welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is lewis vaughanjones. our top stories: a test for colombia's historic peace deal — former guerillas face a tough contest in national parliamentary elections. myanmar‘s military is accused of building bases in villages where rohingya muslims were forced off their land. syrian government forces say they've recaptured more than half the rebel enclave of eastern ghouta outside damascus. and the veteran british entertainer, sir ken dodd, dies at the age of 90. nearly all of the votes have been counted in colombia's congressional elections.
conservative parties bitterly opposed to a peace deal with former farc rebels are in the lead, though falling short of an outright majority. the farc — now a left—wing political party — has performed poorly. presidentjuan manuel santos said the participation of candidates from the former rebel group marked a historic moment for colombian democracy. our correspondent katy watson is following the election in bogota. for these former gorillas, this was an historic day. they are no longer hiding in thejungle, they were centre stage in this weekend's elections. translation: today is a historic day for colombia. we are deciding the country's fate and i think it will mark the milestone. we are strengthening the peace process. it is the first time in my life i have voted and i'm doing it for peace. as presidentjuan manuel santos cast his vote, he said it is proof his
peace process is working. translation: it is the first time in more than half a century that the fa rc instead of more than half a century that the farc instead of sabotaging the elections, is participating. that is historic and very important throughout democracy. but the results showed otherwise. they failed to get even 1% of the votes in either house of congress. they are political nobodies. it is so bound up in the country's conflict, nearly everyone here in colombia have spent most of their lives living in the shadow of violence. it is hard for people to take them seriously as politicians so accepting the farc will take time. the farc started life as a marxist movement demanding land rights will top over half a century of fighting saw more than 200,000 people killed and millions displaced. when the peace deal was signed in 2016,000 of soldiers laid their weapons. at the political debut was far from smooth. they ran a disorganised campaign and many colombians were angry that farc candidates were
allowed to run for office before paying for their crimes first. translation: we are speechless. i think we need to find a way towards peace but i wanted to see justice before participation. translation: it is controversial. as a human being, they have right to vote and participate but i'm not going to vote for them. as the country heads towards presidential elections in may, it is unclear what role the political newcomers be allowed to play. for more on the election results i spoke to monica pachon, a professor of politics at the rosario university in bogota. i think that the results show that the country is highly polarised and the election is showing that the referendum result from 2016 which was trying to validate the process with the people, is still going on. it's the right wing which did really well in this election in the interparty primary where they got more than 6 million votes. senator duque got 6% of the national
vote while farc only got 0.4% of the national vote for the senate. so not very many votes as a percentage but of course, as part of the deal, they are guaranteed representation. how will that go down? they have ten reserved seats which are worth votes for people who participated today in elections regularly. i think what is going on is a discussion on what is next. the legislature has waited on a lot of bills that have not been able to pass because of this polarisation and i think the polarisation is going to keep going while we see presidential elections come up. the polls have closed in cuba. it is
the last vote since castro stepped down as president. behind closed doors, the top leadership will then elect the next president. the expectation is that the current vice president will take over. the myanmar military is building on razed rohingya villages in rakhine state — according to a new report from amnesty international. ‘a military land grab‘ is how amnesty describes the new structures — which include fences, roads and military bases being built where villages stood. matthew wells is a senior crisis advisor at amnesty international. he spentjanuary and february this year at the refugee camps in bangladesh gathering the testimony and materials upon which amnesty is basing its report. what a new report today shows
is that, as the rohingya shelter in refugee camps there in bangladesh, the myanmar authorities are in effect remaking rakhine state. that areas that used to be rohingya homes, markets and mosques have been bulldozed. farmland has been cleared away. and, in their place, the myanmar authorities have built new infrastructure, including security force bases, roads, at times villages for non—rohingya ethnic groups. and all of this shows that, as the authorities say that they are ready to start returning rohingya, that in fact every day they are making that far more difficult, by remaking rakhine state. take, for example, there is a village in one township — and our evidence comes not just from testimonies, but what we see on satellite imagery, from photos and videos that have been taken by people still in northern rakhine state. and all that together shows that in this particular village the myanmar military, the security forces, are building an enormous new base that has in effect driven off many of the rohingya people in that village. they had stayed during the worst
period of violence, they stayed as surrounding villages were burnt. but what happened then is the military put flags down marking off an enormous amount of space that used to be farmland for this village. they forcibly evicted people from a particular part of this village, and that has led to hundreds of people from the village going to bangladesh in the last couple of months. and so, as the government says it is preparing for returns, in fact its action show something very different — that it is remaking rakhine state, including new security bases, which makes any form of safe and voluntary return incredibly difficult. syrian rebels say they won't surrender. it comes as government forces have captured more than half of a rebel enclave outside the capital damascus.
