this is bbc news. the headlines at apm: north korea stages a huge military parade to mark the birth of the country's founder, amid warnings over rising tensions with the us. you can actually feel the ground shake as thousands upon thousands of goose—stepping soldiers, tanks, rockets, other weaponry have marched and rumbled their way through the capital. at least 16 people have been killed in syria after an explosion hit a convoy of coaches carrying evacuees on the outskirts of aleppo. —— at least 39 people have been killed in syria. everton football club bans sun journalists from its stadium and training ground following a column by kelvin mackenzie regarding midfielder ross barkley. also in the next hour — giving driving tests an mot. from december, learners will have to show they can safely follow a satnav before they can pass.
and coming up in half an hour — the remarkable story of the woman thought to be the oldest living in africa, as she celebrates her 117th birthday. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. north korea has warned the united states that it's ready to react to any provocative action. it comes as the country staged a huge military parade, displaying what appeared to be new, submarine—based ballistic missiles. us president donald trump has sent a naval strike force to the region because of concerns that north korea is preparing to carry out another nuclear test. our correspondentjohn sudworth is with a group of foreign journalists invited to the capital
pyongyang. his movements are being monitored and tightly controlled. it's an extraordinary sight. you can actually feel the ground shake as thousands upon thousands of goose—stepping soldiers, tanks, rockets and other weaponry have marched and rumbled their way through the capital city. this is a display of unity for the young north korean leader and it's meant, of course, to send a key message on the anniversary of his grandfather's birth that his grip on power is unassailable, but 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 pouring over these
pictures for evidence of the latest state of technological advancement of these forces. there is that speculation that it maybe preparing for another underground nuclear test. i think it's probably unlikely that we'll see a test today, but kimjong—un is making it absolutely clear that he is not prepared to negotiate away his nuclear weapons whilst being threatened and challenged by the united states. and experts believe that with missiles, with weaponry like this, they are just a few small steps away from having a real deliverable nuclear arsenal and, of course, once they reach that stage, it's a game changer in terms of the regional security situation and the global international diplomatic calculation about what can be done about north korea's military ambitions.
it changes things for good and the young man sitting up there in those stands has learned those lessons from his grandfather and from his father before him. a little earlier, i spoke to our washington correspondent, laura bicker, who gave us her take on the us view of today's events in pyongyang. ican imagine i can imagine that the areas experts in the pentagon are watching that parade and wondering exactly what kind of missiles north korea have. there were 56 different kinds of missiles on display, of ten different types. the one that they will be worried about are those interconnect and —— intercontinental ballistic missile isles. they have a lwa ys ballistic missile isles. they have always been suspected, they have a lwa ys always been suspected, they have always been suspected, they have always been rumoured byjust because they are on display, it doesn't necessarily mean they are capable of being launched. north korea has
a lwa ys being launched. north korea has always said they wanted build a missile that they want to launch a missile that they want to launch a missile capable of reaching the united states. but the one thing certainly that they would not tolerate here would be perhaps another nuclear test, number six, remember we had that one back one month ago where they said rockets horribly close to japan. at that time, durham trump said that the time, durham trump said that the time for strategic patience was over, he also said he will not tolerate these kinds of missile strikes from north korea, and we have seen from his actions that when he draws a red line, he means it. remember, there is that strikeforce, that enables strikeforce in the korean peninsularjust that enables strikeforce in the korean peninsular just in that enables strikeforce in the korean peninsularjust in case. we are hearing that they are on exercises but they are near the region. it will be interesting to see how, if there is any reaction from donald trump, who is in florida
at his base in mara lago. the key is china, as to whether that country comply a role in trying to take us away from what is clearly a serious situation. you are exactly right and thatis situation. you are exactly right and that is why those talks, last week with the chinese minister was so important to donald trump. it is worth remembering that when he was sitting down to dinner and over remarks about how delicious the chocolate cake is, he mentioned that he sent 59 cruise missiles into syria. now, that casual remark, that/ -- syria. now, that casual remark, that/ —— show of strength will have had an impact on the chinese premier and when they take that message back to beyond yang, it is a clear message that this is a new sheriff in town, so to speak, that is repaired to use the military muscle that he has in his capabilities. with me now is robert fox, the evening standard defence editor. how dangerous is this? it is feeling
pretty dangerous. we haven't got this level for quite some time. we are away off of the cuban missile crisis of 1962 but we're edging closer to it. for one reason in particularly. both sides have been talking about first try, exercise and a first strike option, that is really dangerous. and there could be another nuclear test within a few
