tv BBC News BBC News August 7, 2021 7:00am-7:31am BST
this is bbc world news. i'm lewis vaughan—jones. our top stories: gunfire. the taliban seizes a provincial capital in southern afghanistan, as the un's envoy demands the militants end their offensive. we are extremely concerned about the safety and security of people in cities under taliban attacks, and what brutality would await them. and the first gold of the day for team gb goes to goes to galal yafai, beating carlo paalam from the philippines in the flyweight boxing. and this hour, tom daly will be hoping for his second gold as he takes to the diving board and the men solo ten metres platform.
nearly half the regions in greece are on high alert, as the worst wildfires in decades rage across the country. and from the charts to the stage. pop star lily allen makes her acting debut in the west end. hello, and welcome to bbc world news. all british nationals in afghanistan are being urged to leave the country, as violence intensifies between government forces and taliban fighters. the militant group has captured its first regional capital in five years, and is making gains in other areas, as western forces withdraw from the country. the united nations�* special envoy has warned that afghanistan is facing a possible catastrophe. our world affiars correspondent richard galpin has more.
in the heart of the afghan capital, another assassination — taliban gunmen opening fire on this car, killing the head of the government's media information centre, dawa khan menapal. they'd warned officials would be targeted in response to air strikes by afghan and us forces, the war now increasingly spilling into the capital. but the taliban are also now targeting other key cities in this, their latest offensive. they claim to have captured the city of zaranj in the south—west of the country. gunfire. officials say, if true, it would be the first provincial capital to fall into their hands in this, the latest upsurge in fighting, and the taliban claim more will follow. at the united nations in new york, there are now calls for action.
the council must act and prevent a catastrophic situation. we are alarmed by reports of incidences of gross human rights violations by the taliban and their foreign terrorist associates in almost half of our country, and we are extremely concerned about the safety and security of people in cities under taliban attacks and what brutality would await them. the question now, though, is what action can be taken given the taliban advances have been precipitated by the withdrawal of foreign troops from afghanistan. the futures of millions of afghans are at stake. i think the region should very clearly tell the taliban that a taliban coming to power through force and continuing the violence is unacceptable. they need to see that their government will not be accepted and recognised. but for now, at least, it seems unlikely the taliban will stop their offensive. they seem determined to seize as much ground as they can. richard galpin, bbc news.
in the last hour, the first gold for team gb of today has gone to galal yafai who's claimed top spot in the flyweight boxing after a split decision win over carlo paalam of the philippines. the 28—year—old floored his opponent in the opening round secure the verdict. yafai's win concludes a stunning run of form for the boxer from birmingham, who was competing in his second olympics having lost his second bout at rio 2016. meanwhile in the pool, team gb�*s tom daley goes for his second gold of the games after making the finals of the men's solo 10m platform in tokyo today. let's speak to the diver matthew dixon, who just narrowly missed out on a place in team gb for this year's games. matthew, who like tom is from plymouth and has trained with him in the past. families of the victims of the september 11 attacks in america are among those calling on president biden not to attend this year's memorial events, unless he declassifies files that they contend will show saudi
leaders supported the atrocity. this year marks the 20th anniversary of the attacks in new york, virginia and pennsylvania, which killed nearly 3,000 people. 0ur north america correspondent barbara plett—usher explained more about what the group is asking of the president. there's around 1,700 people who have signed this letter — it includes survivors and first responders — and they have long been asking for access to classified government documents on whether the saudi arabian government was implicated in the al-qaeda plot — so whether saudi officials assisted or aided orfunded these hijackers in any way. the saudi government has always said it was not involved and previous us
administrations have refused to declassify the documents, saying that it's a national security issue. now, this letter is saying, look, it's 20 years since this happened. there's just no reason why this information has to be kept secret. and furthermore, joe biden made a campaign pledge to try to resolve this issue, and if he doesn't do so then the people who signed this letter say �*we will feel obliged to publicly stand against him participating in any of the memorial services come september'. so they're basically drawing a line in the sand, and the white house has responded. the white house spokesperson jen psaki said that mr biden was still committed to that pledge. she also said that white house officials had met family members a number of times. but the issue is not — it's not clear how this is going to play out. thanks to barbara, with the latest from the us.
