tv Witness History BBC News August 5, 2021 2:30am-3:00am BST
fierce fighting continues and lashkar gah between the taliban and government forces. eight people have been killed in kabul at the home of the acting defence minister. the sprinter from belarus who defied her country's attempt to send her home from the olympics, because she feared for her safety, has arrived in warsaw. krystsina tsimanouskaya has been given a humanitarian visa by the polish governmment the mexican government is suing major 15 us gun companies, accusing them of failing to stop the illegal flow of weapons across the border. mexican officials are believed to be seeking in the region of $10 billion in compensation.
the companies named in the lawsuit haven't responded. a series of significant changes to the covid travel rules will come into force in the early hours of sunday morning. france, a major destination for british tourists is to be brought into line with other amber list countries. those coming from france to england will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated. with the latest, here's our transport correspondent caroline davies. a near empty swimming pool, few tents pitched and no—one propping up the bar. this would normally be the busiest time of year at this campsite in western france, but at the moment, they're half—empty. hopefully there'll be a flurry of last—minute campers. we're hoping so, especially in september with the older couples who normally come who don't have families. i think it's too late for families to come because they will have booked elsewhere in the uk. across the channel, these british holiday—makers
are staying home. with the kids and too late in summer, we've already had to change my holiday. i work for the nhs, so i've had to change my holiday that way. i couldn't quarantine when i get back, so, yeah, this is it for us this year. it's too risky to commit to an overseas holiday right now in my opinion. it's too much of an issue, effort to get tested. ijust feel a bit safer- in my own country, quite frankly, at the moment. even though they make those changes, they can make the changes again. these changes are for england. wales, scotland and northern ireland are yet to say if they'll follow. there are new additions to the green list, including germany, but of the seven countries added, only two will allow in nonvaccinated tourists without quarantine. spain is still amber, but the government is advising passengers to have the more expensive pcr test rather than the cheaper lateral flow test before they depart for the uk. what we do want to do isjust be able to work with the clinicians, with the experts in spain in order to just keep a very close eye
on this beta variant that we already know so much more about now, and pcr tests enable us to do that. labour have argued the government are still overcomplicating travel. having this confusion, having these changes country by country almost on a weekly basis now doesn't help the industry, it doesn't help passengers and it doesn't help instill confidence in the government. some countries are going from red to amber, including the uae. it means neil, who lives in dubai, will be able to see his one—year—old grandson for the first time in a year. despite the anger i feel towards the government, i can now put that behind me and we can now look forward and we can travel, so that's really good. and we can almost get our lives back to a form of normality of being able to see our friends and family. country by country, more of the world is opening up to uk travellers, but well into summer and after months of uncertainty, the question is how many will want to make the trip? caroline davies, bbc news.
now on bbc news, witness history. hello, i'm nikki fox. thanks forjoining me at the queen elizabeth olympic park here in london ahead of the summer 2020 paralympic games. in this special edition of witness history, we're looking back at some important moments in the recent history of disability and sport. coming up: a medallist who competed at the first paralympic games. we'll hear about the special olympics for those with learning disabilities. away from sport, we'll find out why students at america's deaf only university shut down their campus. plus, we'll hear about the specially designed car for disabled people that was both terrifying and exhilarating. but first, when sports enthusiast van phillips lost his leg during an accident, he became
immediately frustrated by the clumsy prosthetics on offer. determined to run again, he went on to invent the first carbon graphite prosthetic running leg in 1984. it has since simply become known as �*the blade�*. when you lose a body part, it's different from any other experience because it's gone. it'sjust gone. that was the hardest part, knowing that it was irreversible. i had my accident in the spring of 1976, and i was 21, and winter had just broke and it was now time for spring water skiing. i'd just taken a big cut to the left and the boat quit. so then all of a sudden over my right shoulder, i turn around and another boat came right at me and so the odds are that my ankle�*s that wide, that's what it hit, the propeller. had i not had a wetsuit on,
i would have bled out, there was just no way — major arteries were cut. but my knee was bent, the wetsuit was tight. itjust stopped the blood flow. they put a cast on your stump and then on the bottom was a pink rubber foot and so i'm sitting there looking at my pink foot and you just feel like your life is gone. archive: their artificial limb, especially if it's a leg, - is the most important thing in their life. they ought to get, and it seems that now one day they will get, the very best that modern technological skills can provide. the question is when. ijust knew intuitively that there was a better way. just years, several years prior, theyjust put man on the moon. so my early attempts at creating something that would spring and push off was — you know those little insoles you put on the side of your shoe? well, that was my first concept — let's build one of those
