welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is nkem ifejika. our top stories: american officials say they believe at least a0 people —— american officials say they believe at least 70 people have been killed in what appears to be a chemical weapons attack in syria. german police say a man who drove into a busy street cafe in muenster, killing two people, had psychological problems. translation: the perpetrator who, at around 3pm, ploughed into a group of people was a german citizen and not, as it was reported, a refugee or something similar. brazil's former president lula is beginning a 12—year prison sentence for corruption after surrendering to police. president putinjoins worshippers at midnight mass in moscow to celebrate the orthodox easter. the us state department says it's monitoring disturbing reports
of a chemical weapons attack in the rebel—held district of eastern ghouta in syria. just to warn you, the pictures we're about to show are distressing. american officials say at least 70 people have been killed and hundreds injured with women and children are among the dead. the syrian government has denied carrying out any such attack. in the past few minutes the eight department have said if confirmed, the attack will need an immediate response from the international community. the victims of an alleged chemical attack according to volunteer rescue workers in douma. this footage supplied to the reuters news agency and not independently verified by the bbc apparently shows medics
desperately trying to help children and families. syria's government says the allegations are a fabrication, staff from the medical relief organisation on the frontline say they are worried about what could have been used. many patients have suffered from symptoms compatible with exposure to gas, chlorine gas. also their symptoms we re chlorine gas. also their symptoms were deteriorating in a fashion that isn't compatible with fewer chlorine gas exposure and that is where our positions are concerned about exposure to nerve gas in high concentrations. what is not disputed is the ongoing bombardment of douma, the last remaining rebel stronghold on the outskirts of damascus. weeks of assault from the air and ground as the president's troops, backed by russia, try to reclaim control of the town. and that is perhaps why the town. and that is perhaps why the us has been quick to blame oath, saying: graf or and it is civilians who suffer most,
as this conflict continues, more than seven years in and no end in sight. the german authorities say a man who drove a van into people outside a restaurant in the city of muenster was a german citizen and officials say there is no islamist link. the bbc‘s bethany bell reports from muenster. the van drove into a crowd in a popular area of the old town of muenster. it was a sunny afternoon and people were out sitting at cafes and people were out sitting at cafes and restaurants. the driver of the vehicle, a german citizen, died after shooting himself in his car at the scene. he has not yet been officially identified. the
authorities say there is no indication that this was an islamist attack. transocean micro the perpetrator who recklessly sped into a crowd of people is, according to our investigations, a german citizen, not a refugee, as has been previously been reported. german media reports said the driver had a history of mental health problems. police have searched his apartment. this part of town would normally be full of people out enjoying themselves on a saturday night. but now police have cordoned off the entire area. people who live here have been evacuated and a number of them are spending the night in the theatre just down the road. the incident comes at a time of heightened concern afterjihadist attacks in britain and spain. local police urged people not to speculate and wait for official information.
germany's chancellor angela merkel says she was deeply shaken by the incident. she said everything was being done to help the victims and their relatives. bethany bell, bbc news. you'll find more details on how that attacked unfolded on our website. there's a full account of events in muenster, plus more on other recent attacks in germany. just go bbc.com/news, or download the bbc news app. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news: defence officials in afghanistan say they've killed a senior commander of the islamic state group. they say a drone was used to target qari hekmat in the northern province of jawzjan. he had defected from the taliban to is a year ago. a number of senior members of the extremist group have been killed in afghanistan recently. israel's army says it will investigate the death of a palestinian journalist shot to ring the latest round of clashes between palestinian protesters and israeli forces on gaza's water with israel.
