welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: making a move towards gun control: president trump says he wants to ban bump stock devices "very soon". i signed a memorandum directing the attorney general to propose regulations to ban all devices that term illegal weapons into machine—guns. —— turn legal. hundreds are killed in eastern ghouta as syrian government forces step up their bombardment. the un says the situation is "spiralling out of control". a breakthrough by scientists in the uk gives hope to thousands with a rare and sometimes life—threatening disorder. and a front row seat at london fashion week: the queen makes a surprise appearance. hello.
apparently in response to a growing gun control campaign by high school students, president trump has expressed his willingness to ban the so—called "bump stock" mechanism, which turns a rifle into something very close to a machine gun. bump stocks allow a rifle to shoot in almost automatic bursts, and were used by the gunman who shot dead 58 people in las vegas in october. laura westbrook reports. they are mobilised and organised, and they are demanding lawmakers in their state of florida take action on gun control. 3,000 kids in one school? that is a big family enough. and having a lot of the nation coming and supporting us, too, that is what is changing. we are able to have that voice, and we're able to be heard. the president says he is listening. i signed a memorandum directing the attorney general to propose
regulations that ban devices that turn legal weapons into machine—guns. i expect that these critical regulations will be finalised very soon. so—called "bump stocks" allow semiautomatic guns to be modified to fire hundreds of rounds every minute. the devices were used by the man who killed 58 people in las vegas last september. chanting: enough is enough! it is a sign that the president is feeling the pressure from these young voices. here he is, a year ago, at a rally hosted by the national rifle association. they gave millions of dollars towards the trump campaign. so let me make a simple promise to every one of the freedom—loving americans in the audience today.
as your president, i will never, ever infringe on the right of people to keep and bear arms. never ever. it remains to be seen if congress will push through any new legislation. so far, the nra have successfully resisted every move to tighten gun controls. but the students who are targets of school shootings are hoping they can make it harderfor this kind of tragedy to happen again. another funeral was held for 15—year—old peter wang. he was killed when trying to help others escape. he was honoured by being posthumously accepted into his dream school, the westpoint academy. a short time ago i got the latest from our correspondent david willis in washington. it's being seen here by some as a small step,
at least, towards the very narrowest possible gun—control measures, on the part of donald trump. this ban on so—called "bump stocks" — those are the devices which can turn a rifle into a machine—gun, probably... there's no indication they were actually used in the florida shooting by the 19—year—old who carried out the attack, nikolas cruz. they were used in the las vegas massacre, when stephen paddock opened fire from a hotel room, killing 58 people, and injuring around 500 others. but there is little indication that banning "bump stocks," even if it does happen, would stop the school shootings, the likes of which happened last week. it would not have stopped nikolas cruz or somebody like him access to the weapon was used, nor would it have amended the way
in which that weapon was used. it was said at the time the sandy hook — all those very young children killed — that if congress would not tighten gun control then, it never would. some people are talking about this as a possible game changer. other sources, as you know — you don't need to look too far online to see them described as, well, people suggesting that the students are being used. others are suggesting they are actors and completely fake. well, what they have done is to strike a chord here, mike. these are young people who do not even remember columbine, back in 1999, that very bad school shooting. these people have grown up since then. columbine produced a lot of outrage, but not very much activism. what we are seeing now is a feeling on the part of these young people, who are elegant, articulate,
and clearly have a lot of motivation to change the laws on gun ownership. they are hoping to hold to account those politicians who received campaign contributions from the most powerful lobby group here in the united states, the nra, the national rifle association. but they have, in donald trump, quite an obstacle, because he is thought to have had the coppers of his presidential campaign in rich by the nra to be tune of something like $31 million. "missiles and mortars are dropping on us like rain" — that's according to one of the thousands of syrian civilians trapped in the besieged rebel—held enclave of eastern ghouta. a senior un official speaks of "extreme suffering, beyond imagination."
