this is bbc news. i'm annita mcveigh. the headlines at two: hundreds of thousands of americans prepare to take part in rallies calling for tighter gun controls. this is the scene in washington — where survivors of the school shootings in florida are taking part in the rally, dubbed "march for our lives" tributes are paid to the policeman who died of his injuries after swapping places with hostages during yesterday's terror attack. president macron says he was a hero. three other people died and 16 more were injured in three separate attacks. owen smith says he'll continue to argue against brexit, despite being sacked from the labour front bench over the issue. and in half an hour, mandy baker looks back at recent events in westminster in the week in parliament. good afternoon and
welcome to bbc news. hundreds of thousands of people are preparing to take part in marches across the united states, calling for tighter gun controls. the protests have been dubbed ‘the march of our lives‘. let's go to gary o'donoghue in washington. they are expecting hundreds of thousands of people, that's what the organisers say here in washington as well as those other rallies right around the country, and indeed, around the country, and indeed, around the country, and indeed, around the world, too. there's one in london. we expect them in other places as well. they are asking for something sippel, they are asking to go to school and safe when they go to school. it doesn't sound like much but it is a controversial area, gun control in america, it is
incredibly hard to do. what florida stu d e nts incredibly hard to do. what florida students have managed to do since the shooting on valentine's day is keep their school, their tragedy and the wider issue of safety in school right at the top of the agenda. here is my colleague chris buckler. parkland students have travelled hundreds of miles from florida from the school where their classmates and teachers were killed, a shooting that many of them survived. in washington, they've already been lobbying politicians, and today they'll be joined by tens of thousands of others in a march calling for new tighter gun laws in the us. i'm doing this because i don't want any other student to have to go and attend a friend's funeral instead of their friends birthday party. those who fled the marjory stoneman douglas high school started the campaign that has led to the march for our lives and they have inspired a huge number of others.
alongside services and protests, hundreds of sister marches are due to take place today across america and around the world. i can honestly say that prayers do not feel like enough. we must act. we must act to change current laws that allow profound devastation and heartbreak. despite the strength of america's gun lobby, there are some signs that the white house is having to listen. the usjustice department has confirmed that it is pushing ahead with proposals to ban so—called bump stocks. they are devices capable of enabling a semiautomatic weapon to fire like a fully automatic machine gun. but the students leading this campaign believe that's only a start, and they hope the size of today's march in washington will add to the pressure on president trump. we are getting closer to the beginning of the real event today.
there will be lots of speeches on the stage behind me, lots of teenagers making speeches. no one over the age of 18 will be on the stage. they will gather on nine blocks on pennsylvania avenue, with the capital at one end and the white house at the other, bringing the message to the centre of power. one young person is with me now, you are 14. 15. where have you come from? maryland. what is the message today? lam here because i don't maryland. what is the message today? i am here because i don't think american schools are safe any more. school shootings have happened way too many times for there not to be a change, and there needs to be a change. what kind of change? congress needs stricter gun laws. you know how difficult that is, right? yes, i do. it is extremely difficult, but the safety of america's children is much more important than the safety of guns. what do you think has changed this time around, because we have had
school shootings before, what is different about parkland 7 parkland was the final straw. it is always pray, mourned, repeat. people are tired of it and there needs to bea are tired of it and there needs to be a change. do you think you are not old enough to vote yet, but is this something that you think when you get to 18 will be in your mind, internet of how you choose who you vote for? absolutely. i think stricter gun laws are something of america has needed for a long time i'iow. america has needed for a long time now. it is a big deal, because it divides people down the middle, doesn't it? yeah, it is a big deal, because it is in the second amendment of our constitution, but that doesn't be we can't have stricter gun laws. you are not saying take away guns altogether but they have to be controlled? saying take away guns altogether but they have to be controlled 7|j definitely they have to be controlled?” definitely don't think that guns need to be taken away altogether, but stricter gun laws are something that we need. 0k, we will let you
get back to your friends and your march, have a good day and take it easy. thank you. the predictions are for hundreds of thousands, we will see how many turn up, but the message is very clear, make our schools say. back to you in the studio. thank you very much, gary o'donoghue in washington. we will follow the progress of the marches through the afternoon. well, hundreds of people have attended demonstrations here in the uk in solidarity with the protests in the united states. campaigners gathered at the new us embassy in south london this morning to back calls for tougher gun controls. a demonstration was also held outside the us consulate in edinburgh, where speakers included the family of a victim of the dunblane school massacre, in 1996. in other news, theresa may has joined those paying
