welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is nkem ifejika. our top stories — heading home — russian diplomats begin leaving washington in the latest tit—for—tat expulsions over the nerve agent poisoning of a former spy in britain. sorrow and anger in gaza — palestinians mourn the protesters killed in clashes with israeli troops. hundreds pay their respects at the funeral of the world—renowned physicist, professor stephen hawking. welcome to the programme. dozens of the russian diplomats who were ordered out of the united states have left washington. on monday, they were given seven days to leave the country in what has become a tit—for—tat diplomatic row.
chris buckler reports from washington. behind the gates of the russian embassy in washington, you get a real sense of defiance. you had diplomats and theirfamilies standing there, clapping, cheering and waving, and music was being played as some of their colleagues got on buses with their families and with their suitcases to leave america. they had, of course, been given seven days to leave the us. 48 of the 60 officials that america had ordered out were based here in washington. and, of course, that action was taken notjust because of the poisoning of a former spy in england, as well as his daughter, but also because of concerns about russian power and influence being used in countries like syria and also in the ukraine, and, indeed, concerns about espionage and interference happening inside america's borders. there's a deep concern about the actions of what the white house call ‘russian spies‘ here. but russia denies all of that,
and they of course have already responded by ordering 60 americans out. i think the white house will be looking closely at what's happening with the uk and russia at the moment, with russia ordering yet more uk diplomats out of their country, because there is a concern in a sense that there is a danger of this escalating. certainly, if you look at deteriorating relationships, they do exist between america and russia, and you get a sense unless somebody says, "0k, enough is enough, let's pause this for a second," there is a real chance that yet more diplomats and theirfamilies could be climbing on board yet more buses. that was the latest from washington. meanwhile, the foreign office in london says it's considering a request from russia to be given consular access to yulia skripal. ms skripal is said to be conscious and talking in hospital after she and her father were poisoned with a nerve agent in the uk four weeks ago.
simonjones reports from salisbury where the attack took place. given that the british authorities were so quick to point the finger at russia in the wake of the attack here for being responsible, it might seem extraordinary that the british government is now considering a request from russia to be granted access to yulia skripal in hospital. the key thing i think here, though, is going to be what yulia skripal herself wants. the big question — is she going to want any contact with the russian authorities, and even if she did, is she likely to be well enough any time soon for that to happen? now, the russian authorities say it is their right to have contact with her, and they've also listed 27 questions that they would like to ask the british government about the attack here, and also about the treatment that she is receiving in hospital alongside herfather. they want to know why the treatment she is getting seems to be having a greater effect than on her father, who remains in a critical condition.
they've also even asked to see photos of yulia and sergei skripal in hospital to prove that they are indeed here in salisbury and that they are indeed alive. there hasn't been a response to that from the foreign office, but what they say is they will consider russia's request under international law, but they're stressing yulia skripal‘s rights will be the number one priority. we've also learnt today further details about expulsions of british diplomats from moscow. we already knew 23 had been kicked out of the country. yesterday, we were told there were going to be even more who were going to have to leave. now, we've learned it's likely to be extra 27 or so diplomats or possibly administrative workers who are going to have to leave moscow once again. now, what we're not sure is whether the british government are going to take any direct action following that. they say they're aware of what's happened, they're monitoring the situation,
but they say it's regrettable, but it was to be expected. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. reports from syria say a deal has been reached to evacuate critically injured people from the last rebel—held town in eastern ghouta, douma. the agreement follows negotiations involving rebels and russia. syrian army officials said the whole of eastern ghouta, with the exception of douma, was now under its control. president trump has accused the online retailer, amazon, of not paying enough tax. on twitter, he said the us postal service was losing money on every parcel it delivered for the company. mr trump has become increasingly critical of amazon since its founder bought the washington post newspaper. thousands of palestinians have attended funerals in gaza for the people shot by israeli troops during clashes on the territory's border with israel on friday. the palestinians say they were unarmed protesters. the israelis say
they faced a mass attempt to break down their border defences and to send in terrorists. our middle east correspondent, yolande knell, reports from jerusalem. gunshots. this was a day of mourning. thousands turning out for funerals in gaza. distraught relatives... and defiant militants. yesterday, palestinians said they planned a peaceful march on the israel gaza border. but israel's military says demonstrators threw stones and tried to breach the perimeter fence. that's when its soldiers opened fire and the result was deadly. at least 15 killed and hundreds wounded. palestinians here are demanding the right to return to land they lost 70 years ago when the state of israel was created. they say they won't give up, although israel has long rejected their claim.
