this is bbc news i'm duncan golestani. how does it feel to be in canada? a warm welcome in canada for the saudi teenager whose efforts to escape her family gained worldwide attention. three people die and nearly 50 are injured in a powerful gas explosion at a paris bakery. another democrat throws their hat into the presidential ring — a former texas mayor, julian castro, announces plans to run for the us presidency in 2020. as central europe battles the worst snow in three decades, forecasters say there's even more to come. a saudi teenager whose efforts to escape her family gained
worldwide attention has arrived in canada where she's been granted asylum. last week rahaf mohammed al-qanun barricaded herself in a hotel room at bangkok airport, to resist deportation. the 18—year—old feared she'd be killed by her relatives because she had renounced islam. earlier she arrived in toronto, from where nada tawfik reports. rahaf al-qanun arrived with a smile as she took the first steps into her new life. rahaf, how does it feel to be in canada? she was escorted out by canada's foreign minister, chrystia freeland, who was on hand to welcome her and to pass on flowers from one of ra haf‘s supporters. after chronicling her ordeal on social media, she chose this moment, now safely in toronto, to let another speak on her behalf. she wanted canadians to see that she's here, that she's well, and that she's very, very happy to be in her new home. although she did comment to me about the cold. it's been a whirlwind journey for rahaf al-qanun.
it's extraordinary that just a few days ago she was an unknown teenager and now she has commanded the attention of the world's media and reignited a debate about the treatment of women in saudi arabia. rahaf al-qanun had been trying to reach australia by way of thailand when her passport was confiscated and she was told she would be deported. the 18—year—old barricaded herself in an airport hotel room and sent out fevered tweets saying that she feared her family would kill her for renouncing islam. i'm not leaving my room until i see unhcr. i want asylum. within a day, the campaign #saverahaf went viral, piling on international pressure. thai immigration police initially said her case was a family matter but reversed course and placed her in the care of the un's refugee agency. after a review, unhcr said she was a legitimate refugee. her family has denied any abuse. saudi arabia and canada have been
on bad terms ever since ottawa criticised riyadh's arrests of women's rights activists in a tweet months ago. ra haf al-qanun's resettlement will likely exacerbate the already tense relations between the two countries. nada tawfik, bbc news, toronto. earlier i spoke to bessma momani, a professor of international affairs at the university of waterloo in canada. i asked her if already strained relations between canada and saudi arabia would get worse. yes but i would also say that we have hit rock bottom in many ways. we have etihad saudi students removed from the country. there has been a recalling of our ambassador and vice—versa. ——we have had saudi
students. there have been foreign investment restrictions. in many ways, there is very little cost to this and a huge upside in terms of political reputation that this government is getting. good news story for the trudeau government at home and internationally. yes but not many countries have been rushing to support canada in its difficulties with saudi arabia. since last summer there has been a deafening silence from our allies including the united states which has always been supportive of canadian foreign policy. it is quite striking, even amongst european countries, a deafening response. people have such an economic interest in saudi arabia and not
willing to disturb that. i think one thing, it has caused a stir inside the country. there are hyper nationalists that the rahaf mohammed al-qanun as a traitor but there is also a question going on about the guardianship laws and that they are unjust. for many who may believe the accusation against her family that she is in an abusive relationship, that could locate things for many saudi women. there are saudi women in this situation. it has caused a bit of a social conversation in the kingdom and i don't think the government wins on trying to make her out to be a villain in this and certainly host to marcus shoji, it is well advised to remain silent. ——
post khashoggi. will "women to make more of a risk? —— take. post khashoggi. will "women to make more of a risk? -- take. she is in a domestic violence situation. that is how legitimacy as an asylum seeker here in canada. not all countries accept that the commission but we do. in the case of other women, many of the organisers of women's movement inside saudi arabia are in prison. the hierarchy or infrastructure for women's movement are infrastructure for women's movement a re really infrastructure for women's movement are really quite damaged at the moment inside the country but i do think that there will be more women who will try this. they need to get outside the country to get on a plane because they can't do it from within saudi arabia. there may indeed be some copycat attempts but there are also will be some reaction from many flam is not allowing their women to go outside the country. ——
many families. in case they try this. three people, including two firefighters, have died and nearly 50 others injured in a powerful explosion at a bakery in the centre of paris. firefighters have been tackling a blaze through out the day, police suspect a gas leak caused the blast. our paris correspondent, lucy williamson reports. on the site of a local bakery, round the corner from the folies bergere, residents faced a charred and empty shell. the force of the gas explosion was felt in districts several miles away. along rue trevise, the blast shattered windows, blew out doors, and sent locals and tourists into the street, straight from their beds. translation: when i walked past the entrance i heard a huge explosion. i was hit by the debris. it's dry now and i've washed off a bit but there was a lot of blood on my neck and my head, too. 200 firefighters were called in to help those trapped by the blast. among those whose lives they saved was a colleague, buried for almost two hours beneath the rubble.
