BBC World News 2017-04-19

BBC News with Julia Candler.

A senior member of North Korea’s government has warned that his country would react with a pre-emptive nuclear strike if it saw signs that the US was preparing to launch an attack. Speaking to the BBC, the Vice Foreign Minister Kung Sok-Ung said there would be all out war from day one if the US took military action.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will ignore international criticism of Sunday’s referendum. In a combative speech outside the Presidential Palace, he suggested he might hold a referendum on ending more than a decade of talks on joining the European Union.

The two front runners in the French Presidential election have been fighting to win over undecided voters as they head towards the first round next Sunday. The centrist Emmanuel Macron warned against voting for JeanLuc Melenchon, the communist-backed firebrand, whose strong performance in the Television debates have put him in contention. The far-right candidate MarineLe Pen whose support basis is thought to be the most solid is holding a rally in Paris.

The Israeli authorities have taken action against the leader of a mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners. Marwan Barghouti, a prominent figure in the Fatah political action who is serving life sentence for this murder, has been moved to a different jail and put in solitary confinement.

The President of Paraguay Horacio Cartes says he will not stand as a candidate in elections next year after demonstrators set fire to the congress last month in protest of the secret senator vote to amend the constitution to allow second presidential terms. He said he had been inspired by Pope Francis’s call for peace and dialogue.

An Indian singer has provoked a debate on social media by complaining about being woken up in the morning by the amplified call to pray from a mosque. Sonu Nigam also criticized amplification in Hindu and Sikh temples.

BBC News.