tv BBC World News America PBS August 25, 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". >> hello, i'm d this is "bbc world news america." evacuations continue for huge crowds at the airport in kabul. next week's deadline looming, the race to get out is growing even more urgent. >> is it worth it? is better to staying here and afghanistan for the moment? >> there is no way we can stay here. americans should shut us or let us through. >> the u.s. secretary of state says there is no deadline on getting americans and their allies out of afghanistan. blinken says 1500 u.s. citizens remain in afghanistan. >> i'm laura tvelyan in
austin, texas, where we are nearly a thousand miles from afghanistan but the ripple effect is being felt here. >> nations have been pouring into help afghan refugees, and translators who you -- who work for the u.s. forces have been asking for help to evacuate their families. >> they are sleeping outside the airport, because they are freight -- they are afraid if they go back, the taliban have found out that their son was a translator so they cannot go back. ♪ >> hello and welcome to "world news america, on pbs and around the globe. "80,000 people have been evacuated from kabul since the taliban took control. the pentagon says there are 10,000 on the groundaiting for flights. time is running out before next week's deadline for u.s. forces
to continue evacuating their citizens and aies. multiple u.s. officials came out to microphones today at the state department, the pentagon, also the white house, to paint a picture of an urgent evacuation process. the situation on the ground remains chaotic, and also scary. from kabul, our correspondent reports. >> shame on them. reporter: they have been through so much already. now, wading through sewage in the hope of somehow being able to leave this country. huge crowds are still flocking to kabul airport. under the watch of american and british soldiers. despite the dirt, the dust, the gunshots, and the chaos, people are still coming here, and they are coming here in the thousands. here, a makeshift camp has sprung up. most of the people gathered
don't have permission to board an evacuation flight. the few that do are struggling to make their way inside. >> we have been waiting here for six days and six nights. the american embassy told us to come here, but we cannot get past all these crazy people. reporter: is it worth it? ? is it better to stay in afghanistan for the moment? >> there's no way we can stay here. the americans should shoot us or let us through. reporter: yesterday, the taliban said they are not in favor of afghans leaving. we saw no sign of them preventing people where we were, but they are clearly frustrated with the scenes unfolding. with time running out, there is a sense of panic amongst those trying to escape. many worry they will be left behind, like this former british army interpreter who has yet to receive a response to his application. >> is very dangerous for us --
it is very dangerous for us. i have changed my location many times. we are two days, two nights. reporter: he has only got one document from the british army, and it doesn't even say who signed it. but we managed to find his former boss, now a retired soldier in the north of england. >> i absolutely remembered him. he was one of 18 interpreters that i worked with in afghanistan on my tour. like all of the others that i worked with, he was a brave, bright, intelligent lad who actually genuinely wanted to do better for his country. reporter: the british government says no one's life should be put at risk because of their support for the uk's efforts in afghanistan, but that it is working around-the-clock to relocate as many eligible afghans as possible. so are other countries. but these are the last days of those efforts.
can many who want to leave are set to be left behind. bbc news, kabul. >> our chief international correspondent is also the ground in kal and she spoke earlier about the challenges for those trying to get out. reporter: as the window closes fast, it gets ever harder even to get to the airport. we spoke to a telephone spokesperson this morning who was unsympathetic and unequivocal that the afghans should not be leaving the country, and that there was only one route out, and that was through the americans. we are hearing in these last days, they americans are prioritizing american passport holders, green called holders -- green card holders, and sending those who have special visas, which were salvaged for vulnerable afghans like those who had worked for the american luke perry. i think we have to remember that once the u.s., the u.k. evacuati stops, once the last
aircraft turns off, afghanistan does not pack up and go. the neighbors and near neighbors will have an interest in helping the country's buses to run a -- run again and the roads to be open. for afghanistan ticket -- to start getting back on its feet. >> you heard her talking about u.s. passport holders. the u.s. secretary of state took great pains to lay out number of americans who have been flown out of afghanian in the past week or so. they gave rough numbers on those that remain. antony blinken said it is tricky given the chaotic situation on the ground. for that reason, the august 31 deadli would not be e final date for some people to be able to leave the country. >> let me be crystal clear about this. there is no deadline on our work to help any remaining american citizens who decide they want to leave to do so, along with the many afghans who have stood by us during these many years and want to leave and are unable to
do so. >> are state department correspondent barbara plett-usher was asked -- was at the press conference and has more details. barbara: mr. blinken said the administration was making plans about how it will continue to provide services to facilitated -- facilitative departures. although he could not say whether or what type of diplomatic presence the u.s. might consider leaving in kabul, at the moment, the ideas for the diplomats to leave with the military. he said the taliban had provided public and private commitments to continue giving safe passage to those who are part of the evacuation effort. that would include american citizens, afghans who work with them, and third country natials. a taliban spokesman did tweet that those with legal documents would be allowed to leave on commercial airlines after tuesday, even though the taliban has broadly said it did not want afghans to depart.
