welcome to bbc news. i'm david eades. our top stories: president biden has confirmed that the prominent al-qaeda leader ayman al—zawahri has been killed in a drone strike in kabul. al—zawahiri had been osama bin laden�*s number two and was deeply involved in the 9/11 attacks on the united states, in 2001. he made videos, including in recent weeks, calling for his followers to attack the united states and our allies. now, justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more. one of america's most senior politicians, nancy pelosi, is now expected to visit taiwan on tuesday, putting further strains on relations with china. and how virtual reality surgery has enabled doectors
to separate conjoined twins with shared fused brains. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. president biden says an american drone strike has killed the al-qaeda leader, ayman al—zawahiri. he said the operation, which he authorised, took place in the afghan capital kabul on saturday. mr biden said ayman al—zawahiri was had been deeply involved in the september the 11th attacks as well as earlier attacks on us embassiesin africa and the uss cole in the late nineties. zawahiri, who succeeded osama bin laden as al-qaeda chief, was on the fbi's most wanted terrorist list. this is what president biden
announced a short time ago. my fellow americans, on saturday at my direction, the united states successfully concluded an airstrike in kabul, afghanistan, that killed the emir of al-qaeda, ayman al—zawahiri. ayman al—zawahiri was bin laden�*s leader, he was with him all the whole time, he was his number two man and deputy at the time of the terrorist attack on 9/11. he was deeply involved in the planning of 9/11. one of the most responsible for the attacks that murdered 2,977 people on american soil. for decades, he was the mastermind behind attacks against americans, including the bombing of the uss cole in 2000, which killed 17 american sailors, and wounded dozens more. he played a key role in the bombing of us embassies in kenya and tanzania, killing 224 and wounding over 11,500 others.
he carved a trail of murder and violence against american citizens, american service members, american diplomats and american interests. and since the united states delivered justice to bin laden 11 years ago, zawahiri has been a leader of al-qaeda, the leader. from hiding, he co—ordinated al-qaeda's branches and all around the world, including setting priorities for provided operational guidance that called for and inspired attacks against us targets. he made videos, including in recent weeks, calling for followers to attack the united states and our allies. now, justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more. a definitive statement from president biden. mark lobel is here with me. you have some details about the
operation? the picture the americans are painting is at the thought process around this was pain staking and the strike particulars. generals are briefed the president before president biden said those words. about a month ago there was a meeting with president brighton and of the cia and the director of national intelligence and the director of counter terrorism and the presented president biden with the model of the house in which ayman al—zawahiri lived and he even asked questions about the kind of construction material used in the building of that house, to see how effect if the strike would be. two hellfire missiles — they are air to ground surface missiles that can come from drones were used and that implies that to huge vessels were sent from drones and hit ayman al—zawahiri on the balcony of the house he was
staying. very precise detail and they did not take out, it said, any of his family or civilians. the thought process behind it led to that precision strike. . ~' , ., , behind it led to that precision strike. ., ~ , . strike. thank you very much indeed for — strike. thank you very much indeed for laying _ strike. thank you very much indeed for laying that - strike. thank you very much indeed for laying that out. l strike. thank you very much l indeed for laying that out. us intelligence talked about high confidence that they got their man. retired lieutenant general david deptula is dean of the mitchell institute of aerospace studies. he was in charge of the desert storm campaign in 1991 and commander of the air operations over afghanistan and iraq after 9/11. hejoins us now from washington. thank you very much indeed for joining us. i imagine, given your past record, this is a pretty personal moment as well? thank you for having me on, david and, yes, in retrospect, having been in the pentagon when it was hit by 0sama
having been in the pentagon when it was hit by osama bin laden, it is pretty personal and termination of ayman al—zawahiri is a very significant event, from my perspective. it highlights the fact that terrorist leaders will ultimately be held accountable for their actions. it is not the first time that has been an attempt to remove him, ifi has been an attempt to remove him, if i can lose that sort of language. —— use. are you surprised at the timing? hat surprised at the timing? not reall . it surprised at the timing? iirrt really. it highlights a couple of things that generally get assumed or taken for granted. the first one, it demonstrated the value of airpower with global reach and precision, as well as the excellent intelligence in the precise targeting that went into this event. his whereabouts had long been a mystery so i am sure
