this is bbc news. our top stories: gun control measures are once again approved by the us house of representatives, but they're unlikely to become law. it comes after a harrowing day of testimony. he shot... he shot my friend. renewed bombardment of ukraine's second largest city, kharkiv, as severodonetsk in the donbas region also comes under heavy fire. gymnast simone biles and dozens of other athletes sue the fbi for failing to stop convicted sex abuser larry nassar. and on his first trip to the democratic republic of the congo, king philippe of belgium returns a priceless
kakungu mask, taken out of the country before independence in 1960. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. the issue of gun control in the us and what to do about it has challenged us lawmakers for years. today, as they heard searing testimony from victims and their families of the recent mass shooting in texas, the house of representatives approved a series of measures aimed at regulating the sale of guns. but the proposals do not have the 60 votes they would need for approval in the senate, and hence are likely to go nowhere — underlining the challenge politicians face. our north america editor sarah smith was watching the testimony. we should warn you, her report contains some graphic content which some may find distressing. this is the last photograph
of lexi rubio, getting a school prize just hours before she was shot dead, the last time her parents saw her. we don't want you to think of lexi as just a number. she was intelligent, compassionate and athletic. she was quiet, shy, unless she had a point to make. when she knew was right, as she so often was, she stood her ground. kimberly rubio is demanding lawmakers take action on gun control to ban assault weapons like the one used in uvalde, texas. so today we stand for lexi, and as her voice we demand action. we seek a ban on assault rifles and high—capacity magazines. we understand that, for some reason, to some people — to people with money, to people who fund political campaigns — that guns are more important than children. so at this moment, we ask for progress.
miah cerrillo was in the classroom when the gunman burst in. in this video recorded for the committee, she told them what happened. as the shooting continued, she smeared herself in the blood of a classmate to pretend she was dead. dr roy guerrero described the horror of seeing the first young casualties arrive at the hospital. but what i did find was something no prayer will ever relieve. two children whose bodies had been pulverised by bullets fired at them, decapitated, whose flesh had been ripped apart, that the only clue of their identities was their blood
splattered cartoon clothes still clinging to them. clinging for life and finding none. the tragedy in uvalde has provoked a nationwide conversation about gun control. there are cross—party talks going on about new laws, but any legislation they can agree on will fall far short of what is being demanded. there will not be a ban on assault weapons. they can't even agree on raising the legal minimum age to buy one from 18 to 21. president biden is powerless to do anything about gun control without the support of at least some republicans. so despite an epidemic of mass shootings across america, nearly 250 already this year, any significant reform remains highly unlikely. sarah smith, bbc news, washington. earlier, we werejoined by the director of monmouth university polling institute, patrick murray. we asked where americans stand on the gun control. it really depends on how you ask the question. there are a number of different particular proposals that are out there that have widespread support, at least
three quarters or up to 90%. these are things like background checks, red flag laws which are the laws where you can go to a judge and petition to have somebody who you feel is a threat themselves or to society not be able to own a gun and raising the age to 21 to buy a gun. those are things that pretty much there is widespread support on. the question is, does support turn into a demand? and that is where things fall apart and there are a lot of republicans out there, particularly republican lawmakers who feel that there's not enough pressure on them that they feel that they need to do that. so you say in general most americans do support some kind of form of gun control but when it gets to the specifics and semantics, that's where it gets complicated? yes, because it becomes a question about fundamental rights. it is very difficult to explain this to a european audience, but it is built into
the american psyche. it is the second amendment of our constitution, the right to bear arms. the reasons for it are to have a militia that is able to be called up very quickly in case we are attacked, as was a threat 250 years ago, but it becomes built into our psyche, the idea of the wild west being tamed by people with guns, this is an idea that is very hard to get people, they see the common sense of it but at the end of the day, you appeal to their base americanism and there are a number of people who say you know, we might not be able to change this or we have be careful that is not a threat to our fundamental right to own a gun. built into the american psyche, of course, but also built into the american psyche as surely some natural instinct in terms of when there are mass shootings day after day after day, that begins to change, surely? you would wish. but we've seen too many of these and things haven't changed, and that's
what it comes down to, is that there is enough folks in the middle who support these measures but won't go to the mat for them and what i mean by that is that they look at what's happening around the world and they kind of dismiss it and say, sorry, not around the world, around this country, and they say well it's probably not going to happen in my neighbourhood or i'll be immune and that is what it is coming down to is, i think most americans really don't fully understand how much of an epidemic gun violence is here, relative to almost every other country in the western world and so that is why americans are kind of blinkered. when we do our polling on them, theyjust don't really understand how different it is here in america than it is everywhere else. ukraine's second city of kharkiv has come under renewed attack with a number of russian missile strikes over the past 2a hours.
although russia's main focus remains the donbas region further south, kharkiv, isjust 20 miles from the border, and the strikes have raised concerns that it could again become a target for intensive russian artillery fire. wirra davies has this report from the city. after a relatively benign few weeks, kharkiv has again become the focus of russian attacks. a late—night missile strike on this shopping centre in the eastern suburbs caused considerable damage, but no casualties. elsewhere in the city, a man was reportedly killed and several others injured in another bombing. explosions. right at the start of this war, as russian troops invaded, there was intense fighting around kharkiv, a key russian objective. ukraine's second largest city, an important industrial complex and just 20 miles from the russian border. but ukrainian troops prevailed... shouting.