reports from the ground to say it is already difficult for afghans who have those documents to get to the airport now. will they continue to brave their way when the taliban are in charge? it is a grim reality. i think everyone in this building, this state department, knows that. it looks as if the deadline will go ahead, and mr. blinken was putting the best face he could on it. was signaling resolve. he told us the u.s. would work closely with international partners who put whatever pressure they could on the taliban to keep this promise, in particular, by saying enomic assistance would be withheld if it didn't. >> barbara plett-usher there at the state department. the reaction here in the united states to the unfolding events in afghanistan has beea mix of's -- of shock, sadness, and disappointment. a recent polling suggests most americs support the u.s. leaving afghanistan, but they don't like how it has been done. with refugees starting to land on u.s. soil, the situation is only growing more complex.
laura trevelyan is in austin, texas, capturing the mood there and joins us now. what have you found, laura? laura: welcome to austin, and of course, this is somewhere where many afghan refugees are arriving. a resettlement agency tells me they are given a few hours notice to prepare for the arrival of families, to get apartments ready and to rush to the airport in austin. for the afghan american community in austin, people who are translators for the u.s. military, this is a difficult time as they worry about family still in afghanistan. those former interpreters hd a protest at the texas state capital last night. here is what i found. he leads a protest in austin, texas by afghan americans who work for the u.s. military and are calling for their families to be evacuated from afghanistan. >> we just want to bring our
family here. they are dangerous. that is why we are here. >> i work. because of my work, my family is going to be butchered or killed. laura: he was an interpreter for the u.s. army and settled here seven years ago. now he is desperately worried about his parents in kabul. >> they left our house, they locked the door. the only thing they took with them was some food items, and one pair of clothes. so they locked the door and they are sleeping outside the airport. because they are afraid if they go back, the taliban have already found out that their son was a translator, so they cannot go back. laura: for the afghans who are being evacuated and are about to arrive in texas, volunteers are unpacking the donations which have been pouring in. despite the polarized politics of immigration in the u.s., staff believe afghans will be welcomed here. >> the people who helped us overseas is a special category that really doesn't speak across
litical boundaries in rural, urban -- people understand that these are people we really need to help. laura: andy hoag of the local republican party agrees, but he says the biden administration has bungled the withdrawal so far, and things may get even worse. >> is tougto make a decision that does not result in a tectonic shift. i'm hoping it will result in those who need to be here for safety reasons, and those that need to stay and site -- and fight for afghanistan staying put. the last thing we want is where their best and brightest is being silenced by terroristic activities or being air flight into america. laura: amid the debate over who gets to come from afghanistan, tim kennedy is deploying from texas to the middle east to support the evacuation of the afghans who work for the u.s. military. he is a u.s. army sniper and veteran of the war. what is it that you hope you will achieve on this mission to afghanistan?
