welcome to bbc news. i'm nuala mcgovern. our top stories: president biden announces another $800 million of military help for ukraine in what he calls a critical phase of the war. all to modernise teddy roosevelt's famous advice, sometimes you will speak softly and carry a largejavelin because we are sending a lot of those in as well. as president putin claims to have taken control of mariupol, we report on how some have managed to leave the besieged city. dozens of people are killed in four bomb attacks across afghanistan. a shia mosque was among the targets. bonjour!
ca va! we're on the chaotic campaign trail of marine le pen, who's hoping to become president of france on sunday. it is always like that on the camp —— campaign trail le pen, but press and protesters wherever you go. president biden has announced another $800 million of extra military aid for ukraine, saying, "we will never let russia win this conflict". he added, "we're in a critical window of time" with moscow launching a new offensive in the east of the country. earlier, president putin declared victory for russia in the besieged city of mariupol and ordered his forces to blockade, rather than attack, the last pocket of ukrainian resistance, a massive steel plant. mariupol has been under attack since the russians invaded in late february. some civilians have been able to leave, but thousands have been left behind. 0ur correspondent catherine
byaru hanga reports. after a 24—hourjourney, they finally reached safety from mariupol, one of the worst—hit cities in this war. only 80 people escaped to this convoy. —— only 80 people escaped in this convoy. iryna is gently helped off the bus by her daughter tatiana. translation: i could not leave at first, because my mum - can barely walk. there's no way i would have left her behind. there was constant shelling, even as we were leaving the city, there was some firing. and what of the people they have left behind? 100,000 civilians are believed to be trapped. there are food shortages, no running water or electricity. translation: it was a miracle that we found a radio wave - where we heard about the evacuation. that helped us to get out.
there are pro—russian separatist vehicles that pull over, but they are not saying anything about evacuations. i think many people could have got out if they knew that there was an evacuation planned. after days of negotiations, only a few dozen people have made it out of mariupol — a drop in the ocean in terms of the numbers of those needing help. and this is what they're fleeing — a full—scale russian assault to capture the donbass region in the east. mariupol, devastated by bombardments. hundreds of civilians are believed to be trapped, alongside the last ukrainian forces at the azovstal steelworks. its bunkers and tunnels stretch for miles. tapping his feet as he listened to his defence minister hail what he called the liberation of the city, president putin ordered a halt to the attack
on the industrial plant. translation: i consider the proposed storming i of the industrial zone unnecessary. i order you to cancel it. this is a case where we must think about preserving the lives and health of our soldiers and officers. there is no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground through these industrial facilities. block off this industrial area so that a fly cannot pass through. for those who have escaped a humanitarian crisis, —— for those who have escaped severe fighting and a humanitarian crisis, perhaps an opportunity to rebuild their lives. but the fear is more ukrainians will face a similarfate as this war spreads to more villages and cities. catherine byaruhanga, bbc news, zaporizhzhia. you saw president putin's televised meeting in catherine's report there. 0ur russia editor steve rosenberg was watching it in moscow.
