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Our top stories, America defends its decision to drop a huge bomb on
Islamic State militants in Afghanistan.
The man in charge of the operation says it was the right weapon for the
target. The enemy had created bongos,
tunnels and extensive minefields. His weapon was used on those
obstacles. Is the North Korean leader preparing
for another nuclear missile test? China warns tensions are so high
that conflicts could break out at any moment.
This is the scene live at the Coliseum in Rome as Pope Francis
leads the Good Friday procession. And in sport, Jenson Button is back
in the driving seat for a guest appearance at next month's Monaco
Grand Prix. Hello and welcome. It was the right
weapon for the target, America's most senior military commander in
Afghanistan has defended the decision to drop a huge bomb on
Islamic State militants in a remote area in the east of the country.
This is the first time the US has deployed in combat the massive
ordinance air blast bomb, referred to as the mother of all bombs. The
Afghan doc-mac says 36 militants were killed and no civilians
although Islamic State denies that. -- the Afghan Government. Frank
Gardner reports. dropped an an Isis tunnel complex
in Afghanistan. The weapon used is called MOAB,
or massive ordnance air burst, also known as
the mother of all bombs. This was its first
time used in combat. This was the right weapon
against the right target. We will continue to work
shoulder to shoulder To eliminate this threat
to the Afghan people, especially the people of this
region, and indeed Local villagers confirmed that Isis
fighters had set up bases in the mountains behind them,
and said the bomb But the strike was condemned by both
so-called Islamic State How could the United States use
Afghanistan as a ground for experiments, for testing weapons
of mass destruction? President Trump's targets now
include three major problem areas for the US - Afghanistan,
Syria and North Korea. The massive weapon that the Pentagon
has used in Afghanistan is intended to send a message to its enemies,
that you're not safe underground. In Syria, the Trump administration
will be hoping that last week's cruise missile strike would deter
Presdent Assad from any But North Korea is
the biggest gamble. Mr Trump is hoping that
sending his powerful naval armada offshore will deter any
further nuclear tests. The question now, though, is,
can he manage three global It's very possible that if these
three scenarios come together, Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea,
it would overwhelm the policy-making capabilities
of Mr Trump's administration. It would overwhelm the strategic
planning capabilities of the Pentagon, and it
would overwhelm the resource But President Trump
and his entourage now feel they are on a roll,
tackling head-on the foreign policy challenges that
the previous administration There is now the risk that ramping
up the rhetoric could lead America into more conflict,
or that in the absence of any swift resolutions,
Mr Trump may simply turn his back on foreign adventures and focus
instead on domestic issues. We can speak no to someone from
George Washington University. I asked whether it was the right
weapon for the dollar. It is pretty accurate. You would not be using a
$50 million apiece weapon frivolously, or just to send some
message of Telegraph something to the North Koreans or the Russians. I
think there was not significant intelligence about the identity of
the people who work in this complex, and that they were high-level
operatives of Isis, and of course, there is the logistics, what kind of
weapon would be used in a decisive air strike and would lead to the
outcome desired? How significant was this target Iraq? We are talking
about at 300 metre long network of caves and tunnels, a significant was
hitting this location? That decision was taken to use this particular
weapon, it means that there was a significant complex that could not
be taken out by any other weapon, at least not in a decisive way, and of
course, the people inside were not some low-level operatives, they had
to be senior officials who were actually involved in the day-to-day
planning and operations of Isis attacks in the country. A lot is
being said about Donald Trump's strategy or the lack of it. What do
you think he is going to do going forward? Is there a strategy or are
these one-off strikes? So, when we talk about strategy, we have to keep
in mind that a change in government in terms of a new political party
taking office or a new head of state coming in, it does not mean that
were there will be a new strategy as such. There will be new ideas that
will be brought to the table from the new staff of the President,
trying to deal with the same problems their predecessors were
struggling with. So that is something to bear in mind when we
talk about strategy. At this point, there is no good strategy. There are
a set of options that not all of them, most of them are on a scale, a
sliding scale of bad to worst. This is a difficult situation and does
not matter whether Trump is an office or if somebody else had been
knighted. If Hillary Clinton, she would have faced the same problem.
So you have to make the best of the situation, you take it one day at a
time, hence one-off strikes, and you do it not in a coherent fashion but
in a fashion that sort of makes sense for the reality on the ground
as it unfolds. Let's turn to North Korea.
North Korea has vowed to mount a "merciless" response to any US
provocation following comments from President Donald Trump
that the isolated regime's nuclear weapons programme
Meanwhile, Pyongyang is thought to be preparing for a massive
military parade tomorrow at which its latest missile
Our reporter John Sudworth is with a group of foreign
journalists invited to witness the event - his movements are being
In North Korea, the spectre of war looms large over daily life.
These girls are singing about being soldiers...
while, not far away, real ones crowd into a shrine
to the country's founding President, General Kim Il-Sung.
These are scenes akin to a religious pilgrimage, but of course,
in honour of a still ruling family dynasty
who have at their disposal all of the myth that would rival any
And as the country prepares to display its devotion
at the anniversary of Kim Il-Sung's birth this weekend,
there's an awareness of the rising tension with America.
