welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america on pbs and around the globe. i'm nkem ifejika. our top stories: brazil's former president lula is negotiating his surrender hours after a police deadline expired. doctors say sergei skripal, the former russian spy poisoned with a nerve agent, is making a rapid recovery. russia warns of a tough response as president putin's inner circle is implicated in new sanctions from the us. police in new york charge martial arts fighter conor mcgregor with assault and criminal mischief. hello and welcome to the programme. the former president of brazil, luis inacio lula da silva, has defied the deadline set by a court for him to
surrender to police. his lawyers are in negotiations with the authorities and have filed a motion to the supreme court to suspend a prison order. lula was sentenced to 12 years for corruption, although he says the charges against him are politically motivated. lebo diseko has the latest. his supporters had demanded no to jailfor lula, and it seems they have that for now. federal solice say they won't exercise the arrest warrant while negotiations continue for his surrender. luis inacio lula da silva had been holed up in a union building in his hometown of sao bernardo do campo hours after he was meant to surrender to police to start a 12—year prison term for corruption. his supporters say the conviction is political, designed to stop a man of the people from running for president in october,
a poll that he was favourite to win. translation: if lula is arrested, it will be as if the underprivileged class was arrested as well. translation: people will go in the street, people will come tomorrow and won't let anyone enter to get him out. but the anti—lula voices arejust as loud. outside the police headquarters, his detractors called lula a crook and a thief who belongs in prison. translation: i came herejust so i could see up close when this crooked man, lula, goes to prison. federal police say they hope they can bring an end to the stand—off on saturday, but with his legal team doing all they can to keep him out of prison, whether that will actually happen remains to be seen. lebo diseko, bbc news.
doctors treating the former russian spy who was attacked with a nerve agent in the uk say he's no longer in a critical condition. it's nearly five weeks since sergei skripal and his daughter, yulia, were found slumped on a park bench in salisbury. britain says russia is behind the poisonings but moscow continues to deny any involvement. leila nathoo reports. they were targeted with a chemical weapon. sergei skripal and his daughter, yulia, seen here in newly released family photos taken in russia. they were hospitalised more than a month ago after being exposed to a nerve agent, a toxic chemical designed to shut down the human body. but they have been fighting its effects, and today, the hospital gave this update. as yulia herself says, her strength is growing daily, and she can look forward to the day when she's well enough to leave hospital. i also want to update you on the condition of her father, sergei skripal.
he's responding well to treatment, improving rapidly, and is no longer in a critical condition. it was on 4th of march that the two were found incapacitated in the centre of salisbury. they were critically ill. a police officer, who was one of the first to respond to the incident, was also admitted to hospital. he was discharged a fortnight later. the skripals had been heavily sedated and unable to communicate. but last week, yulia regained consciousness. now herfather, too, appears to be making progress. it's fantastic news. somewhat unexpected, i think. we were obviously concerned they were in a very serious state, but we heard earlier this week that yulia is getting better. but to hear that sergei himself is also recovering well is excellent news and i hope to hear more encouraging news in the weeks ahead. in a statement, a foreign office spokesperson said: yulia skripal is communicating.
yesterday, she put out a statement via the police, saying she was getting stronger daily. but it's not yet clear whether sergei skripal is recovering to the same extent. but how is it that either of them have been able to withstand the impact of such a deadly substance? there are so many variables that a poisoning from novichok might take. so you have the environmental conditions in which the poison might have been left and how he might have picked it up. the quantities that actually got into him. we hear that it's through the skin, which is a lot more of a protective barrier than, for example, if it was inhaled. so, overall, it's a pleasant surprise, good news for him and good news for the investigation. yulia, and perhaps herfather too, will now become crucial witnesses in the investigation, described by counterterror police as one of the largest and most complex they have ever carried out.
