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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 16, 2021 4:00am-4:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news, i'm ben boulos. our top stories: go, go, go, go! flash floods kill at least 70 people in western europe. thousands across germany, the netherlands and belgium have been forced to leave their homes with more heavy rain on the way. lebanon's prime minister designate gives up on trying to form a government, there are protests on the streets as the country's crisis deepens. we speak to survivors of abuse at the canadian schools recently found to have buried indigenous children in unmarked graves. we never talked about it, no. just kept silent. because we were afraid.
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and as japan struggles to host tokyo 2020, we have a special report on the small towns trying to keep the olympics excitement burning. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. the sheer scale of the flooding disaster that's hit western germany and parts of belgium and the netherlands is only now becoming clear. at least 70 people are believed to have died and many others have lost their homes. the german chancellor angela merkel called it a catastrophe and linked the events in the region to climate change. our europe correspondentjenny hill reports from one of the worst hit areas
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in western germany. there was, many here told us, no warning. homes destroyed, lives lost, in a matter of minutes. the water ripped up the roads, tossed cars aside like toys. we met margaretta just as she arrived back in the village of schuld. she and herfamily fled last night. "at the very last minute," she says, "a fireman got us out. the family are safe, though her son was injured. he's in hospital. margaretta points out what once was her neighbours�* house, but says she doesn't know what happened to them. as to her own property, half the house has gone, her daughter tells us. it's been a devastating 2a hours for west germany, but for belgium and the netherlands, too. rooftop rescues, people dragged to safety — the water, a deadly torrent, destroying houses and engulfing neighbourhoods. smashing homes,
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like matchboxes. almost 60 people have died in west germany alone, others are still missing. armin laschet, who may succeed angela merkel as germany's next chancellor, said there was no doubt this was the result of climate change. translation: we will be | confronted with such events again and again, and this means that we need more speed in climate protection measures — european, nationwide, worldwide. in schuld, they're still in shock. michal and his friend had just finished refurbishing their pub. they were supposed to open on saturday. translation: it's i unreal, unbelievable. i still can't take in what i'm seeing here. unbelievable. better news for their neighbour's
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dog, whom they managed to pull to safety, just in time last night. it's hard to imagine that just yesterday this was a quiet village street. what's worrying people now is that there's more rain forecast this evening. what will happen, they are asking, when the water levels rise again? for now, homeless and fearful, they mourn their dead and wait, anxiously. jenny hill, bbc news, schuld. the sheer ferocity of the downpours has many in germany, including the government, blaming climate change. so what are the facts, and is this storm connected to another in london earlier this week? bbc�*s weather's darren bett explains. it's all linked to the same system. now, let me show you the radar picture for yesterday, you can see how the rain just developed and stopped in the same place. across some western parts of germany, there was three months worth of the rain
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in just 2a hours, hardly surprising we've had these devastating floods. it is linked to thejetstream, that was the pattern, very undulating jetstream, you are left with a slow—moving cut—off area of low pressure across germany which just developed the rain and kept it going. that area low pressure also tapped in to some temperature contrasts that we have seen across europe, drawing in some really warm and muggy air from the mediterranean. now to the climate question. simple physics says that warmer air is going to hold more moisture, hence more rain and we are likely to find more extreme rainfall events. interestingly, the climate scientists are also studying the impact of climate change on the jet stream. does it make it more undulating? does it slow the weather down and allow these extreme events to develop? which links us back notjust to the rain that we have seen in western europe but to the heatwave that we had in the north—west, in north—western parts of the united states and canada. for more on this i've been speaking to sweta chakraborty — a behavioural scientist and climate change expert at the washington based think
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tank, the atlantic council. this is exactly what we would expect to happen with the planet warming as rapidly as it is, so we know that more extreme weather events are going to occur more frequently, more simultaneously and be more intense than ever before. we have a warmer atmosphere that holds more moisture and these, this moisture is released in the form of heavy precipitation like rainfall or snow and usually you would have atmosphere currents moving these weather systems along but also with the planet warming you have jet streams that have gone awry and so these extreme weather events are actually staying still, so heavy amounts of precipitation are being dumped and not actually moving along so the relief is not coming fast enough either. so this is unfortunately exactly what we expect to see happen as the global temperature warms. all of these different events are connected, this is how weather and our atmosphere works together and so we are seeing these types of things in europe and the united states
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and all over the world. there will some sceptics who will say that if a warming climate holds more moisture, how can people then blame that for other extreme weather as we have seen, say, in the united states with the heat waves, the forest fires. are they connected or are there different causes for these different extreme weather patterns? there is definitely a relationship across all of these even if they don't seem related. again, it's that extreme weather. because the planet is warming you have longer spring and summer seasons in the united states which means snowfall doesn't melt as fast, sorry, it melts but it doesn't actually relieve the droughts that are going on because there is less snow and also generally because there is less precipitation coming to parts of the planet that would experience it more regularly because those precipitation events are becoming more extreme and staying in random pockets of the planet and so that's why we are experiencing in the south—west of the united states a mega drought and increased wildfires because all of these conditions together are creating more ignition events that are lasting all year round. these are actually very connected for the reasons i described.
