welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm lebo diseko. howlett top stories: —— our top stories: president trump's administration steps up its attack on what it calls the "fa ke media". among the targets, cnn and the bbc. malaysia confirms it was a chemical weapon that killed the half brother of north korea's leader — so just how was it brought into the country? and counting down to sunday night's oscars. but will it be the speeches, not the films, that get everybody talking? hello and thank you forjoining us.
iraqi troops have entered western mosulfor the first time in their offensive to drive out so—called islamic state from the country's second city. west mosul is the last is stronghold in iraq. they're surrounded, along with an estimated three—quarters—of—a—million civilians. but government forces met fierce resistance, as they fought their way into the city from the airport. our correspondent quentin somerville and cameraman nick millard were the first journalists to head in to the district of jawsaq. they sent us this report. the so—called islamic state breached. the very first iraqi government forces roll into west mosul, and into a firefight. is were waiting, and well defended. iraqi forces are encountering heavy resistance as they move into west mosul. it has taken them less than a week to get this far,
but this is a victory two years in the making after the humiliation of the islamic state sweep across iraq... that was an outgoing rocket there. for these men, they realise that beyond here, beyond this neighbourhood, they are likely facing the battle of their lives. the assault started in now practised fashion, armoured columns moving fast across open ground. these iraqi officers plotted the route — past some greenhouses, they said, and right into is territory. sniper, sniper — get down. the caliphate is shrinking, and with few options for their escape, is is in a fight to the death. iraq's superior firepower hasn't prevented it from suffering high
casualties at the hands of is. so while the attack was determined, it was cautious. standing at the breach, the iraqi commander in charge... translation: i don't know how long it will take to liberate this area. our humvees have now moved in, and we will open the road toward is. inside the city — signs of civilian life. but in the midst of all this, no—one dared leave their homes. there are three quarters of a million people in the streets beyond here, and a few thousand is fighters. distinguishing between the two will be very difficult. translation: when we liberated the last village we lost a few people, but we overwhelmed is. we have taken this area in mosul, and we will protect it, and we will not leave until we beat terrorism.
iraq is finally retaking mosul. it is the sixth day of the campaign, but in the words of one commander, it's only the first. the real fighting started today when they entered the city. quentin sommerville, bbc news, west mosul. several major news organisations, including the bbc, have been barred from a press briefing at the white house. president trump's spokesman said he was not going to sit back and allow false narratives, false stories and inaccurate facts to get out. mr trump has called some us news outlets enemies of the american people. this is a very worrying development. of course, it is notjust steve bannon, the president's chief strategist, but president donald trump, himself,
used the phrase "enemy of the people" at a conference in maryland, a conservative conference where he had described some parts of the media, again, as fake media, dishonest news, and enemies of the people. he lambasted the media for about 15 minutes, in fact. so perhaps it is no great surprise that this has come out today. what happens is almost every day, there is a press briefing from the press secretary, sean spicer, and a group of accredited journalists go in and get either on the record or off the record briefings from the press secretary. but today, while everybody went along, but only a few selected journalists from those organisations were allowed in. and they were fox news, abc, breitbart, which is the right—wing news website that steve bannon used to run, and the washington times, amongst others. banned were cnn, bbc, the new york times, and others. actually some others,
like the associated press and time magazine were allowed in but did not go in in protest. but this is a very extremely worrying development. what remains to be seen at this point is whether it sets a precedent and will see more of this. tell me, tulip, when we listen to donald trump and others from his administration, they do seem very personally upset by some of the media coverage. but is this kind of battle face—off with the media something they will gain from or will it be something they later regret? well i think what you see from the president, and this was the case in the campaign, since the election, and since he became president. he likes to have a go at the media. he calls them "fake news" often, and calls them "enemies
of the state". that is a strong statement. but when he is in these crowds, they love it. his supporters seem to really enjoy how he talks about the press, and they support him, and feel like people are very unfair to him in the media. so this is not a new tactic, but what concerning is that he is barring people from press conferences. and that this is how people around the world hear about the inner workings of the white house. these press conferences are really, really important. but cnn, the bbc, and the new york times, they have all released statements today saying they are concerned about what has happened, they are seeking clarity, they are trying to find out from the white house why they were barred, but they will continue reporting on what happens at the white house in an impartialway.
