i'm laura trevelyan in washington dc, and this is bbc world news america. afghan security forces claim they'll retake all the areas that have fallen to the taliban, as we learn more about the dramatic withdrawal of us troops, now 90% complete. authorities in nigeria close more than a dozen schools after a series of kidnappings. distraught parents are angry and scared. the uk health minister says daily covid cases could rise to 100 thousand this summer, even as restrictions in britain are lifted. -- 100,000. plus, how one of the world's most daring artists used lockdown to change course. damien hirst tells the bbc why he's moved from sharks in tanks to cherry blossoms. my mum used to say to me,
"there's enough horror in the world. can't you just paint flowers?" so maybe she got to me. welcome to world news america on pbs, in the uk, and around the globe. the us withdrawal from afghanistan is accelerating. according to afghan officials, the us military left bagram airfield — its key base for almost 20 years — in the dead of night, without telling the afghans. the pentagon said today that the us exit is more than 90% complete, even as the taliban say they've captured more than ten districts over the past 2a hours. they now control about a third of the country. this map shows the areas of taliban control in dark grey, contested areas are in red, and those controlled by the afghan government are in light grey. the bbc�*s secunder kermani reports.
gunfire the taliban have been advancing rapidly across afghanistan. in some areas, under—resourced government forces have surrendered or fled. in others, the insurgents have faced stiff resistance. the group is now in control of around a third of all districts. but afghan officials are vowing to launch a counteroffensive. the afghan security forces, the afghan air force has reorganised itself so they may have abandoned their posts because they ran out of ammunition, they ran out of supplies, but by no means has anyone defected. bagram was america's largest base in afghanistan and is home to high—value prisoners. it has been handed over to afghan forces, as nearly all international troops have been withdrawn from the country. officials here claim they were not even warned when exactly the americans were leaving.
us air strikes had been a key weapon in holding the taliban back. now they are largely stopping. afghan officials are still trying to sound positive. this is war — in a combat, everything is possible. nothing is stable. but the point, the main point, is the people or the government's goal is mentally they don't want taliban, physically they don't want taliban, from the religious type, they don't want the taliban. underlining the pressures on afghan forces, last night neighbouring tajikistan ordered thousands more troops to the border after hundreds of afghan soldiers fled across it in recent days. many fear, come september and the formal deadline for the withdrawal of remaining foreign forces, the taliban's
military offensive will only grow even stronger. secunder kermani, bbc news. at the white house, the press secretary made the case that a us military withdrawal doesn't mean the biden administration is turning its back on afghanistan full—stop. we have every intention of continuing an ongoing presence in kabul which is continuing, even after we bring our military who are serving home by the end of august. that includes security systems, that includes humanitarian assistance and that includes, over the horizon, capacity to ensure that we are working to address any threats that we face. —— security assistance. that will continue and we intend to have a presence on the ground in our embassy there in kabul. for more on this, we're joined by michael o'hanlon from the brookings institution, who has just written about the us withdrawal for usa today.
welcome to the programme. now with the us military withdrawn now 90% complete from afghanistan, what actually can the us government do to help the afghans hold off the taliban? �* , . help the afghans hold off the taliban? v . , help the afghans hold off the taliban? �*, . , ., taliban? it's a very discouraging situation. that _ taliban? it's a very discouraging situation. that said, _ taliban? it's a very discouraging situation. that said, there's - taliban? it's a very discouragingj situation. that said, there's still a lot we can do. it may not be enough but there's a lot to try, starting with funding the afghan security forces. your clip at the beginning talk about how some troops had not had ammunition, etc, or not been paid. that is true in some cases, but the afghan security forces do have ample resources flowing to them now. there's a lot of corruption and mismanagement of those resources which is part of the problem, but i still favour continuing that flow. we know the communist government held on in 1989 after the soviets withdrew for about three years, as long as the aide continued. that's one big piece. the
