this is bbc news. i'm reged ahmad. our top stories: the biggest anti—gun rallies in a generation. hundreds of thousands of young americans call for change. td leaders, sceptics, and cynics who told us to sit down and stay silent, wait your turn told us to sit down and stay silent, wait yourturn —— told us to sit down and stay silent, wait your turn —— to the leaders. well, to the revolution. australian cricket is rocked by a ball tampering scandal. the sport's chief executive says he's "shocked". france pays tribute to the policeman who sacrificed himself to save hostages during friday's islamist attack. and london landmarks turn out the lights, as cities around the world call for action on climate change. hello and welcome to bbc news.
hundreds of thousands of people have rallied in cities across the united states to demand stricter gun laws. the march for our lives was led by survivors of the mass shooting at a florida school last month. our north america editor, jon sopel, reports from washington. # run, run, run.# this wasn't some run—of—the—mill saturday morning protest by a bunch of disaffected kids. this was way, way bigger than that. far more significant. what do you hope today will achieve? i hope that congress will actually do something about gun laws. stop ignoring us! we should not have guns in schools. like, donald trump is wrong for even trying to give teachers guns at all. and it wasn'tjust in washington. protests took place across the country, bringing the so—called apathetic don't—care generation onto the streets in unprecedented numbers. these children, tomorrow's voters, are determined that this should not be a one—off protest but in the national rifle association,
they have an implacable opponent. it really is the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. # it ain't about how fast i get there. ..# the rally had performances by the likes of miley cyrus and ariana grande. # know that we're going to be alright.# but the headliners were the young people. there was martin luther king's nine—year—old granddaughter, who had a vision of her own. i have a dream that enough is enough. cheering. and that this should be a gun—free world — period. and then, of course, there were the survivors from the marjory stoneman douglas school in florida. we will come together. we will get rid of these public servants that only serve the gun lobby. and we will save lives! we need to arm our teachers.
we need to arm them with pencils, pens, paper and the money they need. they need that money! and finally, silence. alarm bleeps. since the time that i came out here, it has been six minutes and 20 seconds. the shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest. fight for your lives, before it's someone else‘s job. cheering. jennifer hudson brought the rally to an end, singing the times they are
a changin, and they may well be. after what these young people have been through, they're not intimidated by the nra, nor cowed by politicians. it won't be easy to change america's gun laws but, for the first time in a very long time, it no longer seems impossible. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. australia's cricket team is in turmoil, after one of their players, cameron bancroft, admitted tampering with the ball, using an object taken from his pocket to "rough up" the ball in the third test against south africa. this is what he had to say. yeah, look, we had a, um, yeah, discussion during the break to — and, um, yeah, i myself, i saw an opportunity to potentially use some tape, get some, you know, granules from the, you know, rough patches on the wicket and try to, i guess, change the, yeah, change the ball condition. um, it didn't work, the umpires
didn't obviously change the ball, but i guess once i was, you know, cited on the screens and having done that, i, you know, panicked quite a lot and, ah, yeah, that — that obviously resulted in me shoving it down my, um, my trousers. a short while ago, our correspondent in sydney, phil mercer, explained how the chief executive of cricket australia had reacted to the scandal. it was a very sad day for australian cricket and how shocked and disappointed he was and he was telling journalists in melbourne that there would be no knee—jerk reaction to the ball—tampering scandal in south africa. james sutherland saying that two senior officials from cricket australia, this is the governing body, would be sent to south africa to conduct a thorough investigation. so what that really means is that cricket bosses here in australia, you get the sense, want to know
who knew about this ball—tampering and then they will make their decision but it does seem that given the reaction here in australia has been so furious to this scandal that cricket australia, you would have to imagine, would have to act very swiftly when it is in possession of all of those facts. phil, this is an extremely embarrassing incident for australia and, as you say, there has been a lot of anger there. are people disappointed that cricket australia has not acted even more swiftly to suspend the players involved — the players, at least, that they know were involved? well, that is the sense we got from the press conference involving james sutherland in melbourne. he was acutely aware that he knew that the journalists wanted him to give them something concrete about what he was going to do and he probably knew that, saying that, saying that there would be investigation — there would be an investigation might not sound that he was acting tough enough but, from his perspective,
you can see that he wants to gather all the facts, who knew about this and who was ultimately responsible before taking any action, and it does seem, given the clamour for steve smith, the captain, to resign, that his position is under great peril, given that he said that he knew about this plan to tamper with the ball in advance and in that press conference he gave at the end of play at cape town, he said that he was embarrassed and very sorry and quite soon, he will have to answer those questions from cricket australia's investigators as well. do we get any sense of what the australian team might have been thinking to engage in this sort of behaviour and perhaps whether they have done it before? well, i think cricket fans in this country — and you have to remember that cricket is australia's national sport — there will be many fans and many other people in the country who will be asking just one simple
