tv BBC News at Six BBC News April 23, 2019 6:00pm-6:31pm BST
a day of mourning, as sri lankans bury their loved ones. the number of dead after the easter sunday attacks has risen again. first pictures of one of the suicide bombers on his way to a church. sri lanka's prime minister says some of the extremists are on the run and have explosives. we are trying to apprehend them. people who are on the run. so far, we've been successful in apprehending many of them. dozens of victims have been buried today, the authorities now say more than 320 people were killed. as the investigation into the bombings gets under way, it's emerged that intelligence about the attacks may not have been passed on to ministers.
also on tonight's programme: president trump will be back in britain — this time, it's an official state visit. in 2018, he met the queen at windsor castle. injune, buckingham palace awaits — and there may be a protest or two. change uk, the party for remainers, launches its european election campaign, but whether you'll get to vote for them could depend on brexit talks between the government and labour. this is an emergency, this is an existential crisis, and we must do everything we can to stop it. bringing her unique campaign on climate change to westminster — greta thunberg, the 16—year—old swede, says it's time to panic. and coming up on bbc news: captain, leader, legend. tributes are paid to billy mcneill, celtic‘s european cup—winning captain, who's died at the age of 79.
good evening. in sri lanka, the first funerals have ta ken place after easter sunday's suicide attacks on churches and hotels, that has now left more than 320 people dead. it's been a day of national mourning, with three minutes‘ silence observed across the island. the authorities have blamed a local islamist group, although the islamic state group has claimed responsibility. the country's prime minister says some of those involved in the plot are still on the run and armed. it's also emerged that the intelligence services may have been warned of an impending attack, which wasn't passed on to ministers. the bombings were carried out in three areas of the country. churches in the eastern city of batticalo and the city of negombo were targeted.
and there were explosions at six locations in the capital, colombo, including another church, restaurants at several hotels, and two residential districts. it's been a day of mourning here across the country, as sri lankans remember their dead. white banners and streamers today greet those entering negombo. in the afternoon breeze, they dance, as if heralding a fete or celebration. but in sri lanka, white signifies death. they chant. a meditation on the life of christ and remembrance of the dead. in this house, open caskets house four members of one family, murdered as they prayed on easter sunday — a mother, two girls, and a boy, aged seven. then the quiet reflection is broken. she wails. "my golden daughter, my small son, why are you like this?", she wails.
"get up, get up!" 0vercome, this grandmother still cannot believe two generations of her family are gone. and next door, another house of sorrow. "i lost my family," says anusha kumari. and all around, her heartbreak is shared. nearby, more bodies. her husband and a teenage son. this room is now a shrine. and close by, a 21—year—old daughter, to be laid to rest. so—called islamic state has claimed responsibility, and anusha demands that the government gets tough on local extremists.
translation: the people of this country are mad. they're fools. we need a strong leader to run this country. sri lanka needs a strong man for it to rise. it's clear that the sense of shock and grief and loss that this woman is feeling — so many are feeling here in sri lanka — is now turning to anger, real anger at the authorities for not protecting them. as he calmly walks past a child, cctv captures the bomber who destroyed the life of anusha and so many others. he walks into san sebastian church, it is packed, this is easter sunday. and seconds later, he detonates. 0n is easter sunday. and seconds later, he detonates. on this day of national mourning, sri lanka's prime minister warned some extremists are still on the run and may be returning from syria. there are a few people on the run, some are on
the run so they have to be apprehended, with explosives. he asked how many were on the run. no, i don't know. backin i don't know. back in negombo, excavations from mass burials. the burning question after sunday's barbarity, will the killings bring this country together in grief or see it fracture along religious and ethnic fault lines that in the past have destroyed so much? it wasn't just the capital, colombo, that was hit. more than 25 people — many of them children — lost their lives in the attack at the zion church in batticalo, that's to the east of the country. 0ur correspondent rajini vaidya nathan is in the city for us now. well, at this end, they have been marking a day of mourning with black and white flags hanging from every street corner. and since the attack
at the sion church, other churches in this area have remained closed. there is a real sense of fear. and also, it is faith that is getting the small christian community through that fear. a small christian community that lost some of its youngest and most helpless. this scenic stretch of sri lanka's east coast has become accustomed to loss. countless died in the country's civil war. the tsunami in 2004 claimed thousands more. and now a new wave of terror. in the town of batticaloa, they're grieving. forjarashem, who'd just turned 13. forjohn, who loved basketball. for amsika, who was two. for the other children killed at church. they'd all been attending sunday school. this footage was filmed 20 minutes before the bomber struck. after class, they'd gone outside
for snacks before easter service, at least 25 people died in the blast here at zion church — 13 were children. this was one of the sunday school teachers. her husband, ramesh, was at the church when he spotted a stranger carrying a backpack. "he told my husband he was coming in to make a video inside the church," she told me. "my husband said he couldn't and took him outside." as i went into the church, the bomb exploded." moments later, ramesh died — his actions saved many lives, but his two children now have to live theirs without a father. and for his widow, the pain is all too familiar. her parents were brutally murdered in sri lanka's civil war, her aunt died in the tsunami.