ayman al—zawahiri's followers took lessons from 0sama ayman al—zawahiri's followers took lessons from osama bin laden �*s hiding but it demonstrates the long reach and determined and dedicated intelligence and the follow—up with an airpower instrument. president biden described it as a moment that could be closure also for the families of victims of 9/11. i wonder how familiar name and figure ayman al—zawahiri is in the us? he familiar name and figure ayman al-zawahiri is in the us?- al-zawahiri is in the us? he is re al-zawahiri is in the us? he is pretty well— al-zawahiri is in the us? he is pretty well known _ al-zawahiri is in the us? he is pretty well known in _ al-zawahiri is in the us? he is pretty well known in the - al-zawahiri is in the us? he is pretty well known in the us, l al-zawahiri is in the us? he is| pretty well known in the us, as he was indicted for the bombings of the us embassies in kenya and tanzania in 1988, which by the way, kind of highlighted the growing threat from al-qaeda and as you mentioned earlier, he participated in the attack against uss cole and the
planning of 9/11 and having taken over from 0sama planning of 9/11 and having taken overfrom osama bin laden as the leader of al-qaeda, he is a pretty well—known name, at least two folks who had been around that adult lives since that time frame. i around that adult lives since that time frame.— that time frame. i was interested _ that time frame. i was interested that - that time frame. i was interested that in - that time frame. i was interested that in a . that time frame. i was - interested that in a recent un report, the taliban were given at least some credit for restraining al-qaeda and whatever its plans might be for further incitement to violence, not least against the united states, and i wonderfrom not least against the united states, and i wonder from that point of view, to what extent this is in your view in any way a risky tactic to take them on at this point?— at this point? well, no, personally _ at this point? well, no, personally i _ at this point? well, no, personally i do - at this point? well, no, personally i do not - at this point? well, no, i personally i do not believe at this point? well, no, - personally i do not believe it is risky per se. i think his location in kabul also demonstrates the untrustworthiness and the
continual lying and deception thatis continual lying and deception that is perpetuated by the taliban because if you recall in discussions with the taliban, that led ultimately to the us withdrawal from afghanistan, included a taliban promise not to allow terrorist groups to operate within their territory. however, it is pretty evident that al-qaeda retains a stronger relationship with the taliban government and it is of interest to note that ayman al—zawahiri's signature coincided with last year's taliban takeover of afghanistan so, you know, i don't know if that completely addresses your question but it does underline, as i mentioned, the untrustworthiness of the taliban, orat least untrustworthiness of the taliban, or at least their voice. . , taliban, or at least their voice. ., , ., ., voice. literally in a word, the us intelligence _ voice. literally in a word, the us intelligence line _ voice. literally in a word, the us intelligence line is - voice. literally in a word, the us intelligence line is high i us intelligence line is high confidence that they have
removed ayman al—zawahiri, that is good enough for you presumably?— is good enough for you presumably? is good enough for you resumabl ? , , ., presumably? yes, it is. having worked very — presumably? yes, it is. having worked very closely _ presumably? yes, it is. having worked very closely as - presumably? yes, it is. having worked very closely as a - presumably? yes, it is. having i worked very closely as a member of the intelligence community here in the united states in my last tour, they go to extraordinary lengths to validate their actions. clearly, as long as humans are around mistakes will be made but the vast majority of the time they are spot on. thank ou time they are spot on. thank you very _ time they are spot on. thank you very much _ time they are spot on. thank you very much indeed - time they are spot on. thank you very much indeed for - time they are spot on. thank i you very much indeed for giving us your analysis and expertise. staying in washington, and we can talk to the washington post's national security reporter, joby warrick. thank you forjoining us. you have an expertise in particular on this man. how significant is this from an american perspective?- this from an american perspective? well, it is an important _ perspective? well, it is an important bit _ perspective? well, it is an important bit of _ perspective? well, it is an important bit of closure, l perspective? well, it is an | important bit of closure, to say the least, for folks, like me, very well recall the horrors of 9/11. ayman al—zawahiri was clearly in on
the planning for that, he was considered the mastermind, the intellect behind al-qaeda and very much involved in some of its most spectacular and audacious terrorist attacks, including 9/11 so innocent that is some sort of a pale and you had that in president biden �*s remarks. he is a figurehead and leader of the organisation so at least on that level this is at least on that level this is a very big low for an organisation that was back on his heels. it has had a hard time regaining any time of cohesion since 0sama time regaining any time of cohesion since osama bin laden , s cohesion since osama bin laden �*s death. ayman al—zawahiri was leader but was not seen as very effective and certainly not a charismatic leader. it is a blow in the centre they have lost their big man.— blow in the centre they have lost their big man. one thing achieved in _ lost their big man. one thing achieved in recent _ lost their big man. one thing achieved in recent months, l achieved in recent months, essentially raising his communication profile, pushing out the message harder. do you think that had anything to do with the decision to act now? there is a belief that he was
