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tv   Newsday  BBC News  August 11, 2021 1:00am-1:31am BST

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welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore, i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines: the governor of new york resigns in the face of growing pressure over sexual harrassment cases. andrew cuomo said he'd leave his post for the greater good. i work for you. and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you. fleeing for safety in afghanistan. as taliban militants take over an eighth provincial capital, tens of thousands of civilians seek shelter from the fighting. the us senate passes a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, with 19 republicans voting for the package. it's a major win for president biden�*s agenda.
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and building a new olympic spectacle — beijing prepares to become the first city in history to host both a summer and a winter games, just six months after tokyo. welcome to newsday — it's 8am in singapore, and 8pm in new york, where, for years, andrew cuomo successfully navigated the murky political waters of the state, amassing power with precision, leaving his opponents trailing in his wake. but it took just a week for the governor to find himself out of moves following the publication of a report by the new york attorney general�*s office which claimed mr cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women. he denied the accusations,
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but faced growing calls from within his own party to resign, and today, he succumbed to those calls. i think that given the circumstances, the best way i can help now is if i step aside and let government get back to governing. and therefore that's what i'll do, because i work for you. and doing the right thing is doing the right thing for you — because, as we say, it's not about me, it's about we. kathy hochul, my lieutenant governor, is smart and competent. this transition must be seamless. we have a lot going on. i'm very worried about the delta variant, and so should you be, but she can come up to speed quickly, and my resignation will be effective in 14 days. max kutner is journalist and
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political analyst in new york. i asked him about the amount of pressure that mr cuomo came under. yes, he said he was going to fight the allegations, which he is still saying that he will fight the allegations, but even just days ago, his office was releasing photos of him hugging and kissing people and saying, "this is just how i am and this is how i was raised," and so certainly a lot going from that to a resignation in one week. but there really doesn't seem to be a way around it. i mean, president biden was calling for this, democrats from his own party in the state had been calling for this and really trying to distance themselves from the governor. i spoke with a spokesperson for a democratic senator in the state just a couple of days ago about a totally unrelated topic, a piece of legislation, and even that spokesperson used it as an opportunity to distance that state senator from cuomo. we've seen resignations
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of people from his office, including a top aide of his, in recent days, so this really, i think, became inevitable. yeah, he was one of the democratic party's rising stars before all of this — a huge fall from grace. what does this mean for the democratic party and the biden administration, in terms of reputational fallout? well, yes, you're right, this was a monumental downfall for someone who just a year ago here in new york was really seen as this leader, this potential presidential candidate. he was on the cover of rolling stone magazine last year, he was seen as leading new york successfully through its time as the world's epicentre of covid—i9, so all of that now has gone away in a short period of time. he is no longer, as you said, a rising star of the democratic party. and it's also perhaps worth mentioning that he was
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a long—term governor, he was part of what might be said was a new york political dynasty family — his father had been governor — and so this is a big downfall. what means for the democrats is, frankly, that they have lost someone perhaps who was kind of from this older time, this politicalfamily, and perhaps he will be replaced now from an even newer and more up—and—coming person. there is a new york gubernatorial race next year. so far, no—one had sought to challenge cuomo from his own party. surely, now, we're going to see some democratic challengers and maybe some new faces in the new york democratic party. yeah, and just briefly, where do we go from here in terms of the investigation? and is his political future over? so cuomo is facing at least four potential criminal investigations, so those are not going anywhere. in terms of the impeachment,
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state lawmakers had been looking into draughting articles of impeachment. the interesting thing, karishma, is that now they're have the conversation that federal lawmakers were having around trumpjust a couple of months ago, whether they should continue with impeachment proceedings even with an outgoing person, perhaps to stop him from running again, so that is going to be the conversation happening now. if we look at what happened to a previous new york governor who stepped down amid similar allegations in 2008, eliot spitzer, he has left politics. he's now in real estate. so perhaps cuomo will leave politics altogether, but because he is from this politicalfamily, because he's been such a major national figure over the past year, it's hard to imagine he's going away. taliban militants in afghanistan are said to have raised theirflag on the main square and the governor's office in puli khumri, the capital of baghlan province about five—and—a—half hours�*
