this is bbc news. the headlines: the american actorjussie smollett has been charged with falsely claiming to be the victim welcome to bbc news, of a racist, homophobic attack. broadcasting to viewers in court in chicago, in north america the judge told the tv star and around the globe. if the allegations are true, my name is mike embley. his actions were utterly our top stories: outrageous and despicable. tv actorjussie smollett is charged with falsely claiming to be president nicolas maduro has closed the victim of a racist, venezuela's border with brazil homophobic attack. to prevent the opposition ajudge tells him if it's delivering foreign aid, which he sees as a true, it's despicable. political provocation. as tensions rise, he's said he may also shut the border with colombia, tensions mount in venezuela over moves by the opposition to bring where most supplies have been stockpiled. opposition leaderjuan guaido has inforeign aid. the border with brazil gone to the colombian border has been closed. to try to bring at the first ever summit of its kind, in rome, in food and medicine. pope francis calls on bishops from around the world to take "concrete measures" against child for the first time in the history of the catholic church, abuse by catholic priests. bishops from around the world are meeting at the vatican living with hiv in singapore — to confront decades of child we hear from victims of the data sex abuse by clergymen. hack which has revealed thousands pope francis convened the four—day summit, of names on a registry. saying the world expects "concrete and the world that inspired the maker of middle earth. a new exhibition celebrates measures" to address the scandal. the art ofjrr tolkien. now on bbc news, it's time
for hardtalk with zeinab badawi. hello. it would be "utterly outrageous" and "despicable," a judge has told the tv starjussie smollett, if allegations that he staged a hoax hate crime against himself are true. the african—american actor has appeared in court in chicago, accused of filing a fake police report that he'd been the victim of a racist, homophobic attack. chicago police say the star of the empire series may have staged it to promote his career. he denies the charges. aleem maqbool has the story. there is flash photography. it is a humiliating fall from grace. used to appearances on the red carpet, actorjussie smollett has now been snapped for his mugshot, arrested for concocting a fake hate crime against him. # sometimes you feel insecure #.
he is best known to us audiences for playing jamal lyon, a sensitive, slightly troubled r&b singer in the tv series empire. this is exactly where jussie smollett says he was attacked in the early hours of the morning when he had gone out to get food. he says two men punched him, subjected him to racist and homophobic abuse, even at one point shouting at him that this was make america great again country, suggesting they had been trump supporters. my manager was still on the phone, so i picked up the phone and i said, "brandon," and he's like, "what's going on? " and i said, "i wasjustjumped." and then i looked down and i saw there's a rope around my neck. the president himself was among the many who came out to condemn the attack. i think that's horrible. it doesn't get worse. but police now say two brothers, seen here buying ski masks ahead of the incident, were paid by smollett himself to stage the attack because, they say,
he was unhappy with his salary. empire actorjussie smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. i'm left hanging my head and asking why. why would anyone, especially an african—american man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? hate crimes have seen a dramatic increase in the us of late but the police and rights advocates alike have talked of their dismay at the harm jussie smollett has done to those who really have suffered. aleem maqbool, bbc news, in chicago. president nicolas maduro has announced he's closing venezuela's border with brazil to prevent the opposition delivering foreign aid, which he sees as a political provocation. he is also considering shutting the border with colombia, where aid from the united states has been stockpiled.
opposition leaderjuan guaido, who's declared himself president and is recognised by dozens of foreign states, has gone to the colombian border to try to end the blockade. our international correspondent orla guerin is there. a new arrival in a foreign land. alice has just given birth to her first child, carlos, born in exile in colombia, far from her family in venezuela. she tells us she couldn't risk giving birth at home. "it's possible that my son would not have survived," she says. "there is nothing there." "the president is telling a big lie when he says there is no need for help." paediatrician albert cova shows me around the ward where he treats the sick who make it this far. for him, there is a deep personal anguish — he's venezuelan himself and has a question for president maduro.