and those early ones were actually, they weren't too bad, i had a little block of foam on the toe and the heel but then i got really blessed. i met a man called dale abildskov. dale was one of the world's leading aerospace graphite engineers. that night we drew up the drawing of what the leg was to look like and within two, maybe three weeks, i built a leg and i attached it to my socket. iran down his condominium hallway, i mean fast. that was freedom. that was, that was real inner freedom. i probably built 50, maybe 60 more legs, different types, different arrangements. broke �*em, fell down. till we finally launched our first foot. the first carbon graphite energy—storing prosthesis ever. so if you look at the structure, it's millions
of tiny little hair—like fibres, and those fibres stretch, just like our tendons do, and so that energy can be stored in those fibres and that's how we came up with the c—shaped cheetah foot. my foundation's name is called second wind. i'm involved in developing a foot for landmine survivors. and they have to go to work. you know, they're labourers, they're planting fields, they don't have the luxury of sitting down. for asia, a lot of people work in rice patties. you can't wear a standard foot in water, they rot. in afghanistan, iraq, they're on rocky hillsides, going up and down mountains. we built a design that has increased function, decreased weight and increased strength. the foot has to be able to endure all kinds of different climates. we're calling it the world foot. world foot for all countries,
for all peoples everywhere. and when i think of all the amputees in the world that i can actually share that, there was never a greaterjoy than that for me. van phillips on the invention which revolutionised parasports. our next witness was a bit of a pioneer herself. in 1960, margaret maughan surprised even herself when she became a gold—medallist at the first paralympic games in rome. but it all started at a british hospital. in 1959, i was working in malawi, involved in a car accident, when i became paralysed and was brought to stoke mandeville hospital in england and from then my life changed dramatically. the director of the unit was ludwig guttmann and his idea was movement. people just not allowed
to lie there, becoming ill and miserable. archive: it's paralysis that keeps the 200 contestants | in wheelchairs, but it can't prevent them from being sportsmen. itjust worked out happened that i happened to be quite good at archery and i used to win the monthly competition quite often. in 1960 i was very lucky and very surprised to be invited to be in the team to go to the very first international sports event for wheelchair people in rome. archive: visitors to _ the vatican where 350 paralysed people who have competed over there in what they called the paralympic games. the olympics had just taken place and we were going to stay in the olympic village
in the same accommodation. to our horror when we arrived on the ground, all the buildings were up on stilts. whenever we went in or out and a building, these two soldiers would carry us up two flights of stairs and down two flights of stairs. it was a very tedious business. during the whole of the games, there was such a togetherness. everybody making new friends, it was great camaraderie and we just supported each other. archery was one of the first competitions to begin. we would shoot six arrows each. and then a little army of people, one for each target,
would rush up to the target and collect the arrows and the same thing happened again. i had no idea what my score was, and then i was allowed to go off and watch other people doing different events. we were put on the coaches ready to go back to the village. somebody said, "where's margaret maughan? we need her, she's needed for a medal ceremony." so they had to then proceed to lift me out of the coach, put me back into a wheelchair and i was wheeled up a little ramp onto the leading position and presented with the gold medal. i wasn't really very excited about it, it had just happened. everything was so bewildering. it's now known as the first medal won by a british person at the first paralympic games.
i myself managed to take apart in five paralympics over the years. it's just a marvellous experience, the whole thing. margaret maughan, britain's first paralympic gold—medallist, who sadly died in 2020. up next, a sporting moment which helped change attitudes. in 1968, the first games for athletes with learning disabilities was held. they were promoted by america's famous political family the kennedys, one of whom had a learning disability. witness history spoke to organiser anne burke and to athlete frank olivo about a time when people like him were often feared or ignored. i was a teacher in the chicago park district in 1965 teaching physical education. teaching skills to special athletes like frank, and frank was in the very
beginning of the programme. i was 20 when i was in the special olympics. i had spinal meningitis. it made me slow. back in the early �*60s, there was no activities and no schooling for people with disabilities, or they were in institutions at the time. my psycho i tried to get on with everybody on the block and theyjust looked and laughed. i wrote to mrs eunice kennedy shriver and asked her if she would donate some money to put in the first special games. she was very excited. i wrote a proposal to her and the kennedy foundation helped fund it. right here at soldier field, we put on the first games. there were 1,000 athletes.
