tv BBC World News America PBS August 16, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
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and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. announcer: and now, "bbc world news". >> this is "bbc world news america." scenes of desperation in afghanistan, people try to cling to a u.s. military plane to flee the country after the taliban takes control. president biden has been hammeredoth at home for his handling of the unfolding crisis and this afternoon at the white house he defended his position and policies. >> if anything the developments of t past week reinforce that any u.s. military involvement in afghanistan now -- ending u.s. military involvement in afghanistan now was the right
decision. >> taliban officials say there is nothing to fear from their rule, despite a history of brutal policies towards women. we will look to the past to gauge what's next for the future of afghanistan. elsewhere rescue after -- efforts continue in haiti following the haitian earthquake that killed 1300 people. to make matters worse, there is a tropical storm headed towards the worst affected areas. ♪ >> welcome to "world news america," on pbs and around the globe. the scenes from afghanistan have been jaw-dropping and heartbreaking, images of desperate afghans clinging to the side of a u.s. military plane have beenroadcast around
the world as the taliban lying there flag patrols the streets. the u.s. and international community are scrambling to address the shocking return to power of the taliban. antonio guterres said today that the world is watching. our south asia correspondent starts our coverage. >> running for their lives, frantically trying to escape afghanistan on this u.s. military plane. this is how desperate some afghans are to leave the country. a handful, tragically clinging on, even after takeoff. before falling to their deaths. foreign nationals and some afghans are being evacuated. huge crowds gathered after rumors that even those without visas could travel.
outside the airport, even more chaos. followed by memberfiring in the air -- taliban members firing in the air to assert their authority and keep control . responding to dangers, some residents still risking their lives to try to get inside. e group has promised amnesty for those with links to the government, but many still fear they will be targeted by the militants. inside the airport, american forces fired into the air. u.s. officials claimed two armed afghans were killed. an eyewitness told the bbc that the victims were ordinary people. >> i sought with my eyes, three people. there are more people here. this is a very bad situation. it's chaos. >> no one is quite sure what comes next in afghanistan, thought's quite clear the taliban are in charge.
their members are out in force patrolling in vehicles seized from government security forces. >> we are preventing looters and thieves from harng the people, says this fighter. the group is also reportedly demanding all weapons be handed over to them. the unraveling of the state has come at a pace many are still struggling to comprehend. nowt is the taliban that decides the direction the country will take. >> we want an islamic government. by that we mean all other afghans have participation. with time, deliberation, and talks. >> the terror and panic at the airport, an awful ending to two
decades of efforts to rebuild this country. for its fractures and rampant corruption, afghanistan had also seen fragile progress. the future for its people is now deep the uncertain. >> taliban officials had been making the case that they have changed since they ruled in the 1990's, when theystablished sharia law and denied rights to women. our international correspondent looks how they are likely -- looks at how they are likely to govern this time around. >> a step-by-step return to rule ever since the taliban signed a deal last year with their old enemy the u.s., they have been in bold moments like this started to shift their international image. and then suddenlthis summer, district by district they were
back in charge. these scenes were recently seen -- film for us in a province at the gates of kabul. sces of orderly transition, the taliban taking over, taking care of the people. but more grisly videos are surfacing of alleged abuses and atrocities. >> what do you say to those who fear the return of the taliban? >> they should not fear. we will represent all of afghanistan. >> taliban rule returns to an afghanistan dramatically different from the one they governed so harshly in the late 1990's. we hav reported on the change however imperfect and incomplete over the last two decades. no one expecting that their lives could be so suddenly shattered. afghans, especially women, now fearing they will lose everything they gained.
>> somebody has to speak up. it's time that they understand that afghan women will not be silenced. today, my education. tomorrow, my daughters, my sisters. if my political rights are taken away today, tomorrow it be my daughter, my sister. i have to put up a fight toy so the next genion won't face this conflict. >> their neighbors are anxious, too. the fate of this landlocked country affects them all. to the north, central asian states know how easily extremism crosses borders. iran knows that afghans will need stability, and instability will spill into pakistan and far beyond. >> so many have become displaced . so many are becoming refugees.
