you're watching bbc news. i'm reged ahmad. our top stories: tens of thousands take to the streets of venezuela in rival mass rallies for and against president nicolas maduro. there is a sense here of celebration. the mood is relaxed but the intent is serious, to send a message to president nicolas maduro that time is up. russia says it will follow the us, pulling out of a key nuclear treaty, and also developing a new range of missiles. virginia governor ralph northam refuses to quit and insists he is not the person in a racist photo. in the hours since i made my statement yesterday, i reflected with my family and classmates from the time and affirmed my conclusion that i am not the person in that photo. and punxsutawney phil did not see his shadow. so can the us expect an early spring? as the pressure slowly mounts
on venezuela's president nicolas maduro, he's told supporters at a rally in caracas that he's prepared to hold parliamentary elections. but the offer falls short of the presidential elections demanded by some european countries, who say they'll recognise opposition leaderjuan guaido if they aren't called by midnight on sunday. at a rival rally in the capital, mr guaido called for more protests, promising to bring in humanitarian supplies if he took power. orla guerin reports from caracas. the opposition called, and from early morning, they came. that word — freedom — was on many lips in caracas today. and we met plenty who believed venezuela's opposition leader, juan guaido, will be
the one to deliver it. we are very proud of him, because he has taken us through the right route to have liberty, democracy and what we have yearned for so many years. 20 years, more or less, yearning for this moment. well, there's a sense here of celebration, the mood is very relaxed, but the intent is serious — to send a message to president nicolas maduro that time is up. the opposition has gathered here in numbers. they believe that a process of change is under way in venezuela and that it won't be stopped. a military helicopter passed overhead, but the security forces kept their distance.
speakers told the crowd this was a moment of history, a moment of hope for venezuela. beaming on stage, the man many now look to as a saviour, juan guaido. already being called venezuelan‘s obama, he's a powerful symbol, but an untested leader. today, he tried to court the military with what voice he had left. "welcome to every officer "thatjoins the side of the constitution," he said. "we have amnesties. "soldier of the nation, you have a role in the recovery "of the nation of venezuela." these were the images broadcast by state tv. massive crowds that some claim were suspiciously large. president maduro offered to bring forward parliamentary elections to this year.
that might sound like a concession, but the opposition already control parliament, so he's not giving much. back at thejuan guaido rally, venezuelans literally throwing their money away. it's worth little or nothing anyway. the opposition has called for protests to continue until the maduro era is consigned to history. orla guerin, bbc news, caracas. earlier i spoke to hasler iglesias in caracas. he's youth leader with the voluntad popular party and close to the opposition leaderjuan guaido. i asked him what he made of president nicolas maduro‘s calls for parliamentary elections. we have heard the calls from maduro, he's looking to get rid of the leadership of the national assembly. the national assembly was elected for five years.
this ideas end in the end of 2020. on the other side, nicolas maduro made a plot last year to be elected this year. he doesn't have the legitimacy or the approval of the people or the world to call for new elections of anything. so the leadership in venezuela— the legitimacy and the support of the people and also the support of the international community, is the national assembly led byjuan guaido at this moment. at the moment, the situation remains relatively unchanged, mr maduro stays in power. what do you think is going to happen next with juan guaido? what's he going to do? this situation is very different to other ones. this moment, juan guaido is recognised by other countries. for example, he announced today that in colombia in a city near our border, it's going to be established a centre for gathering
all the humanitarian aid that's going to be received for venezuela. also is going to be established a centre to gather all the humanitarian aid. that is a burning set of issues for the people and that is some activity that he is doing at this moment. he also called today to the army to obey his constitution and grant the peaceful transition in our country. i think that's the only ingredient that's already remaining to support the transition. the armed forces support the constitution, the transition and the interim presidency ofjuan guaido. nevertheless he has named the ambassadors in different countries and these decisions to open the humanitarian channels through our borders is going to require also not only the decision ofjuan guaido and many other countries, but also the support of the army to let this food and medicine get in the country and in a transparent way. the armed forces support the constitution, the transition and the interim presidency ofjuan guaido.
