welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: moscow expels 60 american diplomats. the un warns the spy poisoning case is pushing russia and the west towards a new cold war. yulia skripal, one of the victims of the salisbury nerve agent attack, is now conscious and talking. her father sergei remains critically ill. theresa may promises to make brexit a success for everyone and insists it will mean more money for schools and hospitals. the battle for blue skies — beijing cuts pollution by half, in the hope of a brighter future. and a tearful apology from australia's sacked cricket captain for his role in the ball tampering scandal. hello.
russia has responded to the expulsion of 60 of its diplomats from the united states by sending home an equal number of american diplomats. it's the latest twist in the international dispute over the poisoning of a former russian agent and his daughter in the uk. the american ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry to be told the us consulate in st petersburg must close. russia is still denying any involvement in the chemical attack — as steve rosenberg reports from moscow. the diplomatic pressure has been unprecedented. russian diplomats expelled, foreign ambassadors recalled, after the salisbury attack. it was never a question of whether moscow would respond, but when. tonight, russia expelled 60 us diplomats for the 60 russians america had ordered out. translation: the measures include the equivalent number of diplomats. as we speak, the us ambassador is
visiting our ministry where he is being addressed on the measures. they include the expulsion of a similar number of diplomats. russia is also shutting the us consulate in st petersburg. staff there given until saturday to vacate the building. and there will be other measures, too. as i understand it russia plans to take the same unjustified actions against 28 other countries, countries that stood in solidarity with the uk. russia is further isolating itself following the brazen chemical attack. an attack that left sergei skripal and his daughter yulia fighting for their lives. but the bbc understands that yulia is now conscious and talking. herfather, though, remains critically ill. earlier, the us ambassador to moscow told me he was in no doubt who had targeted them. how certain are you that the russian state was behind the attack in salisbury? there's been enough there to not only convince the united states, but about 25 other countries that
have taken similar actions, that there's enough evidence to believe that the russian state was behind this action in salisbury. america has expelled 60 russian diplomats, part of this coordinated international action. what signal does that send to moscow, do you think? you cannot use a military—grade nerve agent on the streets of salisbury, against a british citizen and his daughter, without a response. this is an expression of outrage at what happened, on the soil of the united kingdom. moscow continues to insist that it is innocent, that it had nothing whatsoever to do with the salisbury poisoning. tonight's tit—for—tat was expected, but it comes with a warning that if there are further hostile steps against moscow, russia will take more measures against the west. some in moscow fear a spiralling diplomatic war with the west
could end in military conflict. this is not the way for a solution. it is a way to hell. if you have not so many diplomats as you have, you have a lack of information, you have a lack of trust. you can react in this or that way, in the wrong way, from the wrong point of view, and this is the way to hell. the west sent a strong message here over salisbury. moscow has its own message for the west — don't push russia. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. as we heard there, doctors are seeing a rapid improvement in the condition of yulia skripal, who was poisoned alongside herfather. here's the bbc‘s daniel sandford. it's been a great 2a hours for this police investigation. this afternoon came the frankly amazing news that yulia skripal has responded well to treatment.
don't forget, it was only a week ago that a judge said she was unconscious, unable to communicate in any meaningful way, and it was unclear to what extent she would recover any capacity. and i understand that, beyond the official nhs update, she is both conscious and talking, and will therefore be able to give her account to counter—terrorism detectives of what happened on that sunday, 3.5 weeks ago. whether she'll be able to explain how it was that she and her father became contaminated is less clear. i understand she had nerve agent on her left hand, herfather had it on his right hand. and that does go along with the current theory that the novichok nerve agent had been smeared in gel form onto the front door handle of sergei skripal‘s house. but of course, what none of this helps anybody understand is who put the nerve agent there in the first place. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news:
the families of 68 people killed in a fire in an overcrowded police station jail in venezuela are demanding a full explanation. some relatives accuse police of a massacre in the city of valencia, to foil an attempted prison—break. the state governor has promised those to blame will be held responsible. former french president nicolas sarkozy has been ordered to stand trial on charges of corruption and abuse of power. it's alleged he tried to obtain information from a seniorjudge in return for the promise of promotion. last week mr sarkozy was placed under investigation over claims he took money from colonel gadafi. he denies all the accusations against him. the owners of the app myfitnesspal say a 150 million user accounts have been accessed in a data breach. the american fitness brand under armour owns the software. it says usernames, email addresses and passwords may have been stolen, but insists the passwords are protected by strong encryption. an unmanned chinese space station is about to make an uncontrolled fall to earth. experts aren't sure exactly when or where tiangong—i will come down.
