tv BBC News at Ten BBC News August 18, 2021 10:00pm-10:31pm BST
scenes of panic and desperation at kabul airport, as afghans try to flee the country before it's too late. the taliban is controlling airport access. those who've helped the international coalition are eligible to leave — but places are limited. despite assurances from the taliban that anyone linked to the government will be given an amnesty, many here are deeply fearful for their future and that's why we're still seeing these chaotic scenes at the airport. in a heated emergency debate in the commons, borisjohnson was accused of tragic failures towards afghanistan. like many veterans, this last week has been one that has seen me struggle through anger and grief and rage. we must deal with the world as it is, accepting what we've achieved and what we have not achieved.
with the uk promising to take 20,000 afghan refugees over time, we'll be hearing from the local councils getting ready to welcome them. also tonight... who will help us? the people of haiti hit by an earthquake five days ago say there is still no assistance. have festivals and staycations contributed to covid hotspots? we'll look at the latest evidence. # bad cinderella # cinderella is the catty... a new take on an old and much—loved tale. three years in the making — now cinderella is ready to open. and coming up in the sport on the bbc news channel: harry kane not in tottenham's squad for the europa conference league play—off in portugal but could feature at wolves on sunday. good evening. there've been further chaotic scenes outside the international airport
in kabul as thousands of afghans try to flee the country, following its fall to the taliban. in response to the developing humanitarian crisis, the uk has said it will take 20,000 afghan refugees over a number of years. but in parliament, where mps were recalled for an emergency debate, labour attacked the figure as too small — and the government came in for scathing criticism from some conservative backbenchers over the withdrawal of western troops that led to the taliban's return to power. tonight, afghanistan's deposed president ashraf ghani, who has fled to the united arab emirates, said he had no intention of staying in exile. for our first report on afghanistan tonight let's go live to kabul, and join our correspondent secunder kermani. residents here are still grappling with what this taliban takeover will mean for their lives. in some parts of the city, things seem to be
getting back to normal but there are many who are still deeply, deeply anxious. outside the airport, chaos continues. thousands are still desperate to leave the country. here, a girl — terrified. "the taliban are coming for me", she cries. this family has been camped outside here for five days. "the situation here is very bad", she says. "no one wants to live here. "everyone wants to live in peace and to be able to study. "we want to go anywhere that is safe." despite assurances from the taliban that anyone linked to the government will be given an amnesty, many here are deeply fearful for their future and that's why we're still seeing these chaotic scenes the airport. no one's clear yet what comes next but political discussions have begun. this was the arrival of a deputy
leader of the taliban in kandahar — their spiritual home. whilst this is a member of the notorious haqqani family, deeply entrenched in the taliban's leadership, meeting with former president hamid karzai and other senior afghan politicians. in a speech tonight from the gulf, the former president, ashraf ghani, said he supported the efforts and hoped to return to the country. that seems unlikely. in the centre of kabul, early signs everyday life is beginning to resume. heavily armed taliban patrols are all around but shops and streets are busier than they've been since the takeover. "it's not the same as before", says this man. "people are scared but it's better than the past few days, at least." there are far fewer women out and about than before
and they're dressed more conservatively, though not in the all—encompassing burqa. many major businesses have sent female employees home, unsure whether the taliban will allow them to work. but there have been signs of defiance. this is a protest in support of the afghan flag, replaced in some areas by the taliban's. a number of demonstrators were reportedly shot dead injalalabad. whilst this was another rally in eastern afghanistan. look at the huge taliban convoy that's speeding towards it. the taliban have been making conciliatory noises in public but many fear they won't tolerate any challenges to their authority. secunder kermani, bbc news, kabul. many of those afghans who want to come to the uk worked alongside british forces and diplomatic staff in the 20 years since the invasion following the 9/11 terror attacks.
