tv BBC News BBC News August 7, 2021 8:00am-8:31am BST
this is bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in the uk and around the globe. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: 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. another gold medalfor team gb goes to galal yafai, who beat carlo paalam from the philippines in the flyweight boxing. this hour, tom daley is hoping for his second team gb gold, as he takes to the diving board in the men's solo 10m platform. nearly half the regions in greece are on high alert as the worst wildfires in decades rage
across the country. from the charts to the stage — pop star lily allen makes her acting debut in the west end. people say, "oh, you have been on a stage before", but it is a completely. different experience. it's much scarierfor me, anyway. hello and welcome. british nationals in afghanistan are being urged to leave the country as violence intensifies between government forces and taliban fighters. the taliban have said that they have taken over a jail and release the
prisoners. the united nations�* special envoy has warned that afghanistan is facing a possible catastrophe. our world affairs 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. 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 incidents 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 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. lynne o'donnell is the former kabul bureau chief for the associated press and current writer for foregin policy magazine, who's just returned to kabul from the city of herat near the iranian border. i asked her about the situation on the ground. herat is probably the third biggest city in afghanistan and it is the capital of the province which borders iran. it is a very important, wealthy province. a lot of trade grew through the border with iran. the caliban are inside the city and have been for quite some time. there is fighting on the edges. i spent time with military forces were fighting alongside what has been called up a that is citizens who are being armed and in the case of herat being led by a
warlord called ishmail can. the afghan security forces had been badly let down by their leadership and by the government. they are struggling for logistical resupply and other support and so is the caliban�*s assault and advance across the country has really frightened afghan people, citizens have been taking up arms, joining these malicious and fighting on the front line. that is what a*. i also saw city that is incredibly dense, there are a lot of people who are leaving. extra flights were put on yesterday when i came back to capital. the route to the app from the city is intermittently taken over by the taliban and then a cab at the security forces, so flights either go or don't go, some days they are cancelled. yesterday there were more flights, people bringing everything they possibly can with them,
including extended family, to come to kabul to get away from what they fear it will be a serious assault on the city. now, let's get an update from the olympics. there's already been a gold medal for team gb in the boxing. other highlights on day 15 of the games in tokyo include the men's solo iom platform diving, which is in full swing. we can cross to mike bushell in the bbc sports centre for a full round—up. i will come to the diving shortly, but what today it has already been and the best one yet for the box and contented of team gb. they now have a goal to go with the silvers and bronzes they have one already. galal yafai the hero.
galal yafai's dream of becoming an olympic champion is now a reality. this is what it meant to him after beating carlo paalam. his brothers have tweeted in the last hour saying they are lost for words. it is a great day for the philippines, it is not their best ever olympics, celebrating the silver of carlo paalam. he has a strong back story, he used to scavenge a wrong rubbish dumps in the philippines to make ends meet. he now has a silver medal. this was a way for him of getting out of the paradigms for him. boxing was an escape route and now he has secured the philippines�*s best ever olympics. much earlier today on the penultimate day of the olympic games, we had the woman's marathon. this was switched to sapporo, where it is meant to be
cooler. despite that, it was 28 degrees. 14 runners didn't finish. can you were able to celebrate, winning gold and silver. the world record holder was overtaken in the latter stages by her compatriot. so, kenya winning one and two. also today, the united states men's basketball team have reached the heights we expected them to get to. after a slow start to the olympic games, the americans beat french 87-82 with games, the americans beat french 87—82 with relative comfort to win their 16th gold—medal in the event. kevin geraint was the standout player for the united states, scoring 29 points. the usa have been
celebrating gold into woman's golf. it was a stormy final round, interrupted by rain. she became olympic champion, nelly corder. she finished one shot clear of the field. lydia ko got the bronze. let's turn to the diving. you can take your eyes off this. the final of the man's ten metre platform. tom daley and team gb chasing a second gold medal of these games come up against the superstars from china. to give us a better idea of how they are doing, we can speak to matthew dixon, commonwealth silver medallist