days? it seems that what the trump administration has said is they are not using the expression red lines, because when they have taken on board when that went terribly wrong with obama in 2013 and bashar al—assad. but as laura was just saying, they have made very clear through the chinese that they will not tolerate a nuclear armed north this thing that is not quite ready right to have a weapon there are some reassuring signs. the current defence team, which really revolves around two people, and they work very closely together, the defence secretary and the national security advisor. but
every important figure, the world has come to recognise. he still is... the fact is that there is a teen military thinkers behind this. you've got a chart and you will have david petraeus, for whom hr worked for a very long time and broadly the most innovative and thoughtful of the lot, absolutely at the same level is another person. what is so interesting about them is that they see the synergies which the obama administration at least publicly refused to. they see there was a connection and there is a distinct connection and there is a distinct connection between syria, between what is going on in yemen, between what is going on in yemen, between what is going on in afghanistan, very much the hub of iran, and north korea. that is why they are thinking very, very carefully, and in fact, when they have struck, the 59
tomahawks, it was, i won't use the expression surgical, but it was very precise. and it was within the precept of this kind of operational law, it has to be appropriate, and it has to be proportionate, and it was not instructed not in conformity toa was not instructed not in conformity to a very important united nations security council resolution. it is very interesting that we are seeing a laggard in china and this and we are seeing almost absentee but very skilful leadership un. you will see after the weekend, the un comes into it more and it is very cautious, calculatedly cautious regime in china, they will now i think be asked to step up with america. everything that trap has indicated so everything that trap has indicated so far is that he wants to work with the chinese on this. when you say step up, what would that require the chinese to make a difference?” think what washington and what
people like mcmaster and matters and rex tillerson will want to see is that they will want to see the china is actually talking tough to pyongyang. they are a bit worried thatis pyongyang. they are a bit worried that is is softly softly catchy monkey, at the moment. which turning backin monkey, at the moment. which turning back in port loans of coal from north korea into china, while they are saying quite discreetly that isn't enough. because this is an immediate crisis, but with a very long ramification, very important point we are at in the whole of nuclear and biological and chemical disarmament. whatever weapons we are looking at today, there are far worse coming up looking at today, there are far worse coming up on looking at today, there are far worse coming up on the horizon tomorrow and the day after. 39 people have been killed in an convoy
in syria. that is according to state media. the syrian observatory for human rights said the explosion occurred at rashidin, west of second city aleppo, where buses were waiting to transport thousands of people who left fuaa and kafraya a day earlier. the people were travelling under an evacuation deal. government linked sources say it was a suicide attack. everton football club has banned the sun newspaper from its ground because of an article by columnist kelvin mackenzie. in it he compared the intelligence of club footballer ross barkley to that of a gorilla. the mayor of liverpool has called for the newspaper to sack him for making what he called "racial slurs". mr mackenzie — who denies the article made racist comments — has been suspended by the sun. richard galpin reports. the controversial article published yesterday in the sun has now led to kelvin mackenzie being suspended. the piece about the everton footballer ross barkley, whose grandfather was born in nigeria, compared him to a gorilla, and said the only other people in liverpool earning as much money as ross barkley were drug dealers. i have reported it to merseyside police,
and they are investigating the complaint. i have also written to the press complaints commission. the comments, i believe were overtly racist. it showed a picture of ross barkley with a gorilla, knowing full well ross's heritage and his nigerian ancestry in terms of his grandad. i think it was a despicable comment. kelvin mackenzie and the newspaper must see if the police will take the matter further. in a statement, the sun's publisher, news uk, said it apologises for the offence caused, and it was unaware of ross barkley‘s heritage. mr mackenzie says it was beyond parody to describe the article as racist. but if the newspaper which he edited for many years now admits the article was offensive, why did it allow it to be published? i would have thought that they knew
enough to make sure that mackenzie did not refer to liverpool. especially on the anniversary of the hillsborough disaster. so it was a gross editorial oversight. and now everton football club has just announced that journalists from the sun have been banned from its ground. kelvin mackenzie's future as a columnist for the newspaper is very much in question. well, earlier i spoke to our correspondent frankie mccamley, who has spent the afternoon outside goodison park. speaking to people and fans outside the club, a lot of them, as you can imagine, are saying they are extremely happy with this decision to ban the sun journalists, also from the training ground and any operations to do with the football club.