yet very searching question — just what were they thinking, given that during the test match at cape town, there would be, what, 30—odd tv cameras, other photographers with long lenses and other fans with sophisticated cameras, too. what were they thinking? that must be what cricket fans in this country are thinking and if you, as you say, if you extends those thoughts to what might have happened in other parts — in other matches and in other innings, did they do it before? is this the very first time? so this scandal raises many, many questions. but what it does also do, it does tarnish the reputation of cricket in this country. australia loves to play its cricket in an aggressive yet fair way. but clearly, this is an incident that has taken it over the line, much to the disapproval of many, many people. let's take a look at some of the other stories
making the news. three more rebel held towns are being evacuated in the syrian region of eastern ghouta, leaving only one major settlement there in rebel hands. the local rebel leadership has agreed a deal with the government for the evacuees to be taken to opposition—held territory in idlib province. the regional parliament in catalonia has abandoned plans to appoint a new leader, after the separatist politician chosen for the job was jailed on the orders of a spanish judge. jordi turull was detained along with four other catalan separatists, in connection with the campaign for independence from spain. president macron of france says a police officer, who died saving the lives of hostages in a supermarket siege, showed "exceptional courage," and died a hero. tributes have been paid around the world to lieutenant—colonel arnaud beltrame, who was shot by an islamist gunman on friday, in the south of france. three other people were also killed and 16 injured.
lucy williamson reports. this attack has become not the story of a gunman but the story of a hero, arnaud beltrame. the man who made astonishing bravery seem natural, almost routine. flags were lowered to half—mast at his former base and at units across the country to pay homage to their colleague and friend. he was remembered here too by those who never knew him. another tribute every few minutes. he is a hero for me because he's given his life for a lot of people. he knew it was dangerous, what he did, but he did it. the gendarmerie said arnaud beltrame‘s death was a reminder of their daily commitment to protect the people. for the people themselves, his actions are a defiant response to the country's would—be attackers, a reminder of the best of france.
by the morning after the attack, the supermarket, the site of so much drama, was a chilled and empty crime scene, its car park still littered with the debris of a terrified and desperate flight. inside this building friday, arnaud beltrame offered up his life up his life in place of others'. his mobile phone, secretly connected to colleagues outside, giving the operation a vital edge. his brother told french radio that arnaud had died a hero. translation: what he did was beyond the call of duty. he gave his life for strangers. he must have known that he didn't really have a chance. if that doesn't make him a hero, i don't know what would. his mother said she wasn't surprised at what her son had done. "that's the way he lived and the way he worked," she said. "he used to tell me he was just
doing hisjob, nothing more." that's not how it feels today. lucy williamson, bbc news, carcassonne. two policemen have been killed by a car bomb in egypt's second city of alexandria. at least five others were injured in the attack, which authorities say was an assassination attempt on the local security chief. it happened two days ahead of presidential elections. lebo diseko has more. the horrifying moments after a bomb went off on the streets of alexandria. the apparent target, the city's security chief. a home—made device exploded as his convoy passed by. he survived, but least two of his police guards did not. several people were injured. officials say this was a terrorist bombing. translation: i saw the explosion and the blood of the people. how can anyone accept this?
translation: i felt and heard an earthquake and saw dust. i heard shouting and the glass was shattered. i went to look, then i found cars on fire after the explosion. of course, all the glass in the building was shattered. now the authorities will try and piece together what happened. an urgent enquiry has been ordered. no—one has yet said they carried out the attack, but state media is blaming the banned muslim brotherhood. the timing of this explosion is significant — less than two days before a presidential election, a vote that the so—called islamic state had warned egyptians not to take part in. and so, questions are being asked about how this could have happened and whether the security forces can stop more scenes like this as people go to the polls. lebo diseko, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: cambridge overshadows oxford, winning the men's and women's boat races in commanding style.
gasps from onlookers on fiji. woman: wow! this is bbc news. the latest headlines: hundreds of thousands of young americans have joined rallies across the country to call for stricter gun controls. australia's cricket team is caught cheating by tampering with the ball in the third test against south africa. the sport's chief executive says he's "extremely disappointed and shocked". let's stay with that story. earlier i spoke to andrew mccormack, a sports reporter for seven news in melbourne. i began by asking whether he was surprised that cricket australia had not thus far announced any action against the team members. well, yes and no, to a certain extent.