in the ten metre platform, part of the plymouth diving club. to us mere mortals, this app that so spectacular. ourjobs are on the floor working out how they can do so such moves in a split second. haw floor working out how they can do so such moves in a split second.- such moves in a split second. how is tom doing? — such moves in a split second. how is tom doing? he _ such moves in a split second. how is tom doing? he is— such moves in a split second. how is tom doing? he is doing _ such moves in a split second. how is tom doing? he is doing really - such moves in a split second. how is tom doing? he is doing really well l tom doing? he is doing really well at the _ tom doing? he is doing really well at the moment. i think it will be a silver_ at the moment. i think it will be a silver or— at the moment. i think it will be a silver or bronze, but you never know what _ silver or bronze, but you never know what happens in diving. it could be the gold _ what happens in diving. it could be the gold medal. he is diving really well at _ the gold medal. he is diving really well at the moment.— the gold medal. he is diving really well at the moment. maybe it is all the knitting — well at the moment. maybe it is all the knitting he _ well at the moment. maybe it is all the knitting he is— well at the moment. maybe it is all the knitting he is doing _ well at the moment. maybe it is all the knitting he is doing to - well at the moment. maybe it is all the knitting he is doing to keep - the knitting he is doing to keep calm waiting to compete! all the hard work you put into that second and i have in the air. how much of the sport as a mental challenge? it is a massive mental challenge. the contact _ is a massive mental challenge. the contact and — is a massive mental challenge. the contact and the pressure diving all the time _ contact and the pressure diving all the time is — contact and the pressure diving all the time is so hard and you only get
that split _ the time is so hard and you only get that split second in the air so you have _ that split second in the air so you have to _ that split second in the air so you have to visualise everything and make _ have to visualise everything and make sure — have to visualise everything and make sure your mind is blank and you are concentrating only on your diving — are concentrating only on your diving. tom's netting is good for him to— diving. tom's netting is good for him to help and relax and calm down. tom has— him to help and relax and calm down. tom has waited so long for a golden finally got that in the synchronised diving. what would it mean to the sport to get another metal for the divers coming through? it sport to get another metal for the divers coming through?— divers coming through? it means everything- _ divers coming through? it means everything. everybody _ divers coming through? it means everything. everybody will - divers coming through? it means everything. everybody will be - everything. everybody will be watching, celebrating. it is an inspiration for everyone to get into diving. _ inspiration for everyone to get into diving. to— inspiration for everyone to get into diving, tojoin diving and inspiration for everyone to get into diving, to join diving and follow inspiration for everyone to get into diving, tojoin diving and follow in his footsteps, really. give diving, to join diving and follow in his footsteps, really.— his footsteps, really. give us an u date his footsteps, really. give us an update on _ his footsteps, really. give us an update on what _ his footsteps, really. give us an update on what i _ his footsteps, really. give us an update on what i have _ his footsteps, really. give us an update on what i have been - his footsteps, really. give us an - update on what i have been missing since i have been talking to you. you still think a bronze? share since i have been talking to you. you still think a bronze? are bronze or silver, you still think a bronze? are bronze or silver. for— you still think a bronze? are bronze or silver, for sure. _ you still think a bronze? are bronze or silver, for sure. you _ you still think a bronze? are bronze or silver, for sure. you never - you still think a bronze? are bronze or silver, for sure. you never knowl or silver, for sure. you never know in diving _ or silver, for sure. you never know in diving. anyone can mess up on the day so _ in diving. anyone can mess up on the day so it— in diving. anyone can mess up on the day so it stitt— in diving. anyone can mess up on the day so it still could be the gold medat — day so it still could be the gold medat i— day so it still could be the gold medal. i think he is around 20
medal. ! think he is around 20 points— medal. i think he is around 20 points behind at the moment, so i reckon_ points behind at the moment, so i reckon silver or bronze.— points behind at the moment, so i reckon silver or bronze. thanks for talkin: to reckon silver or bronze. thanks for talking to us. _ reckon silver or bronze. thanks for talking to us, matthew _ reckon silver or bronze. thanks for talking to us, matthew dixon. - reckon silver or bronze. thanks for talking to us, matthew dixon. it i reckon silver or bronze. thanks for i talking to us, matthew dixon. it was ureat talking to us, matthew dixon. it was treat to talking to us, matthew dixon. it was great to listen _ talking to us, matthew dixon. it was great to listen in _ talking to us, matthew dixon. it was great to listen in on _ talking to us, matthew dixon. it was great to listen in on that _ talking to us, matthew dixon. it was great to listen in on that and - talking to us, matthew dixon. it was great to listen in on that and get - great to listen in on that and get inside the mind of those top performers. we wish tom well and will keep an eye on how he is doing. what else have we got to look forward to? it what else have we got to look forward to?— what else have we got to look forward to? it is a day of finals, reall . forward to? it is a day of finals, really- usa _ forward to? it is a day of finals, really. usa versus _ forward to? it is a day of finals, really. usa versus japan - forward to? it is a day of finals, really. usa versus japan in - forward to? it is a day of finals, really. usa versus japan in the | really. usa versus japan in the baseball. france against denmark and the hampel final, brazil versus spain, a mouthwatering final ahead of the... the highjump spain, a mouthwatering final ahead of the... the high jump final, spain, a mouthwatering final ahead of the... the highjump final, as well. and the man's modern pentathlon. that is well under way now. in all, 3a goals to be once today. now. in all, 34 goals to be once toda . ., ., ., , ., now. in all, 34 goals to be once toda . ., ., ., i. ., , today. you are earning your money this morning! _