if this gets worse, as steve bannon has promised, how do you and other journalists continue doing yourjob covering the white house? i think we need to see what happens in the coming days and weeks. i mean, this was unprecedented, for many of the outlets who were told they could not come in. so let's see if this continues. if it does, this could be problematic. it will be interesting to see how news outlets deal with that. like i said, some like time magazine and associated press refused to go in, saying you must let the press in to hear what you're doing in the country, and to hear about your plans, it is absolutely crucial. so it really depends on what happens from here on in. donald trump, the president, did say today that something needed to be done about what he called "fa ke news media". whether that manifest itself in certain news programmes and papers being barred from future press briefings, that really does remain to be seen. and in the meantime, all organisations, such as the bbc
and others, can do is continue to report the facts and continue trying to get into these extremely important briefings. staying with the us and the government says next month it will start accepting proposals for the design and construction of a wall along the border with mexico. the agency for customs and border protection said it expects companies to outline prices, with contracts to be made by the middle of april. donald trump has said building work will start soon, and, as he put it, "way ahead of schedule". let's round—up some of the other main stories. a french magistrate is to investigate allegations that centre—right presidential candidate, francois fillon, paid family members for non—existentjobs. mr fillon has acknowledged employing both his wife and his children while in office, but denies
doing anything wrong. his lawyers claim the french left—wing is behind the claims. meanwhile another french presidential candidate, marine le pen of the national front, has refused to be questioned by police in connection with the alleged misuse of eu funds. the european parliament claims that more than 300,000 euros of funding was misspent by her party. ms le pen denies this. police in south africa have used rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon to break up crowds at an anti—immigrant march in the capital, pretoria. president zuma said the protest was "anti—crime" rather than "anti—foreigner". many unemployed south africans blame migrants for taking their jobs. the son of brazil's greatest footballer, pele, has handed himself in to complete his sentence for money laundering and drug trafficking. edinho, a former professional goalkeeper for santos football club, had been released while he appealed against a 33—yearjail sentence. he denies the charges. ever since the half brother of north korea's leader died in a malaysian airport last week, alarm bells have been ringing. and they're getting even louder now. authorities in kuala lumpur say the substance used to kill him
is one of the world's deadliest nerve agents. vx is classified by the un as a weapon of mass destruction. from malaysia, rupert wingfield—hayes sent this report. last week at kuala lumpur airport, someone chose to attack kim jong—nam in full view of at least half—a—dozen cctv cameras. it was a very deliberate and very public act of violence. today, we learned what killed him. and it's even more shocking. it is the xv — orvx — the vx nerve agent, which is a chemical weapon. kim jong—nam was walking across this busy departures hall, last week, when he was attacked at this spot. and now we know what was used to kill him — vx, one of the most deadly nerve agents ever invented. just a tiny drop, one hundredth of a gram, would have been enough to kill him. vx is also banned under international convention, and yet someone decided to use
it here, in the midst of this international airport. vx is colourless and odourless, with the feel of engine oil. symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, vomiting and muscle convulsions. south korea says the north started producing chemical weapons in the 19805 and has up to 5000 tons of stocks. north korea's young dictator kim jong—un already has nuclear weapons. some think he is now sending a chilling new message, by killing his older brother with the world's deadliest nerve agent. what they have demonstrated is that they do have a weapon of mass destruction, vx, which has the potential to kill many thousands of people. they have shown that they want to be part of the weapons of mass destruction club and that they should be taken seriously. and if we do nothing, then we're going to be in a very difficult position. this is probably far more dangerous than the nuclear weapons programme that has been much vaunted in the public over the last 12 months. the more we learn, the more
bizarre this story becomes. this is one of the alleged assassin‘s facebook pages. nothing about her suggests she could be a killer. about the only thing we know for sure is that kimjong—nam must have died in excruciating pain, his body convulsed, his lungs gasping for air. rupert wingfield—hayes, bbc news, in kuala lumpur. stay with us on bbc news. still to come... ready for rio — the world famous five—day carnival gets underway in brazil. this is bbc news. i'm lebo diseko. the latest headlines: president trump's administration steps up their attack on what they call the "fake media." iraqi troops have faced fierce resistance in the battle for control of western mosul — is‘s last major stronghold
in the country. president trump's administration steps up their attack on what they call the "fake media." among the targets, the bbc and the new york times. dozens of coptic christian families in egypt have fled northern sinai after a number of killings this week by suspected islamist militants. at least seven copts have been killed since the end of january. russell trott reports. an exodus of christian families taking flight from egypt's north sinai province after the so—called islamic state group killed the seventh member of their community in just three weeks. families gathered with their belongings at the evangelical church in the suez canal city of ismailiya, with church officials saying up to three quarters of those living in northern sinai are now fleeing. more than 200 students studying in the capital of the province have also reportedly left.
