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tv   BBC News at Six  BBC News  August 23, 2021 6:00pm-6:31pm BST

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there are hours, not weeks left — the warning from the defence secretary as the race intensifies to evacuate people from afghanistan. there's desperation at the airport — so many trying to leave in the race to get out. most of these people don't have permission to leave, some of them do and still can't get through, everyone is desperate to get out. the deadline for us and other troops to leave is the end of the month and the taliban say they won't extend it. if they extend behind 31st of august, that is a clear violation. g7 leaders are meeting tomorrow. will the us president agree to try to delay the departure of us troops to allow more people to leave?
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also tonight... the government warns covid test providers about misleading prices for holiday makers in a clampdown on "cowboy behaviour". thinking of getting away from it all up on snowdon? increasing numbers of visitors are urged to think again. and britain's paralympians prepare for the start of competition tomorrow, hoping to beat their medal haul from rio five years ago. and coming up in sportsdasy later in the hour on the bbc news channel... after a strong showing at the open, europe's players are now gearing up for the solheim cup. the team has been finalised today. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. hours — not weeks.
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that's how long is left to airlift people out of afghanistan, according to the defence secretary. diplomatic pressure is building to try to extend the august the 31st deadline forforeign troops to leave. but the taliban, now in charge of course in kabul, appear to be ruling out any delay to the withdrawal. the ministry of defence says british forces have already airlifted out more than 6,000 people. the focus now, it says, is on a further 1,800 uk nationals and more than 2,200 afghans. the government conceded again today that some who are eligible to come to the uk will be left behind. 0urfirst report tonight is from our correspondent secunder kermani, in kabul. it's crowded, filthy and baking hot. but desperate afghans keep coming to kabul airport. so many children in such a terrible place. this woman worked alongside german forces. she has documents proving it.
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but no permission to travel. "i've been here with my kids for the past five days waiting for the soldiers to look at my papers," she says. "they can't even take two steps in this crowd." everywhere we go, people beg us for help, beg us for information. we're being surrounded by dozens and dozens of people who are desperate to leave, showing us their documents. this chap worked with the afghan security forces. a foreign airfield. someone else who worked with foreign forces, someone else has got other documents. most of these people don't have permission to leave. some of them do and still can't get through. everyone is desperate to get out, everyone is totally confused as to what to do. you've got an e—mail saying that you should go? yes. you should come here. are you able to get through?
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no, no. with the deadline for international forces rapidly approaching, many are panicking, fearing this is their last chance to get out. taliban officials say foreign forces must leave by the end of the month. if they extend beyond the sist, that is a clear violation, one thing. secondly, about consequences, it is up to our leadership to proceed and what kind of decision they take. that decision will be implemented. elsewhere in kabul, there's an uneasy sense of calm. shops and some government offices are open, but the streets are still quieter than usual, whilst banks remain closed. the taliban forces have been gathering here in panjshir, the one province yet to be captured, the fighters calling
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themselves the resistance. for now, though, the focus is on the crisis around the airport, some are managing to make it out. my family, my newborn baby... last week, we filmed this former british army interpreter and his newborn baby. today, they arrived in the uk. many others won't be able to leave. secunder kermani, bbc news, kabul. the prime minister will be leading a summit of other g7 leaders tomorrow, including the us president, to discuss the crisis in afghanistan. borisjohnson is expected to request that the us extend the deadline to withdraw its troops beyond the end of the month in order to allow more people to be evacuated. but it's far from clear if the us or the taliban will agree and what other options, if any, the uk might have to get people out. 0ur politcal correspondent alex forsyth has more.
