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tv   BBC News  BBC News  September 18, 2021 3:00am-3:30am BST

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welcome to bbc news — i'm lucy grey. our top stories. the us military admits one of its drone strikes in afghanistan killed ten innocent civilians — including seven children. we now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with isis k or where a direct threat to us forces. after australia, the us and britain agree a new security partnership — france recalls its ambassadors to washington and canberra. england eases restrictions for international travel — scrapping the need for expensive covid tests for fully—vaccinated people arriving from abroad. and — algeria's former president — abdelaziz bouteflika — dies at the age of 8a. the us military says it mistakenly killed 10 afghan civilians in a drone strike
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in kabul last month, missing the intended target. seven of the dead were children. this is a major reversal of the pentagon's position — at the time, us officials said the strike was justified and righteous, because it prevented militants from using from using a car bomb to attack the airport. our afghanistan correspondent, secunder kermani, had this to say about the strike. we were there the morning after the strike and it was a terrible scene. family members came into the wreckage searching for remains of their loved one so they could try and bury them. they were utterly distraught and furious at the suggestion they had anything to do with isis. in fact, number
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of family members who were killed had worked with american aid organisations, american forces, even, in afghanistan. the family had been hoping to be evacuated out to america. this is an incredibly grim way to bring an end to this chapter in american involvement in afghanistan. meanwhile, here, there is a deepening economic crisis also increasing concern about whether the taliban will respect women's rights or not. they seem to have today replaced the women affairs ministry with a ministry for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice that has a very notorious reputation from their previous stint in power. at the same time, the taliban seem to be reaching out to a number of former government employees trying to encourage them to come back to work. here is our report filmed by my colleague. lifting off, the taliban's new air force. on board, their fighters. in the cockpit, their former enemies — pilots from the previous government. the fleet now under
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the taliban's control includes fighter planes originally donated by america. dozens of pilots fled abroad as the telephone took over, fearing for their lives, taking their aircraft with them. these helicopters launched a lot of attacks against the taliban, that's right, isn't it? but as the group announced an amnesty, others decided to stay on. you are both sitting here very calmly, but do you recognise that it's quite a strange situation for two people who were trying to kill each other now to be working together?
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elsewhere, the political transition is far less smooth. foreign reserves are frozen as the international community weighs up how to support afghans but not the taliban. banks have restricted cash withdrawals. second—hand markets have sprung up across the country. the war might have come to an end, but this is where you see the utter desperation that so many afghans are living in right now. most of this market didn't even exist a month ago — now it's full of people trying to sell whatever household possessions they can just to put food on the table for theirfamilies.
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most public sector employees weren't even paid their salaries in the last months of the previous government. now, they have no idea when or if they will be paid again. you were still working, but you didn't get a salary? this teacher has already sold whatever she can. the transition of power in afghanistan was much less bloody than many had feared. but half the country was already in dire need, and the struggle to survive is becoming even harder. secunder kermani, bbc news, mazar—i—sharif. france has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors from australia and the united states as the row over their nuclear submarine deal intensifies. australia scrapped a multi—billion dollar deal
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to buy french—designed diesel—powered submarines in favour of us—made nuclear—powered ones. paris described the pact as �*a stab in the back�* and the french president emmanuel macron decided to recall the ambassadors �*for consultations�*. courtney bembridge reports. back injune the two presidents sat side by side in the sun in the uk. but that warmth has disappeared and, in an unprecedented move, france has recalled its ambassador to the us and australia. this is why. it is about conecting america's allies in new ways. a deal struck for a fleet of nuclear powered submarines. it replaces a multi—billion dollar deal australia had signed with france in 2016, in france was only told about it hours before the public announcement which has infuriated president michael. first came this warning from the foreign
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minister. translation: i am angry with a lot of bitterness about this cancellation. it is not over. then the next move. the french embassy in the us tweeted that the decision to recall the ambassadors came from the president directly and reflects the exceptional seriousness of the announcements made on september 15 which it said constitutes unacceptable behaviour from allies and partners. the us says france is its oldest ally, and the defence secretary has spoken to his french counterpart to try to resolve their differences. it was clear from the discussion that there is still much work to do and more things to work on. there are opportunities and shared challenges and shared interests, that both ministers committed to continue to explore.
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the pact means australia will become only the seventh nation to operate nuclear powered submarines, and it is widely seen as an effort to counter china's influence in a contested south china sea where it has built up military bases on islands and reefs. for its part, china has accused the us, uk and australia of having a cold war mentality. here, the uk government has announced major changes to rules for international travellers. among them is a simplified designation system defining countries as either �*open�* or on the red list, and the requirement for covid tests for people arriving in england has been relaxed. our transport correspondent caroline davis reports. travel has meant testing. across the country, centres like these have popped up to swab passengers, but things are about to change.