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we are talking about more extreme events that are happening simultaneously regardless of what actual form of an impact of climate change we are seeing. and the scientific consensus is that a lot of this is down to human behaviour and the impact that we are having on the climate through our activities. i just wonder, with your behavioural scientist hat on, in terms of the human impact it is having, we often hear about food scarcity, people having to leave areas that become uninhabitable, are we seeing those effects of climate change yet? well, we can become really proactive because we know exactly what is coming our way, we are already in the midst of it all kicking off so we are slowly going to see increased migrations of people away from vulnerable areas and most people when they
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migrate stay within their country but if certain countries are no longer habitable, like barrier islands around the world, the maldives for example, we can imagine that populations are going to have to cross borders more regularly. and so yes, we are in the beginning of it now and for us as humans to be able to proactively prepare for this, to adapt to this and to stave off the worst—case scenarios of it, we need to very aggressively ask those who are in power to make more difficult decisions that might not be politically expedient but that are really necessary to stave off those worst—case scenarios. germany, with all of its efforts, is still 18 years away from closing its last coal plant an a decade still after that from closing natural gas completely so there is a long way to go but the urgency is ever more clear as we are seeing these impacts happen globally all around. as we heard, germany's
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chancellor angela merkel has called the floods in a her country a disaster. mrs merkel has been in washington for the last time before she leaves office. since coming to power in 2005 mrs merkel has met and worked with four different us presidents. for more on us relations under chancellor merkel�*s leadership i've been speaking to jeffrey rathke, president of the american institute for contemporary german studies atjohns hopkins university. president biden, in their press availability today made the remark that friends sometimes disagree. and i think that is the way that the united states and germany are trying to characterise their relationship now. it is a productive forward—looking partnership without agreement in every single area but i think climate is emerging as one where the biden administration views are much more closely aligned with those of the german government, than has been the case, certainly under the trump administration. we often talk about and we often hear about the special relationship between the us and the united kingdom but given germany's key role
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as one of the leading nations in the european union, how important is that relationship? is there an equivalent special relationship between the us and germany? it's a bit different from the relationship with the uk but i would argue that germany is the most important country in europe when it comes to the agenda that the biden administration has begun to lay out in its first six months in office, and i think you see as well with the issuance of a formal statement which they are calling the washington declaration, that germany and the united states go to great lengths to emphasise the shared values and the shared principles on which they will try to approach some of the most thorny problems that they face worldwide, whether that is trade and the role of china or issues that relate to democratisation and populism. and they do have some common challenges that they share, notably russian influence and aggression, and the way
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they handle china. how important has that been in the way that angela merkel has worked with different us presidents on those challenges? well, there was a famously frosty relationship between president trump and chancellor merkel, but even despite that friction, there was an effort, certainly by the chancellor, to promote constructive cooperation wherever possible. if we look at issues that relate to russia, there have been some persistent disagreements, a lot of them centre around the nord stream 2 pipeline which also came up today and an issue that still hasn't been fully resolved, but if we look at china, i think what you see
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is the german view of china as a competitor and as a challenger, coming closer to that in washington, it is really bipartisan view in washington, i would add. that was jeffrey rathke from thejohns hopkins university speaking to me a short time ago. 25,000 troops are being deployed by south africa after days of looting and violence which have led to the deaths of at least 117 people. the clashes were sparked initially by the jailing of the former president, jacob zuma, who had refused to appear at a corruption inquiry. but in recent days it has turned into a protest about unemployment and poverty. the country has seen some of the worst violence in years with the fiercest clashes injohannesburg and durban. the lebanese politician saad hariri has given up his efforts to form a government, nine months after he was designated prime minister. he said it was clear he would not be able to reach