just to give you an idea of the feeling of fan groups towards the sun newspaper, we were given a leaflet this morning, and there we re banners outside the club saying, sun journalists are not welcome. we know in the local area a lot of newsagents don't sell the newspaper and a lot of taxis we have seen have got this logo printed on them. speaking to the liverpool mayor, joe anderson, he did call for a protest to take place. he has now said that doesn't need to happen because now there is this real sense that the people have spoken, the fans have spoken, the club has listened, and action has now been taken, following that article by kelvin mckenzie. you talk about attitudes to the sun newspaper more broadly in liverpool, and that takes us back to the hillsborough tragedy and it is the anniversary of that today. of course, yes, not farfrom here, there is a service taking place at liverpool cathedral to remember those 96 people who lost their
lives. there were a lot of people here, a lot of families here will be arriving today to come to this match at a very sensitive time, so the fact that that article was published at this time has really, really upset fans here. they have been letting me know that, a lot of them. let me return to the story coming out of syria. 39 people have been killed in a suspected suicide attack. a convoy of coaches were carrying in fact to ease from towns in syria. with me, our arab affairs editor. what more is known at this stage? the casualty rate is rising
quickly. the images coming in are truly horrific. this was a massive blast. a huge back plume of smoke. there was a long convoy of buses where several thousand people have in waiting since yesterday for the next phase of their evacuation. just on the outskirts of aleppo. government linked sources are saying it was a suicide bomb. when you look at the images, there are ten, 11 buses, which are basically blackened and devastated by the blast, bodies lying on the side of the road, children among them, presumably many bodies inside. i think we may see a much higher level of casualties than we are already hearing. these were people coming from two villages, madeley shia villages. they were being evacuated in what is quite a complex deal which has been tried before on a smaller scale and again,
there were problems with that. with two towns in damascus which are rebel—held but have been under siege by pro—government forces by two yea rs. by pro—government forces by two years. the deal stalled yesterday because of that happened in the past with this particular deal and with other deals, two, government soldiers, officials are concerned about who was coming out of the rebel villages, the rebel towns. are they fighters? too many fighters? are they coming with weapons they are not supposed to bring? that is why these people were essentially a sitting target. we are hearing from the other evacuation from these two towns, from the people in charge of that, there are huge concern is that they may be targeted in revenge. i think we need to be concerned, obviously, about the horror of what has happened. we don't know who was responsible. one wonders who has the most to gain from this and why they would do it. but also, two things.
one, can this deal continue? there are up to 30,000 people from these two areas who are supposed to be moved over the coming days. this was a big, big thing. secondly, will we see an intensification of the syrian government attack, perhaps backed by russian players, as we have seen already in idlib? these very small scale deals were supposed to be a sign of at least some progress. this particular deal has been. there have been many other deals when essentially it has been a war of attrition whether government has worn down the rebels that basically given the option of starvation or surrender, and they have seen that has forced evacuation. this made the slightly different because it was a quid pro quo. they have been evacuations like this on a smaller scale last year with the wounded and elderly were taken out of these areas. that was typical to do, was stored, and there were attacks on the convoys, but nothing of this
scale, i think this is going to have serious repercussions. thank you very much indeed. the family of a 20 year—old british student who was killed injerusalem have paid tribute to their daughter. hannah bladon, an exchange student, was stabbed yesterday by a palestinian man with a history of mental health problems. this afternoon, hannah's family released a statement, in which they described her as: a man is in custody over her murder. police in sheffield are investigating four unexplained deaths in the barnsley area which they think might be linked to heroin use. they're trying to find out if the deaths were caused by the strength and content of the drug being used locally. the three men and a woman were aged between 31 and 47 and were found at separate addresses.
the driving test is catching up with technology after the driving and vehicle standards agency announced that learners with have to demonstrate they can safely use a satnav. the agency says it's vital that the practical test keeps up to date, as our correspondent, judith moritz, reports. every motorist has been through it, the rite of passage of taking a driving test, but in future learners will be examined on new things. the first driving test was taken in 1935. clearly today's drivers are used to a very different road experience. more than half of them use satnav and so the test has been updated to reflect that. so it's turning right out of gate and then continuing to follow the signs. i went for a drive with graham o'brien who helped develop the new test. satnav: turn right and then at the end of the road, turn left. drivers will have to follow satnav directions. so if we can incorporate it into the test that will drive the training and get people more
familiar with dealing with that level of distraction as well which we know is one of the biggest causes of accidents in the first six months with new drivers. learners will also be asked to show they can cope with real life scenarios such as parking within a bay. we were often taking people down into housing estates where they would be reversing around a corner and perhaps using up half a test doing some of these set piece manoeuvres. the point is to change all of that, to get people far greater experience of roads. the new tests have been trialled in some areas and will be introduced for everyone by the end of this year. candidates will be asked to drive independently for longer, but the cost and length of the exam will stay the same as no doubt will the nerves of those going through the process. i'm joined now from our exeter studio by motoring journalist maria mccarthy. afternoon. what difference do you
think these changes will make?” think these changes will make?” think it is a good move. we all know that tech is playing a bigger part in our lives and also subways. the introduction of a possible use of satnav in a driving test will only be infour satnav in a driving test will only be in four out of five driving test isa be in four out of five driving test is a positive move. increasing the length of time of independent driving during the test from ten to 20 minutes, again, a positive move. when you drive on your driving test and the examiner is telling you when to turn left and when to turn right, thatis to turn left and when to turn right, that is really like everyday driving. i think all these changes are trying to make the test more like a real—life drive would be. so, you are being tested on that. hopefully, when you pass and go forward to drive on the road alone, you will be more confident. and vehicle safety questions as you are driving along rather than when you
have stopped a lay—by, for example? exactly. there is going to be one before the test and one before —— as you are driving along. i went —— when i took my driving test, i spoke to my examiner, please don't talk to me, because i wanted to concentrate on the road. but again, when you are driving, people will talk to you, so it is good to have those questions when you are driving and you are taking your test, because i think, again, it replicates real—life experience. how much research has gone into arriving at the various changes we talking about here? lots. i think that it is something like 4000 learners and 860 driving examiners have been consulted, the trials have been extensive. i think that this isn't something that has been casually worked out. i think this is really a positive step, and lots of motoring groups supporting it, including disabled motoring uk.