sectarian incidents are nothing new in egypt. more than 20 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack in cairo in december. is say they were behind the bombing which killed mostly women and children. their tactics include everything from burning homes and crops to forced displacement. but many residents feel this latest campaign may be different. militants have circulated death lists online and on the streets, warning christians to leave or die. islamic state released a video on sunday threatening egypt's christians and vowing to escalate their attacks. orthodox copts, who comprise around 10% of the 90 million people in egypt, the middle east's largest christian community, have long complained of persecution. more patrols and checkpoints have been brought in but sinai's christians say that although the attacks have not yet reached biblical proportions,
the security forces are unable to protect them and are being overwhelmed by the militants. in the aftermath of two by—elections, prime minster theresa may has said winning in copeland shows the conservative party is working for everyone. it's the first time a party in government has taken a seat in a by—election for 35 years. meanwhile, the labour leader, jeremy corbyn, insisted his party's loss was not a reflection of his leadership, and that he won't stand down. he remained up—beat about holding onto the seat in stoke, where labour beat ukip into second place. this is an astounding victory for the conservative party but also for the people of copeland. you know, labour have held their seat since the 1930s. a party in government hasn't won a by—election from the opposition in a seat held by the opposition for 35 years. many in the media wrote us off and said, "ukip are going to win that place, ukip are
going to take it." i'll tell you what happened yesterday, people came out, worked, knocked on doors and delivered a message, it is a message about the economy, it is a message aboutjobs, is is a message about this country. but, above all — above all — it was a message that hope triumphs over fear. people all over brazil are getting ready for parades, balls and street parties on the first of the five official days of carnival. the world—famous party in rio de janeiro kicked off on friday afternoon. julia carneiro met some of the crowds. hundreds of people are taking to the streets of rio for carnival, kicking off with hundreds of street parades like this one to happen in the coming days. we are here at the hilltops of santa teresa where this very traditional block or street parade happens every year. it is named after the order of nuns that have a convent
here in the neighbourhood of santa teresa. we always see lots of people dressed up as nuns here. this is a time of irreverence, partying, with lots of irreverence in the country. there are lots of tourists here and ijust met this group, george is from austria. hi, george. hello, how are you? is it yourfirst time in brazil? no, second time. for carnival? yeah, i live here, so it is my second time here. how do you find it, how different is this from austria? well, you know, carnival there should be really cold, right? so, you are kind of walking around having less clothes. so, here it is good, you can enjoy having a good time, having sun, and i have to say every block or every party here is very different, so you can not ever say it is the same, it is always different. ok, thank you, have fun. yeah, you too, thank you. so, yes, traditionally, carnival is a time of year to forget about the country's and your own problems,
and to celebrate, and this is what we are seeing this year in rio and brazil, despite the economic recession that the country is in, and lots of protests we have seen recently with the economic crisis that the state is facing in rio, carnival is the same as it is every year. a million visitors are expected here. over 300 street parades are to happen in the coming days. so, a time of lots of celebrations on the streets. parallel to those big parades, the official carnival that happen. this isjust the rio part of it, there are also the festivities which happen across brazil, so there is not much boredom involved here this time of year. football now, and last may, claudio ranieri was parading the english premier league trophy with his leicester city team, after they pulled off one of the great sporting surprises. today, he's been clearing his desk at the ground after being sacked. the reason?
his side are just one point and one place above the relegation zone, and his bosses said they couldn't risk the club's future. but despite being shown the door, claudio ranieri is not bitter and describes what happened as an amazing adventure. is there anything you would like to say to the fans, claudia? yes, i am very sad for them. i wish you all the best. mr ranieri also told reporters that "yesterday my dream died." his dismissal has caused some ripples among the footballing community. liverpool's managerjurgen klopp described it as a seismic shock. the manchester united bossjose mourinho said leicester should rename their stadium after ranieri. on sunday millions around the world will tune in to watch the oscars where la la land — a musical about two la dreamers — is expected to scoop many of the big prizes. but the academy awards won't just highlight escapism. they'll also showcase more earthbound movies with diverse casting — and may become an arena for political discontent. tom brook reports.