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packed up and prepared to go, these troops are poised to head to kabul if needed, to help the evacuation effort. with them this morning the defence secretary said it is a race against time. it defence secretary said it is a race against time-— defence secretary said it is a race against time. it is fraught, we have against time. it is fraught, we have a timetable. _ against time. it is fraught, we have a timetable, we _ against time. it is fraught, we have a timetable, we don't _ against time. it is fraught, we have a timetable, we don't know- against time. it is fraught, we have a timetable, we don't know how . against time. it is fraught, we have i a timetable, we don't know how long the united states are going to stay. he said the government would urge the us to stay in afghanistan beyond the us to stay in afghanistan beyond the end of this month to get people out. but he admitted without them, the uk could not go it alone. i don't think there is any likelihood on staying on after the united states if their timetable extends. even by a day or two it will give us a day or two more to evacuate people, because we are now down to hours, not weeks and it is important to exploit every minute to get people out. to exploit every minute to get peeple out-— to exploit every minute to get people out. to exploit every minute to get --eole out. , ., , . people out. outside the home office toda a people out. outside the home office today a reminder _ people out. outside the home office today a reminder of _ people out. outside the home office today a reminder of what _ people out. outside the home office today a reminder of what is - people out. outside the home office today a reminder of what is at - today a reminder of what is at stake. afghans in the uk are urging the government not to abandon their friends and family who helped foreign forces and fear reprisals from the taliban.—
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foreign forces and fear reprisals from the taliban. their lives are at risk at the — from the taliban. their lives are at risk at the moment. _ from the taliban. their lives are at risk at the moment. they - from the taliban. their lives are at risk at the moment. they can - from the taliban. their lives are at risk at the moment. they can get l risk at the moment. they can get killed any time, so before that moment we are here to fight for our families. ~ ., ., , ., , families. when world leaders last met in cornwall _ families. when world leaders last met in cornwall it _ families. when world leaders last met in cornwall it was _ families. when world leaders last met in cornwall it was all- families. when world leaders last met in cornwall it was all smiles. | met in cornwall it was all smiles. that might not be the case at a virtual summit tomorrow. convened by the prime minister, he will ask the president to stay longer in afghanistan, but his chance of success seem slim if the taliban do not consent. staying without that, some worn, would mean evacuation efforts would become violent. we would efforts would become violent. - would have to be prepared to leave the effort and fight the taliban to get these people and i don't see that as a credible proposition. secondly, if the taliban don't want our aeroplanes to use the airport, one missile, one burst of machine—gun fire and the evacuation is over. machine-gun fire and the evacuation is over. �* ,. ., , ., is over. after the scramble to resond is over. after the scramble to respond to — is over. after the scramble to respond to events _ is over. after the scramble to respond to events in - is over. after the scramble to - respond to events in afghanistan, ministers say the evacuation effort has stepped up, with more than 6500 people brought out in the past ten
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days. but by its own admission the uk is dependent on the us to keep that going, so beyond boris johnson's diplomatic push the options are limited and people will be left behind. labour says it didn't need to come to this. there is no evidence _ didn't need to come to this. there is no evidence that _ didn't need to come to this. there is no evidence that our _ didn't need to come to this. there l is no evidence that our government try to influence the withdrawal plan, despite knowing it was happening for 18 months. it is important now the g7 display the international leadership which has been missing in recent months. the government — been missing in recent months. the government says even if this operation has to stop soon, there will be other routes for refugees through neighbouring countries, but the detail is scant and the difficulty obvious in a complex crisis that many simply didn't see coming. alex forsyth, bbc news. alex forsyth, bbc news. we can get the latest from our chief international correspondent lyse doucet who's in kabul now. growing pressure for this deadline to be extended to allow more people out of afghanistan, how realistic a prospect is that?—
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prospect is that? what is in joe biden prospect is that? what is in joe iiriden had's _ prospect is that? what is in joe biden had's now, _ prospect is that? what is in joe biden had's now, the _ prospect is that? what is in joe - biden had's now, the president and commander—in—chief of the united states, is under constant pressure, constant criticism, and yet every time he comes on air and takes questions, he sticks by his decisions. this is a man were when he was senator and vice president and now as president he believes afghanistan is a quagmire, he believes american troops should come home and long ago. but how can he ignore? we have heard in this programme that the british, the french, the germans, the italians, so many countries are begging the united states, just give us more time. we saw at the airport the crush of people. the evacuation is going more smoothly and quickly, but there are so many more people to board. i am there are so many more people to board. iamjust there are so many more people to board. i am just one person on my mobile phone, on my computer, hour by hour and sometimes minute by minute, i am getting sos messages. please, my life is in danger.
