welcome to bbc news, broadcasting at home and around the globe. i'm tom donkin. our top stories: tens of thousands of north koreans commemorate their founding father, but as tensions grow, will there be an act of defiance against the west? this is the scene live in pyongyang now. a simple tactical decision or a show of strength to the world? we assess the impact of america's bomb attack on afghanistan. we're also on the front line in iraq, as security forces surround the old city of mosul, ahead of an all—out assault. and enlightening the planet — new night—time images from nasa give us the clearest view yet of human activity and settlement across the earth. hello. north korea is staging a massive
military parade in the capital pyongyang, amid warnings that it will retaliate if it is attacked by the united states. it's being reported that submarine—launched ballistic missiles are being displayed for the first time. this was the scene a couple of hours ago as president kim—jong un arrived at the event. along with the traditional parade of missile launchers and other military hardware, there's speculation that he could order another nuclear test. president trump has sent a naval strike force to the waters off the korean peninsula. this is the scene live in pyongyang. earlier, i spoke to our correspondentjohn sub worth in pyongyang, and he told us about the scale of about military display. well, it is an extraordinary sight. you can actually feel the ground shake as thousands upon thousands of goose—stepping shoulders, tanks, rockets, other weaponry, have marched and rumbled their way through the capital city. —— goose—stepping soldiers. this is a
display of unity for the young north korean leader and it is meant, of course, to send a key message on the anniversary of his grandfather's are. “— anniversary of his grandfather's are. —— earth. that his grip on power is unassailable. as donald trump threatens to thwart his nuclear ambitions, it also sends a message to the outside world, that this country's military with its nuclear tests and missile launchers is vital for its survival. and military analysts will of course be poring over these pictures for evidence of the latest state of technological advancement of these forces. john, there have been strong words from donald trump towards north korea. equally, we have seen strong rhetoric from pyongyang? that's right. north korea is making
it very, very clear that its nuclear weapons programme is absolutely integral to its view of regime survival. there is speculation that it may be preparing for another underground nuclear tests. at the moment we have absolutely no contact with the outside world other than this tv line we are speaking to you on. all of our mobile phones were taken away from us about five or six hours ago, before being allowed into kim il—sung square. i think it is probably unlikely we will see a test today, but kim jong—un and probably unlikely we will see a test today, but kimjong—un and is making it absolutely clear that he is not prepared to negotiate away his nuclear weapons while being threatened and challenged by the united states. absolutely. john, you are there with a group of foreign journalist to cover this event. i just wonder the level of access you have been able to have? have you been able to speak to average north korean sent get their thoughts on
the day's events, and of course those tensions? we have not. these are very, very tightly controlled media trips. we are able to speak to some north koreans, but only ever under the watchful eyes of our minders, and beyond the city limits there is no media access at all. this is a society, a country, that controls freedom of information like none other on the planet. the v1 thing you can say is that it has proved over the years extremely is a resilient. —— the one thing. this is the reason why. it has used its military programme to remarkable strategic fact, outliving all the other totalitarian regimes which have fallen by the wayside at the end of the cold war. it is clear that north korea has learned the lessons from iraqi and libya,
countries that either didn't possess nuclear weapons or had given daz up, and it has learned that lesson in one particular regard, which is to keep on pushing. —— given theirs up. because it sees in its military its security. indeed, as you speak, it is incredible to see those missile launchers driving straight past you. it is easy to forget the reason for today's military parade. we speculate about imminent tests of missiles nuclear warheads, but of course this is an important day for north koreans. the anniversary of the state founder, kim il—sung. give us the state founder, kim il—sung. give usa the state founder, kim il—sung. give us a sense the state founder, kim il—sung. give us a sense of how ever present he still lives in the country. —— he still lives in the country. —— he still is. well, he is still president. even in death, he is still constitutionally the president of this country. i mentioned it earlier, you really can feel this parade. it is notjust something you
witness. the ground is shaking, you can feel the ancients of the caterpillar trucks as they take their rockets and missiles away from kim il—sung square. —— engines of the caterpillar trucks. he was the man who began it all, the nuclear weapons programme began in the 1980s under his watch. since then, his son kimjong il under his watch. since then, his son kim jong il and now under his watch. since then, his son kimjong il and now his grandson kim jong—un and are carrying on that ambition. and experts believe that with missiles and weaponry like this, they are just a few small step is away from having a real, deliverable nuclear arsenal. and of course once they reached that stage it isa course once they reached that stage it is a game changer in terms of the regional security situation and the global international dip the matic calculation about what can be done about north korea's military ambitions. —— international diplomatic calculation. it changes