translation: they say that the old will die and the young will forget, but yesterday, there were young people, children, women and men at the borderers, —— borders showing the occupier that they will not forget. this is their land. we will not forget, nor will we surrender. the un is calling for an investigation, but israeli officials blame gaza's leaders for stirring up unrest. of course they're allowed to protest, but this wasn't a protest. this was an attempt of potentially thousands of people to cross over into israel. any state in the world would have taken measures to stop people from infiltrating into its territory. for the next six weeks, palestinians say they'll stay in these camps near the israeli border. and the fear is that further mass protests here will lead to further violence. yolande knell, bbc news, jerusalem. the funeral of the physicist, professor stephen hawking, has been held in cambridge.
hundreds of people lined the streets near the church, close to the college where he was an academic for more than 50 years. jo black reports. he was one of the greatest scientists of modern times, an international icon, but home was cambridge, the city and the university. the bell at great st mary's tolled 76 times, once for each year he lived. bell tolls. outside, in the drizzle and rain, thousands came to say goodbye to the man with the magnificent mind. professor hawking was such an inspiring person and it's a very sad day. history is being made today because stephen hawking is going to be interred in westminster abbey, next to sir isaac newton. he's a scientifical genius, like, he's discovered a lot of things, and it'sjust showing appreciation. people stood quietly, respectfully,
breaking into spontaneous applause as professor hawking's coffin was carried in and out of the church. his family stood solemnly, but proud. his first wife, jane hellyerjones, waved as the hearse pulled away. the service was very heartfelt. we heard remembrances about his work, as well as his family, how he was as a man and how he was as a physicist and how he was a wonderful human being. also among the 500 mourners, actor eddie redmayne, who played the professor in the film the theory of everything, comedian and science presenter dara o briain, and astrophysicist and musician brian may. this was a private service for professor hawking's family, friends and colleagues. the nobel peace laureate, malala yousafzai, has
visited her home town in pakistan's swat valley for the first time since she was shot there by islamist militants six years ago. ms yousafzai, who is now a student at oxford university, was attacked on a school bus and left for dead because she was campaigning for the education of girls. stay with us here on bbc news. still to come — it was billed as the battle of the heavyweights. what happened when two world champions met in one of boxing's biggest nights of the year. families of western hostages who were killed by the islamic state group have condemned comments by two british men accused of involvement. alexanda kotey and el shafee elsheikh, who are being held by kurdish fighters in syria, have claimed they won't get a fair trial because, they say, they've been stripped of their uk citizenship. duncan kennedy reports.
the two men were picked up by kurdish forces in northern syria injanuary and had been part of a sadistic gang of british is fighters that tortured and beheaded dozens of hostages. four of them stood out for their brutality. mohammed emwazi, known as ‘jihadi john', now dead. aine davis, now injail. and the newly captured pair, alexanda kotey and elsheikh. they're accused of at least 27 beheadings, including alan henning, an aid driverfrom eccles, and david haines, a former raf engineer from perth. now, in comments which have outraged their victims‘ families, kotey and elsheikh have called the murders of their hostages " reg retta ble". they also say the uk has illegally withdrawn their citizenship. one of their victims was the american journalist james foley, here in the helmet. his mother says she‘s worried