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throughout the summer, the travel industry and the government have disagreed about the use of these, pcr tests, for all travellers when they arrive in the uk. the government has always argued this is necessary to be able to identify variants of concern, but the travel industry say it is a barrier and too expensive. before the end of october, if you are double—jabbed, pcr tests are going to be replaced by the cheaper lateral flow tests. if you test positive, you will need to have a pcr test and isolate at home. it's a relief for hotels, who have struggled as families have stayed away because of the added cost. the uk market has dropped between 50—70% depending on the travelling month, especially for families hard hit by the restrictions implemented and the traffic light system, which obviously every three weeks is sort of like, yeah, a surprise, what is going to happen. so we definitely believe this change is going to boost sales massively. it's not the only change. from the 4th of october, fully vaccinated travellers
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will also no longer need to take a pre—departure lateral flow test before they travel. under 18s will also avoid this test. they are treated as vaccinated adults. if you are not double—jabbed, it's a very different story. you will need to take a test before you travel and self—isolate at home for ten days after every international trip, as well as pay for pcr tests. for the industry, this change can't come soon enough. very pleased with the announcement, just what we wanted to hear. i think the government has been listening to the industry. we have been interacting with them for some time. it's a great piece of news for us. it will give our customers the end of summer they deserve, abroad in the sun. so, yes, we welcome the announcement. but not everyone in the scientific community agrees that pcr tests should be removed. i would like to see pcr tests remain because they have given us so much information already from the sequencing. so we know when delta was introduced into the uk, when the delta variant came in, that this virus was imported over 500 times, and we wouldn't have the information if we weren't doing the screening and sequencing associated with that.
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after months of insisting pcr tests were needed, why has the government changed its mind now? the judgment of the scientists, of the experts, was that it would have been too soon without having the numbers of people vaccinated, not just at home where of course we had this very fast vaccination programme, but critically, abroad as well, at a level whereby, you know, we can now say with a lot of confidence, not only are nine out of ten adults vaccinated here but abroad also, they have caught up with the very high numbers that we saw earlier. and for those with loved ones in some red list countries, there was good news. we are very relaxed and we are happy to see our family, our friends, people who move around easily. the summer may be drying to a close, but today's announcement has given the industry some help.
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for now, they are enjoying this moment the former president of algeria, abdelaziz bouteflika, has died after a long illness. he was 8a. abdelaziz bouteflika led the north african country for nearly two decades, but his decision in 2019 to seek a fifth term in office led to massive street protests, which resulted in his resignation. rana jawad reports. a military officer and foreign minister for over a decade. for some, he was a hero. for others, the symbol of an ageing political elite. when he first came to power in 1999 algeria were still ravaged by a civil war sparked by the army's refusal to recognise the election victory earlier in the decade. by granting amnesty is a new president succeeded in to an end though the insurgents
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were to regroup in the following years, aligning themselves to al-qaeda and spreading their operations into the wider region. over time, the president's rapprochement with the west and openness to economic reform did little in the way of freeing the state from its dependency on oil revenues, reducing public debt and defeating growing unemployment. he ruled algeria for 20 years — through landslide election victory is tainted by leadership that prevented the rise of any opponent that could replace the president or his ruling party. even senior members of the country's military and intelligence services were quietly sidelined over the years. in 2013 the man algerians had an special name
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for suffered a serious stroke. his speech and mobility had been gravely affected and his public appearances became extremely rare and the elections the following year, he was not able to physically campaign but still won of 80% of the vote. his ill—health started to raise concerns about his ability to rule and the youth of algeria wanted change. when his candidacy for a fifth term in office was announced in 2019 it sparked massive and rare public protests, challenging his and the ruling party's group in algeria. weeks later, the relentless demonstrations coupled with pressure on him from the army led to his resignation. translation: in seven days algerians have done the impossible. to get rid of a political regime that was there to stay.
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the president absolutely wanted to be president for life. he managed to survive algeria's tumultuous its history as well as avoid the unrest that toppled long serving heads of state and neighbouring countries during the arab spring. however unlikely it seemed, in his final years at the helm, the rallying calls for change that did eventually reach algeria stripped him of a power that many thought he would never give up. a court in los angeles has found a property tycoon guilty of murdering his best friend in an attempt to cover up the disappearance of his wife. millionaire robert durst shot susan berman in the head inside her beverly hills home in 2000 in what prosecutors say was a bid to stop her telling police what she knew about his wife's death two decades earlier. the 78—year—old who's recovering from cancer�*s been subject to a number of murder accusations and cases after apparently making confessions on tape.
