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We start with Syria, where the chaos of its five-year
civil war continues to have devastating consequences
The UN says at least five medical facilities and two schools
in northern Syria have been hit by missiles,
killing up to 50 people, including children.
At least two hospitals were hit in Idlib province,
both in the town of Maarat al-Numan - which has been facing air strikes
from Russian and Syrian regime planes after rebels
A children's hospital was partially destroyed near another rebel-held
town of Azaz, in Aleppo province, close to the Turkish border.
MSF has blamed the Syrian regime, while Turkey has blamed Russia.
But it comes just days after an apparent international
agreement for a "cessation of hostilities" in Syria.
Our diplomatic correspondent James Robbins has more.
Rescue workers scramble over the rubble of a hospital hit
by missiles, to rescue any survivors they can find.
It has been bombing intensively to try to win the area back
We have had at least seven deaths among personnel and patients
and at least eight people have disappeared.
Further north, missiles hit a children's hospital and a school
apparently sheltering refugees fleeing the joint Russian
This is only a few miles from the border with Turkey
which is opposed to the action.
All the talk over the weekend in Munich involving Russia
and the United States was about achieving
A cessation does not apply to their bombing campaigns.
Moscow sees pretty much anyone fighting against Syria's President
Assad as a legitimate target, no distinction is drawn
in the Kremlin between fighters for so-called Islamic State
and these anti-Assad rebels who are supported by the West,
so it is hard to see the five year war being anywhere
The Russians can end this if they want to.
They can make this work by scaling back their bombing and redirecting
it against the real terrorists rather than bombing
Russia shows no sign of changing course and is embroiled in a hotter
and hotter war of words with Syria's neighbour Turkey.
Washington is urging cooler heads but on theground there is nothing
In the last few hours we've heard that the UN peace envoy
for Syria, Steffan de Mistura, is making a surprise
I spoke earlier to BBC Arabic's Lina Sinjab in neighbouring
Yes, I have spoken to some sources in Damascus and they have confirmed
that he will be there tomorrow morning it is a short cut 24 hours
trip to that area. It seems that is only because of the recent
developments and escalations. We are not sure about the agenda, we know
that he will meet senior Syrian officials, but we do not yet know
much detail about what those discussions will be about. We assume
the special in what will raise the issues of the attacks today about
hospitals and by mainly the Russian and government warplanes.
At the moment we do not have anyone accepting responsibility on the
strikes at the hospital facilities. Yes, there are some details about
the amount of people that were targeted, we know that at least ten
people were killed any hospitals in Idlib and another dozen as well and
another hospital. Neither the Russians nor the Syrian government
have claimed responsibility for the attack but we know for sure that in
that area of Syria in Idlib and then Aleppo, it is only the Syrian
government and the Russian warplanes that are in operation, so there is
no third-party to blame for these attacks.
Separately, we are hearing that military exercises have been taking
place today between the Turkish air force and Saudi Arabia, what extent
of military involvement do we expect from Saudi Arabia?
Basically, we heard an announcement from Saudi Arabia that they are
willing to send in ground troops to Syria. We know that they are sending
some warplanes as well to operate with the Turkish forces. That is
another addition to the competition. Saudi Arabia strongly opposes
President Bashar al-Assad and they do not see a future with him in
power. Sending troops to Syria now to fight Islamic State might be seen
as more problematic by the rebels, who are supported by Saudi Arabia,
so the focus is now shifting to fight Islamic State rather than
fighting President Assad's forces. My correspondent in Beirut.
Now to a fascinating glimpse into the world of Pope John Paul II.
Hundreds of personal letters uncovered by the BBC between him
and a married woman over a 30-year period reveal a close friendship.
The documents were hidden away in the National Library of Poland,
along with dozens of photographs showing the pair together.
Our religious affairs correspondent, Caroline Wyatt, reports.
This is the story of the Pope's letters to his closest
Pope John Paul II was writing to a married woman,
Professor Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, a philosopher and fellow Pole.