i think this is a kremlin leader who is becoming increasingly impatient. vladimir putin had been counting on a quick victory back in february. it didn't happen. he wants victories on the battlefield now, that he can present to his people and make russians believe that his �*special military operation�*, as he calls it, is going according to plan. so what does he do? he comes out today and he claims victory in mariupol, even though we know some ukrainian fighters are still at the steelworks. now, president putin will be acutely aware that, in 2.5 weeks, russia will celebrate victory day, a big national holiday here where russia marks the defeat of nazi germany. he will be hoping that by that time, may nine,
he can claim a victory — a big victory in ukraine, or at least in eastern ukraine. will he be able to do that? that is another question. thank you to steve. well, as we've been reporting, president biden said the nature of the warfare on ukraine's eastern front meant different equipment was required. here's a little of what he had to say. today, i'm announcing another $800 million to further augment ukraine's ability to fight in the east in the donbass region. this package includes heavy artillery weapons, dozens of howitzers and 144,000 rounds of ammunition to go with those howitzers. it also includes more tactical drones. in the past two months, we've moved weapons and equipment to ukraine at record speed. we've sent thousands of anti—armour and anti—missile helicopters, drones, grenade launchers, rifles, machine guns, missiles, radar systems. more than 50 million
rounds of ammunition has already been sent. the united states alone has provided an anti—armour system for every russian tank that in in ukraine — a ten to one ratio. we are sharing, and will continue to share, significant timely intelligence with ukraine to help defend them against russian aggression. 0ur north america correspondent david willisjoins me now. let's ta ke let's take a closer look at this, so good to have you with us. mr biden outlining some of the specifics of the lethal aid with some of this latest pledge. why is it so important to the president?— to the president? well, this is another massive _ to the president? well, this is another massive aid _ to the president? well, this is another massive aid package i to the president? well, this is l another massive aid package for ukraine, $800 million in military assistance, $500 million in economic assistance. the emphasis of the military aid being on heavy weapons, as indeed it was in the package that was announced just last week. that includes 72 howitzers, 144,000 artillery
rounds, the machinery that is needed to get those howitzers onto the battlefield and, as well as the tactical, drains, specially manufactured here in the united states for deployment in ukraine. resident biden believes that the forthcoming conflict in the east of ukraine will be pivotal as far as the war there is concerned. he believes that it is crucial for the ukrainians to win in that part of the conflict and he said that he will continue to supply military assistance to ukraine, even going to the extent of asking congress next week for more cash to enable him to do so. is more cash to enable him to do so. , , , h, more cash to enable him to do so. , , so. is there support across the olitical so. is there support across the political aisle _ so. is there support across the political aisle for _ so. is there support across the political aisle for that, - so. is there support across the political aisle for that, do - political aisle for that, do you think?— political aisle for that, do ou think? �* , . , you think? it's an interesting question- — you think? it's an interesting question. there _ you think? it's an interesting question. there was - you think? it's an interesting question. there was a - you think? it's an interesting question. there was a poll. question. there was a poll conducted earlier this week which showed the majority of americans believe thatjoe biden is not actually being tough enough. i would like to see the united states take more
measures, as far as ukraine and supporting it is concerned. but president biden has to weigh a number of different factors with all this is the risk, of course, of escalating this conflict, and last week the russian embassy in washington issued a diplomatic note to the state department, warning of consequences, potential consequences, potential consequences, if the us and nato continued to supply heavy weapons to ukraine. and there's the rising cost of energy prices as well. they've been exacerbated by the conflict in ukraine. 0f exacerbated by the conflict in ukraine. of course, president biden has to weigh that along with inflation, which is at a 40 year high and then the midterm elections not far away so a lot of difficult political calculations to be made as far as this is concerned.— as this is concerned. david, thank you _ as this is concerned. david, thank you so _ as this is concerned. david, thank you so much, - as this is concerned. david, thank you so much, joining | as this is concerned. david, i thank you so much, joining us from la. the portuguese authorities have formally identified a suspect in the disappearance of the british toddler madeleine mccann, nearly 15 years ago. the three—year—old went missing during a family holiday
in the algarve region. the prosecutors did not name the suspect but said they were acting on the request of the german authorities. in 2020, the german police revealed they were investigating a convicted child abuser and drug trader, known as christian b, in connection with madeleine's disappearance. he's currently injail in germany and denies any involvement. dozens of people have been killed in four bomb attacks across afghanistan. the most lethal one took place in a shia mosque in mazar—i—sharif, where more than 30 people died. islamic state militants say they carried out at least two of the attacks. it's the second attack this week which has targeted the mainly hazara shia community. on tuesday, two bomb blasts hit a boy's school in a western neighbourhood of kabul, leaving six people dead. no—one claimed responsibility but islamic state militants have targeted the area in the past. sitarah mohammadi is a hazara advocate. she herself was born in afghanistan and joins me now from melbourne.
