welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: in his home city, president putin lays flowers near the scene of the st petersburg metro blast. eleven died. authorities believe it was a terrorist attack. as colombians bury their dead, a national emergency is declared. hundreds are still missing. a warm welcome at the white house — president trump meets egypt's leader and declares a "reboot" in relations. and china's baby boom, driven partly by older mothers — we have a special report. will hello. at least 11 people have died in what authorities believe was a bomb attack on the metro in st petersburg, russia's second city and president putin's hometown.
local media are reporting the suspect is from central asia. the explosion happened in a train carriage between two stations. within minutes the entire network was closed and police later found and defused a device at another station. three days of mourning have been declared. the bbc‘s steve rosenberg is in the city. 2 million people use the metro every day. the city relies on the underground. a train entered a tunnel and was rocked by an explosion. a blast shocked not only the city but this country. a woman is shouting, "are there any children?". a train carriage torn to shreds and a desperate effort to pull people from the wreckage. from the safety of a passing train, a hint of the devastation it is leaving behind. at least ten passengers were killed today and dozens more wounded. the blast occurred in the tunnel
but the wrecked train sped on and managed to reach the next station. this was the scene one stop behind. the platform filled with thick, choking smoke and the stench of explosives. translation: there was a huge bang, it was deafening. i was sitting next to a metal railing and i think it saved my life. everyone was knocked in one direction by the blast. the emergency services were on the scene fast. and from this underground hell, the wounded were helped to the surface and to safety. adding to their physical injuries was a deep sense of shock. a spokesman for russia's antiterrorism committee said the train had been blown up by an unknown explosive device. special units of the security forces, he said, were being despatched.
the st petersburg metro went into emergency lockdown. all passengers evacuated, all stations closed and searched. later it was revealed there was an explosive device discovered at another metro station in st petersburg. this one was made safe. a confirmation that today's explosion was deliberate. vladimir putin was in st petersburg today. his meeting with the president of belarus overshadowed by the tragedy across town. the police and special services would do all they could to find the cause of what happened, president putin said, and he promised support for the families of the victims. russia says this was an act of terror. so, who carried it out? russia has made enemies with its bombing campaign in syria. in recent years, the country has been targeted by islamist terrorists. in 2015, a plane carrying russian holidaymakers
was blown up over sinai, killing 217 passengers and crew. so—called islamic state said it planted the bomb. the russian president vladimir putin visited the metro station where the bombed train had ended its journey and paid his respects. for the victims of this attack, st petersburg has declared three days of mourning. the metro is the lifeblood of this city. an act of terror on a train has left people here fearing more violence. vladimir putin has been meeting security officials as the investigation gets under way. tonight, or are reports in the russian media that these attack may have been carried out by suicide bombers. the reports are
unconfirmed. security has been tightened in saint rita ‘s —— saint petersburg and across russia today. there have been several attacks on russia's transport systems in the last few years. a suicide bomb attack which killed 27 people on high—speed train let's round—up some of the other main stories: iraqi forces say they've opened safe corridors in western mosul for civilians to flee the battle to drive is out of the city. some 400,000 civilians are estimated to remain in the western half of mosul. there's been growing concern over heavy civilian casualties during the government offensive backed by airstrikes from the us—led coalition. president trump's son—in—law, jared kushner,
has met the iraqi prime minister in thdad. the us delegation receieved first—hand assessment of the battle against islamic state — their talks also focused on aiding civilians displaced by the fighting. after the mudslide in colombia which killed more than 250 people, there is now concern that disease could spread in the area. authorities are trying to bury bodies as quickly as possible, and the president says emergency water treatment plants will be set up. laura bicker has more from the city of mocoa. just near here, as we were coming into the town, there's a huge queue outside the cemetery, with people with masks on, because that's where they have the tough task of trying to identify their loved ones. the search and rescue teams have been working tirelessly
to try to find anyone who may be left in the mud, but for days many of them have been tearing at the mud with their hands. it's now a co—ordinated effort but, with each hour that goes by, i'm sorry to say, the chances of finding anyone alive diminishes. this is one of the worst natural disasters colombia has seen, and it's an area very well used to disasters. the mountain you can hopefully see behind me, there are five rivers coming together and they have an unprecedented amount of rainfall. president santos is visiting here. his third day in a row. he is trying to talk to people here who are coming to terms with death, who now need to prepare themselves for the prospect of disease. they are handing out sanitation kits to try to prevent the spread of disease. as you drive into the town the smell is horribly overpowering. so, as you can imagine, this is a town trying to come
to terms with death, and now has a more difficult prospect as they try to bury their loved ones and come to terms with their loss. while laura was doing the report she said a small boy was tugging at her trousers pleading for help. laura's posting more on the aftermath of the mudslide on social media. you can follow her on twitter @bbclbicker president donald trump has declared his strong support for egypt's leader abdel fattah al—sisi. he is the first egyptian president to visit the white house in nearly a decade — it was a difficult diplomatic relationship with ba rack 0bama. as they met in washington, mr trump said his administration would work with cairo to fight islamist militants. sarah corker reports. after yea rs of after years of being kept at arm's length at washington, this meeting