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agreement with president michel aoun after the two men held a brief meeting. the bbc�*s tim allman has the details. for far too long now this is how politics in lebanon tends to play out. crowds of protesters clashing with security forces in beirut. a country without proper government, deep in recession, and descending further into chaos. "i can't feed my children," said this man. "who will feed them? which leader? they should be ashamed. we are dying of hunger." "the country is burning," said this man. "there's no milk, no medicine, no fuel, no food. the poor can't even afford pasta and yoghurt. where are we heading? we're dead either way." the latest outburst of violence, prompted by an unsuccessful meeting between these two men, lebanon's president michel aoun and saad hariri, the man tasked with forming a new administration. for months they have
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failed to reach agreement, unable to decide upon a potential cabinet in a deeply divided and sectarian country. now those talks have been abandoned. mr hariri telling lebanese television divisions had to be left behind. translation: l have paid | a price because i talked with hezbollah. i believe in talking with hezbollah. i'm one of those who paid a price when there was conflict between sunni and shi'ite. i'm a believer in dialogue. president aoun criticised mr hariri, saying he wasn't prepared to discuss changes of any kind and he will now consult with parliament. more talks, more uncertainty. there's every chance the protests will continue as well. tim allman, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: as japan struggles to host tokyo 2020, we have a special report on the small towns where the olympics won't be overshadowed.
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after months of talks and missed deadlines, a deal has been struck to keep greece within the euro zone. the immediate prospect of greece going bust in the worst crisis to hit the euro zone has been averted. emergency services across central europe are stepping up their efforts to contain the worst floods this century. nearly 100 people have been killed. broadway is traditionally called the great white way by americans, but tonight, it's completely blacked out. it's a timely reminder to all americans of the problems that the energy crisis has brought to them. leaders meet in paris for a summit on pollution, inflation and third world debt. this morning, theyjoined the revolution celebrations for a show of military might on the champs—elysees. wildlife officials in australia have been coping with a penguin problem. fairy penguins have been staggering ashore and collapsing
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after gorging themselves on their favourite food, pilchards. some had eaten so much, they could barely stand. this is bbc world news, the latest headlines. flash floods kill at least seventy people in western europe. thousands across germany, the netherlands and belgium have been forced to leave their homes with more heavy rain on the way. lebanon's prime minister designate gives up on trying to form a government, there are protests on the streets as the country's crisis deepens. nearly two months ago an indigenous community in the canadian province of british colombia announced it had discovered the buried remains of an estimated 215 children on the grounds of a former residential school. there have been several
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similar grim discoveries in recent weeks and they have re—focused attention on the brutal legacy of canada's residential school system. the bbc�*s barbara plett usher has visited the province of saskatchewan to find out more. for decades, the sight of the school filled indigenous children with fear and dread. today, it is a reminder of a dark period in canadian history. dark period in canadian history-— dark period in canadian histo . ,, , ., history. six years old, i was imprisoned _ history. six years old, i was imprisoned here. _ history. six years old, i was imprisoned here. if- history. six years old, i was imprisoned here. if man - history. six years old, i was| imprisoned here. if man and three of his _ imprisoned here. if man and three of his brothers - imprisoned here. if man and three of his brothers were i three of his brothers were students in the late 1970s and he remembers strict rules and harsh punishments. around 150,000 indigenous children were sent to such schools, cutting them off from families, traditions and language. it was a government programme but often run by the church. cultural genocide is what an official commission called in