more than 1000 people are believed to have been killed since the area of eastern ghouta came under bombardment on the 18th january. thousands of civilians have been caught up in the violence, as andrew plant reports. syrian army tanks moving into rebel land on the outskirts of the capital. rebel soldiers driven out and their trenches and camps have been left abandoned. in january this year, syrian forces began pounding eastern ghouta. with towns destroyed, hundreds have been trapped. these people, discovered on sunday morning. translation: we were 200 families. many have fled, but we remained here. the armed groups told us to flee but we refused and we told them that we would stay here.
hiding in a basement, sheltering from the bombs above. translation: we waited for you to arrive, now we are safe. the onslaught of airstrikes, barrel bombs and rockets have split the rebels and taken strategic towns, isolating duma and mesraba. but 400,000 civilians live here too. more than 1,100 killed in the last four weeks, including 200 children. hospitals have been damaged. makeshift medical facilities, overwhelmed. and doctors say they are desperate for supplies. some aid has been delivered — food to feed a few thousand. so far, no medicine has been allowed to go through to stop injured rebel fighters being treated. the syrian forces state say eastern ghouta must be recaptured, defying global calls for a ceasefire, but a statement that they will fight on. andrew plant, bbc news. legendary british comedian —
sir ken dodd — has died at the age of ninety. born in liverpool — he was famous for his tickling sticks and his sidekicks — the diddy men. he died just days after being released from hospital — where he was being treated for a chest infection. his publicist described him as one of the last music hall greats. nick higham looks back at his life and career. he was an old—fashioned variety performer but with a unique dash of surrealism to his act. the hair and teeth were a gift but few comedians had of physical or vocal technique to compare with ken dodd's. jeronimo! thank you very much.
what of beautiful day for going up to count von zeppelin and saying, you will never sell a sausage that size. a merchant's son became a ventriloquist, a charttopping singer, tv star and a man of countless catchphrases. how tickled i am, how tickled i am by all this goodwill! what about you, mrs? have you been tickled by good will? oh, it's doddy. hiya doddy, how are you diddling? # tears are all you've left me. # knick knocky knick knock. # knicky knocky knick knack. # knick knocky knick knock. # knicky knacky noo! byjoe! i feel full gertitude! behind the boardy and the banter, he was a private man and a serious student of comic theory. freud said that laugh is a sudden explosion of psychic energy. of course, the trouble with freud was he never played second house friday night at glasgow empire. in 1989, he faced charges
of massive tax evasion. he had 20 offshore bank accounts and more than £300,000 hidden round his house. he was acquitted and kept on performing. he helped us laugh for more than a0 years though few people know if he was ever truly happy himself. # happiness! the british comedian, sir ken dodd — who's died at the age of ninety. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: grab your dog and your trophy. crufts — the climax of the dog—owners' year — is disrupted by a pair of animal rights protestors. the numbers of dead and wounded defied belief. this, the worst terrorist atrocity
on european soil in modern times. in less than 2a hours then, the soviet union lost an elderly sick leader and replaced him with a dynamic figure 20 years his junior. we heard these gunshots in the gym. then he came out through a fire exit and started firing at our huts. god, we were all petrified. james earl ray, aged 41, sentenced to 99 years and due for parole when he's 90, travelled from memphis jail to nashville state prison in an 8—car convoy. paul, what's it feel like to be married at last? it feels fine, thank you. what are you going to do now? is it going to change your life much, do you think? i don't know really. i've never been married before. this is bbc news.
the latest headlines: votes are being counted in the first elections in colombia since a peace deal was agreed between the government and former farc rebels. myanmar‘s military has been accused by amnesty international of constructing bases in areas where rohingya muslims have been forced off their land. china's annual parliamentary gathering, the national people's congress, has approved the removal of limits on presidential terms. the constitutional change, passed almost unanimously, could allow the current leader, xijinping, to rule for life. 0ur china correspondent, john sudworth, was in the great hall of the people as the vote took place — he sent this report. china's parliament was preparing to hand unlimited power to its president, and there could be no doubting the outcome. should xijinping be president for life?