"what more does he want? he asks. translation: he is useless and does not have power any more. he already achieved his aim — to destroy my country. arnaldo is five months old and fighting for every breath. he's malnourished and has pneumonia. his mother, claudia sandino, says she begged for medicines in venezuela, but the only ones who get help are those who support the government. there is aid available, donated by the united states and stockpiled here in the border town of cucuta. well, there is no doubt that venezuela desperately needs help and there are many in the country hoping against hope that the supplies will get through. but the humanitarian aid here is also a political weapon, and it's aimed directly at nicolas maduro and his government. if it gets through, every box that crosses the border will be a victory
for the opposition, and that's something president maduro is determined to avoid. he told us if the us really wants to help, it should remove economic sanctions and unfreeze venezuela's assets. translation: they should send a convoy with the dollars they have stolen from us. send a convoy with the gold. it's our money. with that, we could solve all our country's problems. the opposition say he's more worried about stopping them than solving venezuela's problems. his troops have been targeting trucks heading for colombia and he's threatening to close the border altogether. battle lines being drawn over aid, and venezuela's future. orla guerin, bbc news, cucuta. let's get some of the day's other news. almost four years after it set off from earth, ajapanese space probe has landed on an asteroid about 186
million miles from earth. the hayabusa2 will try to collect rocks from the surface of asteroid ryugu, in the first mission of its kind. the samples could help reveal whether it was asteroids that brought the original building blocks of life, including water, to earth. the family of shamima begum, the teenager who left the uk to join the so—called islamic state, in syria, is taking the uk government to court over its decision to revoke her citizenship. her sister has written to the home secretary, saying the family cannot simply abandon her. ajudge has ordered donald trump's former confidant roger stone to make no further comment on the legal case against him. he faces seven charges, including lying to congress, as part of the investigation into russian election interference. he had been facing possible jail for posting a picture on instagram of the judge with gun crosshairs superimposed and describing the case as "a show trial". for the first time in the history
of the catholic church, bishops from around the world are meeting at the vatican to confront decades of child sex abuse by clergymen. pope francis convened the 4—day summit, saying the world expects "concrete measures" to address the scandal. our religion editor martin bashir reports from vatican city. a sombre rendition of morning prayer marked the opening of this gathering of bishops, where the agenda has not been set by scripture but by scandal. before any speeches, synod hall fell silent to acknowledge the suffering of those abused. pope francis outlined the purpose of this summit. translation: we must listen to the shout of the little ones that demand justice. may the virgin mary illuminate us to try to heal the serious wounds of the scandal of paedophilia. all eyes are on the vatican as pope francis seeks to develop
protocols and practices that could be applied across continents, and in a church that numbers more than 1.2 billion. one survivor, who was abused by a priest in chile, says a papal summit won't change anything if bishops remain a law unto themselves in their own countries. the bishops are the ones that are messing this up for everybody because they go to their dioceses, they go to their countries, and they tell a different story. they nod their heads in front of the pope and say, "yes, your holiness, we'll do this," but then they go back to their countries and they do quite the opposite. they keep covering up. they keep this culture of abuse and cover—up, so it's really, frankly, terrible. back in the hall, those same bishops heard from senior clerics, confessing, sometimes tearfully, to the failings of the church. the wounds of the risen christ carry the memory of innocent suffering.
but they also carry the memory of our weakness and sinfulness. after decades of scandal, cover—up and countless lives blighted by abusive priests, there is understandable scepticism surrounding the summit. but this is a defining moment for pope francis and the roman catholic church. six years since he was elected, and people are tired of waiting and are demanding that he act decisively to begin restoring the moral authority of the church. martin bashir, bbc news, at the vatican. a leak of data from the singaporean registry exposing the hiv—positive status of 14,200 people has caused great shock and upset. it includes residents of singapore and visitors. until 2015, foreigners with hiv were not even allowed to visit the city state. sharanjit leyl has been speaking
to victims of the data hack. living with hiv. avin tan is one of the few singaporeans who has been public about his struggle with the condition. it took them three years to finally tell his family. living in singapore with hiv can be quite challenging because there are a lot of laws that dictate what we need to do. we need to come out to our sex partners, we need to come out to our potential employers, our insurers, our healthcare givers. but there are no laws to protect us once we come out. now avin helps others who feel stigmatised by it. he says for those secretly living with hiv, there is realfear. including for this woman, who wants to be known only as "joyce". he asked why these things can happen and how the place that we think is safe becomes not safe for us. she and avin are the over 111,000
people whose hiv status, names and addresses, authorities say, were dumped on the internet by an american man who is believed to have obtained confidential data from his partner, a singaporean doctor. this scandal has gripped singaporean media for weeks. how is a man able to obtain and allegedly leak such sensitive information? it's brought up many questions on how singapore handles such information, after a data breach of medical records last year that exposed the information of 1.5 million patients, including the prime minister. it's an embarrassing lapse. those affected were only alerted a few weeks ago when the ministry of health made the weak public, even though they had been aware of it for a number of years. singapore's health minister rejects allegations of a cover—up, saying in a statement that we, the ministry of health:
at this brand new state—of—the—art centre to handle infectious disease outbreaks, there is disquiet. dr leo yee sin, who runs it, tells me that safeguards have been put in place which now restrict doctors from accessing such data. but she too admits that the real problem is how people living with hiv are treated. hiv—positive persons still face a lot of stigma. they find themselves very difficult to be accepted by society. it is important for us to pick it up and challenge the community, because the stigma comes from the community. just four years ago, singapore lifted a 20—year ban on hiv—infected people entering the country. but not much seems to have changed in terms of attitudes towards those living with hiv. as people live in fear of being named, the data breach highlights the vulnerable community in a society that continues
to stigmatise the condition. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: why this very elderly tortoise, missing for more than 100 years on the galapagos islands, may be the most important discovery of the century. prince charles has chosen his bride. the prince proposed to lady diana spencer three weeks ago. she accepted, she says, without hesitation. as revolutions go, this had its fair share of bullets. a climax in the night outside the gates of mr marcos' sanctuary, malacanang — the name itself symbolizing one of the cruellest regimes of modern asia. the world's first clone has been produced of an adult mammal. scientists in scotland have produced a sheep called dolly using a cell from another sheep. citizens are trying to come to grips with their new freedom. though there is joy
and relief today, the scars are everywhere. not for 20 years have locusts been seen in such numbers in this part of africa. some of the swarms have been ten miles long. this is the last time the public will see this pope. very soon, for the sake of the credibilty and authority of the next pope, benedict xvi will, in his own words, "be hidden from the world for the rest of his life." this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: the american actorjussie smollett has been charged with falsely claiming to be the victim of a racist attack. tensions are mounting in venezuela over moves by the opposition to bring in foreign aid. the border with brazil has been closed. nigerians are due to go to the polls on saturday in nationwide elections.
