welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is mike embley. our top stories: white house officials say there's no final decision yet on military strikes against syria. the president, though, says the missiles are coming. britain's prime minister summons her cabinet for a special meeting to discuss the uk's response. in other news, more than 250 people are killed when a military plane crashes in algeria. the daughter of a former spy poisoned in the uk last month has rejected an offer of help from moscow. and facebook founder mark zuckerberg admits even his own personal details were accessed in a high—profile data breach. the trump administration is saying no final decision has been taken on military strikes against syria, in response to saturday's suspected chemical attack by government troops
on the rebel—held town of douma. that's despite a volley of tweets from the president, the rhetoric extraordinary even by recent standards. his spokeswoman had to respond to suggestions that mr trump had pre—empted a decision by warning russia, in a tweet, that it should get ready because "nice, new and smart" missiles were coming. there is a lot you can read from it at the same time the president has a lot of options at his disposal and they remain on the table and we are continuing to look at each one of them. sarah sanders also repeated that the trump administration holds syria and its main ally russia responsible for whatever happened in douma. officials from the world health organisation have said they believe around 500 people were affected, and about 70 died. the un security council is to discuss syria in private on thursday. here's our north america editor, jon sopel. they're getting out of harm's way. translation: we lived through very
difficult times in eastern ghouta, especially the final three days in douma, when the regime carried out its attacks on civilian neighbourhoods and used chlorine gas, which caused suffocation among civilians. and it's notjust refugees. according to many accounts, syrian soldiers are on the move as well, temporarily abandoning barracks ahead of any us—led attack. the threat of military action brought this warning from one of russia's most senior diplomats in the region. translation: if there is a strike by the americans, then we point to the declarations made by president vladimir putin and the russian military leadership that the missiles will be downed, and even the sources from which the missiles were fired. but those comments have the effect of goading the president,
and this incendiary tweet. and at the defence department, they're preparing for all eventualities. we're still assessing the intelligence, ourselves and our allies, we're still working on this. we stand ready to provide military options if they're appropriate as the president determines. although a slightly more conciliatory tone later from the president, when he said... a year ago, the us military launched a one—off cruise missile attack on a syrian airfield. it seems as though the us is preparing for something more extensive and more sustained this time, and with other nations involved. the ayes to the right, 272, the noes to the left, 285. five years ago, when barack obama was president, plans for military action by the us fell apart after the british parliament voted
against such a move. but it looks as though this time around, theresa may is giving her american counterpart the nod there'll be no such impediments. all the indications are that the syrian regime was responsible, and we will be working with our closest allies on how we can ensure that those responsible are held to account, and how we can prevent and deter the humanitarian catastrophe coming from the use of chemical weapons in the future. the strident language we're hearing from both sides is, frankly, more akin to two heavyweight boxers trash talking at the weigh—in before a bout. but leaving the words to one side, there are the wider strategic questions. what is american policy now toward syria? does it support regime change? does it want further involvement or to pull out? on those questions, we're none the wiser. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. britain's prime minister will meet with her cabinet
on thursday to discuss where the uk stands on all this, as our deputy political editor jon pienaar explains. it is already clear tonight that the prime minister is poised to see britain involved in military action. she as good as said so today, when she spoke about the need to prevent and deter another chemical attack. today, the prime minister has been working hard to keep up with donald trump. those tweets landed with quite a thud in whitehall. the labour leader, jeremy corbyn, has been saying today that any military action should require parliamentary approval in advance. but one thing we are being told is that the prime minister is perfectly prepared to contemplate taking action in doing so without getting that prior approval. she believes that action is urgently needed to prevent another possible chemical attack. she is also reluctant to ask donald trump to hold while she seeks that approval here in westminster. you may think of the prime minister, generally, as being a cautious leader and she is.
