for viewers in the uk and around the world. live scenes from sydney in australia, as polls are open in the country's general elections — the opposition labor party hoping to end nine years of conservative rule. the commander of ukraine's azov regiment says his soldiers have finally ended their defence of the devastated port city of mariupol. russia intensifies its bombardment of the eastern donbas region. ukraine's president volodomyr zelensky says the area is completely destroyed. players are trying to further strengthen their hold of the donbas. it is hell and that is not an overstatement. risking their lives to escape — how an easing of us sanctions
comes amid an exodus of cubans trying to reach america. dancing trying to reach america. onto the red carpet, we look dancing onto the red carpet, we look at how the cannes film festival is looking at the end of its first week on the french riviera. polls have just opened in australia's general election to decide who will be the next prime minister. these are live pictures from a polling station in sydney. the race is between the incumbent scott morrison and his rival, the labor leader anthony albanese. whoever wins have tough challenges ahead — the cost of living crisis is squeezing households, and many say climate change is making some parts of australia unliveable. more than 17 million people are enrolled to vote — which is compulsory for over—18s. the bbc�*s shaimaa khalil joins us now from sydney.
the polls have just opened, looking brisk so far? welcome to this polling _ looking brisk so far? welcome to this polling station - looking brisk so far? welcome to this polling station near- to this polling station near the famous bondi beach, you can't see the surfers, but they have been up for hours. and so were the swimmers. some came to line up in their swimsuits. they are not the only ones early, the voters have been casting ballots, and it's getting really busy now. before we talk about the politics, let's get closer to the action. the famous democracy sausage station. this is what voters get before and after casting their ballots. a big tradition here. a voter told me it's much sweeter once you have voted,
because you feel you have done something. as you said, many issues in this election. the two most prominent have been the economy and climate change. the government, scott morrison and his coalition, have been urging voters to stick with them. they argue that they are them. they argue that they are the better economy managers, even though australians are really feeling the bite of the rising cost of living. and of course the rising interest rates that affect home—buyers and those with mortgages. the opposition say it is time for a change, that they have had time and australians are worse off. the other issue many are talking about is climate change. one of the country's most crucial issues, australia having lived through big climate disasters, the catastrophic bushfires and
floods, it has almost been absent from the campaign because it is politically very divisive. both major parties have steered clear. independent candidates becoming the biggest story, they have made it an integral part of their policy and campaigning, and they are proving to be a real threat to safe seats like this one for the governing coalition. scott morrison. _ the governing coalition. scott morrison, an _ the governing coalition. scott morrison, an extremely - the governing coalition. scott morrison, an extremely divisive figure. he has admitted to the public that he has been unpopular. public that he has been unp°pular-_ public that he has been unpopular. public that he has been un--oular. ~ ., unpopular. look, ithink what is really interesting _ unpopular. look, ithink what is really interesting in - unpopular. look, ithink what is really interesting in this - is really interesting in this campaign is, even though there are many issues will australians to think about, which they have worried about, what it has turned out to be is almost a vote on the two leaders' characters, scott
morrison and anthony albanese. according to the polls, albanese is leading, and labour are set to win, but the polls have been wrong before. in terms of image, scott morrison is the more experienced campaigner, he has always projected the image of the trustworthy figure. but the trustworthy figure. but the trust has been eroding for the voters. many saying he hasjust not been there when they needed him, especially with the natural disasters. anthony albanese, a very experienced politician, but hejust albanese, a very experienced politician, but he just hasn't been as visible as scott morrison. it will be a very close election. the independents may hold the balance of power.— independents may hold the balance of power. the russian defence ministry says its forces are in complete control of the vast steelworks in the port of mariupol, following the surrender
of the ukrainian soldiers defending it. fighters from the azov regiment were holed up inside the plant for weeks, while the city suffered constant bombardment. meanwhile, the president of ukraine volodymyr zelensky has said that the donbas region in the east of the country has been completely destroyed. he said it was like "hell". jeremy bowen has the latest. explosions. the russians are shelling severodonetsk, as they try to encircle it. more than 100,000 people lived in the city before the invasion. now, it's one of russia's biggest targets. this is russia using the methods it perfected in syria and chechnya. heavy bombardment to try to break the will of its opponents. ukrainian rescue crews can still operate to reach civilians who need to get out.