When you've got a strongly heterosexual man and an attractive
woman in a very intense relationship that is cultivated and which engages
mind at a high level of intensity, there's danger everywhere.
The letters have been hidden away in the national library of Poland.
Pope John Paul let their friendship grow, writing "God gave you to me
The future Pope invited Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka to join him
and others on country walks, skiing holidays, even camping trips.
Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka invited the then cardinal to stay
with her family at their country home in New England in 1976.
After the trip, his letters suggest a man struggling to make sense
of their friendship in Christian terms.
One from 1976 says, "my dear Teresa, I have received all three letters.
You write about being torn apart but I could find no answer
Later, his letters looked back to that trip to New England
like this one, saying, "I'm thinking about you and in my thoughts I..."
Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka's letters are not publicly available.
I do believe she completely fell in love with him during the first
I think it's completely reflectd in the correspondence.
John Paul II died in 2005 and the extent of Anna-Teresa
Tymieniecka's role in his life has until now remained largely hidden.
There is no suggestion that the Pope, now Saint John Paul
II, broke any vow of celebacy, but the letters show the human side
of a much-loved Pope, doing one of the loneliest
Reverend James Martin is editor at large of the Jesuit magazine,
Thank you for joining us, what you make of these revelations?
It is not uprising in one sense. It has been talked about in another
book. Celibate males and females have close relationships with people
of the opposite sex, it is not really that unusual.
But the start this friendship when he was a cardinal and continued
whilst he was the Pope, is that not uprising?
No, I have deep friendships with both women and men. Because you are
celibate does not been that you stop having friendships with people.
There might have been a love relationship but it sounds like they
were both faithful to their files, so it is not uprising to me.
Did you get any sense about how much was known about it at the time? How
much freedom Bob John Paul II had private correspondences like this?
As a cardinal and even as a Pope, I doubt it would be someone --
something he would tell close friends about. Some people might
have known about his affection for her, but it is important as someone
who are celibate to have deep and intimate friendship with people of
both sexes. Hope John-Paul, he was canonised
very quickly, if this had emerged quicker, do you think that would
have affected our process. -- Pope John-Paul.
There is nothing wrong with having such a friendship, it works for a
lot of people. Such a famously popular Pope, do you
think this adds to his appeal, this showing of the human side, as it
were? Yes, for some people the celibate
lifestyle appears cold and distant, we have someone and we see someone
who had deep relationships with people. But that someone like Pope
Francis, I do not think anyone would accuse him of being a cold person.
The human ices people and reminds us that celibate friendships, sometimes
even intense friendships at times are required.
You do not find this unsurprising or unsettling, but it has fascinated
the world since it came out today. Yes, people have a total
misunderstanding of what it means to be celibate, as if we cut ourselves
off from all friendships. Sometimes people who are celibate fall in
love, and perhaps the dead, but he was able to do with it and remain
fearful to his promise of celibacy and hard are those of marriage.