"yes," they answer. and then she adds. please don't say that it is president for life. it is just that there is not a limit for the number of terms. but, whatever you call it, the change means mr xi can rule china for as long as he wants. he was the first to cast his ballot, the applause further proof of the inevitability of the result. out of almost 3,000 delegates, only two voted against. " passed , " the announcer says, and this man's hold on power now becomes both complete and indefinite. the cost of opposition to mr xi's rule can be high. i am shown papers left behind by xu yan‘s husband, a lawyer, who recently wrote an open letter calling for democratic elections.
he is now being detained for subversion. translation: he did everything within the boundaries of the law, yet it's not allowed here. now, many people are afraid of speaking up. what has been the effect on you and your 13—year—old son? my son loves his father. this situation is a huge blow for him. all public discussion of the constitutional change is being tightly controlled and censored. the two—term limit solved a problem facing all undemocratic authoritarian states. it helped china ensure orderly and regular leadership successions. what has happened here today, then, is highly significant. a choreographed, compliant, rubber—stamped parliament has
removed the last limitation on xijinping's power. as the delegates left, they may have glanced at this, chairman mao's portrait, a stark reminder of the risks of lifetime rule. john sudworth, bbc news, beijing. the south korean envoys at the heart of efforts to arrange a summit between president trump and the north korean leader, kim jong—un, are on their way to brief china and japan. (tx 00v) last week, the delegation carried an invitation to talks from mr kim to mr trump, who surprised the world by immediately agreeing to a meeting. the venue for this meeting still remains a mystery. kim jong—un, are on their way to brief china and japan. last week, the delegation carried an invitation to talks from mr kim to mr trump, who surprised the world by immediately agreeing to a meeting. the venue for this meeting still remains a mystery. hundreds of people in the english city of salisbury, who went to the same restaurant and pub visited by a poisoned former russian spy, have been advised to wash
their clothes and possessions. england's chief medical officer says anyone who spent time at the locations should take precautions, but she stressed the risk was extremely low. daniel sandford reports. more surreal and extraordinary scenes in salisbury this afternoon. wearing gas masks and protective clothing, military personnel loading potentially contaminated cars onto trucks. the vehicles, some but not all of them with police markings, were being recovered from a pay—and—display car park behind a church not far from the city centre. it was the attack on yulia and sergei skripal, with a with a rare and lethal nerve agent last sunday, that led to this huge operation, called 0peration morlop. today, police confirmed that traces of the nerve agent were found in the mill pub, as well as the zizzi restaurant, where the bbc understands the table used by the skripals was so contaminated it had to be destroyed. today, the chief medical officer gave this advice to people who were in the pub and restaurant on sunday afternoon and monday. wash clothing you haven't already, ideally in the washing machine.
any items which cannot be washed, and would normally be dry—cleaned, should be double—bagged in plastic until further information is available. wipe personal items such as phones, handbags, and other electronic items with baby wipes, and dispose of them in plastic bags in the bin. wash hard items such as jewellery and spectacles, which cannot go in the washing machine, with warm water and detergent. steve cooper was in the pub on sunday at exactly the same time as the skripals, and told me that he is now getting worried. certainly, because they haven't revealed what the nerve agent was, and actually what the effect, long—term, on anyone's health could be. so i'd like to know more about that, i'd like to know what precautions i personally can take, rather than just washing my clothes. having potentially already been exposed, what long—term effects for me and my wife, and then
using baby wipes to wash my phone and my watch... i don't really think it's going to get rid of a nerve agent. so did the police and other emergency services respond fast enough to last sunday's events? are you satisfied that you escalated this incident quickly enough at the beginning of last week? the machinery, the support, the national advice, the capability and expertise of both national and local partners, was mobilised by monday. for this ancient, mediaeval city, it has been a bizarre and at times frightening seven days. the bishop of salisbury said this afternoon that what he called the shocking attack had violated their community. but if suspicions prove right, what happened here, the use of a chemical weapon, a nerve agent, to attack two people, is likely to have huge
implications for britain's relationship with russia. melanoma is the fourth most common form of cancer in australia and kills five people a day. medical researchers there have launched a 90—second online test for people's risk for developing a fatal form of the disease. it was developed from the world's largest study of skin is reported to be highly accurate. the annual crufts dog show has been taking place in the city of birmingham. but the climax of this year's event was temporarily halted after two protesters stormed the venue. they were from an animal rights group that has condemned crufts for the way it encourages certain types of dog breeding. the bbc‘s tim allman reports. chances are, if you love dogs, you almost certainly love crufts. stretching back more than a century, canines of all breeds and sizes compete to be best in show. this year's winner was a 2—and—a—half—year—old whippet named tease. but as she approached