top of the oscars heap is la la land, which seems to have won the hearts and minds of academy members. this musical has earned 14 oscar nominations, matching the record set by the pictures all about eve and titanic. its stars share the view that it's revived the movie musical. it's a genre that i think we all thought was gone, the old hollywood musical. it just feels very special that it's happened and i think that the audiences connected with that. several of the other best picture nominees are less dreamy than la la land, and, when it comes to storytelling and casting, display diversity. lack of inclusion at the academy awards has been a big issue. last year the oscars was besieged by the oscars so white protest. this year there are films in the running, like moonlight, fences, hidden figures, rooted in black experiences
with largely black casts. in all, six black actors have been nominated for actors this year, as well as one with indian heritage. it's great that we have had more black nominees across all of the categories from the acting nominations to the cinematography, and director and screenplay, but obviously oscars so white is not just about black nominees, it's about all different kinds of nominees who are not white. you know, we still have a pretty far way to go before we can say that oscars so white is obsolete. the us has witnessed protest after protest since president trump moved into the white house. oscar winners and presenters may possibly use the academy awards podium, which reaches millions around the world, to vent their discontent. this could be the most politicised oscars we have had because, i think, for the first time, a mass number of actors feel that perhaps their role as citizens is more important and they will speak out. the protest extends beyond american shores. iranian film director
asghar farhadi, nominated for his picture the salesman, has decided not to come to the ceremony because of president trump's executive order on immigration. many in the film industry are expressing their displeasure with the administration. we are living in an unprecedented moment. especially with the award shows we have seen, people have things they want to say. when they get a platform, they are going to say them. what do you say to the people who don't think the oscars is the appropriate arena for expressing protest? i think art is inherently political and i think the oscars is a platform to honour the art and i think politics goes part and parcel with that art, so i don't it can be, so i don't think it can be separated. the white house suggested the president may already be engaged on oscars night but that might not stop anyone at the podium who criticises him or his policies from receiving condemnation or ridicule by way of twitter. that's what happened to meryl streep after the golden globe awards and it could happen again on sunday night.
and you can go to the website for a closer look at the nominees. before we go, we couldn't resist these pictures from southern germany, where this polar bear cub has been taking her first outing with her mum. the cub is just 14 weeks old. she and her mother giovanna have spent the last few weeks in a special mother and baby enclosure at the hellabrunn animal ilnayj: month. super cute. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter. i would love to hear from you. headlines coming up. thanks for watching bbc news. well, friday was a much quieter and calmer day than what thursday
brought, thanks to storm doris, but as we head into the weekend things turn more unsettled again. we have loads of weather systems, weather fronts, i should say, ganging up on us, bringing bouts of rain, and isobars tighten up as we head into saturday. during the night it will turn much wetter and windier across the uk. the rain eventually reaching the far south—east towards the end of the night. some of the rain across the western upslopes over higher ground will be quite heavy and persistent, and the winds quite a feature. gale force across the north and west. but it's bringing mild south—westerlies across the uk. so it does mean it'll be mild this weekend. unsettled, there will be some rain at times. most of that in the north and west. it will continue to be blustery both on saturday and sunday. that said, there will be some sunshine in the forecast. i'll show you in just a moment. through saturday morning it looks like that rain will continue to sink south and eastwards. some of it heavy across the western up slopes of the south—west of england, western wales and for north—west england
there could be quite a lot of rain piling up for cumbria and lancashire. across central and eastern areas, rain will be lighter and patchier. a windy day for all, though — mild, double figures in many areas. and behind the rain band, as it sinks south into england and wales, skies will brighten up for northern ireland and scotland, with blustery showers and the winds a feature, and it's also colder behind the rain band, temperatures here mainly in single figures, with the sunshine to compensate. that weather front sinks southwards and eastwards on saturday night. again, heavy bursts across the high ground of the west before it clears away, then something a little bit drier to end saturday night. a bit cooler as well, certainly for northern areas and rural spots it'll be chilly, but still mild in the south. there's saturday's rain pushing to the near continent. this is sunday's weather sweeping into the north and west as the day wears on, and, again, the isobars will be quite squeezed together, so another windy day with gales or severe gales in the far north. most of the rain again on sunday will be across northern ireland,
scotland, and then into north—west england and northern and western wales, with much of the east and south—east holding onto dry weather, and perhaps with brightness. it'll be mild once again through sunday. monday looks like it will be very blustery with heavy, scattered showers, turning cooler as well, temperatures pushing into single figures right across the board. and that's the theme for much of next week. it will be cooler, windy at times, with the risk of gales or severe gales, but there will be some sunshine in between the showers. the latest headlines: president trump and his administration have stepped up their attacks on what they've called fake media. the white house barred several media outlets, including the bbc, from off camera press meetings. iraqi forces have moved into western mosul as they intensify their battle to drive so—called islamic state from their last major stronghold in iraq. the militants are responding
with mortars and sniper fire. police in malaysia said a substance used to kill the half brother of north korean leader at kuala lumpur airport is one of the world's deadliest nerve agents. authorities say the test on the body of kim jong—nam revealed traces of biopsy, which is classified by the un as a weapon of mass destruction. —— classified as vx. in about ten minutes we will have newswatch. now it is time for click.