tv BBC News at Ten BBC News August 20, 2021 10:00pm-10:31pm BST
tonight at ten, despair and danger in afghanistan, as thousands at kabul airport beg for safe passage to new lives. there's frustration for british troops trying to keep order, and for fearful afghans trying to flee the taliban. i'm scared because i'm a girl. how long have you been waiting? i came morning, 5 o'clock, so still i am waiting here. president biden says it's one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history, and he makes a solemn pledge. let me be clear, any american who wants to come home — we will get you home. here, the prime minister defends his foreign secretary over his handling of the crisis. also tonight... an inquestjury rules the stabbing of two people in south london last year by a convicted
terrorist could have been prevented. nearly a week after the earthquake in haiti, the lucky are getting aid, but many still struggle. and, in at the deep end — the paralympian swimmer going for gold in tokyo. and coming up in the sport later in the hour on the bbc news channel. a thrilling day of eliminators in the hundred. oval invincibles are through to tomorrow's womens�* final. good evening. amid reports of executions and torture in afghanistan by the taliban, thousands of people continue to mass at kabul�*s airport, in the hope of being flown out of the country to safety. at times, british soldiers guarding the perimeter have struggled to keep the crowds of desperate people at bay. nato says so far, more than 18,000 have been airlifted out this week,
and president biden tonight pledged to repatriate "every single american who wants to come home." the uk has flown out 2,400 people, according to the ministry of defence. many are afghans who'd worked with british forces, and 599 are british nationals. but there are many more who are eligible, still trying to leave. our correspondent, sacander kermani and cameraman malik moodassir, now report on the despair of those, still trying to escape. get back! panic and chaos close to kabul airport. british soldiers guarding a secure compound for those being evacuated. british passport holders in the crowd, desperately trying to get through. this is my british passport. like this uber driver from west london. he's got kids.
we've been waiting. how long have you been here waiting? i came morning, five o'clock. still, i'm waiting here. in the last three days, i'm trying to go inside... and they won't let you into the hotel? even though the embassy has told you to come here. yes, he said i had to go here. even more distressing scenes at the main entrance to the compound. british soldiers trying to keep the crowd back. this is a scene of total and utter chaos, many of the people here don't have any permission to board an evacuation flight but they are so desperate that they just turned up here anyway. that's making it extremely difficult for those who have been told to come here by the british embassy to get through. my family, my newborn baby. amongst those trapped by the crowd, this former british army interpreter. his wife gave birth just two weeks ago and he's deeply worried about the baby. maybe i lose my kid and maybe she is not good.
she is not good, my wife. you can't stay here. i can't stay here, look at the situation, look at the dirt on the floor here. and, until now, i'm here since morning, i came here, taliban lashed me on the back. most of the people here are in a state of total confusion. they don't know how they can, but just want to leave the country before the evacuation flights end. what makes you think you will be able to travel? this woman says she was a player on the national basketball team. i am so scared, because i'm a girl. my life is in danger. what... as the day goes on, some of those who are meant to be here eventually get through, including the family with the young baby. many others are still struggling, though. even more who want to leave
but can't will be left behind. get back now! secunder kermani is in kabul now. the situation at the airport is desperate. how would you sum up life in other parts of the capital? really distressing scenes, as you say, at the airport again today. many people in a state of utter confusion. they keep coming up to me asking if i have any information on how they can get out of the country. elsewhere in the city, things outwardly, at least, are much calmer. shops and restaurants are generally opening up. on the one hand, some people are taking some reassurance from the more publicly conciliatory tone the taliban have been adopting. 0n the other hand, reports have been emerging of the group targeting other afghans. we've had allegations today the group were
responsible for the murder of a relative of a journalist working for a german outlet, amnesty international talking about the taliban being behind the massacre of nine members of a minority last month. things aren't in black—and—white because the same members of that minority group yesterday were able to celebrate peacefully an important religious festival. but that uncertainty is adding to an atmosphere of deep anxiety amongst many afghans. thanks ve much anxiety amongst many afghans. thanks very much for— anxiety amongst many afghans. thanks very much for that. _ boris johnson says the latest assessment, is that the situation at kabul airport is now stabilising. and tonight, president biden, promised americans in afghanistan "we will get you home". but he also said us forces were carrying out "one of the largest most difficult airlifts in history". make no mistake, this evacuation mission is dangerous. it involves risks to our armed forces, and it's being conducted under difficult circumstances. i cannot promise what the final outcome will be, or what it'll be without risk of laws.