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drive north of kabul. the islamists have now seized eight of the country's 3a provincial capitals, and are threatening more. in farah in the north—west, which also fell on monday, there's been heavy fighting. but in other cities, the government has withdrawn. the red cross has warned the fighting parties to restrain themselves, amid reports thousands of civilians have been killed or wounded in fighting. caroline hawley has the story. the aftermath of the battle for kunduz, the northern city captured by the taliban on sunday, the terrifying cost of urban warfare. the un and other aid agencies are now growing increasingly alarmed at the mounting toll it's taking. civilians have fled the taliban advances in their tens of thousands. many have reached the relative safety of the capital kabul. translation: those who have been displaced are in a very - bad and frustrating situation, but those in the government have not sent a representative here to help. there's little comfort for them here, but they've
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left far worse behind. people are living in fearand dread. women are already being killed and shot for breaching rules that have been imposed on what they can wear and on where they can move without a male escort. it's time for the international community to prioritise peace in afghanistan. securing a ceasefire is the aim of these talks taking place in the qatari capital doha over the next few days. the us special representative for afghanistan, zalmay khalilzad, hopes to persuade the taliban to halt their offensive, started after foreign troops began to withdraw in may. afghan government forces are trying to repel the advances, but it's the taliban who have the momentum now and very little incentive to stop. to find out more about the talbian advance, i've been been speaking to asfandyar mir, a senior expert at the us
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institute of peace. the taliban has been rampaging through multiple provinces. as your report noted, they have now taken eight provinces, eight out of 34. that is a substantial military momentum, and my sense is given how they're behaving in the peace talks in doha, they're in fact not negotiating there, they're refusing to put down any meaningful terms they want, that suggests that the taliban are gunning on a military takeover of the country. mr mir, the advance in afghanistan, i know, has raised concerns about how this might affect terrorist operations within the country and outside of it. what is your sense? look, the taliban still have robust relationships with a range ofjihadist groups with transnational ambitions, like al-qaeda, as well as more regional ambitions, such as the pakistani taliban,
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the turkistan islamic party, as well as a number of central asian jihadists. all these groups have bases inside afghanistan. and during the taliban's advance, the afghan forces are distracted, they're not able to monitor these groups any more, they're even not able to target them meaningfully and the us is already out, so these groups are in a very comfortable position and things are looking fairly up for them. i think in the coming months, the threat from these groups to both the region, as well as to the us and europe, is likely to grow. you know, you referenced the peace talks just now. many of those are being marshalled by the chinese, the pakistanis and the russians. how much do these talks, though, empower the taliban? look, what these talks have done is that they've given the taliban the sense that the international community is willing to engage with them, irrespective of what they do
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on the battlefield. the taliban have a sense that the world wants to have a relationship with them and that even if they don't negotiate meaningfully, there is a possibility that they will have international recognition should they come to power militarily. the us senate has passed a $1 trillion infrastructure plan after months of political wrangling. unusually in the divided political town of washington, the measure had bipartisan support — nearly 20 republicansjoined democrats in voting for the bill. it now goes to the house of representatives, and if passed there, would head to president biden�*s desk. let's look at what this bill would do. $550 billion in new money would be spent over five years. $110 billion will be invested in roads, bridges and dams. $66 billion will be spent on passenger and freight rail. $65 billion goes to expanding high—speed internet access. president biden praised
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the new legislation. i know compromise is hard for both sides. but it's important, it's necessary, for democracy to be able to function. so, i want to thank everyone on both sides of the aisle for supporting this bill. today, we proved that democracy can still work. if you want to get in touch with me, i'm on twitter — @bbckarishma. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme. building a new 0lympic spectacle — next year, beijing will become the first city in history to host both a summer and winter games. the big crowds became bigger as the time of
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the funeral approached. as the lines of fans became longer, the police prepared for a huge job of crowd control. idi amin, uganda's brutal former dictator, has died at the age of 80. he's being buried in saudi arabia, where he lived in exile since being overthrown in 1979. two billion people around the world have seen the last total eclipse of the sun to take place in this millennium. it began itsjourney off the coast of canada, ending three hours later when the sun set over the bay of bengal.
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this is newsday on the bbc. 0ur headlines. the governor of new york state, andrew cuomo, has resigned in the face of a sexual harassment scandal. he will leave office in two weeks�* time. as civilians flee their homes, there�*s warnings of thousands of deaths and injuries in afghanistan, with the taliban capturing an eighth provincial capital. nations around the world have been reacting to yesterday�*s landmark climate report, warning that urgent action is needed to avoid catastrophe. experts agree that without big reductions in global carbon dioxide emissions, the world cannot win the fight against climate change. china is the world�*s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, followed by the united states and india. in a moment, we�*ll get an assessment from our correspondents barbara plett—usher in the us, and danjohnson in delhi.
