welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is nkem ifejika. our top stories. claims of a chemical weapons attack in the damascus suburb of eastern ghouta. health officials say they suspect chlorine gas was involved. as the winter olympics closes north korea opens the door to talks with the us. washington says pyongyang must give up its nuclear weapons. protestors clash with police in barcelona — as spain's king visits catalonia for the first time since the vote for independence. and tributes for the bollywood superstar sridevi kapoor, who's died of a heart attack aged 5a. hello and welcome to bbc news.
health officials in the rebel syrian enclave of eastern ghouta say several people have suffered symptoms consistent with chlorine gas exposure during attacks by pro—government forces. although, the syrian government has always denied using chemical weapons. earlier, france and germany appealed to president putin to pressure the syrian regime to honour the un brokered ceasefire. our middle east editor, jeremy bowen, reports — you may find some of it distressing. this was inside eastern ghouta. in almost seven years of war in syria, real ceasefires have been rare, ineffective and short. the un couldn't agree on a start time for the ceasefire. the best they could do was to say, without delay. that's elastic enough to wreck this ceasefire‘s chances.
today is the first day of the ceasefire resolution. still there's warplanes in the atmosphere, there is still shelling. the level is less than before. civilians are still being killed. civil defence workers dug a badly injured baby out of this bombsite. already the russians say jaysh al—islam, the main armed group the enclave, has broken the ceasefire. it says it is forced to fight back. translation: when the regime is not abiding by the un resolution i cannot stand still and watch and not defend myself and ourfamilies in ghouta. this boy and the men with him are, we are told, victims of a chlorine attack. when it's weaponised,
chlorine is banned under international law. the russians claim this is fake, part of a plan to discredit the syrian army. whether you believe these pictures or the russians, it's another bad sign for the ceasefire. the syrian army is dug in around eastern ghouta, reported to be pushing forward. ceasefire or not, it can sense victory. jeremy bowen with that report. and for the latest analysis of the situation in syria, go to the bbc website, where you'll find, updated live pages, further background detail, and reports from correspondents in the region. — that's all at bbc dot com — forward slash news. after 16 days of competition, the winter olympics in south korea have drawn to a close with a colourful ceremony featuring nearly 3,000 athletes.
political developments have underpinned the games, which have been used by the hosts to engage with their north korean neighbours. pyongyang has again signalled it is willing to hold talks with the united states, but the white house says north korea must show it's prepared to end its nuclear programme. laura bicker reports from south korea. this is the confident side of south korea. but much of the drama in pyongyang was political, and entering this arena was ivanka trump, but no warm reception for the north korean general sitting behind her. there was no contact between the two, but it does seem that pyongyang is ready to talk to the us, a victory for the south korean leader. it does seem to pyongyang is ready to talk to the us, a victory for the president.
unlike the opening ceremony, the country's their own colours, highlighting the division, despite the diplomacy. critics fear the north have been given too much a platform at these games. the minister responsible for talks between the two koreas says pyongyang is being pushed on its nuclear weapons. we did convey the message to the north koreans, multiple times, that it's necessary that north korea and the us talk each other to solve this in a peaceful manner. but at the end of this olympic revelry, there could be a dose of reality. this show of harmony has given south korea some breathing space, but tension still lurks in the background. unfortunately it's not going to last. north koreans are entirely separating, and we've seen it from the first meeting, that the nuclear issue has nothing to do with the cooperation between the two koreas and in this olympic games. these games are ending just as they began
with a major diplomatic breakthrough. north korea says it is willing to talk to the us, but there is still the huge problem of its nuclear weapons programme. but this is the first progress made on this peninsula in years. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. two people are in a critical condition in hospital following an explosion at a shop in leicester. six fire engines were called out to tackle a huge fire at the building, which also contained apartments. emergency teams are searching the wreckage, and dozens of properties have been evacuated. additional airpower has been deployed in nigeria to help search for schoolgirls abducted in the north—east. the government says 110 girls remain unaccounted for after boko haram militants attacked their school in dapchi. the local governor has blamed the military forfailing to protect the girls. the national rifle association is distancing itself
from donald trump after he said some new gun control measures should be considered. the us president has proposed raising the age limit for buying certain guns and banning some modifications to weapons. students and teachers returned to their highschool on sunday in parkland to collect personal items they left behind after the february 14th school shooting. relatives of the 44 crew of an argentine submarine that was lost in mid—november have begun raising funds for a private search. family and friends are asking for donations to help locate the sanjuan submarine in the south atlantic. the government abandoned its search 15 days after the sub last made contact. there've been protests in barcelona as spain's king felipe visited the city. it was his first trip to the catalonia region since they voted for independence in october. katie silver reports. banging pots and pans and waving flags for independence. in catalan, they chanted, "we are peaceful
people." they are objecting to the visit of the country's monarch,l(.ingl ,. . . ,- . ,, ,, felipe, accusing him of not paying attention to the region, and of refusing to promote dialogue between the central government and the catalan successionists. translation: king felipe gave a tab speech against catalonia and was in favour of police storming us on october the ist. they have jailed our leaders and he has not done anything for us or asked about our injured people. he has not cared about the catalans, catalonia and our problems. after the speech he gave on repression and the catalan situation, we are absolutely against him coming. he is not welcome here and we are demonstrating against him. the king was in town for the start of the mobile world congress, the largest mobile international technology show, and he wanted to make sure it stayed firmly in focus.
