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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 22, 2021 12:00am-12:31am BST

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this is bbc news, i'm philippa thomas with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. gunfire us troops fire tear gas in kabul, to try to push back thousands, desperate to escape the taliban. translation: we've got a legal visa. - many people who are coming here don't have the right documents, but we've got the visa and they won't let us through. senior taliban figures — including the group's co—founder, mullah baradar — are in the afghan capital for talks about establishing a new government. a state of emergency has been declared in parts of new york state ahead of the forecast arrival of hurricane henri. anti—lockdown protests in australia turn ugly. more than 200 are arrested.
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hello and welcome. the us embassy in afghanistan, is advising americans not to travel to kabul airport, unless they've been instructed to do so, because of "potential security threats" at the gates. thousands of people are still massed at the perimeter of the airport, anxious to board flights out of the country, and the crush of people in swealtering heat, left some needing medical help from us troops. the bbc�*s security correspondent frank gardner reports. crowds, chaos, confusion. the scene at kabul airport grows ever more volatile as thousands of afghans clamour to leave the country. gunfire taliban fighters are guarding the outside of the perimeter, but even some people with valid travel documents are not getting through.
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translation: we've got a legal visa. - many people who are coming here don't have the right documents, but we've got the visa and they won't let us through. britain's ambassador, sir laurie bristow, has been helping to process applications. he says the evacuation is the biggest challenge he's ever faced. but a pentagon briefing said the taliban had so far not prevented the evacuation. we've had no hostile interactions, no attack and no threat by the taliban. we remain vigilant. we have also not experienced any additional security incidents. elsewhere in kabul, normal life is slowly returning, but banks have been shut and cash machines empty. there have also been reports of hospitals struggling without enough women turning up for work. taliban fighters, so long part of a violent insurgency, are in control, seen everywhere on the streets. the group's co—founder and political chief,
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mullah abdul ghani baradar, has arrived in kabul. he is expected to form part of the new taliban—dominated government. he spent the last few years leading the taliban delegation at peace talks with the us in qatar. the taliban don't yet control the entire country. the panjshir valley, north of kabul, is once more a centre of resistance to their rule. anti—taliban forces claim to have retaken three districts in the north. back at the airport, time is running out for the evacuation. once it ends and the world's attention shifts elsewhere, many fear that life under the taliban is going to get a lot harder. frank gardner, bbc news. our afghanistan correspondent secunder kermani is in kabul and has been speaking to the afghans who hope to be evacuated. he says the situation at the airport still seems extremely tense. well, it's still very chaotic.
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i was speaking earlier to one young afghan whose father worked for the american embassy for 20 years, they had been told to go to the airport to be evacuated, tried for two days straight, but they have simply given up, they've decided at the situation at the airport is even more dangerous than the prospect of life under taliban rule. we're also getting reports tonight in the us media that there are concerns amongst us defence officials about the possibility of an attack by the islamic state group on the airport. it's sent a panic that many there who are camped out are feeling — it's really fuelled by the fact that international troops will be pulled out by the end of this month. that's when the evacuation process, it seems at the moment, at least, will end. and after that, many fear it'll be extremely difficult to fly out of the country. so time, they feel, is really
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running out for them. what part is the taliban playing in the situation at the airport? i noticed a pentagon briefing line earlier today saying that taliban is not obstructing people — but i don't know how you see it. it's hard to get a sense — when i was there outside the secured british compound where people were being evacuated yesterday, the taliban did not have a presence there — yesterday, at least, i'm told they've had a presence there today. the problem there was certainly not the taliban — the problem there was that there is just thousands of people, most of whom don't have the right travel permissions to get inside the compound to be evacuated. but they've turned up anyway because they are just desperate to leave the country, and thatjust makes the entire situation very chaotic. a lot of the scenes that we've actually witnessed from outside the main entrance of the airport is the taliban firing into the air and beating people back with rubber hoses and sticks. so that's actually a fairly
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brutal form of crowd control that the taliban are exerting — just to keep back lots of people who don't have the right travel documents, who would not be allowed in by uk or us forces into the airport, would not be allowed on board those planes. at the same time, we've had some reports of the taliban preventing some of those afghans who've been granted permission to travel because they've got links with international forces, with foreign embassies. at times, we've had reports of the taliban preventing or delaying some of these people. it's not something i have to say i've heard first—hand myself, but i have heard of reports about it. as we were hearing us defence officials have also expressed concern about potential attacks by afghanistan's branch of the self—styled islamic state. the bbc�*s us state department correspondent, barbara plett usher, gave me this update.
