this is bbc news. our top stories: the us says it's sending more advanced rocket systems and munitions to ukraine to fight against russian forces. it comes as russia pounds the key city of severodonetsk in the east, and as an air strike on a chemical plant releases dangerous gases. translation: given the presence of large-scale chemical _ production in donetsk, the russian army strikes there, including blind air—bombing, arejust crazy. one week after the mass school shooting in texas, we hearfrom parents grieving the loss of their daughter and paying tribute to her talents. and bts, the k—pop supergroup, visits the white house to speak about anti—asian hate
crimes in america. it's a great honour to be invited to the white house tonight to discuss important issues of anti—asian hate crimes, asian inclusion, and diversity. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. president biden has confirmed that the united states will provide ukraine with more advanced rocket systems and munitions, something the ukrainians have long been requesting. mr biden said the weapons would enable ukraine to strike russian targets more precisely on the battlefield. they range will be limited, to ensure they can't be fired into russia itself. meanwhile, a russian air strike has hit a chemical plant
in the embattled city of severodonetsk, the main focus of the russian offensive in the donbas region. residents have been told to stay in bomb shelters to avoid the fumes. tim allman reports. thick, black smoke hangs over the city of severodonetsk. for weeks, it's been a target for the russian military. now, reports of a strike on a chemical plant in a city that has almost been completely destroyed. translation: the direction i of the situation and the donbas is very complicated. given the presence of large—scale chemical production in donetsk the russian army strikes there, including, blind air—bombing. are just crazy. and it's not just severodonetsk. this is the nearby city of slovyansk. this building was hit by a russian missile. a young man was killed in this room. several others were wounded. the situation here is desperate, but the spirit of defiance is still strong.
"liberators try to free us but it's not needed," says this woman, "we live in ukraine, my house is in slovyansk, "it is a ukrainian city and i want to live in ukraine." the war has been raging for more than three months, with claims and counterclaims of war crimes. only a few days ago, a russian tank commander a court in ukraine sentence a russian tank commander to life in prison for killing an unarmed civilian. the international criminal court has begun its own investigation, claiming the whole country is now a crime scene. every day in ukraine, we have an extra 200—300 war crimes. for this moment, we have near 15,000 cases only about war crimes. as fighting continues, so does the desperate exodus of civilians. the war has forced them
to flee their homes. when, or even if, they go back, is anyone's guess. tim allman, bbc news. a lot has been hanging on your should have been taken in the us. i spoke to our correspondent david willis who told us more about these weapons and what they can do. this is all part of the latest military aid package for ukraine. the united states spending about $700 million in total. and this package, including these artillery rocket systems that are capable of hitting with greater precision targets than the ukrainians have been able to hit up to now, giving the ukrainian forces a range of about 80 kilometres — or 50 miles away. now, these were supplied or are to be supplied on the condition that they are
not used to strike into russia. president biden says he got a commitment from the ukrainian president that that would not be the case, but, nonetheless, this is going to worry the russians considerably and, of course, vladimir putin has warned before that he doesn't want to see more and more weapons supplied from the west. it's an interesting sort of dichotomy, isn't it, about the range and obviously this is a more limited range than some of the missiles might have been and the launches might have been. but is that going to escalate tensions between russia and the us or not? well, it's a good question. these weapons have a greater range than the howitzers that the us has been supplying up to now. nonetheless, the us says it will not be sending the sort of ammunition that could be attached to these systems, giving them a much longer range, a range that could go into russia. you made the point about
vladimir putin and he will not, i think, be cheered by the message that the united states has elicited this promise from ukraine that these weapons won't be used to strike into russia. apparently, he mentioned his concerns about the military supplies coming from the west during a telephone call with the leaders of france and germanyjust this saturday. so this could be seen as highly provocative as far as the russians are concerned. just very briefly, it's a vast war chest, as you mentioned at the start, is us public opinion still behind this big spend and this big military effort? it's behind it, but it doesn't want to see — americans in general do not want to see boots on the ground. they support military assistance for ukraine up to that point. but, of course, as far as this is all concerned, opinions of people who have been clouded by issues much closer to home, such as, of course, inflation.
