welcome to bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: the un security council is told that a famine in the ethiopian region of tigray is now affecting more than 400,000 people, and the situation could get a lot worse. if the parties to the conflict fail to seize this moment, the consequences for the people of ethiopia will be devastating — more fighting, more famine. the last us troops leave bagram, their main military base in afghanistan. the biden administration says it's on course to withdraw completely from the country by the end of august. brazil's prosecutor general wants to investigate president bolsonaro for failing to act on allegations of corruption in the purchase of coronavirus vaccines.
and spain and italy are through to the semi—finals of euro 2020 after beating switzerland and belgium. hello and welcome. the un security council has met to discuss the crisis in ethiopia's tigray region. eight months of fighting means hundreds of thousands of people are now at risk of starvation. the ethiopian government has denied allegations that it's been blocking aid getting through — this is after tigrayan rebels took control of much of the northern region this week. the un world food programme says it's up and running again but access is still difficult. courtney bembridge
has the latest. cheering and chanting. an extraordinary moment after months of brutal conflict. cheering. horns blare. celebrations on the streets of tigray�*s capital mekelle after rebel fighters took over the city. they have declared victory over the government troops, but eight months of fighting has left its mark. more than 400,000 people are estimated to have crossed the threshold into famine and another 1.8 million people are on the brink of famine. some are suggesting that the numbers are even higher. 33,000 children are severely malnourished. and moreover, the food insecurity crisis will continue to worsen during the impending rainy season. this will also make it harder — a key bridge used to get humanitarian aid into the area has been destroyed. the ethiopian government has been accused of using hunger as a weapon — a claim it denies.
this week, the government unilaterally announced a ceasefire, stating it was doing so for humanitarian purposes. the government must now demonstrate that it truly intends to use the ceasefire to address the humanitarian catastrophe in tigray. ethiopian prime minister abiy ahmed, not long ago awarded a nobel peace prize, now find himself mired in an ugly war which threatens the stability of the entire region. courtney bembridge, bbc news. well, earlier, ispoke to william davison, who's senior analyst on ethiopia for the international crisis group. i asked for his assessment of the current conflict. well, we can be sure about certain things, so let's start with those. we know that there has been an almost complete withdrawal of the federal — ethiopian federal armed forces from tigray. and that was the result,
or that followed some of the most sustained counter offences by the tigray defense forces in the sort of ten days preceding that, so the most significant gains by tigray�*s former leaders was then followed by this federal exit. that has led to those tigray defense forces, and the former rulers of tigray, essentially taking back control of the regional government. we also know that generally, eritrea's forces, which have been key in this conflict, have moved from areas of southern and central tigray, where they were actively engaged, to areas to the north. that much we can be clear about. you know, the exact details of the battlefield, just how heavy the losses were for the federal military are still very much in dispute, but it is clear that they suffered significant losses and, combined with the international pressure, that led them to this drastic change in strategy and
the withdrawal from the region. and what consequences do you think that withdrawal now has? what happens next? i think the most positive element of it is that for large numbers of the people who are in such dire conditions, particularly in central tigray, part of the problem there was that the ongoing conflict and eritrean and ethiopian military control over roads and checkpoints was preventing aid getting into the rebel—held areas or the tigray defense force—held areas. now that problem has now been eliminated, essentially, because of the ethiopian withdrawal and the eritrean repositioning. but now the problem is more about getting aid into tigray and also the provision of basic services in tigray which are needed for a significant successful humanitarian operation — so i'm talking about electricity, telecoms and banking, primarily. and what about those warnings of hundreds of thousands at risk of starvation?
well, they've been in place for weeks. the concerns are growing all of the time. people have — are missing the planting season all of the time. they are in dire need of support. the numbers are growing. and so really, what we need to see now is everyone focusing on trying to facilitate aid — and whether that is the tigray forces or the ethiopian federal government or the eritrean forces — and really, any action that's taken to hamper that operation could result in the loss of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of lives. our thanks to william davison. let's get some of the day's other news. the former president of south africa jacob zuma has asked the constitutional court to reconsider its decision to sentence him to 15 months injail. on tuesday, the court ordered mr zuma to be punished for contempt for having failed to appear before an inquiry to answer corruption allegations.
prosecutors in northern ireland are dropping cases against two army veterans who had faced murder charges linked to the troubles. victims�* families were told that key evidence was likely to be ruled inadmissible after other cases collapsed. a boeing 737 cargo aircraft with two crew on board was forced to make an emergency landing in the sea off honolulu after the pilots reported engine trouble. both pilots were rescued, but one is said to be in a critical condition in hospital. to afghanistan next. the last american troops have left bagram air base — the us military�*s centre of operations for two decades. their departure is a signal that the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from the country is imminent. a taliban spokesperson described the handover of bagram as a positive step. 0ur security correspondent frank gardner has the details.