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the ongoing chaos outside the airport is contributing to what the pentagon spokesperson called a "fluid and dynamic" security situation that could change by the hour. so you have this statement put out by the state department warning americans not to go to the airport because of potential security concerns — unless they were told specifically to go. then the state department said it had issued this morning because it wanted americans to avoid these large crowds for security purposes, —— issued that warning, but also because it would make it more efficient to process the departures. then we've also now had these us officials telling american media that they are particularly concerned about the possibility of islamic state attacks — afghanistan's branch of the islamic state group — and they are looking at alternative routes to get evacuees to the airport. so it seems to be in flux at the moment. the white house did say that president biden had discussed with his national security team the potential of the is
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threat, amongst other things, earlier today. and i should say that the islamic state group itself has not publicly threatened attacks in kabul — although recently it did make a statement calling the taliban "us stooges", saying it was preparing for a new phase of resistance — jihad. possibly important to remind viewers possibly important to remind viewe ., �* , possibly important to remind viewe . �* , , ., , viewers that there's tensions between the _ viewers that there's tensions between the two _ viewers that there's tensions between the two groups, - viewers that there's tensions between the two groups, no| viewers that there's tensions - between the two groups, no love lost between the taliban and the self—styled islamic state. no, that's correct, the taliban and islamic state is sort of a counter to them, or a competitor, or even enemy of them. and certainly with the taliban now helping the united states leave, of course, the united states is its enemy as well, but they are facilitating the departure of the us because they want the americans out of they want the americans out of the country, and they are trumpeting this as a victory
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for themselves — it's something the islamic state... i think americans are also worried because an attack at the airport might be conducted to make the taliban look bad. reports are coming and that there is but an orderfrom reports are coming and that there is but an order from the bite and menstruation telling us airlines they could be ordered to help in this situation, they could be ordered to help people being evacuated from afghanistan. 0fficials evacuated from afghanistan. officials are reported saying they might not fly to kabul, but they might vary groups from germany or the middle east. that's developing as i speak. here in the uk, the foreign office says the uk has airlifted nearly 4,000 people out of afghanistan, since kabul fell last weekend. but others fearing for their lives having worked with british forces, believe they should be airlifted out, too. 0ur correspondent, frankie mccamley, has been speaking to one man, whom we've chosen not to identify, for his safety. this morning, 200 evacuees
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arrived at brize norton, following thousands of others, with many more waiting to leave. but some feel like they've been left behind. now in hiding, this man worked for a security firm with the british embassy. translation: we cannot stay in our home. - i hear the taliban has a list of all others who worked with the international companies and they will start to pull them from their houses and hang them. how are your family feeling? translation: i am very sorry for my family, - and sometimes when i look to my kids, it is very bad. i cannot look at them. i was the one who put them at high risk. if i knew this company would do this to us, i would never have joined. i would never have helped them. what do you think will happen to you if you leave the house and you come out of hiding? translation: i was threatened by the taliban before, _ so i left my home before. now i am scared if they see me they will do bad things to me.