david willis they are. taiwan has deployed fighter jets to ward off 30 warplanes sent by china into its air defence zone, the biggest incursion by beijing since january. monday's incident came after president biden warned china against invading taiwan. beijing claims the self—ruled island of taiwan as its own. actorjohnny depp made an unscheduled appearance at london concert as he awaits the verdict in the defamation trial involving his ex—wife amber heard. he appeared with british guitaristjeff beck at the royal albert hall. it's the pair's second appearance, after playing sheffield on sunday. and bradford has been named as the uk's next city of culture. it will succeed the current holder of the title, coventry, in 2025. the city in west yorkshire has
been hailed for its rich history and diverse community. prime minister borisjohnson said the win builds on the dynamism of the city. canada's federal government has announced an experiment to partially decriminalise the possession of certain hard drugs in the province of british columbia, where overdosing claimed more than 2,000 lives last year. the scheme will start injanuary, and it means adults will be allowed to possess up to a total of 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and other hard drugs. we're joined from pender island off the coast of vancouver by leslie mcbain, co—founder of moms stop the harm, a network of families who have lost people to drug related harms or who struggle with substance use. thank you very much indeed for joining us. i wonder what you make of this initiative. i
joining us. i wonder what you make of this initiative.- make of this initiative. i am very happy _ make of this initiative. i am very happy that _ make of this initiative. i am very happy that our - make of this initiative. i am very happy that our federal| very happy that our federal government was able to see its way to implementing, or will implement as of the end of january 2023, the decriminalisation plan. it is a big step in the right direction. it will help people who use drugs with the stigma associated with people who use drugs, and its historic, there is no two ways about it. can i ask you. _ is no two ways about it. can i ask you. do _ is no two ways about it. can i ask you. do you _ is no two ways about it. can i ask you, do you think, - is no two ways about it. can i | ask you, do you think, leslie, really that it will encourage addicts to come forward, to seek help because it is decriminalising the situation? no, i actually don't, it may over a great deal of time, but this amount that they are allowed to carry, illegal,
illicit drugs, 2.5 g, is very, very small, so it's not going to make a big difference to people who are dependent on drugs, for instance. people are still going to access the drugs they need. the 2.5 g is such a low threshold that it may have unintended consequences, so we aren't, as advocates, not that happy about the 2.5 g. we wish it was higher and we will continue to have dialogue with the different levels of government about that amount, but the decriminalisation itself is — hopefully, it will roll across the country. yeah, you speak with experience of the worst kind. you lost your son, of the worst kind. you lost yourson, i understand. 2.5 of the worst kind. you lost your son, i understand. 2.5g to him, what would that have meant? i don't know, i actually don't know. he was, in his last days he was addicted to pharmaceutical drugs, such as 0xycontin or oxycodone as we
had here. he wasn't using the street supply. he probably would not have been carrying a lot of drugs, so his story is a little bit different, but his death because of addiction is what inspired me, i guess, to get into this work. 4000 and thousands of other people who are dependent on drugs or who use drugs for recreation, or experiment. the 2.5 g will be helpful to some, so, as i say crosstalk. and you know what the other side of the argument is, which is, don't decriminalise because you just encourage. how do you respond to that? i think that's a false narrative, i think that people who are going to use drugs are going to use them whether there is decriminalisation and a 2.5 9 is decriminalisation and a 2.5 g threshold or not. they will use it but this will not increase — it is not as though people will rush out to get drugs, 2.5g people will rush out to get
drugs, 2.5 g of drugs because it's not illegal to carry that much. that isn't how decisions on drug use are made. it's more about self—medicating, it's more about sometimes just getting high and relaxing, so, as in other countries like portugal and switzerland, they are opening up their policies and it hasn't increased drug use, it has in fact gone down quite a way. we shall watch with great interest in how this develops. leslie, thank you very much indeed forjoining us and explaining that to us. you are very welcome. the first funerals for the 19 children and two adults killed in a school shooting in uvalde, texas, have taken place, one week on from the shooting. president biden vowed action on gun reform on sunday. will grant has been speaking to one of the families left to cope with scarcely imaginable grief. there is grief and then there is the grief of losing a child.
