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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 21, 2019 3:00pm-3:31pm BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines at 3pm. more than 200 people have died after a series of explosions at churches and hotels in sri lanka. at least 400 people are injured. sri lankan authorities say seven people have been arrested. three police officers have been killed in a raid on a house and authorities say seven people have been arrested. i see this as a serious situation aimed at destabilising the country and the economy. the authorities say most of the explosions were suicide blasts, it is not yet clear who is responsible. labour's deputy leader, tom watson, says the party must promise another brexit referendum to prevent nigel farage from gaining political ground.
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the queen has attended an easter service at windsor castle on the day she celebrates her 93rd birthday, she was joined by family members including the duke and duchess of cambridge. good afternoon. it is 7:30pm in sri lanka, a country under curfew after a series of explosions that churches and hotels in which over 200 people have died. dozens were killed in blasts in colombo. dozens died in blasts during easter services at churches in negombo and the eastern city of batticoloa. in colombo worshippers were targeted at st anthony shrine and two other churches. three of the city's major
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hotels were also hit — the kingsbury, the cinnamon grand and the shangri la. a short time later there were explosions at another smaller smaller hotel in colombo and at a private house. the sri lankan foreign ministry has confirmed 27 foreign nationals have died but released no further details. britain's high commissioner to sri lanka said some britons were among those caught up in the attacks. our south asia correspondent rajini vaidyanathan has the latest. they came here to pray, on one of the most sacred days of the year. butjust before nine in the morning, the sanctity of their easter service was shattered. as a violent bomb blast ripped through the historic st anthony's shrine in colombo, worshippers scrambled to escape. translation: i heard the explosion and then the roof fell on us. we took the children and ran out from the rear door. but when i came to the hospital, i saw my brother—in—law, and son on the ground. at almost the same time,
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two other churches in the area were also hit by deadly explosions. leaders speaking on behalf of the country's christian minority called for peace and harmony in the wake of these attacks. i would like to call upon all, to pray, that all those who are injured may be healed soon, and that all these families who have lost someone may be consoled. i condemn, with my, to the utmost of my capacity this act that has caused so much death and suffering to the people. and it wasn'tjust churches. bombs also exploded at three hotels popular with tourists. a number of foreigners are among the dead. the british high commission in sri lanka said some uk tourists have been caught up in the blast — it is unclear to what extent right now. outside the shangri—la hotel, the scene of one of the explosions, investigators are surveying the damage.
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an eyewitness who was staying on the 25th floor told the bbc what happened. we heard two loud bangs and the entire room was shaking. i could see that a lot of guests are being taken to hospitals. there were casualties, the hotel staff and guests. as grieving relatives waited for updates, two further blasts were reported. the sheer scale of these attacks suggest they were co—ordinated. translation: this is a serious situation, aimed at destabilising the country and the economy. i strongly condemn this attack aimed at religious institutions and some hotels in the capital. the island of sri lanka is on a state of high alert. next month marks ten years since the country's civil war ended. today's blasts are the worst this country has seen for more than a decade. rajini vaidyanathan,
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bbc news, delhi. the bbc‘s azzam ameen is at the scene of one of the attacks in colombo. so far, seven suspects have been arrested. they say they believe most of these were suicide bomb attacks and they say one group is behind it but they didn't name but said that is what they are suspecting. a police curfew has been imposed after the latest attack. eight attacks took place. there will be a full countrywide curfew and they will ask the public to remain inside their houses, don't come out, because the situation was panicking and there were a lot of rumours about more attacks. social media, especially facebook and whatsapp have been restricted to stop information from spreading. earlier i spoke to the high commissioner for sri lanka
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to the uk about what has happened. at this moment i have information that seven suspects have been arrested and is related to suicide bombings. security has been beefed up bombings. security has been beefed up and the government has declared the police emergency, so there is a cu rfew the police emergency, so there is a curfew until 6am tomorrow, and all action is being taken by the government to conduct an unimpeded investigation to see who is responsible for these attacks. while of course ensuring the safety of the people of sri lanka and also requesting the people of sri lanka to remain calm and united in the face of this tragedy, and indeed
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this has obviously been the case. all sri lankans are united and remaining peaceful and calm in the face of this great tragedy of immense magnitude, scale and position. given the geography of the attacks it looks like a fair degree of coordination was involved. absolutely. this is why i said i think the scale of it is unprecedented. it is multiple attacks in different places so it could have been a group or groups which had tremendous capacity to carry it out with this level of precision, so certainly we cannot speculate at this point. we also don't know whether the suspects already arrested our sri lankan nationals or anybody else and what links they may have, these groups may have, we have no such information so we cannot speculate. but the scale of it is
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unprecedented. the government had no prior knowledge, not of specific attacks but just prior knowledge, not of specific attacks butjust a violent prior knowledge, not of specific attacks but just a violent activity planned? nothing that alerted the government authorities that this may have been coming? i cannot at this moment speculate on the intelligence that the government may have been privy to, but i can say that these types of incidents were not expected. it has come completely as a shock to everyone in sri lanka, especially because easter sunday is a celebration not only for the catholic and christian communities of sri lanka. it is a public holiday and all sri lankans come together any celebration because this comes in conjunction with the new year which wejust in conjunction with the new year which we just celebrated and the christian and catholic communities belong to both ethnicities, so this is all communities coming together
