Asos billionaire loses three children in Sri Lanka attacks

Three of the four children of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen died in the Sri Lanka bombing attacks, a spokesman has confirmed to the BBC. The family were visiting the country over the Easter holiday. The names of the children have not been made public. Mr Holch Povlsen owns the international clothing chain Bestseller. He is also the biggest single shareholder in clothing giant Asos and is the UK’s largest private landowner, according to the Times newspaper. « Unfortunately, we can confirm the reports, » a Bestseller spokesman said in…

Comedian ‘wins Ukrainian presidency’

Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelensky elected president with more than 70% support, exit polls suggest This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. Source: BBC

Turkish opposition leader attacked at soldier’s funeral

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party has been attacked by protesters at a military funeral in Ankara. Republican People’s Party (CHP) chief Kemal Kilicdaroglu was set upon by an angry crowd while attending a memorial on Sunday. Footage shows him being pushed and shoved in the melee, with some in the crowd attempting to land blows. Escorted by security forces, he took shelter in a nearby house until the crowd dispersed. Mr Kilicdaroglu had attended the funeral to pay respects to a Turkish solider who was killed in clashes…

Ukraine election: Voters to choose between comedian and president

Media playback is unsupported on your device Ukrainians will head to the polls on Sunday in a run-off election to pick the country’s next president. Voters face a stark choice between incumbent President Petro Poroshenko and television comedian, and political newcomer, Volodymyr Zelensky. The celebrity is favourite in the polls, having dominated the first round of voting three weeks ago when 39 candidates were on the ticket. Poll stations will open 08:00 local (05:00 GMT) and close 12 hours later. A court in the capital, Kiev, has rejected a lawsuit…

Syria war: Kosovo brings back 110 citizens including jihadists

Kosovo has brought back 110 of its citizens from Syria, mostly mothers and their children but also several jihadist fighters. The group contained 74 children, 32 women and four men suspected of fighting for the Islamic State group (IS) who were arrested on arrival. They flew back with the help of the US military before police escorted them to an army barracks near Pristina. The issue of repatriations has come to the fore since the collapse of IS. « An important and sensitive operation was organised in which the government…

N Korea embassy raid in Madrid: ‘US Marine arrested’

US authorities have arrested a former US Marine who is allegedly part of a group that raided North Korea’s embassy in Madrid, reports say. Christopher Ahn appeared in a Los Angeles federal court, sources say. It would be the first arrest over the incident, which happened in February days before US President Donald Trump met North Korea’s Kim Jong-un in Vietnam. Free Joseon, a self-styled human rights group, says it was involved. US federal agents have also raided the apartment of Adrian Hong, one of the group’s leaders, says the…

Ukraine presidential rivals trade barbs in stadium debate

Ukraine’s rival presidential candidates have held a long-awaited head-to-head televised debate at Kiev’s giant Olympic stadium. Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky and incumbent president Petro Poroshenko shook hands before launching scathing attacks on one another. Mr Zelensky is the clear favourite for Sunday’s second-round vote, polls say. But Mr Poroshenko argues that he is a political novice unfit for such a demanding job. Mr Zelensky has relied on a slick social media campaign to tap into the frustration of many younger Ukrainians with establishment politicians, cronyism and corruption. The debate in the…

Saudi sisters in Georgia: ‘We were treated like slaves’

« We have to cover our face, we have to cook…like slaves. We don’t want this, we want real life, our life, » says 25-year-old Wafa, the latest woman to flee Saudi Arabia with her sister. Wafa and Maha al-Subaie, 28, are now in the republic of Georgia and are under state protection in a shelter. They had made their case for international help on Twitter, under the account @GeorgiaSisters. The sisters are appealing to the UN to help them get to a third, safe country. They travelled to Georgia…

Woman killed in N Ireland ‘terror incident’

A journalist has been shot dead during violence in Londonderry that police are treating as a « terrorist incident ». Dissident republicans are being blamed for killing 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in Derry’s Creggan area on Thursday night. Petrol bombs were also thrown at police Land Rovers. Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said the New IRA « are likely to be the ones behind this » and detectives have started a murder inquiry. Media playback is unsupported on your device « At around 23:00 BST last…

Notre-Dame fire: Temporary wooden cathedral proposed

A temporary wooden cathedral should be built in the shadow of Notre-Dame’s famed towers while the building is being repaired, officials have said. The structure would serve as a home for worshippers and tourists alike, the rector of the Paris landmark, Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, suggested. The 850-year-old Gothic cathedral has been closed after a fire tore through its roof and destroyed its spire. French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed it will reopen in five years. But temporary arrangements will need to be made in the meantime, Monsignor Chauvet told France’s…