-- perhaps the dead. Thank you for joining us. My
pleasure. -- they did.. Meanwhile, the current Pope Francis
has asked Mexico's indigenous population for forgiveness over
the social exclusion He led an open-air mass in native
languages in the country's impoverished Chiapas state,
where he called for greater appreciation of indigenous cultures
and issued a warning over the human He told the crowd of around 100,000
people that the world could learn from them how to interact
harmoniously with nature. The service comes in the middle
of a five-day trip that he's already used to speak out against
crime and corruption. Now a look at some of
the day's other news. Poland's government is to introduce
a law making it illegal to assert that the country was responsible
for Nazi atrocities Some of the most infamous sites
of the Holocaust are on Polish soil, but Poland objects to the term
"Polish death camps" to describe death camps set up under
German occupation. The law would allow the government
to take legal action against anyone using the phrase, and anyone
breaking the law could be jailed Police have retaken control
of a Mexican jail following last week's riot in which 49
inmates were killed. Officials say officers had put
an end to the self-government imposed by criminal
leaders in collusion They've also dismantled
what they call luxury cells, containing mini-bars,
aquariums and saunas in the prison in the Topo Chico
prison in Monterrey. Police in Australia have seized one
of their biggest hauls They discovered hundreds of millions
of pounds worth of liquid methamphetamine, concealed
inside a consignment It was in late April,
1999 that two teenagers went on a rampage in Columbine High
School, in the US state of Colorado. They killed 13 people that day -
shooting classmates and teachers mercilessly - and leaving explosive
devices behind them. At the same time, they turned
the name of their town into a byword for the phenomenon
of school shootings. In the 17 years since,
we've heard from survivors and the families of victims,
but the killers' parents Now the mother of one,
Sue Klebold, has written a book All of her proceeds will be donated
to research and charitable foundations focusing
on mental health issues. She's been speaking
to the BBC's Kirsty Wark. Columbine High School lies 15 miles
south of Denver in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. On the 20th of
April 1999 its name became infamous around the world. That was when two
students can withdraw their cars packed with explosives, guns and
grenades into the parking lot of the school and set about destroying the
school. This was not a moment of madness, it was a cold-blooded
massacre, months and months in the planning.
And your suburban high school turned into a killing field.
I was crying and telling them not to shoot me. They shot the girl he shot
her in the head in front of me. This was clearly the most
devastating and formatting scene that I have ever seen. I hope never
to see it again. -- dramatic scene. -- traumatic. I do not think that I
knew anything until that evening. It was such a day of confusion, we had
puppies come to our home, we were asked to leave our home and sit
outside. We sat on the ground all day.
At that stage, you must have thought it was more likely that your son was
involved in the shooting as opposed to being shot?
We could hear through the window, the television had been left on and
at one point we heard 25 people were dead. At that point I remember
thinking that Delyn is really doing this, he must stop and that was when
I prayed for him to die. I thought, something must stop this, whatever
it is that is going on. It took me a very long time to believe, months to
believe that my son was actually responsible for killing and hurting
people. Up until that point, I believe I was living in an extreme
state of denial. It must have been a very strange
thing to commute that between them, he and his friends were going to
blow out that school. That was one of the most difficult
moments of this entire process because I had to go to so many
different phrases of accepting this and acknowledging that they were
present and they had heart people and that it was planned, not
impulsiveness, and then at the police reports to learn that the
plan had to been to tell everyone in the school, but that the plan had
failed, when I thought of that and thought of the magnitude, I've
really did not think that I would live through it.
Did you think there were certain signs that you missed?
I think that there were, in particular, the fact that in his
junior year, several things happened to him. We had all those issues in a
row. He got arrested, he got into trouble at school. He had scratched
a locker at school. I did not recognise that those things meant
that there was a potential life and death situation. I did not recognise
that these where possible signs of a mental condition. That is why I
wrote this book because I wanted people to understand that when
children act out or shall edit ability or anger, it may not be that
they are just being difficult or needs to be lectured, it may mean
that the article. Many people will read this book and
in different ways because it will mean a lot to different groups, it
will mean a lot to the victimsand the survivors, and so on. What would
you say to them? What do you say to them now?
I have this feeling of wanting to see over and over again, I am sorry,
I am sorry, I am sorry. And I know that such a thing is so completely
inadequate. I just so sorry for what my son that.
That was the mother of one of the Columbine shootings speaking to
Kirsty Wark. The heads of four central European
nations want stronger border controls to stem the flow
of migrants and refugees Hungary, Poland, Slovakia,
and the Czech Republic - known as the Visegrad Group -
are working out how to deal with the thousands that cross
through their countries every day. They have criticised Greece's
response and could help Macedonia Our correspondent is present there.
