hello. my name is tom donkin, and welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. this is our top story: france's presidential election reaches its climax, but could the hacking attack on emmanuel macron‘s campaign affect sunday's result? with just hours before france chooses a new president, the authorities have warned the public and the media not to share e—mails and documents hacked from the centrist candidate emmanuel macron. the election commission in france says people should act responsibly, so as not to alter the integrity of the vote. it said anyone ignoring the advice could be prosecuted. james reynolds is in paris, and has sent this report. emmanuel macron arrived last night for his final interview, assuming that his campaign was basically done. but, whilst he was speaking, documents stolen from his team were being circulated online. his campaign had been hacked. coming at the last hour, his team said, this intervention is an attempt to destabilise democracy, as happened in the usa during the last election. so who stole these documents? in the past, emmanuel macron has
suggested that russian—backed hackers were out to get him. but one cyber expert says that this hack looks different. it is very low—level for the russians, compared to what they have done in the united states, which was really a highly creative and high—end information war, mixed with hacking and cyber war. what we're witnessing right now with macron is very low—end, very amateurish. but many french people, here braving the saturday drizzle, don't know much about the hack. on this, the day before the vote, the french media is banned from doing any in—depth political reporting. a last—minute hack is dramatic. it shows that emmanuel macron has capable enemies. but it may not change the course of this election. many french people have already decided which way they'll vote. and some have already cast their ballots.
these french citizens in canada have made an early start. 47 million voters here in france will soon follow. james reynolds, bbc news, paris. you can keep up to date on this and a host of other stories we are following. just head to our website, bbc.com/news. and just a quick reminder that there will be a special results programme here on bbc world news on sunday from 5:30pm gmt, with christian fraser taking us through the developments as they happen. so tune in for that. islamist militants have released 82 schoolgirls who were kidnapped from chibok in nigeria. a government official said the girls were freed following negotiations with boko haram.
the girls were among almost 300 abducted from their school three years ago. stephanie heg—arty has the latest from nigeria. well, information is fairly sketchy, still, at the moment. but we know that it happened today, close to the afternoon. what we've heard from various sources is that the girls were met in a rural area in a forest, i was told, and brought by road convoy to an army base near the cameroonian border. after that they were, i think, supposed to be airlifted elsewhere. we're not sure whether that has happened yet. numbers—wise, it's not very clear, but we've heard over 80 girls have been released, and that tallies with what the government have been telling us over the past few months. they said they are in negotiations to release up to 80 girls. so 82 is the number that we are hearing at the moment, and that is a lot. it's four times the number that were released last time, in october, when the government orchestrated another one of these negotiations. 276 girls were taken three years ago. around 50 escaped in the proceding days. and since then, we have had 21
in october, 82 or so now. so that does leave almost 115, definitely over 100, girls who have yet to be returned. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news: the italian coastguard says about 6,000 migrants trying to reach europe have been rescued in the mediterranean over the past 48 hours. officials said they organised around a0 separate emergency missions on friday and saturday. many of the migrants were trying to make the crossing from libya in makeshift vessels. the former head of the palestinian militant group hamas in the gaza strip has been elected as overall leader. ismail haniyeh will take overfrom khaled mashal, who has led the movement from abroad for two decades. the election took place using a video link between delegates in gaza and qatar. the main political parties have been out canvassing support on the first full weekend of the general election campaign. the prime minister, theresa may, says she is grateful for the backing her party has received in the local elections, but she says she is taking
nothing for granted. earlier the opposition leader, jeremy corbyn, admitted his party faced an historic challenge, but said labour was closing the gap. our political correspondent ben wright reports. step by step, theresa may is closing in on polling day, now with hundreds of new conservative councillors in her ranks. in wolverhampton aerospace factory, she toured the floor with andy street, the new west midlands mayor. i'm taking nothing for granted. i need support across the united kingdom to strengthen my hand. and only a vote for me and my team will ensure britain has the strong and stable leadership we need in order to ensure that we get the best deal for britain in brexit. theresa may needs tory voters to turn out on 8june, which is why she claims this contest could be close. after winning the west midlands
first metro mayor contest yesterday, the conservatives are confident of turning this labour territory blue. and, in wolverhampton, a sense from some of allegiances shifting. the labour party has let itself down over the past few years, and i'm not very confident in the current leader. i've just got no real confidence in labour at the moment. more confidence in theresa. butjeremy corbyn did not seem down after yesterday's drubbing, and his supporters are as fired up as ever. visiting leicester, in the east midlands, mr corbyn conceded labour faced a huge challenge. of course i'm disappointed in the election results on thursday, but we're out there giving a message about how our economy and society could be very different. and where is the ukip leader? after losing all 146 council seats it was defending this week, paul nuttall insisted the party's voters would return. ukip does have a great future.