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i am on the list. like many others, he wants protection for his family, a familiar concern from those who feel trapped in a country where confusion and fear currently dictates. frankie mccamley, bbc news. with so many people now hoping to escape afghanistan, turkey has warned of a new wave of migration and called on european countries to take responsibility. greece however has built a new 40—kilometre fence and surveillance system along its border with turkey. the greek government says it won't wait passively for the possible impact of a refugee crisis, following the taliban takeover. hurricane grace has torn through eastern mexico after making landfall for a second time, and has killed at least eight people. the deaths and the worst damage were in veracruz state, where the storm came ashore early on saturday. the hurricane weakened to a tropical storm as it moved inland north of mexico city, but high winds and downpours
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were reported to be causing more flooding. meanwhile, a state of emergency has been declared in parts of new york state ahead of the forecast arrival of hurricane henri. new york's governor, andrew cuomo, said he had spoken to president biden, who agreed to the declaration, which will release funds before the hurricane makes landfall on sunday. mr cuomo said heavy rain, flooding and power cuts should be expected. i'm going to declare a state emergency declaration for long island, new york city, westchester, hudson valley, and the capital district region. we're working with the power companies. i have told them clearly and convincingly my opinion, that this is what we pay the power companies to do — to be ready for storms. we've seen this movie before.
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we don't pay power companies to be ready to prepare power for sunny days. we pay them to prepare power when it's hard and to recover quickly after a storm. 0ur correspondent bahman kalbasi is in new york state on fire island, which lies on the atlantic coastline. clearly the storm surge, not entirely here, but we're feeling its impact — the weather is starting to change. and this is a barrier island, so when it makes landfall, it'll hit here first — not exactly where i'm standing, the prediction is 80 miles to the east of long island and fire island, which is why the governor made clear appeal to the residents of fire island to leave, because he also thought that this could be similar to what happened in 2012 with sandy, or lloyd made landfall in newjersey,
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the neighborouring state. —— although it made landfall. but fire island was heavily impacted with damages — we know that storm brought about $70 billion of costs to the state of new york and newjersey. so clearly they're worried that could happen again. and, even though some people are standing on the beach, a lot of them have been packing to leave because the only way to get back through the mainland is a ferry service which will stop in a few hours. bbc weather�*s chris fawkes explains what we can expect from the storm. hurricane henri will make landfall across the northeast of the united states on sunday. 0ver recent hours, this storm has been picking up energy as it's worked across the warm waters of the atlantic gulf stream. it's being driven around an upper area of low pressure, and that sending it in a northwestward direction. landfall is expected around about long island, but there will be impacts elsewhere — newjersey into connecticut, rhode island and massachusetts. damaging gusts of wind up to 85 mph, and as well as that, torrential rain will cause some flooding problems.
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after that, the winds calm down, the rain eventually accelerating towards eastern parts of canada over the next few days. so hurricane henri no doubt bringing back some uncomfortable memories from hurricane sandy that hit the same kind of area back in 2012. damaging gusts of wind, 250 mm of rain — that's likely to cause some flooding in itself, but as well as that, coastal communities will be watching out for a storm surge. that could be around 3—5—foot high — a metre or a metre—and—a—half, bringing inundation to some coastal communities. let's get some of the day's other news. israel has carried out air strikes in gaza in response to what it calls riots instigated by the hamas organisation. the israeli army said its aircraft hit four hamas weapons and storage manufacturing sites. palestinian media spoke of explosions near a power station and close to a refugee camp in central gaza. the air strikes followed a protest on the border, during which palestinian sources said israeli troops shot and wounded more
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than 20 palestinians. the trial of the r&b singer r kelly, who's accused of sexually abusing several women, has heard claims by his former tour manager, that he bribed a government worker to obtain a fake id to marry the singer aaliyah, who was underage. she was 15 at the time. kelly is also accused of bribery, and denies all the charges. the british government has rejected a call to issue 10,000 temporary visas to eu workers to tackle an estimated shortage of 75,000 lorry drivers in the wake of brexit. logistics uk, the trade body which represents freight businesses, says supermarkets are facing serious supply problems. but ministers say employers should invest in the domestic workforce rather than rely on foreign labour. you are watching bbc news. the headlines... the united states has asked its citizens to avoid going to kabul airport where thousands of people continue to gather in an attempt to flee afghanistan.
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let's stay with our main story — nadene ghouri is an author and journalist who has written extensively about afghanistan. she is part of an international coalition consisting of soldiers, aid workers, diplomats and journalists who've served or worked in afghanistan, trying to help afghans escape from the country. we've all come together in the last few weeks as we've been scrambling to get intelligence from the ground, to find out who's the most at risk, who's under the most immediate threat from taliban, get those names together, collate them into lists, and get those names over to the relevant governments to go on the evacuation lists. but it staggers me that those lists weren't drawn up in advance, because we knew who those most vulnerable afghans were going to be, so why was it left to a group of volunteers to do that? it's utterly beyond me. just to give you an example of some of the cases that have passed me this week — i'm talking about female high courtjudges, female afghan army cadets, members of the afghan national sports team women, boys, and girls.
