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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 17, 2021 3:00am-3:31am BST

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welcome to bbc news — i'm mark lobel. our top stories... europe's flooding disaster — with the deathtoll at 120 — rescue teams in germany, belgium and the netherlands search for hundreds of people still missing. president biden slams social media companies for not doing enough to tackle vaccine misinformation. they are killing people. the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. and they are killing people. a policy change in the uk — double vaccinated passengers arriving from france will still have to self—isolate because of a surge in cases of the beta variant. and after days of rioting and looting — south africa's president says efforts to overthrow democracy have failed.
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using the pretext of a political grievance, those behind these acts have sought to provoke a popular insurrection amongst our people. reaching under water depths of 74 reaching under water depths of 7a metres with no fins and without taking a breath. we are joined alive by a new diving world record—holder. welcome to the programme. we start in western europe where hundreds of people remain unaccounted for after some of the worst flooding in decades. 120 people are so far known to have died as record rainfall caused rivers to burst their banks.
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in germany, chancellor angela merkel described the floods there as a catastrophe. torrential rain has also devastated parts of belgium, the netherlands and luxembourg. swollen rivers, including the rhine, the meuse and the arr, have filled towns and villages, destroying homes and leaving many stranded. in the town of erftstadt in germany, whole houses have been submerged and a landslide has demolished parts of the town. our correspondent, jenny hill, spent the day there. the ground just fell away. this is the town of erftstadt, where overnight houses collapsed as the water gushed in. another shock for a country reeling from the enormity of its loss. it happened so fast, one official said, there was no time for a warning. rescuers rushed in, but this morning, the authorities here said people trapped in their homes were calling them for help, and in many cases they just couldn't reach them.
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those who did make it out came to shelters like this. we metjohannes here. he and his wife were winched to safety last night. he arrived barefoot and soaking wet. what were you thinking as they winched you up, i asked. "i had to leave my cat behind," he says. johannes has lived here more than 70 years. there have been floods, he told us, but not like this. translation: you can run i from fire, but not from water. tens of thousands of people still don't have power. and they're on alert. water levels have dropped in some areas, but few here feel safe. you can see how powerful the water is here still, and what's worrying people in this area is thatjust upstream there's a dam. experts say it's unstable. they're still inspecting it, but people think if that dam breaks the water is heading in this direction. and with every hour, news of more deaths. people are still missing.
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with mobile networks down, it's hard to know how many made it to safety. they're desperate for help here. this was a caravan park. how to even begin clearing up? we met the owners, still visibly in shock. translation: indescribable. we've been here since 1979. we've never seen anything like this. if we don't get any help, we'll have to go on benefits. bankrupt. germany, a country famed for its strength, its security, feels vulnerable now. jenny hill, bbc news, erftstadt. beyond germany — the extreme weather has touched parts of the netherlands, luxembourg, switzerland and belgium. our correspondent anna holligan assesses the scene for us, beginning in belgium. homes engulfed, whole villages submerged. parts of liege annihilated
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by the elements. rescuers are still navigating areas to the west, in the town of pepinster. the military was drafted in to assist the stranded on land and by air, and for some it's a desperate wait to find out whether their loved ones made it. translation: my wife | is looking for her mother who lives in a town nearby. we have no means of communication. we don't know where she is or how she's doing. in nearby verviers, the waters have receded, but they're still stunned by the extent of the destruction. translation: this shop has been open for three years. _ we had to go through renovations. we had to live through covid. we were hoping to get back on ourfeet. and now this. in the netherlands, this was roermond. swathes of the city have disappeared. this region has been declared a disaster zone. these are the remnants of businesses in the spa town of valkenburg.
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while the emergency services are busy trying to restore power and secure pavements, the people have come together to try to bring some form of order to these devastated streets. while covid kept them isolated and apart, this crisis has caused a community to come out in solidarity. we need to stay positive. we can cry all day, but this will not help anything, so better smiling, and keep working! the rain has paused, but the threat, here and in towns and cities across europe, isn't over yet. anna holligan, bbc news, valkenburg. there are forecasts for italy and the balkans. for more on the devastating floods in europe
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go to the bbc news website. there are maps to show you the worst—hit areas — and background analysis on why these floods caught everyone by surprise. go to bbc.com/news — and follow the links. let's turn away from the flooding now and in the united states there's a resurgence of coronavirus, with infections rising 70% in the past week. the center for disease control has warned of a pandemic of the unvaccinated. the cdc has shown where there are high infection rates in states with low vaccination levels, pointing to nevada, arkansas, missouri and florida in particular. florida itself — now accounts for a quarter of new infections in the whole of the us. well, president biden has been speaking to reporters and said this about people spreading covid misinformation on social media platforms. they're killing people. i mean, look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. and they're killing people.