second equally big piece is western contractors who keep that afghan air force flying, which allows the special forces to move on the battlefield, if there are taliban concentrations or attacks, it allows afghan airpower which is been gradually building up over the years to use fires in the skies against concentrations. those are crucial if cities are to be held by the government. those are two big pieces, not to mention political support from the us which is growing, and certainly within afghanistan. but growing, and certainly within afghanistan.— growing, and certainly within afuhanistan. �* ~ . . ~ ., afghanistan. but michael, afghan forces seem _ afghanistan. but michael, afghan forces seem to _ afghanistan. but michael, afghan forces seem to have _ afghanistan. but michael, afghan forces seem to have really - afghanistan. but michael, afghan forces seem to have really low . forces seem to have really low morale, 1000 were reported to flee yesterday — that's a huge problem, isn't it? yesterday - that's a huge problem, isn't it? , , ., yesterday - that's a huge problem, isn't it? , , . ., , yesterday - that's a huge problem, isn't it? , , ., .,, isn't it? guest, and there was some ha - talk isn't it? guest, and there was some happy talk in _ isn't it? guest, and there was some happy talk in the — isn't it? guest, and there was some happy talk in the afghan _ isn't it? guest, and there was some l happy talk in the afghan spokesman's message at the beginning of your segment, which i'm sure you talked on, as well —— yes. there are undoubtedly afghan forces who are surrendering orfleeing, running surrendering or fleeing, running away surrendering orfleeing, running
away or doing deals with the taliban for their own personal enrichment or what have you. but there are also afghan forces who have been pulled from some of the most remote checkpoints which should never have been maintained in the first place in this kind of a war. and there also places where there could've been a tactical withdrawal, lure the taliban into positions where if they can then get sloppy about how they present themselves, there can be counterattacks. but there are several categories of places where the taliban are growing in control and influence. and in some of those places, there may be options for the afghan military to retaliate, or it mayjust be afghan military to retaliate, or it may just be a afghan military to retaliate, or it mayjust be a place that's left conceited in the grand scheme of things. i don't see those pull—backs is equally concerning, but there are some that don't reflect well on the state of play. just some that don't reflect well on the state of play-— state of play. just briefly, the taliban, are _ state of play. just briefly, the taliban, are they _ state of play. just briefly, the taliban, are theyjust - state of play. just briefly, the taliban, are theyjust as - state of play. just briefly, the | taliban, are theyjust as brutal state of play. just briefly, the . taliban, are theyjust as brutal in 2021 as they were in 2000? i don't see a lot of —
2021 as they were in 2000? i don't see a lot of progress, _ 2021 as they were in 2000? i don't see a lot of progress, laura. - 2021 as they were in 2000? i don't see a lot of progress, laura. i - 2021 as they were in 2000? i don't| see a lot of progress, laura. i hope that some parts will be more apt to want to work with an outside community of donors to keep the aid flowing, if they take power. but i'm not sure they'll take power nationwide anytime soon, it'll be a lot of violence and we will see their true stripes in the process of their true stripes in the process of the coming months.— their true stripes in the process of the coming months. michael, thanks so much for — the coming months. michael, thanks so much for being _ the coming months. michael, thanks so much for being with _ the coming months. michael, thanks so much for being with us. _ the coming months. michael, thanks so much for being with us. thank- the coming months. michael, thanks| so much for being with us. thank you very much. — so much for being with us. thank you very much. laura- — in nigeria, local authorities have ordered the closure of 13 schools following two mass kidnappings in less than 2a hours. 140 children were taken from a baptist school — and there's also been the kidnapping of nurses and babies from a local hospital. our nigeria correspondent mayenijones reports. unspea kable grief. it's a scene that's become all too common in nigeria. —— these are scenes. these parents are victims of a kidnapping crisis that
is rocking the country. gunmen attacked the bethel baptist high school in southern kaduna just before 2am on monday. they gained access to the campus by breaching a back wall. as the news broke, parents headed to the school. this is been going on! the government has failed us! we stand in one voice, we condemn whatever happened and we will protest, but continue to protest until our our children are brought back! judhh judith loves reading, she loves people — judith loves reading, she loves pe0ple. she's— judith loves reading, she loves people. she's this _ judith loves reading, she loves people. she's this kind - judith loves reading, she loves people. she's this kind of- judith loves reading, she loves . people. she's this kind of person that loves— people. she's this kind of person