things for good. the young man sitting up in those fans learned those lessons from his father and his grandfather before him. john, you mentioned that many experts will be watching this parade with great interest for a ny be watching this parade with great interest for any potential clues about north korea's current capabilities. bring us up to speed about what we know about their capabilities, as it stands? well, we know that they are very close, perhaps a matter of months, possibly a few years at most, i way from being able to put a nuclear weapons ona being able to put a nuclear weapons on a warhead. —— away from. we have seen on a warhead. —— away from. we have seen the testing of weapons like this over the past few months, submarine launched listed missiles. we do not exactly know when they will be able to marry the two technologies together, but experts agree that with every single test, test and fail, test and fail, test and success, they get closer. john, if we can look at china's rolf a
moment, there is potentially a sign of growing frustration between china and north korea? chinese north korea's only ally. it has recently blocked coal imports from the country, and as of monday we understand there will be a suspension of direct flights between beijing and pyongyang. absolutely. i should make this my last answer, because we are being asked to move away from the position here. but you are right, china is key. we know very little about the strategic relationship, but there is no doubt about it that china's impatience is growing. that was john sudworth in north korea. later in the programme we will get the view from south korea, speaking to our correspondent steve evans. china has called for calm between north korea and the us — saying it fears conflict could break out at any moment. the appeal came just hours after america dropped a huge bomb on so—called islamic state militants in afghanistan. the us military insists it was a local, tactical decision,
but others believe it was intended as a show of strength. our security correspondent frank gardner reports. a powerful armada, in the words of president trump. this is the us navy's carl vinson carrier battle group, equipped with 90 strike aircraft and other weapons and diverted to the seas off north korea. mr trump is hoping it will intimidate that country's isolated regime into abandoning any further nuclear tests or long—range missile launches. china has warned of the imminent danger of a war being triggered on the korean peninsula, and north korea remains defiant, saying it's ready to respond to any attack with nuclear weapons. meanwhile, in afghanistan, the us has dropped an immense bomb — 11 tonnes of high explosive dropped on an isis tunnel complex in the mountains of eastern afghanistan. the blast was felt 30 miles away. the weapon used is called a moab, a massive ordnance airburst, also known as the mother of all bombs. this was its first time used in combat. this was the right weapon against the right target.
we will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with our afghan comrades to eliminate this threat to the afghan people, especially the people of nangarhar, to the people of the entire region and indeed, the people around the world. local villagers confirmed that isis fighters had set up bases in the mountains behind them, and said the bomb had hit its target. but the strike was condemned by both so—called islamic state and afghanistan's former president. how could the united states use afghanistan as its ground for experiments, for testing weapons of mass destruction on our soil? president trump's targets now include three major problem areas for the us — afghanistan, syria and north korea. the massive weapon that the pentagon has used in afghanistan is intended to send a message to its enemies that "you're not safe underground". in syria, the trump administration will be hoping that last week's cruise missile strike
will deter presdent assad from any further chemical attacks. but north korea is the biggest gamble. mr trump is hoping that sending this powerful naval armada offshore will deter any further nuclear tests. the question now, though, is can he manage three global crises simultaneously? it's very possible that if these three scenarios come together, syria, afghanistan and north korea, that it would overwhelm the policy—making capabilities of mr trump's administration, it will overwhelm the strategic planning capabilities of the pentagon and it would overwhelm the resource capabilities of the us military. but president trump and his entourage now feel they're on a roll, tackling head—on the foreign policy challenges the previous administration was unable to resolve. there is now the risk that ramping up the rhetoric could lead america
into more conflict, or that in the absence of any swift resolutions, mr trump may simply turn his back on foreign adventures and focus instead on domestic issues. frank gardner, bbc news. german prosecutors say that an investigation into letters found in the aftermath of tuesday's bombing in dortmund cast doubt on whether the attack was the work of radical islamists. the three identical letters claim the borussia dortmund team bus was attacked "in the name of allah". but experts say they have "significa nt doubts" about their authenticity. computer hackers in the united states have released files indicating that the country's intelligence services have been monitoring global bank transfers. the files suggest that the national security agency was able to penetrate the international bank messaging system known as swift, allowing it to trace the flow of billions of dollars to and from banks, particularly in the middle east.