he calls the syrian government's bombardment of the damascus suburb, an assault backed by the russian military, "a massacre." from diplomats at the highest levels, there are calls for it to stop. but it goes on. this report from our middle east editorjeremy bowen contains distressing images. this could be the beginning of the end of a rebellion in eastern ghouta that began in 2012. all the other smaller rebel—held enclaves around damascus have been starved and bombed into submission. explosion screaming now, it looks to be eastern ghouta's turn as the regime pushes for decisive victory around the capital. activists in eastern ghouta say this is as bad as it's been. you can hear the shout and crying of women and children through the windows of their homes and the missiles and mortars dropping on us like rain. there is nowhere to hide from this nightmare in eastern ghouta. a generation has been
born into the war. dozens have been killed by it in the last few hours in eastern ghouta. over the years of siege, they've set up a network of underground hospitals. this girl, named in arabic "angel", escaped the worst, but will have to go back to the streets to get home. and this is her area. explosion with a regime plane dropping what appears to be a barrel bomb, unguided — an indiscriminate killer. the syrian regime denies attacking civilians. it says it's trying to liberate eastern ghouta from terrorists. eastern ghouta is a sprawling mix of concrete suburbs and farmland, starting about nine miles east of damascus‘ city centre. the syrian rebels who've controlled
it since 2012 include several islamist militias, including one with its roots in al-anda. eastern ghouta is surrounded by syrian government forces. before the war, it was just a short drive from the syrian presidential palace. officially, it's been designated a de—escalation zone, that is an empty phrase. force decides what happens in syria. after seven years, syria's war isn't ending, but it's changing. president assad, with the help of russia and iran, is now secure, but syria is linked into a web of war and power politics, which guarantees more bloodshed. how many times in the last seven years have syrians dug through the rubble for survivors?
there's talk of safe corridors out for civilians, but based on past form, the regime wants victory in eastern ghouta and the surrender of the rebels. jeremy bowen, bbc news. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. american officials say the north korean leader's sister was due to meet the us vice—president for secret talks during the winter olympics, but pulled out, less than two hours beforehand. mike pence was apparently due to meet a delegation from pyongyang but his officials claim it was called off after he condemned human rights abuses in the north. a lawyer from new york, who's the son—in—law of one of russia's richest men, has admitted lying to fbi agents investigating russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 us presidential election. alex van der zwaan admitted to lying to the fbi about his contacts with a former trump campaign aide. he will be sentenced in april. a lawyer from new york,
who's the son—in—law of one —— mahmoud abbas, the palestinian president, has called for international peace talks on the middle east by the middle of this year. he says palestinians are living in an unbearable situation and that there must be a conference leading to the acceptance of palestine as a full united nations member state. oxfam is investigating 26 allegations of sexual misconduct, which have been reported since news emerged about charity workers paying women for sex in haiti. the charity's bosses have been questioned by mps at westminster — they admitted 7,000 people had cancelled regular donations since the scandal broke. scientists have discovered the cause of a rare blood vessel disorder that can cause serious facial disfigurement in children and life—threatening bleeding. the research pinpoints the genes responsible and for the first time identifies existing cancer drugs as a possible treatment. our medical correspondent fergus walsh has the story. ok, so we need to do the eggs... and we froth the eggs.
13—year—old nikki christou never knows when her face will start to bleed. she has a rare disorder which means high—pressure blood in her arteries feeds directly into her veins. it causes swelling, facial disfigurement, and life—threatening bleeds from her nose, and even her tear ducts. it's very scary because you don't really know if it's going to stop, how much blood you're losing, and, if it is really bad, then i can, you know, become very lightheaded and things like that. and so, i think when these bleeds happen, you just know that it's time for an ambulance. nikki has not let her condition, known as avm, hold her back. the winner ofjunior bake off is nikki. hey! as well as winning junior bake off in 2016, she has also interviewed the prime minister for cbbc.
