this is bbc news. welcome if you're watching here in the uk or around the globe. i'm reged ahmad. our top stories: a race against time: the search continues for hundreds of people still missing following devastating floods in germany and other european countries. the task of rebuilding this region seems overwhelming. so much of its vital infrastructure— ridges, roads, railways — is completely gone. but behind the mask, people in la once again needing to wear them indoors to a rise in covid—19 cases. cuba's covid—19 cases. cu ba's president covid—19 cases. cuba's president discusses a communist— run narrative on the
island. communist- run narrative on the island. ~ . ., ., and nervous laughter in cannes as the director spike lee accidentally lets slip the name of the winner of the palme d'or. hello and welcome. rescue workers searching for victims of the devastating floods across western europe have warned that more bodies may be found in submerged cars, cellars and collapsed buildings. at least 170 people are known have died, most of them in western germany. chancellor angela merkel is due to visit affected areas on sunday. with more, here's our berlin correspondentjenny hill. in ahrweiler, everything, everyone, is covered in a thick, sticky mud.
there's no power, nowhere to buy food, not much mobile reception. but they're doing what they can. willie told us they've never seen anything like it here, not even in his parents' grandparents' time. "the water rose two metres in 15 or 20 minutes," he told us. "people tried to save their things, went into their basements and, unfortunately, got trapped. i was lucky," he said, "i could get out the back of my basement." around 100 people have died in this district alone. many more are still missing. there was so little time to run, people tell us. look at the force of this flood. and the damage it left behind. the water's receding, but the number of dead is expected to continue to rise. search and rescue, it's feared, will soon be a recovery operation. today, the german president described the loss as heartbreaking.
translation: it's a time of misery, and in times i of misery, our country sticks together. i'm glad that people, notjust here in the region, but from all over germany, send messages of sympathy and solidarity. so many people just want to help, donations piling up, overwhelming the volunteers at this makeshift warehouse. translation: ican't. imagine what it must be like to be affected. that's why i'm here — to help people. in ahrweiler, across the region, lives turned upside down. also das wasser ist... this is amelie. "the water," she told us, "came from the playground to our house, but luckily just the ground floor. my gran and granddad were affected, though. they are staying with us now." as the waters slowly subside, they reveal the extent of the damage done. the task of rebuilding this
region seems overwhelming, so much of its vital infrastructure — bridges, roads, railways — has completely gone. hard to imagine the time, the money it'll take to get this region back on its feet. jenny hill, bbc news, ahrweiler. 27 people are known to have died in neighbouring belgium, where rescue operations are continuing. from there, anna holligan sent this report. this is the river meuse and if you look carefully here, you can see some of the debris that has been carried downstream and the smell of oil, the stench is something that you can smell all around here. this is the belgian city of liege and rescue workers were sent from italy, france and austria to help with the recovery effort here and the evacuations, too. most people are now returning to their homes, but the belgian prime minister has declared july 20 a national day of mourning.