nevertheless he has named the ambassadors in different countries and these decisions to open the humanitarian channels through our borders is going to require also not only the decision ofjuan guaido and many other countries, but also the support of the army to let this food and medicine get in the country and in a transparent way. you're friends with opposition leaderjuan guaido and he seems like he's come out of nowhere and risen through the opposition ranks very quickly. how has he done that? i've known him for several years. he has been leader in a city of our coasts called la guaira, he also referenced the chilean leader 12 years ago when the student movement in venezuela received
a lot of attention and... inaudible. juan started his political career in that moment. also in another party, he has been one of the founders. he has had a career inside our party, this is his second period as a national law maker in the national assembly. his leadership has been local leadership and also partisan leadership but it has landed him the experience and relationships and also the abilities to lead at this moment, at this complex moment that we are facing. last year was a very tough year for venezuela in political terms... he was one of the people who started and planned and assessed the situation, trying to figure out out what was the better way to get rid of this dictatorship and that's why perhaps he had this clarity at this moment because he has invested years and understands the negotiating on how to get rid of this dictatorship. president maduro has described
juan guaido as a us puppet. how close isjuan guaido to the us and how much contact is he having with the administration there? at this moment, it is a movement led by venezuelans. in 2015, for example, when we won the national assembly. there is a critical situation in the country and also the migration and refugee crisis,
that venezuelans are crossing in colombia, in the us, in the european union, for example, has made venezuela a global issue. that's why many countries and the us particularly are having a role in this situation. the movement in venezuela has very deep roots. the crisis with venezuela people. the role that the us or colombia or brazil, or the european union or chile, argentina, many countries, is supporting the leadership at this moment. let's get some of the day's other news. the government of the central african republic has agreed a peace deal with 14 of the armed groups operating in the country. it comes after peace talks were held in sudan, sponsored by the african union and the un. the treaty is to be signed next week, but six previous agrements have failed to hold.
the car has been torn apart by six years of sectarian and ethnic violence. australia's prime minister, scott morrison, says all children detained as asylum seekers on the island of nauru are being moved to other countries. just four remain, and they and their families have now been cleared to move to the united states. six months ago there had been more than 100 children in the camps where there have been reports of abuse and suicide. australia sends all asylum seekers to detention camps on pacific islands until their applications have been processed. a privately—funded search to try to find the missing footballer emiliano sala is beginning on sunday off the island of guernsey in the english channel. the argentine striker and his pilot went missing last month when their plane from nantes in france to cardiff disappeared. an official search was called off last week. president vladimir putin has responded to a decision by the united states to suspend its involvement in the intermediate—range nuclear forces treaty, by saying russia will do the same. he said russia would also start to develop new mid—range hypersonic missiles, but insisted the door
remained open for negotiations. both sides accuse the other of violating the cold war—era pact. from moscow, steve rosenberg sent this report. at the kremlin, vladimir putin and his ministers sent a clear message to washington over the inf treaty — "you intend to pull out, do you? "well, two can play at that game." translation: our response will be symmetrical. our us partners announced that they are suspending their participation in the inf treaty. so, we are suspending it too. and there was more. moscow, president putin said, would develop new weapons, including a land—based version of this cruise missile, and missiles more than five times the speed of sound. it's a far cry from us—russian cooperation three decades ago
when presidents reagan and gorbachev signed the inf treaty. it eliminated a whole class of short— and medium—range missiles and became a cornerstone of european security. but the chill in relations is palpable. it's beginning to feel like the cold war is back. president putin said the one thing he didn't want was russia being dragged into a costly new arms race. but with both america and russia now having suspended the inf treaty, that is a huge blow to east—west arms control. the inf treaty is breaking apart, and america blames russia. russia has jeopardised the united states‘ security interests, and we can no longer be restricted by the treaty while russia shamelessly violates it. america says these russian missiles violated the inf treaty.
moscow denies it, and claims washington broke the agreement. a high—stakes blame game for the two biggest nuclear powers. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. britain's prime minister says she is determined to deliver brexit, and deliver it on time. writing in the sunday telegraph, theresa may claims she will return to brussels with a "fresh mandate, new ideas and a renewed determination" after last week's vote in the house of commons to send the prime minister back to renegotiate the so—called ‘back—stop‘ — the future plans to avoid a hard border between ireland and northern ireland. but ireland's foreign minister — simon coveney — says "there are no credible alternative arrangements" to the backstop. stay with us on bbc news. still to come, the priests who ski, and compete for thejohn paul ii trophy. this is the moment that millions in iran had been waiting for.