0ur north america editorjon sopel is at the white house. was this a more chastened president today after the events of recent days? it today after the events of recent da s? . , today after the events of recent da 5? ., , ., ., today after the events of recent das? ., , days? it was a more sombre assessment _ days? it was a more sombre assessment we _ days? it was a more sombre assessment we heard - days? it was a more sombre assessment we heard from | days? it was a more sombre - assessment we heard from president biden. what struck me most about it was the extent to which the worlds most powerful armed forces are almost entirely dependent on the goodwill of the taliban for this process to unfold in the way that the americans want it to. joe biden said any american who wants to leave afghanistan is able to do so thanks to the cooperation of the afghans, the taliban, that's not the way journalist on the ground are seeing it. interestingly, the us defence secretary has briefed lawmakers on capitol hill and told them that americans have been beaten trying to get to the airport. then there is the position of the translators, and joe biden said they must come out,
as well. but think of the optics. you are a translator, you've helped the us forces attacked the taliban, and you have to present your credentials to the taliban to get to the airport! that left many people feeling very frustrated and vulnerable. joe biden dismisses all of this and says this is all process, the policy is right, but the chaotic way in which the process has unfolded has left tens of thousands of people, afghans who helped the americans over the past 20 years, feeling very insecure, abandoned, and betrayed. qm. 20 years, feeling very insecure, abandoned, and betrayed. 0k, thank ou for abandoned, and betrayed. 0k, thank you for that — the prime minister says he "absolutely" has confidence in the foreign secretary, dominic raab, who's come under fire for his handling of the crisis in afghanistan. he failed to call his afghan counterpart to discuss evacuations after being advised to do so by officials. mr raab said his priority at the time had been dealing with security issues at kabul airport. here's our political correspondent alex forsyth.
arriving in a place of safety, this past week has been a scramble to evacuate brits and afghans who worked with them, planes drafted in to get people out, but could more have been done? the foreign secretary, seen heading to downing street yesterday, has been under pressure... are you going to resign, mr raab? no. ..for not calling his afghan counterpart last week about translators who'd helped foreign forces. tonight, the prime minister said... the whole of the government has been working virtually round—the—clock on the phones to do what we can, and to make sure that we get as many people back as possible. so how did events unfold? last friday, dominic raab was advised to call the afghan foreign minister. he was on holiday in crete. he says the call was delegated to a junior minister because he was prioritising security and capacity at the airport on the direct advice of the director
and the director general overseeing the crisis response. on saturday, the taliban reached the outskirts of kabul. the foreign secretary was still on holiday. by now no call was made. the government said that was down to the rapidly deteriorating situation. on sunday, the taliban took kabul. the prime minister chaired a cobra meeting, and the foreign secretary flew back from holiday. the government says securing the airport was the right priority and meant more than 1600 people could be evacuated. though not everyone. it's not safe for us. this interpreter, who we are not identifying, worked with british forces. he has been told he is eligible to come to the uk but hasn't had the paperwork so he's hiding in afghanistan. every second i am checking my e—mails. you know? it's not in my control. i have four kids. i am thinking about my wife. i am thinking my life is quite important for them.
