welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is nkem ifejika. our top stories: more fallout after the air strikes on syria: the us threatens new sanctions against russia over its support for president assad. a drive—by shooting at a church in pakistan leaves two dead. the islamic state group says it was behind the attack. hundreds of australian firefighters battle a huge bushfire outside sydney. police say it may have been started deliberately. and capturing the sound of the stars. nasa's new mission to seek earth—like worlds and alien life. the arab league hasjoined calls for an international investigation
into the use of chemical weapons in syria. the united states is preparing new sanctions against russia, targeting companies supplying damascus with chemical weapons capability. president putin, meanwhile, warned that any further western missile strikes against syria would cause international chaos. here is our middle east editorjeremy bowen. in damascus, journalists were shown one of the targets. the syrians deny it was a chemical and biological weapons site. the attacks were limited, a punishment, a message that the west won't tolerate the use of chemical weapons. the operation was designed to minimise the risks of starting a new war, by avoiding russians and iranians, the syrian regime's main allies. the russians still insist that the attack in douma a week ago was a conspiracy organised by britain. but these desperate attempts to decontaminate civilians, and pictures of many
others who died in agony, foaming at the mouth, prompted military action by the us, france and the uk. diaa, his wife, umm al—mour, and their children were among hundreds who were treated that traumatic night. their daughter masa's face, her pain and distress, went around the world. now, the bbc has managed to track them down to the relative safety of a camp in northern syria. the family's detailed accounts seem to corroborate the use of chemical weapons. translation: people were dying. suddenly, the civil defence came. they put us on the ground and poured water on us. then they took us to the medical centre, sprayed us, gave us injections. i was fainting. my heart was aching. when we went to sleep,
the planes shelled, and we were covered in dust. we went back down to the basement, and i saw how they were bringing the martyrs. instead of breathing air, we breathed the smell of blood. translation: i saw white smoke, like fog. our legs started to get weak. we started to lose the nerves in our legs. i had a shortness of breath and burning in the nose and chest. there was no oxygen, and we were fighting death to go upstairs and reach the higher floors. masa's father, diaa, says he heard a helicopter. the rebels don't have them, and the accusation is that the regime has delivered chemical weapons. translation: after four to five minutes, the regime started to shell us with artillery and rockets. after some moments, a helicopter passed over and some guys told us to go down one floor. president assad met russian politicians, with his regime, its airforce, and helicopters untouched by the weekend's attacks. the us, france and britain decided
against forcing regime change years ago. no wonder the president looked relaxed. jeremy bowen, bbc news. the american ambassador to the united nations, nikki haley, has declared that washington is now preparing sanctions on russia over moscow's support of syria. and earlier, speaking on fox news sunday, she denied reports that president trump plans to pull us troops out of syria within six months. one wanted to make sure that chemical weapons were not used, or weapons of mass destruction were not used,in weapons of mass destruction were not used, in any way that could harm american national interest. he wa nted american national interest. he wanted to make sure that we defeated isis completely unholy, to make sure that all of that threat was gone. because it is a threat to american national interests —— and wholly. he wa nted national interests —— and wholly. he wanted to make sure we had good grounds to watch what iran is doing,
and iran is a national threat to american interests. and so i think that, no, he neverthought american interests. and so i think that, no, he never thought he would get out in 48 hours. yes, it is all of our goal to see american troops come home, but we are not going to leave until we know we have accomplished those things. what he has done is talk to our allies and said they need to step up more, they need to do more, and it shouldn't just be us doing it. and i think thatis just be us doing it. and i think that is the right approach, but be very clear. if we leave, when we leave, it will be because we know that everything is moving forward. in an interview on french television, president macron has said he persuaded president trump to keep us troops in syria in the long term. president macron also defended airstrikes by france, britian and the united states, saying they were solely in response to a syrian chemical weapons attack. earlier this month, the american leader had been considering withdrawing a 2,000—strong force deployed there. let's go live to washington now, and our correspondent chris buckler. chris, even though the air strikes
are over, the story does not appear to have gone away. yes, it is becoming more a question of what is the strategy in syria, and is there a long—term vision as far as the trump administration is concerned? you heard nicky hayley very clearly that. she is saying that there are a number of things that now have to be addressed in syria before us troops leave —— nikki haley. president trump was not saying that two weeks ago. two weeks ago he was talking specifically about the so—called islamic state group being the big threat, and they have largely been defeated in that area. so what was the point in staying? making clear that, as far as he was concerned, that, as far as he was concerned, that syria was not america's problem, it was a much bigger problem, it was a much bigger problem, and that others would have to step up to the plate. now there isa to step up to the plate. now there is a different tone, and certainly president macon of france has given an indication that he has been instrumental in talking to president