day by day, family by family, russia is grinding forward. it is a long way to safety, down roads out of severodonetsk that the russians are shelling. they're trying to cut the city off from support, rescue and reinforcement. children here were born into a war. ukrainians have been fighting russian—backed separatists in donbas since 2014. in moscow, sergei shoigu, the defence minister, held a made—for—tv briefing, designed to back the kremlin�*s message that russia is winning. the minister said their advancing forces would soon take all of luhansk, which is one half of donbas, including severodonetsk. ukrainian combat engineers
are trying to slow down the russian advance, laying charges to blow this bridge on a strategic road. explosion. president zelensky started with his good news. translation: the ukrainian i armed forces continue to make progress in liberating the kharkiv region, but the occupiers are trying to further strengthen the pressure in the donbas. it's hell and that's not an overstatement. bombardment of severodonetsk is brutal and meaningless. ukraine's defences in donbas are creaking — they're still not breaking. away from the front lines, life goes on in ukrainian cities. in the end, the outcome of this war depends on ukrainian resilience, on the amount of help its army gets from nato, and president putin's determination to fight on —
whatever the cost to russia. jeremy bowen, bbc news, dnipro. let's go to the port city of mariupol now, where ukrainian soldiers holed up at the steel plant have now surrendered. their commander posted this message online. translation: the higher. military leadership has given an order to save lives and preserve the well—being of the servicemen of the garrison, and cease defending the city. despite heavy fighting, defending while being encircled and the lack of resupplying, we kept reiterating the three conditions most important to us — namely civilians, wounded, and those who have been killed in action. we managed to evacuate the civilians, the wounded received the necessary medical treatment. as for those fallen heroes, the process is ongoing. there are concerns about the fate of the about 2,000 soldiers who have surrendered.
more from the bbc�*s joe inwood, in lviv. that number of 2,000, there have been a lot of uncertainty about the total numbers that were still in the plant over the last couple of weeks but actually it seems the figures we have been getting were accurate. they have come out in drips and we see some cuts hospital facilities and others taken to detention camps essentially. but we understand now that leaders have come out and what we can say is finally the resistance is over. the next question is what happens to them. there had been initially a suggestion that this was going to be a prisoner exchange and they were going to go one way back to ukrainian territory and the russians would get some of their prisoners in return. over the last few days, we've heard talk in this state duma, questions over whether they should be treated as prisoners of war or they should be treated as war criminals. that would be a very different thing indeed and that would make any future compromises of this kind very difficult.
there was even one man who was a member of the negotiating team who suggested the death penalty should be reintroduced for members of the azov battalion. so it could be and with all the speculation at this point it could be we see some other fighters being treated one way and others being treated in a very different fashion. the united states has told the uk and the european union to "lower the temperature" in their dispute over the post—brexit trading rules in northern ireland. the senior state department official, derek chollet, warned that the row risked undermining western unity over ukraine. the uk has threatened to unilaterally override elements of the northern ireland protocol it agreed as part of the brexit deal — a move strongly opposed by the eu. we really want to see this resolved. the last thing we believe that we need collectively is a big fight between the uk and the eu, at a moment where we need to be showing a message of unity.
so we hope that this issue is resolved, we hope that both sides refrain from unilateral acts and that they find a way to lower the temperature and resolve this issue. to put this all into context, here's our diplomatic correspondent james landale. what is interesting is that you have got nancy pelosi from the us congress and other congressional members coming to the uk in the coming days, and their message is yes, we are concerned about what the british government is up to with the protocol and post—brexit trade rules and the impact that might have on the future us—uk trade deal, and others are saying it's not going to happen. what he was saying is a different point. he was saying now is not the moment for the uk and the european union to be at odds over a trade issue involving northern ireland. he's not going to the heart of the issue and saying
there are concerns which are the other wider concerns that this might have an impact. it might have an impact on businesses or the unity of the united kingdom or peace and stability in northern ireland. he is saying there is another concern and that this is a moment to use his words, president putin is looking for any opportunity for a fraying of the western alliance and it's potentially one of those. he is saying with the full force of the united states, don't do this. calm it down, lower the temperature he says, no unilateral acts and resolve it as soon as possible. it's a clear message from washington to london and brussels. more cases of monkeypox have been reported across the world with two new cases in australia from travellers who recently returned from europe, and several cases also found across north america and canada. the uk has a total of 20 cases, while portugal has five and spain has identified seven. our medical editor fergus walsh has more on this virus.