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well, earlier i spoke to dr ashwin vasan who's an epidemiologist and president & ceo of mental health charity fountain house. i asked him how damaging he thought these online disinformation campaigns were. vaccine misinformation is not new. we've had it since the beginning of vaccines but what we have now is the democratisation in the worst sense of that word of vaccine misinformation. it's like having a stretch of highway where you are having repeated car crashes, it's not the fault of the authorities for having the highway that's causing the crashes but at some point, the authorities need to step in and ask the question, is there something we can do to regulate the flow of traffic to stem the tide and the same is true in these instances of misinformation. the companies that are building the information highways to spread this information have a responsibility to take a look at what they can do.
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sorry to interrupt, what kind of damage are they causing you? well, we know almost 70% of americans say they have heard at least one vaccine myth, the same amount has been shown that even limited exposure to vaccine misinformation around the covid vaccine can make people less likely to get it and so, you know, this is very damaging and this isn'tjust about reaching some arbitrary vaccine milestone. we are having a resurgence as you rightly said, in states like arkansas with low vaccination rates. they are predicting they are going to be back at peak levels within a few weeks, by august, if they do not stem this tide, we are seeing rises in hospitalisation so it is life and death. and there is a responsibility to step in, we are seeing an increase also in attacks and attacks online and in—person to health workers as a result this misinformation. what kind of messages
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are catching on? you know, the number one post today on facebook was from a republican representative, marjorie taylor green, who said the government is feeding you lies and misinformation about the vaccine, the disease, it's not happening. and that's leading to people believing that and not taking the necessary precautions, whether they be getting vaccinated or taking the necessary precautions like masking. so it's leading to people making the wrong decision not to get vaccinated, losing trust in institutions. what we need to do is not only hold the social media companies responsible as president biden has rightfully pointed out, but we need to invest in trust brokers who can combat this misinformation in communities and our organisation, we vaccinated nearly 70% of one of the hardest to reach communities
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which is people living with chronic mental illness because they trust us, they come to us despite their fears and worries and get unbiased information and science—based information. the white house says 12 people, the disinformation dozen, if you like, are responsible for two thirds of misinformation, that was cited in a report back in march but platforms like facebook say they are a force for good so what should they be doing that they are not doing? you are right. as i said vaccine misinformation was always cordoned off in small corners of society, those 12 people have always been the same 12 people but now they have got the highways and the connective tissue to get that information out widely. they are not even following their own rules in terms of taking down posts and screening posts for outright lies and misinformation and so i think they need to do a little bit better on that front but we also need to double down on investment in communities as i mentioned, in trust brokers and institutions.
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here in the uk, the government is scrapping plans to ease quarantine restrictions for travellers returning from france. it comes as the uk recorded more than 50,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, for the first time since january. on monday, the majority of covid restrictions in england are due to be lifted, but fullyjabbed travellers returning to england and wales from france will still have to self isolate because of concerns vaccines may not work as well over the beta variant. for more on that, here's the travel editor of the independent newspaper, simon calder. just in the past few hours the government has said it is worried about the beaded variant, coming infrom worried about the beaded variant, coming in from france, effectively if you thought you would be coming in from france, from 4am local time next monday morning without quarantine, well you are out of luck. you have to quarantine and this has caused utter dismay, many thousands of travellers had
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actually delayed their trip back because they thought they would avoid quarantine. they are effectively being told, no, as you were, ten days of self isolation when you come back. it's even going to affect people coming back from other countries, if you are in belgium, luxembourg or germany, you are driving, you go through france along the way, without stopping, even opening a window, you will be in line for self isolation. tributes have been paid to the award winning reutersjournalist — danish siddiqui — who was killed reporting on the conflict in southern afghanistan. he'd been embedded with special forces in kandahar. reuters said he was an outstanding journalist and will be remembered as a much loved colleague. the bbc�*s tim allman has more. in southern afghanistan, special forces come under attack. you can hear the gunfire and see damage to their vehicle.