itjust has to stay on the pitch, hold its ground, and people will come back to us. the snp were the biggest winners in the scottish council elections, replacing labour as the largest party at edinburgh, aberdeen and glasgow, where today, nicola sturgeon met the snp's councils group. we won the election yesterday emphatically. we are the largest party, notjust compared to five years ago but compared to every other party in scotland. this strange, unexpected election has yet to set passions alight. but the choice is big, and it is in battlegrounds like this the next government will be decided. the liberal democrats have pledged to increase spending on the nhs and social care by raising income tax by a penny in the pound. they say it would raise an extra £6 billion, and would be ring—fenced in england. scotland, wales and northern ireland would be able to decide how to spend the extra cash. our political correspondent leila nathoo reports. how are you?
how's it coming along? good to see you. would you pay more to fund more gps, for better mental health services, for a better nhs? the liberal democrats are asking. they have said they will increase all income tax bands by one percentage point to raise £6 billion, ring—fenced for health and social care in england. if we want the best health and social care for our families, our loved ones, going into the future, we have to provide everyone else is pretending it can be done on the cheap. it cannot be done on the cheap. the party says, under the plans, someone earning under £25,000 next year will pay £133 more in tax annually. on a salary of £100,000, the income tax bill would increase by £883. taking the focus away from brexit, this is the liberal democrats‘ main election pitch so far on tax and spending. they think this policy will be
popular, despite the risk of already committing to tax rises, because of voters‘ concerns about the state of the nhs. health is a devolved policy area, and scotland has its own powers of income tax. but there is no doubt the nhs and social care are under pressure across the uk, with demand soaring and budgets squeezed. over the past few years, spending on the nhs, in real terms, hasn't actually decreased. it has gone up, but at a slower rate in the past. this funding will be double of what is promised in the last few years, and would look generous compared to increases in the last few years, but is not that large compared with spending increases in the long term. the conservatives say they would keep taxes low, while labour is ruling out tax rises for low and middle income earners. but the liberal democrats think a tax rise across the board is the only way to secure the future of the nhs. fighting has eased in parts of syria
where a russian—led ceasefire has taken effect. the russian defence ministry says it has registered 15 violations since midnight on friday. meanwhile, russia and the united states have agreed to resume a bilateral agreement to prevent mid—air clashes over syrian skies. alex bolton reports. syrian government aircraft in action near the city of hama. there are reports of shelling and gunfire elsewhere in the country, but overall, the violence has eased following the international plan to create four de—escalation zones inside syria. another positive step — russian and us chiefs of general staff have agreed to reinstate the system preventing mid—air incidents over syria. in a phone call, russian general gerasimov and general dunford of the united states agreed to work on additional measures. russia says a new initiative to create demilitarised areas in syria can pave the way towards more substantive negotiations. translation: the most important
thing is that the implementation of the memorandum can help cease the military action among conflicting factions, and therefore end the syrian crisis at the practical level. the initiative is of significant meaning to the political process in syria. the deal to create de—escalation zones in the major areas of conflict in western syria took effect at midnight on friday. the initiative was proposed by russia, president bashar al—assad's most powerful ally. it is backed by turkey and iran. with the deal coming from two strong backers of assad's regime, the main syrian opposition grouping have major misgivings about it, they say they're not too confident. translation: the revolution is very damaged. the revolution is strangled, and the syrian people are killed in these so—called de—escalation zones. the regime and the russians
are the only beneficiaries. failure of peace efforts and ceasefire deals are a familiar story in this conflict, that has claimed 300,000 lives since 2012. so how effective the current plan will prove to be is highly uncertain. alex bolton, bbc news. three men have appeared in court charged with murdering a businessman, who was fatally shot, allegedly during a botched robbery. 61—year—old guy hedger was killed after at least two intruders entered his home in dorset. from poole, duncan kennedy reports. it was in the early hours of last sunday morning that guy hedger was shot at his home near ringwood, just outside bournemouth. he was taken to hospital, but later died. the 61—year—old businessman had worked in marketing, and was a director of a schools academy trust. today, three men were brought to the magistrates‘ court at poole,