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2015. what happened when he spoke a language here? i got hit, i spoke a language here? i got hit. i got _ spoke a language here? i got hit. i got hit _ spoke a language here? i got hit, i got hit like _ spoke a language here? i got hit, i got hit like everyone . hit, i got hit like everyone else to speak the language. we got called names, bad names, dirty little savages. i a number of unmarked graves were found here before the recent discoveries, stories of such graves were common amongst the students. the son of a survivor and he told me that his dad buried a kid over there, just over those hills. its, buried a kid over there, 'ust over those hillsi buried a kid over there, 'ust over those hills. a child from the school? _ over those hills. a child from the school? a _ over those hills. a child from the school? a child - over those hills. a child from the school? a child from - over those hills. a child from the school? a child from the | the school? a child from the school. the school? a child from the school- he _ the school? a child from the school. he buried _ the school? a child from the school. he buried a - the school? a child from the school. he buried a child - the school? a child from the | school. he buried a child over their. , ., their. the findings from researchers _ their. the findings from researchers that - their. the findings from - researchers that residential schools have renewed calls for justice and opened old wounds. at the northern city of prince albert, survivors are reliving the trauma, talking about it openly like never before. that openly like never before. at least we know now what happened to the _ least we know now what happened to the students that did not return— to the students that did not return to _ to the students that did not
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return to school. they also did not return _ return to school. they also did not return home. we never talked — not return home. we never talked about it.— talked about it. you never talked about it. you never talked about _ talked about it. you never talked about it? _ talked about it. you never talked about it? we - talked about it. you never talked about it? we never talked about it? we never talked about _ talked about it? we never talked about it, _ talked about it? we never talked about it, no. - talked about it? we never talked about it, no. just i talked about it? we never i talked about it, no. just kept silent — talked about it, no. just kept silent. because we were afraid. indigenous leaders have finally begun to get government support forfurther begun to get government support for further graves begun to get government support forfurther graves urges begun to get government support for further graves urges but they are also demanding accountability, access to archives and an apology from the pope, even an international investigation. it the pope, even an international investigation.— investigation. it was a crime auainst investigation. it was a crime against humanity, _ investigation. it was a crime against humanity, a - investigation. it was a crime against humanity, a crime i against humanity, a crime against humanity, a crime against children that no—one ever go through. there was torture, abuse and death in those institutions. and someone, somewhere must face the consequences.— someone, somewhere must face the consequences. some catholic bisho -s in the consequences. some catholic bishops in saskatchewan - the consequences. some catholic bishops in saskatchewan also - bishops in saskatchewan also want the vatican to act but
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stressed that apologies are not enough. pt. stressed that apologies are not enou:h. �* , , , ., ., , enough. a big step towards reconciliation _ enough. a big step towards reconciliation is _ enough. a big step towards reconciliation is a _ enough. a big step towards reconciliation is a new- reconciliation is a new understanding of our history in this country. we are talking about the deepest historical wound in this country, and if it is complicated and messy to address it today, it is because the wound is deep and profound and has never been dealt with well. fist and has never been dealt with well. �* ., ., , ., well. at another residential school site _ well. at another residential school site in _ well. at another residential school site in the _ well. at another residential school site in the province, | school site in the province, that history is now painfully visible, marked out grade bygrave. momentum is gathering to search for the truth across canada. —— grave by grave. in the netherlands there's been tributes to the investigative journalist peter r de vries, after he died in hospital. flowers have been left at the spot where the 64—year—old was shot last week. dutch prime minister mark rutte said the veteran journalist was afraid of nothing and no—one.
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next week, the olympics is due to open, tokyo is back under a covid state of emergency. in the capital, enthusiasm for the games is hard to find. but in some small towns there is still excitement , especially among those acting as the adopted home for foreign 0lympics teams. 0ur correspondent rupert wingfield hayes has been to murayama in northern japan as they prepare to welcome the bulgarian rhythmic gymnastics team. not many japanese kids are lucky enough to have a former international gymnast as their teacher, and not just any gymnast. antoaneta vitale was once a world—class rhythmic gymnast competing for bulgaria. but for the last two years, she's been teaching here in the mountains of northern japan. for me, was really like a dream come true to experience to come here to a place i already love and to work with gymnastics.