>> that's hard. that is a hard question. i hope that i can preserve and protect human life. as many people that want to live and not have to live under the tyranny of the taliban, that want to be contributors to a free world and a free society, man, i will fight for that. i will die for that. laura: that is the america these former translators believe in. but their faith in u.s. might has been tested. now they can only wait and pray their families make it out of afghanistan alive. joining me now for more on the situation for afghan refugees coming here to allston and on all things austin is who else but the mayor of austin. thank you for being with us. >> the with you. laura: you have kindly spoken to us remotely. it is great to be here in person. you have afghan refugees
arriving already in austin. a warm welcome? >> they are. our community is welcoming refugees. it -- it given what is happening now, all the more important to do our part to provide safe places for people to go. laura: isn't it a heart rendering situation? those translators who are protesting at the capital, their families are trapped, and they are not technically families who are eligible for evacuation. that is a tough situation. >> this heartbreaking. it's heartbreaking to hear about it. we are all still confused about how the intelligence could have been that far off. but all focus regardless of the situation that otherwise exists, and that is why we are welcoming people to town. laura: you have a lot on your plate. you are seeing a spike again in coronavirus cases. hospitals are reporting a shortage of icu beds. children are being hospitalized. what more is happening?
>> we have the delta variant that has come and taken us by storm. it hit here and some of the southern states real early and we are reacting to that. we also live in a state where vaccines are not being encouraged in the same way that is happening in other states. and i think that has sent a confused message to too many people living in texas about whether they are really important, whether they are really effective, and that makes messaging and people willing to take the vaccine just that much harder to achieve. laura: you have this tug of war going on over mask mandates. the governor of texas has issued another thing and not war today. he has against mask mandates. but then youave school districts that have mask mandates. it is very confusing. why is the mask a flashpoint here in texas? >> you are asking the wrong one to explain why that is. i have ordered masking, and my order, obviously, is contrary to
about of the governor. ultimately, it will be the force who have to decide that issue. but i do not believe that anyone has a right to be able to put other people in danger. and i think that is the issue. i think our governor believes that people have a right not to wear a mask if they choose not to. but there are so many instances where we are required to do things, required to wear seatbelts, children going into schools are required to get vaccines from people. -- for measles and mumps i don't understand what the governor is doing. it is not the recommendation of the doctors. it does not follow the data. we are going to do that ourselves, however long we can. laura: is there a sense in which these cultural flashpoints, whether it is masks or vaccines, that texas is like the epicenter of it, and is it making it almost ungovernable? >> i don't know if it makes it
ungovernable. in austin, texas, we have a rich tradition of pursuing pretty progressive policies. we are a pretty conservative state. but it does confuse the people who live in our state. and it is in that confusion that our vaccination levels around the state are not as highs they are averaging in the country. although in austin, higher than the average. our mortality rate in the city is about half of what the mortality rate is statewide. and it is because we actually follow the doctors and the data and what we can do in every way we can. laura: steve adler, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. laura: i was steve adler, the mayor of austin. there he was saying he is the governor of a blue city in a red state. these are all of the things, competing demands he must balance. >> i find those places so fascinating when you have the
dots surrounded by a different color of political stripes. more from laura later appeared thank you so much. you are watching "world news america." still to come on tonight's program, making the case for booster shots. researchersn the u.k. say protection against covid from vaccines begins to fade within six months. we will bring you the latest madagascar may be staring down the barrel of what the united nations calls the world's first climate change famine. let's hear more from our reporter who has been taking a look at this, marina darris. reporter: isolated farming communities like this in the village of -- in the village region are some of the last people to contribute to climate change. they are among the first to suffer its devastating consequences. the world's first climate change famine, according to the u.n.