the 30—year—old was one of nine palestinians killed on friday. today, mourners in the gaza strip bury their dead. the vatican's police force has arrested a priest suspected of breaking child pornography laws. he is being held in one of the vatican ‘s sales. for cells. american and canadian officials started investigating the priest last year. the former brazilian president lulu has surrendered himself to police to begina12 has surrendered himself to police to begin a 12 year sentence for corruption. lakra one arrived by helicopter, telling a default turning himself into police and negodaylo stand—off that will see him begin serving a 12 year prison sentence for corruption. he was taken from his home town to the southern city. the former president insists he is innocent and a short time ago the bbc gave us the sub
eight. it's been the culmination of a tense few days here in brazil. it was the early evening when lula finally made it out of the union building after a previous attempt to try and get out in a car, but protesters stopped the car from leaving, but eventually walked out and was sped off in a car. he went straight to have a medical exam, a helicopter to the local airport and from there he is going to the southern city of coritiba, where he begins his 12—year prison sentence. i'm assuming, katy, this isn't the end of the story? it's not the end of the story. it's certainly the end of a dramatic chapter in the brazilian political saga here. he will serve his sentence, he still says he wants to appeal, he's got two higher courts he can appeal to. he says he's not going to give up, even though he's handed himself in. no doubt lula will still be quite an influentialfigure. we've got presidential elections coming up in october and it'll be interested to see what happens then because he has said he still wants to stand, but of course he'll probably be prevented from doing so. it's been striking to see
the support for lula but also the opposition. absolutely. there were two brazils this evening, there were the protesters, who didn't want him to be handed in and to surrender, and on the other side of sao paulo there were people cheering, fireworks going. there's a real divide here in brazil, certainly a lot of people may be sad but there are plenty of others very happy about him now starting his sentence. firefighters have been tackling a blaze on the 50th floor of trump tower in new york. the cityfire department says one person has died and four firefighters have suffered minor injuries. the building serves as the headquarters of the trump
organisation. the president has an office there as well and also a home although he is currently in washington. the mirror of london sadiq khan visibly suffer the should feel confidence to stop—and—search anyone they suspected of carrying an offensive weapon. he emphasised his support to the targeted use of attack after more than 50 suspected murders in the city so far this year. an extra 300 officers are being deployed in areas of london, worst affected by violence. simon gerrans reports. lives lost, families grieving, some living in fear. and the growing question, what can be done to tackle violent crime? with calls for the police to make more use of controversial powers to stop—and—search suspects for weapons. the number of searches has fallen dramatically in recent years amid fears that poorer areas and ethnic minority groups were being disproportionately targeted. when stop—and—search is used properly, it's an invaluable tool to the police. we want more targeted, intelligence—led stop—and—search. the game changer as far as london should be concerned is we have had the biggest roll—out in the world of body—worn cameras.
the advantage for members of the public is they should have the confidence that the police officer is recording the interaction between the police officer and the member of the public. hundreds of extra officers are on the streets of london this weekend. but some academics question whether using stop—and—search significantly reduces violent crime. the metropolitan police commissioner, cressida dick, said she backed searches done in a way that is targeted and intelligence—led. in east london, there's some support. this is the right time to do it. we've seen too many killed. people could feel targeted as well, why am i being stopped rather than me or this guy or this woman, or so on and so forth. let them stop me and search me. let them stop even the girls, because the girls are also in the gangs. here in hackney, flowers mark the spot where 18—year—old israel 0gunsola lost his life this week. he was stabbed to death. many here say they've had enough. they want an end to the violence. but there is recognition there may
be no simple quick fix. 0ne former chief superintendent with the met says much more needs to be done to prevent young people carrying weapons in the first place. i think we need to be doing much more in schools. and certainly, when i've spoken to parents of children who have been murdered, one thing they say, all of them, without exception, is they want to see much more intervention at an earlier stage in schools. as the grieving continues, the mayor of london has invited the home secretary and all london's mps to a knife crime summit next week to discuss what else can be done in the fight against violence that is ruining so many lives. simon jones, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news. still to come, bollywood, salman khan released from jail after killing his five—year sentence approaching. —— after appealing. five years of hatred and rage as
theyjump up on the statue. this funeral became a massive demonstration of black power, power to influence. today is about the promise of a bright future, the day when we heard the line can be drawn under the bloody past. i think that picasso's works are beautiful, they were intelligent, and it's a sad loss to everybody who loves art. this is bbc news.
the headlines: american officials believe at least 70 people have been killed in what appears to be a chemical weapons attack on syria. german officials say there's no indication a man who killed two people in a vehicle attack in muenster, had any islamist connections. the us state department says it's monitoring disturbing reports of a chemical weapons attack in the rebel—held district of eastern ghouta in syria. it calls on russia to prevent further attacks. today has been an absolutely horrific day in douma, the largest town in in eastern houtha. —— ghouta.
area in 2013. symptoms such as pinpoint pupils, foaming at the mouth, in addition to nervous system comp locations. so this seems to be something of a nerve agent, either either sarin or vx. 0r another kind. so far we have 32 civilians confirmed dead but it is feared there are many more who are still stuck in their homes. -- 42. many of the civilians killed were women and children who were hiding in the underground shelters, and because the air is lighter than the gas, or rather, the gas is heavier than air, the gas sunk into the underground shelters killing those women and children who were hiding from the bombs. i do not know weather you have had a chance to see some of the images which we have been getting.