in the small christian community, entire families are now gone. this woman lost her son, her daughter—in—law and her 18—month—old grandchild. and just around the corner, we found another memorial poster of two smiling children. yesterday, brother and sister sharon and sarah were buried side by side. they were just 11 and i2, and sarah were buried side by side. they were just 11 and 12, both loved to study. still on the wall in their house, their homework calendar. ididn't house, their homework calendar. i didn't expect they would die, their mum told me. i will never see them again. i can't have children like them any more. these graves have barely been dug, just like the lives lost, had barely been left. this land use to be lined
with grave sparking the victims of the country's civil war, which ended a decade ago. 0nce the country's civil war, which ended a decade ago. once again, this community is burying their dead. batticaloa. let's go back to the capital, colombo, and my colleague. clive, what about the suggestion there were warnings of these attacks but they were not acted upon? yes, george, absolutely incredible. the suggestion is that this clearly was a catastrophic failure as regards the intelligence services here and the authorities in the country. in the last hour, the president has made it clear that a memo that was written two weeks ago suggesting that attacks may take place, possibly around about easter time, he reckons he didn't see that memo, it never crossed his desk. we know that the authorities here are planning a three—man commission to look into the background relating to
the attacks and the possible problems involving the intelligence services. and we also understand now that the president is thinking of a shake—up in his top brass across the defence apparatus here. so, heads could well role as a result of the problem is that we have had over the last few days here. and i should tell you that a state of national emergency is still in place, there isa emergency is still in place, there is a curfew in place here tonight and we can show you pictures of the empty streets across the city here, the capital. and this is a nationwide emergency, that means that the authorities can pick up anyone that they suspect might be involved in any kind of problem and they can be arrested and detained for a period of time. as with many other countries around the world, sri lanka is now very worried about the problems that could be caused by fighters returning back from the wa i’s fighters returning back from the wars in syria who perhaps could cause problems here and link up with outside agencies including the islamic state group, who have no
claimed responsibility for what happened on sunday. clive, you have just been talking about the politics of this disaster. but there is of course the human side. more funerals to come tomorrow and presumably for the rest of the week. yes, going into negombo, that city i reported on a little earlier, it is heartbreaking seeing so many people, every single life pretty much there has been affected by what happens. the local church where the bombing took place, easter sunday, it was packed. so many people would have gathered there and they would have had relatives and friends he would have been involved in that service he would have been affected. so 30 funerals took place today, there is going to be another 60, we understand, tomorrow. the grieving continues here and it will go on for some time. of course, the investigation continues as well, the fbi and interpol have been going across some of the areas where the attacks took place to find traces of
evidence that may help link up to those people who were responsible. and around about a0 people are still in detention, picked up as a result of what happened. so suspects in custody, but this investigation is farfrom over, george. custody, but this investigation is far from over, george. 0k, clive, thank you very much. here, buckingham palace has confirmed that president trump will make a three—day state visit to the uk injune, accompanied by first lady melania trump. the white house said the visit would reaffirm what it called the "steadfast and special relationship" between the united states and britain. unlike 2018 — dubbed a working trip at the time — this will be an official state visit, with the queen as host. 0ur north america editor, jon sopel, reports. the queen has welcomed president trump before to the uk, even if there were moments last summer when it was hard to discern who was hosting whom as they inspected