although madagascar are experiences the effects of changing weather patterns, u.n. experts point to the latest reports, drawing a direct link between china change and madagascar's current crisis. the program says it needs $78 million to get through the next traditional season before harvest, which starts in october. marina darris, bbc news. >> let's turn to the battle against the covid-19 pandemic. the u.s. military is mandating all service personnel get the covid vaccine. in a memo on wednesday, secretary of defense lloyd austin, says he is directing officials to immediately begin full vaccination for those who are not yet fully vaccinated. this decision follows the fda's
full approval on monday. the pentagon says only 60% of the active duty forces are fully vaccinated. separately, delta airlines are imposing a $200 monthly surcharge on employees who are not vaccinated. the third largest airline says it will only provide six patent covid sufferers who have been doubly jabbed but still get invests debt -- get infected. this is the latest attempt to convince staff to get the vaccine. that news from the united states comes after a new report in the united kingdom suggesting that protection against coronavirus starts to reduce within six months of people being fully vaccinated with the pfizer or astrazeneca vaccines. experts working on the zoe covid study say their research suggests booster vaccines will be needed. our health correspondent has the report. reporter: just how long vaccines
offer protection and whether we need boosters is a crucial question ahead of the winter. today's study adds to growing evidence that over time, covid vaccines become less effective at stopping infections. it examined 1.2 million positive test results between may and july this year, and found protection from the pfizer vaccine seemed to reduce from 88%, to 74% over five to six months. and astrazeneca from 77% to 67% over four to five months. importantly, this is about preventing a covid infection. hospital figures suggest both vaccines have continued to protect against severe illness and many people. >> all of the evidence points to good, sustain protection against hospitalization at the moment. obviously we are having to watch that carefully during the current wave and seeing if there are signs that the people who receive the vaccine's earliest, the elderly, health care
workers, are beginning to lose their protection against serious illness. reporter: public health england estimates nearly 85,000 deaths have been prevented as a result of the covid-19 vaccination program in england so far. however, the study's lead investigator said vaccine efficacy could drop to 50% by the winter, and boosters would be needed. >> is bringing to focus this need for some action. we cannot just sit by and see the protection slowly waning while cases are still high and chance of infection still high as well. reporter: theovernment has said there will be booster jobs sometime in september, starting with those most at risk of severe covid-19. sophie hutchinson, bbc news. >> let's take a look at some of the other needs from around the globe. let us begin with china. all children in the country will begin to study the political ideology of the chinese
president, xi jinping, as part of the national curriculum. from kindergarten through to university, china's ministry of education said the new material would resolve the ruling communist party and cultivate patriotic feelings. let's turn to morocco. they have dismissed accusations from algeria that it was indirectly involved in starting forest fires that claimed at least 90 algerian lives absurd. algeria cut all diplomatic ties on tuesday due to what they called hostile actions. the decision follows months of resurgent tensions between the two north african rivals. members of an all girl afghan robotics team have arrived in mexico after fleeing their home country. originally from the western city of harass, the team made it out after fearing the taliban would impose harsh restrictions on girls education. the team has been heralded for winning international robotic competitions, and creating low
cost ventilators for covid-19 patients during the pandemic. before we go, let us return to our special coverage out of texas. to go back to my colleague, laura trevelyan, who is in austin today. fascinating just to hear some of the voices coming out. what do you think our viewers need to know about the situation there? laura: well, isn't it so interesting that everything is bigger in texas? that is what they say, and that is definitely true, whether it is culture wars, whether it is mask mandates, whether it is strong feelings about immigration of the border with mexico. everything here, it is like it is in technicolor. of course, austin is a liberal bastian anymore conservative state. sometimes referred to as the blueberry in the tomato soup. it is not indicative of wider
texas. but i've been most struck by his from all shades of political opinion, even the most conservative rublicans, is the warm welcome for the afghan refugees. nobody wants to welcome a terrorist. everyone wants to welcome people who have literally wrapped themselves in the american flag, rushed to the airport and kabul, to be airlifted to come here in search of a better life. and that is really the essence of america. that striving for a better life. and what i've been struck by is how everyone here is really responding to that. >> fascinating to hear those voices. and i think we will continue following this about that next ep as they arrive, and how they resettle, and also how the next episode in afghanistan plays out. laura trevelyan, thank you so much. you can find more of all of the day's news on our website. plus to see what we are working
not -- working on, check us out on twitter. thank you so much for watching "world news america," with laura narrator: funding for this presentati 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 ♪♪
♪ amna: good evening. i'm amna nawaz. judy woodruff is away. on the "newshour" tonight -- desperate to flee. chaotic scenes in kabul as thousands struggle to leave afghanistan, just days ahead of a full u.s. withdrawal. then, on the border. the supreme court reinstates the controversial trump-era remain in mexico policy for asylum seekers, complicating an already critical situation. and, and new collar jobs. efforts intensify to match people without college degrees with employers who need to fill better paying jobs as income inequality widens. >> why is there such difference in earnings between people who are college graduates and people whe