the trump administration will not make public the white house visitor logs, the records that detail who has visited the president and his staff. the white house said the records would be kept secret for at least five years after president trump leaves office, citing national security risks and privacy concerns. barack obama voluntarily disclosed the details of six million visits. police in italy have arrested a mafia boss who had escaped from prison last year during a 3—day release. sicilian concetto bonacorsi had been serving a life sentence for murder, the illegal disposal of bodies and drug trafficking. he was recaptured after police followed his wife and spotted him preparing a barbecue outside a flat in tuscany. he was first arrested on his wedding day 26 years ago. stay with us on bbc news. still to come, enlightening the planet. new night—time images from nasa give us the clearest view yet of human activity and settlement across the earth. 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. this is bbc news. i'm tom donkin.
the latest headlines: tens of thousands of north korean soldiers and civilians are commemorating theirfounding and civilians are commemorating their founding father with a military parade, amid concerns of the sputtering tensions with the west. washington has sent a naval strike forced to waters off the korean peninsula. —— spiralling. the us military says it was a tactical decision to drop a huge bomb on is hideouts in afghanistan, but as pictures emerge, questions are being asked about whether it was a show of strength to the world. in iraq a military commander has told the bbc that one of the highest religious authorities in the islamic state group has been killed. he says abdullah al—badrani died in an airstrike in mosul on thursday evening. iraqi security forces have been surrounding the old city ahead of an all—out assault.
our defence correspondentjonathan beale sent this report from the front line. the prize is in their sight. the old city of mosul, and its most famous landmark, the leaning minaret of the al—nuri mosque. this is where abu bakr al—baghdadi first appeared as caliph of the so—called islamic state. they still control it, and most of what you can see. but for how much longer? translation: the mosque is now very near, and soon we will advance. we know the enemy is weak, and on its last legs. a visit to the front line, though, tells a different story. for the past few weeks, the iraqi advance has slowed to a crawl. resistance is still fierce.
well, these federal police are surrounded on two sides by is, and they are firing on their positions from here. snipers, is snipers, just about 100 metres from this position. and you can see the rounds, the is rounds, coming in here fairly regularly. tens of thousands of civilians are still trapped, caught in the crossfire. much of mosul has already been turned to rubble. even in these deserted streets, recently secured, there is nowjust the debris of war. here, discarded is military uniforms, and nearby, one of their many improvised bombs. but the enemy is not just hiding in the city. wejoined an iraqi intelligence unit, hunting down is infiltrators and collaborators who have already escaped, now seeking shelter and avoiding capture in camps, living alongside the innocents of this war, who fled the fighting. how often do you do this?