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but ms berman�*s is the only one to be proven. this is bbc news — a reminder of our headlines. the us military admits a drone strike in afghanistan last month against a suspected car bomber killled ten innocent civilians — including seven children. after australia, the us and britain agree a new security partnership — france recalls its ambassadors to washington and canberra. in west africa, the trade in illegal, fake pharmaceutical drugs — which can pose a real danger to public health — has been a problem for a long time. but now, the independent intergovernmental body, the world customs organisation, is leading a global operation with local authorities to crack down on the trade. the bbc was given exclusive access to one operation in benin. hannah gelbart reports.
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here in west africa, a bbc team is filming customs officers in pursuit of a group of smugglers. they are cracking down on fake medicines and the penalties here are high. the smugglers abandon their vehicles and their stash, any medicines or medical device is made or transported here without the right authorisation are automatically classified as steak, and the sacs are full of them. across town to a more fake medicines have been found. this driver was on his way to the main markets. inside his bag are 50 kilos of tramadol, a strong prescription painkiller. he says he knows nothing about it, but back at his house, officers discover more drugs. all the items seized this morning are stored in a warehouse, where they are checked, reported to authorities and then destroyed.
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we have seized 39 kilos of facemasks and more than six tonnes of illegal pharmaceuticals. smugglers have lots of checks, they removed their backseats to make my space, sometimes they change their licence plates or at bay hide products among fruit and vegetables. the market for fake drugs is worth around 200 billion us dollars worldwide each year. world customs is an international organisation that works with local customs officers to deal with this kind of crime. right now, they are seizing drugs and 145 countries. it's their biggest ever crackdown on counterfeit medicines. and the pandemic started, we received some information regarding the increase of medicines and also medical equipment linked to covid—19, and then he took action to set up the first group operation linked to covid—19. since the operation began, world customs say they
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have seized more than 307 million illegal medical items around the world. 99.5% of all of those were in west and central africa. this area shares borders with four different countries, and for decades, it's been a thorough fare for illegal medicines made in india and china destine for countries like nigeria, but in 2016, the government changed its approach. this market was once known as benin�*s open air pharmacy, but now there are no medicines for sale on display. leads to cell fake drugs there, but the government seized our medicines, so we had to change our goods. many sellers went bankrupt and had to go back to their villages, like the person who owned this shop me. i have heard that a lot of people suffer from kidney failure and benin and we were blamed for it, so overall, i think
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it's a good fight. the fight against fake medicines is ongoing, and with the pandemic, it's been brought to the world's attention. in brazil, there's concern among indigenous rights activists and lawyers after a protection order on the ancestral lands of a small isolated tribe was given just a six month renewal, sparking fears it could soon be withdrawn altogether. it relates to the piripkura tribe whose traditional territory had been granted three year extensions since 2008. candace piette, the americas editor for the bbc world service is following the story and told me more about the tribe. they once lived in isolation in a vast territory until the 80s when they were first contacted by the outside world. we know of two men in the tribe one in his 40s and one in his 50s. these are the only two, they seem to be the survivors of an attack the tribe went through in the 80s. there is one women
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also who is living on the outside. she left the tribe to go and marry in an indigenous reserve kind of nearby. and since then these men have been hiding themselves away, trying to keep away from land grabbers and loggers who have been invading their lands for the last few decades.— invading their lands for the last few decades. roughly how bi is the last few decades. roughly how big is the land _ last few decades. roughly how big is the land that _ last few decades. roughly how big is the land that we - last few decades. roughly how big is the land that we are - big is the land that we are talking about now? it big is the land that we are talking about now?- talking about now? it is summed _ talking about now? it is summed to _ talking about now? it is supposed to be - talking about now? it is supposed to be the - talking about now? it isj supposed to be the size talking about now? it 3 supposed to be the size of luxembourg so it is vast and this is one of the problems. activists are constantly afraid that ranchers are going to kill these men because they feel that these indigenous people are a nuisance and getting in the way and while these men still live on their lands the area remains protected by law so when they disappear then illegal loggers and land
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grabbers can legitimately claim land within that territory. haw land within that territory. how much of the — land within that territory. how much of the president - land within that territory. how much of the president do you see in this decision? it certainly does not help that he himself has said repeatedly that he feels indigenous people are too few in brazil that they have too much land and that they are standing in the way of progress and that this land should really be opened up for ranching and for mining so this is really given a kind of licence to many of the illegal activity that has already been taking place in the amazon. people certainly feel that they have a right and there are reports now from activists that ranchers who have already laid claim within the territory of this particular tribe i just merely waiting until they are gone to actually, to go ahead
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and the president's statements have certainly not helped that. in fact, it has incited even more land grabbing activities. the former brazilian footballer, pele, has been re—admitted into intensive care after recently undergoing surgery to remove a tumour in his colon. the 80—year—old has been having treatment at sao paolo's albert einstein hospital since late august, after the tumour was detected in routine tests. his daughter has tried to reassure fans by using social media to say he is now recovering well. when the coronavirus pandemic first took hold in new york — all the city's theatres and concert venues closed their doors. broadway has begun to re—open — and now one of the big apple's premier orchestras is returning to the stage.
