this is bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: crisis in afghanistan. taliban militants capture the country's second largest city and fears are mounting that the capital kabul, may be under threat. for a majority of the population they are waiting to see how things will unfold with a mixture of fear, anger and resignation. president biden is still insisting that pulling us forces out of the country was the right decision, but is facing growing criticism. when the decision was announced months ago i said that i feared we will come to regret this decision and we already are. this, again, is a nightmare. in the uk — a vigil has been held to remember the victims of thursday's mass shooting —
the country's worst since 2010. police have now named the victims. and much of southern europe continues to bake after one of the hottest summers ever recorded. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. the rapid advance of the taliban in afghanistan is accelerating. the militants now control a third of the country's regional capitals, including afghanistan's second largest city, kandahar. american officials say the taliban is trying to isolate the capital, kabul. and they've acknowledged that the insurgents may be back in power much sooner than expected. meanwhile — the united nations has warned a �*humanitarian catastrophe�* may be unfolding. our correspondent, yogita limaye reports from kabul.
gunfire. the biggest taliban victory so far in their rapid march across the country. this is the centre of kandahar city, a political and economic powerhouse. the taliban were born in this province. to show off their gains, the group's fighters filmed themselves walking through the provincial governor's office. and released this video, showing a traffic policeman welcoming them. after days of fierce fighting, afghan forces retreated. here, they're seen leaving the city. pashtana durrani worked to educate girls in kandahar. she fled before it was captured. i want to be very honest — i don't see any future. i don't have any hope. i'm furious, i'm sad, i'm... i'm lost and it'sjust
a lot of emotions. how do you feel about the us and uk sending in troops to evacuate their own nationals? i was never against withdrawal. withdrawal was never a problem. it's not that a few thousand of their troops would have defended the whole country. it's them legitimising the deal. it's them legitimising the taliban, that's the problem. hours before kandahar, herat was also captured — a major trade centre close to the border with iran. in the weeks leading up to the fall, influential pro—government leader ismail khan had led the battle against the taliban. now he's been captured by the insurgent group. helmand province, where british troops fought some of their fiercest battles, is also under taliban control. 15 provinces falling in seven days have raised questions about the future of the afghan capital kabul.
what's happened here injust the span ofjust a week has taken people here, the government and its international partners by surprise. those who have the means are trying to get out of this country, flights from kabul are completely booked. but for a majority of the population, they're waiting to see how things will unfold with a mixture of fear, anger and resignation. many believe the government has let them down. "i have had to flee from my hometown because the taliban captured it." "they killed three of my brothers." "afg han forces are not fighting, they are just handing over control," this man said. the fighting is less than an hourfrom kabul now, in the neighbouring logar province. many of the war wounded from there have been coming to this kabul hospital. this 14—year—old boy was injured in an explosion, he's lost an eye and had his arm amputated. "one of my brothers was also killed in the fighting
one year ago." "if my mother finds out what has happened to me, she will have a stroke," he says. more than 1000 have been killed in the past month in a country engulfed by suffering. yogita limaye, bbc news, kabul. in 2001, it was a us—led military coalition that ousted the taliban from power for providing refuge to al qaeda. with the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaching, there are fears that the taliban may soon be back in charge, thus completing a vicious historical circle. general david petraeus served as commander of us and nato forces in afghanistan. he told the bbc there is no good outcome now, unless foreign troops go back into afghanistan. i would say that we should literally reverse the decision. i think when the decision was announced months ago,
i said that i feared we would come to regret this decision, and we already are. this again is a nightmare, and there are no good ways forward. taliban rule is not preferable to a civil war, which is terrible also. again, none of this is, there is no good outcome unless the united states and its allies recognise that we made a serious mistake, that the planning was overly hasty, that we pulled away from the afghan forces what that had come to depend on, which is our airpower and drones. i don't think people realise how crucial, not just our forces and the 8500 coalition forces that departed, but the 18,000 contractors who maintain the afghan air force. i said months ago that i feared there would come a time, because the maintenance would degrade and the air force would basically become inoperable, that if there are simultaneous requests for reinforcements, resupplies and close air support, that all of a sudden that wouldn't be possible, afghan troops would recognise
that, and after fighting for a couple of days, they would come to see that their only alternative was to surrender, to die or to flee. and that is what happened. and i fear also there would be a psychological effect of that, that would spread throughout the country, and again tragically, all of that has come to pass. akram gizabi is chair of the world hazara council. it is a human rights organisation which works for the welfare of the hazaras in afghanistan and around the globe. he gave us his assessment of the situation. i am, i must say that i am extremely disappointed, saddened, and i really don't know what will happen to the people of afghanistan. the us made a hasty, ill—conceived announcement, and withdrawal of the us forces from afghanistan, and i believe that what they leave behind is a slaughterhouse. and we, the hazaras, a religious minority
and an ethnic group that... that bore the brunt of the taliban atrocities during their reign in the late 1990s, we will be the first and we will be the most vulnerable people in afghanistan that the taliban will come to visit. well, what about president biden's argument that it has been two decades, firstly, and also that the americans have been involved in training afghan security forces, and it is now down to the afghan security forces to maintain security in the country? well, mr biden can make any argument that he wants, but even a layman would know