—— whether. we must stress we have not had these images independently verified. to treat this with caution, what you are telling us now is based on the symptoms and the way that people are reacting, from your past experience, but none of these things have yet been tested in a lab, is that correct? no, these have not been tested in laboratories, obviously. but, you know, there is no explanation other than chemical weapons for the kinds of symptoms that we are seeing in such a large number of patients. there is really no other explanation. what kind of support have you been able to give people? because this is a difficult situation to deal with, because it is not conventional warfare, in a sense, is it? absolutely not.
this is a completely horrific situation. people are describing its like doomsday or they feel like it is the end of the world for them. —— describing it. people's entire families have been killed in a single poison gas attacks stop the white helmets are on the ground trying to evacuate people, the syrian american medical society has teams on the ground, they are trying to do their best to help those who can be helped. unfortunately many of those who are dead, who were killed, they didn't even have time to move from their place and get out and get to fresh air. that is a strong sign that this is a nerve agent of some there is really no other explanation. what kind of support have
you been able to give there is really no other explanation. further limiting the ability of medics to respond to the chemical attacks. these were crimes which must be held to account, otherwise these kinds of crimes will continue with impunity. russia's ambassador to the uk has requested a meeting with the foreign secretary, borisjohnson, to discuss last month's nerve agent attack in salisbury. the russian embassy in london said its relationship with the foreign office was "utterly unsatisfactory". moscow denies trying to poison its former spy,
sergei skripal and his daughter, yulia, who are both recovering in hospital. here's our political correspondent, alex forsyth. the details of this invitation appeared on the russian embassy's website today and they said it was high time there was a meeting. they said the russian ambassador had written a personal note to the foreign secretary with this invitation and they hoped that uk would engage constructively. this seems to be part of efforts by russia to portray the british government as the ones who are being obstructive and uncooperative. russian officials have already questioned the decision to deny a visa to the cousin of yulia skripal, victoria. and to prevent consular access to the skripals in hospital. for its part, the foreign office has said it will consider this request and respond in due course but it's dismissed all of this as diversionary tactics, an attempt to deflect from questions about the russians' role in this attack. it has said that it is russia whose response has been unsatisfactory, it is russia that has failed to engage constructively.
while sergei and yulia skripal, their condition is said to be improving, but diplomatic relations between russia and the uk most certainly are not. the flow of people is continuing. in mexico. taking off to come down hard at the us border. ina president trump is mobilising state national guard troops to the country's southern frontier with mexico. texas is first. this deployment has begun with the movement of equipment and troops today. within 72 hours the texas military department will have 250 personnel, along with ground surveillance vehicles as well as light and medium aviation platforms. others are coming. arizona will deploy 150 members of the reserve
military force, and the president wants up to 4,000 there in total. it is to stop people like these: those crossing illegally into the united states. it is part of mr trump's proposed tougheranti—immigrant policies. also, on friday, he said he would end so—called "catch and release." that's the freeing of detained illegal immigrants while they wait to hear if they will be deported. instead, president trump wants to keep them in detention. we don't have laws, we have catch and release. you catch and you immediately release and people come back years later for a court case, except they virtually never come back. so we are preparing for the military to secure our border between mexico and the united states. such arrests on the border mark a four—decade low.
but pushed by poverty and violence in central america and mexico, hundreds of thousands of migrants every year are still willing to make the sometimes deadlyjourney to cross into the united states for a better life. translation: the truth is my plan is to work for a long time along the border. that is what i'm going to do. afterwards, god will say if i cross the border to the north, even if trump doesn't want me to. it has to be done. it is further straining the relationship between the us and mexico, over whose border tens of thousands of people cross legally for work and for trade every day. mexico's president called this week president trump's demands "disrespectful" on mexico to stop the flow of people, or the country's trade pact would be at risk. sending the national guard to secure the border has been done before, by both president 0bama and george w bush.