trump and giving him some food for thought about what should happen here. now, there have been inside the white house, but according to nikki haley, the us ambassador to the un, there are new priorities. some of it is to do with iran, some of it with chemical weapon used inside syria, and potentially concerns is could develop and form in some way and find themselves a bigger grouping than they currently are after all the work of us troops. so we do have an idea of what the americans want from syria, a wider strategy as far as the wider conflict is concerned, though, that is something that we still don't know anything about, really. and they sound determined, according to nikki haley, determined that russia be punished in some form for supporting president assad of syria. yes, and we are talking again about the world of potential diplomatic sanctions. and in this run that we have seen of expulsions, of what
russians call diplomats and the americans call spies, and of course some economic sanctions, particularly on vladimir putin's inner circle. you can see that there is this aggressive stance that fanatically with russia. however, it is syria that remains that dangerous fault line in the relationship between the countries. russia and america do not agree on a whole range of different ideas, and a whole range of different issues. but syria yet remains one of those issues that could cause real problems between them. and of course, a lot of that depends on president assad's regime, and exactly what happens next inside that country. nour adam is a syrianjournalist from eastern ghouta, and was reporting from there before the population was evacuated ten days ago. hejoins us now from idlib. thank you so much forjoining us. our things better where you are now, do you feel safer? thank you for having me. no, because it is like...
maybe the same, because here there is bombing, and when he was in northern ghouta also he was bombing. but in ghouta, more than here, like hundreds of thousands of times, in ghouta the chlorine gas and the sarin, and the warplanes, i mean, all this did not stop, for, like, five days in a few months in ghouta. did you, yourself, while you were living in ghouta, did you yourself experience any of these chemical weapons attacks? yes, yes. i experienced more than four times now. one time in irbil city in 2017,
and also in damascus city, and in 2018, and in 2013 in some of the towns in ghouta, where more than 1000 children have been killed and in these chemical attacks, i saw many people in that situation, they and their families, and many people in that situation, they and theirfamilies, and notjust the chemical weapons. also the warplanes killed us as well. i mean, when the united states and the united kingdom and france, when they hit because of the chemical attack, why did they not hit him when he used the warplanes and the missiles and the shooting. i mean, it is the same. in the chemical attack, we were killed, and also in the bombing. were you
not happy to see the us, france and britain act, because the assad regime used these alleged chemical weapons? did that not make you please? no, actually. not good enough, because when assad users chemical weapons on us in ghouta, and many places in syria, he also uses and many places in syria, he also uses on us and many places in syria, he also uses on us shelling and missiles. i mean, the chemical kills, and also the bombing and shooting, and the missiles also kill. why they did not ta ke missiles also kill. why they did not take these moves when he was bombing us? until now, he bombed us. i hope, really, really hope to see this
continue from the british and the united states and france. i mean, they did not destroy it the company supplying chemicals to assad. thank you forjoining us, really appreciated. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news: north korea is commemorating the birth of the country's founder, kim il—sung. thousands of devotees attended the ceremony in mansu hill, in the centre of pyongyang, and laid flowers before statues of kim and his son, kimjong—il. demonstrators in the indian capital of delhi have held a silent protest in support of rape victims, following a number of high—profile cases. a second person has been arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a teenager by a politician from the governing bjp party. more protests have been held in barcelona against the detention of a number of catalan separatist leaders.
the arrests were made after last october's referendum on independence from spain, which the government in madrid said was illegal and an act of sedition. former us first lady barbara bush is said to be in failing health and no longer seeking medical treatment. a statement from the office of her husband, former president george bush sr, said the 92—year—old has chosen to focus on comfort care. the islamic state group says it was responsible for killing two christians and injuring seven more in a targeted attack in western pakistan. officials said the assailants in quetta, capital of balochistan province, shot at worshippers from a motorbike as they left church. lebo diseko has more they were leaving their place of worship when they became victims of terror, gunmen on motorbikes apparently from the so—called islamic state opening fire on these
people as they left church. translation: the injured people belonged to the christian community. we rushed the injured to the hospital. two of the injured, who were in a serious condition, died later. the drive—by shooting happened in quetta, the capital of balochistan, an area that has seen its fair share of violence, and a minority group that has done, too. it is here that four members of a christian family were gunned down after easter, and at least ten were killed by suicide bombers in a church a week before christmas. is says it carried out those attacks too. as night fell, the anger was visible, protesters blocking roads and burning tyres on the streets. but, given the violence and instability in this province, it is unlikely to be the last time that this community and others find themselves being targeted.