but things now seem to be moving along under their own momentum and quickly. our moscow correspondent steve rosenberg has this assessment of the kremlin‘s position. moscow has made its position crystal clear, really and spell that out in today's edition of the russian government paper which said this. russia reserves the right to shoot down planes and to sink ships that are aggressively in syria. that sounds like a direct warning to the united states and her allies do not launch a military strike on syria. are the russians bluffing? is this bluster? sabre rattling? possibly. but to dismiss it as such is risky. this is a high—stakes geopolitical poco. —— poker. russia is a nuclear power and one that has been pursuing an increasingly aggressive foreign policy and relations with the west have been growing
increasingly strained. one more thing. of course neither moscow nor washington want the war in syria to morph into a war between russia and the united states. the problem is when you have a surfeit of rhetoric and sabre rattling as there is now on both sides and you add a deficit of trust, that is a very dangerous combination. for more on possible action in syria after the suspected chemical attack, just go to our website. you'll find background articles and expert views including this analysis of how the international community has responded, or not, to previous claims about chemical weapon attacks. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. pope francis has admitted he made what he calls grave errors" ofjudgment in the case of the chilean bishopjuan barros, who it's alleged covered up abuse by a paedophile priest. in a letter, the pope has called a meeting of chile's bishops to discuss the sexual abuse crisis and he's promised to meet representatives of victims.
many chileans have criticised the way pope francis defended bishop barros on a visit injanuary. prosecutors in los angeles are reviewing a sexual assault case against kevin spacey after an investigation by the sheriff's department. more than 30 men have made allegations against him. a spokeswoman for the actor declined to comment. a memorial service has been held in south africa for winnie mandela, anti—apartheid campaigner and former wife of nelson mandela. she died earlier this month aged 81. the service, open to all south africans, attracted thousands to orlando stadium in soweto. there'll be a state funeral on saturday. police in connecticut say a man with a crush on taylor swift robbed a bank as part of an attempt to propose to her. he went to the singer's mansion on rhode island and threw some of his stolen cash over a fence to try to impress her. he was pursued by police and arrested and confessed his plan. yulia skripal, who was poisoned with a nerve agent
in britain last month — along with her father — has rejected an offer of help from moscow. in herfirst statement since leaving hospital — issued through the police — she says she is still suffering from the poisoning and, even though she is a russia citizen, does not wish to be contacted by the russian embassy. andrew plant has the latest. you yulia skripal left hospital on monday, her father sergei is still there after both were exposed to a nerve agent in the city of salisbury last month. she is now in a secret location and has asked to be left alone. in a statement, she praised hospital staff saying, she also refuses offers of help from russia, sergei skripal is a former russian spy who was
living in the uk. he and yulia were discovered on march 4th on a park bench. it was unclear if they were to survive. they had been exposed to the nerve agent novichok. britain asked the office of the prohibition of chemical weapons to investigate. theirfindings will be released on friday. britain has received strong diplomatic backing with over 20 countries expelling russian diplomats in protest. meanwhile, skripal is said to have responded well to treatment and he is expected to leave hospital soon. paul ryan — the speaker of the us house of representatives — and the third most powerful republican — has announced he will not run for re—election in november.
his departure follows a wave of retirements of republican members of the house, which throws the contest wide open for a number of seats in the upcoming mid—term elections. here's jane o'brien. paul ryan is probably one of the few people who says when he wants to spend more time with his family, most people do believe him. that does not alter the fact that the timing of this announcement is absolutely terrible for republicans because not only does it leave wisconsin wide—open for a democratic challenge, it also risks sending the strongest signal yet that the republicans are in real danger of losing the house to the democrats. if that happens, then president trump could be in deep trouble because they have already accused him of obstruction ofjustice and that could strengthen their hand if they choose to go down the road of starting the political process of impeachment. the founder of facebook, mark zuckerberg, has revealed he was among the tens of millions of users whose data was accessed by malicious third parties.