britain's ambassador in afghanistan says the aim now is to fly out about 1,000 people a day, but he admitted that time was limited. our special correspondent lucy manning has been speaking to one afghan interpreter who is desperate to escape with his family to britain. faces hidden to try to protect them, but a message they want this country to see, uk, please do not leave us. ahmed, not his real name, was an interpreterfor british forces, now he needs action, not words. trapped in afghanistan. life has ended for us when kabul collapsed. we arejust... last week, before the taliban's advance, he was finally given permission to come to the uk. the family celebrated. the next morning, he woke to find kabul had fallen. he's now hiding.
the taliban, some of the spokespeople have talked about not wanting revenge, but do you feel they will come after you for being an interpreter? ahmed worked with uk soldiers for three years. he said during fighting, the taliban were targeting interpreters as they were the eyes and ears of the forces. a small team of british officials are trying to get some
of the trapped and frightened britons and afghans to the uk. but while they have made it onto planes, many more wait outside the airport, even more stay hidden at home, unsure how they will get out. how long have we got? it really depends on other things outside our control, the security situation, the approach of the taliban. we're working on the basis of days, not weeks. ahmed now uses his english skills to plead for a way out. is there a message you would like to give to the prime minister about your family's situation and what help you need? lucy manning, bbc news. in an impassioned debate in the commons, mps from all sides criticised the prime minister for the government's role in events in afghanistan.
the former prime minister theresa may said it was �*incomprehensible�* that the uk was not doing more to maintain a presence, and mps who've served in the armed forces spoke up for veterans who fought there and who now question what it was all for. but borisjohnson argued that nato's "core mission" in afghanistan had succeeded. here's our political correspondent, ben wright. prime minister, have - you let down afghanistan? a statement was written, the explanation prepared — borisjohnson headed to parliament, brought back from its summer break. prime minister! the chamber was crammed, shoulder—to—shoulder now restrictions are lifted. the sacrifice in afghanistan is seared into our national consciousness, with 150,000 people serving there from across the length and breadth of the united kingdom. no matter how grim the lessons of the past, the future is not yet written. and at this bleak turning point,
we must help the people of afghanistan to choose the best of all their possible futures. the prime minister said the us pull—out from afghanistan meant there was little britain could do. labour's leader agreed there was no military solution, but said the government had failed to prepare. there's been a major miscalculation of the resilience of the afghan forces and staggering complacency from our government about the taliban threat. the result is that the taliban are now back in control of afghanistan. the gains made through 20 years of sacrifice hang precariously. supportive conservative voices were the exception. many backbenchers were scathing, including a former prime minister. was our knowledge of the position on the ground so inadequate, or did we really believe this, or did we just feel that we had to follow the united states and hope
that on a wing and a prayer it would be all right on the night? watching on, a demonstration demanding all afghans who worked for the uk can move here, and there is already a scheme in place. ministers have said the uk will also take in up to 20,000 refugees over the next few years. in the commons, there were cross—party calls for more. it should have a minimum commitment of welcoming at least 35—40,000 afghan refugees in the uk. numbers matter less than need. we need to reject this artificial distinction between resettlement and asylum. today's debate revealed the depth of anger and anguish at what's happened. the words spoken here will make little difference to the immediate situation in afghanistan, but borisjohnson looks isolated as mps queued up to ask how a 20—year commitment unravelled so fast. no more so than those who had served in afghanistan, fighting in a campaign that cost
the lives of a57 servicemen and women. like many veterans, this last week has been one that has seen me struggle through anger and grief and rage. the feeling of abandonment of not just a country, but the sacrifice that my friends made. the house of commons, full for the first time in over a year, had rarely seemed so quiet. shameful. ben wright, bbc news, westminster. throughout the day, council leaders across the country have said they are ready to provide a safe haven for those fleeing afghanistan. they're calling on the government to make more money available to fund the resettlement schemes. 0ur correspondent alex forsyth has been to calderdale in west yorkshire to see how one community is preparing to welcome afghan refugees. lunch at st augustine's