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some really high—profile cases we should have known were at risk, and lots of afghan journalists. a lot of them are in hiding at the moment and getting calls from the taliban, saying, "we know where you are, we're coming for you soon". there's a lot of fear, people are beginning to give up on the evacuation efforts. we're hearing today at the airport that a woman with two children who's on one of the flight lists has been going there for three days now — she's been there for 15 hours with her kids in that crush. i got a whatsapp from her, and she said, "i can't do it again, i'm just giving up, idon�*t want to be evacuated any more, i'll die in that crowd." i've had somebody this morning that we've been trying to get on a flight — he was told to get on the airport, but not which entrance or gate to go to. so he's been running around the airport all day. and he managed to get through taliban checkpoints, only to be turned away and not able to get in.
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so he's still at the airport and will try to stay there overnight. it is a shambles of an evacuation process. these are really desperate stories, and when you're talking to these people who say they can't do it any more, they can't go through another day of that with the kids — what other option do they have? if they are scared to go home, where else could they go? well, some people are now talking about fleeing into the mountains. the lady who said she can't face it again tomorrow, there's people trying to persuade her that that's maybe the best thing to do. but she described how the taliban were urinating over her and her children to try and humiliate them. can you imagine your terrified children, and just doing that? it really urgently needs to be sorted out, because there's no point running evacuation flights if people can't get into the airport. and to tell people to turn up to the airport without even telling them which entrance they need to go to — it's just crazy. but i'm seeing a mood change tonight, and a lot of people are, as i said, losing faith in the evacuation programme, and ifeel
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personally that it's just the final heartbreak to tell somebody that they'll be evacuated, then they go to the airport thinking that they'll get out. i mean, the person that i've been evacuating really serious today, he's under threat — the taliban have said they'll make an example of him, and he's done something that they see as potentially very un—islamic. his family have already been arrested and put under threat — we had to get him out today. so to think that you'll get out, you'll survive, and then to still be stuck at the airport because you didn't know which gate to go to — it's just beyond heartbreaking. police in australia have clashed with thousands of people in two of the country's biggest cities, who've been protesting against covid restrictions. more than 200 people have been arrested in melbourne and sydney, and at least seven officers were injured. sydney has just extended lockdown measures for another month — as phil mercer reports. they came in their thousands to protest against melbourne's lockdown. they came in their thousands to protest against
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the police said some did so peacefully, but the majority were looking for trouble. there were smaller rallies in brisbane and sydney. earlier, the authorities in new south wales had announced australia's worst day of the pandemic so far, with 825 new covid—19 infections. with only 30% of australians fully inoculated, the state's health minister appealed to residents to get vaccinated. there is no time now to be selfish. it's time to think of the broader community and your families. if you're actually spreading the virus, you could be responsible for people's death. the new south wales premier warned that the delta variant was so contagious that australia's long held strategy of trying to eliminate the virus was over. phil mercer, bbc news. now, losing a sense of smell is one of the most common
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symptoms of covid—19. for many, it's a big nusiance — but for a food critic, it can be devastating. that's what happened to michele crippa, a gastronome and "super taster" in italy. i've been speaking to him about his experience. buona sera. well, last march, i think that our life was completely changed. personally, mine changed on 17 march. we were in total lockdown in italy and that night, the night before, i had a slight fever, but the morning after at 9.40am, i was settled down for breakfast and i was pouring in my cup of espresso — instead of coffee, i only tasted hot water, not perfumed, not toasted.