in dorset, charged with the murder of mr hedger and with aggravated burglary. the three men are kevin downton, who is 40, jason backus, who is a1, and 44—year—old scot keeping. the hearing lasted just five minutes. there was no application for bail. all three men are remanded in custody. the men, who all come from dorset, will next appear by video link at winchester crown court on tuesday. a ao—year—old woman arrested in connection with the case has been released, pending further police investigations. france‘s presidential election reaches its climax, amid concerns the hacking attack on emmanuel macron‘s campaign could affect the result. 82 nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by islamist militants three years ago have now been freed. thousands of venezuelan women have taken part in anti—government
protests in the capital, caracas. they‘re calling for fresh presidential elections and an end to police repression. meanwhile, president trump‘s national security adviser has met the president of venezuela‘s opposition—led national assembly in washington. wyre davies reports. the daily wave of protests against the government of nicolas maduro continues across venezuela. in the capital caracas thousands of women marched on the defence ministry, dressed symbolically in white, urging the government to end what they said was the brutal oppression of its opponents and free hundreds of political prisoners. some of these protesters have husbands and family members in jail, who they say are in prison for opposing a corrupt regime. but the government and the armed forces, which remain loyal so far, are not backing off. more than 30 people have been killed in a month of demonstrations.
president maduro has vowed to ride out the storm, accusing venezuela‘s enemies abroad and what he says are business elites at home, waging a deliberate campaign of destabilisation. but venezuela is hurting. but what should be latin america‘s wealthiest and most stable nation is punch—drunk from years of instability. many young people say they have no future here. i knew him for nine years, says this girl who has just buried her friend and fellow youth orchestra member. "it hurts me so much to see him taken in the bloom of his life, just 18 years old." venezuela has the world‘s second largest oil reserves, yet in cities across the country, people are so poor and hungry, they are looting shops for food, even when there is nothing there to steal. with an inflation rate of 900%, venezuelans are used to queueing for basic goods at subsidised government markets. but food and medicine is scarce. hugo chavez‘s socialist revolution failing the very people
who supported it. thousands remain loyal, and chavez‘s successor in nicolas maduro has rejected calls for the release of political prisoners. after a week of increasingly violent protests, opposition leaders met senior members of the trump administration, washington accusing mr maduro of disregarding the rights of his own people. dr moises naim served as minister of trade and industry for venezuela — he was also executive director of the world bank, and is currently a distinguished fellow at the carnegie endowment for international peace in washington. he told me the us may be getting involved now because the regular reports of unrest are hard to ignore.
it is hard to ignore the daily news about the tragedy that is happening in venezuela — it is a humanitarian catastrophe. it is very close to the united states and it is a very important country in very significant ways. how much influence or change can the us actually enact in the country? not much. the united states has very limited optionsabout what to do about venezuela. and it is not clear that the united states has a policy towards venezuela, it has an attitude towards venezuela. we know that president trump does not like the regime in venezuela, that president trump has made a point, every time he talks to a leader in the neighbourhood in latin america, he makes a point of insisting that should be a regional problem, that all the countries in the region should become more active in trying to salvage the suituation, to improve the situation in venezuela, but as i said, the us does not have a policy
towards venezuela, it has an attitude. the situation in the country isn‘t new, there‘s been months of protests, food shortages, basically economic collapse, how has nicolas maduro been able to hang on to power? he has developed the tools of a police state. nicolas maduro is a dictator, mostly has the support of the military. and we know oil—rich countries that have governments that can control the military are very hard to topple and he is an example of this. as long as he has the support of the armed forces, it is going to be very hard to oust him but we have seen an opposition determined to do that and it has been in the streets, very high risks, risking their lives, trying to show that he does not have the support of the country. the surveys indicate about 80% of the country does not want him in the presidential palace any more.