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and joining to celebrate this. this must be, and the scale of the emergency operation that has had to follow the attacks, something sri la nka follow the attacks, something sri lanka has not seen for well over a decade. the civil war raged for 30 yea rs decade. the civil war raged for 30 years and next month as the tenth anniversary of the declaration of peace in the end of the war, but it has been a long time since sri lanka has been a long time since sri lanka has had to deal with violence on this scale. this year will be marking ten years since the end of the conflict. it is a country that suffered greatly with the protracted conflict related to terrorism and sri lankans have been very resilient. they were in the process of consolidating peace and taking forward a reconciliation process when this happens, so i have to say that we are in shock and i think the government's reaction is very measured and very careful. i must say that having gone through a
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difficult period, for 30 years, nearly 30 years, i think the sri lankan government has the capacity to deal with these types of incident ina very to deal with these types of incident in a very professional manner, so we hope that with the support of the international community we will be able to welcome this. sri lanka welcomes millions of international visitors, from business and tourism. this is a very busy time for your tourism industry. hotels caught up in these attacks. are you concerned that this might act as a disincentive for people to visit what is otherwise a very popular destination? certainly for the uk sri lanka is a very popular destination and we are also concerned about the uk nationals who have been affected by this. we are coordinating and providing support. certainly in the short and medium term, tourism will be affected. we hope that in the long term this will not be the case. given the nature of
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sri lanka is a top tourist destination, we hope it will not be the case in the long term. the other principal target was the catholic church's on easter sunday. are you concerned that all about the security for religious minorities in sri lanka? i think security has been beefed up considerably at places of worship which are now identified as vulnerable points. i think they are also looking at minority communities that may be considered to be vulnerable at this point. and security, the scale of security has certainly been escalated. that is also concerned about the circulation of speculative information and news that could be fake news. is that why the government has restricted some of the social media access? that is the thinking behind it. this would bea the thinking behind it. this would be a temporary measure. these days,
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this is one of the tools that people use to keep in touch when they are hundreds or thousands of miles away arejust a few hundreds or thousands of miles away are just a few miles? that is a dilemma because in one sense you wa nt to dilemma because in one sense you want to keep it open and let relatives know i am fine or need help or whatever but on the other hand you're concerned that can become... as a short-term measure i think it is necessary to maybe control or contain some of the social media, that is the thinking of the government, i am explaining the rationale behind it. this would bea the rationale behind it. this would be a temporary measure. this is also to ensure that fake news is not circulated and there is no capacity given to groups with vested interests to use such fake news to speakfor the interests to use such fake news to speak for the violence and instability, because given the number of incidents we have seen, we need to be very careful, so it could bea need to be very careful, so it could be a temporary measure. and there is a significant sheila rankin
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expatriate community in the uk. how will they be feeling today. —— sri lankan. they are very sad and very shocked and we have been inundated with messages of sympathy and expressions of support, as well as requests expressions of support, as well as req u ests to expressions of support, as well as requests to support sri lanka and the sri lankan government at this point. we cannot actually deal with a lot of the messages from the community. the community is also looking to news and they want to make sure the cure rate information on the incident that is available in the united kingdom, so i would say at this moment the sri lankan community in the uk would be a source of strength and support and moral courage for us at this difficult time. the foreign office have put out some advice, they say if you are worried about british friends orfamily in sri lanka caught up in the incidents, please call the foreign office switchboard number: 020 70081500.
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the pope has condemned the attacks in sri lanka describing them as a ‘cruel act of violence'. speaking at his annual easter day address at the vatican, pope francis said he stands by the victims of the attacks —— saying that christians have been hit by'mourning and pain‘. 0ur rome correspondent james reynolds reports. days after one catholic monument in europe was badly damaged by fire, attention turned to another of the church's most iconic structures, st peter's basilica here in rome. under grey skies, worshippers, pilgrims and tourists gathered in the square. the pope celebrated easter mass. he called for peace in conflicts in the middle east, africa, and latin america. from the basilica's main balcony he offered prayers for the victims in sri lanka. translation: i heard of the serious
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attacks in sri lanka today with great pain and sadness, that on easter sunday have brought mourning and suffering. i would like to express my closeness and affection to the christian community, struck while gathered in prayer and to all the victims of the cruel violence. the archbishop of canterburyjustin welby this morning leading a service in canterbury cathedral called on people to stand with sri lanka in prayer, condolence and solidarity. the will to power leads to the murder of innocents in sri lanka. the utterly despicable destruction, that on this holiest of days, seeks to challenge the reality of the risen christ. the queen, today celebrating her 93rd birthday, led the royal family to an easter service at saint george's chapel in windsor.