that loves putting _ people. she's this kind of person that loves putting a _ people. she's this kind of person that loves putting a smile - people. she's this kind of person that loves putting a smile on- people. she's this kind of person i that loves putting a smile on people cosmic_ that loves putting a smile on people cosmic faces — that loves putting a smile on people cosmic faces. yesterday _ that loves putting a smile on people cosmic faces. yesterday i _ that loves putting a smile on people cosmic faces. yesterday i was - that loves putting a smile on people cosmic faces. yesterday i was so - cosmic faces. yesterday i was so cold, _ cosmic faces. yesterday i was so cold, i_ cosmic faces. yesterday i was so cold, i had — cosmic faces. yesterday i was so cold, i had to— cosmic faces. yesterday i was so cold, i had to draw— cosmic faces. yesterday i was so cold, i had to draw a _ cosmic faces. yesterday i was so cold, i had to draw a blanket - cosmic faces. yesterday i was sol cold, i had to draw a blanket over to my— cold, i had to draw a blanket over to my body — cold, i had to draw a blanket over to my body. but _ cold, i had to draw a blanket over to my body. but i_ cold, i had to draw a blanket over to my body. but i was _ cold, i had to draw a blanket over to my body. but i was thinking, . cold, i had to draw a blanket over. to my body. but i was thinking, what if i'm~~ _ to my body. but i was thinking, what if i'm~~ is_ to my body. but i was thinking, what if i'm~~ is she— to my body. but i was thinking, what if i'm... is she eating? _ to my body. but i was thinking, what if i'm... is she eating? how- to my body. but i was thinking, what if i'm... is she eating? how is - to my body. but i was thinking, what if i'm... is she eating? how is she i if i'm... is she eating? how is she feeling _ if i'm... is she eating? how is she feeling right— if i'm... is she eating? how is she feeling right now? _ if i'm... is she eating? how is she feeling right now? is— if i'm... is she eating? how is she feeling right now? is she - if i'm... is she eating? how is she feeling right now? is she crying? i if i'm... is she eating? how is she l feeling right now? is she crying? as
a mother, _ feeling right now? is she crying? as a mother, so— feeling right now? is she crying? as a mother, so many— feeling right now? is she crying? as a mother, so many thoughts- feeling right now? is she crying? as a mother, so many thoughts came i feeling right now? is she crying? as i a mother, so many thoughts came into my mind _ a mother, so many thoughts came into m mind. , ., , ., ., my mind. this time in a hospital, a one-year-old _ my mind. this time in a hospital, a one-year-old baby _ my mind. this time in a hospital, a one-year-old baby was _ my mind. this time in a hospital, a one-year-old baby was amongst i my mind. this time in a hospital, a - one-year-old baby was amongst those one—year—old baby was amongst those of ducted. nigeria is in deep economic turmoil. unemployment has quadrupled in the last five years. criminals with nojob prospects have found a lucrative industry in kidnapping for ransom. and the state is already stretched thin fighting boko haram in the north—east. if the twin crises of inequality... mayenijones, bbc news. the uk government is going to ease covid restrictions in england, despite saying that daily cases could reach 100,000 this summer. from 16 august, people who are fully vaccinated will no longer have
to self—isolate if they come into contact with an infected person. but as infections are rising due to the delta variant, the policy is coming under question. here's our health editor, hugh pym. getting pinged. the nhs covid app alerting people they've been in contact with someone who tested positive and telling them to self—isolate for up to ten days. that will come to an end in england in mid—august for those who are double jabbed. whether elected by the app or test and trace officials, they'll simply be asked to get tested. secretary of state. the health secretary told mps it was part of the move towards more normal everyday life. step by step, jab byjab, we're replacing the temporary protection of the restrictions with the long—term protection of the vaccine. so we can restore the freedoms which we cherish, and the experiences that mean so much to us all. the latest numbers show nearly 29,000 daily reported cases and more
than 400 patients admitted to hospital on monday. the government predicts 50,000 cases a day by 19july, and then, 100,000 a day possibly in august. one key member of a government advisory committee says predicting future hospital numbers is difficult, but he's not concerned at this stage. i am, let's say, moderately optimistic that we will keep hospitalisations and deaths at manageable, relatively low levels. there are risks, though. but, with covid patient numbers set to rise further, there are fears that hospitals will come under renewed pressure and, again, have to postpone non—urgent operations. the governments in wales and northern ireland have yet to unveil their plans. scottish ministers say they're on track to lift remaining restrictions next month. hugh pym, bbc news.
