welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm mike embley. our top stories: preparations for north korea's massive military parade, and pyongyang says there will be no talks with the united states during the olympics. hopelessness in syria, as the human cost of the fighting gets worse again. hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending, and another us government shutdown is averted. a missing masterpiece described as the african mona lisa has been rediscovered in an apartment in north rediscovered in 55 relatiepsi in rediscovered in 55 relatieps ifiﬁ l's—$5 , , , rediscovered in 55 relatieps ifiﬁ
moth south rediscovered in 55 relatieps ifiﬁ % south korea rediscovered in 55 relatieps ifiﬁ moth south korea to be north and south korea looks to be taking a backward step. officials said they have no intention of meeting with delegates. these satellite images from a few days ago show the troops practising for that display, all very much a contrast to the public relations image being projected on the eve of the opening ceremony of the games, which south korea's president has been calling the peace olympics. the games are being held in pyeongchang, in south korea. the bbc‘s stephen mcdonell is there. bring us up to date. well, here at at pyeongchang there was hope that it was possible that this high level delegation from the united states in north korea, given that they are here in the games, might actually sit down and talk to one another. but we have heard from the north korean side that that delegation has, quote, no intention whatsoever of meeting with the us delegation. we are getting this from north korea's official state—run media,
which said in an editorial, we have never begged the dialogue with the us in the past, and we don't intend to in the future. and all this as the north prepares a massive display of its military might. yes, i mean, just as north korea is about to achieve something of a propaganda coup here at pyeongchang, with its unexpectedly high level of engagement, sending along kim jong—un‘s sister, and the like, the joint hockey team, what would you do to try and counter all that goodwill? how about a big, scary looking mass military parade, just across the border, to remind everybody of your nuclear weapons ambitions. now, it is thought that possibly they will try and somehow downplay this military parade, because there is not a lot of representation there from the foreign press corps, for example, but it is hard to get away from the fa ct but it is hard to get away from the fact that this will be happening,
and there will be images going around the world showing this military parade in north korea, one day before the opening ceremony here at pyeongchang. it doesn't seem very long ago that it was hailed as a very positive step that kim jong—un‘s sister would be coming to the games. yes, but the fact the leader that's sister is coming for the opening ceremony, she will be the opening ceremony, she will be the only member of that dynasty to have ever come to south korea, since the end of the war. so it shows an extent to which north korea is trying to achieve something of a diplomatic breakthrough here. and i guess it is also possible to imagine she is in the stadium at the same time as mike pence, i guess they could be going to coffee at some stage and bump into one another. who knows? there could be some sort of informal type of dialogue there. but yes, as i was saying, no official talks, though, from the north korean
side, even though kim jong—un‘s sister is going to be there. thank you very much for that. japan's foreign minister has warned the world must not be taken in by north korea's charm offensive. taro kono also told our tokyo correspondent rupert wingfield—hayes that sanctions are the only way forward, and insisted they are biting. thank you, well, as we have heard from steve, there is a lot of stuff going on around the opening of the winter olympics tomorrow in south korea. this north korean charm offensive really unleashed on the world a few weeks ago. well, here in japani world a few weeks ago. well, here in japan i wanted to talk to the japanese foreign minister about the other story that has been happening at the same time, which is reports coming out of the united states that the trump administration may be preparing what has been called a bloody nose, some sort of military action against north korea. and i wa nted action against north korea. and i wanted to find out, given that japan is the base for 50,000 us troops, and any attack on north korea would
include japan, i wanted and any attack on north korea would includejapan, i wanted to ask mr kono, how others japan feel about military action against north korea? —— how does japan feel? for weeks, rumours have been swirling that the trump administration is preparing a military strike against north korea. a so—called bloody nose to force pyeongyang to the negotiating table. last month, these b2 stealth bombers arrived at a us base on the island of guam. but japan's foreign minister, tara kono, told me such speculation should not be taken seriously. a military strike on north korea is far too risky. south korea's capital, seoul, is situated just 30 kilometres from the border. and, if any military action‘s taken, the repercussion is outrageous. so i don't think anyone is seriously considering taking a military method. but, in order to get
north korea to come to the dialogue, i think we need to increase the pressure on them. in his new year message, north korean dictator kim jong—un described the latest sanctions against his country as "life—threatening". they include a ban on north korean exports of coal, iron and seafood, and a cut on the import of oil. mr kono says that shows they are starting to work. well, sanctions are biting. now we have a lot of indications the sanctions are actually biting. what do you think is going on, with this sudden rapprochement over the winter olympics? that's one of the indications the sanction is working. they wanted to do something, and they wanted to do a sort of charm offensive towards south korea. i think north korea wants probably
more, but i don't think the international community are ready to give them anything. on friday, north and south korean athletes will walk side by side as the winter olympics opens in pyeongchang. but mr kono says the world must not be taken in by pyongyang's charm offensive, or intimidated by its growing missile threat. if they use their missile or nuclear capability, they're going to be no more north korea, and they know it. so they're just making a threat, but they're just sitting in the middle of the sanction, and eventually they'll run out of resources. so you are prepared to play essentially a long game? yes. the sanction is not going to work in days or weeks. it takes months.
