a very warm welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: a public show of unity, but russia and america fail to resolve their differences over the syrian chemical attack and president assad's future. after a 2k hour delay, borussia dortmund play their big european match. german police say a man with islamist links has been detained over the attack on the team bus. as the economic crisis deepens, the venezuelans who claim they've been forced into a life of crime to feed themselves. we have a special report from caracas. theyjust put obstacles and more obstacles, and more obstacles — that's whey we have to do all this for — and many people that are here are poor too — and i wasn't poor but now i'm poor. it could be the biggest in 50 years. new zealand braces for another tropical storm just a week after cyclone debbie. an expensive mistake. melania trump wins millions in damages and an apology for a newspaper's false claims that she worked as an escort. president trump and his secretary
of state are both saying relations with russia are at an all—time low. rex tillerson‘s talks in moscow with president putin and his foreign minister were never going to be easy, but it now seems clear the kremlin has not budged in its support for syria's president assad, despite last week's chemical attack. the us and russia are poles apart on pretty much everything, from syria to the many questions about russian interference in the us election. from washington, laura bicker. president trump is paying a political price for launching these missiles against the syrian government. relations with russia are at an all—time low. vladimir putin said this us attack
was an act of aggression. but donald trump said it was in response to a suspected war crime. the us believes the syrian president was responsible for using chemical weapons against civilians. at a press conference alongside the nato secretary general, mr trump condemned bashar al—assad. that's a butcher. so i felt we had to do something about it. i have absolutely no doubt we did the right thing, and it was very, very successfully done, as you well know. earlier, russia vetoed a un security council resolution that would have compelled the syrian president to co—operate with an investigation into the attack, a response president trump described as disappointing. it would be wonderful, as we were discussing just a little while ago, if nato and our country could get along with russia. right now we are not getting
along with russia at all. we may be at an all—time low in terms of the relationship with russia. this is built for a long period of time. but we are going to see what happens. in moscow, the us secretary of state and his counterpart shook hands, but the welcome was not warm. there is no agreement on who was behind last week's chemical attack. the facts that we have are conclusive, that the recent chemical weapons attack carried out in syria was planned, and it was directed and executed by syrian regime forces. translation: we saw no evidence of this, and from tv pictures and what eyewitnesses saw at the base when the planes took off, there was no sign of chemical
weapons present there. the us has said relations with russia must improve, but how? the two countries are on opposing sides in a civil war. a lot may depend on how far russia will go to defend the syrian president and how far the us wants to push to get rid of him. our north america editorjon sopel has this assessment of where this leaves an already strained relationship. what we don't know, of course, is what the wider strategy is towards syria. we have heard rex tillerson, in his news conference, talking about the assad regime being at its end, and they have brought it all themselves. but does that mean that the us policy is now actively working towards regime change? and if that is the case, how are they going to pursue that? where does it leave relations with russia? we have heard president trump talking about, he still hopes it will be possible there will be a reset in the relations with vladimir putin, but with each day that passes sounding less and less confident that will be possible to happen. i think what's going to happen next is that we will see rex tillerson
coming back to the united states and there being a full debrief on the talks that he had with the russian foreign minister and the talks that he had with vladimir putin. and seeing if there is any way, which is what the americans would love to do, of prising russia away from backing assad and the syrian regime. and you can get more on the latest developments on us—russia relations on our website. that's at: oryou can download the bbc news app. police in germany investigating the three explosions that hit the bus carrying the borussia dortmund football team on tuesday have detained a suspected islamist extremist. they are treating it as a terror attack. the match against monaco did go ahead on wednesday night and there were shows of defiance from both sets of fans. jenny hill reports from dortmund. after an attack on home ground, this is how the world of football responded — dortmund's fans and their monaco rivals in unison.