meanwhile here in the us, president biden has appealed for unvaccinated americans to get the covid jab. that comes after his administration fell just short of a goal of 70% of american adults receiving at least one dose by thejuly fourth holiday. mr biden said his team would literally go "knocking on doors" to get people vaccinated, if need be. ourfight against this virus is not over. right now, as i speak to you, millions of americans are still unvaccinated and unprotected. because of that, their communities are at risk. their friends are at rest, the people they care about are at risk. —— are at risk. this is an even bigger concern because of the delta variant. in today's briefing, we discussed how the delta variant has already been responsible for half of all cases in many parts of this country. mr biden went on to say that getting vaccinated is the "patriotic thing to do". in other news... new york's governor andrew cuomo has declared a state of emergency following a surge in gun violence there.
the move will enable the state to access funds and resources in cities where shootings are on the increase. the announcement comes as new york and many other parts of the country are seeing a big increase in gun violence. officials in florida say the death—toll from the apartment building collapse in miami has risen by four. 32 people are now confirmed dead, with over 100 still missing. workers are bracing for the bad weather from tropical storm elsa, which will likely hurt further search efforts. an inuit leader, mary simon, will be the next governor—general of canada — she'll be the representative of the head of state, queen elizabeth. it's the first time an indigenous person has held the role. although it's largely a ceremonial position, the governor general serves as commander—in—chief of the canadian armed forces and represents canada in events at home and abroad. europe often sees a spike in migrants during the summer months, as people use the warmer weather to travel in
search of a better life. now, in a strange twist, belarus appears to be encouraging migrants who've arrived there from the middle east to cross over into neighbouring lithuania. so far this year, the numbers crossing are ten times more than they were in the whole of 2020. sara monetta has more. the white specks on the screen are a group of iraqi men, illegally crossing from belarus into lithuania. in the past few weeks, more and more have reached european union in this way. a new migrant route that caught the tiny baltic country completely by surprise. translation: each day, we are detaining around | 150 illegal migrants, we have never seen such numbers before. on average, lithuania welcomes around 70 migrants in a year. in the past month alone, they have received more than 1,200 people. the government says it is no coincidence. translation: today, | lithuania is experiencing
an unprecedented migratory pressure. we witness how the regime of belarus is using migration as a tool of political manipulation. authorities believe that belarus state airline is flying migrants from baghdad and istanbul to the belarusian capital minsk. from there, people can easily make their way to the lithuanian border. translation: it is not difficult to understand a certain link- between the sanctions that the eu has applied in belarus and the actions that lukashenko is taking across the border. the eu imposed the sanctions on belarus after a ryanairflight was forced to land in minsk so that authorities could arrest the dissidentjournalist roman protasevich. in retaliation, the long—time belarusian leader alexander lukashenko said his border guards would no longer stop migrants from crossing into the eu. down at the border,
it's full emergency, you're watching bbc world news america. still to come on tonight's programme: the french riviera is ready for its close—up, as the cannes film festival is back in action after covid. tonight's the opening ceremony, and we'll be live from the scene. the arrest of south africa's former president may be getting closer. a court ruled last week that jacob zuma should go to jail by midnight on wednesday. nomsa maseko has more. the order for mr zuma to be arrested by wednesday at midnight, if he does not himself over to prison authorities, still stands. and the court today has not given a counter order for mr zuma not to be arrested, because the court case has now only been postponed. his supporters had said they were standing guard to ensure that mr zuma does not get arrested. so it is widely expected that his supporters will do the same —
and, infact, mrzuma himself, when he was addressing hundreds of his supporters sunday afternoon, said it would've been a messy confrontation if police officers had dared to arrest him. so all eyes will be back in kwazulu—natal tomorrow to find out if indeed the former president will be arrested. it's opening night for one of the biggest events in the world of cinema. yes, the red carpet is out, and the cannes film festival has begun in the south of france. it was cancelled in 2020 due to covid, and delayed by two months this year. joining us now from cannes is the bbc�*s tom brook. so tom, if cannes is back, does this mean that sentiment itself is back?