the troops at windsor castle. but this will be a visit with all the bells and whistles. a state banquet at buckingham palace, a gun salute in green park — it will be full ceremonial. what's unclear is whether he'll be invited to give a joint address to parliament, as president xi of china did on his state visit to london. the speaker has indicated he is opposed to president trump being given that honour, even though the us is britain's closest ally. and there'll be widespread opposition to the visit. many of the things this president has said people find objectionable, the amplification of tweets from racists, for example, some of his views around people who belong to my faith, some of his views people find objectionable, and one of the great things about living in a democracy is people will make their views known. the key thing, though, is that any protest is peaceful but also lawful as well. the last time the president was in the uk, there were large, good—natured protests, but donald trump didn't see any of them. he was very deliberately helicoptered from
one secure location to another, never coming face to face with the demonstrators. this will be only the third state visit made by an american president to the uk during the queen's long reign. some will say it's too soon for donald trump, others that he's too controversial a figure. but he was never going to turn down the invitation — the pomp and pageantry of a state visitjust before you're seeking re—election will play very well with the american public. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. the new political party change uk has launched its campaign for next month's european parliamentary elections. the party, formerly known as the independent group, was formed nine weeks ago. it's made up of 11 mps who quit labour and the conservatives because of their approach to brexit. at a launch event in bristol, it unveiled candidates including racheljohnson, borisjohnson‘s sister, and the former bbc news presenter gavin esler. 0ur political correspondent alex forsyth reports.
there's been a lot of waiting to see what next for brexit. in bristol, some lined up to hear from a new political party that is pushing for one particular outcome. this group, set up by former tory and labourmps, says it wants to change uk politics and start by stopping brexit. this is no rebel alliance. this is the home of the remain alliance. they unveiled their candidates in case there are elections to the european parliament — among them, some familiarfaces, including racheljohnson, the sister of the pro—brexit tory mp borisjohnson, now backing a movement that's calling for a rethink. and now we do demand that people's vote! despite having no other policies in place so far, the party insists what it stands for is clear. unlike the labour party or the tories, who are finding it very uncomfortable
in their own skins, how to land their position on europe, we are really, really clear. is there a risk that you split the remain vote? we are clearly attracting people from every walk of political life, that we are the natural home for people, and we have felt confident that it'll be us that people for. but there is some scepticism, even among supporters. i think there is a need for more substance, perhaps on policies. we just need some energy in some fashion, we need to do it, it's great. bit concerned about the logo. bristol was chosen for today's launch because here most people wanted to remain. people are being asked to think about voting in the european elections almost three years after the uk chose to leave the eu, so perhaps unsurprisingly some of the parties are trying to make them about brexit. the government are still trying to avoid these elections happening at all. in westminster, talks resumed between labour and the government as they try to broker a brexit compromise. number ten said it had been difficult and progress was urgent.