they were postponed at the very last minute six days ago. one key issue will be security, with nearly 2 million people displaced by violence in the north—east. thousands have fled attacks by islamist extremist groups, including boko haram. our africa editor fergal keane reports now from maiduguri, in north—east nigeria. the exhaustion of the new arrivals. they've just come — safe now, after the terror of being driven from their homes. but this camp, built for 8000 people, now has four times that number. hadisa ibrahim, mother of five. her husband is missing and may have fled to neighbouring chad. "we went through hardship beyond imagination", she says. this mother of six gave birth to twins during her escape. can you tell us what has happened to your family? why are you here?
translation: we ran from doro to escape boko haram. i spent two days in the bush, and while there, i gave birth to twins. i had no clothes to cover the children or to cover myself. person after person has come up to us to complain that they don't have the basic necessities of life in this camp. tens of millions have been spent prosecuting this war, and still people are being driven from their homes, being terrorised. a new camp with proper facilities is being built to ease the overcrowding. it's situated on a half—built, abandoned stadium, itself a symbol of the waste that's characterised the rule of nigeria's political elites. the election season has brought fresh pressures for the displaced, as boko haram and the local wing of islamic state have stepped up attacks. these were mourners at a funeral 10 kilometres from maiduguri. the dead, 1a people, were gathering wood when they were attacked.
translation: it is a lack of basic human needs that sent us out of our community. he had to go and hustle for us to eat, and despite the hustling, he didn't stop his education. he would work hard for us and also go to school before this really sad incident. the government says the war is being won, but the killers were still able to ambush the state governor's convoy last week, and in maiduguri itself, i met this survivor of a recent bomb and gun attack on a mosque. he points to the hole from the bullet that killed his neighbour. translation: that is the surprising thing, that leaves us wondering how they got here. did they come from the town or from the bush? that's what we are wondering. wherever they came from, they didn't attack there — they chose to attack us, here. but despite recent violence, we've been told displaced people have been moved along dangerous roads to vote in their home areas. under an agreement between the main
parties and election authorities. these men, now back in the capital, told us they'd been taken 140 kilometres to their home town of monguno, a place already overcrowded with displaced. so the road between here and manguno, is it a dangerous road? are there boko haram on that road? but the ruling party and main opposition say it was safe and people were moved back to their home area because it was simpler to organise and monitor the vote there. logistically simpler perhaps, but at a risk to already traumatised people. whoever wins this election, there's little expectation it will change these lives. fergal keane, bbc news, maiduguri.
israel's first spacecraft to land on the moon has launched from florida. if is successful, is a —— is they will be only the fourth nation to have successfully achieved a moon landing. it is being transported in falcon nine rocket, made by tears are entrepreneur, elon musk. it will be the first privately funded mission to the moon. conservationists in the galapagos islands have found a giant tortoise from a species thought to have become extinct more than a century ago. the adult female tortoise was found on the island of fernandina in the west of the pacific archipelago, it's off the coast of ecuador. katie silver reports. many of the 1a giant tortoise species found in galapagos were wiped out when the islands were colonised, in the 18th and 19th centuries.
now, after last being sighted in 1906, the fernandina giant tortoise appears to be back. it was discovered in a thicket of vegetation on fernandina island, one of the youngest and most pristine of the galapagos archipelago. translation: it is perhaps the most important discovery in the last century. there have been multiple investigations and monitoring projects on the island and not a single individual had been located. she's believed elderly, over 100 years old. authorities, which cited tracks and excrement in other parts of the island, hope she's not the only one. translation: if we find more female individuals, and hopefully males, we can immediately start a breeding programme in captivity for this species, here in santa cruz. giant tortoises can reach more than 200 kilograms and are believed to have arrived on the remote vulcanic island chain around 3 million years ago.