thank you for having me. i can tell you what, everybody to a man in australia has woken up absolutely outraged by what they have seen in cape town overnight. we are baying for blood this morning, most of the general public wants something to be done, and swift action to be taken by cricket australia. but they have given a stay of execution, as it were, to steve smith. with two days left of the test match it looks like he will walk onto the pitch in cape town tonight, day 4 of the test against south africa, still as australian captain. that is despite admitting to cheating. there is no bones about it. ball tampering is cheating. it was deliberate, it was premeditated, it was calculated, and it was notjust steve smith and cameron bancroft, who was caught on footage using a piece of tape to add adhesive to the rough side of the ball, which gets you some reverse swing, which the aussies have been very effective at using throughout this test.
it has been a moderately major factor in their victories, not only here in south africa but also at home in the ashes. i think a lot of the australian public are really baying for blood and calling for steve smith's had, but that hasn't happened and will not happen for at least a couple of days yet. for those people watching internationally, this is relatively out of character for the australian team. but are there questions inside australia being asked about the culture of cricket and of the team in that country? absolutely. the culture of the australian cricket team, for this not only to be spoken about in the dressing room, that an idea like this would come about between the senior members of the team, the fact they were actually go and enact this plan, in front of 20 or 30 cameras at a game — and not only that, but get one of the youngest members of the team, cameron bancroft, who has only played a handful of tests,
it's up for speculation — to get a younger member of the team who is obviously impressionable to commit the act, so to speak, and be caught red—handed — it really does speak towards the culture among the senior players of the team, and not only that but the coaching staff as well. steve smith said the leadership group was behind this plot, or this ploy, which they spoke about over a lunch break and then enacted in the session afterwards. it would be very surprising if the coaching group were not aware of what was going on out on the field. it is very rare for the coach not to know everything that's going on on the field. so this really does speak volumes about the toxic culture around the group, and many are calling for a complete clean—out of the senior players and coaching
staff around this team, and just to bring in a fresh new captain, coach and hierarchy, to completely start anew. the commander of nato forces in afghanistan, says russian influence is destabilising efforts, to end the conflict there. generaljohn nicholson's comments come as the us steps up air support for afghan forces who, he says, are making progress against insurgent groups, including the taliban. our south asia correspondent justin rowlatt's report contains some flashing images. high above the mountains of north—eastern afghanistan, f—16fighterjets take turns to refuel. radio: nice and stable. still got eyes on them. minutes later... all right. disconnect. ..they are ready to get back into the fight, providing air cover for afghan forces battling insurgent fighters. 17 years into this war and, says the commander of us and nato forces in afghanistan, russian interference is making
the conflict even more complicated. well, what we have seen is destabilising activity by the russians. we see a narrative that's being used is that grossly exaggerates the number of isis fighters here. this narrative then is used as a justification for the russians to legitimise the actions of the taliban and provide some degree of support. us air power is here to back these guys — afghan commandos. this exclusive footage shows them besieging a taliban stronghold and capturing a taliban commander. the plan is to double the number of these elite troops. they call these guys the ‘tip of the sphere'. it is theirjob to take the fight to the taliban. commandos like these and special forces make up just 10% of afghan troops but they carry out 80% of offensive operations.
but, says the general, some of the taliban insurgents these troops will be fighting are likely to have been armed by russia. we have had stories written by the taliban that have appeared in the media about financial support provided by the enemy, we've had weapons brought to this headquarters and given to us by afghan leaders who said this was given by the russians to the taliban. last month, the president of afghanistan made an unprecedented peace offer with a wide—ranging amnesty for taliban leaders who join negotiations. but there has been no response yet. the taliban have rejected such offers in the past and the fear is that foreign meddling in afghanistan is likely to make any peace here even less likely. justin rowlatt, bbc news, afghanistan. cambridge has beaten oxford
in commanding manner to win the 164th university mens' boat race in gloomy conditions on the river thames. earlier cambridge also won the women's race, beating their rivals by seven lengths injust over 19 minutes. watson was there. —— john watson was there. and the others car skies, and clear battle. cayrou study in the south soon had the pick of it. calm waters and calm heads, building a lead they would never blink wish. cambridge are entering dominance. all members of this crew powered to a course record last year. their return ushers in an era of light blues dominance, with back—to—back wins the first time in 19 years. after
defeat to oxford last could be key rich crew in the men's race match that? based started strongly. with a lead comes the advantage of plotting the best course. the men's crew demonstrating power and control as he sees the lead. nicholas mann in the race, at 6'7", he sees the lead. nicholas mann in the race, at 67", had their lives to ta ke the race, at 67", had their lives to take them there. cem isik the 2018 men's boat race. an emphatic victory. today, this stretch of the returns belong entirely to cambridge. jon watson, bbc news. famous landmarks in cities across the world have been plunged into darkness to demonstrate a commitment to tackling climate change. more than 185 countries have been taking part in the earth hour initiative, which went global in 2008. georgina smyth reports. down under in darkness. sydney switches off for earth hour, kicking off the event it launched 11 years ago. earth hour is such a great australian initiative.