he made that disclosure on his second day of questioning at congressional hearings in washington. he rejected suggestions that users don't have enough control over their data, on the world's largest social media network. here's our media editor amol rajan. seconds out, round two. mark zuckerberg's second testimony in as many days promised to make amends for the first. yesterday, meandering questions and blatant ignorance about how facebook actually works led to a poor show by congress. today had to be better, and there were flash points. let me ask you. is it true that facebook offered to provide what i guess you refer to as dedicated campaign embeds to both of the presidential campaigns? congressman, i can quickly respond to the first point... were there embeds? were there embeds in the two campaigns? congressman... yes or no? time and again, the rigid structure inhibited lawmakers. with just four minutes each,
they often overlapped and failed to pin him down. where does privacy rank as a corporate value for facebook? congresswoman, giving people control of their information and how they want to set their privacy is foundational to the whole service. it's not just an add—on feature or something we have to comply with. the reality is, if you have a photo... if you just think about this in your day—to—day life... no, i can't let you filibuster right now. the attacks grew more pointed and personal. the 33—year—old billionaire was accused repeatedly of being, in effect, a spy. you're collecting medical data, correct, on people that on are on the internet whether they are facebook users or not, right? congresswoman, yes, we collected some data... and you're collecting, you watch where we go. facebook also gathers the data about where we travel. isn't that correct? congresswoman, everyone has control over how that works. i'm going to get to that, but yes, you are. would you just acknowledge
that yes, facebook is? that's the business you're in, gathering data and aggregating the data? congresswoman, i disagree with that characterisation. then came a revelation. was your data included in the data sold to the malicious third parties? your personal data? yes. it was. for now, the significance of any mistakes zuckerberg made remains unclear. through nearly ten hours of grilling, he kept his composure. i don't suppose you want to hang around for another round of questions? just kidding. zuckerberg's interrogation generated over $17 billion for shareholders. that's around one and a half billion dollars an hour, not bad, even for silicon valley. the past 48 hours were a missed opportunity for american lawmakers that showed why global governance for the tech giants is so hard. regulators are inherently parochial, whereas the companies are international. and frankly, there is often a generation gap that is between politicians and the precocious entrepreneurs of silicon valley. gridlock in congress means new data laws coming from brussels next month
rather than washington. that should worry zuckerberg most. but he'll sleep easier tonight. our media editor amol rajan reporting. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: we look at the illegal blood trade in china. despite strict new regulations, it appears to be continuing. pol pot, one of the century's greatest mass murderers, is reported to have died of natural causes. he and the khmer rouge movement he led were responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million cambodians. there have been violent protests in indonesia, where playboy has gone on sale for the first time. traditionalist muslim leaders have expressed disgust. the magazine's offices have been attacked, and its editorial staff have gone into hiding.
it was clear that paula's only contest was with the clock, and as for a sporting legacy, paula radcliffe's competitors will be chasing her new world—best time for years to come. quite quietly, but quicker and quicker, she seemed just to slide away under the surface and disappear. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: the trump administration says no final decision has been taken on military strikes against syria — in response to a suspected chemical attack on douma by syrian government troops. britain's prime minister theresa may is to summon her cabinet for a special meeting to discuss the uk's response to the situation.
not enough people donate blood in china — and for decades there's been a black market in the illegal trade of blood. new rules which were introduced at the end of march are supposed to put an end to a system which allows people to give blood for friends or relatives. but as our china correspondent robin brant reports, the buying and selling of blood seems to be continuing. this is how much medicine you have at home when you are 31 and recovering from cancer. gao's immune system is weak after chemotherapy to fight leukaemia, but that wasn't her only battle. she had to find blood. china has a chronic blood shortage, and even though she had donated in the past, which should have given her a guarantee of blood, the hospital had none. so gao had to buy it. in fact, it was her mum who went out to do the deal.