quietly weeping. come on, ok. further still, the grief of losing a child in these most awful of circumstances. she was just loved. alithia ramirez was one of the 19 children killed by a gunman inside her classroom, as an ordinary school day at uvalde descended into horror. a week on, her parents, jess and ryan, are still struggling to comprehend their loss. i haven't able to, like, eat or sleep or drink and it's just affecting me really, really bad. like, she's my— she was my best friend and she looked a lot like me. i would always tell her like, you know, she is my twin and she would always smile. and it'sjust been really, really hard on me. how can you move on from that? how can you get over that moment? this is a parent's nightmare. this is the worst of the worst.
a talented artist, alithia's bedroom is full of her awards, especially for drawing. compounding her parents�* grief is their anger over how the police let the gunman spend more than an hour in the school before they shot him. i don't understand how... you know, police officers, they're sworn to protect and they're outside the room and just hearing gunshots, kids screaming. you know, go in there, save those kids. on sunday, president biden came to uvalde to pay his respects and meet the victims�* families. ryan told him alithia was an artist, and mr biden asked if he could have one of her pictures to hang in the white house. he did say that, "whenever we hang it up, we're "going to send you a picture where it's hanging, and you're "free to see it any time."
there's something special that she put her heart into it, and it's there hanging in the white house. after the darkest week in its history, uvalde must now bury its victims, a community heartbroken over the senseless murder of alithia, 18 of her class—mates and her two teachers. will grant, bbc news, uvalde. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: queen elizabeth meeting her prime ministers, we report on the mystique of the weekly audience. the queen and her husband began their royal progress to westminster. the moment of crowning, in accordance with the order
of service, by a signal given, the great guns of the tower. tributes have been paid around the world to muhammad ali, who has died at the age of 74. outspoken but rarely outfought, ali transcended the sport of boxing, of which he was three times world champion. he was a good fighter. he fought all the way to the . end, even through his illness. yes, he did. uefa imposes an indefinite ban on english clubs playing in europe. today is the 20th anniversary of the release of the beatles�* lp sgt pepper's lonely hearts club band, a record described as the album of the century.
hello again. this is bbc world news, the main story this hour: president biden promises ukraine more advanced rocket systems and munitions — after a russian air strike hit a chemical plant in the embattled city of severodonetsk — releasing a cloud of dangerous gas. they are one of the biggest bands in the world and earlier the k—pop powerhouse bts came to the white house to raise the issue of hate crimes against asian—americans. it isa it is a great honour to be invited to the white house to discuss the important issues of anti— asian hate crimes. after a brief press conference, the group met president biden, to discuss the issue. the k—pop phenomenon are well known for using their music and enormous fan base to speak
out on important social issues. anti—asian racism has surged since the start of the pandemic in the us. in the past year alone, one—in—ten asian americans have been coughed on or spat on, and nearly one—in—three have been told to "go back to your country." marita etcubanez is the senior director of the anti—asian hate initiative at asian americans advancing justice. she's in los angeles. thanks very much indeed for joining us. how big a deal is it to have bts on side? it’s it to have bts on side? it's cetera tender _ it to have bts on side? it's cetera tender steel. - it to have bts on side? it�*s cetera tender steel. we know that bts is tremendously popular, they enjoy an enormous influence. and we really appreciate their efforts to draw attention to this issue that impacts notjust that impacts not just asian—americans, that impacts notjust asian—americans, but people of asian—americans, but people of asian descent across the world.