that at this point they cannot leave the country to the wolves, so to speak. because the us, what they did, through the ill—conceived and delusional policies during the trump administration and joe biden, they gave a terrorist group, one of the most vicious terrorist groups in the world, they gave them legitimacy. they released close to 6000 of their prisoners without even consulting the afghan people, they forced this this on afghanistan, they twisted rouhani's arms to release this. and all these terrorists went to the front. so mr biden can make any argument he wants,
but they are the ones to blame for the current situation. to talk to a terrorist group, to give them legitimacy, and to enable them to come to power in the nearfuture in afghanistan. ok, you say "come to power in the nearfuture in afghanistan", do you think kabul is under real threat? absolutely. as you mentioned, one of your colleagues, that they are in logar, logar is a very short distance away from kabul, and if they surround kabul, which they are trying to do, they have taken ghazni, they have taken logar, and the route to the north is blocked, kabul would starve, so to speak, because all the roads that lead to kabul would be blocked. sorry tojump in — can that be stopped, is there something
the international community can do now? unfortunately at the moment, no. unless they really enter very forcefully and tell the taliban that if they don't stop there onslaught, there will be a serious consequences, and i hate to say, but unless they really go back and with really strong force, there is no way that they can save afghanistan. a vigil has been held in memory of the five people killed by a gunman in plymouth on thursday, in the uk's worst mass shooting in over ten years. the dead include the mother of the gunman, who was the first to die, and a three—year—old girl, sophie martin, who'd been out for a walk with her father who was also shot dead. 0ur correspondent, jon kay, has the latest, from keyham.
plymouth is hurting tonight. in this neighbourhood, everyone knows one another, so finding out who the victims were has only made things more painful. the youngest to be killed was just three years old. sophie martin was out for a walk with her dad lee, when they were both shot dead. i feel devastated for the family. paris and billy heard the news this evening. heart broke. she was in tears, wasn't you. it wasn't nice. it was devastating. it makes everything just that worse, doesn't it, being a child. it's going to be different here forever now, i think. nothing's ever going to be the same, especially when it's over the road. in just six minutes last night, six lives were lost on these streets.
the first victim was maxine davison, the mother of the gunman. she was 51, and was at home in the keyham area of the city when he killed her. just lucky really, that's what i'm thinking. it could have been me. bert was on his way to the shops as the shooting started, and he walked right past his neighbour, jake davison, who was carrying a gun. i heard a bang, i walked around the corner, the bloke was walking towards me with a black rifle, i could smell the gunfire, you know what i mean? i swerved around him, and i noticed a woman in the corner, laid on the doorstep who was shot. and just went to her, put pressure on the wound and that, and comforted her until the police come. when you bumped into him, what did he look like, how did he seem? just... just vacant, just
a vacant stare, like. the sequence of events started to house on biddick drive last night when davison shot and killed his mother. he then went on to the road and fired again, killing three—year—old sophie martin and herfather lee. the gunman then headed to a nearby park, shooting and injuring another man and woman — they are both being treated in hospital. in the park he killed 59—year—old stephen washington, before heading to henderson place, where he shot his fifth victim, 66—year—old kate shepherd, who later died in hospital. it was here that the gunman then shot himself, and was declared dead at the scene. we believe we have an instance that is domestically related, that has spilled into the street and seen several people within plymouth losing their lives in an extraordinarily tragic circumstance. bad, mate, bad. bad~ _ this neighbour, who doesn't want to be named, will never forget the sound
of the gunfire. it was like...gunshot noise. and then there were a couple of seconds, and again, and again. how long was there between each of the shots that you heard? about five seconds, and another, and another. so young person, you know. it's a...sad time for this part of the world. tonight, a vigil close to the scene. the police don't know yet if the gunman knew any of his victims apart from his mother, or if they were shot at random. this community is trying to understand how a quiet area of devon has become the scene of britain's worst mass shooting in a decade. the bbc has strongly criticised russia's decision, not to renew the visa
of its moscow correspondent, sarah rainsford, calling it a "direct assault on media freedom". ms rainsford, who's based in moscow, now has to leave at the end of the month, when her accreditation expires. it's thought it's in retaliation for the uk's refusal to grant visas to russian journalists. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: swathes of southern europe continue to be hit by extreme heat in what is turning out to be one of the hottest summers ever recorded. the big crowds became bigger as the time of 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 been 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. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: crisis in afghanistan goes on — taliban militants capture the country's second largest city, and fears mount that the capital kabul
may be under threat. to turkey now, and just as crews battled to bring wildfires under control, devastating floods have decimated northern parts of the country. the death toll climbed to 38 on friday as president, recep tayyip erdogan, declared flood—hit regions as disaster zones. tanya dendrinos reports. vehicles tossing in the torrent. this terrifying eyewitness footage captured the scene in northern turkey just days ago. roads turned to rivers as building simply crumbled. and this is the aftermath — a mangled heap of mud, debris, and belongings. translation: | went out, - and all of a sudden floodwaters gushed behind me. i couldn't look back. it's swallowed homes, people, everything.