at least 20 people have been killed here alone. they say they have never experienced catastrophic floods of this scale before. now, across the border, not far from here in the netherlands, the emergency services are still trying to reconnect the power supplies. but there, so much of the country lies ten metres below sea level. they have so much experience and talent in managing the rising tides. and what the last few days has demonstrated, this extreme rainfall, that even the most sophisticated technology will struggle under this kind of pressure. experts have said it should be a wake—up call. politicians across the continent have blamed climate change. but what so many people in this region here in liege, in limburg, which has been classified as a disaster area,
and beyond, what they want to know now — they want assurances from those politicians that something like this can never happen again. anna holligan there. here in the uk, the health minister sajid javid is self—isolating after testing positive for coronavirus. mrjavid, who's fully vaccinated, said he'd felt a "bit groggy" on friday night. it's understood he met the prime minister on friday, but it's not yet clear whether borisjohnson will have to self—isolate too. it comes ahead of the government lifting covid restrictions in england on monday. 0ur political correspondent nick eardley reports. downing street yesterday. the health secretary outside number 10, face mask in hand. but this morning, he tested positive for coronavirus. i was feeling a bit groggy last night, so i took a lateralflow test this morning and it's come out positive. so i'm now self—isolating at home with my family until i get the results of a pcr test. i'm grateful that i have had two jabs of the vaccine and so far, my symptoms are very mild. how are you? nice to meet you. this was sajid javid at a care home on tuesday, four days before his symptoms developed. it's not clear yet if anyone else in government will have to self—isolate
as a close contact. it comes ahead of a crucial week. from monday, social distancing will officially end in england. there will be no limits at events, face masks won't be a legal requirement. but there were more than 5a,000 cases in the last 24—hour period. some are warning we shouldn't be too relaxed, pointing to countries like israel, where some restrictions have been brought back. if we behave like they have done and change our behaviour too dramatically when the restrictions are changed, then we're going to end up having to do what they're having to do now, which is reconsider reimposing restrictions. next week will be a significant moment in the sometimes slow road out of lockdown in england, but it won't be back to normality overnight. face coverings will still be recommended in some places and there will still be an emphasis on caution. and the number of positive cases we're seeing, like the health secretary's, is a reminder that even if many
restrictions are going, the virus hasn't disappeared. for tourists returning from paris and the rest of france, some changes have already been delayed. double—jabbed people were supposed to be spared quarantine, but last night, the government announced that wouldn't be happening. that's left some in the travel industry frustrated. whilst public health will always be a priority, it does not feel that it's the right thing to do to hold the uk back when other countries are travelling in their abundance. frustration shared by tourists leaving london this morning. i'm trying my hardest to follow the rules but i don't understand the rules, so i don't know. at this point, i'm going on my holiday and whatever happens happens. it's just constantly changing. it actually feels more, like, political than anything else. it's very confusing. i think everything is really badly handled. in wales today, restrictions on meeting outside were lifted. across the uk, there are more freedoms on their way, but that isn't without risk. nick eardley, bbc news.
scientists and medical experts have expressed concern at the relaxation of coded rules. —— covid rules while cases are rising sharply. here's anna collinson. it's the birthplace of the ashes. but this weekend, the oval cricket ground has become one of many pop—up vaccine hubs. and one of those in line was surrey cricketerjordan clark. with significant freedoms for england and scotland less than two days away, there's another push for people to get theirjab. we started the clinic at eight o'clock in the morning. as normal, we had a bit of a rush at eight o'clock, but now, there's a steady flow of people. we are doing roughly 400 people every hour. as expected, as restrictions have eased over recent months and as more people have come together, infections have risen. the big difference this time, though, is the vaccine, which has helped to reduce the threat of covid, although not eliminate it. it's those hospital admissions that are causing real concern
at the moment and the projections on how high we could go are quite alarming, so it's not the situation we wanted to be in. we didn't want to be opening up, really, in quite a dramatic way at a time when we have so many infections. but other scientists feel more confident about this wave, pointing to the data — which shows fewer people have become seriously ill and those that are are in hospital for less time. amid fears the double threat of covid and the flu could put intense pressure on the health service this winter, free flu vaccines will be offered to more than 35 million people in england, including expanding the programme to include pupils up to year 11. it finally feels as if we are giving priority to educational continuity for those young people, so they can start september with a sense that the adults in the room are doing everything they can to look after them. 0n the hottest day on record in northern ireland, people in newry, in county down, waited patiently for a vaccine. hoping to get the vaccine,
to try and cure covid, like, you know? i think everyone at this stage wants it to go on, like, so i may as well play my part. as people queued for jabs around the uk, england's deputy chief medical officerjonathan van—tam predicted a bumpy winter ahead. how bumpy it becomes, he says, will depend on our behaviour. anna collinson, bbc news. residents of america's second largest city los angeles are once again being required to wear face masks indoors following an increase in coronavirus cases amongst the non—vaccinated. the rule comes into effect at midnight local time, making la the first area of its kind to restore such requirements in the us. john swartzberg is clinical professor emeritus at the university of california's school of public health and says the delta variant is a major factor. not exclusively the delta variant, but that's far and away the most prominent variant that we are seeing in los angeles and really throughout the united states now.