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please, my life is in danger. please, can you get me on a flight. i can't get to the airport, can you get me inside? these are desperate calls for help. they know the window is closing and they know that if they don't get past those games now, they don't get past those games now, they may never have a chance to do so. . ~' they may never have a chance to do so. . ~ , ., there's to be a clampdown on the "cowboy behaviour" of some covid test providers who've been accused of taking advantage of holidaymakers travelling abroad. more than 80 companies listed on the government's website are to be warned over misleading prices. a further 57 firms will be removed from the website today because they either no longer exist or don't actually provide the relevant tests. 0ur transport correspondent caroline davies has the details. if you travel, you test. and you pay for those tests.
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the government's own website has a list of providers, but looking through them isn't to guarantee things will go smoothly, as barbara lowe found out coming from her holiday in portugal in june. we didn't get any test results at all. you couldn't get through to them on the phone, you couldn't contact them via the website. well, to be honest, i think it's quite farcical. i'm annoyed, i'm upset that i've lost my money and i haven't got what i paid for, basically. the government lists companies with the cheapest at the top, but some firms have advertised tests at lower prices, only to charge more at checkout, or the tests aren't available at all. today, the government has said that 82 test providers will be given a warning about misleading pricing and could be removed altogether. 57 have already been removed from the list because they no longer exist or don't provide relevant testing services. some testing companies hope this will help the industry's reputation. over the last weeks, companies in the space of the industry has received a bad reputation, not because of everybody, just from a select few,
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so now that those select few are removed, we think that, you know, the industry can now show its capability, focusing on quality of service as well as obviously trying to reduce the price at the same time. this provider has done over a million tests, and it's please to a million tests, and it's pleased to say it hasn't been getting a warning. this is where the pcr tests are first processed when they arrived. testing for holidays has been going on for months, but complaints about some operators have been going on for almost the same amount of time. it's meant that there have been some questions about why the government is only taking action now. we are really talking about the most basic of checks, we are talking about does the company exist? does the price it says it's going to sell the test at, does that exist? there are lots of other problems behind us, so good news that the government is taking action, but my goodness, it really has taken a long time. the government has said it will do regular spot checks to ensure that prices are accurate and providers are legitimate. but the summer season has nearly come to an end, and for some, testing has already left a nasty aftertaste.
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caroline davies, bbc news. the latest government coronavirus figures show there were 31,914 new infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period, which means on average there were 32,981 new cases per day, in the last week. the most recent figures show there were almost 6,500 people in hospital with the virus on thursday. a0 deaths were recorded in the past 2a hours, with an average of 100 deaths a day in the past week. 0n vaccinations, 87.7% of adults in the uk have now had theirfirst jab and 76.9% have had two. the government says it's met its target of offering all 16 and 17—year—olds in england a single dose of the covid jab. more than a million young people became eligible earlier this month and the latest figures suggest around 360,000 have taken up the offer. a new nhs video has been launched highlighting the effects of long covid in a bid to drive up vaccination rates amongst teenagers. here's our medical
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editor fergus walsh. hiya, are you ready for vaccination? yeah. every jab counts. these 16 and 17—year—olds were getting their vaccine today at tipton in the west midlands. almost 90 million doses have now been administered in the uk. yeah, it was quick and easy, keeping everyone safe. i want to keep my family safe and me safe, more importantly, so, yeah. as an a&e doctor, i've seen a lot during this pandemic. but nothing has shocked me more than seeing younger people being admitted to our hospitals with covid—19. and as well as their age, many of them have one other thing in common — they were unvaccinated. the nhs video urges young adults to get vaccinated and shares stories of several who were laid low by the virus. my lungs, out of nowhere, just kind of stopped. i struggled to breathe sitting, lying down, obviously sitting upright. i was then, sort of, attached to a ventilator machine. the younger you are,
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the lower your overall risk from covid, but people aged 18—34 now make up more than a fifth of those admitted to hospital with the virus. and there is the threat of long covid. normally you would be able to go to bed, go to sleep and wake up kind of feeling ready to face the day, i could sleep for a week and still feel tired. if we look at vaccine uptake in adults in england, whereas over 90% of all of those aged 60 and over have had at least one dose, it falls to 63% for those aged 18—29. for 16 and 17—year—olds, is estimated around 36% have had a jab in the three weeks since became eligible. since they became eligible. the sse arena in belfast marked its final day as a vaccination centre on sunday, having administered more than 360,000 doses overfive months.