and the test will be whether our roads are safer as a result? will that happen? i think of long—term, we are going to be looking at road casualties, road accidents with new drivers, and then perhaps we will be able to see how effective these changes i've been. i do think they are devilishly step in the right direction. and you won't miss reversing around a corner? i'll miss the turn in the road. that was the first manoeuvre i ever got the hang of unlike felt so proud of myself but in actualfact, of unlike felt so proud of myself but in actual fact, people will carry on doing the turn in the road but they just won't do it carry on doing the turn in the road but theyjust won't do it on their test, the instructor will teach it in their lessons, theyjust won't be asked to do it in their test. thank you very much. strike action over funding cuts in england's schools has been backed by the national union of teachers. the nut voted on the measure at its annual spring conference in cardiff today.
it comes as a survey ofjust over 3,000 staff carried out by the union found that almost half of young teachers expect to quit the profession within 5 years. increasing paperwork, longer hours and concerns over mental health were just some of the reasons cited. a little while ago, i spoke to our education correspondent, gillian hargreaves, who told me about the atmosphere at the nut‘s conference. well, varies a strong undercurrent to this four—day conference and that his anger about what teachers perceive as significant cuts to funding in england ‘s schools. they have now balloted to increase the pressure on the government with further industrial action and they haven't ruled out the possible a tea ofa haven't ruled out the possible a tea of a one—day strike, and national protest against what they regard as delivered in funding cuts. we have heard delegate after delegate after delegate talking, one parent, mother who described how in her area, some schools have had to limit the amount
they are spending on central heating, and over the winter, children were being taught with their hats and gloves on just to keep warm in the classroom. the government, on the other hand, says record numbers cash is going into england schools this year, £40 billion, the biggest sum ever. money follows the pupil, and this should be enough money to go around. they do have to be savings, something in the order of £3 billion over the next three years. but the government has said that money should be able to saved in the way in which schools by goods, things like computers and books and so on, it had teachers are savvy in the way they buy those things, they should be able to make savings without it affecting the quality of teaching the children. but unions say that is nonsense. class sizes are going up and teachers aren't being replaced when they leave school. it is not unusual for teachers to gather at easter and
to express concerns with government policy, irrespective of what the government is at that time. i using something different, do you think, this time? yes, yes, there is a difference this time, the reasons is that although schools have been well funded in the main in the past 30 yea rs, funded in the main in the past 30 years, what we are now seeing is the sign isa years, what we are now seeing is the sign is a boss derek and our public finances, it is happening in services and in schools as well. perhaps two decades ago, we were in the land of plenty and now we are in the land of plenty and now we are in the land of lost eric and that is beginning to be felt in schools and there are whole generations of teachers who haven't really worked in that environment and are now finding that savings are having to be made while at the same time there is an expectation that schools should disdain —— retain their standards and good exam results under pressure really, really is on. clash between governments and school
is going to be a cute this weekend and they have quite deliberately voted today to wrap up industrial action against what they perceive as the biggest funding crisis the 20 yea rs. still plenty of dry weather as we entered this up early afternoon. some showers, too, but they will ease overnight. it will turn chilly with a touch of frost. into eastern date, cloud and rain in northern ireland, and south—west scotland. tomorrow, that rain will work eastwards with uncertainty about how quickly it will move. but parts of northern england, midlands, east anglia and the south—east will see wet weather, as well as southern scotla nd wet weather, as well as southern scotland where they could be snow in high ground. also in the pennines. chilean south—west of england and the fat south wales should stay dry.