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they are trying to rescue a police officer trapped at a border post. travelling with them, and taking this footage, a photojournalist armed only with his camera. danish siddiqui was chief photographer for the reuters news agency in india. he was on assignment, embedded with afghan troops when he was killed in an ambush. earlier this year, he could be found in the hospitals of delhi, chronicling the covid pandemic in his own country. these images of mass funeral pyres went viral, earning him global recognition. there are technical challenges and emotional challenges, technical challenges as to how to showcase this story in a dignified way, you know, in a way that people are, you don't go too close to it, so that the dignity of the victim or his family is maintained.
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he was also part of the reuters team that won the pulitzer prize in 2018 for its coverage of the rohingya refugee crisis. danish siddiqui understood the power of images, of lives lived and lost. moments of celebration, protest, and sometimes despair. he said he enjoyed most capturing the human face of the breaking story. but in that desire to uncover truth, he has paid the ultimate price. tim allman, bbc news. danish siddiqui — the journalist who was killed in an ambush in afghanistan. this is bbc news. our top story: with 120 deaths so far — the search is on across western europe for hundreds still missing or stranded.
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top climate scientists have said they have failed to predict the floods in germany. so, why is this flooding in europe happening now? it's perhaps no surprise that some politicians in germany are calling for work on climate protection measures to be accelerated — but how is a hotter climate causing record rainfall? 0ur chief environment correspondent, justin rowlatt explains. the floods in germany are not the only extreme weather event we have seen this summer. there was the dramatic heatwave in canada and the western united states last month, and russia, mexico and new zealand have all been experiencing unusually high temperatures. now, the climate science is very clear on this, it has been predicting notjust for years, but for decades, that if we continue to pump huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we will experience increasingly high temperatures, and because warm air holds more moisture, that means heavier rainfall too, and therefore floods. you only have to look at the pictures of these devastating floods to know that we need to do better, and it is not ok for this number of people to die in 2021 from floods.
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the next obvious question is, is the world doing enough to tackle climate change? again, the answer is very clear. it is not. the un says we need to reduce carbon emissions by 7% every year for the next decade if we're going to stand a reasonable chance of staying within what is reckoned to be the safe limit, 1.5 degrees centigrade. now, we did achieve that last year but in the teeth of the pandemic, so the only good outcome from these recent extreme weather events is if it encourages the world to raise its carbon cutting game, when it meets at the landmark climate conference in glasgow in november. justin rowlatt, bbc news. the president of south africa says the violence of the past week in the country was a deliberate and well—planned attack on democracy. cyril ramaphosa also acknowledged that the authorities had been unprepared and slow to deal with the crisis.
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gail maclellan reports. under heavy guard, the president visited a shopping centre, a clean—up operation is ongoing. cyril ramaphosa has ruled out declaring a state of emergency, he says cam has returned or is returning to most of the affected areas. the events of the past week, he says, a deliberate attack on the country �*s democracy. says, a deliberate attack on the country 's democracy. these actions are _ the country 's democracy. these actions are intended _ the country 's democracy. these actions are intended to - the country 's democracy. these actions are intended to cripple l actions are intended to cripple the economy of our country, to cause social instability, and severely weaken or even dislodge the democratic state. the violence sparked by the incorporation of former presidentjacob incorporation of former president jacob zuma incorporation of former presidentjacob zuma spread president jacob zuma spread across presidentjacob zuma spread across the country killing 212 people and causing millions of dollars in damage. the president says the instigators
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had been identified and are under surveillance but they have not been named. he also announced the introduction of social relief measures which some fear it may prove to be inadequate. some fear it may prove to be inadequate-— inadequate. the domestic environment _ inadequate. the domestic environment is _ inadequate. the domestic environment is the - inadequate. the domestic environment is the issue | inadequate. the domestic- environment is the issue here, the poverty levels, unemployment and inequality. the youth unemployment stands close to 50%, that is one in two people unemployed so that the grinding poverty has affected people long before the situation was worsened by a coronavirus and the continuing lockdown, it's a big part of what we have seen.- what we have seen. cyril ramaphosa _ what we have seen. cyril ramaphosa says - what we have seen. cyril ramaphosa says the - what we have seen. cyril ramaphosa says the insurrection has failed because south africans stood up in defence of hard—won democracy. gail maclellan, bbc news. let s get some of the day s other news. a federaljudge has ruled that a programme which protects migrants from deportation — if they came to the united states as children — was illegal. judge andrew hanen said the government should not enrol new applicants in the programme, but that people already covered by it won't be affected until further court rulings.