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the new york philhamonic is putting on its first season of concerts for more than 18 months. the bbc�*s tim allman reports. established in 1842, the new york philharmonic has been performing for nearly 180 years. a vital and much loved part of the city's cultural bloodstream. but then came covid and the music stopped. now, 556 days later, final rehearsals are taking place. the philharmonic is coming home. i feel like we are an important part of bringing new york back to normalcy, even though it is starting very slowly and it is very tentative, we are aiming in the right direction. this is a very optimistic and exciting new beginning. the orchestra has performed
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a series of one—off events, mostly online, or outdoors, but this will be a proper concept in a proper concert hall without paying and no doubt appreciative audience. ifeel like almost a rebirth as a musician. as a musician we play 130 or a0 concerts a year and you never take it for granted, but sometimes you think, oh i'm a little tired today but not any more. i feel such gratitude. the first concert is called from silence to celebration which seems strangely appropriate. organisers hoping the audience will simply enjoy the moment and be free. and, before we go, we have good news for all you penguin lovers out there. the arrival of eight baby penguins has been delighting the crowds at this zoo in peru. the chicks were born in
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the summer, and the zookeepers in lima are waiting for six more eggs to hatch in october. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @lucyegrey. hello there. many of us yesterday had a decent day of weather. temperatures reached 22.3 degrees celsius in the warmest spots, but it wasn't like that everywhere. in argyll and bute, cloudy for much of the day with rain and mist and fog patches over the high ground until this happened. late on, as the weather fronts started to clear through, some of the cloud from the front was lit up by the setting sun, and it was a glorious end to the day. there is that weather front on the satellite picture, this stripe of cloud you can see here. the weather fronts associated with this cloud are particularly slow—moving, and they're going to take the whole of the weekend before they reach right the way across to the eastern side of the country. so, this weekend, mixed picture — could be a bit of rain around on saturday, but for many areas, it's a dry day. by sunday, outbreaks
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of rain become a bit more extensive, heavy and thundery as well for some. so, as i say, a mixed fortune, really. for southern and eastern scotland, western areas of england and wales, it's a cloudy start to the day with outbreaks of light rain and drizzle, probably some mist and fog patches mixed in as well. to the east of our weather front, perhaps east wales, but definitely central and eastern england, there'll be a lot of dry weather, sunny spells and warm in that september sunshine — highs up to 23. brighter slice of weather as well for west scotland and northern ireland, but here, a fresher feel to the weather, temperatures 17—19. now, saturday night sees heavy, thundery rain start to break out across wales, moving in across northern england, into scotland as well, so there will be some heavy downpours around. and then, through sunday, this area of heavy and potentially thundery rain will continue to push eastwards and become
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really slow—moving across parts of central and eastern england. there's a risk of some localised flooding, 30—110 mm possible in one or two areas. in the wettest areas, that's enough to cause some localised surface water flooding. at the same time, the western side of the country will turn brighter and drier and a bit sunnier through sunday afternoon. by monday, could still be a little bit of rain left over across east anglia and the far southeast of england, but otherwise, pressure will be building across the country for a time for monday and for tuesday as well, and that means for most of us, we're looking at a fine spell of weather with sunny spells. temperatures into the high teens or even the low 20s. however, it's not going to stay that way because, into the middle part of next week, we're going to see low pressure move in, bringing some heavy rain across the country and some much windier weather
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this is bbc news — the headlines...
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a top american general�*s confirmed one of the last military operations in afghanistan inadvertently killed ten members of an innocent family. the head of us central command said an investigation had found a drone strike killed an aid worker and nine relatives — seven of them children. france is recalling its ambassadors from australia and the united states in what it describes as an exceptional decision. the french foreign minister said the ambassadors were returning due to the seriousness of the announcement made on wednesday that australia would scrap a multi—billion dollar deal to buy french—designed submarines. the former president of algeria — abdelaziz bouteflika — has died after a long illness aged 8a. he led the north african country for nearly two decades but the ailing president's decision in 2019 to seek a fifth term in office led to massive street protests.


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