it is notjust the opposition, there were voices of dissent recently from the attorney general. how big a test was that for the government? that is very significant. in 17 years that is the first time that a high—level individual in the administration has parted with the government. it is a very significant event as are the minor ones but also very significant. the sons of very important backers of mr chavez and mr maduro, individuals with important positions in the government, are speaking out against their fathers through social media. these are all symptoms that even those who support chavez and maduro are now fed up with the situation and want change. strong winds and rain have swept across parts of eastern china, bringing down trees and cutting off power lines.
in some areas gales have reached force ten over the last two days. more than a0 tourists in fujian province had to be rescued by firefighters after being trapped by flash floods. sarah corker reports. as daylight faded, firefighters attached to safety ropes and waded through a torrent of raging water to rescue aa tourists. the group were visiting a waterfall in a rural part of fujian province when torrential rain triggered flash flooding. trapped for more than three hours, they were first given food and water before being taken to higher ground. further north, injilin province, it gale force ten winds ripped roofs off buildings. trees were uprooted and vehicles were crushed. translation: the roofs of the steel houses are flying everywhere. look at the billboard behind me, it was
brand—new, just put up today, but was blown down by wind all the same. debris was strewn across roads and pavements, narrowly missing some pedestrians. at least 12 powerlines were damaged. engineers worked through the night to end the blackout. beijing has not escaped the severe weather either. a pedestrian was trapped underneath a fallen fence but escaped without serious injury. the wind was so powerful it took anything not nailed down with it. here in the uk, prince edward says he doesn‘t believe his father, the duke of edinburgh, will "stop for a minute" when he retires from public life in the autumn. prince edward said "the show would go on" because the royal family worked as a team. our royal correspondent, peter hunt, considers the first comments from a senior royal
about the impending retirement of prince philip. prince philip, as we soon won‘t be seeing him, in public, on duty, by his wife‘s side. from the autumn, the soon to be 96—year—old will be giving up such engagements. retirement beckons but prince edward insists his father won‘t be inactive. i don‘t believe that he is going to be putting his feet up completely and disappearing into the background and never being seen again. i still think, he‘ll pick and choose what he wants to do and how he‘ll do it and what‘s sensible and what‘s practical. as i said, i don‘t think we‘ll see him completely disappear but he‘s making it absolutely clear to organisations, please don‘t come round asking me to do things and expect me to say yes, because the answer‘s going to be no. hopefully he can enjoy more of what he enjoys doing. this is an ancient institution adjusting to the fact that one of its key players will be on display a lot less. out and about, the queen relies on her husband. others will have to step up to the mark. it is always a team effort and that‘s what we do. the show goes on.