she was emotional as she described the last few years. it is not hard to find blood traders in china. the bbc spoke to this man outside a donor centre in shanghai. he told us he pays people to donate, then he sells their certificates to needy patients, which they exchange for blood. it is illegal, and the government banned it last month. it is almost two weeks now since the rules changed, so we came back to the same blood centre in shanghai, and we've been driving around for half an hour. and look who we've seen
hanging around outside — the same man, this time in red, in the same place. the era of blood traders outside donation centres across china, waiting for patients, doing deals is supposed to be over but there is still a problem inside and it's a big problem. there is not enough of this. only about 1% of chinese give blood. china had a reciprocal system. people could donate, they earn credit, they could give that to friends and family. but that's what gave rise to the blood traders, so the government banned it last month. in a village on the edge of beijing this month, that is good news. zaozao has a rare blood type, which she discovered when she was pregnant. she wants better regulation and advertising. she thinks an end to people shopping around for blood
will encourage more donations. but that requires a change in culture, and gao doesn't have time to wait for that. she wants the old system back, because she says friends, family, even the blood traders, kept her alive. the us attorney general has taken a tough line on immigration enforcement — as he visited border sheriffs meeting in the state of new mexico. he talked about the need to crack down on drugs coming from mexico to the us. his remarks come less than a week after president trump ordered national guard troops to protect the border. the bbc‘s james cook is in new mexico and has this report. new mexico has been an american state for barely a century and in a way not much has changed on this frontier. it is a 9 cents now with patrols and cameras but if you really wa nt patrols and cameras but if you really want to cross from mexico to
the united states, you can still can. in the year after the presidential election in 2016 there was a sharp drop in illegal crossings. some called at the drop of fa ct. crossings. some called at the drop of fact. the president has done well in trying to want to secure our border and ifeel like in trying to want to secure our border and i feel like some in trying to want to secure our border and ifeel like some people that don't live on the border don't understand but ultimately what is trying to do is deter these people that are criminals from entering the united states and taking care of the people that do live here. but some border sheriffs say the trump effect is now wearing off. arrests the frontier up again to 50,000 last month. enough, says the nation ‘s top law enforcement officer. we are strong, prosperous and orderly nation in a nation must have a lawful system of immigration. get
back here, on time. the national guard is now on the move of the border are not the first time. the nation ‘s reserve soldiers were employed —— deploy in new mexico in 2010 amid a surge in violence but the governor at the time insists that was different. i didn't deployed around the whole border and idid it deployed around the whole border and i did it for an emergency. this is not an emergency. immigration has declined dramatically especially in the new mexico border. this is a political ploy. the people come united, will never be divided. and outside the venue wherejeff sessions was speaking there was even more hostility. they are trying to start a war more hostility. they are trying to starta warand more hostility. they are trying to start a war and to shoot and i think it is very dangerous not only for oui’ it is very dangerous not only for our community but the nation, the fa ct our community but the nation, the fact that you can allow the militarisation of the border, that means you can allow the militarisation of part of the united states at some point. the message the attorney general delivered here was uncompromising as the trump administration continues with the
nativist rhetoric that helped donald trump get elected to the white house. it is difficult to see how they can be any kind of accommodation between what we heard inside this hotel and what the protesters want to see outside it. at least 250 people have died on board a military aircraft which has crashed in algeria. state tv is reporting it came down shortly after take off, near the capital algiers. there are reports some people were killed on the ground. what comes to mind when you think of turkish cuisine? kebabs perhaps — or maybe baklava. it's a fusion of east meets west — influenced by asian and european cooking. now — one turkish couple is trying to raise the profile of their country's food — and they are thinking small — literally. as the bbc‘s tim allman explains. there are portion sizes, and then there are portion sizes. this may look like a doll‘s house, but it is in fact a miniature, fully working kitchen.