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more than 600,000 people — known as dreamers — are currently enrolled. the us state department has condemned raids on at least 25 media and rights organisations in belarus over the past four days, including the us—funded "radio liberty". rights groups say the country's leader, alexander lukashenko, is working to eliminate the independent media. hundreds of cuban americans in several cities in florida marched on friday for the fifth day in a row, in support of the thousands of demonstrators in cuba who took to the streets on sunday to protest over food and medicine shortages, price increases and the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. protests are extremely rare in cuba, where opposition to the government is stifled. to the blue waters
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of the bahamas now, where several diving world records have been broken over the last few days at the vertical blue free diving competition. including one by 29 year old alessia zecchini of italy — who set a new record for women's constant—no—fins diving, with a dive time of three minutes and two seconds — to an incredible self propelled depth of 7a metres. the previous record was 72 metres, held byjapanese diver sayuri kinoshita who passed away two years ago. well i am very pleased to say, we are nowjoined live from long island, in the bahamas by alessia zechini. how do you feel? i am so pleased, it was a really special day.— pleased, it was a really secialda . . ~ , ., special day. talk us through it, how did _ special day. talk us through it, how did it _ special day. talk us through it, how did it feel _ special day. talk us through it, how did it feel to - special day. talk us through it, how did it feel to do - special day. talk us through it, how did it feel to do it? i it, how did it feel to do it? how did it pan out? it was a great dive, in that special day, it was the anniversary of one of the best and greatest divers i will ever meet in my
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life and it was amazing, i thought about them all the way, this is one of the hardest disciplines so you are going down without fins and it's amazing, but at the same time it is quite hard. 0n the way down, it was quite beautiful, when ijust down, it was quite beautiful, when i just turned down, it was quite beautiful, when ijust turned i thought i was doing quite well, it was not perfect technique but it was much faster than training and she was with me, and i was close to the service, i gave a kiss to the sea and it was for her, and i was so happy, it was unbelievable, so beautiful. you are describing _ unbelievable, so beautiful. you are describing your best friend, the previous record—holder but passed away a couple of years ago. what do you think she would have made of what happened today? i mean, she could be _ of what happened today? i mean, she could be really _ of what happened today? i mean, she could be really happy, - of what happened today? i mean, she could be really happy, we - she could be really happy, we miss her so much, for us, it's been unbelievable to think she
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is not competing with us. she was so strong, we had an amazing battle in 2018, in the vertical blue, it was amazing. it was great to dive with her, she was so strong, we broke so many records without fins. we miss her so much.— many records without fins. we miss her so much. watching your dive, it's miss her so much. watching your dive. it's not _ miss her so much. watching your dive, it's notjust _ miss her so much. watching your dive, it's notjust the _ miss her so much. watching your dive, it's notjust the fact - dive, it's notjust the fact you are holding your breath for over three minutes but it's all the hard work you put into it and the pressure that you are going for a world record. how does it feel, what is the secret, how do you manage to hold your breath for so long and do all of that? i hold your breath for so long and do all of that?— and do all of that? i started when i was _ and do all of that? i started when i was 13, _ and do all of that? i started when i was 13, it _ and do all of that? i started when i was 13, it is - and do all of that? i started when i was 13, it is more i and do all of that? i started l when i was 13, it is more than 16 years i am doing this. i am quite prepared mentally to do a world record, before the dive, most of the dives, i am quite relaxed. and ijust really focus about my dive and i think about swimming well, enjoying
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my dive as well as i can. this isn't enough _ my dive as well as i can. this isn't enough for _ my dive as well as i can. this isn't enough for you, - my dive as well as i can. this isn't enough for you, you - my dive as well as i can. this isn't enough for you, you have another world record obviously that you are going to attempt soon, what is that?— that you are going to attempt soon, what is that? yes, i will attem -t soon, what is that? yes, i will attempt a _ soon, what is that? yes, i will attempt a world _ soon, what is that? yes, i will attempt a world record, - soon, what is that? yes, i will attempt a world record, 101 i attempt a world record, 101 metres, the last one was in 2019 after the pandemic, it was impossible to compete for two years so i am so excited to dive tomorrow and do my best. what is the attraction of constant no fins diving for someone who has never done it? where does the adrenaline rush come from in this particular type of free diving? it come from in this particular type of free diving?- come from in this particular type of free diving? it is the hardest discipline _ type of free diving? it is the hardest discipline because l type of free diving? it is the i hardest discipline because you are swimming just with your hands and your legs, you can touch the rope just once when you're on the bottom and so you need a good technique and you need a good technique and you need good focus and you need to fill the water more than you can, and enjoy the dive also but it's the hardest one. i