qigital tfénéfész-etigﬁ""' "ﬂ ,,, wider social changes and both global and local scale. we must accept this important and inevitable process as a challenge, not as a threat. not everyone was against him though. pro—spain demonstrators came out as well. their signs saying long life to the king. there were street clashes and arguments between the two groups, showing just how divided the catalonian region is. china's ruling communist party is expected to abandon a rule limiting the number of terms the country's president can serve — in a move which could see the current leader xi jinping stay on indefinitely. he had been due to leave office in 2023, after ten years in the job. the change will be seen as further evidence of his growing hold on power. our correspondent, robin brant reports from shanghai. this was xijinping
a few months ago. with china communist party pomp at its finest as he was confirmed for a second term as party chief and president. behind him were his two immediate predecessors, both of whom served ten years, then stepped aside. now there is fresh sign that he wants to eclipse them. the ruling communist party wants to ditch the rule that the president should serve no more than two consecutive terms. in just those eight words lies the biggest change to china's leadership in 30 years. why now? the overall consensus in china by most people is that president xi jinping has really done a very good job and has become a truly outstanding leader by the chinese standard. his fight against corruption, his bold and audacious initiative to promote the one belt, one road initiative, for example. but to some here it looks
like the current leader wants to become more like this one, communist china's founding father. xi is now referred to by the same term as chairman mao. both have had their thought written into the constitution, and critics see a growing cult around xi as well. except this man, shown here holding hands with his mother released last week is in charge of what is now the world's second—biggest economy. china and xijinping has looked to increase its influence in this part of the world, particularly in the south china sea, way beyond its coastline. it has expanded its trade relationship to the west towards europe as well. there is no doubt that more xijinping means a china that wants more of a presence on the world stage and more of an influence. i want to thank you for the very warm welcome. my feeling toward you is an incredibly warm one. president trump has described his
chinese counterpart as a friend, but xijinping has plans to challenge the us, with an expanding navy in the pacific and beyond, and with ambitions as well to conquer new tech like ai and electric vehicles. the longer xi stays in power, the stronger the challenge could be. the united nations‘ special representative in the democratic republic of congo has called for restraint, after two demonstrators were killed during protests against president joseph kabila. more than a0 people were injured and over a hundred arrested across the country as the security forces used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. the deaths occurred in the capital kinshasa and the city of mbandaka. stay with us on bbc news — still to come: italy prepares to go to the polls —
with concerns about money and migration to the fore. prince charles has chosen his bride. he proposed to lady diana spencer three weeks ago and she accepted without hesitation. as revolutions go this had its fair share of bullets. outside the gates, the name itself symbolising one of the cruellest regimes of modern asia. the world's first clone has been produced of an adult mammal. scientists in scotland have produced a sheep — citizens are trying to come to grips with their new freedom. although there is joy and relief today, the scars are everywhere. not for 20 years have locusts been seen in such numbers in this part of africa. some of the swarms have been ten miles long. this is the last time the public will see this pope. for the credibility and authority of the next pope benedict xvi will, his own words, be hidden from the world for the rest of his life.