stay with us on bbc news. still to come: the head of the world's largest advertising agency steps down following a probe into his personal conduct. 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 is seenjust to slide away under the surface and disappear. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: more fallout after the air strikes on syria, as the us threatens new sanctions against russia over its support for president assad. a drive—by shooting outside a church in pakistan has left two christians dead. the islamic state group says it was behind the attack. a bushfire that has been burning out of control near sydney over the weekend has been downgraded on monday morning as winds eased. hundreds of people have been forced to leave their homes, and australian police say they suspect the blaze may have been started deliberately.
phil mercer reports from sydney strong winds have pushed the flames toward suburban streets, about 35 km from the centre of sydney. as the blaze approached, many residents left, while others stayed to join a huge firefighting effort. authorities said the fast—moving outbreak was aggressive and unpredictable. while 500 firefighters confronted the inferno on the ground, they were supported in the skies by more than a dozen aircraft. very warm autumn weather and a lack of rain have turned bushland on sydney's outer fringes into a tinderbox. we have to deal with the worst that mother nature can throw at us. and the worse australians are presented with by nature, the better it brings out the australian spirit. conditions in the fire zone are reported to be easing, but crews will again be working through the night to try to contain the blaze.
south—eastern australia is one of the world's most fire—prone regions. most outbreaks are sparked by lightning, or accidentally by powerlines. sometimes, more sinister hands are to blame. australian police believe this monstrous fire in south—western sydney may have been lit on purpose. experts say that australia's annual bushfire season is starting earlier and ending later. they believe that climate change is making the threat worse. phil mercer, bbc news, sydney. deadly slow—moving storms are generating record snowfall and low temperatures in the us midwest, leaving stranded airline travellers and thousands without power. parts of minnesota are under a blizzard warning, and in michigan, snowfall is expected to reach 18 inches in some areas. there are also tornado watches in effect over the carolinas while extreme weather warnings
are in place across the gulf coast. a group of mps, peers, business leaders and celebrities came together today to launch a campaign to give the public a vote on the final brexit deal. those backing the people's vote — launched at an event in london this afternoon — say it wouldn't be a re—run of the referendum but the public must be given the change to either accept or reject britain's deal with the eu. brexit is such a huge and momentous moment in our history and it should not be left simply to politicians. so, i want to urge that we think again and that we insist that the decision about whether to accept the brexit deal is a matterfor the people. the founder and chief executive of the world's largest advertising group wpp, sir martin sorrell, has resigned less than a fortnight after it announced he was being investigated for misconduct. he leaves after 33 years in the job and denies any wrongdoing.
our business editor simonjack explains. advertisers want you to remember the products they're selling, not the name of the company that made the ads. many of the biggest ad agencies, marketing companies and pr firms in the world are owned by an even bigger one. it is called wpp, and was founded and run since 1985 by this man, sir martin sorrell. he gobbled up dozens of businesses, creating a £15 billion global giant with enormous influence. sir martin has defined british advertising for almost 30 years as a businessman. so his departure has caused an enormous shockwave through the industry. a big figure on the world business stage, his views were sought—after. .. if the eu does not give on that, then our access... ..and he was happy to oblige. after 33 years at the top, he stepped down with immediate effect, after recent accusations he may have missed used wpp funds —
claims he denies. meanwhile, upstarts have changed the industry, with more advertisers going direct to facebook and google rather than via wpp agencies. the company has lost a third of its value, prompting this farewell statement. his critics say he ran the company like a private fiefdom, when he actually owned less than 2%. a pay packet of £70 million in 2015 drew outrage from politicians and rebellion from shareholders, some of whom told the bbc this weekend it was time for change. for many in the world of advertising, sir martin sorrell was more of a money man than an ad man, treating it like a professional service rather than a creative industry. but he was a powerful advocate for it, and in his departure, british business has lost a true giant. simon jack, bbc news.