but they are pretty sure the chances of anyone being hit by debris are slim. most of the spacecraft should burn up in the atmosphere. with exactly a year to go until the uk is due to leave the european union, and many key questions still unresolved, britain's prime minister has insisted the future is bright. theresa may visited — very briefly — england, wales, scotland and northern ireland during the day, and told the bbc brexit would bring great opportunities for the uk as an independent nation. i understand, because i understand why people voted for leaving the european union. a lot of people, immigration, taking back control of our borders was part of it, taking back control of laws, taking back control of our money. this was part of why people voted to leave the european union, and we are going to deliver on that. north, south, east and west.
a year left on our planned journey out of the european union. it will change the country, every corner of it. it means a smooth process. we will leave the european union on 29th of march, 2019, you've made a big promise on the nhs. some of your colleagues believe the extra cash could come from the so—called brexit dividend. do you believe there will be a brexit dividend, or might there have to be tax rises for the nhs? that's what some people are calling for. we want to grasp the opportunities that brexit provides and ensure we strengthen the bonds of this, the most successful union
you ask about money from the european union. of course, we're not going to be spending vast sums of money year in and year out, sending the money to the european union. priorities like the nhs in schools. so you do build —— do you believe there will be a brexit dividend? as part of our normal processes we will look at funding, but we have to look at long—term plan. that is what enabled us to take and put money already into the nhs. we are already committed to spending extra sums of money on the nhs. so you are not ruling out a tax rise, potentially. as part of our normal processes we will look at funding, but we have to look at long—term plan.
just finally, do you think brexit will be worth it? i think there will be real opportunities for the united kingdom. i think it is a bright future out there, and yes, i think brexit is going to deliver. our country will be different, but i think there are real opportunities for us as an independent nation in the future. the funeral has been held for another unarmed black man shot dead by police this time in his grandmother's back garden in california. stephon clark was shot 20 times by officers who say they thought he was carrying a gun. only a cellphone — a mobile — was found. stephon clark was 22. the civil rights leader reverend al sharpton was among those gathered to mourn. lebo diseko reports. they came to remember one man. stephon alonzo charlie evan atheo clark. but amid the grief, there was anger. we are proud of them for standing up for justice! a family, a community and its leaders demanding answers. these are the moments just before
stephon clark were shot dead. it was filmed by police who say they were responding to reports of break—ins in the area. moments later, mr clark was shot dead in his grandmother's backyard. he had been shot 20 times. police say they thought he was carrying a gun. but no weapon was found on him, just a cellphone. at a press conference on monday, his family called it an execution. young man who were bombing homes in austin, texas. the police followed him for hours. he wasn't shot once. but an unarmed black man holding a cellphone is shot 20 times. two officers, one of whom is black, have been put on administrative leave while an investigation is carried out. but the incident has led to days of protest,
and once again questions are being asked about how the black community in america is policed. lebo diseko, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news — still to come: five years after she was left for dead by the taliban — malala makes an emotional return to pakistan. the accident that happened here was of the sort that can, at worse, produce a meltdown. in this case, the precautions worked but they didn't work quite well enough to prevent some old fears about the safety features of these stations from resurfacing. the republic of ireland has become the first country in the world to ban smoking in the workplace. from today, anyone
lighting up in offices, businesses, clubs or restaurants will face a heavy fine. the president was on his way out of the washington hilton hotel where he had been addressing a trade union conference. the small crowd outside included his assailant. it has become a symbol of paris. a hundred years ago, many parisians wished it had never been built. the eiffel tower's birthday is being marked by a re—enactment of the first ascent by gustave eiffel. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: moscow says it's expelling 60 us diplomats. the un warns the spy poisoning case is pushing russia and the west towards a new cold war. theresa may has promised to make brexit a success for everyone, saying it will mean more money for schools and hospitals. let's get more now on our main story, the expelling of 60 us diplomats by moscow. earlier our washington correspondent
chris buckler told me why there is a potential for tensions to grow. the state department making very clear today that they are reviewing exactly what russia has done and if you take a look at it, it is very much a mirror of the action that america took — 60 officials for 60 officials, an embassy closing for an embassy closing. this is russia making very clear that this is very simple retaliation for what america did. but the state department is now considering retaliation itself and that means that they are thinking of further diplomatic action. but they are taking a moment to pause and to think here because everyone accepts there is a real danger of things escalating here and continuing to escalate. perhaps the strongest words have come from the united nations‘ secretary general antonio guterres when he said that there is the potential for this to deteriorate into another cold war. now, frankly, nobody wants that. and there is a real sense that everybody is going to try and take some stock here.