tribute to a policeman who died after switching places with a hostage during an attack on a supermarket in southern france on friday. lieutena nt—colonel arnaud beltrame was shot by the gunman in the small town of trebes, where gavin lee reports. tributes to the hero who secured the release of hostages by taking their place and ultimately losing his life. he was one of the first at the scene of the super u supermarket in the southern french town of trebes where dozens of french shoppers were held by an islamist extremist gunmen. during the siege, two people were shot dead, 60 were injured. others told reporters how they escaped. i went in the freezer with a dozen other people. then we opened a door at the back, there was a small room. an anti—panic room. we pushed it and we were out. he ran after me. why he didn't shoot, i don't know, maybe he ran out of bullets, i don't know.
after two hours, the gunmen exchanged the remaining hostages with the police officer who switched from negotiator to hostage and left his phone open which allowed special forces act. when they heard shots, they moved in to kill the gunmen. this morning, the french interior minister confirmed arnaud beltrame had died overnight, adding that france would never forget his bravery and sacrifice. forensic teams are working here inside the supermarket and as the investigation begins into yet another terrorist attack on french soil, we are starting to learn more details about the attacker, a 25—year—old, a moroccan national living locally who had been in the sights of french intelligence services but ultimately they didn't consider him a terrorist threat. the immediate focus will be on determining whether he acted alone or had been to syria and had links to so—called islamic state.
three other victims of the attack are expected to be named later today. gavin lee, bbc news in the south of france. social media is flooded with tributes to the french police officer, arnauld beltrame, including from the french president, emmanuel macron. on twitter, mr macron says he's sending his sincere condolences to the police officer's family and calls on everyone in france to honour his memory. theresa may says his courage and sacrifice will never be forgotten. stirling police have tweeted a picture of the gendarme, with the caption ‘in memory of arnauld beltrame', #homage. lincolnshire's police and crime commissioner markjones says, "so sorry to hear the exceptionally brave french
police officer arnaud beltrame has died after swapping himself with a hostage taken by a terrorist yesterday. this time, france, next time, who knows. our police run towards danger we run from, and we should never forget that." surrey police have described the gendarme as an extraordinarily selfless hero and say their thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues and all others involved. and pc dave wise is an officer with west mercia police. he says, "we should never forget the officer's heroism, his bravery and his sacrifice." a policeman has been killed in a car bombing in the egyptian city of alexandria. the interior ministry said the bomb targeted the city's security director, whose vehicle was passing by at the time. he escaped unharmed, but four other people were injured. the attack comes two days ahead of the presidential election. here, the former shadow northern ireland secretary, owen smith,
has said he will continue to oppose labour's stance on brexit after he was sacked for calling for a second referendum on the terms of the final leave deal. mr smith said he believed jeremy corbyn wanted to adopt a more euro sceptic approach, which he believed would damage the country's economy. he said he was speaking up for the majority of labour party members on the issue of brexit. labour members have been speaking out strongly. we passed a resolution at conference last year that was, frankly, exactly the same as what i said in my article. and members across the country have been contacting me before and after my sacking to say that this is what they believe. the vast majority of labour members support us taking a much tougher stance against brexit, and that's what i think jeremy corbyn and the leadership of the labour party need to do. the information commissioner's office says it will assess material gathered after its staff searched the headquarters of cambridge analytica — the company accused of taking data from facebook users without their consent. the commissioner is investigating
claims that personal information was used for political purposes. cambridge analytica denies any wrongdoing. ben ando reports. after a week of waiting for a warrant, last night, the inspectors called. theirjob — to search the offices of cambridge analytica for evidence that data gathered via a facebook personality test from around 50 million americans in 2014 was not destroyed. and whether, if cambridge analytica used the data, it had an impact on the election two years later that put donald trump in the white house. that seemed to be the claim of its since suspended boss when recorded by undercover reporters. some believe it's time to ask what we want from the web. we can act collectively and think carefully and deliberate meaningfully about what matters to us in terms of a digital environment and a digital world, and impose appropriate constraints upon what is done with our personal data and where we think the boundaries ought to be.