for president trump it is just a stopgap until he gets funding for his campaign promise of a border wall. something us congress is still to approve. bollywood star salman khan has been released from jail after being granted bail by an indian court. the 52—year—old actor has now arrived home in mumbai and waved at huge crowds from his balcony. the indian actor was sentenced to five years in prison on thursday, after being found guilty of killing two rare blackbuck antelopes, 20 years ago. under the terms of his bail, salman khan has been ordered to pay around £500 and will not be able to leave india without the court's permission. 0ur correspondent nitin srivastava was outside the court in jodhpur. there has been a sense of huge jubilation, firecrackers have been burst outside the courtroom by hundreds of bands of the bollywood superstar salman khan. ever since the news he was granted bail came out. this is the sessions court
where the hearing has been on since the morning. the local authorities did not allow the superstar to come and attend the hearing in person. they fear it could become a law and order problem. as you can see, there are fans, a huge media presence. and family, who had come to the court hearing. this may be a temporary respite for salman khan, one of india's top superstars, but this surely is not a full respite. the case is still on in the hearing is set to resume soon. nitin srivastava, bbc news, jodhpur, india. worshippers are holding candlelit vigils around the world for holy saturday for the orthodox easter—eve tradition. in russia, patriarch kirill led this beautiful easter mass in moscow's christ
the saviour cathedral. president vladimir putin was among the huge crowd at the midnight service. in jerusalem's old city, tens of thousands of christian pilgrims gathered for the holy fire ceremony, which dates back at least 1,200 years. and this was the scene on the greek island of corfu, where the tradition is to drop pots from a great height thousands of people gather to watch the pots smash, and cheer on those throwing them from balconies. hello.
mixed weather fortunes to start the weekend, some of us broken cloud and sunny spells and pleasently warmth, 19 degrees celsius at gravesend in kent, the uk's highest temperature of the year so far. looked pretty nice at whitstable as well. but not everybody enjoyed this kind of weather. there was a spell of rain moving north on saturday and for a while in the afternoon, cumbria looked like this. it will be cheerier in the day ahead. and this is what it looks like first thing. a mild start in south—eastern areas. but some patchy rain around. elsewhere, mainly dry. mist and fog, temperatures in mid to low single figures. the weather picture for part two of the weekend is fairly quiet for most of us but this weather front is a troublemaker, particularly who's going to get the rain from it. sunday a hard one to summarise. many northern and western parts of the uk might well stay dry, and get to see some sunshine at times. may catch a shower.
there is the chance of rain covering much of england from that weather front i showed you. this rain mayjust drift a little bit further west into parts of the midlands, maybe to dorset too, heading towards the east midlands and lincolnshire. some to the east of it, easternmost parts of england might avoid the rain and stay dry. with the exception of a few showers. elsewhere, scotland and northern ireland, sunny spells developing, one of two showers, not everybody will catch one. one or two showers breaking out too towards westernmost england and wales, but also seeing some sunshine. temperatures around 10 or 14 degrees, cooler, where you have the sunshine yesterday, it might feel a bit warmer than yesterday. brightens up in the afternoon. still to south—eastern parts on sunday evening, some outbreaks of rain. looking ahead to monday, we still have this weather front just edging a little bit further westward, or trying to.
we still have scattered showers in scotland and northern ireland. some heavy. similar temperatures across the united kingdom. not a huge deal of difference from our weather on monday. but there are developments as we go through the week ahead. on tuesday, still come weather fronts close by. i can show you this picture which has high pressure in scandinavia and a developing easterly flow. we have seen that before in recent months. don't worry. nothing too beastly in the week ahead. there will be that developing easterly flow. look at the wind arrows here. what that meanss is plenty of cloud coming in. some outbreaks of rain coming in from the east. probably the best of any limited brightness in the west of the uk. this is bbc news. the headlines — rescue workers and medics in the rebel—held enclave of eastern ghouta in syria now say at least seventy people have died in a chemical attack. the white helmets, a group of volunteer rescue workers, has posted graphic pictures online showing many bodies in a basement. germany's chancellor
angela merkel says she is deeply shocked by a vehicle attack in the north—western city of muenster, which left two people dead and around twenty injured. the perpetrator drove the car into a busy pedestrianised street then took his own life. officials say there's no indication that he had any islamist connections. brazil's former president lula is beginning a 12—year prison sentence for corruption after surrendering to police. he was flown to the jail in the southern city of curitiba from his home town near sao paulo, where he'd been holed up with supporters for two days. now on bbc news, it's time for click.