if an actor retires from a show, guess what, the show goes on, everybody shuffles around and we fill in the spaces and keep it all going. and that‘s what we will do. it doesn‘t require any massive reorganisation, that‘s what we do, we support each other. such support is already happening. here, prince william was on hand, a grandson helping his grandmother, the queen, as she met her guest, aung san suu kyi, myanmar‘s de facto leader. the windsors are in transition. this is a taste of the future. peter hunt, bbc news. the teenage racing driver who lost both legs in a horrific crash says he‘s "lost for words" after well—wishers raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for him. billy monger was racing in the formula a championship last month when he was involved in a high speed collision. richard lister reports. they call him billy whizz. one of the rising stars of british motorsport. he was supposed to be racing this weekend. instead, he‘s reading messages
from driving legends like lewis hamilton and niki lauda after the injuries that changed his life. that‘s amazing. and as i turn over, there‘d be signatures from many world champions. that really touched my heart. i was lost for words, and i still am now. three weeks ago he was racing at donington park at 120 miles an hour when he struck a stationary car. he was airlifted to the queens medical centre in nottingham, where they carried out partial amputations of both legs. today he was preparing to go home, grateful to the staff who saved his life. without them i wouldn‘t be here today, so a massive thanks to every single one of the staff that have helped me. it‘s going to be emotional saying goodbye to them all. billy turned 18 yesterday and is contemplating a return to racing eventually. his team has already helped raise more than £800,000 towards his recovery and those
who will be racing at thruxton this weekend are ensuring that although he won‘t be there, his nickname will at least still feature on the grid. itjust shows you that when a tragic event like this happens, how people pull together. i definitely want to take the positives out of this and make sure that i use it in a positive way for the rest of my life now. i‘ve still got a few years left in me, for sure. watch this space. richard lister, bbc news. a courageous young man. don‘t forget you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter. i‘m @tomdonkinbbc. that is about all we have time for, so we that is about all we have time for, so we will take you to the weather. hello, good morning. so near, yet so far away. we had some rain around during the first half of the weekend. it came in with this cloud front, just clipped the south—west of england, running through the english channel.
that cloud is moving southward into the near continent. across the far north—east of scotland we have got some low cloud that will bring drizzle as we head into sunday. quite low cloud for northern and eastern scotland, perhaps filtering through the central lowlands, perhaps argyll and bute seeing more in the way of sunshine. sunny start after a chilly start across northern ireland, likewise north—west england. on the other side of the pennines there will be more cloud. wales, midland and southern england, temperatures start at 10 or 11 because of the cloud, but we should see things improving. you‘ll notice that if you are watching the cricket at lord‘s, england against ireland. skies brightening through the day. we will get some sunshine and it should feel quite warm in the afternoon despite the northerly breeze. the breeze stronger across north—east scotland and england, all the way down to the wash, but further south the cloud should tend to break up and we should get more sunshine for southern parts of england and wales. mild temperatures along the coast, but in northern ireland who could be
sitting at 21 in the afternoon, possibly 20 in south—east wales. not quite as warm as that at anfield, but not far off. most temperatures will climb in the afternoon in the sunshine, and eventually we will have sunshine in london as well. looking good as we head into the end of the afternoon. overnight we will see more cloud coming in off the north sea, and a good part of scotland. in the west we will have clearer skies and it could turn chilly in the countryside. generally, as we head into monday, it‘s an east/west split for many. eastern areas with that onshore chilly breeze, but even here it will break up at times. further west across the uk after a chilly start perhaps we will get more sunshine, boosting the temperatures into the mid teens, possibly higher than that towards the south—west. quite chilly for eastern scotland and north—east england once again. high pressure keeping it dry, at least into tuesday and wednesday. the centre of a high pressure ridge coming all the way from southern greenland, extending a nose into the uk. on tuesday, the onshore breeze
will cause more cloud for the eastern part of the uk. we will have more sunshine by the middle part of the week, boosting temperatures. but generally, the further west you go will see higher temperatures. and that is where we have the best of sunshine. this is bbc news. the headlines: the french authorities have warned against anyone spreading documents hacked from the campaign team of emmanuel macron ahead of sunday‘s presidential election. aides to mr macron say it was intended to undermine french democracy. at least 80 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by boko haram in the nigerian town of chibok have been freed. a government official said they had been released following negotiations with the islamist militant group. they are still thought to be holding more than 100 girls captive. fighting has eased in parts of syria where a russian—led initiative to halt the country‘s six—year war has taken effect.
the russian defence ministry says it has registered 15 violations since midnight on friday. russia and the us have also agreed to resume a bilateral agreement to prevent mid—air clashes in syrian airspace. let‘s have a quick look at some of the front pages. the observer leads on labour‘s plans to increase income tax for people earning more than £80,000 ifjeremy corbyn becomes