this is bbc news — i'm nancy kacungira — with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. irish nationalists celebrate a watershed moment in northern ireland — sinn fein wins the most seats in the election for the devolved assembly. today ushers in a new era which i believe presents us all with an opportunity to reimagine relationships in our society. ukraine says all women, children and the elderly have now been evacuated from azovstal steel plant in the city of mariupol. rights in afghanistan come underfresh attack — the taliban order women to wear the full face veil. today, they decreed that all
women must cover their places with a veil in public and they laid out an escalating series of punishments for any woman not complying. and — a show of support — america's first lady arrives in slovakia — ahead of a visit to the border with ukraine. hello and welcome to audiences in the uk and around the world. the united states has called for northern ireland leaders to return to power sharing. it follows sinn fein�*s historic victory in the election to the northern ireland assembly. it is the first time a nationalist party in northern ireland has won the most seats — with sinn fein�*s ultimate goal being for northern ireland to leave the uk and become one country with the
republic of ireland. our correspondent chris page reports, and a warning — there is some flash photography. smiles, flashes and cheers, were the sure—fire signs of sinn fein�*s success. cheering the party has retained its 27 seats, and that is enough to top the table. for the first time, a party which is dedicated to taking northern ireland out of the uk is the biggest political force here. it's a huge historic moment for irish nationalism and a massively symbolic shift. sinn fein�*s vice president, michelle o'neill, is in line to become the first minister. no nationalist has ever won the post before. today ushers in a new era, which i believe presents us all with an opportunity to reimagine relationships in this society on the basis of fairness, on the basis of equality, and on the basis of social justice. irrespective of religious, political or social backgrounds, my commitment is to make politics work. cheering another major indication of change
is the surge of the party which is neither unionist nor nationalist. alliance has more than doubled its number of seats, moving from fifth place to third in the assembly. its leaders said the breakthrough had come after many years�* work. people wrote us off and said that there was no future for a shared future in northern ireland, and we've proven them wrong. it's taken us a while to get here, but we're here now, and i think we have proven there is a third way in politics here. but the democratic unionist party has lost about a fifth of its support. a strong focus of its campaign was its opposition to the brexit trade border with the rest of the uk, known as the northern ireland protocol.
the dup says it'll block the formation of a devolved government until checks on goods are scrapped. but it's shed votes to a more hard—line party — the traditional unionist voice, which claims the dup has been too weak on the issue. we will accept the outcome of the election. however, our position remains that we need to remove the long shadow of the protocol that is inhibiting our ability to operate and function properly within the political institutions, and the sooner that happens, the sooner we'll be in a position to move forward. under the power—sharing rules at stormont, unionists and nationalists have to agree to run northern ireland jointly before ministers can take up their positions. but the politicians who've been elected are unlikely to get to govern any time soon. the dup is even less likely to go into a coalition now that sinn fein is in front. after the disappointment and delight of today, the future is an unclear picture. chris page, bbc news. in the years before its rise, sinn fein was a party ostracised by many in the political sphere. during the 30 year conflict
in northern ireland known as the "troubles" it was seen as being associated with a campaign of violence. but once the party decided on a way forward through politics, and in the 1980s had members elected as mps, it began to gain popularity. our ireland correspondent emma vardy looks back — her report contains flashing images. steeped in the violence of the past, sinn fein�*s political aims were born out of a northern ireland's darkest days. the freedom fighters of the ira are now continuing the struggle against foreign occupation and domination! during the 30 year conflict here, sinn fein were the voice of the paramilitary group the ira... explosions ..who fought an armed campaign to try to break british rule in northern ireland.
gerry adams, the leader of sinn fein during some of the worst of the ira violence, became both a hated and revered figure. i haven't gone away, you know! today, the ira dead are remembered at the republican plot in milltown cemetery. many who served time in prison on their release became involved in the political movement to achieve a united ireland through peaceful means. those were very, very formative days and clearly the idea that we have to move forward politically is very much entrenched now in republican ideology. sinn fein sees the conflict as having been a legitimate armed struggle but the party now strongly advocates peace. what's been key to their success, do you think? there's that organic link. sinn fein republican activists were part of the community. in the 1990s, sinn fein played a key role in bringing about the good friday agreement, which largely ended the violence. in the years after, their support at the ballot box grew.
martin mcguinness, a former commander in the ira, became deputy first minister, sharing power with the dup. for those who remember the past, sinn fein still deeply divide opinion but in the party today, there are far fewer elected representatives who were involved in the armed conflict and their electoral success is a new milestone in what has been a remarkable political journey. if we look back to the good friday agreement, they would have been ex—prisoners, they would have been people who would have had links to that sort of republican wing of sinn fein/the ira. what we see now is a very young party, a very progressive party. it's full of young women — the two leaders are women, both of whom have no connection to that sort of previous past. but sinn fein�*s successes a blow for unionism. the immediate challenge for the party's current leaders will be to form a new power—sharing executive at stormont and governing in the first minister role may yet be some way off.