we just have to be patient, and we just have to be well—co—ordinated, and that's the only way. the alternative is some kind of military action, which no—one wants. and the us vice president, mike pence, is here at the moment, and he brought a very uncompromising message when he met with mr abe, and he and mrabe message when he met with mr abe, and he and mr abe will be going to the opening of the olympic games in south korea, and they will be taking that message with them, but the us and its allies need to stick with sanctions to continue to put extreme pressure on north korea, not to be taken in by this charm offensive that the north has launched around the winter olympics. these are live pictures from taiwan, where rescuers are continuing to search for people at the site of a sunken residential building in hualien. survivors of the 6.1i—magnitude tremor escaped from the tilted building, and say there are still people trapped inside. at least nine people
were killed in the earthquake, and 250 injured, but about 67 are still unaccounted for. aftershocks are still rattling the country, the strongest magnitude—5.7. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news: a pakistani court has sentenced one man to death and five others to life injailfor murdering a student falsely accused of blasphemy. mashal khan was dragged out of his university accommodation in north—west pakistan, last april. hundreds of his fellow students beat him, shot him, and mutilated his body. one of the great landmarks of paris, the eiffel tower, has been shut, because a cold snap has blanketed the french capital in six inches of snow. commuters have been trapped in their cars as authorities try to clear the snow. in the uk, the giant supermarket chain tesco is facing the country's largest ever equal pay lawsuit. up to 200,000 shop workers, most of them women, could be due up to $5.5 billion worth of back pay.
the shop floor staff have been earning less than men who work in the company's distribution centres, even though they say it is in effect the same job. human rights groups say more than 25 people have died, including at least 12 children, after syrian government forces carried out airstrikes on eastern ghouta. it is one of the last remaining areas controlled by rebels fighting president assad. the region, which is east of the capital, damascus, is home to an estimated 400,000 people, but medical supplies and food haven't been allowed in since late last year. our correspondent quentin sommerville's report contains some images you may find distressing. syria's war isn't ending. it's getting worse. in eastern ghouta, near damascus, they're overwhelmed. death comes daily from the skies. more than 150 civilians have been killed here this month already. the rescuers have to move fast.
here, they follow the sound of a child crying. then they reach for a scrap of cloth, and pull hard, and a boy is removed alive from the rubble. hundreds have been left injured in eastern ghouta, and in the last week, more than a0 children have been killed. yesterday, rescue worker saeed al—masri was called to an emergency, the baby in his arms is his own. translation: as we were approaching, i realised it was my house that had been hit. i heard a baby's cry, and saw my son was wounded. i went inside and my children had been injured, and my cousins, too.
my house was destroyed. three—month—old ibrahim is doing fine, but the family wonders when the next attack will come. regimejets drop unguided bombs. they fall haphazardly, and bring devastation. rebel shelling has killed a dozen people in government areas. there is a new ferocity to the conflict. it should look different here. this is part of a de—escalation zone, where suffering should be diminishing, but the opposite is happening. here and elsewhere, the conflict is intensifying. basic medical supplies are running low, the region is under siege, but there is also a sense of hopelessness that the world has stopped caring. translation: we are
completely drained. the roads are closed and we can't get new supplies. we've stopped believing that anyone will help us. we hoped they would help us, but they've done nothing. east ghouta is nearing exhaustion. at least 31 people were killed today. the bombing has stopped for now, but everyone here knows that this new surge of bloodshed is far from over. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: president trump has taken credit for the fall in black unemployment, but in the state of delaware, we find that local people aren't giving the current white house much praise. there's mr mandela. mr nelson mandela, a free man, taking his first steps into a new south africa. iran's spiritual leader ayatollah khomeini has said he's passed a death sentence on salman rushdie, the british
author of a book which many muslims say is blasphemous. the people of haiti have flocked to church to give thanks for the ousting of their former president, 'baby doc' duvalier. because of his considerable value as a stallion, shergar was kept in a special secure box in the stud farm's central block. shergar was driven away in a horse box the thieves had brought with them. there stepped down from the plane a figure in mourning. elizabeth ii, queen of this realm and of all her other realms and territories. head of the commonwealth, defender of the faith. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: north korea is about to hold a