it's really — the variant is really doing exactly what it did to the uk, just — we're doing it a few months later here. so, yes, delta is causing havoc in los angeles. the cdc said recently — just in the last day — that they are going to see this affect the unvaccinated. are we seeing this starting to be borne out in la? predominantly, yes. we are seeing breakout cases in los angeles. those cases are anticipated because vaccines are not 100%. but those breakthrough cases in la are either asymptomatic or causing mild disease — or at least disease not serious enough to require hospitalisations. over 99% of the hospitalisations in los angeles are in people who are either not vaccinated or partially vaccinated. and what kind of people are we seeing going to hospital? is it the predominantly over 50s, elderly getting quite sick, or are we seeing younger people who are unvaccinated getting sick?
we are seeing a change in the epidemiology — notjust in los angeles and california in general, but throughout the united states. we are not seeing as many elderly people get hospitalised and dying. we're seeing it premondinantly younger people dying and this is mainly because of two things — number one, younger people are not getting vaccinated nearly to the rate that older people are, and numbertwo, younger people tend to take more risks than older people do. so what is the solution here? we have seen the us president already get frustrated at vaccination rates stalling in the us. how does la and other cities and states change the mindset around those who have chosen not to get vaccinated? well, it's just an absolute tragedy that vaccination became politicised in the united states. there is no reason for that. of course, it is appropriate to be hesitant about anything new, but the politicisation
of vaccination is a tragedy. so the first thing is to try and get rid of the idea that this is a republican or democratic idea. it is just nuts. so we have got to continue to make the vaccine available, we have got to convince people of its necessity, not just to protect themselves, but to protect others from getting infected, and it is also to protect the world from developing variants, because every person who gets infected becomes a variant factory. john swartzberg. with news in, police in washington, dc have said four people were shot at by the national park baseball stadium in the city, leading to the cancellation of the game that had been in progress between the washington nationals and the washington nationals and the san diego team. police said there appeared there was no ongoing threat. this is bbc news.
our main headlines: a race against time — the search continues for hundreds of people still missing following devastating floods in germany and other european countries. people in la are once more required to wear masks indoors, due to a rise in covid cases. now, high—level talks have begun between afghan political leaders and the taliban in the gulf state of qatar. the negotiations are an effort to jump—start a long—stalled process, in the midst of rapid taliban military advances across afghanistan and growing concern about the country's future in the wake of the us—led nato pullout. afghan government sources say the talks have got off to a good start. 0ur chief international correspondent, lyse doucet, is in doha, where she's been speaking to the key players on both sides. these high—level talks are taking place in the midst of growing uncertainty, if not anxiety, about afg hanistan�*s future. afghan government negotiators say they are acutely aware that the window for peace
talks is fast narrowing, perhaps a question ofjust two to three months. because the backdrop, of course, is that the taliban have been overrunning districts across afghanistan and seizing strategic order crossings. so i asked the minister of state for peace, sayed sadat mansoor naderi, did he believe after talking to the taliban again here that they were interested in a political solution? well, we hope so, because the only solution to the conflict in afghanistan is a political solution, is through a meaningful negotiation, and conflict and taking afghanistan by force is not the solution. it will not be acceptable to the people of afghanistan. afg hanistan�*s state minister for peace. but of course that is a question for the taliban too, because it's been noticed that as they make rapid military advances, it's emboldened them and they become clearer about their political
vision for afghanistan. and it's one, judging by their ideas now on the table, one which doesn't include elections and has a new islamic constitution as well as leadership, which, of course, for the afghan government team means that accepting those proposals is tantamount to a call for surrender. so i asked the member of the taliban negotiating team, their spokesman suhail shaheen, whether that was the spirit of these talks. that is a perception of the other side, not our policy. our policy is to have a negotiated settlement of the issue. that is our policy. we want this, because in that circumstance, we can then bring a durable peace to the country. that is our objective. suhail shaheen, the taliban's spokesperson. well, both sides say the talks today here in doha have got off to a good start.