that was our ireland correspondent emma vardy and now emma has more on this victory for sinn fein and what this could mean. today's result marks a historic victory to sinn fein which will bring challenges for power shaving at stormont. next week the parties will meet back here and they will be required to nominate a first and deputy first minister and the dp said it won't do that because of its opposition to the backset arrangement and, even though those roles are equal, they are joint, the dup is even less likely to want to go back into government, serving as a deputy alongside a sinn fein first minister. meanwhile, negotiations with the eu are continuing to try to sell those bags that problems with the irish sea border and while that is continuing, the dps position is unlikely to change. if in six months there is not a the parties here, then we could be heading in theory to a fresh set of elections.
ukraine and russia say a humanitarian operation to evacuate civilians from the besieged azovstal steelworks in the southern port city of mariupol has been completed. ukraine said that all elderly people, women and children had been taken to safety , a total of more than 300 people. those evacuated are relieved to be leaving the city. i was going to the market when i was going to the market when i saw large crowd of people and i saw large crowd of people and i asked them where they were going and they said to me there was a possibility of going to the city. i was so excited. i had nothing with me accept this bag and i decided, all right, if my house is already burned all is going to waste anyway. we were surviving or that this
time for two weeks we have been living in a basement. then russians came and helped us leave. then we heard about an evacuation and we came to the mall in mariupol and got on this bus. eight children were sitting in a basement for two weeks without water, bread, nothing. afterwards, we were going to the city in this next, we don't we will see if someone will help us. i don't know. in afghanistan, the taliban have ordered women to cover their faces with a veil when in public, warning that if they fail to do so, their male relatives could be jailed for three days. women's rights activists have reacted with dismay. it's the latest hard line edict to be issued by the department known as the ministry for the prevention of vice and promotion of virtue. 0ur afghanistan correspondent, secunder kermani, sent this report from kabul. the clothes afghan women wear have been fiercely debated and fought over. this is a conservative country
and many wear the blue burqa or cover their face. but in big cities, like in this market in kabul, many others choose just to cover their hair. translation: humans are born free. - no—one has the right to talk about women's clothes. at the ministry of prevention of vice and promotion of virtue, the taliban announced the veil would be compulsory. any woman repeatedly not complying could see their male relatives jailed. many women in afghanistan do wear the burqa already, but many others don't — theyjust cover their hair — and they see that as being perfectly in accordance with islamic and afghan values. so, who are you to tell them how they should be dressing? translation: in afghanistan, 99% of women follow - the correct hijab.
the other i%, we request them to implement this decree. this is not our order, but the order of god. when they took power last august, it initially appeared as if the taliban were much less strict than they were 20 years ago. but in recent weeks, their ministry of vice and virtue has been issuing more and more hardline decrees, governing in particular the lives of afghan women. the schools need to be open, there is famine all over this country. there are suicide bombings. there are so many other problems. instead of looking after that, they are always after women. teenage girls have still not been allowed back to school. many worry that the fragile progress made on women's rights here is now unravelling. secunder kermani, bbc news, kabul. earlier i spoke to fatimah hossaini who is an afghan artist. her work has focused on the burqa and women's identity. she told me how she felt
about the taliban's new edict actually, it is exhausting. and now i am so emotional. i don't know what to say. how fast we are back to 20 years ago again and we just went back to the burqa. all the women of afghanistan worked to say that it is not our identity but now the taliban announcement, we just lost our everything. all of this achievement in the past 20 years and i think all the things that international community have done in these 20 years and whatever women of afghanistan have done it was just a joke and it is a disaster. it is a real disaster. well, the taliban government would say that they are upholding cultural and religious values. to what extent are they
supported in that view by people in afghanistan? i mean, of course, afghan women are so religious. i mean, the majority. i mean, i lived there and i can see and i can say that all the women of afghanistan in the last actually past 20 years they had the hijab and they respect the islamic rules but afghan women have always dressed with islamic principles but not an imposed hijab like the burqa. the burqa is an individual choice but it is not something that the taliban announce and teach women in afghanistan have to wear in the streets or how to cover their face. i mean, the problem is not about clothing, actually, she see how they stop women from working or stop women and girls from going back to school or whatever.