the men could escape if there‘s a delay in dealing with them. if somebody doesn‘t take the leadership and take them to trial, i fear they‘ll get away or something else. i am concerned that the international community and our government, the us government, and uk, need to work together to hold them accountable. but that raises the question of where the two men should be held accountable. the home secretary, amber rudd, hasn‘t confirmed that they‘ve both been stripped of their british citizenship. what is known is that the uk has been speaking to the americans about them, and that the last thing britain wants is to have them back here to stand trial. a view endorsed by the government‘s legal and political supporters. i‘m sure it would be desirable that individuals against whom there are serious allegations should be brought to trial. but that‘s not to say that the home secretary is wrong in her view that they should be deprived of british citizenship, which i understand she‘s done,
although it hasn‘t been confirmed, and, therefore, has no desire to bring them into this country to try them. but others say as the men spent most of their lives in britain, it‘s british justice they should face. we have a duty, i think, to try them, fairly as we will, and to punish them heavily. and to show the world just how british justice works. elsheikh and kotey stand accused of the most barbaric crimes. where and when they answer for them is now the subject of intense international debate. duncan kennedy, bbc news. the ministry of defence has released the name of the british soldier who was killed on thursday in syria, while fighting islamic state militants. 33—year—old sergeant matt tonroe was from the parachute regiment. his commanding officer paid tribute to him, saying he was, "a caring and considerate soul, a loving and dutiful son, and a friend to many." teachers have moved closer
to allowing rolling strike action if they don‘t receive an above—inflation and across the board pay increase next year. if ballots for industrial action go ahead, it could mean disruption in schools in england, wales and northern ireland. our education editor bra nwen jeffreys reports. i‘ve asked you to stop your experiments because we‘re kind of running out of the solutions. teachers say they‘re running out of patience. their pay has fallen further than nurses or police officers. many argue their workload is unbearable. some are leaving as a result. today, those feelings spilled out in the debate. young teachers are leaving in droves. who wants to spend years studying to enter a profession and then not be paid enough to own or rent a decent home? our teachers are fed up of low pay, the erosion of our national pay structure and watching good teachers leave the profession.
they deserve better and, most importantly, they want to do something about it. can i see all those in favour? that something — a vote to consider a strike ballot. teachers here are fired up about their workload and their pay, but the government has made it harder for public sector workers to go on strike, so there‘ll be months of consultation first, and in the meantime, there could a pay offer. i do think teachers looking at the nhs settlement will now be expecting that the pay offer will be at least the level that the nhs workers have got. the government will have to weigh up its priorities — the cost of a pay rise against the growing difficulties of recruiting teachers. branwen jeffreys, bbc news, brighton. a labour party official at the centre of a dispute about anti—semitism has stepped down from the party‘s ruling body. christine shawcroft had been under pressure to leave labour‘s national executive committee after opposing
the suspension of a council candidate accused of holocaust denial. in a statement, she said she was completely opposed to anti—semitism, and supported jeremy corbyn‘s efforts to tackle it. she‘ll be replaced on the nec by the comedian eddie izzard. this is bbc news. the latest headlines — dozens of russian diplomats begin leaving washington in the latest tit for tat expulsions over the nerve agent poisoning of a former spy in britain. palestinians observe a day of national mourning for the people killed in clashes with israeli soldiers at the gaza border. the british boxer anthonyjoshua has beaten new zealand‘sjoseph parker by a unanimous points decision in a world heavyweight title unification bout in cardiff. joshua had won his previous 20 fights by knockout. he is now one belt away from becoming undisputed world champion. james gray is a freelance sports reporter.