being a bit bold and by the fact that his friend, the taliban, did control afghanistan. he felt comfortable enough to notjust move back there but be more visible. he stayed within a safe house for the most part but he has been much more active on social media for a guy who typically only shows up at a ceremony every few months. he did seem to be feeling more comfortable and that makes antiterrorism people uncomfortable, who is it talking to? what kind of second life al-qaeda was the envisioning? so they are breathing a sign of relief or taking him out and according to the pentagon in a way that took very few others out. you are aintin: very few others out. you are painting a — very few others out. you are painting a picture _ very few others out. you are painting a picture of - very few others out. you are painting a picture of a - very few others out. you are painting a picture of a man l very few others out. you are i painting a picture of a man who perhaps was not entirely in control of his own group and perhaps lack the inspirational element that 0sama perhaps lack the inspirational element that osama bin laden might�*ve been able to bring to
the table. he is going to be replaced now. his successor, sort of character and what would you expect?- sort of character and what would you expect? this is a chance for— would you expect? this is a chance for al-qaeda - would you expect? this is a chance for al-qaeda to - would you expect? this is a i chance for al-qaeda to reboot in away. because there was this kind of murmuring, a bit of complaining in al-qaeda �*s rank—and—file about the figurehead who was a bit stodgy, who write books, wrote a massive poem last week it was quite boring by folks who read it and appreciated it. they were not very inspiring for the 21-22 were not very inspiring for the 21—22 generation and so there is the thought that maybe a new leader will come that will have more vigor and charisma and maybe have some ambition to take on bigger targets, including some in the west. that has backfired in the past. in al-qaeda �*s downfall was the fact it launched 9/11 and then we knew how to find them in afghanistan so it is always risky for their host when they
go out to do ambitious things but a new leader may not care. from your position in washington, taking out a senior figure like this, pariah from an american perspective, what does it do forjoe biden? it came at a moment when he is looking to get some wind in his sale. he had a difficult year. the decline in his popularity was centred around the withdrawal of troops in afghanistan and the images we saw on television with people being killed in bombings and adjustment of the but he insisted at the time that the united states to retain the ability to strike a target of importance, terrorist strikes, including in afghanistan without trips on the ground. this is one example where the cia and the american counterterrorism, agencies were able to do just that and so i thinkjoe biden is enjoying a bit of i told you so just now.
thank you very much indeed. a short time ago, secunder kermani, our correspondent in kabul, outlined the regional reaction to zawahiri's death. earlier on tonight, taliban officials announced that the drone strike that had been carried out over the weekend in kabul, they initially said it was a rocket attack that landed in an empty house. they said their investigation had determined it was carried out by a us drone strike. they made no mention of any victim, certainly no mention of ayman al—zawahiri or al-qaeda at all. we will have to wait and see how the taliban respond to this. this killing of ayman al—zawahiri really does get to the crux of the tense relationship, the very, very antagonistic relationship that there has always been between the taliban and the united states.
and that is because if you cast your minds back to 2001, the reason why the taliban were overthrown by the us was because al-qaeda had its haven here in afghanistan. they used afghanistan as a base from which to plot the 9/11 attacks. before american troops were withdrawn from afghanistan last year, the taliban and america signed a deal paving the way for that withdrawal and as part of the deal, the taliban committed to not allowing foreign militant groups to plot attacks abroad or on the west. but it was never clear what they were going to do with al-qaeda because the taliban and al-qaeda have always been close allies. it never seemed likely that they were going to turn against their old former allies. but certainly, it did seem as if they did not want groups like al-qaeda to be plotting attacks from afghanistan against the west. it was very surprising,
i think, for many people in afghanistan to learn that ayman al—zawahiri was here in kabul. i mean, he has long been believed to be in the border regions between afghanistan and pakistan. the fact he is here in kabul, according to a number of credible reports, either in a house belonging to senior member of the taliban or next to a house belonging to a senior member of the taliban. that really suggests complicity by at least elements of the taliban with ayman al—zawahiri. and presumably, other members of al-qaeda, being here in kabul. it would appear to be completely possible for him to have been here without their knowledge and acceptance. secunder kermani with the perspective direct from kabul. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: three—year—old brazilian twins, joined at the head, have been successfully separated with the help of virtual reality surgery.