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and in paris, catholic worshippers who would normally go to notre dame for easter gathered instead at the nearby church, st eustache, a stand—in cathedral. until notre—dame itself is rebuilt. james reynolds, bbc news, rome. the headlines on bbc news. at least 200 people have been killed in sri lanka after eight explosions at hotels, and churches during easter services. 27 foreign nationals are believed to have been killed, police have arrested seven people have been arrested in connection with the attacks. the queen has attended an easter service that coincides with her 93rd birthday. the crowd sang happy birthday. the crowd sang happy birthday as she left. sport and it is turning into a very
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bad day for manchester united, everton a re bad day for manchester united, everton are 4—0 up with only a few minutes remaining. united will miss out on a chance to move back into the top four. konta has given britain a 2—0 lead. britain will win the tie if katie boulton wins her tie next. and at the crucible in sheffield, the former champion shaun murphy as two frames up, live on bbc two for you at the moment. more on around an hour's time. police say they've now arrested more than 830 people protesting in london over climate change. the protest organised by group extinction rebellion is now in its seventh day. hundreds of extra officers have been drafted in to monitor protestors on waterloo bridge, parliament square, and the main demonstration site in oxford circus — which has now been cleared.
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we can speak to our correspondent, jenny kumah, who is at marble arch, the officialy designated protest site for the group. despite the best efforts, police had some trouble persuading demonstrators to go to the other side where you are. yes, it is very busy here with a lot of energy and lots of people have come here. 0xford lots of people have come here. oxford circus was the focus of attention yesterday but police have now cleared that area and there are still some protesters at waterloo bridge and there have been some arrests today, but earlier today it was reported that one of the organisers said it is day seven, we are now moving into the second week and it is time to look at changing tactics and it was reported that the focus now should shift towards the political aims and therefore hopefully move the media attention
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away from the impact of the disruption and police resources and arrests. however, it is now being said that discussions are taking place amongst the protesters about the way forward. some of the demands it is reported they are looking at which his talks with mps, with the government, with the mayor of london sadiq khan. they want him to speed up sadiq khan. they want him to speed up on policies to tackle climate change. they want a people's assembly, a forum set up to monitor progress on targets, and the other reported aim is that they want to have an official site at old palace ya rd have an official site at old palace yard near westminster. this is the official site, but apparently they have made a request to move to old palace ya rd have made a request to move to old palace yard near westminster, near the house of commons, where there has been some presence over the last few days. it has been an
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extraordinary week of protests and over the weekend a lot of focus on 0xford over the weekend a lot of focus on oxford circus, bright pink boat moored for the number of days. that was removed on good friday but it didn't deter protesters and they went back on saturday but now the area has been cleared. the protesters, some of the organisers have said, what they have shown is that they have leveraged and they can cause disruption and that this means that the time is now to look at talking and moving away from causing the disruption. we understand that later today the teenage swedish activist who inspired the school strike protest for climate change is due to come to london and speak to people who are protesting, but the organisers say that basically this is about serious political aims. they are not a rabble and they say they are rebels
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with a cause. labour's deputy leader says the party must promise another brexit referendum in order to counter the electoral challenge posed by nigel farage. tom watson said labour could "not sit on the fence". mr farage said a new referendum "would be a total insult" to the labour supporters who voted leave. britain has been granted an extension to leaving the eu until 31 october. prison staff are using new technology in five jails in england and wales to find phones being used illegally by inmates. the system produces a heat map when a mobile is detected, allowing officers to trace the device to a particular cell. ministers hope the technology will also help tackle drug smuggling and violence in prisons. a helicopter has been deployed to help fight a large fire which is continuing to burn on ilkley moor in west yorkshire. more than 70 firefighters are still at the scene, and people are being advised to stay away from the area. police say they've arrested several people. earlier our correspondent
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0livia richwald spoke to us from the scene. at its height, the fire was very dramatic and the flames could be seen from many miles away engulfing 25,000 square metres of moor, and the fire is still smouldering, you can see smoke rising. down in the town you can see ilkley moor and it rises up above the town as a backdrop and everywhere you go you can see a black smouldering smoke coming up, and i don't know if you can hear, the helicopter behind me is the latest tactic the firefighters are using. it has been coming over every five minutes with bucket loads of water and what they need to do now is saturate the ground and make it really wet so the fire doesn't ignite. it is a hot day and there is a chance the fire could restart which is why there are still 75 firefighters at the scene. the police are treating the fire