there is, there is so much to talk about right now. just deeply, deeply depressed about the situation there. >> a depressing, deeply uncertain, and dangerous time. for now, most afghans are just trying to get through the day before they confront fundamental questions about their future. >> elise is able to join us live now from dubai. so good to have you with us and have your analysis on this story. i'm looking at some of the points you brought up in europe or. -- report. what does it look like for women going forward? >> i think they will judge it by day. in the past, as we have seen,
horrific images from the kabul international airport, people eeing from their lives, fleeing away from a future that they believe doesn't belong to them. you have to understand how unfathomable the pain is for many afghans. we have reported for many months on the targeted assassinations, years of suicide bombings and the fighting in the provinces. people losing their lives and homes. so many feel they have st their country. especially for this young educated generion that came of age after the fall of the taliban, seizing the opportunities provided by the space that opened. new measures of freedom provided by international engagement and now they feel the space is narrowing, if not disappearing. there is a challenge to the taliban to show what they mean when they say time and again, and we heard it again tonight,
we will allow women to go to work. we will allow girls to go to school. they will be given all their rights within islam. even though the taliban are part of afgnistan, they don't really know wt the taliban mean when they say that but what they have seen so far in the districts of rural areas is that the taliban have not changed much at all. >> it must be very frightening for the girls and the women who are there. i was following you on twitter as you made your way to kabul. you were diverted and are now in dubai. i believe so many were trying to get out and continue to try to get out making their way to the airport, including some young girls that i suppose were the face of the future afghanistan that was expected. part of that award-winning robotics team. talk to us about this a little bit. you have met so many over the years that were making progress. >> we are just getting snapshots and snippets of the normandy of
wha's happening on the ground. even wt we are seeing, as you used the expression, jaw-dropping. absolutely devastating scenes and it's not fort -- it's unfortunate that this commercial flight never made it to kabul. were not able to land sunday night. we hovered over the chaos at the international airport or about an hour and that was unfortunate but what was tragic is the more than 400 afghans who were waiting on the tarmac below to take this flight to safety out of the country. the stewards on board the aircraft said to us that among those they were picking up were over 100 children and when they said children they meant young people, including several girls who were a part of the robotics team, high school girls who made names around the world, now trembling on the tarmac. >> i remember when they won the award.
we will continue to follow you as you bring us that analysis on afghanistan. elise, with us therefrom dubai. let me turn to the united states as president biden says he stands squarely behind his decision to withdraw u.s. forces from afghanistan. his administration coming under fire from critics who say that his policies led to the taliban's stunning return to power. >> the sudden capture shocked the world. >> the taliban has taken over afghanistan, seizing control. >> the verdict today has been unanimous and brutal. >> redefining the world -- the word incompetent. >> epic willful mishandling by president biden. >> a month ago the president saidhe taliban takeover of afghanistan was highly unlikely. >> given this horrid backdrop, he had little choice but to cut
short his vacation and return to washington by helicoer. how else to answer his critics. he was unrepentant. >> i stand squarely behind my decision. after 20 years i have learned the hard way that there is never a good time to withdraw u.s. forces. i always promised the american people that i would be straight with you. the truth is, this unfolded more quickly than we anticipated. >> he shifted the blame firmly to the leaders in afghanistan and their military. >> we gave them every tool they could need. we pay their salaries. provided for the maintenance of their air force. we gave them every chance to turn their own future. >> and he posed question >> i am then left again to ask those who argue we should stay, how many more generations of the
daughters and sons of america would you have me send to fight in an afghanistan civil war? >> the hurried evacuation caught everyone by surprise and has unleashed a torrent of criticism. >> it seems that the administration again has created another crisis in afghanistan, where it didn't need to be at the end of the day. this is about leadership. withdrawing didn't need to occur. >> outside there have been protests fm pro-afghan groups. this woman served 22 -- two tours of duty. >> i'm embarrassed to be an american. >> why? >> because we pretended to be allies with his people and then we just led lambs to the slaughter. it's immoral. the drawdown was irresponsible.
>> they don't care anymore about afghanistan. we are not as important as we were back in 2000. that's the reason we are here. we are here to up for the women who worked for the united states. >> today near the border life is carrying on with an air of normality. what will the city inhe country feel like in a few months with the taliban back in charge? will it be 2001 all over again? bbc news, washington. >> the scene on the ground has been changing by the eyewear seemingly for days on end. bbc is in kabul, our correspondent joins us now. can you tell us wh the situation is like as you have seen it over the past few hours? >> the situation in couple is
calm, which it isn't supposed to be like that. i could see taliban patrolling. the afghan official police were using maybe the same emanations they had. the same at the airport, where the desperate thousands of people just wd to get into the airport to get on a flight to go somewhere, anywhere, other than afghanistan. so, the situation is like chaotic in the airport and in the city there is less traffic, shops are closed. people are scared. >> do you see women on the streets at all? we have been hearing about their concerns. >> yes.
i have seen females on the streets on their own, not with their male counterpart or partner. in the taliban they always wanted females to be with a male counterpart. but i think this is their first day in controlling the city. maybe they do not put those sanctions on. but inhe offices in the hotels , the female staff have left their jobs and are not coming. >> they have left. thank you for bringing us up to date in that scene on the ground in kabul. you are watching bbc world news america. still to come tonight, the ups and downs of the israeli covid crisis. how a country that was once leading the world in handling the pandemic now finds itself struggling.