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the last recipient — this 17—year—old. with covid cases and hospital admissions rising, the immunisation campaign remains as important as ever to ensure as many people as possible are protected. fergus walsh, bbc news. the head of public health in cumbria is asking tourists to take a lateral flow test before visiting the county. it follows a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases. in one district it's doubled per hundred thousand in a week. let's talk to our north of england correspondent fiona trott in penrith. this isn't something we've seen before in the pandemic, the authorities there are clearly very worried. well, here they had the lowest catch rates in england a few weeks ago. now, as you say, we think those figures have doubled in around a week. the latest figures suggest 387 per 100,000. week. the latest figures suggest 387 per100,000. is week. the latest figures suggest 387 per 100,000. is that purely down to visitor numbers? we have seen
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elsewhere in cornwall, where public health officials say the boardmasters music event has contributed to an increase in cases. here, public health officials are saying it is a more complicated picture. while ullswater is close by, a very popular spot, we haven't seen such a spike in the south lakes, but it is something they are watching closely. that's why the director of public health here is saying please come to cumbria, our doors are open, but before you travel, check you don't have the virus. take a lot of letters and when you come here, please continue to wear masks in public spaces. cumbrian tourism is also putting out publicity today inviting people to come to the county, but saying please, just visit responsibly. fiona trott in penrith, thank you. our top story this evening... the defence secretary warns there are hours, not weeks left as the race intensifies to evacuate people from afghanistan. coming up... he took on the aussies
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on the cricket pitch — now beefy is appointed britain's trade envoy to australia. coming up in sportsday in the next 15 minutes on the bbc news channel... we'll look ahead to the paralympics, which start this week. can the british team come close to the 147 medals they won in rio five years ago? walkers on snowdon have been urged to "respect the mountain" amid concerns that increasing numbers of visitors are damaging footpaths and leaving litter. and far from getting away from it all, some walkers are finding themselves stuck in long queues to try to reach the summit. 0ur wales correspondent tomos morgan reports from the snowdonia national park. earlier this month in poor visibility in treacherous conditions, rafts of people chose to climb snowdon, the uk's third highest
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and busiest mountain. rescue services say they're in holiday madness, dealing with three incidents within three hours on saturday alone. today, however, with the rugged landscape glistening in far brighter weather, yr wyddfa, as it's known in welsh, is no less of a draw at a time when going abroad is still too much of a trek for most. it feels busier than last time, because we came right at the peak of covid last time when we were allowed to travel. it feels so much better this year. it's busy, but i thought it was going to be packed—packed and it's just nice. i picked up cans and bottles. dog fouling is still happening. it's such a shame, because it'si a beautiful area if everyone just just did their bit. we've got water over there. this is where plastic will end up if it is not picked up. _
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the mountain railway only goes to halfway this year and the cafe at 3500 feet is closed. covid and uncertainty earlier in the summer over social distancing measures forcing the hands of those in charge. nevertheless, this morning, just like on so many others during the holidays, we were told there was an hour—long queue for a selfie on the summit. as a consequence of covid, more of us are staycationing, enjoying the great british outdoors this year. and the snowdonia society estimate that there has been an increase of a third in people travelling up the mountain. but with that increase also comes certain problems. the snowdonia society has had to put over two thirds of our capacity, staff, volunteers, money, just into managing visitor pressures, and the other organisations involved are in the same boat. the mountain rescue teams of course are very stretched. at the base in llanberis as the last train heads up, the car parks are still full and the ice cream is still being served. economically, the tourists are needed. environmentally, could more be done? tomos morgan, bbc news, snowdonia. let's take a brief look at some