a volunteer firefighter has died as wildfires spread across greece. the 38—year—old was hit by a falling electricity pole in a suburb of athens. thousands of people have been moved from their homes in the northern suburbs of athens — those who remain have been urged to stay indoors. those who remain have been urged to stay indoors. a short time ago i spoke to the freelance journalist anthee ca reassava. she lives in ekali and went to the an area very close to her house that was under threat. i'm actually in varibobi, which is where the fire actually started, and we're day four into this freak inferno, which shows no sign of actually letting up. you can see some of the smoke behind me, this is actually one of the locations where several of these fires are raging. as i said, it was the start of this inferno, this is where it was sparked, initially, and it is back into this location again, with fresh flare—ups, kind of leaping to life, even when people thought that this situation had been brought under some kind of control. this is along a main motorway, which is acting as a kind of stop
between this nature reserve and main residential districts, and the scramble for the authorities is to block flames that are coming down these slopes from sweeping in and tearing into these residential districts, that would spell complete and utter catastrophe for the capital of greece, athens. now, altogether we have seen 98 new fires sparked in the last 2a hours, 154 blazing altogether across this country that is under siege by these blazes, and 64 of them actually active as we speak. athens alone is not under siege, there are other major fronts on the islands of evia, for example,
1500 people were evacuated by boat yesterday, many of them handicapped people, carrying their personal belongings, their parents, their cats, anything they could find that was very important for them, and other fronts also in the southern peloponnese. i just wanted to touch on something you just mentioned, people evacuating their homes. i suppose lots of people are now effectively on standby, having to make this decision. what is the level of concern, are people getting out, are people listening to the authorities? i myself am on standby alert. i have my bag packed, i am following all the directives until that area sign and notice comes in on my phone, telling me to move out.
so, there have been thousands of people who have been facing the same predicament, but many, especially older folks, are staying put, because it'sjust impossible for them. they say that to leave their houses, and i, from a personal account, i can say that up until now i was seeing this and i was saying, why can't theyjust get out and save their lives, but when your own home is at stake, i found myself making a very difficult decision as to whether i am going to stay or move out. let's see what else is hitting the headlines around the world now.
lawyers for the governor of new york, andrew cuomo, have called into question the results of an independent investigation that found mr kawano had sexually harassed 11 women while in office. —— cuomo. the government has denied the allegations. earlier, one of mr cuomo's accusers, a former aide, filed a criminal complaint against him. the us military�*s central command has announced the results of an investigation into last week's fatal drone attack on a merchant tanker off 0man. its experts concluded the drone was made in iran. a british security guard and the ship's romanian captain were killed. tehran had already denied orchestrating the attack. tens of thousands of health workers in bangladesh are leading a major drive to increase the number of people being vaccinated against covid—19. the country hopes to vaccinate 3.2 million people in a just week, as it battles the latest surge in cases. bangladesh's national lockdown has been extended until august ten. 0ur south asia correspondent, danjohnson, explains the vaccination drive.
this is a huge drive right across bangladesh to try to tackle the wave of infection that is sweeping the country. bangladesh seems to be feeling a delayed effect of the delta variant but things have got worse and worse throuthune and july. to give you some perspective, a quarter of all bangladesh's covid deaths, about 21,000 now, 22,000, a quarter of those happened in the last month, so authorities really making moves now to try to get a grip. there are 15,000 vaccination centres opening across the country from today, available to everyone over 25 — and also targeting older rohingya refugees as well — tying to get through millions of people in the next week. the government's original aim was to try to vaccinate 10 million more people in the next week and they have scaled that back to something more realistic. they're hoping to get about 3 million extra people vaccinated, but to give you some perspective on the challenge there, there are about 4 million people in the country fully vaccinated already.
bangladesh's population is over 160 million. so a huge effort, a huge challenge in that country. yeah, big job ahead. what about the role of the international community, dan? 0bviously we've heard over months and months criticism of the uneven distribution of vaccinations. what's the situation there? yeah, things have been difficult, getting vaccinations into bangladesh has been a challenge. they're importing different vaccinations from different countries but can't get enough at the minute. the government is hoping to establish its own vaccination production facilities and hopes to do that in the next two months, but there's work to do on that front as well. they've got logistical challenges of getting the vaccinations out to remote villages especially in such difficult weather conditions at the moment with the monsoon hitting the country. the health services have been under real pressure. hospitals, intensive care units, are filling up. ambulances have been in short supply.