is about far more than food. this centre supports asylum seekers, offering advice, guidance and a sense of community. these families know what it's like to have to flee your home. like jamshidullah. he was an interpreter for the british army who came to the uk through official routes. now he can't contact his family, who are still in afghanistan. i couldn't get to my mum and dad like two months and i really don't know about how the situation will be at the moment. it's just a heartbreaking situation. the concern about recent events is palpable. habib, which is not his real name, has family in kabul. he's desperate for them tojoin him here. there's my mum, brother and sister left and wife. i speaking, they all cry. they're all crying? yeah. how are they feeling? it's no good, it's bad. here, the idea of a scheme
to help re—settle refugees from afghanistan is welcome. but they question whether it will be enough — whether some might try to make it on their own. florence didn't come to the uk through official channels, she claimed asylum in 2016 and said the process can be tough. i was not allowed to go to school, i was not allowed to do anything within my community. how was that? so it was really bad, ifelt like i was in a country where i came to seek safety, but it's worse than i was before. this part of west yorkshire's long welcomed those seeking sanctuary. for more than 20 years, calderdale�*s taken in asylum seekers and it volunteered to settle syrians during the war. the council says it's ready to step up again, but the leader says they must have support. we want to be open and welcoming, but we need proper support from the government to enable us to do that without it having an impact on local people and local services. in halifax town centre,
there is empathy for the plight of afghans but also awareness that public services, not least housing, are under pressure. half of me says that, yes, i think we should help out. the other half is saying there's obviously people in this country who are british citizens, who need help and support. if it stays at 20,000, that's fine, but it's when it starts to get into half a million and a million people. where else are they going to go? i think it's really important that everybody opens - the doors to these people. that is the political challenge — balancing the need to open the doors with the needs of existing communities, a challenge with much at stake for so many. alex forsyth, bbc news, halifax. let's go back to our reporter in kabul. huge tensions surrounding the airlift in afghanistan and how the taliban are going to govern? there
is still a sense _ taliban are going to govern? there is still a sense of— taliban are going to govern? there is still a sense of shock _ taliban are going to govern? there is still a sense of shock amongst i is still a sense of shock amongst many of the people i speak to. no one expected things to unravel quite as quickly as they did. two weeks ago the taliban didn't control a single major city. now, they are in control of the whole country. it is difficult to overstate how pervasive their presence in kabul is. i was walking along the street in the centre of the city earlier, there was a fighter strolling casually along with the rocket propelled grenade launcher on his back. the taliban's biggest challenges begin now, in many ways. now they have captured the country, how will they reconcile the hardline sharia law with the more democratic part of the country which has been developed over the past two decades. we have seenin over the past two decades. we have seen in the east of the country, the first show of the fight against the taliban were injalalabad and other
towns across the east of afghanistan, the taliban respond with violence there. they have insisted they will cater net—macro create an inclusive government. but they have been specifically vague about what that means. afghans on the rest of the world will find out what it does mean in the coming days and weeks. . ~ what it does mean in the coming days and weeks. ., ~ , ., , what it does mean in the coming days and weeks. ., ~ i. , . 0nto the government's latest coronavirus figures now, and they show there were 33,901; new infections recorded, in the latest 24—hour period, which means, on average, there were 30,177 new cases per day in the last week. 6,321 people are currently in hospital with the virus. 111 deaths were recorded in the past 2a hours, with an average of 94 deaths a day in the past week. 0n vaccinations, 89.6% of adults in the uk, have now had their firstjab, and more than 77.5% have had two jabs. after falling over recent weeks, the average number of daily confirmed covid cases is now showing
signs of a small rise. so how much pressure is there on local areas? have covid �*hot—spots' appeared because of staycations or events like music festivals? 0ur health editor hugh pym reports. there hasn't been the big surge in infections which some experts had predicted for august. uk case numbers are lower than mid—july, but there are some areas where there's been an increase in recent weeks, including cornwall — partly linked to the influx of holiday—makers. there have been reports of positive tests among some of those who were at a surfing and music festival at newquay last week. local officials say it's too early to judge that from the data, but they acknowledge that covid has been spreading in some parts of the county. as people mix in large numbers, particularly if they're unvaccinated, there's the likelihood that there will be spread amongst that particular age group.