what they're hoping is that these discussions can help both sides to clarify their positions and that they will lead to another round of talks involving even more high—level figures on both sides to try to push this negotiation forward. because everyone is aware, most of all afghans on the ground as well as afghanistan's neighbours, that if these talks fail, the war will get worse — much worse. now, cuba's president, miguel diaz—canel, has denounced what he says is a false narrative about unrest on the communist—run caribbean island. he's blaming social media and the united states for unprecedented anti—government protests last weekend. thousands rallied in cities across cuba over food shortages, curbs on civil liberties and the authorities' handling of the pandemic. courtney bembridge reports.
for the second time in a week, large crowds took to the streets of havana. this time it was in support of the government. translation: ~ ., government. translation: ., ., translation: we have to defend our revolution _ translation: we have to defend our revolution by _ translation: we have to defend our revolution by our— translation: we have to defend our revolution by our own - our revolution by our own right. the words of the president, he made it clear that this revolution will not be made over by anyone. reiwa castro, be made over by anyone. reiwa castro. the _ be made over by anyone. reiwa castro, the 90-year-old - be made over by anyone. reiwa| castro, the 90-year-old brother castro, the 90—year—old brother of the delta, attended the rally but left the president, miguel diaz—canel, to address the crowd. translation: , ., , the crowd. translation: , ., . translation: the enemy has once aaain one translation: the enemy has once again gone all— translation: the enemy has once again gone all out _ translation: the enemy has once again gone all out to _ translation: the enemy has once again gone all out to destroy - again gone all out to destroy the sacred unity and peace of the sacred unity and peace of the citizens. they are encouraging and glorifying the destruction of property. right now, what the world is seeing from cuba is a lie.— from cuba is a lie. this is what he _ from cuba is a lie. this is what he was _ from cuba is a lie. this is what he was referring - from cuba is a lie. this is what he was referring to, from cuba is a lie. this is - what he was referring to, last weekend, thousands of people rallied against the government in havana and other cities. but
they were calling for freedom, food and medicines as well as vaccines. the demonstrations were the biggest in decades, a rare show of dissent where in a country un— authorised public gatherings are illegal. more than 100 people were arrested and the government shut off internet access for days afterwards. mobile internet was only introduced in cuba two years ago and since then, independent and social media platforms have been a thorn in the government's side. translation: it the government's side. tuna/mom- the government's side. translation: , ., , ., translation: it is our duty to tell the other _ translation: it is our duty to tell the other side _ translation: it is our duty to tell the other side of _ translation: it is our duty to tell the other side of the - tell the other side of the story, and it doesn't with the official version. what drives us is that people are reading our work and recognise it and are asking for information. in washington, crowds gathered outside the cuban embassy to show their support for the anti—government protesters. my anti—government protesters. i’i grandmother anti—government protesters. ii grandmother left in anti—government protesters. ii1 grandmother left in 1970, and because of the dictatorship, have not been able to go back.