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of today's other news. extinction rebellion activists have begun more protests in central london, demanding that the government stops investing in fossil fuels. protesters said blocking some roads during the demonstrations was "necessary behaviour." police say a significant operation will be in place to manage the ongoing protests. officials in the us state of tennessee say that at least two young children are among the more than 20 people known to have died in record—breaking flash floods over the weekend. dozens are still missing. two former members of the �*70s punk band the sex pistols have won a court battle with their former frontman, john lydon — better known asjohnny rotten. the dispute was over the use of sex pistols songs in a forthcoming television series about the band. john lydon claimed the songs couldn't be used without his consent but he was overruled in the high court. the former england cricket captain ian botham has been appointed trade envoy to australia. lord botham — who became a peer last year — is one of ten new envoys who — the government says — will help to deliver an "ambitious" global trade agenda for britain. our business editor
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simonjack is here. so what will ian botham actually be doing? it sounds an importantjob. is it trying to grab the headlines? {lin it sounds an important job. is it trying to grab the headlines? on the one hand, trying to grab the headlines? on the one hand. you _ trying to grab the headlines? on the one hand, you could _ trying to grab the headlines? on the one hand, you could argue _ trying to grab the headlines? on the one hand, you could argue that - trying to grab the headlines? on the one hand, you could argue that this| one hand, you could argue that this is a classic exercising soft power. he was australia's nemesis in his cricketing days. he is well known, people want to meet him, he can open doors, and that helps grease the wheels and all of that is helpful. 0ther wheels and all of that is helpful. other people say it is a bit of a gimmick. jeffrey donaldson has been made envoy to cameroon. i doubt he has the same following their that ian botham has in australia. but in terms of what they actually do, you have got to be an mp or a member of the house of lords to get this job. it is voluntary and unpaid. you're expected to visit market where you will reside at least twice a year, or it can be done virtually at the moment. so it is marginal as to how much impact they can make. the wider context is, we already have trade deals with health of these countries where we have had envoy is appointed. in the case of australia, where we recently concluded but
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didn't finalise a trade deal, it is worth noting that the government itself thinks the australian trade deal will add 0.02% to uk national income in 15 years' time. by contrast, we think the barriers to trade with the eu will cost the uk 4% of gdp. so as things stand, you would need 200 australias to make up for that shortfall. every little helps, but you would be hard—pressed to make an economic argument that the gains from this would be anything other than marginal. simon, thank ou. when the covid crisis hit last year, there was concern at how the prison system would cope, with calls from politicians for some inmates to be released early. the government resisted calls for an emergency early—release programme, ordering a full lockdown of the prison estate in england and wales instead. now the ministry ofjustice is reviewing what happened to see what lessons have been learned — with some surprising results. our home editor mark easton has been into isis prison in east london. it was predicted that prisons would be the perfect environment for covid to spread,
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making jails even more dangerous places. here at isis prison in east london, as in everyjail, the authorities' response was a strict regime of testing and isolation. you reach to your tonsils, yeah? inmates were locked in their cells for 23 and a half hours a day. education classes, group activities and family visits were all cancelled. it's had a massive impact on the prisoners. everything was completely locked down. to do covid checks, welfare checks, well—being checks, staff were doing hourly checks on all of our prisoners. prison governors were forced to think on their feet, introducing measures to counteract the loss of activity and long periods of solitary confinement. i've got an induction pack for you. prisoners were given education packs to work in their cells. officers organised bingo
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sessions and quizzes. 0ne inmate used poetry to relieve the frustration. you feel your room is small until you get put in a cell. 23 hours locked up, all by yourself. and everyone forgot about you, and no—one's sending you mail. as restrictions relaxed outside, rules slowly adjusted inside, with small groups allowed to attend classes or exercise. things are a lot easier now that we're back in the gym. there's probably not going to be a huge amount of sympathy for people who are locked up, because everyone had to deal with covid. i understand that people haven't really got sympathy for somebody that's broke the law, but at the end of the day you don't want these people to come out and be worse than they were when they went in. incarceration has gone up and levels of association have gone down, but the consequences are not what many had anticipated. applying lockdown to people locked up has seen falls in violence and self—harm behind bars.