good to have you with us, very distressing, i'm sure, as you hear about these attacks but how do you understand what is happening over the past week? great to be with you, thank you for having me. i must begin by giving you some context in terms of the attacks that have been ongoing in afghanistan. so, hazara people, the hazara shia people in afghanistan have been facing genocide, it commenced in the late 1880s under the rule of abdul ruckman and has persisted to this day under the former government, under the former government, under the former government, under the previous taliban regime and now under the latest taliban regime. the attacks against the shia hazara community is systemic, targeted, deliberate and intentional.— targeted, deliberate and intentional. ~ ., ~ ., intentional. with that, i know that people — intentional. with that, i know that people will _ intentional. with that, i know that people will have - intentional. with that, i know that people will have an - intentional. with that, i knowj that people will have an issue with the word genocide when it comes to legal definitions but i understand that is your view
as you see it but what do you think can be done about these attacks? i think can be done about these attacks? ~ ., attacks? i think there are important _ attacks? i think there are important steps - attacks? i think there are important steps that - attacks? i think there are | important steps that need attacks? i think there are . important steps that need to attacks? i think there are - important steps that need to be taken and the international community can play a huge role in this. firstly, international human rights organisations and bodies need to acknowledge the identity of the victims of these attacks. and to mention those identities in their reports and in their statements. especially human rights watch, in —— amnesty international and other un agencies and bodies needs to mention that the hazara are being targeted based on their identity as hazara and to make this very clear in their statements and their reporting thatis statements and their reporting that is put out there. secondly, the international community as a whole need to recognise that the targeted, systemic attacks which are being perpetrated by various actors, including the taliban and is—kp in afghanistan
against the hazara community is deliberate and is systemic. so with this, you know, we've been watching, of course, the taliban takeover since last august, they are responsible for security of the country and they do say that as well so do you feel when an attack like these ones of the past week take place, that it is publicly known that the hazara community was targeted? i known that the hazara community was targeted?— was targeted? i think it publicly _ was targeted? i think it publicly known - was targeted? i think it publicly known but - was targeted? i think it publicly known but it'sl was targeted? i think it i publicly known but it's not explicitly mentioned or its ignored or completely disregarded. in the latest round of attacks which have taken place against the hazara community, as well as the shia hazara community, specific identity of the victims, for example, in reporting has not been mentioned. amnesty international as well as human rights watch and media outlets including the new york times have not specifically mentioned
that these attacks are against the hazara community. crosstalk. i cannot respond to the new york times all those other publications but i want to underline here, sitarah, but i understand the point that you are making, but it needs to be more explicit. thank you so much forjoining us on bbc news. sitarah mohammadi. stay with us on bbc news. still to come — meet the ultimate company man: we'll tell you about the veteran brazilian worker who really, really loves hisjob. the stars and stripes at half—mast outside columbine high. the school sealed off. the bodies of the dead still inside. i never thought that they would actually go through with it.
choir sings. one of the most successful singer—songwriters of all time, the american pop star prince has died at the age of 57. ijust couldn't believe it, - didn't believe it, he wasjust here on saturday. for millions of americans, the death of richard nixon in a new york hospital has meant conflicting emotions. a national day of mourning next wednesday sitting somehow uneasily with the abiding memories of the shame of watergate. and lift—off of the space shuttle discovery, with the huddle space telescope, our window on the universe. this is bbc news — the latest headlines: president biden announces another $800 million of military help for ukraine in what he calls a critical phase of the war. as president putin claims
to have taken control of mariupol, some civilians have managed to leave the besieged city. in france, it's the final stage of campaigning in the race for the presidency which will be settled on sunday when millions of voters will choose between the incumbent emmanuel macron and his rival marine le pen. the two candidates faced each other last night in a nationwide televised debate after which many french voters are still said to be undecided. 0ur europe editor katya adler has been taking the temperature with just three days to go. bonjour! could this be france's next president? marine le pen, patriotic woman of the people, visiting france's forgotten villages, orfar—right nationalist hiding behind a carefully reinvented, softer image?