What have we been hearing? We had been led to expect there
would be a rebellion in Prague today, a major act of defiance
against the European Union 's and in particular, Angela Merkel of
Germany. That did not happen. All four leaders appeared on the stage
behind me and said that the preferred a pan European solution to
the European problem and for now, they are not willing to introduce
something on their own. Having said that, one of the words you can
probably see on the screen behind me is the what trust. That is the
slogan of the Czech presidency. It is in short supply in Central Europe
at the moment. These countries do not believe that Turkey and Greece
are capable of holding back large numbers of refugees and migrants
that are making their way northwards into Western Europe and they have
said that it is time for a line be if, in fact, those countries feel.
If individual countries to take their own measures, I suppose it is
looking ever less like unified European response to the migrant
crisis. Very much so. That is quite clear
that there are differing approaches across Europe and of course the
countries of Central Europe have long argued for a much more robust
defence of the European Union's suburban flight and in fact, the
Slovak Prime Minister said today that if there are huge numbers of
people are arriving, once again, they wanted to send hundreds of
policemen to essentially close the border between Macedonia and Greece,
to stop those flows of migrants and a mouth like that would be very
unpopular, I think, in Berlin and Brussels because it would isolate
Greece and perhaps even destabilise that country, which is already
trying to deal with the flow of migrants.
Rob Cameron, thank you very much for that. Rob Cameron in Prague.
Staying with planes, and a Virgin Atlantic flight,
carrying more than 250 people, had to abort its journey from London
to New York, after a laser beam was pointed at the cockpit.
A crew member reported a medical issue involving one of the pilots,
shortly after take-off from Heathrow.
It's the first time an airliner has had to abandon a flight
There are flashing images in this report from Sophie Long.
at JFK, not Heathrow. should have been resting
It took off without incident, but shortly after the crew contacted
air-traffic control and told them one of the pilots
We have a medical issue with one of the pilots after a laser incident
after take-off and we are going to return to Heathrow.
The pilot's union said those targeting aircraft may not know how
Initially, it is bright flashing and you can get shadows
and you are obviously distracted, because you are not expecting it.
These laser attacks are the same as being attacked with
The distraction these can cause at the critical phase of flight,
take-off and landing, could potentially lead
Virgin Atlantic said the flight was brought back to Heathrow
as a precaution, and the safety of the 252 passengers and crew
There has been a dramatic rise in the number of such incidents.
In 2006, eight laser attacks were reported to the Civil
Balpa say that 50% of the 870 pilot surveyed last year said they had
One reason for the surge is the greater availability
Internally if these are used they become far too bright,
the eyes are upset and people will look away.
So there really is not an application internally for these.
Outside, again, other than to try to deliberately blind
someone if you are targeting people, there is no real application.
It is an offence to shine a light at an aircraft
Balpa are calling for it to be made more serious.
plane is the same as possessing an offensive weapon and they want
Sophie Long, BBC News, Heathrow.
Tonight, the greats from the music world will gather in Los Angeles
for the Grammy Awards, and right now, we have our own musical treat.
Four-handed piano started as a way to take orchestral music
into smaller venues, but it has turned into an art form.
Twin sisters Hourshid and Mehrshid started playing together in Iran
and currently are in Canada, where the BBC's Sam Farzaneh
And I was playing a ballad with my sister.
We started playing piano when we were eight years old,
We started to play the classical music repertoire.
Our grandfather played the tar, which is one of the main Iranian
Our father also, he played the tar and at that time when we were young
kids, we always listened to him playing and practising.
On the other side, our mother listened to a lot of opera,
we watched ballet, and we went also to concerts.
Some people, they ask us if it is easier to play together
in terms of communication and in terms of actually
It is not perhaps a matter of being easier, sometimes we just
have some special ways of looking or slight motions of the elbow
If we don't have this fusion, then there will always be two
persons playing, whereas the whole idea should be as if it is one
person with two left hands and two right hands.
You can get in touch with me and some of the team via Twitter -
But for now, from all the team here, goodbye.