bagram air base, afghanistan. the most strategically vital base in the country. last night, the us military pulled out after nearly 20 years there. it follows a decision by president biden for us forces to leave afghanistan by september 11. we're on track exactly as to where we expected to be, but we just — i wanted to make sure there was enough, quote, running room that we wouldn't be able to do it all till september. there will still be some forces left, but it's a rational drawdown with our allies. the base has now been handed over to afghan government forces. but all over the country, they're coming under pressure from advancing taliban fighters. without western military support, there are doubts whether they can hold out. translation: the situationl in afghanistan will get worse. it is already chaotic. you see ghorband district falling. there is lots of insecurity.
the government does not have all the weapons and equipment. western air support has been crucial, both for transporting troops to the battlefield and carrying out air strikes. without it, more districts are expected to fall to the taliban. yet, in the capital kabul, some are happy to see the americans and other western forces depart. translation: this is good news. the americans have reached an agreement with the taliban in doha and these agreements must be implemented, and this is for the good of afghanistan. the taliban are certainly delighted to see the us leaving. they've even thanked them for going. critics of the withdrawal deal say the afghan government got little in return, that the west is rushing for the exit, and it's leaving afghanistan on the brink of another civil war. frank gardner, bbc news. brazil's prosecutor general has asked the country's top court to investigate president jair
bolsonaro for failing to respond to allegations of corruption, in a contract for the purchase of covid vaccines. the president is under increasing attack for his handling of the pandemic. more than 500,000 people have died from covid—i9 in the country, which is home to the world's second deadliest outbreak. 0ur international correspondent 0rla guerin reports from sao paulo. with brazil's death toll soaring, presidentjair bolsonaro is losing support and facing growing pressure on the streets, at a senate enquiry, and now potentially in the courts. he's been accused of turning a blind eye to irregularities and massive overcharging in a contract to acquire a covid vaccine from india. a whistle—blower in brazil's health ministry and his lawmaker brother claim to have personally warned the president.
he has denied any knowledge and any wrongdoing. mr bolsonaro has been famously dismissive of covid—i9 from the start, opposing masks and social distancing, which he said was for idiots. his views have not altered, even as cemeteries here have filled with the dead. "it's no use staying home, crying," he said recently. all chant. more nationwide protests are planned for this weekend with some brazilians accusing their leader of genocide. 0rla guerin, bbc news. to canada now, and the national holiday has been marked by protests following the recent discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at former schools for indigenous children. thousands of people joined a cancel canada day rally.
catherine karelli has this. no pride in genocide! traditionally a day of celebration but this year, canada has found itself reckoning with its colonial past. cheering. this was the scene in winnipeg, demonstrators pulling down a statue of queen victoria. cheering. across canada, thousands of people took to the streets protesting a dark chapter of their country's history — the residential school system. they murdered thousands of children — hundreds of thousands of children — we don't know yet. but we are here to tell you today that that was wrong. you all know that it was wrong. we are here today to stand with everybody to oppose the ongoing genocide of the canadian government and state against indigenous peoples. between the 1870s and 1990s, more than 150,000 indigenous children were taken from theirfamilies. they were made to attend church—run boarding schools. there, they were forced to abandon their native
languages and convert to christianity. thousands died of disease and malnourishment. some took their own lives. in 2015, canada's truth and reconciliation commission called it cultural genocide. calls to scale back this year's canada day celebrations intensified in recent weeks following the discovery of almost 1,000 unmarked graves at former residential schools. that number has now gone up. the latest discovery, on the eve of canada day, was here — 182 unmarked graves at st eugene's mission school in british columbia. in his canada day message, prime ministerjustin trudeau said canada needed to face up to its history. the truth is we've got a long way to go to make things right with indigenous peoples. but if we all pledge ourselves to doing the work, we can achieve reconciliation. to this day, we don't
have a full picture of how many children died in residential schools and the circumstances of their deaths. indigenous leaders have said that as investigations continue, they expect more graves will be found. catherine karelli, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: the rush to source the minerals needed to make batteries for electric cars. china marked its first day of rule in hong kong with a series of spectacular celebrations. a huge fireworks display was held in the former colony. the chinese president jiang zemi said unification was the start of a new era for hong kong. the world's first clone has been produced of an adult mammal. scientists in scotland have produced a sheep called dolly that was cloned in a laboratory using a cell from another sheep.