TRANSLATION: We should have the nuclear weapons.
If we do not have nuclear weapons, the nuclear weapon of another
TRANSLATION: It doesn't matter whether the Americans make
the situation on the Korean peninsula tense.
We feel safe because we have the great leader, Kim Jong-Un.
This week, the current ruler, Kim Jong-Un, held this meeting
where his late grandfather was honoured.
He is also thought to be planning a massive military parade
as a powerful tribute, and a message of defiance.
This is a country where art and armaments are blended
in singular purpose, to demonstrate to the watching world
that its nuclear ambitions will not be stopped.
The historic centres of injured places like Aleppo and Homs, once
the scene of fierce fighting like empty Andamans. In some places the
first tentative signs of rebuilding are underweight. Lyse Doucet reports
from Homs, the site of the first major reconstruction.
From the ruins of war, some life begins to return. And a bit of
rebuilding. This is the first restoration project in the ancient
quarter of Homs. Some of the worst battles took place here. This is the
leading architect who has designed the roof of the souk. TRANSLATION:
The importance of rebuilding is not just about stones, it is about
trade, a social hub where people from all religions can meet and
spent time with each other. We saw how such wonderful places were
destroyed and we are rebuilding the social Fabric.
The workers you see around you from Homs, they understand the city,
understand its pain. Walking through this ancient market
is a walk through the story of Syria going back thousands of years.
TRANSLATION: This public bath dates back to the Ottoman Empire. He
explains how the ceiling was built in the way to best thing in the
light. -- bring in. Down to the depths of the old city,
with another architect. This is the main hall. It was covered by hashes.
It has been cleared now. Would have been fighting in here? Yes, there
was a main battlefield here. It is not easy to rise from the ruins. We
have to contemplate over this, and we have to realise how important it
is, to listen and to come up with something good out of it.
She has just written a book about how architecture matters, it has to
be part of rebuilding Syria. All of the oranges are growing! This
is what I am talking about in the book, about how generous the old
cities were. They were generous even with the planting. Making green
space. This is what we had in Syria, we had something very beautiful and
ancient, and very harmonious interwoven in our lives and our
daily lives. We vandalised a lot of it, and we miss treated a lot of it,
so maybe we have the chance to start over now. They worry that this
chance will be missed. How to build on a painful past, this roof
punctured by shrapnel inspired a new design was done now they say Syria's
cities have to be rebuilt to bring communities together, not tear them
apart. Lyse Doucet, BBC News, in the old city of Homs.
Let's take a look at some of the other news.
A young British woman who was stabbed to death on a tram
in Jerusalem has been named as Hannah Bladon.
Two other people were injured in the attack in the Old City.
A 57-year-old Palestinian man has been arrested.
Police say the suspect had recently been released
Police in Italy have arrested a Mafia boss who absconded from
prison. He has been serving a life sentence for murder, illegal
disposal of bodies and drug trafficking. He was recaptured after
police followed his wife and spotted him preparing a barbecue outside a
flat in Tuscany. Christians are mocking Good Friday
today. Pope Francis is marking Good Friday
with the traditional Via Crucis or "Way of the Cross" procession
around the Colosseum. This is an annual tradition that
goes back to the 18th-century. It was since revived by Pope Paul VI in
1964. It commemorates the passion and death through Jesus through the
readings of prayers along a path of 14 stations, mocking the actual path
that Jesus walked. These are live images.
-- marking the actual path. Lots more to come, including...
This is the trailer that is about to break the internet! The latest Star
Wars film. As for a sporting legacy, Pol
Richert's competitors will be chasing her new world best time for
years to come. -- Paula Radcliffe's competitors.
She seemed just a slide away under the surface and disappear. -- just
to slide away. Our main stories on BBC News. Let's
take you to Pakistan, where the funeral prayers have been held for a
university student who was killed by a mob after being accused of sharing
blasphemous content on social media. Blasphemy is legally punishable by
death in Pakistan but the incident has shocked many.
A quiet and dignified funeral begins for a young student whose life was
so brutally brought to an end. His father helps bury his son's badly
disfigured body, offering prayers for the latest victim to be accused
of blasphemy and killed in Pakistan. TRANSLATION: In this country there
is no freedom of expression. They cut people's tongues. They have
killed my son and laid the blame on him. I am his father. He used to sit
at home and talked lovingly about the message of the Prophet Muhammad.
He had been studying communication at a university in a northern city.