with the foreign office under pressure, some tory mps have rallied round. supporters of the foreign secretary have said today he is hard—working, and suggested one phone call would not have made a material difference given the pace of events on the ground. but this has become a focal point for frustration, even anger among those who question the government's readiness for and reaction to what has happened in afghanistan. there has been little coordination of security matters across whitehall itself. 0ur foreign policy is reactive not proactive. it is lacking confidence in its ability to lead and lacking coordination. the prime minister, after meeting some of those the government has brought to safety, said the uk's effort over 20 years in afghanistan has changed the lives of millions. his actions now could affect the lives of many more. alex forsyth, bbc news, westminster. an inquestjury has found that the stabbing of two people in south london last year by a convicted terrorist,
may have been prevented. sudesh amman, who was 20, was freed just days before the attack in streatham, and the jury concluded he could have been sent back to prison, after buying items he used to make a fake suicide belt. amman was eventually shot dead by armed police. here's our home affairs correspondent, daniel sandford. sudesh amman leaving his probation hostel, a hoax suicide belt under his jacket concealed by his bag. 35 minutes later, armed surveillance officers had to shoot him dead outside boots. this ain't real. witnesses couldn't believe their eyes as police cleared the area. amman died before they established that the suicide belt was fake. the police had real concerns about this attacker. both in relation to his extremist mindset and also what he may do on his release from prison. it's for this reason that they were in the right place at the right time to intervene and stop this becoming
a murderous attack. but could it have been prevented? amman had been arrested aged 19. images on his computer led to him being jailed for 11! months for sharing terrorist material. but the rules at the time said he had to be released half way through his sentence. those rules have since changed for terrorism offenders because of his case. in belmarsh prison, if anything, he became more radical, mixing with hashem abedi, the manchester bomber�*s brother. ahmed hassan, the failed parsons green bomber. and abdulla ahmed ali, who led a plot to blow up planes with liquid explosives. the prison�*s intelligence system recorded that amman, known as faraz, wanted to kill the queen, become a suicide bomber, and join isis. a pledge of allegiance to the leader of the islamic state group was found in his prison cell. a senior counterterrorism officer wrote to the prison governor asking if he could delay amman�*s release, but he couldn't. so, once released he was followed everywhere by armed surveillance officers. they watched as he bought aluminium foil, parcel tape,
and drinks bottles, items they knew could be used to make a fake suicide belt. just like the one he was wearing on the day of the attack. the jury said an opportunity to prevent the attack was missed that night as he could have been recalled to prison because his risk to the public had changed. 0n the day of the attack, amman was being tracked through south london by a nine man team of armed surveillance officers. when he went into the low price store here in streatham high road an officer being called bx87 to protect his identity was only a few metres behind. amman stole a knife and ran out of the shop, stabbing but not killing two people as he ran along, chased by a pair of surveillance officers, their guns drawn. when amman turned on them they feared for their lives and opened fire. the jury concluded it was a lawful killing. daniel sandford, bbc news, streatham.
the independent office for police conduct has revealed that the man who shot dead five people in plymouth last week, then turned the gun on himself, was able to keep his weapons licence, despite admitting assaulting two youths. jake davison, who was 22, agreed to take anger management classes, and his gun was only removed when a worker on the scheme raised concerns. but it was returned to him a month before the shootings. the snp and the scottish greens have agreed to work together in a formal partnership at holyrood, putting the greens into power for the first time anywhere in the uk. the deal now gives the scottish government a majority to pass legislation, including a new independence referendum bill. but the agreement isn't a formal coalition, as our scotland correspondent lorna gordon reports. 0n the royal mile in edinburgh, the fringe is in full swing. crowds are back, performers putting on shows.
the big political show in town today — the deal between the governing snp and the scottish greens, their co—leaders smiling as they arrived at the first minister's official residence, bute house, taking the greens into government for the first time anywhere in the uk. this, an agreement built on co—operation and consensus, according to nicola sturgeon, and one which she said gives momentum to calls for another referendum. i am determined that there will be an independence referendum in this parliament. i said in the election this agreement reiterates that. it's not about making it more likely. i think it makes it harder and indeed impossible on any democratic basis for a uk government to resist the right of the scottish people to choose their own future. while united on wanting to see scotland becoming independent, neither the snp or scottish greens are hiding that there are policy areas where they are split. we agree on some things, disagree on others, and those distinctive voices can and will remain.