it helps us understand the amount of power we use every day and i'm really proud of it because it comes from australia and it helps the rest of the world understand how much power we use every day. the initiative went to a galaxy far, far away in the philippines, with star wars fans utilising lightsabers to light the night. i believe that earth hour is an event where we can conserve electricity, and i think thejedi themselves would be big fans of the event, because it spreads a good message — and that is what thejedi are all about, spreading goodwill. singapore's cbd disappeared at the earth hour time of 8:30pm, the iconic lotus—shaped art science museum dissolving against the cityscape. as the sun set, asian cities unplugged in taiwan and hong kong. and the message was not lost 6000 kilometres away in dubai. this year's theme of let nature shine inspiring participants to use candlelight over electric night, even just for one hour.
the world's largest grassroots movement also made its mark on ancient greece and in the city of love. the eiffel tower went dark from top to bottom. russia's red square went black too. in london, iconic spots like buckingham palace, tower bridge and piccadilly circus powered down in a gesture to the environmental hour. lights off for 60 minutes is unlikely to save the world, but organisers say it's individuals and their collective actions which can have an impact on the fate of the planet. much more coming up on bbc world news. good morning.
i hate to say it. i don't think winter is ready yet to slink off into the sunset. with the clock change overnight we're into british summertime, which means some lighter evenings are with us. you will want the sunshine today to enjoy it. plenty of that on saturday across the northern half of the country. a great afternoon. more of us will see skies like that through the day. that is this area of low pressure. storm hugo pushes through spain and southern france, dragging this weather front with it. that is what brought the cloud to england and wales. patchy rain and drizzle. clearer skies following in the wake. the chance of frost around into sunday morning. ice across scotland where we have showers through the night. frost free parts of east anglia, the south—east, and the channel islands. this is where the weather front lingers. bit of a grey start. some drizzle. that will clear. that will break up. sunny spells coming through. england and wales a better day compared with yesterday. lighter winds.
pleasant in the sunshine. isolated showers cannot be ruled out in the north or northern ireland. more especially for the northern half of scotland. with some sunshine in between it should feel quite pleasant once again. a fine sunday on the way. as we go into the evening, sunset around 7:30pm. the nights are still long enough for the temperatures to drop. blue more widely on the chart to take us into monday morning. a much more widespread frost to start the day on monday. away from the towns and city centres. after a frosty start things will turn mild. then a battle begins over the days ahead. we will see atlantic air try to push its way in. these across milder conditions. mainly across southern areas. from the north and north—east colder scandinavian air will make its way back. on monday, the mild air will win out. after the frosty start, sunshine for scotland, england, wales. dating from the west through the day. sunshine turning hazy. temperatures at lifting up after that frosty start. still in double figures for many.
the rain precedes this area of low pressure which will push through overnight into tuesday. it will bring rain to most areas. a bit of snow over the higher ground. that is because cold air will be trying to push its way in on the northern edge. this is where temperatures will drop to single figures. double figures in the south. heavy, thundery showers in the morning. brightness in the afternoon. the same sort of thing on wednesday. by this stage we have more of a north—westerly wind. temperatures even dropping here. there will be outbreaks of rain and hill snow in the north. by wednesday, temperatures back into single figures. four degrees in aberdeen. this is bbc news, the headlines: hundreds of thousands of people have rallied in cities across the us to demand stricter gun laws. the march for our lives was led by survivors of the mass shooting at a school in florida last month which killed 17 people. washington saw the biggest anti—gun rally for a generation. australia's cricket captain, steve smith, has apologised after admitting his side
deliberately tampered with the ball during the third test against south africa. one player was seen using an object taken from his pocket to rough up the ball. the head of cricket australia said it was a very sad day for the game. tributes have been paid to the french policeman who sacrificed himself to save hostages during friday's islamist attack. president macron said arnaud beltrame showed "exceptional courage," and died a hero. three other people were killed and 16 injured in the attack in the south of france. now on bbc news it's the week in parliament.