it has been around for more than 50 years, usually cases are in west and central africa, but we have had scores in this current outbreak in europe and north america. symptoms start with a fever, a headache, and then a rash on the face or generals, it lead to blisters and scams, so it can be confused with chickenpox. it usually clears up of its own accord into— for weeks. how do you catch it? it does not spread easily, it is not another covid. you require close physical contact with an infected person. skin to skin contact, exposure to blisters or scabs, contact, exposure to blisters orscabs, perhaps contact, exposure to blisters or scabs, perhaps touching clothing or bedding from an infected person. the uk health security agency said a significant proportion of recent cases have been among
93)’ recent cases have been among gay and bisexual men, and it has urged them to be alert to the symptoms. there is a vaccine effective at preventing both monkeypox and smallpox, which has been eradicated. sajid javid said today the uk had to give more doses. some staff in sexual _ had to give more doses. some staff in sexual health - had to give more doses. some staff in sexual health clinics i staff in sexual health clinics have already received the vaccine. stay with us. still to come, we tell you how wimbledon is feeling the repercussions after its decision to ban russian players from the championship this year. this morning, an indian air force plane carrying mr gandhi's body landed in delhi. the president of india walked to the plane to solemnly witness mr gandhi's final return from the political battlefield. ireland has voted overwhelmingly in favour of gay marriage. in doing so, it has been come the first country in the world to approve the change in a national referendum.
it was a remarkable climax to what was surely the most extraordinary funeral ever given to a pop singer. it's been a peaceful demonstration so far but suddenly the police are tear gassing the cloud, we don't yet know why. the prelaunch ritual is well established here. helen was said to be in good spirits butjust a little apprehensive. in the last hour, east timor has become the world's newest nation. it was a bloody birth for a poor country and the challenges ahead are daunting, but for now at least it is time to celebrate. this is bbc news, the latest headlines. polls are open in australia's general election, with the opposition labor party hoping to end nine years of conservative rule. the commander of ukraine's azov regiment says his soldiers have finally ended their defence of the devastated port city of mariupol.
earlier this week, the biden administration announced that it's easing some sanctions on cuba and plans to increase consular services on the island. the move will mean that thousands of cubans should be able to obtain a family reunification visa and more flights between the us and cuba will be reinstated. it comes as the communist—run island is experiencing its biggest exodus since the cold war. in havana, our cuba correspondent, will grant, met one man who has risked everything to flee. translation: i've experienced some bad, bad moments, - really bad, with no compass, no gps, almost knocked overboard. but thanks to god, i am still alive. ronald hernandez�*s story is one of grit, persistence and unwavering determination. on the seven different occasions, the cuban fisherman has attempted to reach the united states in boats barely more seaworthy than the one he fishes in,
made of polystyrene and wood. and seven times, he has been picked up at sea by the coastguard and returned to cuba. his latest attempt, his pregnant wife with him, was the closest yet. translation: two miles. about three months ago. | i was just a few kilometres from the shore at about ten o'clock at night. the sun came up and my motor gave out. you could almost smell the united states, it was so close. i've been as close as 300 metres from the shoreline on board the coastguard's boat. cubans have been leaving cuba for decades. the outward migration and the brain drain is nothing new for the island's communist leadership. but the current dire economic circumstances means that this exodus is more acute than it has been for many years, and authorities, both here and in the united states, are doing little to curtail it, including the most treacherous journeys across
the florida straits. with 16,500 cubans detained at the us southern border in february alone, many compare this exodus to the mariel boatlift in 1980, when fidel castro said anyone who wanted to leave the island could do. in total, 125,000 cubans fled that year. today, though, most aren't crossing by sea. rather, they are trying to reach nicaragua, which requires no entry visa for cubans, and then they make their dangerous trek over land to the us—mexico border. the cuban government recently held its first may day parade after the last two were suspended because of covid. but despite the chants and placards, the revolution is ailing, unable to provide for its people as once it could, weakened by tougher us sanctions and deep government incompetence. thousands of young people see
little option but to leave. the cuban government, unsurprisingly, blames washington for the current exodus. translation: with their policies and propaganda, | their legal tools and their migration rules, the us government fuels illegal immigration by granting special status to undocumented cuban migrants. it is barefaced political manipulation. ronald hernandez personifies the lengths that so many thousands of cubans are prepared to go to in order to reach the us. even after seven failed attempts, desperate measures in what are certainly desperate times in cuba. will grant, bbc news, havana. wimbledon has been stripped of its atp and wta ranking points following its decision to ban russian and belarusian
players from competing at this summer's championships, because of the war in ukraine. players will now receive no ranking points for taking part in wimbledon. bbc sport's lizzie greenwood—hughes told me more. the background is the all english lawn tennis association decided to ban russian and belarusian athletes from wimbledon in response to what is happening in ukraine. they decided to do that. it didn't go down particularly well with the atp or the wta, and they said in their statement that they didn't really want to have to do this but they said they saw no option but to remove atp ranking points from wimbledon for 2022. the event to you and i would be exactly the same, it