massive military parade just before the winter olympics. it says it has no intention of using the games to hold talks with american delegates. party leaders in the us senate have struck a two—year budget deal that would forestall a repeat of this shutdown last month that it is still needs approval from both shutdown last month that it is still needs approvalfrom both houses shutdown last month that it is still needs approval from both houses and conservatives are likely to question a 300 billion dollar increase to the federal deficit. david, a shutdown over federal spending has become a regular political wrangle. if this goes through it would be a victory for both parties but it does not cover everything on the table. it does not. bipartisan deals are in short supply, not. bipartisan deals are in short supply, they have been at least, here in washington, dc. some may say that you should count your lucky chances and see what happens. there isa chances and see what happens. there is a major road block looming for all of this, no question about that,
in the house of representatives because the leader of the democrats in the house, nancy pellucid, who spoke for over eight hours today without so much as a brake but for a couple of glasses of water, she wa nts couple of glasses of water, she wants the same sort of agreement from the majority leader in the house, paul ryan, that the democrat leader in the senate managed to wrangle out of the majority leader there, mitch mcconnell. in other words, a commitment to discuss the plight of the so—called dream is. nearly 2 million people who were brought here illegally through no fault of their own and whose deportation is potentially looming. now unless that sort of agreement is forthcoming from paul ryan in the house, then nancy pelosi has said that she is minded to advocate to
her caucus to vote against this budget measure. so with just over 2a hours to go until the deadline, nothing here is certain. only times have we heard that before? and even if it does go through, the deficit balloons by the tax cuts. absolutely. this is $300 billion more on spending for such things as defence, infrastructure, disaster relief, even coping with the opioid grosses here. certain conservatives have described this as fiscal madness, bearing in mind that the total deficit next year is calculated to top around $1 trillion. so there are those opponents as well in the house of representatives, meaning that potentially paul ryan is going to need the support of democrats in their vote. if he is to get this
spending measure through. still plenty of wrangling ahead. thank you very much. the two biggest political parties in germany have agreed a coalition deal. angela merkel‘s conservatives and the centre—left social democrats have decided which government departments each party will run — ending months of stalemate after inconclusive elections in september. but as andrew plant reports, the deal will still need to be approved. marathon talks that began on tuesday and continued through the night to try to end over four months of stalemate at the top of your‘s largest economy. down is that the chancellor has reached a deal to join forces in a ruling coalition. translation: i am convinced that the coalition contract we have worked out can lay down the foundations for the stable government that our country needs and that many in the world a re country needs and that many in the world are waiting to see. it has been called a marriage of
convenience but the deals made to meet a coalition brain criticism from both sides to feel the core values have been compromised too far. so what could the new coalition look like? the junior partner could control crucial ministries including finance and foreign affairs. martin shilts, the leader of the sdp and former leader of the european parliament would step down and become the german foreign minister. translation: were optimistic that we will step for our party members with such a good proposal that we can convince a large majority to allow us convince a large majority to allow us to enter such a coalition. the implications of that are widespread on major issues in germany like migration and workers riot, but also on the brexit negotiations as chancellor merkel looks set to enter her fourth term weaker than before. the deal is not yet done. martin
shilts has promised his members a vote on the results will not be in until the second of march. president trump has persistently taken credit for falling black unemployment, claiming his policies mean that african americans have never had it so good. while it's true that black unemployment did fall in the first year of the trump administration, last month it actually increased, from 6.8% to 7.7. so how much impact are white house policies having? i travelled to delaware where african—american joblessness is more than twice the overall average to find out. this is no ordinary bath. it is a mobilejob centre. it this is no ordinary bath. it is a mobile job centre. it goes around areas of high unemployment in the state of delaware. today, the bus is in northeast wilmington. we have different things available on a daily basis are lit with staff tell people looking for work, offering advice on things like resumes and interviews. the economy of delaware
is not seen as much growth as other states and almost 10% of african—americans here are unemployed. stressful. this woman has a job that she is looking for a better paid position, which is not easy. what difference would it make to your life? a huge difference. it'll be a difference to my future and for my income, for my everything, really. carol is an official with delaware's department official with delaware's department of labour. she says the long—term impact have been without work and not be underestimated. work means stronger and more stable families. ultimately leads to stop the community ‘s and better states. ultimately leads to stop the community 's and better states. and errors filling out forms. hears about to start a newjob as a youth council. being unemployed was a strain on him and his family and he is thrilled to be working again.