today. you are earning your money this morning! thanks _ today. you are earning your money this morning! thanks so _ today. you are earning your money this morning! thanks so much - today. you are earning your money this morning! thanks so much for i today. you are earning your money i this morning! thanks so much for the comprehensive round—up. families of the victims of the september 11th 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. our 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 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.
let's get some of the day's other news in brief. lawyers for the governor of new york, andrew cuomo, have called into question the results of an independent investigation that found mr cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women while in office. the governor has denied the allegations. earlier, one of mr cuomo's accusers, a former aide, filed a criminal complaint against him. police have arrested two burmese citizens accused of plotting to kill or injure myanmar�*s ambassador to the united nations. chaw moe tun has been a vocal critic of myanmar�*s military rulers. he earlier thanked the us government and un for their protection. 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 oman. 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.
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. a short time ago i spoke to the freelance journalist anthee careassava. she lives in ekali and went to an area very close to her house that was under threat. i'm actually a place with the fire started. we are day for into this which shows no sign of letting up. you can see some of the smoke behind me. this is 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 parked initially and it is back into dislocation again with fresh flare ups, kind of leaping to life even though people thought the situation had been brought under some kind of control. this is main motorway, which is acting as a kind of stop between this nature reserve and main residential district. the scramble for the authorities is to block flames that are coming down the slopes from sweeping in and tearing into these residential districts, and that would spell complete and utter catastrophe for the capital of greece, athens. altogether we have seen 98 new fires sparked in the last 24 hours, 154 blazing altogether across this country that is under siege by these
places, and 64 of them actually active as we speak. athens alone is not under siege. there are other majorfronts on another not under siege. there are other major fronts on another island, for example. 1500 people who were evacuated by boat yesterday, many of them handicapped people carrying their personal belongings, their pets, their cats, anything they could find that is very important for them. and otherfronts also could find that is very important for them. and other fronts also and the southern peloponnese. i wanted to touch on — the southern peloponnese. i wanted to touch on something _ the southern peloponnese. i wanted to touch on something you - the southern peloponnese. i wanted to touch on something you were - the southern peloponnese. i wantedj to touch on something you were just mentioning there, people evacuating their homes. i suppose lots of people now are effectively on standby preparing to have 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 and following all the directives until that airy notice comes in on my phone telling me to move out. there have been thousands of people who have been facing the same predicament. many, though, especially olderfolk, a same predicament. many, though, especially older folk, a stain perch because it is impossible for them, they say at least, to leave their houses. from my personal account, i can say that up until now i was saying this and saying why can't theyjust saying this and saying why can't they just get out saying this and saying why can't theyjust get out and save their lives? but when your own home is at stake, ifind myself making lives? but when your own home is at stake, i find myself making a very difficult decision as to whether i would stay or move out. social distancing rules have been abandoned in wales with the lifting of most covid restrictions today. for the first time in almost 17 months, nightclubs can reopen and bar service can resume, but face masks are still required by law in shops
and on public transport. despite falling covid cases, the country's first minister, mark drakeford, has warned against a "free—for—all". 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 sri lankan gemologists. they say this stone found in ratnapura district is a cluster of sapphire — a corundum. 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 accidentalfind. so we have a huge garden. so we appointed a person to go and search for some water, in part of our land. in that well that he dug up, firstly we saw the crystal coming out and then we cleaned it up and we took the sapphire to experts. the bbc cannot independently verify his mr gamage's version of events on how he stumbled upon the stone, but the specimen has triggered a frenzy in sri lanka which has a vibrant gem industry. local experts say the stone is something unique. this is a very good example, evidence, for the formation of sapphires within sri lanka. obviously this was formed 450—500 million years ago. why? because the weight of this specimen is over 500 kilograms.