yeah, and when i look at the figures, it is a pretty stark message to be taking out there. absolutely. according to fbi statistics in the united states, anti— asian hate crimes grew by 79% between 2019—2020. various community websites including ours and have received more than 12,000 individual reports from community members talking about hate crimes and hate incidents that they have enjoyed. but even with these alarming numbers, we know that this is still only the tip of the iceberg, because we know that hate crimes and hate incidents are chronically underreported. so even with these troubling numbers, we still don't have a full sense of how our community has been impacted during the pandemic. d0 has been impacted during the pandemic— has been impacted during the andemic. ~ ., ., ., pandemic. do you think a lot of asian-americans _ pandemic. do you think a lot of asian-americans are _ pandemic. do you think a lot of asian-americans are just - asian—americans are just tolerating people being rude to them, for example? they see it
as part of, unfortunately, our daily way of life? i as part of, unfortunately, our daily way of life?— daily way of life? i think there is _ daily way of life? i think there is something - daily way of life? i think there is something to i daily way of life? i think. there is something to that. daily way of life? i think- there is something to that. i think also people might not know where they can report, where they can find help. so thatis where they can find help. so that is certainly something that is certainly something that my organisation, asian americans are against injustice encourages people to do, to report and share their stories to help us better understand what is happening in communities and informs our advocacy efforts. i communities and informs our advocacy efforts.— advocacy efforts. i think it is fair to say — advocacy efforts. i think it is fair to say it _ advocacy efforts. i think it is fair to say it is _ advocacy efforts. i think it is fair to say it is a _ advocacy efforts. i think it is fair to say it is a much - fair to say it is a much underreported issue compared to many others. but what is your goal, if you like? are you looking, what are you looking for beyond telling people, please don't behave like this? well, we are an organisation based in washington, dc that is focused on federal policy advocacy. we are working to influence changes in laws, changes in policies to better keep our community safe and we work very closely with other national civil rights organisations in the united
states. so that is something we also encourage people to do is to get involved with community organisations, in their local communities, that are working against hate, working the broader racialjustice and help get involved in speaking up for what you think your community needs to be safe.— needs to be safe. well, it is auoin needs to be safe. well, it is going to _ needs to be safe. well, it is going to help _ needs to be safe. well, it is going to help having - needs to be safe. well, it is going to help having the - needs to be safe. well, it is i going to help having the likes of bts on side.— going to help having the likes of bts on side. thank you very much indeed. _ of bts on side. thank you very much indeed. thank— of bts on side. thank you very much indeed. thank you. - another meeting for us presidentjoe biden — he's told new zealand prime ministerjacinda ardern that he wants her advice on tackling growing gun violence. the pair met at the white house to discuss a range of issues, including climate change and the pacific. biden noted new zealand's response to the 2019 christchurch shooting, a ban on military style rifles, and called for their guidance. the us president also promised he would meet with congress on the gun control issue. in a record 70 years on the throne, britain's queen
elizabeth has dealt with no fewer than 14 prime ministers, starting with winston churchill, right through to borisjohnson. just one aspect of that is the weekly audience between monarch and prime minister, as vicki young reports. the queen and her prime ministers. this was a reunion organised in the 1990s. head of state and head of government appear side—by—side for dozens of public events, but the relationship is forged behind closed doors — weekly meetings at the palace... nice to see you again. lovely to see you again. ..that we only get a glimpse of. the queen's views are kept private, political neutrality carefully adhered to, her words written by her prime ministers. i pray that the blessing of almighty god may rest upon your counsels. her first was winston churchill. he was protective of this new young sovereign who had so much to learn. archive: now, upon the shoulders of sir anthony falls the role of the queen's
first minister. after churchill came anthony eden, whose decision to send troops to suez in 1956 brought national humiliation. in 1964, harold wilson became the queen's first labour prime minister. she does her homework, i hadn't done mine. i hadn't read a particular cabinet committee, which i didn't chair, and i was leaving for the weekend. she knew i hadn't done my homework, she was very nice about it. the queen's constitutional right is to be kept informed of government policy — she offers encouragement and advice. every prime minister, i would guess, from talking with other prime ministers and from my own experience, has the greatest friendliness from the queen. on rare occasions, the queen has very subtly aired her views, like this speech where mr callaghan's government was considering devolution. i cannot forget that i was crowned queen of the united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland. good evening, your majesty. you've had a very long day...