security fears put aside, for a match which mattered. we want to show that we don't care for the terrorism. we want to see football. we want to see a good match. and that's important, i think. this was, police believe, a targeted attack on the dortmund team. three explosive devices, packed with metal pins, planted along their route to the stadium, explosives with a range of 100 metres. investigators have yet to establish a motive, but they're examining letters found at the scene. translation: three letters were found at the site. they suggest a possible islamist background. among others things, they demand the withdrawal of german tornados from syria, and the closure
of ramstein air base in germany. these letter are being investigated by islamic experts. the dortmund team arrived earlier tonight, without one of their defenders. marc bartra posted this picture earlier, following surgery on his wrist. a policeman was also injured in the attack, though not seriously. translation: we were all appalled yesterday when we heard about the attack on the bus of the bvb players in dortmund. we sincerely wish the injured, the player marc bartra, and also the policeman, full recovery, and we all agree that we are dealing here with a disgusting deed. dortmund's defeat tonight may have disappointed some. that the match was played at all was, for most here, the real victory. the speaker of south africa's parliament has postponed a vote
of no confidence in president jacob zuma. first, the constitutional court will rule on whether it can be a secret ballot. thousands joined demonstrations around the country calling on mr zuma to stand down on what was his 75th birthday. in a surprising development, iran's former president, mahmoud ahmadinejad, has put himself forward as a candidate in next month's presidential election. he says it's just to support his former deputy, but it looks like a challenge to the authority of the supreme leader, ayatollah ali khamenei. he's told mr ahmadinejad not to run. lawyers for the passenger forcibly removed from a united airlines flight have filed an emergency request in an american court for the airline to preserve evidence. the video of david dao being dragged by security guards has been watched hundreds of millions of times. the head of united airlines, oscar munoz, is insisting he won't resign. venezuela's president has been pelted with eggs as protests grow
over a deepening economic crisis. opposition activists say nicolas maduro is becoming increasingly authoritarian. they're seeking early elections. it's an oil—rich country but it's been hit by the slump in the price of oil and there are severe shortages of food and medicine. stephen sackur sent this special report from the capital, caracas. caracas, capital of the country with the biggest oil reserves in the world, and yet a city where people queue all day hoping for bread, nappies or baby milk. we had to film these scenes undercover. journalists aren't welcome, as venezuela sinks deeper into economic chaos. filming inside supermarkets is a crime. here's why — many of them are empty. the government is drowning in debt, imports have dried up, inflation is over 1000%.
the people suffering the most are the poor, in the city's sprawling slums. i'm in one of thejeeps which specialises in transporting people up and down the mountain, and the principle here in the slum is pretty straight—forward — the higher up the hill you live, well, the poorer you are. this barrio used to be a stronghold of the late hugo chavez's socialist revolution. not any more. people here are desperate, struggling to find food and to stay safe. caracas has become the world's most dangerous capital city. i met a heavily armed kidnap gang, nervous young men, barely out of childhood. as venezuela's crisis deepens, political tension rises.
this, a voter registration drive by the opposition, justice first party. why don't they let us have elections? theyjust put more obstacles and more obstacles and more obstacles. that's why we have to do all this for. and many people who are here are poor, too. and i wasn't poor, but now i'm poor. there've been weeks of clashes between protesters and police since the socialist government tried to abolish the powers of the opposition—controlled national assembly. opposition leaders called it a coup against democracy, and they want president nicolas maduro out. the last time the street violence was this bad was three years ago. the leader of the anti—maduro protest back then was leopoldo lopez, who was imprisoned for 14 years. i met lopez's mother, a tireless campaigner
for his release and for political change. something's going to happen, and it's not going to be only for leopoldo's cause, it's for venezuelans. she took me to the military prison where her son is held. she yelled to him, he yelled back. look at them, look at the guards. ajeep has just come out of the prison. maybe they'll take your camera. as we filmed, guards emerged from the prison. we managed to conceal the camera in our car, but our cover was blown. the next day we were deported. the venezuelan government doesn't want the world to see the mess it's in. stephen sackur, bbc news, caracas. the european union is threatening legal action against the hungarian government's crackdown on higher education and asylum—seekers. thousands of hungarians have been protesting on the streets of the capital, budapest,
against laws which could close a prestigious university. sarah corker reports. for the fourth time in ten days, thousands of hungarians took part in anti—government protests in budapest. there were minor scuffles with police as demonstrators gathered in hero square. they're angry about what they see as a crackdown on free thought and education. translation: every day, something happens that somehow damages democracy. this sometimes accelerates, sometimes slows down. recently it has accelerated again. i don't know how far things can go. in the centre of this political storm is the central european university. a new law signed earlier this week could force the prestigious institution to close. its founder is hungarian—born billionaire george soros, a sworn enemy of the right—wing government. but the education minister defended
the new law and said it was trying to protect students against unverified institutions issuing fake diplomas. the hungarian government doesn't want to close any university, neither hungarian university nor any of the universities belonging to mr soros. protesters say pm viktor orban has declared a war on liberalism and has increased his influence over the media and judiciary. there's been growing international criticism of his policies, including plans to forcibly house asylum seekers in shipping containers surrounded by barbed wire. the eu has threatened to take legal action. recent developments have led to publicly voiced concerns from a wide range of stakeholders inside and outside the eu. questions have asked about the compatibility with eu law.