—— cinema itself? mean that sentiment itself is back? -- cinema itself?— mean that sentiment itself is back? -- cinema itself? well cannes might be back and — -- cinema itself? well cannes might be back and that's _ -- cinema itself? well cannes might be back and that's a _ -- cinema itself? well cannes might be back and that's a big _ be back and that's a big psychological boost to the film industry ecosystem, but it doesn't necessarily mean everything is ok now. because over the next 12 days of the festival, at least 2a films will be unveiled — films in competition at cannes, that's the heart of the festival, in this building behind me. they may do well at the festival, but they've got to go out and find distribution deals, and they need to get exhibition, they need to be played in cinemas. and that infrastructure isn't yet up and running around the world, it depends on where you live. in the us, ithink depends on where you live. in the us, i think about 80% of cinema screens are operational, but that's not the case for a lot of places. so it's still uncertain times. ﬁnd not the case for a lot of places. so it's still uncertain times. and tom, ou 'ust it's still uncertain times. and tom, you just been _ it's still uncertain times. and tom, you just been to — it's still uncertain times. and tom, you just been to a _ it's still uncertain times. and tom, you just been to a screening, - it's still uncertain times. and tom, | you just been to a screening, which movies are generating buzz? i got
you just been to a screening, which movies are generating buzz? i got up at the crack — movies are generating buzz? i got up at the crack of _ movies are generating buzz? i got up at the crack of dawn _ movies are generating buzz? i got up at the crack of dawn today _ movies are generating buzz? i got up at the crack of dawn today to - movies are generating buzz? i got up at the crack of dawn today to go - movies are generating buzz? i got up at the crack of dawn today to go to i at the crack of dawn today to go to at the crack of dawn today to go to a press screening of annette, the opening night film which opened here just a couple of hours to go. it's an operatic musical, very ambitious film, it has movie stars, the french actress mary on cotillard, the hollywood figure adam driver, and it was quite fantastical at moments — a bit tedious at times, but a good film to open with. it was directed by a man who has really a strong connection to the french new wave, very influenced byjean—luc good art, and the french new wave defined cannes in the 1960s. i like the film a lot but i am looking forward to better things, a lot but i am looking forward to betterthings, i hope. a lot but i am looking forward to better things, i hope.- a lot but i am looking forward to better things, i hope. speaking of better things, i hope. speaking of better things. _ better things, i hope. speaking of better things, like _ better things, i hope. speaking of better things, like when - better things, i hope. speaking of better things, like when it's - better things, i hope. speaking ofj better things, like when it's about glamour as much as movies. is the glamour as much as movies. is the glamour back, as well? —— cannes is about glamour. it
glamour back, as well? -- cannes is about glamour-— about glamour. it depends on where ou look. about glamour. it depends on where you look- when _ about glamour. it depends on where you look. when i _ about glamour. it depends on where you look. when i arrived _ about glamour. it depends on where you look. when i arrived here, - about glamour. it depends on where you look. when i arrived here, my . you look. when i arrived here, my first encounter with cannes was a hospital tent where i had to get a covid test, we are being tested every 48 hours for good reasons. but a very strange site because they were collecting it by way of our saliva, so that had very little to do with french glamour. on the walkway tonight just do with french glamour. on the walkway tonightjust on the street level behind where i'm standing, there was some glamour, but things are a bit toned it down this year. cannes is usually bold and brassy, but people are aware of the times in which we are living. covid is having an impact on the festival, but we hope there is strong at cinema in the offering. brute hope there is strong at cinema in the offering-— hope there is strong at cinema in the offering. we certainly do, and tom, the offering. we certainly do, and tom. how — the offering. we certainly do, and tom. how are _ the offering. we certainly do, and tom, how are film-makers - tom, how are film—makers acknowledging the pandemic in their work? ~ ,., ., , work? well some of them in very interesting _ work? well some of them in very interesting ways. _ work? well some of them in very interesting ways. there's - work? well some of them in very interesting ways. there's a - work? well some of them in very| interesting ways. there's a movie called the year of the everlasting
storm where it seven esteemed film—makers have made films under lockdown conditions in a way that really shows off their film—making skills. in other ways, there's a film coming up has a strong theme of rebirth, which is something nice for us all to embrace at this particular moment in time.— damien hirst shocked and excited the art world with his daring works, like the shark in formaldehyde. now, after spending lockdown in front of a canvas, he's softened his tone. no more diamonds in skulls — now it's oil paintings of cherry blossom. the paris show has been delayed twice because of covid, and finally opened today. our paris correspondent lucy williamson got a sneak preview. as shocking as a dead animal or a diamond studded skull in the eyes of the artist. as much about life and death. damien hirst has been painting cherry trees, dozens upon dozens of them,