when margaret thatcher became britain's first female prime minister, there were reports that the queen privately disapproved of the government's social agenda. but the iron lady played down suggestions of a serious rift. even if she did say it, all right, she may have felt something, but there was never any difficulty in saying anything to me. any difficulty at all. every year, there's a royal invitation to balmoral — matters of state discussed over a cup of tea. in the years that i came to know her as prime minister, prime ministers had private meetings with the queen each week, she invariably looks forward. tony blair certainly appreciated the queen's advice after his landslide victory for labour. even though i was the politician and she was the monarch, ifound her notjust useful, but sometimes deeply insightful. it's very good to welcome you here... when you have to explain what you're trying to achieve, it's a very good form of therapy.
imagine doing that to the world's greatest public servant who's seen it all and heard it all. there's really no better way of getting your head straight about what you're trying to do. 14 prime ministers — 14 very different politicians with their own visions, worries and agendas. for seven decades, the queen has worked with all of them, a monarch at the heart of a democratic constitution — advising, encouraging and warning, providing continuity as each new political tide swept in. vicki young, bbc news. and before we go, we have news of ancient egypt, the latest trove of ancient artifacts unearthed near the great pyramids by cairo have been put on show, including statuettes of egyptian gods and godesses, and more than 250 wooden coffins with mummies inside them. now these treasures will be moved to the grand egyptian
museum, which authorities hope to open near cairo's giza pyramids later this year. is bbc news. hello. a new month starts with very similar weather. after tuesday's big cloud, showers and thunderstorms, umbrellas at the ready for wednesday. the showers probably not as widespread, but there will still be some heavy ones around, with warmer sunny spells in between. low pressure's still close by. high pressure's trying to build in, and although that may be in time for the platinum jubilee weekend, there are some complications, as we'll see in a moment. this is how we start off wednesday morning, low single figures in the chilliest, clearest spots. an area of rain pulling out of wales, into the midlands, and then just turning into another batch of showers as it bears down on south—eastern areas. now, many other places will start the day dry with sunny spells. cloud's going to build, scattered and at times heavy showers break out through central, southern parts of scotland, northern, central and eastern
areas of england in particular, maybe with a rumble of thunder. not many showers at all for northern ireland, northern scotland and for wales and the south—west, becoming mainly dry at the end of the afternoon, and a day where temperatures are a little bit higher than they've been. and in fact, a lot of fine weather to end the day. overnight and into thursday, increasing cloud towards northern ireland here. there's a weather system from the atlantic trying to feed in. ahead of that, clear spells with some patchy fog around and another rather chilly start to the day for thursday, the first, of course, of this long holiday weekend. and outbreaks of rain look as if they're going to push in very gradually towards northern ireland on thursday. ahead of that, a few showers breaking out across scotland and northern england, whereas the further south you are in england and through wales, stays largely dry. temperatures are a bit higher than they've been — we're talking high teens and low 20s. in the sunshine, it will feel warmer. what's moved into northern ireland by friday will be a batch of showers across mainly central areas, but some breaking out towards wales and south—west england as well. and away from these,
still some pleasantly warm sunny spells to be had. keeping things a bit cooler along north sea coasts with an onshore breeze. it will get stronger over the weekend, as we look to the south, to an area of low pressure throwing in some heavy and thundery showers through parts of england and wales saturday into sunday, whereas closer to high pressure, northern ireland and scotland stay mainly dry with the sunniest and the warmest weather for saturday and sunday. so from thursday onwards, yes, warmer, sunny spells, but if you've got outdoor plans — and, of course, there are street parties to be had — factor in, there will be some occasional downpours here and there.
this is bbc news. the headlines: president biden has confirmed that the united states will provide ukraine with more advanced rocket systems and munitions, something the ukrainians have long been requesting. meanwhile, a russian air strike has hit a chemical plant in the embattled city of severodonetsk in the east, releasing a cloud of dangerous gas. the prosecutor of the international criminal court karim khan, has described ukraine as a crime scene, and said the tribunal was carrying out its largest ever investigation there. he warned against sacrificing the rule of law, saying defending it was essential for peace and security throughout the world. the first funeral has taken place in uvalde, texas, a week after 19 children