the question was whether we wanted to save our people and japanese as well and win the war, or whether we want to take a chance on being able to win the war by killing all our young men. the invasion began at two o'clock this morning. mr bush, like most other people, was clearly- caught by surprise. we call for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all the iraqi forces. 100 years old and still full of vigor, vitality and enjoyment of life. no other king or queen in british history has lived so long, and the queen mother is said to be quietly very pleased indeed that she's achieved this landmark anniversary. this is a pivotal moment for the church as an international movement. the question now is whether the american vote will lead to a split in the
anglican community. this is bbc news. i'm david eades. the main headlines: president biden has confirmed that a us drone strike has killed the al-qaeda leader ayman al zawahiri. mr biden said he authorised the operation which took place on saturday. he said the mission was successful and there were no civilian casualties. the speaker of the us house of representatives, nancy pelosi, is expected to visit taiwan as part of her tour of asia — although there is no official confirmation on this yet. china has warned of serious consequences if the trip to the self—ruled island goes ahead. last week, president xi jinping told president biden not to �*play with fire'. zack cooper is senior fellow with the american enterprise
institute and a former senior pentagon and white house official and hejoins me now from washington. thank you very much. it's going to happen, is it? it thank you very much. it's going to happen, is it?— to happen, is it? it looks like it will happen _ to happen, is it? it looks like it will happen probably - it will happen probably the next 2a hours. so i think we're going to have a very tense week ahead of us. going to have a very tense week ahead of ne— ahead of us. why is nancy pelosi deciding to - ahead of us. why is nancy pelosi deciding to push i ahead of us. why is nancy i pelosi deciding to push this? it's a great question. she has a long history of pushing the chinese on a variety of issues. she famously went to tiananmen square in 1989. this is in her first time being embroiled with beijing. —— isn't. it's a legacy issue for her, something she wanted to do before leaving office. maybe a bit of a political issue, everyone in congress in washington is trying to be tough on china and she certainly has a long history of doing so herself and i think that may be part of the logic here. i think that may be part of the logic here-— logic here. that's quite worrying _ logic here. that's quite worrying and _ logic here. that's quite worrying and a - logic here. that's quite worrying and a sense i logic here. that's quite i worrying and a sense that it is essentially a personal issue
that she is pursuing here with a bit of a political side element. clearly antagonistic at a time when tensions are pretty high. at a time when tensions are pretty high-— at a time when tensions are pretty high. that's right. we can't take — pretty high. that's right. we can't take the _ pretty high. that's right. we can't take the pressure i pretty high. that's right. we can't take the pressure off l can't take the pressure off stage illness. if china escalates and uses military action against nancy pelosi's plan, that it be a huge escalation, if they do other things to demonstrate how unhappy china is with military tools, that's still the burden of escalation that will be on beijing. you are right that this is a visit that doesn't have a huge amount of upside and it has a fair amount of downside which is why some of us have been critical of it. i presume there is a sense from, nancy pelosi's office or the white house but if we should choose to go to taipei, for example, we mustn't let beijing tell us not to. example, we mustn't let bei'ing tell us not to.i
tell us not to. absolutely. and look, i believe _ tell us not to. absolutely. and look, i believe that _ tell us not to. absolutely. and look, i believe that as - tell us not to. absolutely. and look, i believe that as well. i l look, i believe that as well. i think it's important that if us leaders decide that they are going to do something, that they not be deterred simply because china doesn't want them to. i think we also have to take a step back and see if you are thinking about this from the chinese point of view, you've had a string of actions that have really begun to question the us one china policy. you had a recent secretary of defeat delight defence and state go to taipei and so the us shouldn't embrace notjust the and so the us shouldn't embrace not just the strategic ambiguity policy on taiwan but also the one china policy. you've had joe biden make several statements on taiwan policy, you've got something called the taiwan policy acts going through congress just this week and now nancy pelosi's visit. it's not really just about the visit but i fear in china that actually the one china arrangement that we made backin china arrangement that we made back in the 1970s is eroding and that's why they are pushing
back so hard. i5 and that's why they are pushing back so hard.— back so hard. is there an element _ back so hard. is there an element from _ back so hard. is there an element from the i back so hard. is there an element from the us i back so hard. is there an - element from the us perspective that it's an opportunity to build those alliances within the region at a time when, let's be honest, fairly heavy—handed beijing approach to many of the neighbouring countries, has alienate it a good number of them to match? articulately agree. china has been remarkably heavy—handed in a number of cases, you could think about australia, south korea, you could go on and on, look at what's happened with europe in the last few years, many people expected the china and europe relationship to be in pretty good shape right now and actually it's worse that it has been in decades. it's another case where china may overplay its hand but it's still, we still entering quite a risky few days. the next a8— hours, there is maybe a 20% risk that we see a major crisis emerge. risk that we see a ma'or crisis emerue. ~ ., . ., ,
emerge. we will watch that very carefull . emerge. we will watch that very carefully. zack _ emerge. we will watch that very carefully. zack cooper, - emerge. we will watch that very carefully. zack cooper, thank. carefully. zack cooper, thank ou. carefully. zack cooper, thank you- thank — carefully. zack cooper, thank you. thank you. _ let's get some of the day's other news. an international study says that the risks of a climate change catastrophe, including human extinction, no less, are not being taken seriously by scientists. the authors say that the consequences of warming beyond three degrees celsius have been "dangerously "underexplored" and the world needs to start preparing for the possibility of what they term the "climate "endgame." at least 37 people have now died in the us state of kentucky, as the region braces for more rainfall. the state's governor said the death toll would continue to rise as hundreds remained unaccounted for. 0vernight curfews have been declared in two devastated counties. the funeral of the former ulster unionist party leader and nobel peace prize winner, lord david trimble, has taken place in northern ireland. the 77—year—old was instrumental in the negotiations and signing of the agreement that ended 30 years of violence known as the troubles. lord trimble died a week ago.