in ancient rome, the gladiators went into the arena with thesel words on their lips, - "let me win, but if i cannot win, let me be brave the attempt." - today, all of you young . athletes are in the arena. many of you will win, - but even more important, i know you will be brave and bring credit to yourl parents and to your countries. let us begin the olympics. thank you. applause volunteers | were needed for almost every individual athlete. this was new for even the volunteers to have even an opportunity to meet first—hand a special child or an adult.
reporter: there are seven basic events: running, - jumping, throwing and swimming. my coach came and tell me i am in the 50—yard dash. i was excited but kind of nervous. the 50—yard dash, shortest yet severest test of speed - in the special olympics competition. _ it was hard at first, when they raised the gun and said, "on your marks, get set, bang". i didn't know if i was going to take off, but i took off! we were all kind of fast runners. i came pretty close to the nose. reporter: only two tenths of a second separates - first and third. i was catching my breath, and my coach, he said "you won first place!" and i said, "thank god!"
seeing 1,000 athletes on the field, showing off their skills and actually thrilled to be able tojust be there. winning wasn't the goal, it was crossing the finish line. i felt proud of myself — other people always put me down, saying, "you won't amount to nothing", and they say now, "he does amount to something, he's special!" anne burke and frank olivo, who sadly died in 2019. remember, you can watch witness history every month on the bbc news channel, or you can catch up on all our
films alongside more than 2,000 radio programmes on our online archive. just go to bbc. co. uk/witnesshistory. now to the 1980s, and a protest which made the national news in america. in 1988, students at the deaf—only gallaudet university barricaded their campus, protesting against their board of trustees�* decision to appoint a hearing president. witness history spoke to dr irving king jordan. it's important to know that i am totally deaf — i can't hear a jet engine, i can't hear anything.
right now i'm working with a sign language interpreter, sarah, who's sitting front of me next to the camera, so instead of hearing your questions, i'm seeing sarah's signs. newsreader: gallaudet college has been the centre of deaf - education in america since1847. i have a lot to bring to the university but i also have a lot to learn from it, and that process must start right away. the board of trustees voted to name elisabeth zinser the seventh president of gallaudet. dr zinser had a lot of experience but she didn't know anything about deafness. and that's when i guess you could say the protests started. someone had the bright idea to bring buses to block the gates. the rallying cry was "we want a deaf president now! chanting: deaf president now! we want a deaf president!
one of the posters out front said "honk if you support a deaf prez", and of course everybody drove past, saw that sign, honked. honking. then the press started to come, and for a week it was the front page of the washington post. are the students prepared to continue blocking the entrance as long as the board refuses to meet your demands? the chair of the board was jane bassett spilman. and she came to campus and called a meeting.
she wanted to talk and explain her decision. woman: are you going to resign? crosstalk and chanting. she used the word "children", said "you children are making too much noise, i can't communicate if you make so much noise." but using the word children to college students? ooh, that was not good. when dr zinser realised the intensity of the feelings and the sense of the campus, she decided to step down. the board discussed and decided to name me president.
there is one person i want to single out for very special thanks. applause. my wife linda. applause. right now i am getting emotional, so i have to stop. at gallaudet, people who are deaf must have unlimited educational and professional opportunity. i was delighted with the speech, i was delighted with the experience. dr irving king jordan, the first deaf president of gallaudet university. finally to britain, just after the second world war, when the government began providing free vehicles, specially designed for disabled people. colin powell tells witness history about his love—hate relationship with the invacar he received in the 1960s. it's very much a result of the war veterans coming back
disabled from the second world war. it became apparent to the government that they needed some form of transportation. newsreel: all have motor- invalid chairs and many of them go out in them every day to work in nearby factories along the great west road. the government came up with designing what we would best describe in those days as being an "invalid carriage". but then they got the brand name, which was the brand name of the manufacturer, they became the invacar. all were hand controlled, in other words if you take the three petals in a normal vehicle, the clutch, the accelerator, the foot brakes, they were all incorporated to be only operated by hands. i am a victim of polio and have always suffered a restricted mobility. i was 16 when i first got my invalid carriage. the excitement of this vehicle coming into your possession after years of being dependent on, in my case, my parents, to take me anywhere, was an absolute delight and thrill.