during the cleaning process, mr gamage said some stones fell out of the cluster and they were found to be star sapphires. but experts also point out that all the stones inside the cluster may not be star sapphires, so the estimates of value vary from a few million dollars to 100 million. translation: mr gamage informed us that he found a sapphire stone from the land adjoining his house. as far as i know, this is the biggest sapphire corundum in the world. i told the owner that according to my estimate, this could be worth $100 million. some are sceptical and say the sri lankan gem authorities are making tall claims about the stone's value. any exaggeration will dent the image of the country's gem industry. even if the specimen doesn't fetch millions, at least it gave the covid—weary sri lankans something to smile about. anbarasan ethirajan, bbc news.
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. afterjust five weeks of rehearsals, the 36—year—old is starring in "two twenty—two", a supernatural thriller about four friends caught up in a night of high tension. 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. some breaking news from tokyo. we have a result and the man's ten litre diving. china took gold and
silver, bronze went britain's tom daly. that's it from me. hello, everyone. i hope you're doing all right. in time for the weekend we arejoined by 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. happy, country downpours, some of them slow—moving, but we will see some sunny spells, as well, so not a complete write—off. looking at the big picture, there is the area of low pressure. you can see these weather front swirling around it. not only will this introduce to traffic, contrary downpours but also some breezy conditions a time. some heavy rain in wales, this move toward these. further north, a scattering of heavy showers. will anywhere about this today? i
wouldn't hold your breath, really. eastern parts are more likely to get drier and brighter conditions. it is blustery at times. today's top temperatures, nothing too exciting, between 15 and 20 celsius. moving through towards this evening, two showers will continue. some of these will generate a lot of rainfall in a short space of time. entered clear nights, they will tend to lose some of their energy. the low temperature tonight between 11—15. let's return tonight between 11—15. let's return to the pressure chart. this low is just creeping toward the north, so tomorrow it will bring further unsettled conditions at times, but hopefully we are tipping the balance toward something drier and brighter across many parts. you can see the showers are turning out across parts of england and wales. this will continue across the north west and
southern parts of scotland initially. we are seeing them across northern ireland, as well. the top temperatures tomorrow will be very similar to today, between 14 and 20. the low pressure will stay with us for the next couple of days. this low pressure will keep us company into next week, as well. it is on the move, then hopefully we will have an area of high pressure building as we head from tuesday into wednesday. that will bring something drier, brighter. temperatures potentially writing a bit in places, as well. but there are some yellow weather warnings in place for thunderstorms today. i will keep you posted and all the very latest is online and on —— and on the bbc weather app. stay safe. goodbye.
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 greek government has put almost half of the country's regions on high alert as wildfires continue to spread. huge clouds of smoke are billowing over the outskirts of athens. a man's been killed in a village north of the city after being hit by a falling electricity pole. the penultimate day of action at the olympics is underway in tokyo. there has been another gold medal for team gb in the flyweight boxing. in the solo ten metre diving britain �*s tom daley took the bronze.
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