the most famous, lonesome george, was found in 1972, but with scientists unable to find a mate, he died a0 years later, as the last of his species. as for this tortoise, the scientists need to confirm, using genetic testing, that it is definitely a member of the long—lost species. then they hope to set her up in a captive breeding programme and that the fernandina tortoise species may live on. katie silver, bbc news. before the lord of the rings, even before the hobbit, jrr tolkien had his paintings and maps, and even a secret language. now, a new exhibit at the morgan library in new york brings together all the work that went into creating his middle earth. it's the largest collection of tolkien material in years. the bbc went to take a look. this exhibition sets out to explore
the life ofjrr tolkein —— jrr tolkien and how his experiences informed his creative process. from tolkien‘s chilhood in rural england, he was inspired by the english landscape, and as a 10—year—old boy, he was making watercolors of trees and river streams, that developed into his teen years, when he started experimenting more with visions of distant mountain landscapes and dark forests. here we have an illustration that tolkien produced in his teen years. it's called eerieness from 1914. and it shows a cloaked and hooded figure walking through a very eerie and sinister forest. it was something that was so embedded in his imagination that in 1914, it came out
in illustration, and then years later it would come out again in hobbit and lord of the rings. this is tolkien‘s working map for lord of the rings, that he used from 1937 until 1949. you can see how well used it is. it is folded and refolded, it is tattered and taped together. he did this so that the narrative would always remain geographically true. tolkien always said he began with a map and made the story fit, rather than beginning with a narrative that creates geography. visitors might be surprised and also excited by tolkien‘s father christmas letters, that he produced for his children over 25 years. that shows really what an involved and doting father tolkien was, bringing out tolkien the man, not just tolkien, the author of middle earth.
i hope that our visitors understand a little bit more about the life ofjrr tolkien and the creative process. and really how deep the human imagination and creativity can go, when they see what one man has created and the legacy that he has left to us. members of the monkees have been paying tribute to their bassist and keyboard player, peter tork, who has died. he was 77. abanda put together specifically for atv abanda put together specifically for a tv series, but they were huge in the 1970s. —— the band was. he was diagnosed with a rare form of tongue cancer in 2009. davyjones died in 2012. the surviving bandmates,
micky dolenz and michael nesmith, say they are "heart—broken". that is it for now, thank you so much for watching. hello there. this very mild springlike weather for february is set to continue this weekend and indeed into next week as well. now, on thursday, we saw a top temperature of 18.3 celsius in aboyne, in aberdeenshire. and that has broken the scottish february record of 17.9 celsius, so very mild indeed for the time of year. now, this warm air is rooted as far south as the azores and the canary islands and is being brought up to our shores on a fairly brisk south or south—westerly wind, denoted by those orange and yellow colours. now, as we start this morning, it's going to be a largely dry one. quite breezy across the far north—west with a few showers and we could start to see areas of fog developing across england and wales. some of it could be quite dense, in fact. temperature—wise, a few chilly spots across the north—east of england, southern scotland, otherwise, temperatures generally
between 6—9 celsius. so that fog could be quite extensive across the midlands, southern south—east england, into east anglia, and extending as far north almost as the welsh marshes, up into merseyside and cheshire. and it may take a long time to clear through the morning and could even hold on in one or two spots across the south—east through the day. so some areas could have a grey day. otherwise, for most, another bright and sunny day. some hazy sunshine and it will feel very warm indeed for the time of year. quite windy across this far north—west corner, with generally 13—15 degrees, with a few spots 17 or 18 celsius. high pressure still with us as we head on into the weekend as well, bringing these southerly winds. but these weather fronts always trying to encroach in from the atlantic. it will bring more cloud, some outbreaks of rain, i think, on saturday to northern ireland, then into western scotland, the odd heavier burst and it will be quite windy too. but eastern scotland, for most of england and wales, away from the west, another fine day with some hazy sunshine after the mist and fog clears away,
and again, extremely mild, 14—15 degrees, the odd 16 or 17 celsius. on into sunday, again some mist and fog to start off with. could have a bit more cloud across the west, northern ireland, western scotland, and perhaps western wales and the west country, where it'll be breezier. and i think temperatures a degree or so down across the board. so we're looking at 12s to 13s, maybe the odd spot 14 or 15 degrees across the south—east. and then on into next week, this big area of high pressure still dominating the weather, trying to keep these weather fronts out at bay but they will occasionally brush into the west and the north—west of the country, bringing a few spots of rain. but generally speaking, into next week with high pressure with us still, warm days, fairly chilly nights, sunshine by day but also the risk of fog in the mornings.