it gave you the feeling of somehow levelling out the playing field of the limitations put upon you by your disability. it took me to college, when i was a student, it took me to my firstjob, but when we look at it objectively we can see a lot that wasn't right with it as well. reporter: 8596 of disabled | people using this vehicle have said to have complained about its unpredictable behaviour on the road. they were not reliable, they were unstable, they were fundamentally unsafe. the fact that it was a single seater meant in your formulative teenage and 20s years, it was a very antisocial
method of transport, because, you know, when you started to form friendships with girls and what have you, i was a bit of a rebel, and i can't say with my hand on my heart that i didn't sneak a young lady in my car on more than one occasion. she'd sit where the wheelchair would sit, on the floor, very uncomfortable, totally no padding, no seatbelt, totally unsafe. reporter: the campaign to get invalids onto four wheels - instead of three switched in october to tower bridge. i did take part in a protest against these vehicles. we were looking for the government to consider issuing regular, adapted ordinary cars. eventually the protest got so heated that the government allowed this scheme to allow the provision of a regular car adapted for disabled persons. archive: this triumph spitfire is the first sports car to be - converted and cost £115 to switch to hand operation. most things you find in the disability world are never designed by a disabled person. they'd be decided by someone who thinks they know what a disabled person needs.
i might be disabled but i'm a human being, i'm as normal as anyone else. it's just that i have additional challenges in my life as the mass—market motoring could have easily accommodated from day one. colin powell there talking about the invacar. that's all from this special edition of witness history, from the queen elizabeth olympic park here in london. we'll be back soon with more extraordinary stories from the past. but for now from me and the rest of the witness history team, goodbye. hello. our temperatures so far this
week have topped out in the comfortable low 20s. in greece, a severe extreme heatwave is continuing. there are wildfires. temperatures by day have topped out at 47 degrees, and overnight — this is an overnight temperature on the island of crete — into the mid—30s. now, there is a bit of relief on the way towards the south—east of europe in the coming days as temperatures will come down a bit. ours are about to go down a bit, too. low pressure is coming into the uk. the heavy downpours, there have been a few so far this week, are about to become more widespread again. this is how we start off on thursday morning, already some showers affecting northern ireland and western scotland. it will turn much wetter through northern ireland in the morning, but across the western side of the uk, even though you may start dry, rain will move in through the day. that's going to extend eastwards to those areas still having some sunny spells even into the first part of the afternoon. now, behind this main band of rain, brightening up in northern ireland, but here some slow—moving thundery downpours bring a risk of flooding and disruption
into the afternoon and evening. and temperatures still across eastern parts rising into the low 20s. all areas, though, seeing freshening winds gusting 30—110 mph. windiest around irish sea coasts, blowing in plenty of showers as we go on through thursday night into friday morning. some longer spells of rain in scotland, and temperatures as friday starts around the mid—teens. well, that low pressure right across us on friday, and there will be further heavy showers around through the central belt, southern scotland, northern ireland, northern england, north wales, parts of the midlands. this is where there is a risk of some slow—moving, prolonged, even torrential downpours. thundery, too, they'll bring a risk of flooding and disruption. another set of weather fronts coming our way from the south just pepping up the downpours across southernmost parts of the uk. whereas elsewhere,
it's a similar story. there'll be some heavy and thundery downpours around. it is worth bearing in mind, though, there will also be some sunny spells, not wet all the time. there will be brighter, drier moments in between these downpours. showery picture continuing on sunday and monday. by tuesday, that low pressure system is out of the way. it will turn drier for a time, though another low moves in later next week.
welcome to bbc news, i'm ben boulos. our top stories: the un issues a stark warning about the safety of thousands of civilians, in the afghan city of lashkar gar, as fierce fighting continues between the taliban and government forces. we see that access to care and healthcare is extremely difficult, and we really need to see the international humanitarian law being upholding in those circumstances. the sprinter from belarus, who refused to return home from the olympics, fearing for her own safety, has arrived in poland. the mexican government sues 15 large us gun firms, accusing them of failing to stop the illegal flow of weapons across the border.