this is bbc news. the latest headlines. there are claims of a chemical weapons attack in the damascus suburb of eastern ghouta. health officials say they suspect chlorine gas was involved. as the winter olympics closes, north korea has opened the door to talks with the us. but washington says pyongyang must agree to give up its nuclear weapons first. six months after the military crackdown in myanmar, rohingya muslims are still pouring across the border into bangladesh. they're arriving at already overcrowded refugee camps, where tensions are simmering. two rohingya elders were murdered in the past few weeks, as nitin srivastava reports from cox's bazaar. mohammed usman and his father used to pray at this makeshift mosque. his father, yusuf, gave
the morning call to prayer, but was stabbed to death on his way there one morning. we fled after my cousins were killed. my father, a 60—year—old, god—fearing and religious man, had no enemies. he always wanted to go back to our homeland. after his murder my mother hasn't been speaking at all and we all fear for our lives. nobody knows why he was killed. aid workers and local people told me that traditional rohingya hierarchies are breaking down in the refugee camps in bangladesh, which is leading to violence. yusuf also wanted to become a community leader. his death shook the camp as only a few days beforehand another rohingya leader was killed at his home by masked men. they arrived on bikes
and started firing at my pa rents. they were speaking rohingya language and shot my mother also who got hit on the wrist. being a camp leader, my father was only compiling a list of all of the refugees who wanted to register for the repatriation process. why did they kill him? as a camp leader you control access to aid, which is a powerful position, especially when so many have so little. the complaints are growing in number. fights between neighbours overfood and shelter, intracamp rivalries over aid, which is arriving almost daily. the biggest reason perhaps appears to be the hundreds of thousands of people living out here in these camps without any work at all. the camps have grown bigger and so have the needs and priorities of people. the authorities say they are tightening security and have set up five police stations within the camp.
both men who died were in favour of returning home to myanmar. it is unclear whether this was a factor in their deaths. the repatriation deal between bangladesh and myanmar has stalled, but has led to disputes among rohingya. thousands of people have taken to the streets of moscow, to remember the russian opposition politician boris nemtsov, who was murdered three years ago. five men have been convicted of his killing, but the organisers of the murder have yet to be brought tojustice. steve rosenberg reports from the russian capital. the memory of boris nemtsov, who was shot dead three years
ago, the fierce kremlin critic. the banner reads, those bullets are inside each and every one of us. nemtsov‘s murder shocked russia. it was the most high—profile political assassination since vladimir putin came to power. this march is notjust in memory of boris nemtsov, it's a political protest. people here are shouting, one, two, three, putin, it is time to leave, and putin is a thief. boris nemtsov was assassinated on a bridge opposite the kremlin. president putin called it a vile and cynical crime.
last year five men from chechnya were ..— ..., . z. . 55, ,. have not been brought to justice. on the bridge where boris nemtsov died, russians have been laying flowers. this place of killing, an unofficial shrine to a murdered politician. italians head to the polls — in a week — after a general election campaign that has seen populist politicians gain prominence. they've been leading opinion polls, with italians worried about the sluggish economy, frustrated with the eu, and angry about migration. our europe editor katya adler reports from milan. in italy this election season, populism rather than policy is the undisputed vote winner. italians flock to those who say they are listening to their frustrations with the status quo. matteo salvini leads the hard right anti—immigration league party.
it's almost more popstar than politician. all of matteo salvini's supporters hoping he can make it to prime minister with his slogan, italy first. "what do you say to those who call you a racist populist?", i asked. translation: i don't respond to insults, but i'm proud to be a populist if it means being amongst people, solving their problems. immigration is seen as a big problem here. around 700,000 mainly african migrants arrived here by boat over the past few years. many asylum claims are rejected. people go underground. the police said we needed an escort to visit these illegally occupied buildings in turin. we clearly weren't welcome. recent attacks by migrants and against migrants in italy,
plus widespread pre—election anti—immigration rhetoric, have stoked tensions here. the mayor of turin is from another populist, big—hitter party, the controversial five star movement — anti—migration, eurosceptic and very antiestablishment. mayor appendino took me for a spin in her intentionally we have had a crisis, economic crisis. people don't like the establishment because there are no solutions and poverty is increasing, so what they see in us, when they were so young and they never did politics before, and they see in us a way to get out of the crisis, a way to find new solutions. with populists so popular here, should europe brace itself for turmoil in italy, the eurozone's third—largest economy, after these elections? well, not quite.
remember him? yes, berlusconi is back, and the irony of the populist outbreak in italy is that a man who disappeared from politics surrounded by scandal has now returned and is able to present himself as a calm elder statesman. silvio berlusconi can't run for office because of a conviction for tax fraud, but his party will likely have a key role in forming the next italian government. which is why, despite all the political rhetoric here, young voters fear little will actually change in italy after these elections. in these elections, nobody is speaking about young people in the proper way. most of our schoolmates right now are unemployed. there's hope in the future. voter turnout in these elections is expected to be high.