the gulf appears to be widening and, despite the warnings under protest, the government shows no sign of backing down. stay with us on bbc world news. still to come: we meet the chinese centenarian who's been communist, a dissident, and secretary to chairman mao. pol pot, one of the century's greatest mass murderers is reported to have died of natural causes. he and the khmer rouge movement he led were responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million cambodians. there have been violent protests in indonesia where playboy has gone on sale for the first time. traditionalist muslim leaders have expressed disgust. the magazine's offices have been attacked and its editorial staff have gone into hiding. it was clear that paula's only contest was with the clock and as for a sporting legacy,
paula radcliffe's competitors will be chasing her new world best time for years to come. quite quietly, but quicker and quicker, she seemed just to slide away under the surface and disappear. glad to have you with us on bbc world news. the latest headlines this hour: after hours of talks in moscow, russia and america fail to resolve their differences over the syrian chemical attack and president assad's future. borussia dortmund have played their big european game after a 24—hour delay. german police say a man with islamist links has been detained over the attack on the team bus. new zealanders are bracing themselves for more severe weather just days after cyclone debbie.
this time it's what's left of cyclone cook, now downgraded to a tropical storm but still packing what may be more destructive power than any storm in 50 years. a state of emergency has been declared in some areas. hundreds of schools are shut and flights cancelled. brigitte purcell is a correspondent for the new zealand herald. a short time ago, i spoke to herfrom the paper's auckland newsroom. well, to be honest, this is going to be the mother of all storms for new zealand. the country has been told to hunker down, and that cyclone cook is as strong as the storm 50 years ago, which killed nearly 50 people. so the country is really preparing for the worst. the cyclone hasn't made landfall yet, but we are seeing updates of carnage and chaos coming to the newsroom by the minute. we are expecting the cyclone to reach landfall about 6:00pm new zealand time. the areas which are going to be affected tonight are coromandel and the bay of plenty, and plenty, and people in those low—lying areas on the coast are being told to evacuate immediately,
because we are going to be seeing waves of up to five metres along the coastline. so that is likely to mean tidalflooding, i guess, a lot of erosion. many people will know those areas, hugely popular travel destinations. could be very tricky at that. absolutely. and not only that, at easter weekend, this is a hot area for people to be going on holiday. so people are being urged to cancel their plans, don't go to the coromandel. there are going to be waves along the coast, severe winds. really, we don't even know the extent of the damage just yet, but they are saying this is going to be the most powerful storm to hit new zealand in the last 50 years. they were talking about closing the auckland harbour bridge. would that be the first time ever? i don't think it will be, but we are expecting winds of up to 130 km/h in the auckland region, so as a precaution, they are thinking about closing the auckland harbour bridge. this does mean it is
going to be chaos. it is really a gateway in and out of the city. so we just need to play it by ear at the moment. but flights have been suspended right across the country. public transport has been absolutely crammed, packed to the limit. people are rushing to get home. it is really an emergency here, but there are concerns that some people are not taking it as seriously as they should be. in some areas people are saying, come on, bring it on. but authorities are warning people that they really need to prepare for the worst, especially the coromandel area. in fact, some of the defence units there are saying have as much spare water as you can, to last an entire week. so we are going to see some real damage in the area. just by living so long, li rui has seen some extraordinary changes. born 100 years ago in the chaos of the fall of china's empire, he joined the communist party and became a secretary to chairman mao.