oh, gosh! hi, nikki. nikki has had hundreds of appointments at great ormond street hospital, and 30 operations. how are you doing? it's lovely to see you. you too. i'm just going to have a little feel of your face. 0k. ..and is now part of ground—breaking research, which is led by her consultant. the team at ucl‘s institute of child health sequenced the dna of more than 150 children with her condition, and found it could be triggered by fourfaulty genes. this is really an enormous step for us. having discovered the genetic cause of these in individual patients, we are now able to suggest treatments that could slow the growth, stop the growth or perhaps even reverse the growth of this condition in the long—term. and those drug treatments come from an unlikely source. the gene mutations discovered in this lab, which are responsible for these faulty blood vessels,
also play a key role in the growth of some cancers. now, the good news is there are several cancer drugs which inhibit these faulty genes, which can now be repurposed to treat nikki's condition. this is your right eye and this is the avm. nicki is one of two patients taking the targeted cancer drugs and today she's finding out the results of the new scans. it looks good and exciting that after six months, it seems to be holding the growth. that is really good, isn't it? yeah, that's so good. thank you. yeah, thanks. it'll be at least one year before doctors know for sure whether the cancer drugs that nikki is taking are working. but the discovery of the faulty genes has given hope to patients with this debilitating condition. fergus walsh, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: a controversial mix of profit and politics. donald trumer makes waves on his visit to india.
nine years and 15,000 deaths after going into afghanistan, the last soviet troops were finally coming home. the withdrawal completed in good order, but the army defeated in the task it had been sent to perform. malcolm was murdered. that has a terrible effect on the morality of the people. i'm terrified of the repercussions in the streets. one wonders who is next. as the airlift got under way, there was no let—up in the eruption itself. lava streams from a vent low in the crater flow down to the sea on the east of the island, away from the town for the time being, but it could start flowing again at any time.
the russians heralded their new generation space station with a spectacular night launch. they've called it mir, the russian for peace. this is bbc news. the latest headlines — president trump says he wants to ban bump—stock devices used to turn rifles into rapid—fire weapons. 250 people are reported killed in eastern ghouta as syrian government forces step up their bombardment. the un says the situation is spiralling out of control. as his father wrestles with the gun debate at home, donald trump jr is making waves in india. he's on a promotional tour to sell trump—branded apartments to wealthy indian customers. and that is raising questions about the trump family's business interests and the lines between personal profit and politics. rajini vaidya nathan reports from new delhi. "trump has arrived.
have you?" that's what these front—page ads across a number of national newspapers are asking as they promote donald trumer‘s visit to india this week. india's an incredibly important market to our brand and is now home to the largest portfolio of trump properties outside of north america. the president's son is here to sell some of the trump corporation's apartments in india, including a number of flats that are going to be built here in gurgaon, which is a suburb of delhi about an hour from the city, and when they're finished they will be a 47—storey high luxury apartment building here with a price tag of over $1 million. they will be seen from everywhere. anyone who pays a deposit for a flat this week also gets an invite to dinner and a conversation with the man himself. there are concerns that even if he's not a politician, this amounts to selling access to the president's son. that said, the buzz around this visit is attracting
potential buyers. ajai segal‘s a criminal lawyer who's considering a purchase. because of its brand value only, we were more attracted to this project, yes. do you like the trump family? of course. in india, the majority of the people like the trump family. what do you like about them? the way they carry themselves, the way they project themselves. this project is going to be a masterpiece, notjust for the city, but also for the trump portfolio. we don't know what's on the menu for friday's dinner, but indian media is reporting that donald jr has a particular liking for dal makhani and chicken tikka masala. now, on friday, he'll be delivering a speech on indo—pacific relations at a conference where the indian prime minister, narendra modi, will also be speaking, and that does raise some questions. why is donaldjr, a nonpolitical member of a family not part of the administration, delivering what appears to be a foreign policy speech when he's