so far, there's been no breakthrough. there has got to be a change in the government's approach, they cannot keep on just regurgitating what has already been emphatically rejected three times. back near bristol at this motorhome business, matt and glenn are united on the need for progress, despite voting different ways on brexit. we are tired of it now, we just want some certainty back in our business, and certainty back in our customers' buying patterns. can i ask you what you think of another referendum ? what a waste of money and time and effort. yeah, i think it massively undermines democracy in this country. so while some still hope the brexit process can be reversed, others are simply craving a decisive outcome. alex forsyth, bbc news, bristol. our top story this evening: a national day of mourning as sri lankans begin to bury some
of the 320 people killed in the easter sunday attacks. and still to come — billy mcneill, the first british footballer to lift the european cup, has died at the age of 79. coming up in sportsday on bbc news, the biggest shock in the world snooker championship history — five—times winner ronnie 0'sullivan is beaten by amateurjames cahill in the first round in sheffield. she is the teenager who has galvanised her generation in the campaign to find ways to deal with climate change. today the swedish schoolgirl greta thunberg has taken her message to westminster, telling politicians that her future, and those of children across the world, had been "stolen". the 16—year—old climate change activist insisted politicans needed to act now to help bring down carbon emissions. the today programme's nick robinson has been speaking to her. the passion, the pigtails, the shy smile — greta thunberg
is the swedish schoolgirl who wants to teach politicians three or four times her age a lesson they'll never forget. hanging on her every word in the commons today, representatives of all the major parties. we children are doing this to wake the adults up. for you to put your differences aside and start acting as you would in a crisis. we children are doing this because we want oui’ hopes and dreams back. greta was just 15 when she walked out of class and began the first school strike against climate change. since then, more than a million in countries all over the world have followed suit. their message a simple one — why should we waste time learning when our leaders ignore the facts about global warming? you said something very striking the other day. you said, "we need to panic, we can'tjust have a polite conversation about this any more."
what did you mean? as i say, if your house is on fire and you want to keep your house from burning to the ground, then that does require some level of panic. you don't sit talking about insurance claims or rebuilding and renovations. you do everything you can to put out the fire. greta's school holidays are a little different from most kids. she's spoken to crowds in berlin... this is only the beginning of the beginning. ..met the pope in rome... ..got a standing ovation at the european parliament in brussels, before travelling to london — all by train, of course — to be hailed as a hero... we love you, we love you! ..by climate change protesters blockading the streets. do you occasionally have to pinch yourself and say, "how has this happened?" yes, definitely.
it's hard to sort of understand it. you talk about having asberger‘s. and you say that it's a gift, that it helps you in some ways. how? if i would have been like everyone else, i wouldn't have started this school strike, for instance. i think differently. i couldn't believe that everyone could just continue like before, while this was happening. politicians are queuing up to be seen with greta thunberg. they all say they share her concerns. she's living proof that you're never too small to make a difference. nick robinson, bbc news, westminster. an mp convicted of false expenses claims has been ordered to complete 50 hours' unpaid work and fined £1,500. chris davies, the conservative mp for brecon and radnorshire, pleaded guilty to providing false or misleading information
for allowances claims back in march. mr davies now faces a recall petition amid calls for his resignation. a 19—year—old neo—nazi has pleaded guilty to two charges of encouraging terrorism, including running a social media account that called for prince harry to be shot for being a "race traitor". michal szewczuk also admitted possessing five documents that might be useful to terrorists. he was a member of the extreme right wing group the so—called sonnenkrieg division, which was exposed by bbc news last december. a 57—year—old woman has been arrested under the terrorism act in connection with the murder of the journalist lyra mckee in northern ireland. she was shot while she was reporting on riots in londonderry on thursday night. the dissident irish republican group, the new ira, has admitted it was behind her killing. in a statement, it offered what it
said were "full and sincere apologies" to lyra mckee's family and friends. 0ur ireland correspondent chris page is in londonderry for us. chris, i wonder how this apology has gone down. george, a number of lyra mckee's friends quickly and very publicly dismissed it, branded it as cynical, as crass, as offensive, and they said that paramilitary organisations should not be issuing state m e nts organisations should not be issuing statements of apology, they should simply be dismounting. the new ira is thought to be the largest and most active of the dissident republican groups which are opposed to the peace process. police have been warning for several years now that although they are small in number, perhaps several hundred members, they still pose a severe threat. here in derry, detectives have said that they have had a massive public response to the appeals for information about the murder of lyra mckee, for example more than 1a0 people have contacted them through an online portal, but they stay they still need more potential witnesses and they are