one of the great names of italian cinema, vittorio taviani, has died. the cannes film festival winner, together with his brother, paolo, directed some of the most striking films of the past half—century, among them padre padrone and the night of shooting stars, which made them household names in italy. he died after a long illness, aged eighty—eight. nasa is set to launch a mission to look for planets around the stars closest to us. a critical part of the tess mission is to capture the vibrations from the stars — which can be turned to sounds. this will help researchers identify their age and size. our science correspondent, pallab ghosh has been to the kennedy space centre in florida where the space telescope is due to be launched monday night. the night sky is littered with stars — they shine and they also sing. these are the vibrations of a distant star, similar
to our sun, converted into sound. and this is another bigger and older star. professor bill chaplin is analysing these sounds. of course there is no air in space so the stars cannot actually be heard, but they do vibrate and so generate sound waves. and professor bill chaplin has discovered that each star has its own song, depending on how big and hot it is. when we hear the sounds of the stars, first of all, it tells us that out of this turbulence, this almost chaos, we get these ordered sounds and it is incredible that stars resonate just like a musical instrument, and this gives us a way to actually study stars and see what their insides look like in a way that is just not possible by other means. this will be the first mission to scan nearly the entire sky, sector by sector. the sound a star makes will tell
scientists how big and how hot it is. many of them will have planets in orbit around them, some will be too close. those that are the right distance away will be the ones most capable of supporting life, in what scientists call the goldilocks zone, where the temperature is just right. george ricker is the mission‘s lead scientist believes one day it may be possible to send probes to some of these distant worlds and see if there really is life out there. there are about 100 stars that lie within 20 light years of earth, and if you were to send out an armada of probes to those and you can basically get up to a speed of say 20% of the speed of light, then under those circumstances, you could expect to reach these planets within100 years. in a few years' time, we will know how each of the stars
in the night sky sound and whether the planets around them might harbour life. pallab ghosh, bbc news, kennedy space centre. thousands of beyonce fans have been treated to a rare reunion of her girl group destiny's child at the californian festival coachella. it's the first time beyonce and her former band—mates kelly rowland and michelle williams have performed together since 2015. destiny's child were together from the late ‘90s until 2006 and had several number one hits. rumours had been circulating for months that the trio would give a reunion performance during beyonce's show. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter — i'm at nkem ifejika. good morning.
i think it's pretty safe to say it's been a miserable april so far, hasn't it? but things look likely to change as we move through this week. yes, if you haven't already heard, we're heading for some warmer weather. there will still some rain in the forecast, mostly out to the west, and at times some strong to gale force gusts of winds. but, you want to know how warm it's going to be — well, we could see highs of 25 degrees in london, that's 77 fahrenheit. and widely across the country, we could see temperatures peaking into the low 20s. so something to look forward to. ahead of that though for today, quite a quiet start to our working week. this area of low pressure will slowly start to push in, bringing some wet and windy weather but not really until the end of the day. a little bit of showery rain to ease away from scotland, cloudy skies first thing. hopefully they should brighten, the best of the sunshine likely to be along the south coast, highs of 11 to 15 degress. now the winds will strengthen and the rain arrives from the west.
some wet and windy weather is expected, gale force gusts of winds through the night across northern ireland, north—west england and scotland. so some of that rain really quite intense to start the day on tuesday, but as it pushes its way out of the borders, it really will fizzle out quite considerably. a band of cloud and drizzle by then. behind it, somewhat fresher conditions but brighter conditions, so temperatures will peak perhaps at around 14 degrees. but if we can keep some sunshine ahead of that weather front, we could see highs across eastern and south—east england of 18 or 19 celsius. move away from tuesday and we look at the weather story across the near continent with this high pressure building. now, this is going to deflect frontal systems coming in from the atlantic up into the far north and west and really influence the story, and with the winds swinging round in a clockwise direction around that high, it drags in this warmer, drier south—easterly flow and hence the reason for the marked change in the story for april. so that means as we move into wednesday, we will see some showery outbreaks of rain into northern ireland and western
fringes of scotland, maybe a little more cloud. but through the borders and into central and southern england and wales, we'll see some dry, sunny weather and some warmth starting to build, 19 to 20 degrees the high on wednesday. on thursday, just a little bit of fair weather cloud out to the west, maybe a little bit of coastal mist but nothing particularly untoward, and generally speaking, lots of sunshine, light winds and yes, that's when we could see temperatures as high as 25 degrees, 77 fahrenheit. the last time we had temperatures like that — back on the 29th of august last year. this is bbc news. the headlines: the us has threatened new sanctions against russia over its support for president assad. the move, which follows the western air strikes on syria, will target russian companies supplying damascus with chemical weapons capability. the islamic state group says it is
responsible for an attack in western pakistani. the assailants in quetta shutout worshippers from a motorbike as they left church. —— shot at. australian firefighters tackling a huge bushfire outside sydney say the blaze is still out of control, even though winds have eased. some residents have been instructed to seek shelter as evacuation is too dangerous. police say the fire may have been started deliberately. now on bbc news, hardtalk.