such an excitement about it. i have social security now. i do not need to worry about where my next meal will come from. or how to pay our rent or anything like that. president trump is saying that it is his policies that are the reason that unemployment is falling. what do you make of that? it is difficult to ta ke do you make of that? it is difficult to take credit for other peoples work. you have been in for one year. just stop it. behind the desire of president trump to claim credit lies a stubborn problem, here in delaware, for example, black unemployment rates are three times that of white unemployment rate did it so even with an improving economy it so even with an improving economy it is much harderfor african—americans to find a job. those who study rates of black unemployment say the decline in african—american joblessness is something that began under president obama. this has been a longer downward trend since about 2013,
2014. so what we are seeing now is the tail end of that long trend. i think it is more important that we focus on why there is a persistent disparity between black and white unemployment. if we can tackle the problem then i would say that is an accomplishment in something we can celebrate. is donald trump's plan for rebuilding the crumbling infrastructure of america succeeds, economists say that has the potential to bring down african—american unemployment. something the president could rightly claim credit for. a missing masterpiece — described as the african mona lisa — has been discovered in a north london flat. ben enwonwu's oil painting of the daughter of a yoruba king, known as tutu, has taken on almost mythical status in the artist's native nigeria. the portrait was one of three which went missing after the biafran war of the late sixties. it will go on sale in three weeks' time. she was a princess, a yoruba and the
artist, enwonwu, was of a different ethnic group. so the fact that they developed a close personal connection over the course of this painting was a symbol of national reconciliation. now you'd be hard pressed to forget this moment from bbc news last year professor robert kelly was in the middle of a live interview with the bbc from his home in south korea when his two children burst into his office. they were followed shortly after by his wife who tried to do a bit of damage limitation. professor kelly's in london for the broadcast tv awards, and he's just won the best tv moment of the year pictured here with our colleague james menendez who was of course presenting at the time he announced that if you hear him speaking loudly in an interview, it is because he locked the door but his children are knocking loudly on
it are trying enter the room. curling has begun the olympics ahead of the opening ceremony. this is the first time there has been a mixed doubles category 4 the sport. the united states is also playing against the olympic athletes from russia who are unable to compete under their own flag at due to the doping scandal. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter, i'm @bbc mike embley. hello there. for many places, the day ahead will bring a slightly different feel to the weather. something just a little bit milder. many starting the day under cold air. but this wedge of mild air in the atlantic beginning to show its hand. this is tied up with a weather system in the atlantic. you can see the cloud here is going to bring some outbreaks of rain as we go on through the day. a split in temperatures in the morning.
as much as —5, —6, in the south—east. temperatures generally above freezing for northern ireland and northern scotland. this is sam. the coldest weather in east anglia and the south—east, but the brightest weather. a lot of sunshine to come. the south—west, wales, northern england, thick clouds, outbreaks of mostly light and patchy rain at this stage. a lot of cloud into southern scotland. but for northern ireland, northern scotland, something more bright. sunny spells returning. a rash of showers to the north—west. because of the slightly milder air, most showers falling as rain rather than anything more wintry. now, as we go on through the day, we take this band of cloud and rain further south and east. do you see the deep blue colours? that indicates the rain will turn more heavy for wales and northern england during the afternoon. clouding over in the south—east after the bright start. remaining chilly here. scotland, northern ireland, sunshine and a few showers. temperatures getting up to 7—8 degrees. thursday night, we push this band of at this stage quite heavy rain eastwards.
showers too, wintry showers. as we get into friday, the air will be turning more cold. temperatures dipping away. seven in cardiff. some rain, sleet, and snow perhaps in the south—east for a time. some wintry showers elsewhere. generally speaking, high pressure with us for the very start of the weekend. a cold and frosty start to saturday. another frontal system. perhaps a spell of snow in the north. then some rain. then the second half of the weekend, you guessed it, back in the cold air. things are very much up and down through the coming days. this is the weekend. often it will be windy. rain at times on saturday. something more bright and cold for most on sunday. there could be double—digit temperatures in places. but with some outbreaks of rain, on sunday, it will feel colder,
but it should be brighter. this is bbc news. the headlines: north korea says it has no intention of using the winter olympics in south korea as an opportunity to hold talks with the united states. senior north korean officials will be attending, as will the us vice president, mike pence. the north is expected to hold a military parade on thursday. human rights groups say more than 25 people have died, including at least 12 children, in eastern ghouta, where syrian government forces have carried out more airstrikes. it is one of the last areas still controlled by rebels fighting president assad. the region is home to about 400,000 people. party leaders in the us senate have struck a two year budget deal which could avoid a repeat of last month's government shutdown. it needs approvalfrom the government shutdown. it needs approval from the house of representatives, and many are questioning a $300 billion increase