at the white house symbolises the egyptian leader coming in from the cold. president trump move to reset relations with egypt after strained ties with the 0bama administration. we agree on so ties with the 0bama administration. we agree on so many ties with the 0bama administration. we agree on so many things i want to any of everybody know that we are very much by hide president abdel fa tta h very much by hide president abdel fattah el—sisi. he has done a fantastic job fattah el—sisi. he has done a fantasticjob in a difficult situation. the two presidents vowed to fight together isis. translation: since we met last set them by, i have had the deep appreciation and admiration of your unique personality especially as you stand strongly against counter terrorism. to counter the evil ideology claiming innocent lives. outside the white house competing demonstrations. supporters of abdel fa tta h demonstrations. supporters of abdel fattah el—sisi and those protesting
against his violent crackdown on dissent. tens of thousands of people have been arrested in a purge of political opponents since 200013. according to some. we want democracy! in cairo, the concern or normal egyptians is soaring food prices — some have gone up by 40% as egypt has forced inflation. translation: one day we eat and one day we don't. everybody is sick of it. i wish they would feed us. meanwhile, in the abdel fattah el—sisi us, is believed to one an increase in the $1.3 billion a year is his country gets as it fights
islamic state. egypt is one of the us's closest allies in the middle east. president trump has signed a law repealing broadband privacy rules introduced by barack 0bama. the law was narrowly passed by congress last week despite strong opposition from democrats. it overturns federal regulations requiring internet service providers to obtain customers' permission to use and share personal information about their web browsing history. in washington a congressional committee has approved the appointment of president trump's nominee for the supreme court. the nomination of neil gorsuch will now go to a full senate vote on friday. democrats have threatened to use a delaying tactic, known as a filibuster, to block the confirmation. republicans say they could try to change the rules of friday's senate vote so that only a simple majority is needed. earlier i spoke to corey brett—schneider, who's a professor of political science at brown university. he told me this is a rule change could have far—reaching effects. that is one incentive for the
republicans and congress not to do this. at some point as they may find themselves in the minority and this would impeding their ability to stop nominees they do not agree with. what goes around comes around so they might think twice. john mccain says he will vote for the rule change to confirm neil gorsuch but he believes it is a slippery slope to the ledge —— legislative filibuster. not only in deliberation and interaction but also as much as possible consensus. this is essentially giving up on that possibility. any consensus about judicial nominees, they will find the same when it comes to legislation. if in the future are minority party has little or no say,
could that lead to much more radical nominees? i think that is one possibility that all of a sudden there is a need for compromise and parties mightjust there is a need for compromise and parties might just find there is a need for compromise and parties mightjust find they can go with whoever they desire, whether they satisfy an extreme wind is certainly a possibility —— wingett stay with us on bbc news, still to come: the man who can spin a poem on his bike. the republic of ireland has become
the first country in the world to ban smoking in the work place. a heavy fine will face those that smoke in public places. the president had been addressed in a trade union conference. the small crowd outside included his is said. it has become a symbol of paris. many had wished it had never been built but it's birthday has been marked. of people are still missing. a senior saudi general has defended his country's actions in the brutal conflict in yemen. major—general ahmed al—asiri told the bbc that lessons had been learned where civilian casualties had been inflicted. the fighting in yemen has claimed more than 10,000 lives and displaced more than 3 million people. in march 2015, a saudi—led coalition supported by the us and the uk intervened against houthi rebels who were backed by iran. the prolonged fighting has led
to a humanitarian crisis. the saudi general was speaking to our correspondent nawal al maghafi, who's travelled widely in yemen during the war. she sent this report. these are the faces of yemen's starving children. an aerial and naval blockade imposed by the saudi coalition and houthi rebels rebels slowing down the distribution of aid has meant the hungry here have seen no relief. the city of hodeidah is home to yemen's busiest port. with all five cranes destroyed, food is trickling in. new cranes for the port have been blocked. leading the government campaign in yemen is this general brigadier. we want to know why cranes that could be providing life—saving aid and fuel for the yemeni people have been sent back. we do not want to continue
to enhance the capabilities of the houthis to generate money by smuggling women. even at the expense of starving the yemeni people? no, no, there is no starvation in the area controlled by the government. you should have, and the other international committee interest to see this war end. if we continue to sustain the militias with fuel and money and the women, they will not stop, they will not come to the table for negotiation. the saudi—led coalition has been accused by human rights groups of using cluster bombs in civilian areas. this violates international law. in 2010, the uk signed a treaty to stop the use of its cluster munitions. until recently, the saudi government had repeatedly denied using cluster bombs at all. i want to know why it took so long to tell the truth about the use of cluster munition in yemen?