this is targeting women in afghanistan. this is a problem and the hijab or whatever they are imposing, it can be another thing. in your art, and specifically in your series burqa behind the steering wheel, you are showing women in a way that they are not able to really be in afghanistan. what with those women want from the international community at a time like this? i mean, with the back behind the steering wheel or the last photograph project that i did in afghanistan the thing that me and all the women that i tried to talk on behalf of them was that the barker or the restrictions on our identity, the women of afghanistan are not always victims. but, i mean, i can say that with this thing,
i just want to say that women in, at this after these 20 years, theyjust don't want to go back to 20 years ago and the desire to have the freedom. they are individual now and they are educated and they are free. they want to be free and they want to be educated. so this is the problem that we really want the international community to pay attention to. let s get some of the day's other news. hong kong s election committe members are expected to formally vote in the region's new chief executve, john lee later.he was the only candidate standing in the leadership poll. the current leader carrie lam who served 5 years in the role announced she was stepping down in april. she oversaw the implementation of a controversial national security law that led to widespread protests. the former brazilian president, luiz inacio lula da silva, has launched his campaign to return to power in 0ctober�*s election. in an address to supporters, the left—wing leader urged brazilians to unite behind him
to defend democracy and defeat the right—wing incumbent, jair bolsonaro. emmanuel macron has been re—inaugurated as president of france, two weeks after his election victory over marine le pen. after the simple ceremony at the elysee palace, mr macron spoke about challenges facing france — including the war in ukraine and climate change. wildfires have broken out in several regions of southern siberia. a state of emergency has been declared in the krasno—yarsk region, after 200 buildings were set ablaze. so far five people are known to have died. you're watching bbc news — a reminder of the headlines. sinn fein secures an historic victory in the northern ireland assembly election — in what could be a watershed for the irish nationalist movement.
ukraine says all women, children and the elderly have now been evacuated from azovstal steel plant in the city of mariupol. let's get more on the situation in ukraine now and both kyiv and moscow say a humanitarian operation to evacuate civilians from the besieged azovstal steelworks in the southern port city of mariupol has been completed. ukrainian fighters — holed up inside — have prevented russian forces from taking complete control of the strategically—importa nt city. many civilians have gone to the city of zaporizhzhia. 0ur correspondent, laura bicker is there. we've heard from ukrainian officials that women and children have been allowed out and they say that all of them have made it out of the steel plant. rememberthese have made it out of the steel plant. remember these are people who had been inside, in the dark, in these maze—like tunnels for more than 60 days. they finally got out, they say. and we had from ukrainian fighter says that on social
media, they have given an idea of how this work. they said there were a white flag is used to signal that their way and the ration signalled back. that would imply a degree of coordination between these two sides. however, overthe last few days there are reports that russia has continued to shell the steel plant and certainly when you have seen some of the pictures we have seen smoke still rising from the spine. there is still around 2000, thought to be 2000 ukrainian fighters inside, hiding those tunnels, who have vowed not to surrender. we have heard from theirfamilies, we have had from their mothers and their wives who have pleaded for them to get out alive. president said today that he was negotiating for their release but now there are fears that now the civilians about what is russia going to do? there is no doubt that winning the entire
part of my people ahead of the mi the ninth victory day celebrations would be hugely symbolic for vladimir putin so so i wondering, now that the civilians are out, what will happen to that plant? and what happens to these fighters? and may be that any negotiations that are under way are a race against time. we have seat that confirmation that women and children have been able to leave. do we know for the people left behind are fighters? adobe meal civilians still left behind? it is hard to know because this operation has been shrouded in secrecy. even the united nations and the red cross are not confirming that this operation has been a success yet. they want to know the civilians are on buses and on their way before they confirm this. we have had the confirmation from the russian defence ministry. it is not known if everybody is out. we've only had so far from the ukrainian officials that they say that women and children
have made their way out and now there is just a fighting force left so i think they will to wait and see exactly what happens over the next few days. certainly that is the information we have had from ukrainian officials that women and children are now out. the first lady of the united statesjill biden has arrived in slovakia, where she plans to meet president zuzana caputova, refugees and aid workers on the slovak—ukraine border. this is part of her larger visit to the region, and is the latest show of us support for ukraine and the countries assisting it. with me to discuss is our news reporter azadeh moshiri, who's been tracking the visit. this is part of a larger trip. what is the goal?- what is the goal? that is riuht. what is the goal? that is right- it _ what is the goal? that is right. it is _ what is the goal? that is right. it is coinciding -
what is the goal? that is| right. it is coinciding with international mother's day on sunday and she met with us servicemen as well as refugees and there is a lot of precedent here for us first lady is to visit troops most recently we had first ladies like hillary clinton and they visit troops abroad but the diplomatic tensions here are quite high given the war in ukraine and for the united states and for the first lady it is important to say the united states as an ally that will support these countries if they need. it is poignant that she did this by meeting with ukrainian mothers and children because doctor abidin herself is an educator and it is particularly apt that she does this alongside the romanian first lady who, like jill biden, is also a teacher. in fact, we can listen to what the first lady said to describe what this visit represents for her country. i am very grateful
