is because the movie is black panther. such is the film's significance, people around the world are crowd—sourcing money so that children who might otherwise not get the chance can get to watch it on the big screen. people like actress jade anouka, from peckham in london — she has so far raised around £4,000 for a screening at her local cinema. i think it's just a film you don't really see — you don't see black superheroes in big blockbusters.
the positive representation is good for people growing up in this area but i think all over the world. we are home. black panther is being seen as a cultural milestone — a predominantly black cast leading a big budget blockbuster... you get to decide. ..and a film that also puts strong women right at its heart. black panther is a moment and hopefully it's one that will — it will obviously exist for longer than this particular moment. what we want is this momentum to keep going. i don't think it's black panther‘s responsibility to change the world. the change will come from the people who see it and choose to make a difference in their own lives. for many, it's the kind of film they've been waiting decades for hollywood to make. how important was it for you, making sure this was primarily a piece of entertainment,
even with this huge amount of social responsibility that was inevitably going to come into the equation? i mean, that's what it is. you know, like, that's what it is. it's not a political lecture, you know what i mean? it's a movie. it's got to work as that. and that is a movie that's already generating huge amounts of excitement for a new generation who've rarely seen themselves reflected in a film like this up on the big screen. lizo mzimba, bbc news. for the last few days, paris has been the venue for an exhibition devoted to motor cars — but not just any old motor cars. the retromobile show is marking its 43rd year. thousands of enthusiasts got the chance to look at hundreds of vehicles — some of which are truly legendary, as the bbc‘s tim allman reports. if you like vintage cars, then this must be like paradise — the sleek lines, the polished metal,
vehicles both from the dawn of the motor age, and some a little more recent. translation: the retromobile show gives us the chance to rediscover the glories of the past. we should not forget that behind each car, there's a man, and it is always human adventure hiding underneath. some of these cars are nearly 100 years old. many of them broke records at legendary race tracks like linas—montlhery and le mans. it really was another age — shirtsleeves, open—top driving, little care for safety. a dangerous but elegant way to enjoy life at the highest of speeds. one of the star attractions is this aston martin 034 gt zagato. only 19 were ever produced, and it was raced at le mans
by british driverjim clark. it sort of epitomises everything that is so sort of great about britain and bespoke, handmade, beautiful quality, and then when you clothe the car in this italian zagato style, you get the best of both worlds. the aston martin will go on sale injuly and is expected to reach the price of more than $14 million — proof that some cars are truly timeless. tim allman, bbc news. and before we go, take a look at this. conservation officers in newfoundland have had to rescue a moose stranded in a lake. he struggled there for nearly an hour. they herded him out of the lake and were then able to tranquilise him. he has since been released outside the city. much more on all the news any time
for you on our website. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter, i'm @bbcmikeembley. thanks for watching. hello there. yesterday morning, some of the coldest air was across the southern counties of england. with a sharp frost, temperatures in shoreham, towards the south coast of england, got down to —6 degrees. compare that with northern ireland, where we were three degrees above freezing. but fortunes have rather switched around this morning. the coldest air across the north and west. it's mild further south where we've got this band of cloud and rain moving its way slowly eastwards. now, the cold air follows that band of rain. we'll see wintry showers to start the day across many western areas, and notjust that — there'll also be a risk of some icy stretches on the roads to watch out for as well.
now, looking at friday's weather charts, we've got this band of rain then working slowly across east anglia and south—east england, and then what follows is cold north—westerly winds dragging in the cold air but also bringing an increasing risk of wintry showers. so it's going to be feeling colder as the day goes by. now, across england and wales, that band of rain clears away across east anglia and south—east england. then we're quite likely to see some wintry showers, could even bring a dusting of snow, even down to low levels, for a time across eastern england. the best of the sunshine for wales and western areas of england but feeling quite chilly. further north, for scotland and for northern ireland, north—westerly winds from the word go will continue to bring in plenty of snow showers inland. around the coast, more of a mixture of rain and probably a bit of sleet too. temperature—wise, we're looking at highs between four and seven degrees celsius. friday evening and overnight, we're going to continue to see showers for a time, but then a ridge of high—pressure moves in. that will clear the skies, so temperatures dip away. there will be a frost and a risk of icy patches, and then during the second half
of the night a band of icy rain moves in off the atlantic, bumps into that cold air, and we will see snow potentially down to low levels across eastern scotland, and some snowy weather too for the hills of northern england. heading into the start of the weekend. eventually, the wind starts to start to come around from a more south—westerly direction. the snow will move higher and higher up into the hills until it turns into rain. we'll be left with a soggy afternoon with that wind and rain, heavy at times, turning milder. temperatures up to 11 degrees in cardiff, still the cold air hanging on across the far north of scotland and the potential for weather to develop during saturday night. that could bring a squeeze in the isobars, the potential for some strong winds. we will be back to a mixture of wintry showers, some sunny spells in between. feeling cold, particularly in the north—western areas. that's your weather. this is bbc news, the headlines: the un security council has permitted a north korean official under international sanctions, choe hwi, to travel
to the winter olympics in south korea. he will be attending along with the sister of the north korean ruler, kim jong—un. south korea said it would help reduce tensions between the two countries. just hours before the winter olympics opening ceremony, the court of arbitration for sport has dismissed appeals from 47 russian athletes and coaches against their exclusion. russia was banned over a doping scandal at the last games. 169 russians are competing as independents. american politicians are haggling over a spending deal worth hundreds of billions of dollars in an effort to try to avert another government shutdown. the conservative republican senator rand paul is objecting to the vote, saying the bill violates past pledges to rein in federal spending. members of parliament could lose their seats, or be expelled, under new plans to tackle bullying and sexual