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but first, robin brant in shanghai. china is the world�*s most populous nation. and for some years now, it�*s also been the world�*s most polluting nation. rapid economic growth here over the last 20 years, fuelled by plentiful coal, means that china is now the world�*s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide. it�*s responsible for more than one quarter of all the greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. half the coal burned in the world is burned here, and it�*s going up. china says it won�*t hit peak coal use for a further five years. its president, xijinping, says that by 2030 it will hit its peak in terms of carbon emissions. it will be a further 30 years, to 2060, until, he says, this country will be net zero on carbon emissions. china is, though, gradually changing its energy mix. it�*s investing a lot, in particular, in solar. it wants a neat, cleaner, less polluting air for its people.
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the government says the world should have full confidence in its climate plan, but it�*s clear that beijing doesn�*t want to endanger, as it sees it, its economic powerhouse by weaning itself off of coal too quickly. here in the united states, people shouldn't need a wake—up call about climate change from a scientific report, because they're already living it. unprecedented heat and severe drought are fuelling massive wildfires across the north—west of the country. the us has itself to blame. historically, it's released more carbon dioxide into the air than any other country — 400 billion metric tonnes. now, it's the world's second biggest polluter after china. in 2019, it produced 6.6 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, but that number fell dramatically last year because of the brake that covid—19 put on travel. and the biden administration plans to reduce emissions even more.
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the president is reversing donald trump's roll— back on climate regulations and he's pushing an ambitious agenda for a switch to green energy, so he welcomed the climate report as an urgent call to action. across india, hundreds of people have died inl flash floods over recent weeksl during the monsoon, and those rains are likely to intensify - and get even harder to predict, which could mean millions i of people living under threat. so, extreme weather is a real risk. - and there are ambitious. targets here for increasing renewable energy, especially from solar power. _ but fossil fuels will. play a major role, way into the future, as the country keeps growing and developingj and the overall energy demand rises further. | and there is a sense that climate changel is the responsibility- of others — industrial nations like the usa, that have burnt coal for more than a century. and while india is the| third—largest emitter,
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despite being home to 17% of the world's population, i it only produces 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions. i so, while other countries have set targets for reaching net. zero in terms of carbon - emissions, there isn't even a date under consideration for that here yet. - well, climate change is being seen as playing a key role in wildfires burning around the world. the algerian defence ministry says 18 members of the military have died fighting fires in forests east of algiers. flames have been threatening towns and villages in the area. algeria is the latest country on the mediterranean to be hit by wildfires. president putin has ordered more firefighters to be sent to siberia to tackle catastrophic forest fires there. more than 80,000 square kilometres of forest have burnt in russia so far this year. earlier, nasa said smoke from the russian fires reached the north pole, 3,000 kilometres away, apparently for the first time.
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and firefighters in greece have spent an eighth day trying to control wildfires on evia, greece�*s second largest island. nearly 900 firefighters, reinforced with fresh arrivals from abroad, have been deployed. an american woman has filed a civil lawsuit in new york, accusing prince andrew of sexual abuse. in a statement, virginia giuffre claims she was trafficked to the prince by the convicted paedophile jeffrey epstein when she was 17. the duke of york has consistently denied the allegations. 0ur royal correspondent, nicholas witchell, reports. which of the people in this photograph is telling the truth? the man, prince andrew, who categorically denies any impropriety? or the woman, virginia giuffre, who alleges she was sexually assaulted by him on three occasions? ms giuffre has made these allegations before. she�*s now followed up with a civil claim filed at a district court in new york.