that you took the time and make the effort to visit us. we've always loved the americans and we feel safer that they back us up we feel safer that they back us up and we are living now in a very tense situation and that is why it is good it is good to be united. is why it is good it is good to be united-— is why it is good it is good to be united. millions of people have fled _ be united. millions of people have fled ukraine. _ be united. millions of people have fled ukraine. what - be united. millions of people have fled ukraine. what we | be united. millions of people - have fled ukraine. what we know about the situation for refugees likes romania? more than 12 million _ refugees likes romania? more than 12 million refugees - refugees likes romania? more than 12 million refugees have i than 12 million refugees have had to flee ukraine since the invasion began and that includes some who have been internally displaced and these neighbouring countries you've undertaken the most. aside from poland that too can refugees. that is a lot of pressure on a
country like poland. romania has had more than 850,000 ukrainians and to its borders which is why the first lady chose very many as one of the visits and in response, the eu has offered ukrainian refugees the right to work in its member states for up to three years. they access to things like social housing, medical treatments, schools but to quote one ukrainian mother who spoke to first lady biden in romania she said a lot of them are staying in bordering countries because they hope to go back to their country once it is safer. go back to their country once it is safer-— it is safer. that is keeping that many _ it is safer. that is keeping that many people - it is safer. that is keeping that many people are - it is safer. that is keeping i that many people are hoping it is safer. that is keeping - that many people are hoping to get back home but as each day goes by you does not seem like thatis goes by you does not seem like that is getting any closer. i people are losing hope still hoping to be able to go back? based on the conversations with a lot of these mothers and children there still holding out hope while they set up things like schools, some are taught by ukrainian mothers. to
keep up this for their children, they hope that one day these tensions will be resolved. 0f day these tensions will be resolved. of course these measures that the eu is offering is necessary given the sheer amount of refugees who have been displaced but these people did not choose to leave their homes. they had to free and hope as they will go back. the united states has called for the united states has called for northern ireland leaders to return to power sharing. it follows sinn fein�*s historic victory in the election to the northern ireland assembly. it is the first time a nationalist party in northern ireland has won the most seats —
with sinn fein�*s ultimate goal being for northern ireland to leave the uk and become one country with the republic of ireland. hello there. we'll be heading through the remainder of the weekend on a largely dry and settled note before more rain works in from the north—west by monday. for the here and now, this is how we ended saturday evening. beautiful sunset in east ayrshire there, and through the course of sunday, we're looking at another largely dry settled day with some sunny spells around just one or two isolated showers. we've got a weak weather front just trying to nudge in from the north—west, but not really making inroads because high pressure is in charge and that's sitting out to the east. the lowest temperatures first thing sunday morning will be across eastern scotland and eastern england, mid—single figures, but further west most places starting off the day just about
in double figures. any early morning mist and fog will lift fairly quickly and the day will warm up as the sunshine spreads across the uk, a little bit cloudier across the far north—west of the western isles, the northern isles as well. but through the day, fair—weather cloud bubbles up and that mayjust be enough to produce one or two isolated showers for wales, parts of south—west england, northern england into southern scotland. but most places are going to avoid any of those showers, temperatures in the mid teens around the east coast, but we could see 20 degrees inland. sunday evening and overnight into monday now and things remain largely dry and clear again some mist and some fog patches. but you'll notice the cloud thickening from the northwest as this weather front spread some rain into northern ireland and north—west scotland to start off monday morning. mild, breezy and rather damp in the northwest cooler, clearer conditions down towards the south—east. so monday's weather then will be dominated still by high pressure sitting out to the east. but these more active weather fronts are starting to move in from the atlantic. they're going to bring more cloud to northern ireland and scotland with outbreaks of rain really from the word go, heaviest over coasts
and hills in the west, slightly more patchy further east. but much of england and wales keeping the dry weather with some sunny spells. it'll be a little bit warmer, particularly for eastern england, compared to recent days, 20—22 degrees here. but typically the mid teens across scotland and northern ireland. into tuesday and the front tends to make its way further towards the south and the east and then a return to sunny spells and scattered, blustery showers from the northwest. temperatures coming down a little bit in the south, still about 20 degrees or so. typically the mid teens across the north—west of the uk. through the week ahead, then some showers around, especially towards the north and the west. things looking drier, though, further south and east. bye for now.
this is bbc news. the headlines... for the first time, the irish nationalist party sinn fein has won the largest number of seats in northern ireland's assembly. sinn fein wants to take northern ireland out of the united kingdom. its president said that the momentum for change across the island of ireland was now well—established. ukraine and russia say a humanitarian operation to evacuate civilians from the besieged azovstal steelworks in the city of mariupol has been completed. ukraine said that all elderly people, women and children had been taken to safety. president zelensky said they would now seek to evacuate wounded soldiers. the taliban in afghanistan have ordered all women to veil theirfaces when in public, returning the country to the dress code enforced during their previous time in power. they recommend that women wear the all—encompassing burqa.