for the first time in 20 years, russian and american spacecraft have docked in orbit _ at the start of a new era of cooperation in spacej challenger powered past the bishop rock lighthouse at almost 50 knots, shattering the record that had stood for 3h years, and there was no hiding the sheer elation of richard branson and his crew. this is bbc news, the latest headlines: the un security council has been told that a famine in the ethiopian region of tigray is now affecting more than 400,000 people, and that the situation could rapidly deteriorate. the last us troops have left their main military
base in afghanistan. the biden administration says it's on course to withdraw completely from the country by the end of august. let's go to southern africa now. the government of eswatini says nine people have been killed and over 100 hospitalised following days of anti—government protests. activists want to see an end to king mswati's decades—long rule by decree. protests have now spread across the country's four regions. a nationwide curfew was declared and the internet shut down for extended periods of time. there are unverified reports of protestors being shot dead — all the while the king remains silent and missing. the bbc has been able to obtain exclusive footage from inside africa's last absolute monarchy. this report from shingai nyoka. in the aftermath of violent protests, eswatini's capital is struggling to return to normal.
days of rioting have taken their toll. supplies are running low and frustration is high. it is so painful. we don't have food. you see the queueing. they are only asking for one thing, just to elect a new prime minister. and the king is quiet. he can't talk, he can't say anything. i guess he's enjoying seeing his people suffer like this. translation: we can't go| and buy bread because they burned the shops. we've not been going to work. we don't know when we will go back. the anger is on a scale rarely seen here. it came after authorities banned the delivery of petitions, to silence calls for a more democratic elected leadership. this is how activists responded. property was destroyed, including some businesses linked to the king. this has taken about 35,
37 years to happen. this is all about a system of government that has failed the people. this is a culmination of problems since the ending of freedoms in this country, meaning freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of association. the crisis in this kingdom has been decades in the making — at the heart of it, king mswati and his family's unfettered reign. the calls for democratic reforms and a constitutional monarchy have been raised for almost half a century, and there's little confidence in the government's latest response. we are a nation that believes in dialogue, and it is with that in mind that we once again request all aggrieved emaswatis to use
alternative channels to express their grievances. the government has opened an email address where emaswatis can continue to direct their concerns and petitions. the government is eager to restore order after the unrest disrupted cross—border trade. the border traffic is flowing again, but in so many other ways, the kingdom of eswatini is isolated. it remains unclear whether the recent protests will affect change or whether king mswati will fight to retain his title as africa's last absolute monarch. shingai nyoka, bbc news, at the border of eswatini. the german chancellor has held talks with borisjohnson on what's likely to be her last official trip to the uk, before standing down in the autumn. angela merkel also met queen elizabeth at windsor castle. in more from our world affairs correspondent caroline hawley. angela, how are you?
despite their disagreements over brexit, today was about celebrating and strengthening the german—british relationship in a new era. high on the agenda for borisjohnson, germany's insistence that british travellers quarantine for 14 days, even if they are fully vaccinated. but after a working lunch of english asparagus tart and 0xfordshire beef, angela merkel hinted at good news to come for british holiday—makers. translation: we are seeing a rise of the delta variant - in germany, a significant rise, and of course, we are regularly reviewing these travel restrictions and i expect that in the foreseeable future, double vaccinated people will be able to travel without having to quarantine upon arrival. after england's historic victory against germany on tuesday, angela merkel wished the uk well for the rest of the euros, but she's alarmed by the number of fans being allowed at wembley matches. translation: i see this with grave concern. -
i said this to the prime minister. we in germany decided to have less people attend games in the munich stadium. the british government obviously will make its own decision, but i'm very concerned that it's too much. here in the uk, we have now built up a very considerable wall of immunity against the disease by our vaccination programme. borisjohnson is the fifth prime minister angela merkel has dealt with. here she was meeting tony blair back in 2005, when she first became chancellor. germany is britain's second largest trading partner, but it's a measure of angela merkel�*s personal stature that she was granted, at the end of her final visit to the uk, an audience with the queen. i wanted to take a picture and make history. two women who've played such long roles on the international stage. caroline hawley, bbc news.
spain annually will play in the first semi—final of euro 2020 after they progressed from their quarterfinals. == after they progressed from their quarterfinals. -- spain and italy- — on paper, it was the tie of the tournament. belgium against italy, and it didn't disappoint, as italy roared into a 2—0 lead. nicolo barella's wasn't bad, but lorenzo insigne's was something else. they were giving the world's top—ranked team the runaround, butjust before the break belgium were back in it — a penalty coolly converted by romolu lukaku. ——a penalty coolly converted by romelu lukaku. and come the second half, he really should have equalised. how on earth did that stay out? how on earth did this? as twice belgium went agonisingly close. but this was to be italy's night. a 2—1 win for them and they will take some beating. they'll now face spain in the semifinals, but only after some scare against switzerland.