A Bulgarian vulture’s odyssey into Yemeni war zone

Nelson was in a tight corner, tied up and imprisoned by men who believed he was a spy. It didn’t look good. When he was captured, they found a satellite tracker attached to his leg, more sophisticated than much of the equipment they had in Taiz, a town on the front line of Yemen’s catastrophic war. Nelson, they decided, was transmitting military secrets. In any war it is bad news to be accused of spying. In Yemen, an isolated, dusty and desperate place, suspicions can race round groups of armed…

Madeira crash: At least 29 killed on tourist bus near Caniço

Media playback is unsupported on your device At least 29 people have died after a bus carrying German tourists plunged off a road and overturned on the Portuguese island of Madeira. Another 27 were injured in the accident near the town of Caniço. The accident happened at 18:30 (17:30 GMT) when the driver lost control of the bus at a junction and went off the road, according Portuguese news agency Lusa. The overturned vehicle came to rest near houses. « I have no words to describe what happened. I cannot…

Notre-Dame fire: Macron says new cathedral will be ‘more beautiful’

Media playback is unsupported on your device French President Emmanuel Macron says Notre-Dame cathedral will be rebuilt « even more beautifully » – and that he wants the work done within five years. A massive fire on Monday ravaged the 850-year-old Gothic building, destroying much of its roof and causing its steeple to collapse. The cathedral was minutes away from total destruction, officials say. But despite Mr Macron’s pledge experts say its reconstruction could take decades. Fifty people will investigate the cause of the fire. Paris public prosecutor Rémy Heitz…

Spanish far-right Vox party banned from TV debate

Spain’s election board has banned the far-right Vox party from participating in the only confirmed debate for the April 28 election. The controversial, anti-immigration party achieved a surprise victory in recent regional elections. Spain’s Atresmedia network chose it to join the four major national parties for a debate on April 23. However, the electoral commission ruled that Vox’s inclusion would be a violation of electoral law. The network said it would respect the ruling but stood by its decision to include Vox in the debate. « Atresmedia maintains that a…

Notre-Dame fire: Cathedral saved within crucial half hour

Media playback is unsupported on your device Saving France’s Notre-Dame cathedral came down to a crucial time window of 15-30 minutes, France’s deputy interior minister has said. Laurent Nuñez praised the « courage and determination » of firefighters who « risked their own lives » to salvage the building’s stone structure and its two towers. The fire ravaged the 850-year-old cathedral’s roof and caused its spire to collapse. The cause of the blaze is unclear. « We now know it all came down to 15-30 minutes, » Mr Nuñez said,…

EU gives ‘high-level’ protection to whistleblowers

Whistleblowers across the European Union have won greater protection under landmark legislation aimed at encouraging reports of wrongdoing. The new law, approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday, shields whistleblowers from retaliation. It also creates « safe channels » to allow them to report breaches of EU law. It is the first time whistleblowers have been given EU-wide protection. The rules have previously been in the hands of member states, resulting in a range of vastly different approaches. The law was approved by 591 votes, with 29 votes against and…

Notre-Dame cathedral: Macron pledges reconstruction after fire

Media playback is unsupported on your device French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the medieval cathedral of Notre-Dame after a major fire partially destroyed the Paris landmark. Firefighters managed to save the 850-year-old Gothic building’s main stone structure, including its two towers, but the spire and roof collapsed. The fire was declared under control almost nine hours after it started. The cause is not yet clear but officials say it could be linked to extensive renovation works under way. Paris prosecutor’s office said it was currently being investigated…

Notre Dame on fire in Paris

A fire has broken out at the famous Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, firefighters say. The cause is not yet clear, but officials say it could be linked to renovation work. Images on social media show plumes of smoke billowing into the air above the the 850-year-old Gothic building. Last year, the Catholic Church in France launched an urgent appeal for funds to save the cathedral, which was starting to crumble. This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for…

Former VW boss charged over diesel emissions scandal

The former chief executive of the carmaker Volkswagen has been charged in Germany over the diesel emissions scandal. The public prosecutor in Braunschweig charged Martin Winterkorn, and four other managers, with fraud. Mr Winterkorn is already facing criminal charges in the US, but is unlikely to face trial there, as Germany does not extradite its citizens. He stepped down as VW’s boss in 2015. Source: BBC

Brexit: Jeremy Hunt says ‘absolute priority’ to avoid European polls

It is an « absolute priority » for the government to leave the EU by 23 May to avoid having to take part in European elections, Jeremy Hunt has said. The foreign secretary said the public would find it « hugely disappointing » to be asked to send MEPs to Brussels. Asked if it could be a disaster for the Tories, he told the BBC « in terms of polling it certainly looks that way ». Some local Tory activists have signalled they will not campaign and regard the polls…

