welcome to bbc news, i'm lewis vaughanjones. 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, with nearly two million more on the brink. 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. brazil's prosecutor general wants to investigate president bolsonaro for failing to act on allegations of corruption in the purchase of coronavirus vaccines. will weeks in protest lead to change in the weeks of absolute
monarchy in africa? and — spain and italy are through to the semi—finals of euro 2020 after beating switzerland and belgium respectively. hello and welcome to the programme. first... 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've declared victory over the government troops... horns blare, applause ..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 i spoke 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 — 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. 0ur our thanks to william davidson there. 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 half a million people have died with covid 19 virus in the country, which is home to the world's second deadliest outbreak. our 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 india now, where the official number of deaths linked to coronavirus has passed 400,000. the country is trying to speed up its vaccination drive, but misinformation, pseudo science and the constant tension between modern and traditional medicine have all hindered progress, as nikhil inamdar reports. all chant. these men are smearing their bodies with cow dung to ward off covid. this is a parliamentarian from the ruling bjp telling a crowd that consuming cow urine has helped her keep covid at bay. and this is a billionaire yoga
guru with close links to the government. he's been passing off herbs, dung and urine as wonder drugs for treatment of the coronavirus. when he dismissed modern medicine as a "stupid science" recently... heated discussion. ..he was asked to keep quiet by the general secretary of india's premier medical association on a live tv debate. doctors even observed a black day to protest against his remark, urging for his arrest. the government itself has come under fire for often promoting and funding questionable therapies not backed up by adequate evidence to cure covid, complicating an already toughjob that medical doctors are doing. silence. india's science ministry, for instance, is funding trials of ancient hymns in treating the virus on 20 patients. and a body, the rashtriya kamdhenu aayog, set up under
india's ministry for animal husbandry, with a corpus of over $60 million for the conservation of cows, has claimed that 800 covid patients with mild and moderate symptoms have been cured by panchgavya — a concoction made of urine, dung, milk, ghee and curd. translation: i notjust urge but challenge the scientist. community to explore the potential of panchgavya. if you don't believe in my intelligence, i'm willing to work under your supervision. but i invite you to do a peer review of the science, which can save humanity. while acknowledging the place of the cow in traditional indian medicine, a raging pandemic is not the time to promote treatments not fully backed up by solid evidence, say leading infectious disease experts. the human brain can only focus on so many things and when you clutter it with a lot of pseudoscience, then you're just setting yourself up for a disaster. for now, the government in power has distanced itself from the often wild claims made by its party men.
the stray comments that have been made by people across our country, i would say tread with caution and please only do what is trialled and tested. but in a country where disinformation spreads like wildfire, this battle of modern medicine versus pseudoscience and traditional therapies looks like one that will continue for quite some time. nikhil inamdar, bbc news, miraj, india. 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. 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. 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're 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.
this is bbc news. the 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. brazil's prosecutor general wants to investigate president bolsonaro for failing to act on allegations of corruption in the purchase of coronavirus vaccines. 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 burned 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 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 e—mail 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. us officials say they're
setting a new tone with central america, after the contentious years of the trump administration. with the coronavirus, mass migration, and increasing violence, central america faces a difficult moment. so how can the biden—harris administration reset the relationship with those governments, given all the points of tension? the bbc�*s will grant reports from washington. a new administration in washington seemed like a new start for many migrants, but on her first trip to central america since taking office, vice president kamala harris delivered the same message that the trump administration had told anyone considering the journey. do not come. the united states will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border. she was widely criticised for it and later clarified that claiming asylum is an
international right. but with washington also urging central american governments to crack down on people leaving their borders, many say there's no discernible difference from trump to biden. the state department's special envoy for the region denies that charge. the united states government is going to enforce its laws and other governments are going to do that as well, so the focus of this administration really is on trying to change the conditions that are driving people to leave irregularly. yet the situation on the ground in central america is dire. climate change and natural disasters have destroyed crops, and gang violence and government corruption is rampant. in el salvador, washington has grave reservations about the country's president, nayib bukele, who remains defiant in the face of such criticism. translation: behind this president - and this - is something no—one can deny — there is no oligarchy. there are no militaryjuntas, nor much less a guerrilla commander giving orders, saying what must be done, like all presidents from the past.