that's why this isn't a coalition in the traditional sense, but that mustn't mean that we can't cooperate, for the good of the people of scotland, our climate and our environment. but it is the issue of independence which inevitably draws the most attention. a source close to the first minister saying they think this deal shifts the dial on the argument for another referendum. the power—sharing deal also commits to increased investment in public transport, more money towards energy efficiency and renewable heating, as well as more support for offshore wind and marine renewables. but there are also areas where the two parties agree to disagree. these include aviation policy, using gdp as a measure of the economy, and while they agreed to work together on education reform, that won't include private schools. ijust think it is a coalition of chaos that will putjobs, the economy and our recovery at risk as they obsess over another independence referendum, rather than the important issues for people right across scotland.
this deal offers the snp administration more stability. for the greens, it's a chance to make inroads on some of their core issues. it still needs approval from the decision—making bodies in both parties. that's expected in the next few days. lorna gordon, bbc news, edinburgh. nearly a week after a powerful earthquake hit haiti there are still some remote areas that haven't received any aid. more than 2,000 people have died, with the epicentre of the quake in the south—west of the country. at least 12,200 have been injured, and several hundred people are still missing. an estimated 135,000 families have been displaced. 0ur correspondent james clayton reports now from the small town of les anglais, where an entire parish is in mourning. to get to the small town of les anglais, you have to take the coastal road. the town is two hours from les cayes, and the road snakes through earthquake—scarred villages
and even through a river. this is what's left of the town's church. a mass christening was about to begin just before the earthquake struck. the church had been filling up with people. dafica had woken up excited. her daughter was one of the dozens of children to be christened that day. translation: the church already had a lot of people inside, _ so i was looking for a good place to sit. i put my bag down and just as i was about to sit down, the earthquake struck. everyone started running but each side of the church was full of people. i was holding my baby. i tried to get out of the front. i was so nearly out and that's when it collapsed on me. dafica suffered injuries to her head, back and legs, but survived. her daughter esther died in her arms. translation: we were inseparable.
when we went to the church, we were two, but i came back alone. i will never forget her. this is a town still in mourning. 22 people died here in the collapse, including many children. this man shows us belongings laid out in the cemetery across the street, including a christening veil, as yet uncollected. "sometimes i ask myself, does god exist?" he says. "it's too much, it's too much." nearly a week after this earthquake and the true scale of the devastation is still revealing itself, and that's why it's feared that the death toll here could rise further. some help has started to arrived here, desperately needed food and clothes.
but this earthquake has turned communities upside down. trauma that may never heal. james clayton, bbc news, les anglais. the government's latest coronavirus figures show there were 37,311! new infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period, which means, on average, there were 31,336 new cases per day in the last week. 6,4a1 people are currently in hospital with the virus. 114 deaths were recorded in the past 2a hours, with an average of 98 deaths a day in the past week. on vaccinations, 87.4% of adults in the uk have now had theirfirstjab, and 76% have had two jabs. meanwhile, northern ireland has recorded its highest daily number of positive coronavirus tests since the start of the pandemic.
data from the stormont department of health shows 2,397 people tested positive in the latest 24—hour period. previously, the highest daily number was 2,1a3, recorded last december. four out of ten ambulance trusts in england have confirmed they're receiving help from the military to deal with rising demand this summer. the coronavirus pandemic has stretched resources already under pressure due to record call—outs. here's our health editor, hugh pym. yeah, thank you, likewise, loud and clear, over. darren is a paramedic manager, about to go out on the road in south oxfordshire. usually, he only gets involved in major incidents, but call volumes are so high that he's helping out with day to day cases. we've come through an exceptionally busy time with the pandemic. a lot of the staff have obviously felt the pressure of that through the months, but they're continuing
to go above and beyond. reports of a female in the river thames in abingdon... he gets to the scene to find the woman has been pulled from the river by passers—by and is being treated by ambulance service colleagues. patient is conscious and breathing. a call—out takes him to check on an injury in a town centre, another example of the demands on the service at this time of the year. with more people out and about, july and august can be very busy for ambulance services, but staff say it's even busier now than it was in the summer before the pandemic, with a range of health challenges across local communities adding to covid pressures. the message to the public — if it's not an emergency, use 111 online if possible. currently, within south central ambulance service, we're at extreme pressure. we're a really busy service at the moment and we're making sure we're doing our best to serve our patients and our community. we've got staff that are off sick, we've got staff that are unable
to attend work due to track and trace, and other reasons. this service is using ten military personnel to help support staff. so is the northeast and two other services. nhs england said these were tried and tested measures in periods of exceptionally high demand, but unions say it raises questions. topping up, using short—term fixes like military aid, like private ambulances, are an indication that we need to have a rethink about how many people we actually need working in the service. northern ireland's ambulance service isn't using military staff, but there is support from crews from the republic. scotland and wales haven't deployed mod personnel, but all are feeling the same intensifying pressures. hugh pym, bbc news. the paralympics get underway in tokyo next week, with the opening ceremony on tuesday. among those making their debut at the games, is the swimmer suzanna hext.