after his long years in exile, the first hesitant steps of ayatollah khomeini on iranian soil. south africa's white government has offered its black opponents concessions unparalleled in the history of apartheid. and the anc leader, nelson mandela, is to be set free unconditionally. four, three, two, one... a countdown to a critical moment. the world's most powerful rocket ignited all 27 of its engines at once. and apart from its power, it's this recycling of the rocket, slashing the cost of a launch, that makes this a breakthrough in the business of space travel. two americans have become the first humans to walk in space without any lifeline to their spaceship. one of them called it a piece of cake. thousands of people have given the yachtswoman ellen macarthur a spectacular homecoming in the cornish port of falmouth after she smashed the world record for sailing solo around the world non—stop. this is bbc news,
the latest headlines: tens of thousands take to the streets of venezuela in rival mass rallies for and against president nicolas maduro. russia says it will follow the us and pull out of a key nuclear treaty, and start to develop a new mid—range hypersonic missile. el salvador goes to the polls on sunday. the two parties that have ruled the central american nation for decades could lose their grip as support for a candidate from a small third party grows. eliza philippidis reports. it is one of the world's most violent countries, with corruption rooted deep at its core. these people are ready for something new, and this is the man they think can deliver it. nayib bukele is the former mayor of san salvador and the favourite to win the presidential elections.
backed by a small right—wing party, he has promised to tackle corruption and generate morejobs through a series of infrastructure projects. voter surveys indicate turnout could be higher than ever on sunday. translation: it may be over 7596. because i see that there is a lot of enthusiasm among the population to exercise their suffrage, i think the volume will exceed 72—75% of the electoral rolls. boxes of electoral material are being delivered to voting stations across the country. authorities have ramped up security. the european union electoral observation mission is on hand to ensure the process runs smoothly. translation: we are going to be present for the entire electoral process, meaning until the end of the process, whether it be one round or two rounds. supporters of the ruling farabundo national liberation front
hope the leftist party might cling to power, but it has failed to rein in gang violence and the economy is the slowest—growing in central america. despite strong support and a manifesto pledge to create jobs and clean up the government, the conservative nationalist republican alliance candidate also lags behind bukele. to win outright, bukele must secure more than 50% of the vote or face a run—off election against his closest rival on the 10th of march. but voters on sunday could make him the first leader not to be drawn from the parties which have ruled el salvador since 1989. the democratic governor of the us state of virginia, ralph northam, insists he won't resign over an offensive photograph showing two men in racist costumes in his student yearbook. he'd initially apologised but then said he didn't believe
that he was in the picture. chris buckler has the story. ralph northam called the photograph on his own college yearbook page racist and despicable. it features a man in black face and someone in a ku klux klan costume. i am deeply sorry. when it surfaced, he immediately released a statement apologising but after countless calls for his resignation, the virginia governor is continuing to fight for his political career and now he's changed his story, claiming he wasn't in the picture. we're here today standing in the very space that created the laws that created slavery. governor northam was elected as a democrat who presented himself as a staunch opponent of racism. there is an undeniable anger among voters in virginia. many simply can't accept
that he could have made a mistake about appearing in such a photograph. a former soldier and doctor, ralph northam has for years been a respected figure within the democratic party but a politician who had public support of president obama, now has the former vice presidentjoe biden saying he has lost all moral authority and should resign immediately. at his news conference, ralph northam was questioned about his past including claims of a very questionable nickname and although he denied being the man in black face in the yearbook photograph, he admitted that on another occasion he had used boot polish to darken his skin to perform as michaeljackson in a talent contest. i had always liked michaeljackson, i actually won the contest because i had learned how to do the moonwalk. mr northam said resigning would be the easy option and as long as he remains governor, he faces more scrutiny of his past and further questions about this controversial picture. customs officials in india have
detained a passenger after they found a month—old leopard cub hidden in his luggage. officials at chennai airport found the cub when they heard noises coming from the passenger's bag. the animal appeared weak and in a state of shock and has been taken to a wildlife park to be cared for. authorities are investigating whether the passenger, who travelled from bangkok, was part of an international smuggling ring. as we've seen over the last few days, it's been a pretty brutal winter for much of the united states. the polar vortex leading to record low temperatures and lots and lots of snow. but how long will this cold weather last? someone who it's claimed has the answer is punxsutawney phil — the famous groundhog from pennsylvania. so what's his verdict? the bbc‘s tim allman will tell us. for more than 130 years,