hejoins me now from cardiff. thank you the joining us. thank you thejoining us. first things first, was the match to your expectation? i think it was. things first, was the match to your expectation? ithink it was. it was... you get to champions in the ring together, there is too much to lose, i think that was proved in the way that they fought the fight. i thought a great tree would emerge victorious. he is probably the stronger and bigger man. victorious. he is probably the strongerand bigger man. —— victorious. he is probably the stronger and bigger man. ——joshua. it was the first and he had been taken to the many rounds that was a surprise but given the nature of the occasion it was probably what we expected. i've seen some people talking about joshua expected. i've seen some people talking aboutjoshua being more tactical than people have seen of him in the past. it was definitely a bonfire to him, in boxing terms he
still is relatively inexperienced, he is 28 with 21 fights under his belt and he didn‘t box until he was i7. belt and he didn‘t box until he was 17. so he is learning a lot of things. parker is a true boxer, not a fighter, so it was a challenge for joshua who is coming to fights before and using his incredible physicality on people. he did have to be more tactical but he proved he can do that and that is a huge step forward , can do that and that is a huge step forward, even the opposition corner was saying afterwards in the press conference they were impressed with some of the things he could do that he didn‘t think he could do before. so as good as we may have thought thatjoshua was so as good as we may have thought that joshua was before so as good as we may have thought thatjoshua was before he appears to be getting better every day. he has got three orfour be getting better every day. he has got three or four belts now? he has now, we talk about the four major heavyweight belts and he has now got three of them. it leaves one, the wbc, it is held by beyonce wild, the american. from what i see on
twitter, that‘ll be a fight to watch and remember? yes, i mean, he is one of the few guys in the world with a similar stature, he is six foot seven off the top of my head, a0 wins as opposed tojoshua‘s 2i. seven off the top of my head, a0 wins as opposed to joshua's 21.|j think we have lost sight play back a full austin, sadly. people talked about the rhetoric complaining, he separated them too often, people even saying that my teacher let us fight for longer than at! —— fight for longer than that! pope francis has led the traditional easter vigil mass in st peter‘s basilica, attended by around 10,000 pilgrims. during the service, the pope baptised eight people. in his homily, the pontiff urged believers to renew their lives. on sunday morning, he is due to deliver his traditional easter message from the balcony of the basilica. china‘s defunct space station is hurtling back to earth and experts say it‘s on course to crash in the next day or so. china lost control of the tiangong—i spacecraft after it was decommissioned in 2013.
the 9—ton station should have had a controlled re—entry but after a technical glitch, it‘s been spinning out of control ever since. earlier, i spoke to drjonathan mcdowell. he is an astronomer at the harvard—smithsonian center for astrophysics in boston. i asked him why the crash date had been shifted later. a few days ago, we thought it might be saturday—sunday and now, it looks like sunday—monday. the window starts in about 12 hours. we are following the orbit of very closely. so what happened ? that is different to the prediction we had before. it is like weather forecasting, it‘s really hard. we are forecasting the density of the upper atmosphere of the earth and when the sun burps and sends radiation of plasma towards the earth, it changes the density of the atmosphere, changes the headwind, so the tiangong—i spacecraft is going around the earth at 17,000 mph. it feels a very thin headwind from the outer atmosphere and as that gets denser and less
dense, the rate that the spacecraft spirals in speeds up or slows down. we overestimated how much the slowing would be — it gave it a few extra hours of life. we will see, and things could still change, but we are pretty confident it will come down sometime late on the first, early on the second. do we know where it might fall? that is the problem. the orbit of the spacecraft goes from a3 degrees north to a3 degrees south every 90 minutes it goes round the earth at 17,000 mph. so if you‘re off by an hour when it comes down, you are 17,000 miles wrong in your prediction. right now, the latest window is about three hours either side and that is four times round the earth. we don‘t know where it will come down. i‘m hoping that by mid—tomorrow, we will have a more accurate
prediction that will get us down to a couple of hours either way and we will be able to start saying, "all right, this continent is not going to be underneath, but this one is". but we‘re not going to get any better than that until after it has re—entered. i‘m almost tempted to say thanks for nothing, dr mcdowell. i know, fair enough! but this is an important question for me — should i get a helmet? i do have, from 1979, the skylab helmet complete with tinfoil for you. it‘s only $10 on ebay. but no, really, the chance of anyone being hurt is one in tens of thousands. the earth is a big place and most of it is pretty empty so we really don‘t worry too much. even if some debris does come down in a populated area, the 17.5 ton station will mostly melt on the way down and break up into different fire balls which will come down in maybe a few