others are already voting with their keyboards. elon musk, the founder of spacex, has revealed that he's the most high profile user yet tojoin the so—called delete facebook movement by culling his company's profile pages. the inspectors left in the early hours of the morning. what we know about the information commissioner's investigation is that it's looking into how data can be used for political purposes. both facebook and cambridge analytica deny any wrongdoing. ben ando, bbc news, central london. a former classmate of the russian spy poisoned in salisbury has claimed that his friend wanted a full pardon from president putin. vladimir timoshkov told bbc news that sergei skripal regretted becoming a double agent. the headlines on bbc news: hundreds of thousands of americans are preparing to take part in rallies calling for tighter gun controls.
tributes are paid to the policeman who died of his injuries after swapping places with hostages during yesterday's terror attack. president macron says he was a hero. owen smith says he will continue pushing for labour to change its position on brexit, despite being sacked from the shadow cabinet. oxford is aiming for a fifth win in six years against cambridge in the men's boat race this afternoon. the cambridge women's crew is hoping for a repeat of last year's victory. watching the action for us and building up to that isjohn watson by the river thames in putney for us. by the river thames in putney for us. i heard one of your guests earlier saying conditions were pretty much perfect for this. yes, it looks that way. the waters are calm here. good growing conditions, it's fair to say, head of the boat race today. better than conditions
two years ago, terrible conditions, stormy conditions that almost saw the cambridge women's boat capsized. we haven't seen a sinking since 1978. joining me is sarah o'brien, a back—up to the cambridge women's team. it was tough going ape couple of years ago. something like that could potentially happen, but you don't expect it. it is a shame for the crew but something that has driven on the squad for the last two years. we don't envisage conditions like that today, but it has spurred the boats on to train as hard as we can to get the best result each year. absolutely. the waters are looking calm, conducive to great rolling. it will be hard for you to top your performance last year because you set a course record. top your performance last year because you set a course recordm was a really great day for the squad la st was a really great day for the squad last year. a really talented crew. we could be up for something again with conditions like it is today. who knows what can happen?
hopefully, it will be a light blue win, but maybe a course record would be nice. cambridge educated, more than a be nice. cambridge educated, more thana kid, be nice. cambridge educated, more than a kid, you have 42 wins to oxford's 30. much closer in the men's race, cambridge out in front with 82 to oxford's 80. i know you are back up, so unless someone's brains and ankle or hurt themselves, you will step in. we don't wish that to happen, but what condition is the tea m to happen, but what condition is the team in? everyone is feeling good. i was training this morning and we saw the boats coming off in the prix paddle and everyone was really relaxed, quite calm, feeling good. hopefully we can get some good racing. what about the men's team, i presume you work alongside them closing. the men's and women's races run on the same stretch of the river as they have been for the last few yea rs. as they have been for the last few years. will cambridge be confident ofa win years. will cambridge be confident of a win to date in the men's race because oxford won it last year?