at the same time, the us is trying to show that it does not accept russia's suggestion that it is some kind of victim in this. in fact, there were strong words in which they said people should remember that the real victims here are sergei skripal and his daughter yulia who were, of course, poisoned using that nerve agent in salisbury. that is something the russians deny. but they also recognise that they have to try and keep open some of communication with russia, that it's in both countries interests. and reporters were asking at that state department briefing specifically about donald trump. he has remained relatively silent. there have been statements from the white house but, for example, on twitter, where very often we see his real thoughts, he hasn't said that much. now, there was an acceptance from the state department that they do need to have a relationship. vladimir putin and he have had conversations in which it is alleged that he did not bring up this
case of this poisoning. coffee companies will have to put a cancer warning label on coffee products sold in the state. the ruling says there was a failure to show that the threat from a chemical compound produced when roasting coffee was insignificant. the companies are expected to appeal. the fox news presenter, laura ingraham, has apologised for taunting a survivor of the school shooting in parkland, florida. in response, the student — david hogg — called on ingraham's advertisers to boycott her show. several companies, including tripadvisor and nestle, confirmed on thursday they would pull advertising from her show. the nobel peace prize winner,
malala yousafzai, has made an emotional return to pakistan, five years after being shot in the head and left for dead by taliban gunmen. she moved to the uk after the attack and now campaigns for women's education and human rights. alison freeman reports. under the cover of darkness and amid tight security, malala yousafzai returned home to pakistan. it was the first visit by the human rights activist since she was shot by the taliban in 2012. malala met the prime minister and went on to take the stage at his office to give an emotional speech, often wiping away tears. it was broadcast on state tv. i still can't believe that this is actually happening. malala was shot in the head by gunmen 5.5 years ago. she'd been campaigning for girls‘ education in the swat valley which,
at the time, was a militant stronghold. now an oxford university student, having lived in the uk ever since, in 2014, she became the youngest person to win the nobel peace prize. but today, she recognised the changes in her home country. from growing up in swat valley... speaks urdu. ..to then seeing extremism and terrorism in 2007 till 2009, seeing the extremes, and then seeing how many difficulties women and girls face in our society and how we can fight against those challenges, i can move on the streets, i can meet people, i can talk to people, and i can — and it's very — it is my old home again. speaks urdu. her trip is expected to last four days but it is not clear if she will visit her home town of swat.
china's rapid industrialisation and economic growth have produced record levels of pollution. it's reckoned toxic smog is responsible for at least a million premature deaths a year. but in beijing pollution levels fell this winter by more than 50%. the government is claiming success for a crackdown on factories using coal. and as our china correspondent john sudworth reports, it's not just the government that's trying to make a difference. beijing's skies are a strange colour of late — blue. in place of the usual toxic grey, this winter has brought prolonged bouts of days like these. and here, in part at least, is why. this factory is one of thousands that have been forced to close. they used to make ceramic tiles here. now, the kilns that once belched acrid smoke stand idle. translation: it was all very sudden. there were no meetings or warnings. the inspection team just turned up and shut us down. beijing still sees plenty of days
like this but the city's average level of pm 2.5s, the tiny particles that make up these pea souper smogs, fell by 20% last year. and here's further evidence of the huge political will involved — new gas pipes. hundreds of villages surrounding beijing have been ordered to stop burning coal on such a scale that the price of gas on the international market doubled. "whether we want to switch to gas or not, we have no choice", he says. local people complain about the costly changes forced on them to clean the air of the wealthy middle classes in the city.
beijing's ability to launch its battle for blue skies is, it could be argued, down to its authoritarian advantage, forcing many thousands to switch energy supplies overnight and closing factories at the stroke of a pen. but it has also had something else on its side — a little bit of luck. here's a typical day last winter. that's beijing, buried beneath a blanket of smog — the reds and purples on the map. this winter, though, the city has been blessed with unusually strong northerly winds, bringing with them cleaner air — the blues, greens and yellows. in the bigger picture, though, china's wider, continental—sized pollution problem has not gone away. but even if the progress is limited, it is significant. china has begun to show that it can trade economic growth
for the environment. john sudworth, bbc news, beijing. australia's former cricket captain, steve smith, has broken down in tears as he made a public apology for his role in the ball tampering scandal. his news conference in sydney was quickly followed by the australia coach, darren lehmann, announcing his own resignation once the current tour in south africa is over. this from our sports editor dan roan. a warning — there are flashing images in his report. from australian cricket's leader to its loneliest figure. steve smith back in sydney and facing the cameras today, having been sent home in disgrace for his team's cheating scandal. to all of my team—mates, to fans of cricket all over the world, and to all australians who are disappointed and angry, i'm sorry. supported by his father, the former captain's anguish obvious. any time you think about making a questionable decision, think about who you're affecting.