30 ambulances have been donated by india in the last few days to try to ease the pressure, so bangladesh is really facing the crunch at the moment, hoping for international assistance, hoping that its own vaccination drive this week can start to get the numbers down because at the moment, things are seemingly out of control. and they're notjust battling covid. there's a dengue fever outbreak that's hit the country as well in the last few weeks. 0k, we'll keep across the challenges of that rollout. for now, thanks, dan. mumu he most coronavirus restrictions have been listed in wales with an end to rules and social distancing. despite falling covid cases, the country's first minister, mark drakeford has warned against a "free—for—all". two police officers are in hospital after an attack on woodgrain. 0ne police officer was slashed with a
knife and a second was assaulted. a 61—year—old man was also stabbed. the university of sussex is trying to 61—year—old man was also stabbed. the university of sussex is trying to incentivise 61—year—old man was also stabbed. the university of sussex is trying to incentivise students 61—year—old man was also stabbed. the university of sussex is trying to incentivise students to 61—year—old man was also stabbed. the university of sussex is trying to incentivise students to get collated against covid—19. campus authorities have introduced a raffle with the main prize being a cheque of £5,000. anyone who can prove they have been fullyjabbed or are exempt from a shot can be entered into a draw for the money. a sri lankan man says he has found a large star sapphire cluster in his backyard in the district of ratnapura, regarded the gem capital of the country. the authorities estimate the specimen could be worth millions of dollars, though it is yet to be evaluated and authenticated by international gem experts. the bbc�*s anbarasan ethirajan has been following the story. a rare find, according to shellac and gemologist �*s. they say this
stone found in rappler product student —— district... the owner who did not want to be identified for security reasons says it was found here, the garden behind his house. this was actually an accidental find. we have a huge battle. we appointed a person to go and search and then part of our land, in that well that he dug up. firstly we saw the crystal coming out and then we took the sapphire. the the crystal coming out and then we took the sapphire.— took the sapphire. the bbc cannot independently _ took the sapphire. the bbc cannot independently verify _ took the sapphire. the bbc cannot independently verify his _ took the sapphire. the bbc cannot independently verify his version i took the sapphire. the bbc cannot independently verify his version of| independently verify his version of events and how he stumbled upon the stone but the specimen has triggered a frenzy in sri lanka which has a vibrantjam industry. local experts vibrant jam industry. local experts say vibrantjam industry. local experts say the stone is something unique. —— jam industry. it is say the stone is something unique. -- jam industry-— -- jam industry. it is a very good example. — -- jam industry. it is a very good example, evidence, _ -- jam industry. it is a very good example, evidence, for - -- jam industry. it is a very good example, evidence, for the - -- jam industry. it is a very good - example, evidence, for the formation of sapphires. 0bviously
example, evidence, for the formation of sapphires. obviously this was formed during a50 million years ago. the weight of this specimen is over 500 kilograms. the weight of this specimen is over 500 kilogram-— the weight of this specimen is over 500 kilograms. during the cleaning rocess, 500 kilograms. during the cleaning process. the _ 500 kilograms. during the cleaning process, the man _ 500 kilograms. during the cleaning process, the man said _ 500 kilograms. during the cleaning process, the man said some - 500 kilograms. during the cleaning j process, the man said some stones fell out of the cluster and were found to be star sapphires. experts also point out that all the stones inside the cluster may not be star sapphires stop so the estimates of value very from a few million dollars to 100 million. translation: a man informed _ dollars to 100 million. translation: a man informed us _ dollars to 100 million. translation: a man informed us that _ dollars to 100 million. translation: a man informed us that he _ dollars to 100 million. translation: a man informed us that he found - dollars to 100 million. translation: a man informed us that he found a i a man informed us that he found a sapphire stone from the land adjoining his house was not as far as i know, this is the biggest sapphire found in the world. according to my estimate it could be worth $100 million.— worth $100 million. some are sce tical worth $100 million. some are sceptical and _ worth $100 million. some are sceptical and say that shellac| worth $100 million. some are - sceptical and say that shellac and gem authorities are making tall claims about —— about the stone's
value. any exaggeration will dent the country's jam industry even if the country's jam industry even if the specimen doesn't fetch millions, at least it gave the covid bearing sri lankans something to smile about. here in the uk with only one black cyclist competing on team gb's cycling squad, a new group has been set up in london in a bid to encourage more black women to take up encourage more black women to take up the sport. the bbc�*s david pittam went to speak to black girls do bike about why they started and what they want to achieve. we just wanted to have a space for black women where we can feel like we feel safe, we feel like we can just be because a lot of the microaggressions of life and other sports, we feel like we don't belong because we don't see ourselves basically. because we don't see ourselves basicall . , , ., basically. they started meeting three months _ basically. they started meeting three months ago _ basically. they started meeting three months ago to _ basically. they started meeting three months ago to break - basically. they started meeting l three months ago to break down barriers to black cycling and get