continuing their efforts on the area where lyra mckee was fatally wounded on thursday night. today detectives have made a third arrest in the investigation, a 57—year—old woman detained, being questioned under anti—terrorism legislation. tomorrow the focus will turn to lyra's city of belfast, where herfuneral will be held in the city's largest cathedral. chris, many thanks. james cahill has pulled off one of the biggest shocks in snooker history, after beating ronnie 0'sullivan at the world championships at the crucible in sheffield. cahill, who does not even have a world ranking, led 0'sullivan 5—a overnight in their first—round match and completed an astonishing win this morning, eventually beating the five—time champion by ten frames to eight. the former celtic captain billy mcneill, who became the first british footballer to lift the european cup, has died at the age of 79. billy mcneill led his celtic team — nicknamed the lisbon lions — to a famous victory over inter milan in 1967, one of the highlights
of a long playing careerfor celtic. katie gornall is outside celtic park. kd. george, there's a statue of billy mcneill is one of the first things you see when you arrive at celtic park. since the news emerged this morning, it has been surrounded by fa ns morning, it has been surrounded by fans paying their respects, tributes from around the world of football as sir alex ferguson called him a giant of scottish football, saying he was a man with an incredible presence. it was often said that billy mcneill was at the heart of everything for celtic. here he is, celebrating the club's greatest triumph — becoming the first british man to lift the european cup. in that moment, the leader became a legend. the victory came against inter milan on a sun—drenched evening in lisbon in 1967. barely seven minutes from time came the winning goal. today, two of his team—mates from that famed lisbon lions side paid their own tribute. we called him caesar, honestly,
because he was a leader. and the great thing about it, he had the passion of everybody that was in the terraces. bornjust ten miles from celtic park, mcneill made his debut in 1958. but it was the arrival ofjock stein as manager that put him — and celtic — on the road to success. in 1965, mcneill scored the winning goal in the scottish cup final, sparking a period of domestic dominance that would include nine successive league titles. he was capped 29 times for scotland before retiring in 1975, bringing to an end an 18—year playing career devoted to celtic. not many people get the opportunity to stand in the winners' rostrum, and i've done it on lots of occasions. and it is wonderful, make no mistake about it. and to play for a club and to be associated, for me, with this club has always been brilliant. mcneill would go on to manage aston villa, manchester city and aberdeen. but his heart belonged in glasgow.
in two spells in charge, he led celtic to five league titles, becoming one of the club's most successful managers. everybody's an icon, everybody's a hero. but he was. he was an icon. it takes you back to, you know, to winning the european cup and all the things that happened from there and what it meant to people. and he wasjust some man, you know what i mean? he wasjust... he gave so much. there is a feeling among the celtic faithful that something precious has been lost in the passing of billy mcneill, a footballer who was one of a kind. billy mcneill, who has died at the age of 79. time for a look at the weather, here's louise lear. a gentle change from summer back to spring, it couldn't last, could it? a bit of cloud are spilling up from the near continent today, the skies have looked quite milky throughout the afternoon, quite high cloud, as
you can see from this picture sent in from central wales. temperatures in many places into the low 20s, and through the night tonight, cloud building up, and some rain arrives across the isles of scilly, the south—west, and up into south wales. its centrepiece is a rain to start with, getting going through the morning, and ahead of it if you thundery downpours, perhaps to the west of london, up into 0xfordshire, the midlands as well. at the same time, further north, largely dry but quite breezy tomorrow, and that will ta ke quite breezy tomorrow, and that will take the edge off the feel of things, certainly thicker cloud into eastern scotland, where temperatures are more disappointing. sheltered western areas should see some brightness, decent temperatures, maybe across norfolk if you keep sunshine through the afternoon, highs of 20. but wednesday is the transition, as we move into thursday, another batch of rain pushing in from the next front that will move across england and wales,
some more rain, perhaps right and properfor some of us, some more rain, perhaps right and proper for some of us, enough to give the garden is a good watering moving northwards, the rain perhaps not arriving in scotland during daylight hours, but that marks a change as we move towards the weekend, back to pretty much where weekend, back to pretty much where we should be, sunny spells and april showers, feeling rather cool with a brisk breeze. that is all from the bbc‘s news at six, now wejoin that is all from the bbc‘s news at six, now we join the news team where you are.