leila nathoo, bbc news, salisbury. the united states has imposed sanctions on russian officials and companies accused of profiting from president putin's efforts to undermine the west. the list includes oligarchs close to the president and a dozen companies they control. russia has vowed a tough response. they are not about what has happened in salisbury and the response to that. we've already had 60 russian diplomats expelled as a result of that. this is much wider than that. this is about russian interferance in the presidential election, it's about the annexation of crimea, the russian behaviour in syria. and also, make no mistake, these are aggressive moves, the most aggressive that we have seen from the trump administration, and they're going to hit hardest those who are wealthiest and those who are closest to vladimir putin. i suppose the question that's legitimate to ask is why now given that the events we are talking
about is quite some time ago. it's as though donald trump didn't really want to go down this path. he's made clear he wants to rebuild russia's relationship with the united states and so has congratulated vladamir putin on his election victory, he's invited him to come here for talks at the white house. to look both ways at once. jon sopel with the latest. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. south africa's former president, jacob zuma, has appeared in court, facing corruption charges linked to a 1990s arms deal. mr zuma appeared forjust 15 minutes, smiling as he walked in. he's facing 16 charges of corruption, racketeering, fraud and money laundering. syrian activists say that heavy air strikes on the last rebel—held town in eastern ghouta have killed at least 32 civilians, including five children. douma is surrounded by government forces and the syrian army says the rebels still holding out there should leave or face
destruction in a full—scale military offensive. members of the us national guard from texas and arizona are being deployed to the border with mexico. texas is sending 250 personnel. arizona is planning to deploy 150. president trump has said he wants up to four thousand troops stationed on the border until the wall is built. palestinian officials say ten people have died and hundreds more wounded during fresh protests along gaza's border with israel. the israeli army said it opened fire on people who tried to breach its frontier defences. the palestinians began holding demonstrations along the border a week ago, demanding refugees and their descendants be allowed to return to land which is now in israel. from gaza, yolande knell reports. billowing black smoke. young palestinians burn huge piles of tyres as a smokescreen, as they hurl stones at israeli soldiers.
who fire back with tear gas and bullets. this was another bloody friday on the gaza border. but ahmed, his son and grandsons came to peacefully protest and pray. as a toddler 70 years ago, ahmed lost nearly all his family and his village when the state of israel was created. i was one day expelled and deported from my original country of palestine, i want to return back again. i am here to tell them, i am, in a peaceful way, want to return back to my homeland. israel rejects the claims of palestinian refugees. its military says it's been acting here to stop mass infiltrations into israeli territory. it blames gaza's hamas leaders for stirring up violence. i've just come from the gaza border and to my right are israeli homes, israeli communities,
mothers and fathers trying to protect their children. and just a few football fields away are crowds gathering, who've made it clear that their intent is to wipe israel off the face of the map. the plan is to continue the border demonstration into the middle of next month. despite the obvious dangers, palestinians here say they'll keep up their protests, they'll keep pressing their demands and confronting israel. on the other side of the border, israel sees all of this as a huge provocation, and it's threatening a harsh response. yolande knell, bbc news, in gaza. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: the unique and radical new york pianist sissel taylor dies at
89, how is he being remembered as one of the great innovators of modern music? —— cecil taylor. 25 years of hatred and rage as theyjump up on the statue. this funeral became a massive demonstration of black power, the power to influence. today is about the promise of a bright future, a day when we hope a line can be drawn under the bloody past. i think that picasso's works were beautiful, they were intelligent, and it's a sad loss to everybody who loves art. you're watching bbc news.
the headlines: the legal team of the former brazilian president lula asked the supreme court to suspend his 12 year jail sentence hours after he was due to hand himself in to police. russia's foreign ministry said there would be tough responses to the impact on sanctions. earlier i spoke to an expert. i asked him how effective these sanctions will be. they're probably not going to be very effective at all because even those these are very famous people, very rich guys
inafew very famous people, very rich guys in a few arms companies, ultimately these people have their money and positions because they're close to putin. they don't have any independent political power so even though they probably wouldn't like to be sanction because obviously it would be very irritating, they're not going to abandon him. their options at the moment are to keep supporting putin or defect to the west, when they would lose their money if with the sanctions right now. the key issue is they can't spend their money in the west and these guys have it spread all over these guys have it spread all over the place, but with these sanctions, then it's difficult for them to move money about an difficult for them to spend it? that's true, but for instance, one of the sanction persons, he has a diplomatic passport and right here in washington, dc, and he has one of the most expensive houses in dc, which he is visited in recent years with all these troubles because he can travel a lot more freely on the diplomatic passport rather than his regular one. and essentially for the