..forcing the russians back, but not far. and that's the problem. from just across the border, kharkiv and its 1.4 million residents are still well within range of russian artillery and missiles. translation: we are worried because people started coming back to the city with their children and families, yet it's all starting again, really bad things. the bombardments are even more intense. much of the focus of recent russian attacks has been down in the donbas region, but recent intelligence reports do suggest that the russians might be regrouping and refocusing, attacking again places like kharkiv further to the north. it's a monumental effort defending the donbas cities of severodonetsk
and lysycha nsk, where civilians struggle to survive under relentless russian fire. if russia was to amplify the northern and eastern fronts, it would undoubtedly stretch limited ukrainian resources. president zelensky has appealed for more military help. longer range rocket launchers have been promised by the uk and others, but time is of the essence. explosion. wyre davies, bbc news, kharkiv. let's get some of the day's other news. a woman has been killed and 1a schoolchildren injured after a car drove into a crowd on a street in berlin. the person who died was a schoolteacher who was on a trip with a class of teenagers. the driver, a 29—year—old man, has been detained, but police say it is unclear whether the incident was intentional or an accident. dozens of human rights groups are putting pressure on the un human rights chief to resign immediately, arguing that she whitewashed the situation in china during her visit there last month. they say michelle bachelet had squandered a rare chance
to push for accountability over what they allege is beijing's systematic human rights violations against muslim uyghurs and others in the xinjiang region. former hollywood film producer harvey weinstein is facing two criminal charges of indecent assault. the alleged offences took place in london 26 years ago. the metropolitan police charged mr weinstein after reviewing the evidence against him. president biden has told the summit of the americas in los angeles, that democracy is under assault around the world but is the essential ingredient to the future of the americas. mexico has led a boycott of the summit by several nations in protest at washington's failure to invite the left—wing leaders of cuba, venezuela and nicaragua. let's have a listen to what mr biden has been saying at the opening of the summit. in a moment, when democracy is under assault around the world, let us unite again and renew our conviction that democracy
is not only the defining feature of american history is but the essential ingredient to america's futures. i spoke to our north america correspondent david willis and asked just how significant it is that these particular countries aren't attending the summit. the white house is seeking to downplay the absence of the mexican president and some other key leaders. they make a point that 23 heads of state will be in attendance, they make the point that the mexican president, mr lopes obrador will be meeting withjoe biden next month one—on—one at the white house, and they say this is a good opportunity to discuss serious subjects such as the pandemic, immigration and climate control but for all of their attempts to dismiss the absences, this is a real blow because this was hailed as an opportunity for the united states to rekindle its ties with countries in the region, countries that have
grown closer in many cases to china in the absence of strong leadership from the united states and as the mexican president put it, you can't have a summit of the americas, if you don't have all the countries of the americas in attendance. we are just seeing joe biden address the conference there, talking about pressing issues, but what are the main things on the agenda? president biden is expected to announce plans for an economic partnership with the region including increased investment on the part of the united states, more preferable trade deals, the strengthening of regional supply lines, and so on, but there will be no tariff decreases by the sounds of it and it will be confined, these agreements, to countries with whom the united states already has some sort of trade
agreement in place, but the very fact that as well as mexico, the heads of countries such as guatemala and honduras and el salvador will also be absent, makes it very difficult for the organisers of this summit to credibly say that they have reached some sort of agreement on, for the example, the thorny issue of immigration which looms larger over this gathering of those nations, those absent nations, among those that contribute the most migrants to the situation on the southern border of the united states. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: it's the most lucrative golf tournament ever and probably one of the most controversial. what's the story with the liv tournament about to get under way in england?
the day the british liberated the falklands. and by tonight, british troops have begun the task of disarming the enemy. in the heart of the west german capital, this was gorbymania at its height. the crowd packed to see the man who, forthem, has raised great hopes for an end to the division of europe. it happened as the queen moved towards horse guards parade - for the start of- trooping the colour. gunshots the queen looks worried, but recovers quickly. - as long as they'll pay to go see me, i'll get out there and kick �*em down the hills. what does it feel like to be the first man to go across the channel by your own power? it feels pretty neat. it feels marvellous, really.