do you do this often? always, every day, every night. you are finding isis fighters in these camps? in the camp or some in his house, in mosul. everywhere. the extremists may be losing their grip on mosul, but even if they are defeated, is won't have gone away. jonathan beale, bbc news, mosul. that's bring you more on our top story, the huge military parade in north korea. let's get some reaction from our south korean correspondent, steve evans. thank you forjoining
us. steve evans. thank you forjoining us. we spoke earlier tojohn sight words. this parade has been billed asa words. this parade has been billed as a celebration of the founding father of north korea. is that how it is being seen me you are?” father of north korea. is that how it is being seen me you are? i don't things so. life goes on, you know. in terms of internet searches, north korea has been this morning number six. it is vying with a coldplay concert. life goes on out in the street. there are bits of music blaring. none of them to do with north korea. there has been a state of tension between north korea and south korea spends to make since 1953, when fighting stops. —— since 1953, when fighting stops. —— since 1953, when fighting stopped. as far as tensions go, it is high, but not as tensions go, it is high, but not as high as it was, for example, four yea rs as high as it was, for example, four years ago, when pyongyang was telling foreigners to get out of a
pincer. —— out of the peninsula. the unknown quantity here is firstly, a new president in the white house, who is unpredictable. i don't think anybody would disagree with that. and on top of that, north korea is a lwa ys and on top of that, north korea is always progressing towards that aim of having nuclear weapons capable of turning, as it puts it, washington into a sea of flame. so there is no great seachange in the situation life goes on, with a little bit of wariness. life might go on on the streets of seoul, steve, but this display of military might is being watched closely by the south korean military. we have had reports that this is displayed in this parade did include the new plastic missiles, which it has been speculative north korea will soon test. that must be a
huge concern. . -- korea will soon test. that must be a huge concern. . “ new korea will soon test. that must be a huge concern. . -- new type of ballistic missile. the defence ministry are saying that they detect an improvement of a very large missile, capable of travelling across the pacific, for example. —— menadue. non— ideological experts are certainly say there seems to be some sort of development. the other thing they are seeing is the new tracked vehicles to carry missiles. they matter because it even move missiles around anywhere, they are much harder, virtually impossible, to destroy before being launched. so the tentative opinion of experts at the tentative opinion of experts at the moment is that there are signs of improvement in the crucial ability to send a missile with a warhead a long way, and also the
kind of vehicles the military has got hold. steve, we find ourselves in the situation of a ratcheting up of tension, in part because of donald trump's strong rhetoric about dealing with north but perhaps unilaterally. how is that plain where you are? —— with the north, perhaps unilaterally. people do not know what you make of donald trump. the city, seoul, the outskirts, you can see north korea. it is within the range of north korean artillery, conventional artillery, and a have a lot of it. so there is always that concern. but as i say, that concern is not new. there is no sign, for example, of stocking up of food, all people thinking ofjourneys far away from the city. it is an awareness of the news. on top of that, we have an election coming up. this is in one month's time. all the signs are that the government will move towards the
left. and that means, if it happens, a government more anxious to talk to the game. to co—operate with the yang over industrial policy, for example. —— defence ministry. it also means a government more resista nt to also means a government more resistant to us efforts to put it anti—missile systems, for example. —— pyongyang. it is not clear if donald trump's tough talk will actually find a residence here, where people say, yes, he will stand up where people say, yes, he will stand up to them, or whether it will prompt people to say they are not sure about it, maybe they should be speaking more to pyongyang. it is impossible to know how this rhetoric will play out. very good to hear your thoughts, steve. joining us late from seoul. getting the view on the military parade which has been taking place in the last few hours
in pyongyang. nasa scientists have released new global maps of the earth at night — they say it gives us the clearest view ever of the patterns of human settlement across our planet. the maps are created by stitching together thousands of cloud—free satellite images taken over many months. sarah corker has been taking a close look. these images of the world in darkness have been dubbed the black marble. cameras on—board nasa a satellite are so sensitive, they can detect light from a single fishing boat or isolated streetlamp. these pictures were taken in 2016. the satellite data creates beautiful images, but also show how humans have shaped the planet. this image shows europe at night, and if you look more closely you can see the boot—shaped peninsula of italy, and lights coming from its towns and cities. and if we move over to africa, this is the river nile. it clearly shows how people have built their homes along its banks. this is a daytime image of the area, showing green, fertile land, and this is it lit up at night.