money of these individuals, they leverage shell corporations and sort of the tools of international finance to hide the source of the money and to continue enjoying assets abroad. i don't think any of them really and is about the sanctions will be for ever so one day they will probably get to enjoy them against quite so if you don't think this will work, what do you think this will work, what do you think will work? at that point what we can understand is president putin isa we can understand is president putin is a master politician and he's built a wide political coalition of not just these built a wide political coalition of notjust these individuals but people who run the state budget, state employees, people who are very poon state employees, people who are very poor, and the state services but one aspect of that political coalition is those people who have made whatever money in russia and now essentially live abroad in the uk, canada, the united states, and if the west were really to get serious about forcing difficult political choices on putin they would go after the money and property of people a
lot less famous than these oligarchs. and what that would force putin to do, effectively if these people are supporting putin but enjoy their money abroad, and they are essentially get all these financial sanctions, then putin would have to do something because they've held up their end of the social bargain. if putin does something then that would be an eskimo tory move, but if putin does nothing them that identifies the limits of his power and that in fact would be a very difficult political choice for the russian president. so you're saying go after the mid—level soldiers rather than those at the top because those at the top have the means to escape these kinds of sanctions? the people at the top are in russia and there with putin until the end, but those who are essentially rely on the personal protection of mr putin, that is sort of in aggregate would be much more difficult for putin to defend and that would be the sort of step that would indicate that the west is
serious about challenging russia and its foreign policy course. facebook has announced that anyone placing political adverts on its network will have to state who is paying for them. under the new rules, those posting such ads will also have to verify their identity and location. the company's chief executive, mark zuckerberg, said he wanted to make it harderfor fake news to be shared. our correspondent, dave lee, reports from san francisco. one of these measures is to monitor the funding of advertising, to see where adverts that have been paid for by a campaign to be on facebook, to make sure that's completely clear. they're going to make sure that anyone who is placing an advertisement and on facebook around political interests is being verified, and they will do that by making sure they are using a us government issued id, they will send an access code to a physical address in the us to prove that a person is based here, and only once they input that access code into facebook will they allowed to do any advertising. when it comes to large pages, they have many millions
of followers, facebook will make some efforts to verify who is looking after those pages, to make sure they are who they say they are, because that was one thing russian interests did during the election campaign, they pretended to be americans running pages about american politics, when in reality they were russian trolls, as has become known, operating out of st petersburg. two things facebook is hoping to do in order to make sure that these tactics used by russia perhaps cannot be used again. more than seven million companies, people use facebook advertising every single month, and so the idea that the company can go through each of those individually will be incredibly difficult. all of this comes ahead of some hearings next week in washington, mark zuckerberg himself is going to be in congress to answer questions on two separate days. i think many of these changes announced on friday here in california are going to be
designed to make sure that mr zuckerberg can be in front of those senators and representatives saying that they are doing things, here are the measures they have put in place. whether those changes will be enough to keep politicians happy will remain to be seen, there is a lot of ground that facebook has to make up before it can say they has the situation under control. but it does seem like things are going in the right direction. the mixed martial arts fighter conor mcgregor, has been charged with assault and criminal mischief, by police in new york. the former ufc champion is accused of vandalising a bus containing rivalfighters. he's been released on bail, as our sports correspondent richard conway reports. even in a sport where the hype comes as standard, conor mcgregor may have overplayed his hand. get a medic! as the ultimate fighting championship, or ufc as it's known, held a media day in new york,
mcgregor and his entourage stormed the backstage area, attacking a coach containing rivalfighters. video appears to show mcgregor throwing a metal trolley, while others rain objects towards the vehicle. with his privatejet grounded, the irishman turned himself into police. and, after a night in the cells, was led to court today. astarof ufc, mcgregor‘s future in the sport now appears to be in jeopardy. it's disgusting. and i don't think anybody is going to be, you know, a huge conor mcgregor fan after this. ufc is hugely popular around the world. the company which organises and promotes the sport was sold two years ago for more than £3 billion. competitors use a combination of fists, knees, elbows and feet in a mix of martial arts.
chanting: we want conor! conor, the bbc, how are you? and within that world, there is no bigger attraction than mcgregor. supported by ufc, he turned to boxing last summer, taking on, but eventually losing to, floyd mayweatherjr, in one of the most lucrative pay—per—view bouts in history. as a master showman, he revels in creating a circus, courting controversy, and being outspoken. all publicity is said to be good publicity, especially for a man who has forged a career as a flamboyant outsider. but any criminal conviction could yet see conor mcgregor lose his right to work in america. richard conway, bbc news. one of america's most influential jazz pianists, cecil taylor, has died at the age of 89. born in new york and classically trained, taylor was known for the physicality of his playing, at times using his fists or palms. with his distinctive
percussive style, he challenged jazz tradition and launched the free jazz movement. let's hear a bit of that. exuberant jazz plays. philip freeman is a freelance journalist for the wire magazine, and founder of burning ambulance, an arts and culture website and podcast. in 2016, he interviewed cecil taylor, and hejoins us now. he said he created his own style. he started playing the piano aged six. i mean, he was classically trained, a complete master of the keyboard. i think that is one of the most common misconceptions about taylor, that he was some sort of iconoclast or rebel against jazz tradition, when, in fact, he loved