here in india to sell flats? the latest from the winter olympics in pyeongchang, south korea, where 12 gold medals will be awarded on day 12, including the men's freestyle skiing, men's and women's cross—country skiing and the women's 2—person bobsleigh. america's lindsey vonn headlines the women's downhill — she won gold in this in vancouver, but had to miss the sochi olympics through injury. she'll have to keep a close eye on strong contenders sofia goggia, from italy, and stephanie vernier from austria. in the ladies figure skating, russia's15—year—old alina zagitova, is the favourite. the european champion faces strong competition, though, in the short programme, from her team—mate, evgenia medvedeva and canada's gabrielle daleman. and just in case you missed the news from day 11, team gb‘s elise christie, afterfalling again, was disqualified in her 100—metre short track heat, ending her chances of a medal at the games. these are second olympics that have ended with christie failing to complete her events. virtual reality is being used
to warn people in australia about the dangers of bushfires. a simulation showing what happens if you don't leave your property is being trialled in the state of victoria, which suffered the country's worst—ever fires in 2009, known as black saturday. our correspondent, hywel griffith, went to see the impact the vr is having. as the embers land and the panic sets in, this is what it feels like to be in a bushfire. it may be virtual, but this video shows the real consequences of not leaving early and making the wrong choice. that was scary! shaking. it was so bad. pretty scary? yeah. it made you think you were actually facing a fire? yeah, i could feel it and everything. the video is being toured around the state of victoria,
which, nine years ago, experienced australia's worst ever bushfires, killing 173 people. reliving the experience can be pretty confronting. unbelievable how realistic it actually seemed. yeah, it was pretty crazy, yeah, brang back a lot of memories too. yeah, just especially driving along the road in the last scene, and the tree falling down that sort of thing. there was a lot of that going on. it's actually quite realistic, how quick things happen, and it actually does give you a bit of a sense of what you need to do and how quick things change without you actually realising it. last year saw australia's driest winter on record, which means the risks of bushfire this year are particularly high. total fire bans are put in place on very hot days, but even then, it's hard to persuade everyone that they need to be prepared. this fire near melbourne last month showed just how quickly the flames can be carried by the wind. dozens of homes were evacuated, helicopters brought in to try and stop it spreading.
even for experienced firefighters, the conditions can be challenging. when you walk outside, you can actually feel the moisture getting sucked out of your eyeballs. garry cook has been fighting bushfires for more than three decades, but no two are the same. they‘ re always unpredictable. they can actually change wind direction just by the intensity of the fire, so you get this massive uplift of heat. massive convection columns curling the air up at the top can generate their own lightning. so major wildfires, major bushfires — very scary situation. by by letting people feel some of that it things. get things . get e control. the queen has attended lorrdorresshion week- m, - . for the first time in her 66—year reign. she sat in the front row of a show by up—and—coming designer richard quinn, next to the woman often hailed as the queen
of fashion, vogue magazine's anna wintour. virginia langeberg reports. it was the queen's first visit to london fashion week and, of course, her majesty made a showstopping entrance, bringing the audience to their feet. after a few introductory words with the vip guests, it was time to settle in. those beside the monarch were conscious to follow royal protocol before taking their seats. then it was showtime. big and bold designs lit up the runway. no crowds on this catwalk, but at least some helmets to help hide any potential nerves. never before has london fashion week's famous power front row seen fashion royalty sit alongside the queen herself. her majesty, wearing a light blue tweed dress and jacket, next to vogue's editor—in—chief, dame anna wintour. the pair sharing a laugh
and keeping a close, discerning eye on the show. ms wintour opted to keep her sunglasses on, but the queen's delight was captured in several snaps, and quickly beamed around the world, causing the internet to heat up like never before. it was the last day of fashion week and they were watching the work of emerging designer richard quinn. he received the very first queen elizabeth ii award for british design. even he didn't believe the guest list when he saw it. it was very surreal. before the show, you saw the names on this blue cushion, and you're like, "oh, it's not a prank, it's actually real!" the queen's style was given a nod by the chief executive of the british fashion council, who described the 91—year—old monarch as a fashion icon. speaking after the runway show, the queen said her award for emerging designers will be her legacy to british fashion. virginia langeberg, bbc news. one woman at least assured of a
front row seat. if you are squeamish of snakes, look away for 17 seconds. police in argentina have arrested a man after more than 200 snakes were found in his apartment. they were in plastic boxes. officials say they we re plastic boxes. officials say they were sold on the black market and are now looking for new homes for all the reptiles. you can come back 110w. all the reptiles. you can come back now. back top story again. president trump has expressed his willingness to burn very soon the mechanisms which allow a rifle to shoot in almost automatic bursts. bump stocks we re almost automatic bursts. bump stocks were used by the government in last yea r‘s were used by the government in last year's mass shooting in las vegas. thank you for watching. thanks forjoining me.