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that was my childhood. i was growing up in gymnastics, so this is my passion. five years ago, murayama invited the bulgarian women's gymnastics team to make this place their 0lympic hometown. but that was before covid. this hotel manager shows me the route the bulgarian team will now have to take to get back to their rooms. ok, so there's a screen here, can't go any further. at every stage, the team members will have to be kept separate from other guests. news that two ugandan athletes tested positive for covid after arriving in japan has added to his worries. translation: when i heard about ugandan team, - i was a bit concerned. if we have an athlete infect after they arrive, the infection could spread around the team. that is what i am
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most worried about. murayama is really an exemplar of what the whole 0lympic spirit is supposed to be about. but because of covid, the tremendous enthusiasm here is tempered with anxiety, and that's because places like this in rural japan have lots and lots of old people, and so far, almost no covid infections. that's not going to stop this woman. she is the founder of murayama's bulgarian gymnastics support club. she says she thinks of the team as her adoptive granddaughters, and she can't wait to see them compete. translation: i know there's a lot _ of criticism because of covid, but i really wanted to be in tokyo to see them perform. theirfamilies and friends can't come, so that's why i wanted to be there to make sure the girls know we are all behind them.
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the majority of japanese may still be very sceptical about the games taking place, but here in murayama, there is real excitement as they await the arrival of their bulgarian granddaughters. she chants. rupert wingfield—hayes, bbc news, in yamagata, northern japan. a teenager is to become the youngest person to fly to space when he joins jeff bezos on the first human flight launched by his company, blue origin on 20 july. oliver daemen, who just turned 18, willjoin 82—year—old wally funk, who will become the oldest ever person in space, on the new shepard rocket. orwe go, if or we go, if you are in the northern hemisphere and wanting to go swimming, you may want to give one siberian like a mess. it is mighty chilly, where
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international swimmers plunge into icy waters, with temperatures as low as four celsius. maybe not for me! see you soon. hello there. our sunshine that we see believe it or not is linked to the extreme weather we've seen across other parts of europe. the flooding in germany, for example. it's linked by the jet stream. this is the pattern that we've seen. a very undulating jet stream. it means slow moving weather. we've had low pressure bringing the rain across europe. that low pressure will move eastwards. eventually taking the rain away from germany. high pressure will build in across the uk, bringing dry weather. with the sunshine we had on thursday, temperatures in northern ireland reached 26 degrees, making it the warmest day of the year so far. it's going to be a warm start across belfast,
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temperatures at 16 degrees. we start with cloud across east anglia, but it will break up more readily. it's going to feel warmer. sunshine across england and wales. some patchy cloud developing. there will be spells of sunshine for northern ireland, but across western scotland, more of a breeze and more cloud. sunnier skies and warmer weather for eastern parts of scotland and across england and wales, 26—27 degrees. it'll be a warmer day for the eastern side of england. high pressure in charge in the weekend. around the top of the area of high pressure, winds are coming in from the atlantic. stronger winds in scotland again on saturday, and that will drag in more cloud and a little more drizzle. the cloud in northern ireland will tend to break up and will get sunshine coming in across other parts of scotland. lots of sunshine and light winds across england and wales. temperatures continuing to climb up to around 27 or 28 degrees. temperatures in scotland and northern ireland probably not changing too
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much at this stage. as we head into that second half of the weekend, we'll see more cloud coming down across scotland and northern ireland, perhaps into northern england. a change of air mass which will drop the temperatures. lots of sunshine for the southern half of the uk. temperatures here could reach 29 or 30 degrees. you can see those lower temperatures as you head further north. as we head into the beginning next week, maybe one or two showers. but on the whole, a lot of dry weather once again. but that cooler air in the north will be pushing its way further south.
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this is bbc news,
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the headlines: record rainfall in parts of europe's caused deadly flash floods, claiming at least seventy lives, most of them in germany. thousands of people across the west of the country and in the netherlands and belgium have had to leave their homes, more heavy rain is on the way. lebanon's political and economic crisis has worsened after the prime minister designate quit after nine months trying to form a government. saad hariri's supporters took to the streets after he blamed the country's president saying it was clear the two would not come to an agreement. in western canada, a specialist in ground—penetrating radar says former pupils of a school for indigenous children recall being woken in the night to dig graves. the past few weeks have seen hundreds of such unmarked burial sites discovered at former church—run schools.

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