but two other firefighters died. translation: firefighters were dealing with the blaze. the explosion is probably from a gas leak. it has had a very heavy toll on civilians, but also on firefighters who were on site. helicopters waited near the opera house to evacuate the wounded, some of whom are still in a serious condition. the explosion is being treated as accidental but there's a risk of further fires and emergency work will continue all weekend. a crisis centre has been set up to house and care for the area's new homeless. this smart and lively part of paris, packed with bars and theatres, looks very different tonight. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. the texas democratjulian castro has formally declared he wants to run for president of the united states. he's a former mayor of san antonio who went on to serve in president obama's cabinet. the announcement makes him the first hispanic in what looks set to be a crowded field of candidates vying for the position to challenge president donald trump in the november 2020 election. he's long been viewed as a rising
star in the democratic party and it's likely he'll canvass for supporters on the liberal wing of the party. here's how he made his announcement. when my grandmother got here almost 100 years ago, i am sure that she never could have imagined thatjust two generations later, one of her grandsons will be serving as a member of the united states congress and the other would be standing with you here today to say these words, i ama you here today to say these words, i am a candidate for the president of the united states of america. so who isjulian castro and what do we know about him. the 44—year—old is the grandson of an immigrant. his grandmother was born in mexico and he's used his family's personal story to criticise trump's border policy. he was the mayor of san antonio for five years from 2009 to 2014 and then went on to serve as secretary of housing and urban development underformer president barack obama. castro is the second candidate to formally launch a presidential campaign.
former us representative john delaney has been running for more than a year. and us senator elizabeth warren has formed an exploratory committee and has started holding campaign events. while more than a dozen others are exploring the possibility. for more onjulian castro's credentials and the other potential candidates, i spoke earlier with the bbc‘s david willis in washington. the former mayor of san antonio in texas, he gave a speech at the democratic national convention four yea rs democratic national convention four years ago and was the youngest member of barack obama's cabinet. but more than anything else, he is looking to become america's first hispanic president. it is a real american dream story, if you like,
indeed, mr castro said today that his grandmother victoria who came to the united states from mexico nearly a century ago would have been amazed to know that one of her grandchildren would end up a member of the us congress. the other would end up running to president. we are still so far away from that presidential election, aren't we, david? and yet, the numbers are quick to increasing in the democratic party. they are and mr castro will face a lot of competition for all his appeal and charisma and senators are littered with warren, bernie sanders, kamala harris, have all said they will probably be mounting a run for the democratic. —— elizabeth warren. and joe biden. it will be a crowded field. i suppose the dilemma for the democrats is do they go for a
mainstream candidate or do they go for a fresh face? somebody from the outside? that would bejulian castro. i remember from campaigns past that it such a long time that stars rise and fall, people lose momentum and they run out of money. it really is a marathon for these guys. absolutely. there are two yea rs guys. absolutely. there are two years to go. it's amazing, isn't it? you are absolutely right, it is a costly business running for president here in the united states. millions of dollars need to be generated. you know what is going to impact the early runners? the prospect of running out of money. that is something that people like mr castro need to guard against. he will need to get out there and really appealfor cash will need to get out there and really appeal for cash in order to keep going in this campaign. south africa's governing party the anc has putjobs at the centre of its election camapaign, as it launched its manifesto in durban. thousands of supporters turned out to hear party leader — and president — cyril ramaphosa
outline his promises to transform the economy. but with a quarter of south africans unemployed — the party has a huge challenge on its hands. nomsa maseko reports from durban. a show of force as cyril ramaphosa launched the election manifesto. it has been a while since south africa's governing party pulled such a massive crowd. especially in kwazulu—natal, which is former presidentjacob zuma's home province, who was ousted in 2017 after nine years at the helm. this is an annual event which sets the tone for the anc‘s plans for the year but this time
it is even more significant. south africa marks 25 years since the first democratic elections and millions will be going back to the polls. most credible opinion polls suggest the anc will secure enough votes to form the next government. that is despite declining support and small economic growth. the party's president, cyril ramaphosa, said the anc would do all it can to regain the confidence of all south africans. today at the african national congress, we launch our 2019 election manifesto. we do so at a crucial moment in the history of our nation. after a period of doubt and uncertainty, we have arrived at a moment of hope and renewal. the new leadership has vowed to raise millions of dollars in foreign direct investment
to drivejob creation, particularly among the youth and women. there are more unemployed, you know. so cyril ramaphosa will take all the problems of south africa and will cover all of them. to fight poverty, unemployment, especially for women and the youth. another critical electioneering point will be the party's land reform policy. and with the amendment of the constitution to expropriate land without compensation passed, the anc believes it is keeping its promises. nomsa maseko, bbc news, durban. stay with us on bbc world news, still to come: battling to clear the snow from roads and rooftops of central europe with another metre forecast to fall on sunday