will still have the big names except the russians and melanesians, including world number two daniil medvedev, but the players wouldn't gain any more ranking points, so it is more ranking points, so it is more like an exhibition event, affiliated to the world tours. —— the bell illusions. it hasn't gone down well with wimbledon, they say they are deeply disappointed and they called it disproportionate in the context of the exceptional circumstances and damaging to players competing on the tour. the atp felt they had no choice but to bring in some sort of sanction because they didn't agree with the decision by the lawn tennis association to ban all russian athletes and those from belarus from all grass court tournaments. this doesn't affect queens, nottingham, birmingham, the other grass court tournaments, it is just wimbledon. us presidentjoe biden
continues his visit to south korea on his first trip to the asian continent. he will also travel to japan. the purpose of his visit is to strengthen alliances in the region to counter china's rise. but his efforts are in danger of being overshadowed. china is holding military exercises in the disputed south china sea. and the white house is bracing itself for the possibility that north korea could launch a missile or nuclear test. the 12—day cannes film festival — one of the biggest events in the movie industry calendar — is coming to the end of its first week. the organisers have been hoping to see a return to normal after covid—19 forced the cancellation of the festival in 2020 and its postponement last year. tom brook reports from the french riviera. iam very i am very happy to report there is a festive atmosphere in cannes this year, very normal, quite different to the past. very little talk of covid—19. one of the biggest events this week was the arrival in the building behind me of tom cruise, who came here to
promote his new hollywood film top gun maverick, i was very impressed by the film—making, some of the content needs a bit to be desired but it made a big impact, it got a standing ovation. the festival people gave him an honorary palme d'or, the highest award of the festival. that was for his body of work over the past a0 years. but cannes isn'tjust about hollywood stars, it is also about serious international cinema. one of the finest films i saw was called tchaikovsky's wife, made by a russian dissident film—maker, about the contortions people in tchaikovsky's live made to deny he was a gay man. some very sobering films in cannes, the war in ukraine continues to be an ongoing feature of the
festival. this morning i saw a documentary shot in a rather tragic way by a lithuanian film—maker who was killed, allegedly by russian forces, in april. his fiancee smuggled out the footage and they assembled the footage and they assembled the film. it is the grim portrait of a community living amid devastation. you come to cannes, you watch a film like that, beautiful mediterranean sunshine, cappuccinos, baguettes, and you are in a different world.— different world. it is certainly _ different world. it is certainly a - different world. it is certainly a lively, i certainly a lively, inspirational atmosphere. and i have to say, as an assignment as a journalist, i treasure coming here. iam as a journalist, i treasure coming here. i am sure you do, tom! lucky him, on the french riviera. that is it for the
moment. the weekend not looking too bad. some sunshine, feeling pleasantly warm, but we have some scattered showers in the forecast. in fact, some scattered showers in the forecast. infact, it some scattered showers in the forecast. in fact, it will end “p forecast. in fact, it will end up fairly cloudy in northern ireland and western scotland, eventually late on saturday. the clouds have been clearing overnight. into the early hours of saturday morning. it is largely clear across the uk. some missed and mucked around coasts in the south—west. just a few showers in the western isles and may be central scotland. other than that, mostly sunny from the word go. temperatures 9—11. saturday morning, largely bright and sunny across england and wales.
northern ireland and western scotland, it will cloud over with some rain. apm, the best of the weather across england and wales. temperatures 21. the chance of a shower, outside chance. most of the cloud in northern ireland, south—western and western scotland. some rain as well. although the north will have sunny spells, maybe aberdeenshire. around 17 degrees. through the afternoon, progressively wetter in the western isles. further south, in england and wales. on sunday, we will see a weather front brushing north—western uk, the south and south—east just under the influence of high pressure sitting around holland and germany. some
warmth spread in our direction, so temperatures will rise a bit. across the south and the south—east. north—western and western areas, though, will remain cool. the atlantic breeze, weatherfronts remain cool. the atlantic breeze, weather fronts coming in, showers, 15—16 at best. but in, showers, 15—16 at best. but in london and the south—east, temperatures could reach 23. next week stays relatively settled in the extreme south—east. many areas, it is a case of sunshine and showers.
this is bbc news. the headlines... polls are open in australia's general election, with the opposition labor party hoping to end nine years of conservative rule. voters will choose between the incumbent scott morrison and his rival, the labor leader, anthony albanese. whoever wins has tough challenges ahead, including the cost of living and climate change. the commander of ukraine's azov regiment says his soldiers have finally ended their defence of the devastated port city of mariupol. the russian defence ministry says its forces are in complete control of the vast steelworks there. fighters from the azov regiment were holed up inside the plant for weeks, while the city suffered constant bombardment. the united states has told the uk and the european union to "lower the temperature" in their dispute over the post—brexit trading rules in northern ireland.