Yesterday a mob of hundreds of young men rampaged through the campus,
accusing him of splitting blasphemy online. This was his run, when he
tried to hide from the mob. Amidst the debris, you can still see on the
war is the philosophical quotes he had written up. From his window, he
would have seen the mob as they came down the path, breaking into the
hostel looking for him. Eventually, they found him here. They kicked him
and beat him. They hit him with sticks and shot him. They dragged
him downstairs and continue to beat him. All filmed on videos too
horrific to fully show. Even long after he was dead, they continued to
attack his body. The police took action, and everybody was
protective. The University has been closed indefinitely and a number of
arrests have been made. Close to 70 people have been murdered in
Pakistan after being accused of blasphemy the last 30 years. This
incident has shocked many but there has not been the level of a bridge
from officials that one might expect. -- outrage. TRANSLATION: I
want justice for my country, and wanted so that nothing like this
happens to any other child. They did not just attack my son. By doing it
in the University, they challenged the status of the state should
ensure justice. The student described himself on Facebook as a
humanist. Many have been sharing his ratings online and some know seem
particularly poignant. -- his writings. Now, the sports
news. Sebastian Vettel looks like the man
to beat at this weekend's He was the fastest in both practice
sessions, three tenths quicker than Lewis Hamilton,
despite his Ferrari breaking Meanwhile, it was confirmed the 2009
World Champion, Jenson Button, will be making a brief
comeback next month. Button has agreed to replace
Fernando Alonso for McLaren The Briton's still contracted
as a reserve driver for McLaren and will step in while Alonso takes
part in the Indy 500. Arsene Wenger insists discussions
about his future will not distract him from his job. He is speaking
about the PFA -- PFA Player of the Year, Alexis Sanchez, whose contract
ends next summer. There have been reports Sanchez has been offered as
much as ?300,000 per week to stay. First, I cannot confirm that we have
offered that. Secondly, we will do, as always, we have to consider our
financial potential to sustain the wages for the whole squad. What is
for sure is that what he is paid this year, will it still below? I
was tempted to say no. Great Britain's cyclists have
finally won a gold at this year's Track world Championships it's
in the women's omnium The omnium is a multi event decided
by points over four different races. Archibald who's the Olympic
champion, was second going into the final event,
the points race, but she did enough It's the second world
title of her career, I feel in pain! But yes, really
privileged to pull it off in the end. It was an unbelievably gripping
race, I thought I had lost it in the middle, just chase and be attack,
Chase and be attacked. Got back on in the end, and pulled it out of the
bag. The President of the IAAF is
disappointed by the lack of progress made by Russia and its anti-doping
reforms. The country is calmly banned from competing in
international athletics after a report claimed that over 1000
athletes benefited from a state-sponsored doping programme.
Lord Coe believes there is still a lack of cooperation and
transparency. I am frustrated on behalf of the athletes, more
progress should have been made. It has been harvesting always to get
athletes back into contention actual competition. But separated from the
tainted system. -- it has always been our ambition. I am frustrated
more progress is not been made. Five-time champions Ronnie
O'Sullivan is in action against fellow enrichment Gary Wilson in the
afternoon snooker session. It will be the 40th year the Crucible has
played host to the tournament. O'Sullivan would love to lift the
famous trophy once more. Sheffield is a great event, it is good
tournament I look forward to going every year. It should be great.
Whether it is the 40th with a 21st with a 140th, it is still the
Crucible. -- or the 140th. Great tournament. If you get to lift the
trophy, it is an amazing thing. That's all the sport for now.
You may be used to seeing guide dogs around the office but more and more
companies are encouraging employees to bring their family pets to work.
Around one in ten employers in the UK has a dog-friendly policy. Just
what other pitfalls? It may be possible in big tech but just how
well would you cope with a pet under your desk?
Suzannah has been finding out. Brooke, Reggie, Max and Peggy are
office bodies. The company Kokrak pets at work scheme has proved so
popular that by the end of the year, around 100 dogs that passed an
assessment got the road staff pass. -- the company's pets at work
scheme. The reality is that the dogs probably have between a total of 20
to 25 dogs and lovers of others in the bar and it is even hear a dog
barking in the office. But the office. But they are there if you
want to go and find one to pet. The dogs do not just relieve stress but
also seemed to help build office camaraderie. It has made me make
friends. People come and talk to me, I don't think they know my name but
they know my dog and it starts to open those doors. What about that
time when she go to the toilet? She starts to get up and pace a little
bit and looks up at me. We have had the odd accident in the past. Doggie
daycare costs around 30 to ?40 a day, and I have three of them. So
for me, it is a big saving. Have there ever been any follow-ups with
other dogs? Not that I have ever seen. They love chasing each other
around the park. You hear the odd bark but that is about it.
I'm not sure I could cope with that! No dogs under this desk, I can
promise you that. Now to the movie trailer that has
sent Star Wars fans into a frenzy. I only know one truth.
It's time for the Jedi to end. It looks good! This is a first look
at the latest Star Wars film, the last Jedi. It follows on from The
Force Awakens and it will feature the late Carrie Fisher. The trailer
was unveiled at a Star Wars celebration in Florida, and you will
not believe this, it amassed thousands of views online in just a
few minutes. This one could just break the internet. If you want to
watch it in full armour go to the BBC News beta site.
I am looking forward to that one. -- News beta. You can get in touch with
me and some of the team via social media, we are on Facebook and
Twitter. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Lots more on our
website but for the time being, thank you very much for watching and
I wish you all a very nice Easter weekend.