they have been coming to gobbler‘s knob. the aim is to glean some vital information from a small, furry mammal, who appears to be blessed with an extraordinary gift. this is punxsutawney phil — well, not the original one, of course — the groundhog and pa rt—time meteorologist. ok, look me in the eyes. every year he's asked, can he see his own shadow? if he can, it's said winter will last another six weeks. it's not immediately apparent how he conveys this information. we have a prediction! but convey it, he does. so, is it early spring or a more winter forecast? stop the music. here is my forecast. faithful followers, there is no shadow of me. a beautiful spring it shall be! of course, punxsutawney phil
was a relative unknown, until the hollywood blockbuster groundhog day came out in the early 1990s. now, he is a worldwide phenomenon. all hail groundhog supremacy. if i were you, i'd go out and start buying some swimsuits. before you do, you might want to bear in mind that statistical analysis suggests punxsutawney phil is actually wrong more often than he's right. tim allman, bbc news. the polish town of wisla has been hosting an unusual skiing event this week — a competition for catholic priests. they took to the slopes in cassocks and crash helmets, hoping to bring the coveted
‘popejohn paul the second' title back to their parishes. bill hayton reports. these boots were made for skiing but that outfit was not. nomad, these men have faced and in this event, that's more important than practical skiwear. at thing and a prayer and spend the priests —— then the priests hit the piste for sub it might bea priests hit the piste for sub it might be a slippery slope that editors say there is no conflict between skiing and believing. translation: the model for us is seeing john paul ii who went skiing in poland. many of us took an example from him. the churchmen say being in the mountains brings them closer to god. translation: creation is you that
great links to evangelism. there are priests amongst us, amongst us believers, through everyday, through entertainment, through such recreation, show there how they live by this faith. you might say it's an indulgence but for these roaming catholics, this fund has a purpose. —— fun. let's remind you of our top story. we have seen tens of thousands of people take to the streets in the rival mass rallies. we have had the head of the oppositionjuan guaido, head of the oppositionjuan guaido, he wants to force president maduro from power but nicolas maduro is refusing to leave. he has offered a fresh legislative parliamentary elections but of course what one quiet though and some of the
international community want our fresh presidential elections —— one quiet though. ——juan —— juan guaido. hello. snow has been the most prominent feature of the weather over much of the last week. but at least on saturday, the sunshine came back. but that's going to be harder to find through much of sunday. as cloud increases, some of us will see a bit more wet weather. but that comes after quite a hard frost to start the day. in fact, some places could well be into minus double figures, where the snow is deepest. you can see the extent of the frost as well, even in town and city centres, it's a cold start to the day. but for many of us, there will be some sunshine, but from the word go, northern ireland and western scotland, more cloud around here and some rain, sleet and snow, courtesy of these weather fronts coming in from the atlantic. and slowly pushing their way a bit further east as we go through the day. now, the early wet weather should be fairly soon out of the way in northern ireland. a damp start here. but again, the rain preceded by a bit of sleet and snow in places, and then that process moves across scotland.
into northern england, mayjust fringe north wales. but south of that, it should stay mainly dry. cloud increasing, but still some sunny spells towards east anglia and south—east england. behind the wet weather, it brightens up again in scotland. but it stays cloudy in northern ireland. further outbreaks of rain coming back going into the evening. and temperatures, they‘ re a little bit higher. parts of south—west england could be up to around 10 celsius, for example. and a freshening south—westerly wind. it gets stronger on through sunday night and into monday morning, as it feeds in more wet weather, and while most of us will see rain out of this, a bit of snow falling into the pennines and southern uplands, but especially into the higher ground north of the central belt in scotland, where we could see around 5—10 centimetres building up as we go on through monday as well. it will be quite slow to clear, on what will be a much less cold start to the day on monday. some rainjust affecting parts of south—east england as monday starts. it may not clear the far south—east. it looks like we'll hold onto an area of cloud here in east anglia. the snowy weather slowly pulling away from northern scotland, and many other areas will see things
brightening up on monday. and temperatures again are a little bit higher, and some of us in south—west england getting into double figures. they'll drop again on monday night and this ridge of high pressure with clear skies, there'll be another frost going into tuesday morning. low pressure gathering to the west, though, sets the scene for quite an unsettled week to come. now, there will be some sunnier days, but there will also be some wetter days. it'll often be windy, but if you take one thing from this chart, it's those temperatures heading upwards. and more of us at times will see temperatures into double figures, and of course, that's going to feel very different compared with what we've had over much of the past week or two. so a change for the milder in the week ahead. this is bbc news, the headlines: tens of thousands have taken to the streets of venezuela in rival mass rallies. the head of the opposition, juan guaido, is trying to force president maduro from power. the president also spoke at a rally in support of his leadership and the current government. russia has announced
it is pulling out of a cold war arms control treaty, and says it will develop a new hypersonic missile. it follows a move to withdraw from the treaty by the united states on friday. the governor of the us state of virginia, ralph northam, has refused to resign after he was accused of being in a racist photo in his yearbook. he says the person in the photo is not him. now on bbc news, week in parliament.