this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: new gun control measures have been passed by the us house of representatives, but they do not have the votes they would need for approval in the senate. ukraine's second city, kharkiv, comes under bombardment, as severodonetsk and cities in the donbas region take heavy fire. more than 90 women have filed a lawsuit against the fbi for failing to stop the convicted sex abuser larry nassar, despite knowing of complaints against him. the claimants, who include the us olympic medallist simone biles, are seeking more than $1 billion in collective damages. the bbc�*s azadeh moshiri has this report. sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again. thejudge was addressing the former us gymnastics coach larry nassar. more than four years ago, after handing him a life sentence for sexually abusing young women and girls. she called it his death warrant.
butjustice came far too late, according to dozens of women who say they were abused by him. they are planning on suing the fbi for over $1 billion, arguing the agency's failure to act allowed the doctor to assault them. the star claimants include olympic gold—medallist simone biles, aly raisman and mckayla maroney who testified in front of the us senate last year. they allowed a child molester to go free for more than a year and this inaction directly allowed nassar�*s abuse to continue. what is the point of reporting abuse if our own fbi agents are going to take it upon themselves to bury that report in a drawer? the fbi's own watchdog came to the same conclusion in a scathing report last year. it found the agency allowed the abuse to continue for more than a year after the case
was first opened in 2015. it also pointed to numerous mistakes and cover—ups by agents. they did not properly handle the allegations. they didn't properly handle them off to a different jurisdiction or take them seriously in terms of doing proper interviews, and that when they were asked about it by investigators, they made false statements and lied about what happened. but despite all this, the suit comes as thejustice department once again declined to prosecute the two fbi agents concerned, claiming there is a lack of evidence. that is why michaela maroney described the suit as their only path to justice and healing. azadeh moshiri, bbc news. king philippe of belgium has condemned the discrimination and racism of his country's colonial rule in africa. he made the comments on a week—long trip to the democratic republic of the congo. while there, he returned
a tribal mask, one of thousands of artefacts ta ken during belgian rule. the bbc�*s tim allman reports. at a ceremony in kinshasa, a symbol perhaps of a new beginning. this giant mask being returned to its rightful home, just one of more than 80,000 artefacts taken during colonial rule that will now be given back. with unrest brewing elsewhere... belgium was in charge here from 1885 until 1960. it was at times a particularly brutal occupation. during the earliest period as many as 10 million people are thought to have died. translation: the colonial regime was based on - exploitation and domination. it was a regime marked by discrimination and racism.
on my first trip to the congo here in front of the congolese people, i wish to reaffirm my deepest regret is that these past wounds. and yet, despite this dark history, the people of kinshasa seemed to offer the warm welcome to the descendant of theirformer rulers. "during his speech he said he had not forgotten everything "that had happened," said this woman. "he remembers perfectly our past, which was so tragic." "saying a few words in our language "is something that has touched me a lot," said this man. we did not expect the king to acknowledge some of the wrongdoings we have had to endure. earlier in the day philippe gave a medal to corporal albert, the last surviving congolese soldier who fought with the belgians in world war ii. if this is a new beginning, and attempt to build a new future, it's important
not to forget the past. tim allman, bbc news. earlier, i spoke to ambassador rama yade, the senior director of the atlantic council's africa center, and i asked her what this visit and its symbolism means? this visit was originally scheduled forjune 2020, for the 16th anniversary of congo's independence and it has been postponed three times because of the pandemic and the war in ukraine but it was necessary, also necessary to organise it before the presidential elections to avoid being accused of interfering with the elections. so this visit, like you said in the report, has a very strong memorial dimension since the king has planned to visit the memorial veterans, where the issue of the restitution of art objects is discussed right now and during his pitch on the esplanade of the parliament today, the king reiterated his regrets about the colonisation and its impact but some are already disappointed
because they were awaiting more apologies and reparations. rama yade there. the world of men's professional golf is being rocked by a breakaway saudi—backed tournament that's about to get under way in the english town of st albans. the eight events will have prize money totalling £200 million, with many players rumoured to be getting hundreds of millions more simply for turning up. the us golf body, the pga, has threatened to ban any of its members that play in the events. our sports editor dan roan has the story. it's the new rebel tournament driving a wedge through the sport. final practice on the eve of the world's most lucrative golf event, six—time major winner phil mickelson rumoured to be pocketing a staggering £160 million to take part and having ended a four—month exile from the game after describing the circuit�*s saudi funders as "scary", the american star told me how he felt about the controversy surrounding his role.