but the 32—year old has followed an unusual path into the sport, having first achieved huge success as an equestrian. our sports correspondent, andy swiss, has been to meet her. if my accident�*s taught me anything, it's, "life's too short." because i'm lucky to still be here today, it makes you want to get as much as you can out of life. powering to the paralympics, for suzanna hext, the latest stop on a remarkable sporting journey. from her earliest years she loved riding and hext became a talented eventer, when in 2012 a horse reared up and fell on top of her, leaving her with life—changing injuries. i felt like my whole world had fallen apart. i shattered my pelvis, broke my back, had a head injury injury, spinal injuries, crushed my shoulder. the thing that kind of kept me going is the london 2012 paralympics was on tv when i was in hospital, so when my surgeon said, you'll never walk again, you'll never ride again, i was kind of a bit like, actually,
i really can do this. and she did. hext returned to the saddle in para—dressage and became a triple european champion. but then in 2019 she was persuaded to try para—swimming, with extraordinary results. within months she'd won two medals at the world championships. when i'm in this pool or on a horse i feel free. it's like the challenges i have in daily life just fade away and it's just me and the horse or me and the water, and, like, weightless. that feeling is just phenomenal. the pandemic hasn't made preparations easy. hext had to turn her parents�* living room into a gym and swim in a creek near their house in cornwall. long term she wants to be a paralympian in both her sports but she says it's only the support of her brother and her parents that's got her to tokyo. i can't explain to you how much i've been through with my family to get to this point. and...
i'm actually getting emotional! but, yeah, i couldn't have done it without them. and what are you hoping you can achieve? i'm not going to lie, i'd love to come away with a medal. i'm just super excited to get out to tokyo, give it all i can and i'll be happy with that. suzanna hext talking to our correspondent andy swiss there. that's it. now on bbc one, time for the news where you are. have a very good night. hello again. although there were a few sunny spells, few breaks in the cloud sheet today, most of us had another rather grey and cloudy day. the weather courtesy of this low pressure, and that's been pushing this area of thicker cloud into western areas. that's been bringing outbreaks of rain over recent hours, and that rain is continuing to push its way northwards and eastwards overnight. it will come along in bursts.
some heavy rain will ease off, becoming a bit lighter and more drizzly in nature. it's always going to be quite murky, some mist and fog patches following around our coasts and hills and very mild. temperature is no lower than 16 in hull and liverpool. as we start off the weekend, we have got this rain to contend with. it's looking at its heaviest, really, across wales and northern england, perhaps the midlands, too. it will push eastwards, reaching east anglia and south east england as we head into the afternoon. at the same time, it'll tend to ease off in northern ireland, wales and southwest england, but a mixture of sunshine and showers following. temperatures for the most part a little disappointing, generally in the high teens. and then, for sunday, a brighter day with sunshine and showers around.
the headlines: president biden says the us has made clear to the taliban that any attack on the afghan evacuation mission would be met quickly and with force. mr biden said he was in constant contact with the taliban. nato's secretary general, jens stoltenberg, says several of the bloc�*s members have suggested extending the deadline for evacuations out of kabul airport beyond the 31st of august. borisjohnson says he has full confidence in his foreign secretary, dominic raab, after criticism over his handling of the crisis. mr raab has come under pressure, forfailing to call the afghan foreign minister over evacuation plans. there's been mounting anger in haiti over the slow delivery of aid to areas affected by saturday's earthquake. damage to roads is hampering access. more than 2000 people died in the quake. many more were injured.