they will have a huge amount of confidence going into the race. they have a good squad this year, and they have had a good pre—season, having a good few wins. it is all to play for, really. hopefully, they will pull it out of the bag. best of luck to you and the team and to all involved today. it will be a fascinating showpiece event. it is one of the events of the sporting calendar, and what this historic 4.2 mile stretch from the start here in putney all the way down to mortlake, we are expecting a quarter of a million spectators to line the banks of the thames today to see oxford and cambridge go head—to—head. looking forward to it, john. john watson in putney. a rescue operation to try and save a large group of whales, who became stranded on a beach in western australia, has come to an end. sadly, all but five of the 150 short—finned pilot whales have died, despite the efforts of conservation officers at hamelin bay. it came nine years — to the day — after the last mass
stranding at the same spot. phil mercer in sydney has the story fat powers, dozens of volunteers supported by vets and wildlife officials tried to rescue survivors from a stranded pod of short finned pilot whales. about 150 were found at hamelin bay in western australia. most were dead by the time help arrived. six were returned to the water. for us, the biggest concern is then being out of the water and sunburnt, so we have got them covered, and we are trying to keep them as covered as possible. one didn't survive, and there is a risk the others could return to dry land. it's not the first time there's been a mass beaching in this part of the western australia coast, but scientists don't know why some whales appeared to be drawn as if by a magnet to the shore. researchers have called hamelin bay a welter.
they believe the shallow waters and coastline can interfere with the bio acoustic sonar these graceful mammals used to navigate safely. there is a theory that in intense with a brain could have disrupted the wales's sensitive guiding system. the dna samples are being taken from the dead mammals to try to understand why so many ended up on the beach. work to remove their bodies is continuing. a shark alert has also been issued by fisheries authorities in western australia, because of fears the whale carcasses may attract ocean predators. phil mercer, bbc news, sydney. the environment secretary michael gove has accused sheffield city council of "environmental vandalism" and has promised to do "anything required" to end the city's controversial tree—felling programme. thousands of trees are being felled as part of a contract the council
has signed with a private company to improve the city's roads. campaigners say they are outraged that healthy trees are being cut down and large numbers of police have been deployed to protests. the city council says it is doing "what the majority of sheffield residents want", and that every tree which is removed is being replaced. dino sofos reports from sheffield. shouting people in sheffield are really angry. aren't you proud of your city? they've taken to the streets and they're getting arrested. they're outraged that a private company employed by their council is cutting down thousands of what they say are perfectly healthy trees. the council has signed a contract with the private company amey to improve the roads in the city and to get rid of trees deemed to be dead, diseased and dangerous, which will then be replaced with saplings. part of that contract says that almost half of the city's street trees will be felled, although the council disputes this.
although many residents support the felling, there have been ongoing protests. shame on you! the police have stepped in in large numbers. south yorkshire police are like the gestapo. campaigners say they feel intimidated. what are you doing? this woman was arrested on suspicion of causing intentional harm or distress and will have to go to court. another woman who didn't want us to show her face said her son went to a protest with friends when his school was closed because of the snow, and the police stepped in. as he arrived, one of the police officers says "there's a minor here, call social services". and lo and behold, social services turned up. how does that make you feel? well, it's exactly how they want to make me feel. nothing strikes fear into the heart of a parent like a phone call about social services.
whose street? our street! south yorkshire police say they have a duty of care when children are present and will always contact their parents and council staff to ensure their welfare. they say the policing of protests comes down to an exercise of balancing competing rights and upholding the law. the campaigners are outraged that the council isn't willing to negotiate. the leader of the council, julie dore, hasn't responded to my interview requests, so i decided to track her down. julie7 bbc news. can we have a word, please7 can we have one minute to talk to you about trees7 butjulie, the people of sheffield are concerned about why there are police on the streets. they're saying it's your contract. julie, can we talk you?! there's real pressure on the council. some local mps and the shadow environment secretary have urged them to pause the felling. amey say they're willing to talk, but altering the contract would result in practical or financial changes. the environment secretary has been
to sheffield and has also called on the council to stop what he calls environmental vandalism. he says the government is willing to intervene. we will make sure we can do anything that is required to stop this. stop the tree felling now, and stop trying to justify a mistaken course of action. the labour—run council says it's disappointed by mr gove's unsubstantiated comments. meanwhile, the campaign to stop the trees coming down continues to grow. you can find more on this story and a longer version of this report on the bbc news website — bbc.co.uk/news. now, how should hospitals treat homeless people? they're admitted for emergency treatment many more times than the average patient, and stay on average twice as long. but often, they are simply discharged back on to the streets. one charity wants to change that.