burcu celenoglu and anil aydin have come up with dozens of recipes that don't need many ingredients. translation: turkish cuisine is tremendous and spectacular. at the same time, it's very difficult, depending on the recipes. it's even more difficult to cook it in a miniature kitchen. it takes three times as long, but it's very difficult for me, since i had a lot of fun, and i think that the outcome is really nice. the couple have their own youtube channel, offering a variety of miniature meals with a turkish twist. you want a tiny steak with some tiny chips? not a problem. but cooking to order and cooking to size did take time. it tastes exactly the same when i minimise the exact measures. the first recipes i tried were stuffed vine leaves and baklava. i struggled a lot to cook stuffed vine leaves. it didn't look the same, it didn't taste the same.
i tried many times, and in the end i had the exact same taste. precision planning leads to gourmet satisfaction, even if the meals aren't what you would call filling. still, the cleaning up shouldn't take that long. the main story. the white house has said all options are still on the table in response to that suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel held area in syria. no final decision has been taken yet on military strikes. more on the bbc website. thank you for watching. there is a change on the way, something brighter and significantly warmer in ourforecasts.
but that change will be slow, will be gradual. so on thursday, for many, it's going to be another cloudy day. mostly dry, though. you can see from the satellite picture what's going on. we've got an area of low pressure down here to the south, areas of cloud being flung around it, and this little area of slightly thicker cloud here has been producing some outbreaks of patchy rain and drizzle, which will continue to drift northwards and westwards during thursday morning. generally we start the day with a lot of cloud, some mist, and murk, and drizzle, some hill fog, and most places will stay disappointingly grey as the day goes on. but there will be exceptions. here's a closer look at thursday afternoon. the north—west of scotland should do very nicely for sunshine, could well get to 12 degrees there in stornoway. more cloud lapping onto the coast of aberdeenshire and down into north—east england, with some spots of rain and drizzle. northern ireland likely to stay quite cloudy, as will much of north—west england, the midlands and wales.
but, for the south—west of wales, certainly the south—west of england, should see something a bit brighter. and things may brighten up a little bit towards the south—east, as well, later in the day. and then, during thursday evening, some showers are likely to trundle in towards the south—east of england. could be the odd rumble of thunder with these. they will then edge northwards as we go on through the night into the early hours of friday. and, with all that cloud around, and the misty, murky, drizzly conditions, it is not going to get cold — 5—9 degrees the overnight lows. now, friday's weather setup is essentially the same one that we've had for much of this week — high pressure anchored across scandinavia, low pressure down to the south, throwing this frontal system northwards. so we're going to see some showery rain across northern england and scotland during friday. something drierfollowing on from the south, albeit generally quite cloudy, although if the skies do brighten across southern parts of england and south wales late in the day, that could just spark off the odd hefty shower later on. those temperatures, if anything, beginning to climb a little bit.
could get to 15 degrees there in london, and not quite as chilly by this stage along those north sea coasts, and that trend of things getting slowly but surely warmer continues as we go on through the weekend. it won't be wall—to—wall sunshine, but i think there will be some brighter spells. equally, a little bit of showery rain at times. so, for the weekend, then, warming up slowly but surely. some sunshine, equally the chance for some showers, but let me show you what happens next week. because we develop this southerly wind, and that is expected to waft some really warm air in our direction. we could well get into the low to possibly mid—20s. that will feel like spring. this is bbc news, the headlines: the white house has said all options are still on the table in response to the suspected chemical weapons attack in syria, that no final decision has been taken on military strikes. earlier, president trump tweeted a warning to russia — the syrian government's main backer — that it should get ready because "nice, new, smart missiles" were coming. britain's prime minister theresa may
has summoned her cabinet for a special meeting on thursday to discuss the government's response. kuwait airways has stopped flights to beirut out of concern for the safety of aircraft in the skies around lebanon. at least 250 people have died when a military plane crashed in algeria. state tv is reporting that the aircraft came down shortly after take off near the capital algiers. it's believed most of the dead are army personnel and their families. there were some deaths on the ground.