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is deliberate and arrests have been made. it is a very popular place and people come here for walking but at the moment people are being asked to stay away so the fire doesn't get any worse. if your password is "123456" — then you share it with more than 23 million people. that's according to a study published today by britian's cyber security watchdog. the national cyber security centre says people should make it harder for hackers to access their data by using three random, but memorable words. 0ur security correspondent gordon corera has more. a password is supposed to keep our information secure, but as we have all had to use more and more passwords, the temptation is to keep them simple. that, though, can be a mistake. a new study which analyses
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the passwords that have already been stolen shows the risks. the most used password overall is "123456", appearing more than 23 million times in the study. the next biggest is the not much more imaginative "123456789". and the phrase "password" appeared 3.6 million times. all of these are easy for a hacker to guess. 0nly15% of the uk population feel they know how to stay cyber safe. for passwords, get three random words, password manager, back—up your data, do two factor verification if it is available to you, and also when the updates for apps come through, do it. nearly half of people in the survey said that information on how to keep secure online is confusing and as we move more and more of our lives online, the hope is that the survey today may make more people think again
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before they take the easy route when it comes to their password. profoundly deaf children, who are unable to use standard hearing aids or implants, are now being offered pioneering brain surgery. specialist teams in london and manchester will perform the procedure, known as ‘auditory brainstem implant‘, which could help under—fives hear for the first time. well, earlier bbc breakfast spoke to imelda, whose son theo has had the surgery, and neurosurgeon scott rutherford. theo falls into a very select minority of children who unfortunately are not able to have conventional hearing aids or cochlear implants and the reason is because he has been born without hearing nerves on either side and all of those conventional therapies for congenitally deaf children rely on there being a cable between the inner ear and the brain
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to conduct hearing signals, and theo didn't have that, so until a few years ago there was simply no option for allowing him to hear. what can theo now hear? in a quiet room at home he can hear me calling him from upstairs to downstairs, through walls. he can hear me calling him. you have to wait. now he can talk! he has started to develop speech, the three of us. speech because he is hearing speech sounds which is not something we had expected he would start to develop. this must have been life changing for you as welljust to be able to communicate with your child?
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the first two years it was complete silence for him, nothing, so for us, it changed our lives. we turned off the radio and the television because we felt guilty he could not hear anything and when scott gave him the implant our life changed. it was like a cloud of grief was lifted from us because he could hear. tell us how your levels of communication and has levels of language... he is hearing two years, the healing ability of a two—year—old if you put it in that perspective. his speech is delayed, just past the babble stage, and he will say his name and shout mummy and harry, his brother. he attends a mainstream school and can hear the teacher calling him. he wears a radio aid. he is desperate to be doing something! look at the man. how old are you? four.
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the queen has attended an easter service at windsor castle on the day she celebrates her 93rd birthday. she was joined by family members including the duke and duchess of cambridge and the duke of sussex. the duke of edinburgh, who has retired from public duties, and the duchess of sussex, who is expecting a baby, did not attend. here‘s what happened when her majesty left the chapel. crowd sings happy birthday. now it‘s time for a look at the weather with phil.
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for many of us it looks like a couple of dry and fine and sunny days to be had as we move into the start of the forthcoming week. hasn‘t been like it everywhere because we have had this frontal system close by to the northern and western isles of scotland. the cloud stick to the north of the great glen in the western side of northern ireland. 0vernight, the first signs of that front wanting to pull further back towards the north and west, and it means at last some decent sunshine getting into those same areas that have seen much in the way of cloud and elsewhere another very warm day and we could even see 26 celsius somewhere down across the south—eastern quarter of the british isles. tuesday fairly similar with a sprinkling of showers across the south—western quarter into wales and northern ireland than from wednesday onwards things looking more unsettled and cooler.
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hello this is bbc news with shaun ley. the headlines: more than 200 people have died after a series of explosions at churches and hotels in sri lanka. at least 400 people are injured. three police officers were killed during a raid on a house, and authorities say seven people have been arrested in connection with the attacks. authorities say most of the explosions were suicide blasts, it not yet clear who is responsible for the attacks. labour‘s deputy leader, tom watson, says the party must promise another brexit referendum to prevent nigel farage from gaining political ground. the queen has attended an easter service at windsor castle on the day she celebrates her 93rd birthday, she was joined by family members including the duke and duchess of cambridge.


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