them on two wheels. i barriers to black cycling and get them on two wheels.— barriers to black cycling and get them on two wheels. i spoke to a lot of black women _ them on two wheels. i spoke to a lot of black women and _ them on two wheels. i spoke to a lot of black women and they _ them on two wheels. i spoke to a lot of black women and they thought - of black women and they thought cycling, no, we don't do that. once you see yourself represented you ok, maybe i can try it. you see yourself represented you ok, maybe i can try it— maybe i can try it. organisers say for representation _ maybe i can try it. organisers say for representation at _ maybe i can try it. organisers say for representation at amateur- maybe i can try it. organisers say| for representation at amateur and elite level is holding some people back. at the tokyo olympics only one of the 26 athletes on the team gp cycling group is black. but this group now has dozens of members. drawn by the idea of a relaxed space to pursue a healthy hobby. black girls do idike _ to pursue a healthy hobby. black girls do bike it— to pursue a healthy hobby. black girls do bike it feels _ to pursue a healthy hobby. black girls do bike it feels like - to pursue a healthy hobby. black girls do bike it feels like a - to pursue a healthy hobby. elam girls do bike it feels like a safe space, community, a sisterhood. a lot of hurdles or things that you think you might not be able to get overin think you might not be able to get over in cycling is wearing a helmet, the fact that cycling is predominantly a call and legs sport. they may be working only a certain area of their body and so that area may get together out of proportion. today the group is taking part in the second annual lack unity bike
ride. the event was set up in the wake of george floyd's murder in the black lives matter protest with the aim of turning frustration into positivity. aim of turning frustration into ositivi . ., , aim of turning frustration into ositivi . , ., , aim of turning frustration into positivity-— aim of turning frustration into ositivi . , ., , ., positivity. last year being on the black -- black — positivity. last year being on the black -- black unity _ positivity. last year being on the black -- black unity bike - positivity. last year being on the black -- black unity bike ride - positivity. last year being on the | black -- black unity bike ride felt black —— black unity bike ride felt like being in a carnivore of bikes because —— carnival. you had music everywhere, fantastic atmosphere, onlookers, strivers beeping their horns. it was just a really positive vibe. i think what is even more powerful is when you've got a massive ride like the lack unity like ride, last year we probably had only 20— 25% women in attendance. —— black unity. this year we have had over a00 people register and 50% of them are black women. over 400 people register and 50% of them are black women.— them are black women. organisers hoe them are black women. organisers hone events _ them are black women. organisers hone events in _ them are black women. organisers hope events in group _ them are black women. organisers hope events in group like - them are black women. organisers hope events in group like this - them are black women. organisers hope events in group like this will. hope events in group like this will get more black cyclist into the sport and the movement will continue
to gain momentum. david pitt, bbc news. we will continue the sporting theme because at the olympics this year we have seen skateboarding, rock climbing and surfing introduced to the games that could this sport be next? dog triathlon. known as canicross — it's when owners compete in the challenge to run, bike and swim — but with their dogs tagging along. the bbc�*s carol malia has been along to one canicross training club near ashington in northumberland in the north of england — to see how it's done. dogs bark. tension mounts at the lineup for the first discipline and it was never going to be a quiet entry into the water for the 100 metre swim. dogs barking and squeaky toys. weeks and months of training had come to this — the odd illegal assist, but the contenders generally were happy. you tire your dog out, laughs, it keeps us fit and active. it mentally stimulates the dog as well, and it does build a special bond between you and the dog which for me,
i find is the most important thing. geordie canicross has 200 members training for 100m swim, a 2.5k bike, and 2.5k run. you're straight in the water, you swim and then quickly get to the transition area, quickly getting changed, you're on your bike. the dogs just really love it, they love the speed and then quickly into the run, so yeah, it's really fast! go, go, go! dog barks. go, go! for the swim, we're obviously wearing the wetsuit, and the dogs wear the lifejacket, and then onto the bike they have to wear the harness. and they're specialist canicross dogs harnesses, and we have the arm on the bike to hold the line out from the wheel, and then we wear a belt for the actual running part. sometimes the pace is too much for those on two legs like poor emma in the pink here. trip hazard all part of the sport. and a last word from the coach... dogs enjoying it, you know?