the podium, this happened. two protesters emerged from the audience at the national exhibition centre in birmingham. they were quickly chased down and subdued by security staff. no animals or owners were harmed. it is believed they were demonstrating on behalf of the animal rights group peta. it condemns crufts for what it calls "extreme dog breeding". the response on social media was almost instantaneous. and tom 0uting, tongue presumably
in cheek, tweeted. .. as for the winner, tease, she seemed unfazed by the whole event — best and calmest in show. tim allman, bbc news. the first openly gay member of india's loyalty is opening up his property to the lgbt community. in india, homosexuality is also a criminal offence. we visited him in his hometown. it was a royal secret that i'm gay. the first reaction when i came out to the media, or to the world, was my effigies were burned by people of rajpipla who respected me as a royal and who looked upon me or treated me
as their icon. i am the crown prince of rajpipla which was a princely state in the state of gujarat and i also happen to be the world's first openly gay prince. my decision to convert my royal establishment into an lgbtq community centre came from my own life experience when i was disowned from the royal family and the ancestral property after i came out openly as gay to the world. this is precisely what happens to any other lgbtq is on in india.
so with the aim of providing social empowerment and financial empowerment to the community, i came up with this idea. accept us the way we are, we are also human beings like any one of you are. if you give us a little bit of love, we will give you a lot of love. don't forget you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter — i'm @lvaughanjones. this is bbc news. well, southern parts of the uk were fairly unsettled for the second
part of the weekend. the best of the dry and brighter weather was further north. but even across the south—west, despite the showers and increasing rain, there were spells of sunshine which broke through. as we head into monday, this area of low pressure will be in control of the weather across england and wales. further north, it should be drier with clear spells. as we head through the course of the night into the early hours of monday, the rain will pep up to become quite heavy across much of england and wales. just nudging into southern parts of scotland. although for northern ireland and scotland, it should be a dry start to monday. quite chilly with mist and fog around but less cold because of the cloud and rain and the wind across england and wales. it looks like a messy morning commute for england and wales, outbreaks of rain, some quite heavy and turning windy across the south—west of england, towards the channel islands in the afternoon.
gusts of 40—50 mph. we will see a line of showers pushing in to western parts of northern ireland. some sunny spells for northern ireland and western scotland. a cooler feel to things across the board. temperatures ranging from 7—11. 0n into tuesday, a ridge of high pressure builds in before this area of low pressure makes inroads for wednesday and thursday to bring a succession of fronts with outbreaks of rain. for tuesday, we will start to lose the low pressure system from the south—east through the morning. and then conditions brighten up. the winds fall lighter and the sun is strong this time of year so it should feel quite decent in the sunny spells although temperatures will still be in single figures for a few. we could see 10 or 11 degrees in a few spots, maybe the odd shower. a ridge of high—pressure breaks down as we head towards wednesday. notice the squeeze isobars become tightly packed together. winds coming up from the south,
always a mild direction. we start off on a cool note across the eastern side of the country with the best of the sunshine. further west, wind will be picking up, cloud, outbreaks of rain for northern ireland around irish sea coasts. further east, it should stay largely dry and given some sunshine, and a mild feel, temperatures into the low teens celsius, even ten degrees for glasgow and belfast. for the week ahead, fairly unsettled with a lot of cloud and quite windy. a bit of rain at times and then turning a bit colder, particularly towards the weekend as colder air moves in off the near continent. this is bbc news. the headlines: votes are being counted in congressional elections in columbia. it's being seen as a test of a peace deal between the government and the former guerrillas of the farc, now a left—wing political party. conservative parties bitterly opposed to the peace agreement hope
to win an absolute majority. satellite photographs released by the human rights group amnesty international suggest the myanmar military has been building bases in villages where rohingya muslims have been forced off their land. amnesty called it a "massive land grab." myanmar‘s government has not yet responded to the report. the veteran british entertainer, sir ken dodd, has died at the age of 90. his stage debut was in 1954 and he continued to perform until last year. he was famous for his ability to reel offjokes for shows regularly lasting as long as four hours. he had been ill and married his long—term partner on friday. now on bbc news, hardtalk.