then the fervent communist became a dissident and spoke out in favour of democratic reform. as our china editor carrie gracie found out in one of those trickier interviews, li rui remains a very independent voice. uh—oh, i'm in trouble. a failing cameraman, too. born in 1917 and growing up mid—civil war and famine, li rui dreamed of becoming a communist. the 18—year—old didn't listen, but didn't get killed either. soon, the communists were ruling
china, and he was secretary to chairman mao, who he later described as terrifying and inhumane. but it's dangerous to talk like that now. i think i do understand. when li rui dared spoke out about mao's mistakes, he was expelled from the party and spent eight years in solitary confinement. after mao's death,
about a story that made allegations about her modelling career. the high court in london was told it included "false and defamatory claims. " 0ur media editor amol rajan reports. the daily mail is arguably britain's most powerful newspaper, and its website, which often includes headlines too salacious even for the paper, is the most widely read english language newspaper website in the world. but the mail's owner, associated, may have met its match in the form of us first lady melania trump. the former slovenian beauty queen sued the mail titles for libel in september. the cause of her ire, allegations printed in both the paper and online that she worked notjust as model prior to meeting donald trump, but as an escort. here at the royal courts ofjustice, a statement was read out this morning which said that the claims about mrs trump's professional work were both false and defamatory. as a result, both the mail and the mail 0nline have agreed to publish both a retraction and an apology. they accepted an article which questioned the nature of her work as a professional model had no evidence to support its allegations.
the mail group will now pay damages and costs close to $3 million. but, of course, we have to remember she was claiming about, well, something close to $300 million. so a settlement of around 1% of that, at $3 million, including costs and damages, is not an enormous victory, but it still has a chilling effect on free speech. newspapers make expensive errors all the time, but rarely do they lead to such high—profile settlements. today will go down in fleet street history as the day the mighty mail was trumped. more on that and all the news anytime on the bbc news website. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter. thank you for watching. hello, good morning. it looks like it will be on the cool side for the easter weekend.
more on that in a moment. we've introduced cooler air at the moment behind this very weak weather front that moved down across the country. this north—westerly airflow. particularly chilly first thing in eastern scotland and eastern england, with the cloud more broken in the countryside, temperatures briefly not far from freezing. at least we have early sunshine through lincolnshire, east anglia and the south—east. the tendency through the day is to increase the cloud from the west. that's already happening in south—west england, across wales and in the north—west cloud is thick enough for some light rain or drizzle, chiefly over the hills. again, fine to the east of the pennines. as it will be in eastern scotland, with sunshine. western scotland a bit dull and damp. sunshine for northern ireland too. through the day it clouds over across the eastern side of england and scotland. at the same time in the afternoon we open up a gap in the cloud across south wales, south—west england and that should push into the south—east. here we have the best of the sunshine in the afternoon
and the highest temperatures, but still only 13—111. further north, a lot of places dry. around the western hills primarily we get the damp weather. over the easter weekend temperatures disappointing for the time of year. a rather cool feel. warm when the sun is out, but on the whole there will be a lot of cloud. probably not much rain around. just a bit a nuisance now and again. these weather systems coming into the uk for good friday are going to be very much on the weak side. but across england and wales we will see a lot of cloud. there will be some pockets of light rain or drizzle here and there. no great amounts. but a bit of a damp picture, especially for south wales and south—west england. to the north of northern england, scotland and northern ireland, something a bit brighter, some sunshine, but also showers. a strong wind will make it feel chilly in scotland. maybe sneaking a 16 in the south—east if we are very lucky. those weather systems pull away and we are back into the cooler north—westerly airflow. so we fluctuate almost from one day to the next over the easter weekend. and saturday, easter saturday, much drier and brighter. most places will have a fine day.
a little sunshine at times, not doing an awful lot for temperatures. there could be a few showers in those stronger winds across the north of scotland. then we are back into the fluctuation again for easter day. more weather fronts arriving across the uk. mainly across the north. higher pressure in the south. those weather fronts again are fairly weak. most of the rain over the hills, across scotland, northern ireland and northern england. to the south, it should be dry and brighter. 15 perhaps in london, nine in glasgow. this is bbc world news. the headlines: president trump has said relations with russia may be at an all—time low. his secretary of state has failed to persuade russia to stop backing president assad of syria. rex tillerson spent nearly two hours talking in moscow about last week's syrian chemical attack with president putin and his foreign minister. borussia dortmund have played their delayed champions league game against monaco. it was postponed for 2h hours after the german team's bus was hit
by debris from three explosive devices. police have detained a man with islamist links. a state of emergency has been declared in some parts of new zealand, as the country braces for tropical storm cookjust days after cyclone debbie. it could be the worst storm in 50 years. hundreds of schools are shut and numerous flights cancelled. now on bbc news, it's time for hardtalk.