isn't there a danger that you are also being seen as a tool of sports washing. i don't condone human rights violations. i don't know how i can be any more clear. i understand your question, but again, i love this game of golf, i have seen the good that it has done and i see the opportunity for liv golf to do a lot of good for the game throughout the world and i am excited to be a part of this opportunity. the highest ranked player here is ex—world number one dustinjohnson reportedly earning £120 million, he has had to quit the pga tour, giving up his opportunity to feature in future ryder cups but he told me it was worth it. i've been on the tour for a long time, i love the pga tour, i am very thankful for everything that it has done for me in my life and this is just kind of a new chapter and i felt like this was just what was best for me and my family. featuring a shorter condensed three day format, live music an a team element, organisers of the eight match liv series
claim it will attract new audiences. others believe there is another motive. it's the saudi government using its financial clout will to invest in golf and put positive pr about itself out into the world, so if any players are going to go and participate in that tournament, they should educate themselves about the human rights situation in saudi arabia and be prepared to speak out about it. this is the latest global sports investment by the saudi sovereign wealth fund. newcastle united is another, of course. the club's new chairman is also the man behind the liv series and told me he was looking forward to shaking up the sport. it is the big thing in golf and we can enjoy it. that is why i am here. thank you very much. can i talk to you very quickly about the suggestions of sports washing, what do you say to that, what's your response? really not sure about this. despite doubts about how popular all this will prove, with more big—name signings set tojoin the breakaway, organisers insisted can be about growth and notjust greed, but with the threat of sanctions hanging over those who take part and the prospect of a legal battle ahead,
it might also tear the sport apart. dan roan, bbc news, hertfordshire. the anglo—portuguese painter paula rego has died at the age of 87. born in portugal, she came to britain as an art school student in the 1950s. many of her subjects were intimately influenced by the people, culture and folklore she'd known as a child in lisbon. her work often depicted women in a central role, challenging gender stereotypes and denouncing abuses of power. in 20210, she was made a dame by queen elizabeth. sir david attenborough has been officially appointed a knight grand cross of the order of st michael and st george. the environmentalist was given the honour by the prince of wales at windsor castle for services to broadcasting and conservation. sir david, 96, was called a "visionary environmentalist" by the duke of cambridge at saturday's platinum jubilee party at the palace.
and that is just about it from me for now. to stay tuned right here to bbc news. good morning. wednesday was certainly a day of contrasting conditions. if you managed to keep the sunshine, you also had some warmth. it was very pleasant out there. in fact, we saw a high of 23.5 celsius in london through wednesday afternoon. but there were some showers, and if you got caught in one or two of them, you would certainly know about it. they were heavy with hail and thunder at times. in fact, if we take a look back at wednesday, we had some fairly persistent rain throughout the day moving through central and northern scotland and a cluster of showers piling in behind. some of those, as i say, heavy and thundery. those showers tending to fade away as we speak, and we keep some clear skies over the next few hours across central and southern england, a little bit of nuisance cloud further north with an odd isolated shower. but it will be a relatively mild start to thursday morning, temperatures holding up, 10—12 celsius.
the best of the sunshine certainly across central and southern parts of england first thing in the morning. we'll see cloud and light, patchy rain gathering in from the west. that's going to drift its way steadily eastwards, so eventually the sunshine being nibbled away with cloud as it moves its way steadily eastwards. we'll keep some light rain and some misty, murky conditions along west—facing coasts, the highest temperatures where we see the best of the sunshine — 22 degrees, 72 fahrenheit. and it's certainly worth bearing in mind if you are a hay fever sufferer that where we've got that sunshine, grass pollen is now reaching its peak, so very high levels of pollen expected through the course of the afternoon. so, if we move out of thursday into friday, we've got this area of low pressure. it is the ex—tropical storm alex, the remnants of that storm bringing some windy conditions to the far north and west but also some warmth, as it's a south—westerly wind to go with it.
so we keep a cluster of showers and winds perhaps gusting in excess of 40—50 mph in exposed coasts. but across much of england and wales, with some sunshine coming through, a breezy afternoon but warm with it. we could see highs of 23 degrees. that low pressure just drifts to the north of scotland, so we still keep the squeeze in the isobars, the strongest of the winds here, but high pressure is starting to build in from the southwest, calming things down quite nicely. so, yes, some showers to the north and west and still a fresh breeze to contend with, but an improving picture as we go through the weekend.
this is bbc news, the headlines: the us house of representatives has approved a series of measures aimed at regulating the sale of guns, including raising the age for purchasing semi—automatic rifles. but the proposals do not have the 60 votes they would need for approval in the senate, and are unlikely to become law. ukraine's second city of kharkiv, has come under renewed attack from a number of russian missile strikes. the city of severodonetsk is also under heavy fire. prime minister volodomyr zelensky says in many respects the fate of the donbas region is being decided in that region. on his first trip to the democratic republic of the congo, king philippe of belgium has returned a priceless kakungu mask, taken out of the country before