more traditional players like duke ellington. he was very much on his own path. he was creating his own music. but fitting it within a much broader artistic tradition. for those who'd never witnessed him play, i just want to give this example of a video that i saw — you can search on youtube, and watching him play, i held my breath. i grabbed onto the chair that i was sitting on and just held on to it while he played. yes, i remember, isaw him five times between 1997 and 2016, and there was one time in particular i remember seeing him, at avery fisher hall, part of lincoln centre in new york, and he was playing solo. he played this tidal wave of notes. you were sure that it
was completely improvised, that it was total freedom in action. then he paused for one beat and played the exact same thing again. myjaw fell, you know? to realise that he had planned the entire thing was astonishing. tell us a bit about his work ethic. because, you know, he wasn't one of those young musicians who said, "i haven't practised since i was 19." he was a hard—working man. he was. what is interesting is that he would sometimes go years without making a record, but he would be writing new music, assembling a new group, taking it on tour in europe, and then disbanding it again. the project was complete when the audience heard the music. that was enough for him, in a lot of ways. the other thing that is really interesting is that he kind of considered all aspects of his life to be part of his art. he had a strong visual style in the way that he dressed,
and he enjoyed the good things in life in terms of eating and drinking well and travelling and experiencing major stuff, but at the same time, there was this side of him... he wasn't a hermit in any way. he knew his neighbours in brooklyn, you know? he was a friendly guy. he would go out to clubs, he would go out to see other musicians play. he was very much a part of the world and allowing everything in, to fuel his creativity. sa rajevo's sarajevo's landmark cable car has resumed service. it has been seen as a key moment in the reconstruction of the bosnian capital. people travel up the mountain that serves asa travel up the mountain that serves as a vantage point in the early 90s. half of the $8 million cost of the restoration was met by a wealthy
dutch born american businessmen and philanthropist. its end with some good news for elephants. conservationists recently spotted a pairof rare twin conservationists recently spotted a pair of rare twin elephant calves, one male and one female for the 1% of all elephant conceptions result in twins. the immortality risk is often high. these two seemed to be doing well and are already eight months old, which has given researchers hope for the recovery of the species. a reminder of our top story. the legal team of brazil the former president asks the supreme court to suspend his 12 yearjail sentence all of us he was due to hand himself in to police. he has been holed up in a headquarters of the steelworkers union. don't forget, you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter. i'm @nkem|fejika. bye— bye. hello.
thoughts on the weekend in just a second, but first of all, i think we should mark the fact that on friday here in the heart of london the temperatures reached in excess of 17 degrees celsius, the warmest day of the year so far. not far behind in the sunshine stakes, this was south wales. but somebody had to have all the cloud and rain and initially it was there in northern ireland and then it moved on to scotland and it was captured beautifully by graham in the heart of sterling. the weekend, cloudy, damp and mild. there will be dry weather. this is how friday shaped up. the reason why we had the brightness down towards the south—east and the warmth was because the frontal system never actually made it down into the south—east and into the first part of saturday, the rain still drifting its way slowly towards the northern half of scotland and then it arcs back from the north sea down to a new area of cloud and rain towards the south—west. cloud means that the weekend will not start on a particularly cold note.
that frontal system that i have drawn there as a straight line will wave all over, particularly in the central and eastern parts of the british isles for a good part of the weekend. to its east, there is some relatively mild air to be had. as i say, we've already got the temperature up to 17 and we won't be far off that mark — if we get a little bit of brightness, perhaps, across east anglia and the south—east. but further west, closer to that weather front, perhaps, the rain can be quite heavy for a time and as you see it drifts very slowly further north. it could eventually end up into northern ireland, could reach the scottish borders and eventually clear from the south. a bit of brightness here and that is where it could hit 16 or 17. some nice dry weather across the north of scotland. and from saturday on into sunday, the same weather front. a little wave on it there. a zone of cloud rather
than a thin band of cloud. and, again, at its thickest, it could produce rain. at this distance, my money is on the fact that there could be cloud and rain across east anglia and the south—east. elsewhere, this one is for the optimists, lots of dry weather around and there may be sunshine that could, even as far north as edinburgh, be boosting the temperatures to around about 13 degrees. just a sneak peek at the start of next week when you thought it was this atlantic front coming in to dominate the weather, in fact it is a low pressure over france, which eventually churns cloud and rain in from the east and south—east across a good part of england and wales. the best of the dry weather further north. this is bbc news — the headlines: the legal team of brazil's former president lula has asked the supreme court to suspend his 12—yearjail sentence for corruption. it comes just hours after he was due to hand himself into police. he has been holed up in the headquarters of a steelworkers' union. doctors treating the former russian spy who was attacked with a nerve agent in the uk say he's no longer in a critical condition.
sergei skripal and his daughter yulia were found unconscious on a park bench in salisbury, nearly five weeks ago. russia has threatened a ‘tough response' to new us sanctions imposed on russian officials and companies, who are accused of profiting from president putin's efforts to undermine the west. the blacklist includes mr putin's bodyguard, his son—in—law, oligarchs close to the president and a dozen companies they control. police say they will no