we are seeing in general that the 18 to 30—year—olds are having the highest rates of infection in our area. of the top ten infection hotspots in england as of last week, three were in cornwall. two more were in the isle of wight, another tourist destination. some others were further north in england. that's in terms of cases relative to the local population. we're going to see influxes of people to certain holiday destinations, and while that doesn't change the official population figures, it means that there are a lot more people within an area. and a lot more people in an area means there's going to be much more chance of covid and much more chance of transmission. indoor social mixing was said to be a factor with an infection spike in lincoln. a surge in cases was linked to a nightclub, though numbers have since fallen back. whatever the covid impact might be on hospitals, the nhs in the south west of england is already under pressure, with ambulances having to wait at some hospitals
to hand over patients. we've got a combination of some rising numbers of covid cases, i but that's set alongside the fact |that people are trying to go fullj pelt to recover the care backlogs. we've also got lots people _ who are seeking urgent and emergency care at the same time as staff are off on leave and also, - we've had large numbers of staff self—isolating. i with pop—up vaccination centres, local health chiefs in the south west are urging people to get theirjabs and do regular lateral flow tests. hugh pym, bbc news. we've got the latest official figures on the cost of living today and it turns out that prices are not rising by as much as some were predicting. the consumer prices index, which is a way of measuring inflation — was 2% injuly. that compares to 2.5% the previous month. cheaper clothing is one reason for the dip, but some experts are warning inflation could go much higher later this year.
five days after a devastating earthquake in haiti and then a tropical store and, aid effort is yet to arrive. it is yet to reach rural areas which is lacking in emergency support and supplies. james clayton reports from the village of marceline, near the epicentre. as you head out from the city of les cayes to rural marceline, the road is marked by landslides... ..and deep cracks. the village is remote and the scale of the damage, catastrophic. rose—marie took me to her house. her 15—year—old son was charging his phone when the quake hit. the wall collapsed on him. translation: these are his books.
he had recently got them so he could start a new year of school. and now, he's gone. i wrap his shirt around my waist, it keeps me strong. when you come to these rural areas, the level of destruction just ups a notch. almost every single house here is completely destroyed. five people were killed in this house alone. and to understand why, you have to look at the cement and rock that these houses are built from. it's really hard to lift this, it's really heavy and of course, when those kinds of walls full down, they can cause when those kinds of walls fall down, they can cause catastrophic injuries. with no sign of aid or help, many people are living on top of the rubble of what was their homes. "do we have to screen for the government to hear us?" this woman says, "or is life over?" the people of haiti feel like they've been forgotten. and in many ways, they have. james clayton, bbc news, marceline.