hundred pounds each and they won‘t be crashing at 17,000mph, it will be 100mph, so it will be like a light plane crash but spread over a hundred—mile strip. so the damage won‘t be too much. it‘s a0 years since the establishment of a unique peace community in israel, ofjews and palestinians living and working together. it started with just four families and now is home to more than 60. it‘s called neve shalom and two of its long—standing residents spoke to witness about life in this "oasis of peace". this is a remarkable picture. tom and fida are two 10—year—olds who share a desk at school. they‘re friends. what‘s remarkable about it is that fida is an arab, tom a jew. they‘re the product of a place called neve shalom, hebrew for oasis of peace. the community was formed
by four families — one palestinian family and three israeli—jewish families. we wanted to try to live in an alternative way, jews and palestinians together in equality in one piece of land. i am an israelijew and i came to live in wahat al—salam, neve shalom, in ‘79. i am a palestinian arab. i'm a resident of wahat al—salam, neve shalom. it was a very small, tiny community with no trees, no running water, no connection to electricity but we had big dreams. here, we found hope and we wanted
to start a life with people who are enlightened, who accept us as we are. when we came, of course, there were some questions about "are you fooling yourself? are you going to be in some kind of utopian society where it is not really realistic?" and i said "maybe but, you know, i hope it's going to teach others that it's actually possible, because this is why we are here". although only 15 families live at neve shalom, 7,000 teenagers have passed through, attending its peace workshops. some had never met a member of the opposite community until they came here. it is really powerful to see a moment of change. people really realise that what they thought before, it‘s not the reality. and we learned a lot. this is how we started the school for peace. the different events that took place outside the village,
the war in gaza, it initiated a lot of talk and discussions and debates. my youngest daughter, for instance, her opinion on the issue of army service for the jewish israelis — because here, it's compulsory, you can't say no, really. she said that, you know, "i expect all the people who come to be part of this community, part of this project here at wahat al—salam neve shalom, not to serve in the army". but i know this is something — these are easy words to say on our part. and i know it's extremely difficult for the other side. yeah, my three kids went to the army but not to be combat soldiers because they didn‘t want to fight to be soldiers. when i see the children playing together, laughing together, quarrelling together, it feels good. the majority of the kids that are studying here,
they're not wahat al—salam neve shalom kids, they're from outside. their parents want them to have our kind of education. this exposure to the other side in an early age and it shows the effectiveness of this community. it is a working model of almost a0 years that we are here. it can work. residents of neve shalom in israel, speaking to the bbc‘s witness team. and you can get in touch with me and most of the team on twitter. i‘m @nkem|fejika. coming up on bbc news, the weather with stav danaos. hello there. saturday was a pretty disappointing day across the board — it felt cool, it was cloudy, there were further outbreaks of rain across many central and eastern
areas with some sleet and snow on the hills. this weather watcher picture from east lothian pretty much sums up how many places were throughout the afternoon. but there was some sunshine across the north and west of scotland. that‘s because a ridge of high pressure was moving in and for easter day, that ridge of high pressure will be very much in control. so we are starting off on a cold and frosty note with clear skies for many. it will be largely dry, too, and there should be plenty of sunshine around through the morning. temperature wise, we could be looking at —3 to —6 across scotland this morning. a cold start as well across wales, the south—west of england. but still some cloud to begin the day across central and eastern areas. again, a few showers around, maybe wintry over the higher ground, but for most of us, it‘s looking fine and dry. glimmers of brightness around. a few wintry showers across the far north of scotland. later in the day, a spell of wet and windy weather will arrive across cornwall and devon, that‘s courtesy of this area of low pressure which will continue to move northwards during the early hours of easter monday, bringing a mixture of rain and sleet and snow. initially across southern areas,
we will see the snow only to the highest ground but as it continues to bump into that cold air, we could see some sleet and snow down to lower levels across mid—north wales, the north midlands, northern england, the pennines and into central southern scotland, maybe northern ireland too, as it continues to march its way northwards. further south, all reverting back to rain because it will be turning mild. temperatures 10—12 degrees. but that snow could cause some some problems, particularly for central northern parts of the country, as it settles the lower ground as well. just keep tuned to bbc local radio and to all of the weather forecasts. as we head into tuesday, a different feel to the weather. we are bringing in very mild air from the south or south—west. plenty of heavy april showers. some sunny spells in between. some of them may contain some thunder, in fact. wet weather continuing across the north and west of scotland. but notice the temperatures, ten to maybe 1a or 15 degrees. low pressure still with us as we head on into the middle of part of the week, so it does remain unsettled. a lot of rain at times too, but i think we are looking at heavy showers on wednesday.
some will merge together to produce longer spells of rain. there could even be the odd thundery one for central, southern and eastern areas as again, it will feel very mild again in south—westerly winds. given some sunshine, we could be looking at highs of 1a or 15 celsius, and even quite mild across the northern parts as well.