day one of operation desert storm to force the iraqis out of kuwait has seen the most intense air attacks since the second world war. tobacco is america's oldest industry, and it's one of its biggest, but the industry is nervous of this report. this may tend to make people want to stop smoking cigarettes. there is not a street that is unaffected. huge parts of kobe were simply demolished, as buildings crashed into one another. this woman said she'd been given no help and no advice by the authorities. she stood outside the ruins of her business. tens of thousands of black children in south africa have taken advantage of laws passed by the country's new multiracial government and enrolled at formerly white schools. tonight sees the 9,610th performance of her long—running play the mousetrap. when they heard of her death today, the management considered whether to cancel tonight's performance, but agatha christie would have been the last person to want such a thing. this is bbc news,
the latest headlines: the saudi teenager who fled to thailand in fear for her life has arrived in canada where she's been granted asylum. let's stay with that story now — and the case of rahaf mohammed al-ounun has highlighted the challenges facing women being controlled by theirfamilies in islamic societies when they choose to strike out on their own. earlier i spoke to yasmine mohammed, an activist who campaigns for greater rights for muslim women. for ra haf for rahaf she is going from one planet to another. in saudi arabia she was wearing abaya, she would not be allowed to leave the home without
her male guardian's position, she would not be allowed to go to school, go to work, go to the doctor, get a bank account, she could not do anything without her male guardian allowing her to. now in canada she will have all of these new freedoms and it will take a while to get used to that. i know that for myself, even though i was born and raised in canada, once i left islam and my family disowned me andi left islam and my family disowned me and i was on my own with my daughter, the smallest things become such a huge hurdles. i was not used to making decisions for myself and suddenly i had to make all of the decisions all on my own. at the same time, small things that people take for granted such as being able to ride a bicycle or being able to go swimming were huge things for me because they were things i never thought i would be able to do.“ that the case that after the euphoria of escaping, so to speak,
then comes the real difficulty? yeah, absolutely. especially for somebody coming from a country where they were, essentially a bird in a gilded cage. ra haf would have essentially a bird in a gilded cage. rahaf would have been treated like a dependent, like a little child or like a pet puppy or something. someone who was unable to make a decision for herself at all. and she was completely protected and com pletely was completely protected and completely ta ken care was completely protected and completely taken care of. at the same time, she was not an independent human being. you are absolutely correct, this will take some adjustment for her to start to trust her own instincts and, you know what? she is up for the challenge. she is an amazing young woman. a hero to millions of young women and she has the support of all of us behind her and i have no doubt
she will be nothing but successful. let's get some of the day's other news. there's still no sign of a breakthrough in the partial government shutdown in the us which is now officially the longest in history. president trump is refusing to sign measures to pay all federal employees because democrats in congress won't include funding for the wall he promised on the border with mexico. more than 80,000 people have taken part in yellow vest demonstrations across france, according to the interior ministry. police in paris fired water cannons and tear gas to push back a large group of demonstrators around the arc de triomphe monument. today's protest marks the ninth consecutive weekend of yellow vest rallies against french president emmanuel macron's economic policies. protesters have marched through central london demanding a general election and an end to austerity. hundreds of demonstrators were wearing yellow vests — copying the yellow vest protests in france. their action comes ahead of a crucial week in the commons, when mps are widely expected to reject theresa may's withdrawal
deal with the eu. british police have arrested a man in connection with incidents in westminster earlier this week. pro—brexit activist james goddard, seen here wearing a red jacket, was detained by officers on saturday morning near a london underground station on suspicion of a public order offence. he has since been released on bail. an opposition presidential candidate in the democratic republic of congo, martin fayulu has demanded a full recount of votes from last month's presidential election. another opposition leader, felix tshisekedi, was declared the winner, but mr fayulu has accused him of striking a power—sharing deal with the outgoing president,
joseph kabila. well, let's stay with that story — gaius kowene from bbc africa explains what martin fayulu wants to achieve through this petition in the constitutional court. he is asking for a manual vote
recount and he is also asking for results to be published, polling station by polling station, so that he can compare what the electoral commission has with the data that his own observers from his own political party collected and sent to his headquarters here. and after that, the court will have a maximum of seven days to look into his petition and also to look into all the evidence that he provided. right after that, the court will announce its final decision to say whether fayulu is right and whether all the votes should be recounted or simply cancelled. whether fayulu
does not have enough evidence, and everything should continue normal and just confirm provisional results, that was announced last thursday. joseph kabila's coalition also won almost half of all the seats in the national assembly.