meanwhile in honduras, the us state department has said the government ofjuan 0rlando hernandez is engaged in state—sponsored drug trafficking. washington's options in the region are few. so the way that we approach corruption in governance in general is consistent with our view that the role of the united states is to work with people in the region, not to impose but to work with people in the region to create the enabling conditions for broad—based growth. even if they're that corrupt? even if they're being discussed as state sponsors of drug trafficking? we work with a range of partners, people who are... this does not mean that the united states is not continuing with investigations, or with cases where there is a law enforcement interest, those cases continue. we are focused, though, on working with governments and working with civil society and working with the private
sector, to work together to create those enabling conditions for growth. washington's policy towards central america speaks of trying to understand the drivers of migration. the key contradiction is, however, that one of the main factors pushing people to flee is human rights abuses committed by autocratic governments, so the biden administration finds itself in the strange position of trying to criticise those abuses while working in tandem with those governments. will grant, bbc news, washington. now, the growth in the numbers of electric cars means there's prosecutors in northern ireland are dropping cases against two army veterans who had faced murder charges linked to the troubles. victims' families were told key evidence was likely to be ruled inadmissible, after other cases collapsed. a boeing 737 cargo aircraft with two crew aboard was forced to make an emergency landing in the ocean off honolulu after the pilots reported engine trouble. both pilots were rescued, but one is
said to be in a critical condition in hospital. we have the results of the first two quarterfinals of euro 2020. spain beat switzerland on penalties and italy beat belgium. andy swiss watched the action. 0n on paper, it was the tie of the tournament. belgium versus italy, and it didn't disappoint. as italy roared into a 2—0 lead. niccolo barela's wasn't bad, but lorenzo and senior�*s was something else. they were giving the world's top—ranked team be run around, butjust before the break, belgium were backin before the break, belgium were back in it. 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 that stay out? 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 on this form, they will take some beating. they now face pain in the semifinals, but only after some scare against switzerland. jordi alba's deflected shot put spain ahead, but after the break, shed and security level things up. despite having a man sent off, switzerland clung on for a penalty shootout, before they are finally cracked. spain sealing a dramatic victory, and didn't they enjoy it? congratulations to them. the famous montreux jazz festival has got under way for the first time in two years. last year's event was cancelled due to the covid pandemic, and this year's festival has had to be staged on a much smaller scale. the bbc�*s tim allman has the story.
all the greats have played montreaux. for more than 50 years, the artists, the pioneers, the legends. but then came covid, and the music stops. now, on the shores of lake geneva, final preparations for the festival's return. translation:— for the festival's return. translation: �* ., ,, translation: we've obviously s - ent 18 translation: we've obviously spent 18 particularly _ spent 18 particularly complicated months, first with the cancellation of the festival last year and for this year, it was extremely important for us to succeed, so we took a gamble at the beginning of the year. gamble is -auttin beginning of the year. gamble is putting it — beginning of the year. gamble is putting it mildly. _ beginning of the year. gamble is putting it mildly. this - beginning of the year. gamble is putting it mildly. this is - beginning of the year. gamble is putting it mildly. this is a i is putting it mildly. this is a major international music festival, but for 2021, major international music festival, but for2021, it major international music festival, but for 2021, it will only be a fraction of its normal size, and covid continues to cause problems. a
number of acts from the uk had to cancel due to the delta variant, organising a last—minute lineup is no easy task. translation: we last-minute lineup is no easy task. translation: we didn't think we would _ task. translation: we didn't think we would be _ task. translation: we didn't think we would be impacted i task. translation: we didn't. think we would be impacted this much. we have been fishing for information, contacting agents, managers, seeing what is possible. 0ne managers, seeing what is possible. one of the headliners on the first night, the french director, designerand on the first night, the french director, designer and a singer woodkid. this is picturesque a concert venue as you could possibly wish for. at possibly wish for. at montreaux, - possibly wish for. at montreaux, the music is back. tim allman, bbc news. a quick reminder of our top story this hour. the un security council has been warned that months of fighting an ethiopian�*s tigray region has left nearly 2 million people on the brink of famine. that is it from me. do
get in touch on social media. i am on twitter. i'm @lvaughanjones. iam i am lewis vaughan—jones, and this is bbc news. goodbye. 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.
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 tigrayen forces and ethiopian federal troops, may rapidly deteriorate. 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 whistleblower said government officials had agreed to take bribes to buy 400 million doses of the indian—made jab, covaxin. on her final official visit to the uk, chancellor angela merkel has been visiting the queen and addressed a virtual cabinet meeting. earlier she said britons who've had both covid jabs should be able to visit germany in the foreseeable future without quarantine.