Finland election: Leftist party tipped to win vote

Finland is tipped to turn left in Sunday’s election, with the Social Democrats leading in polls. But with several parties, including the right-wing Finns, jostling closely for second place, their ability to govern could be curtailed and coalition-building lies ahead. How did we get here? Last month, former Prime Minister Juha Sipila’s government resigned over its failure to achieve a key policy goal on social welfare and healthcare reform. His Centre Party had been in a centre-right coalition government since the last parliamentary elections in 2015. Concerned about Finland’s expensive…

EU countries take migrants after Mediterranean stand-off

Four EU countries have agreed to take in 64 African migrants who were rescued after being stranded in the Mediterranean Sea for almost two weeks. The Alan Kurdi ship, operated by the German humanitarian group Sea-Eye, had been refused entry by Italy and Malta. Both countries had said it was Libya’s responsibility, Sea-Eye had claimed. But on Saturday the Maltese government announced that the migrants will be redistributed among Germany, France, Portugal and Luxembourg. « None of the migrants will remain in Malta. The ship Alan Kurdi will not be…

Sweden must get priority on Assange -UK MPs

More than 70 MPs have signed a letter urging the home secretary to ensure Julian Assange faces authorities in Sweden if they request his extradition. Labour’s Stella Creasy tweeted a copy of the note sent to Sajid Javid. WikiLeaks co-founder Assange was arrested on Thursday in relation to an extradition request from the US, where he is facing computer hacking charges. He had spent seven years in Ecuador’s London embassy, evading trial in Sweden for sex assaults which he has denied. At the time, Assange said he had had entirely…

Dutch fertility doctor used own sperm to father 49 children, DNA tests show

A Dutch fertility doctor accused of using his own sperm to inseminate patients without their consent has been confirmed as the father of 49 children. DNA tests revealed that Jan Karbaat, who died two years ago, impregnated their mothers at his clinic in Bijdorp, near Rotterdam. The results were confirmed on Friday after judges allowed their release. One of the children, named Joey, said he could « finally close the chapter » now he knew Mr Karbaat was his father. « After a search of 11 years I can continue…

Swedish police charged over fatal shooting of man with Down’s syndrome

Three Swedish police officers have been charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a man who had Down’s syndrome and autism. Police opened fire on Eric Torell, 20, in response to what they described as a « threatening situation » in August 2018. His mother said at the time he had been carrying a toy that was « like a submachine gun ». Two officers have been charged with official misconduct and one with causing the man’s death. Mr Torell had been reported missing from his home in the…

Jan Kuciak: Ex-soldier ‘admits double murder’ in Slovakia

An ex-soldier in Slovakia has confessed to the double murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée last year, Slovak media report. Miroslav Marcek and three others – all in custody – have been charged over the killings, which caused a huge outcry and political change in Slovakia. Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova, both aged 27, were shot dead in February 2018. Prosecutors have charged a Slovak businessman, Marian Kocner, with ordering the murder of Kuciak. The journalist and his fiancée were shot dead at their home in Velka Maca,…

Monsanto liable for French farmer’s ill health

US biotech giant Monsanto is legally responsible for the ill health of a farmer who ingested its weedkiller product, a French court has ruled. A French appeals court ruled in favour of 55-year-old Paul Francois, who has fought a decade-long legal battle against the firm. He fell ill after inhaling vapour from Lasso, a now banned herbicide, in 2004. Mr Francois blames Monsanto, accusing it of not giving sufficient safety warnings. Bayer AG, the German pharmaceutical company that acquired Monsanto in 2018, confirmed Thursday’s ruling and said it was considering…

‘Swede’ arrested by Ecuador in Assange case

A man with close ties to Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been arrested while trying to leave Ecuador, the country’s interior ministry says. Interior Minister María Paula Romo did not name the man but said he had been arrested for « investigative purposes ». An unnamed government official told the Associated Press that the man is Ola Bini, a Swedish software developer. It comes just hours after Assange was himself arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. « A person close to Wikileaks, who has been residing in Ecuador, was…

Ex-Pope Benedict XVI blames 1960s revolution for sex abuse

Retired Pope Benedict XVI has published a letter which blames clerical sex abuse on the « all-out sexual freedom » of the 1960s. He said that cultural and historical change had led to a « dissolution » of morality in Catholicism. The sexual revolution in the 1960s had led to homosexuality and paedophilia in Catholic establishments, he claimed. The letter sparked fierce criticism from theologians who claim it is « deeply flawed ». Vatican expert Joshua McElwee said in the National Catholic Reporter: « It does not address structural issues…

EU leaders agree to six-month Brexit extension

Media playback is unsupported on your device European Union leaders have granted the UK a six-month extension to Brexit, after five hours of talks in Brussels. The new deadline – 31 October – averts the prospect of the UK having to leave the EU without a deal on Friday, as MPs are still deadlocked over a deal. European Council president Donald Tusk said his « message to British friends » was « please do not waste this time ». Theresa May, who had wanted a shorter delay, said the UK…