and basically, what that means, that means for the incoming president, he will have to work with the prime minister from the current government. parts of germany, austria and sweden are suffering exceptional amounts of snow which have already killed seven people in the past week. bethany bell reports now from annaberg in the austrian alps. the little town of annaberg is blanketed in white. like many mountain regions in germany and austria, it is experiencing unusually heavy falls of snow. these sensors are there to protect houses from avalanches. the authorities are struggling to remove the snow. these volunteer firefighters are working to clear the roof of annaberg's primary school. stefan obermeister from the lower austrian fire brigade
says they need to ensure the building is safe enough for children to enter. the big problem is that the snow is very heavy so we have about 3.5 metres on the roofs. and that's the big problem. because if the weather is changing and the snow gets heavier, the big problem is that the roofs crash down and so it is very dangerous for the people who are living here. cars have been buried under several metres of snow. and it is a constant struggle to keep paths and roads clear. in neighbouring germany, the army is helping to clear away snow. several areas have been declared disaster zones. and there is more snow on the way. the risk of avalanches remains very high. bethany bell, bbc news, annaberg in the austrian alps. the wreck of a world war i german
submarine is gradually resurfacing on a beach in northern france after decades of being buried in the sand. shifting sand off wissant, near calais, is exposing the remains of the vessel which was stranded there injuly 1917. it is now becoming a tourist attraction again, although the local mayor warns it may only be a fleeting sight. since december, two sections of the submarine have been visible at low tide. and finally, a new squad of mounted police wearing traditional outfits has gone on patrol in mexico city. the "charras" have been recruited to keep the streets safe and help tourists find their way around. thirty of them are on duty around the capital's landmarks — the palace of fine arts, alameda central and garibaldi square. hello there. ten pictures on
saturday reached 12 degrees in strathallan. six celsius higher than the january average in this part of scotland. was a mild day with rain for western scotland and that rain continues to edge southwards. if you are heading outside over the next few hours it is worth taking wet weather gear with you across scotland, northern ireland and the far north of england. he can be quite blustery and very mild as well. temperatures between eight and 10 celsius to start day on sunday. on sunday we had to weather fronts to look at. the first week of front will move southwards across england and wales and a more significant occluded front here across northern scotla nd occluded front here across northern scotland will bring heavy rain to the north of scotland with colder airof the north of scotland with colder air of wallowing that for sunday, a cloudy day for england and wales with a few patches of rain working southwards. bright weather in the afternoon with showers working into northern western areas and more persistent rain in the north of
scotland. where ever you are it will bea scotland. where ever you are it will be a blustery day weatherwise and temperature wise there will be big contrast from south to north across the country. much of england and wales will see temperatures similar to that on saturday, 11, 12 degrees the notice he gets cooler in further north and cold in shetland were temperatures reached just two degrees. : a fearful wintry showers with a little bit of sleet and a few fronts of snow mixed in with showers during the latter part of the afternoon. the week starts mild, rain in the north and west, often quite windy and it is set to turn that much, much colder as we head towards the end of the week. monday we will have a sharp frost to start the day across scotland and parts of north—east england as well. but then it turned cloudy with showers working into western areas of scotland. the mildest ad tends to be across western and southern parts of the country but quite cold air across the north and east. temperature just around the one celsius. tuesday and wednesday we
have a slow—moving weather front that will bring heavy persistent outbreaks of rain to western scotland, particularly into the highlands and western isle looking wet to that the pictures are rising again, 10 degrees widely and temperature is reaching around seven degrees he is. it will get milder for all of us as we reach of wednesday and thursday we will start to see a more significant push of arctic wind moving down and replacing these milder westerly wind. for all of us as we had through thursday, the temperature will drop even a little below normal for the time of year at the same time, with the cold air of arriving it should be a little bit more in the way of sunshine. that's your latest weather. this is bbc news, the headlines: a saudi teenager who fled from her family, fearing that they would kill her for renouncing islam, has arrived in toronto, where she's been offered asylum. rahaf al-qunun, who's eighteen, barricaded herself in a hotel room in bangkok and used social media to highlight her case. three people have died
after a massive gas explosion in a bakery in central paris. two firefighters died after being called to investigate a gas leak, a spanish tourist was also killed. almost 50 people were injured — 10 are said to be critically ill in hospital. a former mayor from texas has become the latest to declare he'll seek the democratic nomination to run in next year's us presidential election. julian castro served in the obama administration. his grandfather emigrated to the us from mexico. hundreds of people have marched through london, demanding a general election and an end to austerity.