the president of zombie f -- zambia admitted defeat last week in the election and congratulated his successor, who was the winner in a landslide victory. bring us up-to-date on this report, here's my colleague. >> the election divided the country along ethnic and racial lines, but in his acceptance speech he sounded a message of reconciliation. >> we will work without preference for any group over another. >> the outgoing president declared that it was not free or fair after it was shown that he lost support in his traditional strongholdand today he was persuaded to concede defeat. he faces high expectations from his people, including job opportunities and eradicating
rampant government corruption. bbc news, osaka. >> aid workers and medics in haiti have been racing to provide assistance to those affected by saturday's earthquake, even as another threat looms. storm grace is expected to pass over the worst affected areas today and tomorrow, bringing with it the threats of floods and mudslides. officials say 1300 people have died and thousands of others were injured were after the quake hit the southst of the country. james clayton is there and has this report. >> many of these people asleep when the earthquake hit. it's hard enough to treat survivorsf any natural disaster, but when the hospitals themselvesre under fear of collapse, it makes it all the more difficult.
>> this hospital is too unsafe to have people stay inside, so they brought everyone outside here under tents to try to keep them cooler out of the hot sun. what you are seeing here is 48 hours after the quake, doctors have run out of painkillers and antibiotics and there are major concerns about things like infection. elsie had just woken up. her son has a serious compound fracture and needs to be taken to the airport to be lifted out. seeing him in such pain is overwhelming. there simply are not enough facilities to treat people in these parts of the country. from hospitals, some of the injured are taken to the airport. like 19-year-old tonya, who is pregnant. >> you said you woke up and tried run out the house collapsed on top of you? >> she says that her leg hurts and has abdominal pain. >> most needed iv solutions,
bandages, pain management. they are in the same situation where they have run out. >> overall we are sitting here with three hospitals and there is no coordination. >> a tropical storm here is preventing flights in and out of the capital. the people here need help, but at the moment, not enough is coming. james clayton, bbc news. >> experts in israel warning that the health care system there will reach full capacity in weeks if the current rise in covid cases continues. the country is introducing new restrictions on entry. they were the first count in the world to offer vaccines to residents and they have already begun to register a third jab to people over the age of 60. jenny hill boards. >> in the oblivion of intensive
care, the brutal reality of the virus continues. >> how old is this lady? >> she is 59. >> this is a hospital in tel aviv. they tell u they are already battling a fourth wave. they are doing but they can, expanding the number of beds in the unit. but the number of hospitalizations and people falling seriously ill irising fast across the country and suddenly the immediacy of the problem becomes clear. even as we filmed, the doctor in charge got a call. >> there is a patient looking for vaccination. covid positive with acute respiratory failure. >> second patient in the hospital that needs intensive care, but there is only one bed
free. >> i am afraid the numbers will go up. it will be hard to take those decisions. -- make those decisions. >> this was the first country in the world to offer a vaccine to every resident. with cases rising, the government is re-imposing restrictions and even considering a lockdown. >> one thing that went wrong is the biology of the delta variant. the other thing that went wrong was the slight euphoria we had thinking it was over without fully vaccinating those that were not vaccinated. >> israel is now banking on a third dose of vaccine,pening up centers like this to roll it out fast. no guarantees, little optimism. >> it's not so much about the
rise in case numbers, it's about units like this all over the country. this is what will determine what israel does next. >> jenny hill, bbc news, tel aviv. >> before we go, let's recap our top story, president biden firmly defending his administration's withdrawal of troops from afghanistan saying that there was no good time for the u.s. to leave the country, though he acknowledged that there return to power came more quickly than his administration had expected. the comments came after scenes of chaos erupted at the kabul airport with afghans trying to desperately board an airplane evacuating american personnel. we were told if you minutes ago that those forces had been patrolling the streets of the city this evening and what were formerly government vehicles. you can find all the days news on our website, plus to see what
we were working on, check us out on twitter. thanks so much for watching. narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: financial services firm, raymond james. narrator: funding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ ♪ narrator: you're watching pbs. ♪ da-da-da-duh-da-da-da♪ ♪ da-da-da-da-da-da ♪♪
judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight. >> american troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves. judy: the taliban takeover -- afghanistan falls to insurgents, bringing a chaotic close to america's longest war. are in kabul and examine the wider fallout. then. disaster strikes again -- another major earthquake hits already-suffering haiti, leaving over 1000 dead and many more thousands injured. plus. political stakes -- tamara keith and amy walter consider what the