visiting kastamonu, president erdogan declared flood—hit regions as disaster areas. translation: we cannot bring back our people - who lost their lives, but our state has the power, opportunity, and determination to compensate for any loss other than that. a mammoth search and rescue operation is now under way. more than 1700 people have been evacuated and hundreds of villages have been left without power. turkey's interior minister labelled the situation is the worst flood disaster he has ever seen — this on the back of wildfires in the south of the country and across the mediterranean, in the week a landmark un climate report signalled a code red for humanity. tanya dendrinos, bbc news.
let's get some of the day's other news. at least 21 people are reported to have died in the central chinese province of hubei after torrential rains battered the region. the downpour caused flooding and landslides. hundreds of reservoirs have reportedly exceeded their flood warning levels. this comes after massive flooding killed hundreds in henan province last month. china has said it won't co—operate with the world health organisation's new plan to investigate the origins of the coronavirus. the who has asked for more data, partly to continue looking into the theory that the virus escaped from a chinese laboratory. but on friday, officials in china said the lab leak theory should not be investigated. clashes have broken out between police and protesters in thailand after hundreds of people defied a ban on mass gatherings to march on the prime minister's residence and demand his resignation. the protestors claim the prime minister has mismanaged the country's covid—19 response. on friday, thailand saw a new record for daily cases.
us government scientists have confirmed thatjuly was the world's hottest ever month. the national oceanic and atmospheric administration said the global land and ocean surface temperature last month was nearly one degree celsius hotter than the 20thc average. that makes it the hottest since modern records began 142 years ago. a heatwave is sweeping through much of southern europe and wildfires are still raging across the region. the italian island of sicily, registered 48.8 degrees celsius on wednesday, which if verified would be the continent's highest temperature ever recorded. to put that in context, the average maximum temperatures for this time of year in sicily are normally around 35 degrees. 0ur correspondent mark lowen is there. they climb to the coolest place around, the peak of an active volcano. when mighty mount etna is a relief from the heat,
you know it's an extreme. legend has it the ancient god of fire worked beneath etna. for the tourists here, he still feels close. we booked the holidays like half a year ago, so we did not know anything about the heat. would you have come if you had known how hot it would be? no! no. bad. bad, because it's totally hot in the last days. but here we came with her and we enjoyed it a lot because they are approximately 15 degrees less than next to the area of the sea. italy is sweltering, sicily hitting 48.8 degrees this week — believed to be the highest temperature ever recorded in europe. and it's fuelling wildfires — 500 have torn through the country killing four people. firefighters here in sicily battling for hours. the heatwave has been triggered by an anti—cyclone,
an area of high pressure across southern europe and north africa. the fires and the scorching temperatures are likely to pass in the coming days, but this is not a temporary phenomenon. 0ur climate is heating and human activity is a majorfactor behind it. sicily and many other areas could see more — and worse than this — in the years to come. they've got the right idea. in a sizzling sicily, there are few other places to go. the heat, oh my gosh, it's so hot. tigerfrom london comes here every year and she's never known it like this. it may be climate change. i'm quite scared that's the reason why if i'm honest because it's never really been quite as hot. i've been coming au pairing for about three years and it's never been like this. it's quite scary. are you worried about the fires? about the fires? yeah, i think they're terrifying. for the sun seekers, it is fun. after the lockdowns,
italy is thirsty for tourists. and they will need quenching, too. mark lowen, bbc news, sicily. the american folk— singer and songwriter nancy griffith has died aged 68. the texan musician was known for songs such as "love at the five and dime", which celebrated the south of the usa. her 1993 album "other voices, other rooms" earned a grammy for best contemporary folk album, and in 2008 she won the lifetime achievement trailblazer award from the americana music association. nancy griffith worked closely with other singers, helping the early careers of artists like lyle lovett and emmylou harris. toa to a topspin secret plan in the art world, with a famous painting, the scream on the move in norway. it painting, the scream on the