all the way through the pandemic. much of it alone, without his team of assistants, thanks to covid restrictions. itjust became a really solitary thing, making art, which i've never really got it to that point except when i was very young. so it was quite nice to do that, and then trying to find some positivity in all the negativity and all the anxiety that everybody is feeling. in the beginning i was really anxious, but it's funny that in that anxiety, i made these paintings that are really positive. the canvases got larger in lockdown, he says. leaves appeared and shifts in perspective gave more gravity to the trees. i rememberjohn lennon once said, somebody said to him, why did he cut his hair in the 70s? and he said, "well, what else would you do after you have grown it?" it kind of feels something like that, i always just try to keep reinventing myself. erm, yeah. my mum used to say to me, "there's enough horror in the world,
can't you just paint flowers?" maybe she got to me eventually. flowers that are in his words garish, messy, almost tacky. "someone who saw them the other day asked me if i was in love," hirst told me, "but i hope they're more psychotic than that". lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. i think his mum was definitely right about the flowers. and before we go tonight — water slides are a staple of the american summer. and it turns out, even baby elephants in china like tojoin in the fun. look at this from a rescue centre in china's yunnan province. this playful elephant, yee shwang, enjoyed herself on a muddy hill slide. the ground was wet and slippery after rainfall, and she knelt down — and slid all the way down. the internet noticed, and the footage caught fire. yee shwang is officially an endangered elephant, with a sense of fun which also deserves protection. she's a bit big for my water slide, though.
i'm laura trevelyan. thank you for watching world news america. well, i think the weather's going to be a little bit better tomorrow. certainly quite a few showers around today, and earlier on some really quite heavy rain with strong winds in southern areas of the uk. tomorrow, we'll see more blue sky. but at the moment, we're still in the wake of this low pressure which swept across the country earlier on. you can see a big dip in the jet stream here. and within this dip, we've got that showery weather that's in place over us right now. so through the course of this evening and overnight, still scattered showers across the country. you can see the low pressure centred just to the east of scotland there, so for a time, in some areas here, there will be more persistent rain. but plenty of clear spells in places, too. temperatures of around 1a in liverpool. we'll match that in cardiff as well,
so it's not a cold night. and then tomorrow, the low pressure's actually quite slow moving. that means that it's not taking its weather with it. there is high pressure trying to build here from the south, but we're still really under the influence of that low. i know it's quite far away, it's closer to norway than it is to us, but it's still overall driving the weather pattern across the uk. so scattered showers, but blue sky in between too. the winds are going to be lighter. all of that combined means that the temperatures will be around 21 in london, 21 in glasgow. it is going to feel a little bit warmer. still a shower chance, though, i think, in wimbledon, and the same goes for the football. the following day might actually be a little bit drier. in fact, thursday right across the country is looking better. we're still expecting showers dotted around almost anywhere, but i think plenty of sunny spells as well. the winds will be relatively light, so temperatures again getting into the low 20s across many southern and central areas of the uk.
now, through the weekend, friday into saturday, we'll see i think a little weather front moving across the south of the country, so that means we are expecting perhaps a few spits and spots of rain. but before that happens, you can see showers building across some parts of the uk on friday. but again, plenty of sunny spells in between, temperatures in the sunshine getting to around 20 or 23 celsius. so here's the outlook for the next few days. a little bit disappointing as far as the temperatures go — maybe only around 17 in aberdeen, but in the south, no higher than 22. bye— bye.
this is bbc news with ben brown. the headlines: the uk government has signalled a further easing of coronavirus restrictions in england. the health secretary, sajid javid, said people who've had two vaccines will no longer have to self—isolate if they come into contact with a positive case. president biden has again appealed for americans to get the covid jab. it comes after his administration felljust short of its target of 70% of us adults receiving at least one dose by the july 11th holiday. the united states has confirmed that its military withdrawal from afghanistan is now more than 90% complete. the taliban, meanwhile, says it has captured another ten districts from the government. we still don't know the first finalist at euro 2020. italy and spain has finished 1—1 after extra time.