time we updated you on the weather prospects for the whole of the british isles over the next few days or so. fairly slow change, i would've thought, over the next few days, simply because we are developing an area of high pressure, which has rather strangled the life out of the old weather front, which provided quite a veil of cloud sometimes through eastern parts of the british isles through tuesday, but with the development of the high pressure close by to the british isles, that, as i say, has the effect of killing off that front. a veil of cloud, not much more than that. maybe the odd drib and drab of rain, but essentially, it's a dry pattern, and, increasingly, we will be talking about high pressure linked to the one over scandinavia as we go through the weekend and into next week. the veil of cloud doing its stuff to keep temperatures above freezing across england and wales for the most part. scotland and northern ireland, a different kettle of fish, someone's going to get to “11 or —5. so here we are on the new day. a little bit of mist and fog around, particularly in scotland
and northern ireland, but that will soon pop away. essentially, it's a dry day. maybe the odd spot of rain passing by, maybe a shower coming in on the north—easterly breeze towards kent and essex. those temperatures, not too bad when you compare them to what's to come, and i'll show you those in just a second. here is thursday. just the first signs of us wanting to pick up something a little bit sort of continental in origin. certainly, that wind coming in from a pretty cool continent at the moment, and you'll feel the like of that in norwich, for example, 4 degrees only, and generally across the british isles, despite the fact there's a lot of sunshine around, variable amounts of cloud, temperatures just beginning to tick away from where we were at the start of the week. so as we move towards the tail end of the week, things beginning to settle down. notice temperatures around the 5, 6, 7—degree mark or so. the forecast in edinburgh rather caught my eye. that's the second big fixture of saturday when we get on to the next round of the six nations rugby. i don't think the weather will get in the way in dublin or, indeed, in edinburgh.
as i say, once we get towards the weekend, our high pressure begins to become amalgamated with a big area of high pressure over scandinavia. now, that's really quite important, because, if you follow the isobars around the eastern and southern flanks, then we begin to look away, up towards siberia, for the source of the air that comes towards us as we start the new week, and that's really quite crucial. we haven't seen that sort of setup for quite a while, but there's no doubt about it. next week, yes, there will be some sunshine, there will be some chilly nights around. a bitter wind in from the east and the chance of snow as temperatures tumble. this is bbc news — the headlines. president trump has promised his administration will take steps to ban devices which enable a rifle to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute. he says he wants to outlaw 'bump stoc " a gun fitted with the mechanism was used in last year's mass shooting in las vegas — that left 58 people dead. 250 people — including 50 children — are reported to have been killed in the rebel—held enclave
of eastern ghouta as syrian government forces step up their bombardment. the un warns the situation is "spiralling out of control". activists say it's the worst violence in the region since 2013. oxfam is investigating 26 allegations of sexual misconduct —— which have been reported since allegations were made against some of its workers in haiti. the charity's leaders — were questioned in the parliament in the uk on tuesday. one of scotland's largest councils will provide free lunches to children from low—income households every day of the year.