but you must go home with a headache. well, yes, you go barking mad, really, laughs. carol malia, bbc look north, ashington. good luck to them. next. the british singer lily allen has made her acting debut in london's west end — and she's revealed she finds the theatre experience far scarier than performing a music concert. mark lobel reports. the multi—award winner's performed in front of tens of thousands on glastonbury�*s famous pyramid stage. # when do you think it will all become clear? # �*cause i'm being taken over by the fear #. now in her new incarnation as an actress, following five weeks of rehearsals, she says she really is being taken over by the fear. i know people say, oh,
you've been on a stage before, but it is a completely different experience, it's kind of like, much scarierfor me. on stage, lily's character examines the supernatural late into the night. as the witching hour approaches, she argues ghosts are like random memories. you mostly ignore them, but every so often one sticks out because it sets off some emotional response, so you share it again. the choice of london's noel coward theatre for lily allen's west end debut comes with a hint of irony, with her character convinced her home is haunted. apparently the theatre is haunted as well. the guy that built the theatre, charles windham, apparently he walks across the stage and goes into the dressing room by the stage, which is lily allen's dressing room. as long as he stays in there, that's fine. it's lily allen's problem, it's not mine. haunted or not, the outspoken number one selling singer's fully aware her surprising move to the theatre dressing room after being approached
by a casting director out of the blue, comes with a risk of, well, a premature exit stage left. the fact that i do live in new york kind of meant there's a very clear exit strategy if it all goes terribly wrong. if i was living in london, i probably wouldn't have taken the job �*cause i'd have to live with the consequences, but yeah, no, everything's great, it's all working out fine. indeed, after a few rave reviews from fans in previews before next week's official opening, it looks like the 36—year—old can believe in herself once more, as well as the ghosts they're all staying up to see. mark lobel, bbc news. that is it from me. as ever, there is plenty more on the website and the bbc news app. do download that if you haven't already. if you are
online, get me on social media, i am at el vaughanjones. i'm lewis vaughanjones and this is bbc news. bye—bye. hello, hello everybody. i hope you're doing all right. in time for the weekend we are joined by an area of low pressure which in turn will bring unsettled conditions across much of the uk. heavy, thundery downpours, some of these slow—moving — there's your headline — but we'll see some sunny spells as well. so, you know, it's not a complete write—off as far as that's concerned. so, let's have a look at the big picture. there's the area of low pressure. you can see these weather fronts swirling around it. not only will this introduce those heavy, thundery downpours but also breezy or blustery conditions at times. some heavy rain into parts of wales, the south—west of england, this moves towards the east then. further north it's a scattering of heavy showers.
will anywhere avoid these today? well, i wouldn't hold your breath, really. i think eastern sheltered parts more likely to get away with drier, brighter conditions and more of that sunshine. you can see it's a bit breezy or blustery at times. and today's top temperatures, nothing too exciting, between 15 and 20 celsius. now, as we move through towards this evening, those showers will continue, some of these generating a lot of rainfall within a short space of time today. and then through tonight, many of them will tend to lose a bit of their energy and fizzle out. you can see pockets of drier weather developing here and our lows tonight between 11 and 15 celsius. some cloud bubbling up here or there as well. so, let's return to the pressure chart, there's the low. slowly this is just creeping towards the north so tomorrow, yes, it will bring further unsettled conditions at times, but hopefully we're tipping the balance towards something drier and brighter across many parts. you can see the showers are thinning out across parts of england and wales, these will continue across the north—west.
southern, western parts of scotland initially, then moving towards the east. we're seeing these across northern ireland as well. and tomorrow's top temperatures as well, very similar, between about 1a, 15 and up to 20 celsius. now, the low pressure will remain with us over the next couple of days so it's notjust influencing our weather across the weekend, it will remain nearby, keeping us company to next week as well, but it is on the move, everyone, and hopefully then we'll have an area of high pressure building as we head through tuesday and into wednesday. now, that in turn will bring something drier, brighter, temperatures potentially rising a bit in places as well. but we do have some yellow weather warnings in place for thunderstorms today, so do keep across the latest forecast. of course, i'll keep you posted on all the very latest online and on the bbc weather app. stay safe, see you soon.
afghan officials say the taliban have seized the south—west city of zaranj, the first provincial capital to fall to the militants for five years. during a un emergency meeting to discuss the worsening violence, its envoy to the region demanded the militants end their offensive. the the militants end their offensive. greek governmer half the greek government has put almost half the country's regions on high alert as wildfires continue to spread. huge pillars of smoke billowing on the outskirts of athens. a man has been killed in a village north of the city after being hit by falling electricity pole. the penultimate day of action at the olympics is underway in tokyo. kenya's peresjepchirchir won the women's marathon, claiming the country's second consecutive gold medal in the event. later, medals will be up for grabs in diving, volleyball, and golf.
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