surgeons have used virtual reality headsets to help successfully separate brazilian twins born with fused brains. doctors in brazil and britain wore the technology to test techniques, before operating on the three—year—olds. the final procedure was carried out in rio dejaneiro. it took more than 27 hours to complete and almost 100 medical staff were involved. the twins are recovering in hospital and will be supported with six months of rehabilitation. beyonce has agreed to re—record one of the songs on her latest album to remove a word that can been used to demean people with disabilities. the term appears twice in the song, heated, which was released on friday as part of her album, renaissance. some fans had defended beyonce, pointing out that the term she used can have a different meaning in the us.
still, beyonce has made the call. that's bbc news. see our website, bbc.com/news, for more. ayman al—zawahiri has been killed. hello, then. of course, july 2022 will be remembered for the first time the uk saw temperatures widely in excess of a0 celsius. however, it's also been a very dry month — and in southern england, it's been the driestjuly on record — those records date back to 1836 by the met office. now, anywhere in the brown has seen below—average rainfall, but the darker brown's way below the average rainfall totals for this time of year, and 1—2 stations along the south coast have not seen any measurable rain. now, if you can see over the next few days, we won't see any rainfall either across the far south and east. the heaviest of the rain will be out to the north and west — that's because you're closest to an area of low pressure that's moving in at the moment. the isobars squeezing together, it'll turn pretty windy,
and it will be quite wet as well. so that means it could be a pretty damp start for the commonwealth games in birmingham, but quickly brightening up by lunchtime, so an improving story. and that will be the story generally across the country. some heavy bursts of rain across northwest england and wales drifting their way steadily eastwards. the rain never getting as far south, really, as the south midlands, and then behind it, brightening up with 1—2 showers. a strong south—westerly wind as we go through the day — so blustery, but from a very warm source. it'll feel once again quite humid across the country — 2a celsius in eastern scotland, highs of 30 celsius perhaps in southeast england — that's the mid—80s fahrenheit. now, as we go through the evening and overnight, there's another frontal system that will sink its way south, just really a band of cloud and a few scattered showers, can you see, stretching from hull down to the bristol channel. again, it stays very warm, so a humid start to wednesday morning. that frontal system — a weak affair, a band of cloud, a few isolated showers — continues to sink south. but behind, it's introducing fresher
air as the winds here come round to a northwesterly. so more showers being driven in by that northwesterly wind, and temperatures down a few degrees. not so in the far southeast, as that fresher air hasn't quite yet arrived, but it will do so. the northwesterly wind direction continues to dominate for a few days. high pressure then builds in from the west, quietens things down. so, over the next few days, it's dry, settled, and sunny, but just that little bit fresher.
this is bbc news. the headlines: president biden has confirmed, in a live televised address, that the al-qaeda leader, ayman al—zawahiri, has been killed in a us drone strike in kabul. mr biden said al—zawahiri was one of the organisers of the 9/11 attacks on the us, and that his death would bring closure to families of the victims. the speaker of the us house of representatives, nancy pelosi is expected to visit taiwan as part of her tour of asia. that's according to several american and taiwanese media reports, although there is no official confirmation on this yet. china has warned of serious consequences if the trip to the self—ruled island goes ahead. an international study says that the risks of a climate change