italians are engaged — and angry. katya adler, bbc news, milan. tributes have been paid to the superstar bollywood actress, sridevi kapoor, who has died aged 5a. the actress, known simply as sridevi, died of a heart attack on saturday while at a family wedding in dubai. she started acting in childhood and went on to be one of the first female stars to command box office success without needing to appear alongside a prominent male co—star. rajini vaidya nathan looks back at her life. for decades, she was bollywood's leading lady. sridevi captivated audiences with her charisma and comic timing. in a male—dominated film industry, she was one of the first woman to become a megastar in her own right. you know, the audience just wants a good film. that's what matters. whether it is a heroine—oriented or hero—oriented film. sridevi was attending a family wedding with her husband and
daughter in dubai when she suffered a heart attack late on saturday night. as news of her death broke, crowds gathered outside her house in mumbai. across india, fans paid tribute. it is a loss to our country, to the film industry. she was such a role model to all women across the country. now we've got a lot of famous leading ladies in bollywood. back then, in the 805 and early 905, there weren't too many of them. she was one of the first. india is mourning the loss of one of its brightest stars. one film producer described the impact of sridevi's death, saying she was a pioneer, who put the early cracks of the glass ceiling of bollywood and paved the way for today's female film stars. sridevi will be remembered for the way she lit up the screen. she left the world of bollywood way too soon but her legacy is enduring. sridevi kapoor, who's
died at the age of 5a. an expedition hoping to complete the first successful winter ascent of the world's second highest peak — k2 — has revealed that one of its climbers appears to have struck out for the summit alone, without permission. an expedition spokesman told the bbc that denis urubko's move had shocked the team. but he said they would try to support the russian—polish climber nevertheless. k2 is the only peak over 8,000 metres yet to be climbed in winter. last month, mr urubko helped mount a dramatic high—mountain rescue of a french climber from another peak in pakistan. don't forget you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter. i'm @ nkem ifejika thanks for being with us. we have got some very
cold, wintry weather on the cards to see out the end of february and into the start of march. this week, the weather will be particularly disruptive with heavy snow combined with bitter winds, a lot of frost and ice, some wintry sunshine as well, but the temperatures will be very low, because we have got the air coming in from siberia from the easterly airflow pushing across the uk. so through this week temperatures are well below where we would expect them to be. we start monday morning with a few snow showers towards the east, but it is a cold and frosty start to a new working week, and there will be scattered snow showers. and there could be a couple of centimetres accumulating and the cloud will push further west through the day and there could be snow through the midlands, wales, and although temperatures are above freezing, it will feel cold when you add on the effect of the wind chill with the cold, easterly winds, so it might feel no warmer than minus five celsius.
bitterly cold, and overnight into tuesday, more persistent and heavy snow showers from the north sea across eastern scotland and eastern england. temperatures well below freezing to start tuesday and it won't warm up in a hurry because we have the cold, easterly winds. heavy snowfall and the met office have issued a amber warning for disruptive snow on tuesday and we could see disruption to travel, school closures, power cuts, as the heavy snow showers continue working on the brisk easterly wind. some of the snow showers reaching wales and towards the south—west, but it will be eastern areas that see the heaviest and most persistent snow showers. a bit of sunshine and dry weather, but
northern ireland and western scotland will only see that. on wednesday, a similar picture, a mix of sunshine and heavy snow drifting from east to west across many parts of the country. us through the course of wednesday so it will feel cold and snow will accumulate quickly. we could see ten or 20 centimetres of snow for many areas, maybe more over the higher ground but not as much in terms of snow amounts further west but it looks like we could see the area of low pressure bringing heavy and widespread snow from the south across much of the country by thursday. you're watching bbc news. the latest headlines: there are claims of a chemical weapons attack in the damascus suburb of eastern ghouta. activists say that these pictures are from hospital ended the muskens are from hospital ended the muskens a bold under intense attack from government forces. as the winter olympics closes, north korea has opened the door to talks with the us.
but washington says pyongyang must agree to give up its nuclear weapons first. there have been clashes in barcelona as the spanish king visited catalonia for the first time since last year's vote for independence. police held back a crowd of hundreds of people chanting antimonarchist slogans. senior catalan officials, including the mayor of barcelona, refused to attend a formal reception. now it's time for hardtalk.