it started in london and is expanding across the uk. dougal shaw reports. meet gary spall. he slept rough in london for more than a decade. in that time, he had multiple acute health problems. he was in and out of this central london hospital. typically, he was discharged back onto the streets. this spot is where i used to bed down. it's horrible. in winter, even worse. how did you feel when you made the five—minute walk out of hospital back to this? it's not a good place to recuperate. really depressed. but thanks to the pathway charity, the nhs became a way to save gary. they made contact with him during a stay in hospital and used it as a chance to turn his life around. now he has a home and a beloved pet dog, lola. the charity helps 3,000 homeless people each year, operating in 11 hospitals across the uk, like this one in east london. it assembles a dedicated team to help the homeless. this includes a gp, a nurse, an occupational therapist
and crucially, a care navigator. he's trusted by homeless patients because of his background. sometimes we'll get a patient who says to me "you don't know what it's like to be on the street and be homeless," and i can turn round and say i do understand what that feels like. i've been through the system. i have been homeless. gavin has to first locate homeless people who have been admitted to hospital. this is the charity's chance to stage an intervention to turn lives around. the pathway team addresses underlying health issues, but they also sort out immediate problems like getting fresh clothes, and help to find housing after leaving hospital. the team hosts a weekly meeting where representatives from housing associations, local hostels and the police can share knowledge to sort out individual cases. this might seem like a lot of work in a stretched health system, but the medical director of the pathway charity says this approach makes sense for hospitals. we can reduce the amount of time people spend in hospital
and the need for them to come back to hospital again. so the net result is reducing the stress on the nhs. if not for pathway, i don't think iwould be here now, alive, and everything is going good now. just before we take a look at the weather, let's show you the scene in washington, dc, where it is thought up washington, dc, where it is thought up to half a million people could gather today for the march for our lives rally. it is inspired by the mass shooting at the parklands school on the 14th of february, in which 17 people lost their lives. they are calling for reform of gun control laws. many of the students who have risen to prominence as the voices of this movement will be attending the rally in washington. but of course, there are rally is happening all across the united
states and there was a rally in london, and also in edinburgh a short time ago in support and solidarity with the marchers in the us. we will be back there throughout the afternoon. it's time to take a look at the weather forecast and lucy martin has the latest. the best of the sunshine today in the north and west and brighter conditions will spread south east as we move through the weekend. today, across southern parts of the uk, cloudy scenes like this, but the further north you had, blue skies and sunny spells. this photo sent in earlier. we are starting to see brightness spreading into northern england, still a few showers persisting in the north west of scotland. fairly cloudy for central scotland, temperatures in double figures. as we grow through tonight, clear skies spread south east. still showers persist in the north—west, some wintry, and more cloud in the
south, temperatures not falling as far south. a quick reminder that the clocks will go forward tonight. tomorrow, mild conditions, brightening up with good spells of sunshine developing elsewhere. lots of sunshine, the risk of showers in the north west of scotland into northern ireland, northern england with highs of 12. this is bbc news. our latest headlines... hundreds of thousands of americans are preparing to take part in rallies calling for tighter gun controls. tributes are paid to the policeman who died of his injuries after swapping places with hostages during yesterday's terror attack. president macron says he was a hero. three other people died and 16 more were injured in three separate attacks. owen smith says he'll continue to argue against brexit, despite being sacked from the labour front bench over the issue. now on bbc news, it's time for the week in parliament.