the comedian, sean lock, has died from cancer at the age of 58. an acclaimed stand—up and sitcom actor, he was perhaps best known for his long—running work appearing on the panel show, �*8 out 0f10 cats'. i don't think the dictionary has got enough words in it to describe me. i'm such an amazing, complicated... i'm more like a sensation, an idea. yeah. laughter. the best way to describe me is with a fragrance. laughter. the comedian, sean lock, who has died at the age of 58. entertainment, and theatre in particular, has been one of the sectors hardest hit by covid. the recent easing of restrictions means that many productions are now back on stage, including cinderella, the new musical by andrew lloyd webber. here's the bbc�*s alan yentob. yes, fingers crossed, theatre is back. covid, all being well,
is under control. social distancing is over — for now. and andrew lloyd webber�*s much anticipated new musical, cinderella, is back in town. three years in the making, weeks of previews — then they were pinged, and the show did not go on. this radical take on the cinderella story was written by the oscar winner emerald fennell. well, here we are. so, the show�*s on, eh? you never know, but short of us having to be taken screaming from the theatre, it's going to open. i have to say, this is unlike any other cinderella that i've ever seen. i mean, my phrase is, this is a cinderella for our time. # barking mad cinderella flying high in the sky... . it's the most well— known
story in the world, and so that... it's good and bad. it means that the audience anticipates, certain things, they expect certain things, and so, really, the conversation we had was, well, how do we do something new, how do we make it a story that feels exciting and gripping, while still having the shoe, the clock at midnight, you know, the transformation, all those things? so, it was about... yeah, about surprising the audience. but i think the thing that converted me to finally doing it was the central message that emerald's written, which is, don't change yourself, don't change yourself to be what you believe other people want you to be. i mean, i think that's a very important message for our time, really, and it made me think, "yeah, i can do this." and they have. # bad cinderella. # cinderella is the catty name that they call me. j
# call me bad cinderella, i will not say goodbye. . # you've been hateful since i met you... - it hasjoy, and i think it does have romance. it hasjoy... even if the romance doesn't quite go the way that everyone might expect. no, it hasjoy, it has romance and, crucially, and the thing that is most important to me anyway, is it has a fairly long, erotic male dance sequence. ah, well, that is, of course, the reason she did the show, but we don't need to go into that for this audience. # well, forget you! the bbc�*s alan yentob. that's it. now on bbc one, time for the news where you are. have a very good night. good evening. so far this week, the weather story has been dominated by cloud. it's been a rather grey start, hasn't it, really? and through this afternoon,
the cloud was thick enough at times to produce a little bit of light drizzle in places. this was cumbria earlier on. there was also some sunshine be found, though, across eastern scotland, to the east of england and down just to the north of london as well. we had a few breaks in the cloud from time to time. now, the cloud will continue to fill in as we go through the evening as well, and once again along exposed west—facing coasts, it'll be thick enough for a spot or two of drizzle. could be quite misty as well across the hills. temperatures are holding up, though, staying into double digits first thing for thursday morning. so, once again, we start off with a cloudy story. there will be some breaks and some sunshine coming through northern ireland. you can see a slice just moving across the east of the pennines before yet more cloud arrives and some showery outbreaks of rain push in from the west. so, a really messy story to try and pinpoint down for tomorrow, and again, those temperatures are going to be disappointing. friday looks a slightly quieter day. yes, i know there's a weather front pushing in from the west, and it will gradually bring
outbreaks of rain. but ahead of it, it looks likely to be dry. there'll be some around, the winds swinging to a southerly ahead of that weather front, will also drive in slightly milder air. so, with the sunshine, we could see temperatures peaking at 23 or 2a degrees — that's 75 fahrenheit. and in fact, we're going to continue to import some heat from the near continent. not the extreme heat from the mediterranean, but ahead of this weather front, we will continue to see some increasing warmth. however, this weather front is going to bring some heavy rain as well. so, as we head towards the weekend, it looks likely to be quite a warm story, but also quite wet at times, possibly even with some sharp, thundery downpours. so, eastern england on saturday seeing the best of the sunshine, the best of the weather. 0ur weather front is going to take its time to arrive in from the west, some of that rain will be heavy from time to time. it's only 18 or 19 degrees here, but we could see highs of 26 degrees —
this is bbc news, the headlines... chaotic scenes have been reported outside kabul airport, as governments rush to bring home their citizens as well as afghan colleagues. taliban militants controlling access to the airport have fired shots into the air to disperse approaching crowds. the ousted afghan president, ashraf ghani, has denied fleeing afghanistan hours after it was confirmed that he'd taken refuge in the uae. mr ghani said he had to leave afghanistan to prevent bloodshed. the british government's handling of the crisis has faced severe criticism in parliament. but the prime minister, borisjohnson, said there was no appetite among nato allies to keep troops in afghanistan without us support. the prosecution has made its opening statements at the trial of the american r&b singer r kelly at a us federal court. the prosecutor said the musician had targeted and exploited young girls and boys. r kelly denies any wrongdoing.