"how radical are you?," i asked. translation: i'm not radical, sorry. - i'm running for president to establish a government of the people for the people, giving back power to the people. crowd chants. but these people and plenty of others in france remain unconvinced. so close to the elections, emotions are running high. police whistles. it's always like this on campaign trail le pen. there's protectors, press and protesters wherever you look. marine le pen remains the outsider in this election, but her popularity has grown. she's focused on voters' number one concern — the spiralling cost of food and fuel here. translation: marine le pen goes to markets to meet working - people like us.
she's down to earth. we've always liked her. translation: marine le pen, even if she tries to distance i herself from the extreme right, that's her background, that's her party. i'm voting macron to keep le pen out. in fact, both presidential candidates have a reputational problem. "eu—obsessed and elitist" is how emmanuel macron's critics describe him. so, at this campaign event in marseille, he ditched the designerjacket and appealed across party lines to vote for him on sunday. translation: the 24th of april is a referendum | for or against the environment, for or against young people. this election can be the start of a new french and european era, of great hopes and ambition. cheering. brussels and washington are watching all this extremely carefully — especially with the raging russia—ukraine
crisis. france has the eu's biggest military and second largest economy. macron wants to use that to boost eu, nato and transatlantic relations. le pen is euro— and us—sceptic, with traditionally close ties to moscow. who becomes france's next president is as important abroad as it is at home for a number of reasons. marine le pen's programme would directly lead to a total collapse of the french economy, which would hurt the other european countries. also a very important economic partner, which is the uk. marine le pen defends her economic plans. but france's next president — she or he — won't be able to claim the heart of all french people. this is a divided country. katya adler, bbc news, paris.
that election on sunday. let's take a look at some other stories in the headlines. huan 0rlando hernandez, the former president of honduras, has been extradited to the united states to face weapons and drug trafficking charges. he was arrested in february shortly after ending his second term in charge of the country. us prosectors have previously accused him of funding his political rise with profits from drug traffickers. florida lawmakers have voted to strip disney of its self—governing status. it's a move widely seen as retaliation for the company's opposition to a new state law limiting discussion of lgbt issues in schools. for the past 55 years, it's had the power to build infrastructure and control utilites on its theme park in exchange for tax relief. in the uk, mps have approved an inquiry into claims that prime minister boris johnson deliberately misled parliament about downing street parties during coronavirus lockdowns. he'll become the first british
prime minister to be investigated into such allegations. north korea's leader, kim jon—un, has written back to south korea's outgoing president, moonjae—in, to thank him for trying to improve relations. mr moon, who steps down next month, had written to mr kim on wednesday, promising to continue to try to lay a foundation for the reunification of the two countries. in the united states, lawyers for the actress amber heard have been questioning herformer partner johnny depp in his defamation case against ms heard. jurors were shown text messages in which mr depp referred to a "monster" inside him that he kept in check. the actor is suing ms heard over an article she wrote in which she said she was a victim of domestic violence. 0ur correspondent david sillito has been following the case. johnny depp, and day three on the witness stand, and he was bracing himself for some tough questions. yesterday, we saw what he said where the injuries caused by his ex—wife, amber heard. but it was that portrayal
ofjohnny depp as the blameless victim in all of this that was today being challenged in court. he was shown these text messages, exchanged with the actor paul bettany, comments about burning and drowning amber heard. after you said, "let's drown her before we burn her," mr depp, you said, "i will bleep her burnt corpse "afterwards to make sure she is dead." that's what you said that you would do, after you burnt her and after you drowned her. did i read that right? you certainly did, yes. a real threat, or a less—than—serious monty python reference? and then his drug use — the court shown these photographs of bags of marijuana, the actor lying passed out, and whatjohnny depp says was a carefully staged photo of cocaine and whisky. you would sometimes drink whisky in the mornings too, right? during this time period? erm, i, i... you know, i mean, isn't happy hourany time? chuckles.