let me tell you something. is it a chemical weapon? no, it isn't. it has military capabilities used by all the air forces in the world, manufactured by different countries. it doesn't mean that because the uk decide to stop using or producing that all the countries in the world wil stop it. it is banned to use cluster munitions in civilian areas. no, no... it is banned by international law. you are giving the wrong information. you are allowed to use cluster bombs on farmland? no. are you allowed to use cluster munitions in popular areas in the city? there is no military effect using it in the capital. you did use it. it was documented by amnesty international. no, this is not true. since the war in yemen began, the uk has sold over £3 billion worth of arms to saudi arabia.
pressure on the british government is building and human rights groups are calling for the transfer of weapons to be suspended. when people say arming the saudis, no. we signed a contract, country to country. we pay money. it goes in the uk economy and we enhance our military capability. the perception that people have that the uk gives us free weapons, no. if the uk decides tomorrow to stop selling weapons to the kingdom, we will find another supplier. two years into this war, neither side has made concessions. for the people of yemen, the suffering continues. it's been just over a year since china abandoned its controversial one—child policy because of concerns about its increasingly elderly population and the decline in numbers of those of working age. it appears to be having the desired effect, with nearly 18 million births last year. that's an increase of nearly 8% on 2015 — the last year before the policy changed.
and nearly half of those births were to mothers who already have at least one child. as our china editor carrie gracie reports, there has been a notable rush of older mothers who had stored their embryos after fertility treatment and are now keen to have bigger families. heartbeat of an imminent arrival, a last ultrasound scan for a 48—year—old mother—to—be. she had herfirst child through fertility treatment — 16 years ago. the hospital kept her frozen embryos, and now that china's one child policy has become a two child policy, she's about to have her second miracle baby. more good news — it's a boy. she tells me she's thrilled. she's got a daughter already and would be happy with another, but the in—laws want a grandson.
a two child family is still a great novelty here, so a big fuss at the clinic for a special visitor. especially as this miracle was conceived here in a petri—dish, and frozen as an embryo for years, until china's policy changed and she could become somebody‘s little sister. translation: as soon as i heard about the policy change, i was terribly excited. i ran to the hospital immediately. my second child had been frozen there for too long. i couldn't wait to take her home. not everyone is so lucky. this lady is desperate to have a second child, but there are questions over whether her embryos are viable. translation: i only have three embryos left and the doctor says one is good, one is average and one is poor, but i'm staying optimistic. i hope heaven will give me this gift. blessings born from frozen embryos.
many of them second children, after last year's policy change. 0lder mothers with fertility problems are now suddenly at an advantage, because they have frozen embryos to fall back on, where other older women don't. back home and getting ready for the new arrival. baby clothes from the first time round, 16 years ago. hospital bag ready for the birth, and she's already decided if the two child policy becomes a three child policy, she'll go for a third. carrie gracie, bbc news, guangzhou. mathias svalina rides his bike for long distances and writes surrealist poetry. he's combined the two into a sort ofjob.