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the claim states that when she was 17, she was the victim of sex trafficking. the document states... it goes on to refer to "prince andrew�*s criminal acts" and states in conclusion... tonight, ms giuffre�*s lawyer issued this warning to prince andrew. i think it would be very ill—advised for prince andrew to ignore judicial process. he can ignore me. but if he does, it�*s going to be a default judgment against him and, in addition, will be a judgment that can be enforced not only
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in the united states but in virtually every civilised country in the world. earlier, prince andrew had offered no reaction to the lawsuit. his position remains as it was in his interview with newsnight�*s emily maitlis in november 2019, when he denied any improper behaviour with ms giuffre — or virginia roberts, as she was then. you can say categorically that you don�*t recall meeting virginia roberts, dining with her, dancing with her at tramp or going on to have sex with her in a bedroom in a house in belgravia? i can absolutely, categorically tell you it never happened. do you recall any kind of sexual contact with virginia roberts, then or at any other time? none whatsoever. the civil claim has been lodged with the court. andrew will doubtless be hoping it doesn�*t lead to a hearing,
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as will his family. buckingham palace is doing its best to keep everything to do with prince andrew at arm�*s length. but whatever the truth of these claims, the very fact that a member of the royalfamily finds himself facing them is clearly damaging. prince andrew has withdrawn from public life with the royal family. for all his denials, these latest developments suggest there can be little immediate prospect of him restoring his public reputation. nicholas witchell, bbc news. the world�*s attention will soon turn to beijing for the winter olympics, coming up injust six months. before the current delta variant outbreak, chinese officials were confident they could have crowds for all events. but there are also political challenges for the chinese government hosting the games, as it�*s accused of serious human rights abuses. 0ur china correspondent stephen mcdonell has more. in the mountains around the chinese capital,
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thousands of workers are busy. next to the space age skijumping center, they�*re making the most of the summer months for construction. justin downs is a canadian winter sport specialist who�*s been advising games organisers. well, there�*s no question beijing will be ready for the competitions. in fact, all of the competition venues are already ready and they�*ve already hosted test events, so what you see going on around us here isjust the supporting infrastructure. before the sliding center is iced overfor the bobsleigh runs, they�*re putting on the finishing touches. a high—speed train connection with the city is already operating. around it, hotels, temporary stands for spectators, food and beverage sites are all being built. here at the olympic village, there�*s still work to be done to have everything ready
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in time for the games. beijing�*s been fortunate, though, in that it�*s been able to study tokyo to work out the logistics in a time of coronavirus. over three years ago, we filmed some of the test events here. despite the pandemic, china�*s officials had also been planning to have spectators at the coming 0lympics. that was before a delta variant outbreak reintroduced the coronavirus to china. yet they say they�*re still hopeful to bring it under control in time. and most people here seem pretty optimistic about what the beijing games will bring. this area already has the feeling of a full—blown winter sport place. the hope is that after
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the olympics, there will be an explosion in china of interest in skiing and the like, and that these facilities will get used quite a lot. one of the things that the beijing olympics is going to find hard to shake is the political element. there are allegations of serious human rights abuses in this country, and some are calling for a boycott of the games. well, here we are at the top of the mountain — not bad, eh? even ruins of the great wall of china overlook the winter olympic sites. but with the coronavirus lingering, how many people will be able to take this all in? stephen mcdonell, bbc news, beijing.
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the governor of new york andrew cuomo had resigned after sexual assault allegations. that�*s all for now, stay with bbc world news. hello. tuesday brought us our first 25 celsius day in the uk in over two weeks. and whilst some of that warmth will still be felt on wednesday across the south and east of the country with some sunny spells, clouding over into the afternoon, it�*s the cloudier conditions in the north and west which will bring different conditions compared to what we�*ve seen. much more in the way of rain and breeze, all courtesy of these weather fronts pushing in off the atlantic. heaviest of the rain into the start of the day across parts of northern ireland and the very far west of scotland, but quite a mild and humid start here, 111—15 celsius. fresher in the east, where there will be a few mist and fog patches, but the best of the morning sunshine. now, the sunshine, as i said, will be best in the morning, clouding over from the west, so there�*s still some sunny spells to the south and the east. northern ireland should cheer
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up into the afternoon with some sunshine, and into late afternoon, we�*ll see that sunshine develop across western scotland, too. but after the morning sunshine across the far north, into 0rkney and eastern parts of scotland, a rather damp afternoon, rain coming and going. rain at times in northwest england, though areas around the merseyside, cheshire area may just about stay dry. patchy rain across wales and southwest england through the afternoon, but much of the midlands, east anglia and the southeast dry, with temperatures around 211—25 celsius yet again, and a fine day in the channel islands, too. now, that weather front bringing the rain actuallyjust fizzles as it pushes its way eastwards as we go into wednesday night and thursday morning. not much in it as it reaches parts of southern england, the midlands, and east anglia. clearer skies to the north of it means a cooler night to take us into thursday, particularly across scotland and northern ireland. temperatures more widely into single figures. but for thursday, we�*re between two weather fronts — one which is stalling across the south of the country, and this next one across the deepening area of low pressure out to the west of the uk. does mean most will start off
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dry with some sunshine, a few showers around. a lot more cloud, though, southern counties of england, east anglia, with some patchy rain and drizzle which will move its way a bit further northwards through the day. but to the north and west, the breeze will pick up, gales across western parts of scotland, parts of northern ireland, too, and some heavy bursts of rain later. in the sunshine, though, for many, temperatures still where we should be for the time of year, 20—211 celsius. friday sees yet more in the way of heavy, thundery showers across parts of western scotland. winds remain strong. blustery day for all. still some cloud lingering across the south, but sunshine elsewhere. bye for now.
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