the images have become a useful tool for scientists and researchers. they helped to detect power cuts, after hurricane matthew struck parts of the caribbean and us in 2016. and in syria, the un has used the the data to monitor the movement of people displaced by war. while the most recent mt etna eruption was also caught on camera from space. next, nasa plans to release daily night images. they should help to reduce light pollution, monitor unregulated fishing, and track ice movements across the world's oceans. and don't forget you can stay up—to—date with all the latest developments on the news in the firstname.lastname@example.org. that is all the time i have viewed this hour. —— at
bbc.com/news. goodbye for now. hello. rain for some of us on good friday. for very few of us, though, during saturday. it is an easter weekend of up—and—down weather. it is cool throughout, but there are sunnier days. saturday will be one of those. there are wetter days. looks like for some of us the rain will come back on sunday, easter day. we'll get to easter monday, as well, in this forecast, but we'll start with saturday. rather a cloudy start across parts of southern england. it will brighten up. sunny spells from the word go, elsewhere. it is quite a blustery day across the northern half of the uk. some gales across parts of scotland, and the showers are going to be most frequent coming into northern scotland. there will be some snow on the higher hills. one or two showers elsewhere, in scotland, for northern ireland, and a few pushing into northern england on the wind as well. it will be breezy, so that means the showers will move through quite quickly. and, for the rest of england and for wales, we will see very few showers here. just one or two around, but the vast majority are going to stay dry.
not quite as windy the further south we come, but it is a cooler, fresher feel to the weather wherever you are, especially in that breeze. so on through the day, then, we will keep a feed of showers coming into scotland, most frequent in northern scotland, again wintry on the hills. one or two for northern ireland, northern england, but very few for the rest of england, and for wales, the afternoon here will be largely dry. those temperatures down compared with good friday, so 1a degrees possible in london, but nine in glasgow. for most of us, we will be around 9—12 degrees in the wind, making it feel a bit cooler. and bear that in mind, heading into the higher scottish hills and mountains, with gales, so wind chill will be a factor. there could be some snow showers as well, so some wintry conditions, you have to be prepared. now, as we go into saturday evening, it will turn quite chilly. many of the showers will start to fade away, so we're left with a mainly dry saturday evening, but we are watching a weather system coming in from the atlantic for part two of the weekend. that is easter day, for sunday. now, still some uncertainty about the detail. it looks like it is going to push
some rain into northern ireland, and then feed into scotland. the risk of some snow into the scottish uplands, perhaps the higher parts of the pennines, too, for a time, as the wet weather then pushes across northern england, wales, the midlands, east anglia, leaving much of southern england dry, and the far north of scotland. but again, some uncertainty about the position and timing of this weather system. so keep watching the forecast during saturday if you've got plans on sunday, easter day. those temperatures around nine to 15 celsius. for easter monday, we're dealing with showers, most frequent down the eastern side of the uk, where it will be quite windy. but there will be sunny spells around, too. bear in mind, once those showers clear away on monday night, it is looking frosty, and we've got some very chilly nights, for the time of year, coming up next week. the latest headlines from bbc news. i'm tom donkin. tens of thousands of north korean soldiers and civilians are taking part in celebrations to mark the anniversary of the birth
of the country's founder, kim il—sung. ahead of the traditional parade, there's been speculation that the current leader, kim jong—un, could order another nuclear test to mark his grandfather's birthday. us commanders have insisted that the huge bomb used against so—called islamic state in afghanistan was the right weapon for thejob. afghan officials say there were no civilian casualties, but 36 is fighters were killed. the group has denied any losses. several thousand people have been evacuated from four besieged towns in syria as part of a deal between the government and rebels. around 30,000 people are trapped in a humanitarian crisis described by the un as "catastrophic". much more online anytime at bbc.com/news. do check it out. the national union of teachers says it's prepared to take legal action against the government, over plans which it believes are being used to expand selective education in england.