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now the ministry ofjustice is looking to see whether changes forced upon them by covid could become part of a new normal in prisons. it's promoted safety. it's promoted less feelings of anxiety for the boys. it's been very beneficial. people being in a smaller bubble might have helped. i've seen it helping people as well. some people do feel confident being in a small bubble. this is the way forward for us now, and this has really helped sort of decrease the feelings of anxiety, feelings of mental health issues. prisons are moving cautiously to their new normal. visits at isis have just restarted, but there is still no touching or hugging. the pandemic has thrown up many surprises, but few would have predicted that covid would result in prisons generally becoming safer. mark easton, bbc news, isis prison in east london.
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tomorrow, the paralympics get under way in tokyo. the swimmer, ellie simmonds, and the archer, john stubbs, have been named as the flagbearers for paralympics gb in the opening ceremony. the team are hoping to build on the 147 medals won in rio five years ago. our sports correspondent andy swiss is in tokyo. raising the bar for paralympic sport. from powerlifting to fencing, from athletics to archery, the british team in tokyo has success in its sights. but for the games themselves, in the midst of a pandemic, simply getting to the start has been a struggle. the traditional torch relay, for example, has had to be scaled back. the athletes, though, can hardly wait, including ellie simmonds. just 13 when she made her name in beijing, now, 13 years later, a flag bearer at tomorrow's opening ceremony.
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to be honest, there's literally no words to describe it. for me, this is my fourth paralympics and i've never actually been to an opening ceremony! i'm just so excited, really! it's going to be really cool. but many here don't share that excitement. once again, there will be no fans in the venues. since the olympics, covid cases injapan have hit a new high. but the head of the paralympics told me these games won't spread the virus. of course, with one athlete here and the other there, they will face a situation where tests are going to return positive and this is devastating. but then how we identify them and track and monitor and isolate them is the key to guarantee a safe games. so you're confident this will be a safe games? i'm confident it will be a safe games, but safe games doesn't mean zero cases. with a state of emergency still in place across tokyo, these games will begin amid a subdued atmosphere. but the athletes here will be hoping they can change that and for the british team, as ever, there are high hopes.
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paralympicsgb have flourished at recent games. 120 medals in london, 147 in rio. here, they've been set a range of 100 to 140 because of the uncertainty that covid has caused. and one athlete has a chance of history. swimmer turned cyclist dame sarah storey could become britain's most decorated paralympian after winning medals at the last seven games. i joined my first swimming club as a ten—year—old. i was told i'd started training too late to be any good at anything. so it almost feels like you're constantly trying to prove someone wrong. and britain, of course, has already enjoyed plenty of medals this summer after soaring to olympic success. but the paralympians could be even more glittering. despite the shadow of the pandemic, it's now their chance to shine. andy swiss, bbc news, tokyo. time for a look at the weather, here's tomasz schafernaker.
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hi, fiona, and good evening to you. the weather is looking fine for many of us this week. it's going to be settled and dry. high pressure is currently building over the uk. it is firmly in charge of the weather, and it's not about to budge, probably not until sometime next week. but it's not necessarily sunshine all round. there is a fair bit of cloud stuck in this high pressure, which is often what happens. for example, this bank of cloud in the north sea will be pushed in by the wind blowing off the north sea into and central parts of the country. that means by early tuesday morning, say in the peak district, it might be pretty overcast, whereas for many other parts of the country, we will be waking up to sunshine, like the lake district and the south coast of england. it is not cold. the cloud will vary during the day, but the best sunshine will be in the centre of his high pressure, where the winds are also light and where we get that sunshine.


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