you're affecting your parents and to see the way my old man has been... sobbing. thanks, everybody. and my mum, it hurts. smith was banned for a year for covering up a team—mate's use of sandpaper to tamper with the ball during the cape town test match last weekend. cameron bancroft admitting today he also misled match officials when he was caught. i lied about the sandpaper and i panicked, i panicked in that situation and i'm very sorry. back injohannesburg came yet another casualty of the crisis. 48 hours after being backed by his bosses to continue, coach darren lehmann quitting. i just want to let you know that this will be my last test as head coach of the australian cricket team, as i'm stepping down. after seeing events in the media
today with steve smith and cameron bancroft, the feeling is that australian cricket needs to move forward and this is the right thing to do. meanwhile the instigator of the cheating, vice captain david warner, had little to say, as he arrived back on australian soil with his family. when fans gather here at the wanderers tomorrow for the first day's action in the fourth and final test match all the talk will be about one of the most remarkable weeks in cricket history. the sandpaper plot has now cost australia its captain, vice captain and the head coach, after darren lehmann‘s dramatic resignation herejust a few hours ago. rarely has a cricket tour been laid quite so low. 0nce idolised... that's the shot. ..then vilified, smith's road to redemption began today, but this fall from grace has been particularly painful. dan roan, bbc news, johannesburg. if you're going on safari to see wildlife and experience the wonders of nature, here's a cautionary tail.
one group got uncomfortably close to nature when a cheetah jumped on to the suv. while everyone focused on that one, another cheetah decided to jump inside. this was in the serengeti national park in tanzania. the tour guide warned everyone on board, very quietly, to avoid making eye contact with the cats, but they did manage to keep shooting video. while the cats are known for their speed, it's safe to say that this cheetah took its time — it was there for about 10 minutes. luckily for the vehicle's occupants, the cheetah spies a gazelle and decides it's more interesting than the vehicle and its passengers. there is much more for you at any time on the bbc website. thank you for watching. hello. make no mistake, there is a lot of weather of varying types to come this easter weekend.
some of it could cause some problems, too. there'll be some rain around at times. notjust that — some snow. easter monday looks a troublemaker, we'll see that at a moment. temperatures on the cool to cold side of average, but there will be some drier, sunny moments too. we'll detail all of that as we look throughout the entire easter weekend, starting with good friday. there will be some snow showers affecting parts of northern scotland from the word go, recovering to some of the higher routes, an area of hill snow moving from north—east england across other parts of eastern scotland. heavy showers developing in southern england, reaching into parts of wales, the midlands, east anglia later in the day, maybe with a rumble of thunder. single—figure temperatures, colder still in easterly winds across the northern half of the uk. just one or two showers, but sunny spells into northern ireland. the moisture with these showers starts to feed up the bit further north into saturday morning. an increasing chance of seeing a bit of snow into the tops of the welsh hills, maybe into the pennines going into saturday morning. these are your overnight temperatures. still some of the snow showers in the hills in north—east
scotland, as well. now, for saturday, the reason we are seeing some rain and hill snow is this area of low pressure. but tonight it's going to edge its way eastwards. but it's still going to get into parts of england and wales. some outbreaks of rain and some hill snow into the pennines. so all of this has to slide away eastwards during the day. some western parts may start to brighten up. still, as wintry showers move north, north—east scotland, south—east scotland getting along quite well, although still be rather cloudy. still a chilly breeze across the coast towards the north—east. the single—figure temperatures once again. but look at this — easter day, sunday. well, the winds are lighter, for a start. you may catch the odd shower, a frost to begin with, a few fog patches clearing. a few sunny spells around — most places are actually dry. the rain and the strengthening wind coming across south—east england later in the day, that is a sign of things to come for easter monday. here comes another area of low pressure. certainly got some moisture
associated with it, it's feeding northwards. quite chilly air on easter monday. and that means rain, yes, but feeding into the colder air, the chance for some snow as it spreads further north, as well, maybe notjust on hills. some of that could be disruptive, as well, but there's still a lot to play for. of course, easter monday is several days away. butjust an early heads up that if you are travelling on easter monday, you do need to keep across that forecast, because of that risk of snow that could cause some disruption. and we will, of course, keep you updated over the next few days. that's your latest forecast. the latest headlines: russia is expelling 60 american diplomats, as the diplomatic fallout escalates over the poisoning of the spy sergei skripal in britain. the un secretary—general, antonio guterres, has warned tensions are pushing russia and the west towards a new cold war. doctors in the uk say yulia skripal, who was poisoned in the attack, along with herfather, is now out of danger.
the bbc understands her health is improving rapidly and she's now conscious and talking. sergei skripal is still in critical condition. with exactly a year to go until the uk leaves the european union, theresa may has been visiting england, scotland, northern ireland and wales, very briefly, in one day. the prime minister insisted the uk would have a bright future after brexit, and that leaving would mean more money for hospitals and schools. it is just off the half—past four in