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like the mono fennimore, it's more relaxed!— like the mono fennimore, it's more relaxed! ., ~ . more relaxed! thank you so much for sharing _ more relaxed! thank you so much for sharing your _ more relaxed! thank you so much for sharing your story _ more relaxed! thank you so much for sharing your story with - more relaxed! thank you so much for sharing your story with us - for sharing your story with us and once again, many congratulations.- and once again, many congratulations. and once again, many con . ratulations. ., congratulations. the new world record holder! _ congratulations. the new world record holder! thank _ congratulations. the new world record holder! thank you - congratulations. the new world record holder! thank you so - record holder! thank you so much. a reminder of the top story. more than 120 people have died in flooding in western europe, the strong pictures from a town in germany show the sheer scale of the destruction caused by the flooding and mudslides. 0fficials the flooding and mudslides. officials in the western german district say up to 1300 people are still unaccounted for. phone lines are down in many areas, a very worrying time, as you imagine, in a situation like this for all the relatives of those missing. we will have more on the bbc website on that story, and we will follow it over the next couple of days. reach me on twitter, many of us
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here are on social media. from me and the rest of the team for now, thank you so much for watching. goodbye. hello. a few places got close to 29 degrees on friday, it's likely over the weekend we will get above 30 for the first time this summer. mostly dry with hot sunshine and it is all because of high pressure which is taking up residence right on top of the uk. but notice there is a frontal system to the north, that will provide more cloud, especially across the north—west of scotland. some cloud to start the day across the irish sea coast, england, north wales, quite a lot of cloud for northern ireland and a little bit across the south of england. that will clear quite quickly but some cloud further north and west will be stubborn, staying quite grey, damp and windy for north west scotland, just 17 degrees for stornaway but in the sunshine in aberdeen, highs of 25. the cloud in northern ireland retreating to the coast, 26 inland through the afternoon,
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murky for some irish sea coast of north—west england and north wales, but inland, temperatures in a few places up to 29 or 30 degrees. always cooler around the coasts with sea breezes. at silverstone, for the british grand prix, it looks hot through saturday and more especially for race day on sunday, lots of sunshine. strong sunshine, very high uv levels for many, especially in the south and west of the uk. make sure you protect yourself if you are out and about for any length of time. heading through saturday night, we see long clear spells, especially down towards england and wales, northern ireland and scotland have more cloud, some of that filtering across the irish sea towards north wales and north—west england, pretty mild and warm night in places, 1a, 15 or 16 degrees. sunday, the further south you are, expect sunshine again, further north, generally more cloud in the mix, and some patchy rain across the north of scotland. temperatures a little bit lower across the northern half of the uk, further south, another very warm or hot day,
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one or two places in the london area could get up to 30 or even 31 degrees. into the start of next week, our area of high pressure will still be with us but tending to slide further west, that will allow something of a northerly wind, knocking the edge off the temperatures, turning less hot, the odd shower in the south on monday and some rain later in the week.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: rescue teams in germany, belgium and the netherlands are searching for hundreds of people still missing after some of the worst flooding in western europe in decades. record rainfall caused rivers to burst their banks. more than 120 people lost their lives. president biden's accused social media networks like facebook of killing people by allowing users to post misinformation about coronavirus vaccines. with cases rising 70 % in the past week, he warned of a pandemic of the unvaccinated. facebook hit back saying two billion people accessed authoritative vaccine information on its site. in a speech to the nation the south african president has said the deadly unrest that's swept the country was clearly planned and instigated. cyril ramaphosa said the violence was a failed attack on democracy but that the effects would last for months to come.

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