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and i understood i had contracted the coronavirus. i know that lasted for months and months, so what sort of things would you normally do that you could not? the most incredible thing — after 16 months, i still have problems with my senses. at first, i had the total loss of the ability to perceive perfumes, but nowadays i still have this problem because i was finding things repulsive that would normally be pleasant, such as lemon zest, so it is completely
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affecting my professional and personal life, and even my skin or the skin of my fiance is different. tell us about how you are retraining yourself to get your senses back? i think we've got some pictures of what you are doing. i really want to help others... soi so i concocted... together we created and developed precise olfactory training to recover the lost sense. we have a sensory kit containing 20 small bottles, we have the most popular essences for the italian population like lemon, mushrooms, coffee, and the like. sorry, i am running out of time
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but i want to let our viewers know, you are helping others with the same problem? yes, we have olfactory classes, training them to regain their smell using these olfactory training kits to reconnect their memories, because the memory is not affected. we should start to smell again, be reconnected with memory. this is the way to at least try to solve the problem. michele crippa talking to me from milan. just time to remind you of our top story: us citizens hoping to leave afghanistan have been advised to avoid travelling to kabul airport unless instructed. the state department said that it wanted to avoid large crowds outside the airport gates for security purposes and to make processing as efficient as possible. it also said it could now communicate on a personal basis with americans in afghanistan
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and no longer had to rely on blanket guidence. lots more on the bbc website, thanks very much for being with me, do stay with us. hello again. saturday was always going to be the slightly dodgy day of the weekend in terms of weather, and we have a lot of cloud. most of us saw some fairly heavy rain as well. that was the grey skies that we had in wales, for a time, with the rain coming down. a bit misty over the hills, as well. since then, the rain band has been progressing its way northwards and eastwards, and it will continue to do so over the next few hours, as well. that said, i reckon it will stay pretty wet across parts of eastern scotland, down the eastern side of england for the next few hours, with some heavy rain coming in across northern england, east midlands, east anglia. we've still got some more rain to come, as well across parts of the south east. but all the while, it will turn a little bit drier across western areas. 13—15 celsius as you start the day. there will be some mist and fog patches to watch out for.
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eastern scotland, probably over the pennines, eastern areas of england, as well. now, sunday morning, we'll probably have some fairly thick cloud running in across parts of east anglia, south east england, still with some patches of rain expected here. into the afternoon, the skies brighten up and there will be some showers. some of them quite heavy for central and eastern scotland, central and eastern england. dry with sunshine for south—west england and wales, northern ireland and western areas of scotland. then, into next week, it looks like high pressure is going to be with us, and it's going to be bringing the air from scandinavia. so no heatwave in the forecast, but it will be a pleasant spell of weather. it's going to be largely dry with some sunshine to look forward to. so that settling down process really gets under way on monday, with most of us having a dry day with some sunny spells. in the sunshine, it's august, it's going to feel warm in that sunshine with temperatures widely climbing into the low 20s, peeking around 22 celsius in glasgow, birmingham, and cardiff, as well. into tuesday's forecast, and again it's another largely fine day. you could find a view mist and fog patches
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for the early risers, but otherwise looking fine with spells of sunshine. the wind is coming onshore around parts of east anglia and kent, keeping temperatures here on the coastal strip probably around 19—20 celsius. the highest temperatures across western areas. 2a perhaps in glasgow. that really would feel pleasantly warm. and as we look at the forecast through the rest of the week, you can see the weather does stay dry. temperatures stay in the low 20s. there may be a tendency though for it to turn a bit cloudier across the north and east of scotland and eastern england towards the end of the week.
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this is bbc news.
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the headlines... crowds continue to gather outside kabul airport, amid reports of chaotic scenes — as the us advises its citizens not to travel there until they are asked, because of security threats outside the gates. pentagon officials described the situation around the airport gates as fluid and dynamic. the taliban say they are making progress in forming a government in afghanistan. the group's co—founder and head of its political wing, mullah abdul ghani baradar, is in kabulfor talks, which are expected to include militant commanders, former government leaders and religious scholars. hurricane henri is making its way towards the us, prompting the authorities in new york to declare a state of emergency. it's expected to hit the country's northeastern coast later on sunday, and could be the first hurricane to reach new england in 30 years. now on bbc news... three engineers leading
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the field in clean energy solutions come together for a special event presented


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