and then questions about what amber heard calls the monster, his temper. the court was played a tape of him talking about a head—butt. mr depp, you said, "i head—butted you in the bleep forehead, that doesn't "break a nose." correct? i did say those words, but i said... i was using the words that miss heard was using. ok. but there was not an intentional head—butt. there was also footage of another angry outburst — he said, yes, he did hit cabinets and couches, but not his wife. david sillito, bbc news, fairfax, virginia. we're told this is the era of the gig economy — a world where many people have to adapt to flexible working conditions — and zero—hour contracts. but that's most definitely not
the case for one brazilian — who's given a whole new meaning to the phrase — company man. the bbc�*s tim allman explains. walter 0rtmann begins every day the same way. he walter 0rtmann begins every day the same way-— the same way. he starts with his daily exercises, _ the same way. he starts with his daily exercises, as - the same way. he starts with his daily exercises, as a - the same way. he starts with his daily exercises, as a spot| his daily exercises, as a spot of breakfast with his family and then heads off to walter has been doing this for 84 years, a world record for an employee at the same company. translation: you have to like work. i started to work with that willingness and fighting spirit. you also have to stop working on something you like to do. you can'tjust do any job to say you are working, that doesn't work.- that doesn't work. walter started working _ that doesn't work. walter started working for - that doesn't work. walter started working for a - that doesn't work. walter| started working for a local textile firm in 1938 when he was just 15 years old. since then, he has witnessed amongst other things the second world
war, the korean war, the vietnam war, to gulf wars and now a conflict in ukraine. there have been 15 us presidents, more than two dozen brazilian presidents, including a few military dictators, only to british monarchs. translation: you have to be healthy so you have to take care of your health. i have been exercising for more than 60 years. i have been taking care of myself all the time. that really helps your body to be strong forever.— be strong forever. walter has 'ust be strong forever. walter has just turned — be strong forever. walter has just turned 100 _ be strong forever. walter has just turned 100 and _ be strong forever. walter has just turned 100 and shows . be strong forever. walter has just turned 100 and shows noj just turned 100 and shows no signs of retiring. they say if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. it is certainly true for walter. tim allman, bbc news. lovely story there and in this half—hour stop don't forget you can get in touch with me and some
of the team on twitter — i'm @bbcnuala. hello. 0ur weather's going to be pretty settled over the next few days. it's fairly quiet out there right now and not much change on the way for friday. one thing that we will notice is that cool breeze strengthening day by day, particularly noticeable on the north sea coast, and this often happens when we have high pressure close to iceland there over the norwegian sea, low pressure to the south, and that basically shunts quite a strong airstream from scandinavia across the north sea and cuts through the uk. particularly chilly on those north sea coasts. it'll also drag in some cloud, some moisture, particularly to central and eastern parts of england, so a slow grey,
breezy, chilly start to the day here, whereas out towards the west, there'll be sunshine. also, a few showers developing anywhere from london into the south midlands, southern wales, maybe salisbury plain, perhaps the west country but elsewhere, it should be sunny. so, cold on the north sea. 0n the actual coast, it could be ten degrees, but warmer spots, maybe southwestern parts of scotland, perhaps as high as 19, most of us somewhere in between. also worth noting the tree pollen levels will be generally moderate to high on friday. so, the weekend, then, that pattern continues, so the high across the north, low pressure to the south. we can see the rain across spain and france, so the bad weather's to the south of us, but we still have that strong breeze and, again, a few showers. perhaps a little more widespread, maybe, spreading into northern parts of england during the course of saturday. again, chilly on the north sea coast, maybe 12 in newcastle, typically 16 there in plymouth
and not far off that in belfast as well. here's sunday's weather forecast — more of the same — cold wind out of the north sea and all the bad weather staying way to the south of us and similar temperatures, perhaps not even making double figures there in aberdeen. so, let's have a look at the outlook into monday. slight change in the wind direction, so you can see the high pressure builds down again across the uk, the wind switches direction — it will be more of a northerly. so, temperatures will actually drop as we go through the course of next week, maybe making around 10, 11, 12 degrees across some northern towns and cities. bye— bye.
this is bbc news. the headlines: the united states is sending another $800 million worth of military assistance to ukraine, including howitzer artillery pieces and phoenix ghost drones, developed specifically for the ukraine conflict. president biden said the nature of the warfare on ukraine's eastern front meant different equipment was required. officials in afghanistan say dozens of people have been killed in four bomb attacks across the country. the first explosion killed more than 30 worshippers in a shia mosque in the northern city of mazar—i—sharif. the group that calls itself islamic state said it carried out two of the attacks. in the united states, lawyers for the actress amber heard have been questioning herformer partner johnny depp in his defamation case against ms heard. jurors were shown text messages in which mr depp referred to a "monster" inside him that he kept in check.