jordi alba's deflected shot put spain ahead, but after the break xherdan shaqiri levelled things up. despite having a man sent off, switzerland clung on for a penalty shootout before their nerve finally cracked. spain sealing a dramatic victory, and didn't they enjoy it. now, the growth in the numbers of electric cars means there's more demand for minerals like lithium and tin — both essential components of car batteries. finding them means going underground. 0ur science correspondent rebecca morelle reports from cornwall in south—west england. heading underground into cornwall�*s south crofty mine, where copper and tin were extracted for hundreds of years. what you can see here is the sheet of mineralisation... work stopped decades ago, but these caverns could soon open up again — because, with the growth of renewable energy and electric vehicles, demand for the minerals found here is soaring. anything with an electric connection, a circuit board,
whatever, has tin in it. so all of these objectives and uses that we are using to get to this carbon—neutral economy require tin to some degree, and to have that domestic supply on your doorstep, it makes sense to see this mine into production. above ground, too, new methods of mineral extraction are being trialled. lithium, vital for batteries, is abundant in the south—west. if you want to unearth a mineral that is essential for going green, you need to do it in a way that's as green as possible — and this is a test of new technology. the lithium—rich rocks lie about a kilometre underground and as the water there washes over them, the mineral seeps into the brine, which is then brought back up to the surface and the lithium is extracted. the water, though, is returned back underground so the whole process can be repeated. right now, lithium comes from australia and south america, but the company thinks it could eventually supply around a third of the uk's
future lithium demand. if we can produce battery—grade lithium in the uk, but also produce that into batteries and then put it into electric cars, that's a much shorter supply chain which has got huge environmental benefits, as well as security of supply. there are currently 31.5 million cars on the road in the uk and it would take more than 250,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate to swap them all to electric. that is 75% of the world's annual production of the mineralforjust the uk's transport to go green. we should work towards a circular economy, where we just recycle the metals we use, but at this moment in time, we can't do that, it's just... the growth is too fast, it's too rapid, and to hit the target of net zero, we need those technologies now. but mining in the future will have to be different, to minimise and repair any environmental damage.
experts say a green revolution is pointless unless the planet is protected in the process. rebecca morelle, bbc news. stay with us. well, it's going to be one of these days where the weather might turn like that, and you'll have to run for cover if you're not prepared. big showers and thunder and lightning on the way. not everywhere — in fact, many of us will miss the storms altogether, but where they occur, they could even bring some flash flooding. now, early in the morning, there will be already some heavy rain spreading across the southern half of the uk, moving northwards. to the north of that, across scotland, it will have been been generally a dry night. a bit fresher here — 11 degrees — but in the south, it's muggy — 16 celsius first thing. now already, that band of rain could bring 30mm or so in a short space of time, so even with that, there could be a bit of flash flooding here and there. but later in the afternoon, that's when we'll see the really heavy showers and thunderstorms developing. and the thinking is somewhere
in the south—west of england, into western england, we could see this line of storms, mostly inland. in the extreme case, there could be around 80mm of rain. hence the risk of the flash floods. but the storms will be developing in other parts of the country as well, across the midlands, perhaps the south—east, east anglia and also further north in england, so very hit—or—miss. again, some of us will miss the storms altogether, and it's actually going to be a relatively bright, if not sunny, day. but some of these storms may actually linger into the evening hours as well. how about the other side of the world in the mediterranean? in rome for the football, well, here, of course it's going to be warm and sunny, with temperatures up to 28 celsius. now, here's a look at sunday's weather forecast. and again, showers on the cards, again spread right across the country. you can see how they develop during the course of the afternoon. thunder and lightning possible as well. but again, i think particularly some coastal areas and maybe
down towards the south—west may miss the storms altogether. temperatures a little below par — 19 in london, possibly touching 21 degrees where the sun does pop out for any lengthy period of time. now, into next week, we've got low pressure swinging in off the atlantic. that means strengthening winds across the english channel and possibly the south coast of england as well. and with that also will come a spell of rain, so i think monday and tuesday will be fairly changeable. so here's the outlook for the next few days. i know there's a lot of shower clouds, rain clouds, in the outlook here, but i think at times there will be some sunshine as well, so it's not all bad. enjoy that. bye— bye.
this is bbc news. the headlines: the un security council has been warned that a famine in the ethiopian region of tigray is now affecting more than 400,000 people. the meeting was also told that the conflict in the region between tigrayan forces and ethiopian federal troops may rapidly deteriorate. president biden says the withdrawal of us troops from afghanistan is on track but won't be completed in the next few days. he was speaking hours after the us left its main military base in the country, bagram, which served as the hub of us—led operations for almost two decades. brazil's prosecutor general has asked for authorisation to investigate president bolsonaro for failing to act on allegations of corruption in the purchase of coronavirus vaccines. a whistle—blower said government officials had agreed to take bribes to buy 400 million doses of the indian—made jab, covaxin.