move in norway.— painting, the scream on the move in norway. it was painted in 1893 and _ move in norway. it was painted in 1893 and it _ move in norway. it was painted in 1893 and it has _ move in norway. it was painted in 1893 and it has been - in 1893 and it has been carefully transported from the national museum in oslo to a new museum. the project was years in the making with the delicate operation kept secret in the new museum celebrating his unique legacy is due to open to the public in october. a reminder of our top story this our stop with united nations secretary general says the situation in afghanistan is spinning out of control, with devastating consequences for civilians. he said continued urban conflict would mean continued carnage, with civilians paying the highest price. he called on the teller banter and the fighting and urged the international community to make clear that power sees through military force was unacceptable. taliban fighters are now reported to be in control of 17 of afg hanistan's in control of 17 of afghanistan's 34 provincial afg hanistan's 34 provincial capitals. you can reach me
on twitter — i'm @ l vaughan jones. hello there. it's going to be one of those weekends where we get a bit of sunshine and a bit of rain, as well. it looks like saturday will be a much drier day in scotland, where we've had a lot of shower clouds on friday. we'll see more cloud coming in from the south—west, as well — and that is due to this area of low pressure that'll just hang around, really, through the weekend. it means as we start the weekend, we've got quite muggy air across the south of england, south wales, 15 celsius here. it's cooler air that we've got in scotland with those showers in the north, 10—11 celsius. the showers in scotland do to become fewer, mind you. a bit of a dull, misty, damp start across parts of wales and the south—west of england. and this cloud gradually working its way northwards. more in the way of sunshine across scotland as those stars become fewer, but the cloud will be increasing in northern ireland and northern england, bringing a bit
of rain and drizzle especially later on in the day. could be a bit damp still across the north of wales, even across to the north midlands into east anglia. but to the south of here, we should get some sunshine through, especially in the southeast of england. temperatures reaching a pleasant 23 celsius, and we could make 19 or 20 in the sunshine in the central belt of scotland. now, that area of low pressure moves slowly into the uk. a few weather fronts on the scene — all pretty weak, mind you. this one here will bring more in the way of showers, wetter weather into the north and northeast of scotland. could be some rain first thing on sunday in southern scotland and northern ireland, moving its way southwards into northern england. find it brightening up, as well, across southern scotland and northern ireland. but a few more showers and more cloud coming into wales and the south—west. head further east towards the east anglia and the east, again, the best of the sunshine. for many, temperatures aren't changing much, but it's getting colder in northern scotland. southern europe, though, sees extreme heat through this weekend, could see temperates hitting. could see temperates
hitting 48 celsius. by contrast, it's a cooler northeasterly breeze heading our way for the start of the new week. probably won't be much rain — overnight rain clears away from southern parts of england, we're left with a few showers. probably quite a bit of cloud streaming our way, as well, and that colder air that we're seeing in scotland is pushing its way southwards across the uk. so top temperature 20—21 celsius in hampshire. as we head further into next week, it's fairly quiet, settled a few showers. a lot of cloud, mind you, and it's not looking particularly warm for this time of year.
this is bbc news, the headlines: the crisis in afghanistan continues, as taliban militants capture the country's second largest city, kandahar, with fears mounting for the capital, kabul. the united states has announced plans to airlift thousands of people a day out of the city. in the uk — a vigil has been held in plymouth to remember the victims of thursday's mass shooting — the country's worst since 2010. the victims include the mother of the gunman, and three—year—old sophie martin, who'd been out walking with herfather, who was also shot dead. scorching temperatures are continuing across europe with italy recording a new record high earlier this week and spain and portugal forecast to suffer blistering temperatures this weekend. it comes as us government scientists have confirmed that july was the world's hottest ever month.