he's travelling the us, writing dreams for customers, and delivering them direct to their door. the bbc caught up with him in richmond, virginia. this is the one thing i'm good at. i have a very limited skillset, which involves writing repetitive, brief, surrealist narratives and biking for long distances. one of the nice things about writing dreams is that the tropes that would seem awful in writing realist narrative are fine. so, "then, suddenly, a penguin walks into the room." you know, in a jack reacher novel that's not going to work, but in a dream text, perfectly acceptable. penguins are allowed to walk
into your room at any point ina dream. so, this past month i had 47 subscribers, and my intention every morning was to write 47 unique dreams every day. sometimes i don't get there and i double up and some people dream the same dream. every once in a while i'll run into a subscriber who has woken up at 5am for some reason and we'll run into each other on the porch, and they don't want to see me and i don't want to see them and i think i forget oftentimes that there are people who are going to be reading them, and it becomes this completely insular world where i'm making up as much weird stuff as i can every day and scattering it out
like a johnny appleseed oddity. i wanted to find a way to make the writing the primary focus of what i'm doing with my life. i didn't want to be part of a university. and it's sort of the way that a lot of artists in america get taught, this is how you get through your life, you do your art, that's nice, then yourjob that you spend 80 hours a week on is administration for an academic department. alternately i like the idea of having this process where i have to sit and write for maybe ten hours a day but then i required to be out and biking around for three or four hours a day too. so having, this, like, incredibly intense experience of sitting at my computer and something that's more liberating and something that's more physical. and before we go, a look at some
spectacular pictures from south korea. the country's tallest building, the 123 story lotte tower, has officially opened in seoul. this was the opening night. an enormous fireworks display from the sky scrap itself, —— skyscraper if self, accompanied by music and a laser show. much more on the bbc website. thank you for watching. morning. we've got some rain working its way in from the west but, before we take a look at that, let's look back at some of the highlights of monday. a beautiful weather watchers picture sent in from cambridgeshire. a lovely afternoon, and we saw highs here of 18 degrees. but the storm clouds gathered in argyll and bute. a very atmospheric shot here. and that's because the rain arrived from the west. now, it's fairly fragmented and it's moving somewhat erratically eastwards over the next few hours, perhaps sitting towards dawn in the south—east corner.
behind it, some clearer skies, a fresher start to the day across scotland and northern ireland. more cloud, though, into the south—west. and for wales, the odd spot or two of rain still at 8am. the bulk of the rain probably sitting across the south coast up into 0xfordshire, east anglia and the south—east corner. but even then it will be fairly light and well fragmented. further north, we keep a lot of cloud, some early—morning mist and murk perhaps. some decent spells of sunshine, though, for northern ireland and scotland. a bit more of a breeze to the north and west, and that could continue to drift in on one or two showers through the northern and western isles. and the wind willjust take the edge off things, i suspect, particularly on exposed coasts. but the sunshine will continue to break through across north—west england, wales and the south—west by the end of the day. perhaps just the midlands
and eastern england which will stay pretty cloudy. and, again, still with the odd spot or two of rain. and temperatures a little subdued into the south—east. highs of around 15 degrees. elsewhere, eight to 13 or 1a as a daytime maximum. now, if you are heading to the premier league matches in the evening, i don't think you'll be disappointed with this story. 8pm kickoff, so obviously it's dark but not too cold at 8—10 degrees. a similar story, it could be windy in scotland, so that will make it a little bit chillier, but it will be dry, and that's the most important thing. high pressure stays with us through the middle of the week. weather fronts toppling over the top of that high, and it will continue to stay quite windy in scotland. in fact, on wednesday we could see gales, maybe severe gales to the extreme north, and a scattering of showers, some of them quite heavy as well into the far north—west. elsewhere, we start off with some decent spells of sunshine, a little bit of fair—weather cloud bubbling up through the afternoon, and temperatures
pegged back a little. but nevertheless, eight to 1a degrees the high. all in all, that's not too bad. and it's a similar story, really, for the end of the working week. thursday into friday, always starting off relatively sunny, a little bit of cloud into the afternoon. the latest headlines from bbc news. i'm mike embley. president putin has declared 3 days of mourning and laid flowers near the scene of the st petersburg metro blast, which killed 11 people and injured more than a0. investigators believe it was a terrorist act. a second device was found and defused at a second station. in the colombian city of mocoa, funerals have been held for victims of the mudslide which killed at least 250 people. residents are still without water and electricity. officials are handing out sanitation kits and warning of the risk of disease. president trump has extended a warm welcome at the white house to egypt's leader, and declared a "reboot" in relations. abdel fattah al—sisi is the first egyptian president to visit the white house in nearly a decade.