inaudible. have not been able to go back. inaudible— have not been able to go back. inaudible. , ., .,y inaudible. they made their way to the white _ inaudible. they made their way to the white house _ inaudible. they made their way to the white house next. - to the white house next. presidentjoe biden has expressed solidarity with the cuban people and called the country a failed state, but did not make any firm commitments. courtney bembridge, bbc news. tens of thousands of pilgrims have arrived in the saudi arabian city of mecca for a downsized hajj — which formally starts on sunday. as sophia tran—thomson reports, restrictions are tight — as the kingdom is hoping to repeat last year's success — that saw no coronavirus outbreaks during the five—day muslim ritual. the annual hajj pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of islam. all muslims are expected to retrace the prophet mohammed's final pilgrimage at least once in their lives if they have the means to do so. the event is usually one of the world's largest annual gatherings and would normally see 2.5 million muslims
from around the world converge on mecca. this year, just 60,000 healthy and vaccinated saudi residents, chosen through a lottery from almost 600,000 applicants, will take part. strict social distancing measures are in place and a hajj smart pass is being used to allow contact—free access and transportation to the various religious sites and accommodation. technology will also play a part, with the deployment of robots to dispense bottles of sacred water from the grand mosque and others to dispense disinfectant. while a large proportion of security will take place remotely, and most of the marshals who would normally be on site will be in a call centre instead. translation: we help them| if they are lost or need urgent medical help or can't find a toll operator. it's taken complicated and costly planning,
but hosting the hajj is a matter of prestige for saudi rulers. barring overseas pilgrims will cost the kingdom around $12 billion this year and impact hundreds of thousands of jobs in the holy city. but the hajj is a gathering which could easily become a coronavirus super spreader event and with around 14 out of 3a million saudis still unvaccinated, it's a risk the kingdom isn't willing to take. sophia tran—thompson, bbc news. the french director julia ducourneau, has won the palme d'0r at the cannes film festival for her movie about a serial killer, titane. she's only the second female director to win one of the film world's most prestigious awards. but the announcement didn't quite go according to plan, as tim allman explains. can you tell me which film is the first prize? yes, ican. a big night and a big moment, that came just a bit
earlier than intended. the film that won the palme d'0r is titane. wait, wait, no! spike lee announcing the winner of the palme d'0r a little ahead of schedule... cue a fair dose of confusion and a few red faces. fast forward a couple of hours, throw in a hollywood sex symbol, and try again. are you ready? i am ready. it is now? ok. the palme d'0r — titane. directorjulia ducourneau still looks a little overwhelmed, even if she knew she was going to win ahead of time. and why not? she is on the second woman to ever be awarded the palme d'0r. titane has been described as outlandish, grizzly, yet comic. it is the story of a female serial killer, set to be one
of the most shocking films ever shown at the festival. there was this moment where i felt i was in the twilight zone, so i did not believe it at all. somehow, there was the same attention if nothing had been said. —— same tension as if he hadn't said anything. elsewhere, the award for the best actress went to a norwegian actor for her part in the worst person in the world. and america's caleb landryjones was named best actor for the film nitram. the big winner wasjulia ducourneau, who said her evening had been perfect because it was imperfect. tim allman, bbc news. congratulations to all of the winners. you can find out more on the website. bc .com/ news, or download the bbc news app. you can reach me on twitter. stay with us. much more coming
up. hello there. saturday saw the warmest weather of the year so far in all four nations of the uk. and in northern ireland, whereas you can see it was beach weather in county down, temperatures actually broke the all—time record. the highest temperature since records began in northern ireland, ballywatticock 31.2 degrees. but in england, in wales and in scotland, we saw some pretty hot temperatures. however, the far north of scotland was much, much cooler, just 13 degrees for parts of shetland, whereas you can see we had a lot of cloud. you can pick that out on the satellite picture through saturday afternoon. and that cloud has been pushing a little further south—westwards, so starting off sunday morning, rather cloudy and murky for parts of northern ireland. quite a lot of cloud for scotland, too, with some patchy rain in the far north.
the cloud should tend to break up to give some spells of sunshine, although it will stay quite murky for some northern coasts of northern ireland. i think england and wales will see the lion's share of the sunshine, and that's where we'll have the highest temperatures as well. slightly cooler day for scotland and northern ireland. for england and wales, particularly down towards the south, we're looking at highs of 30, possibly 31 degrees in the london area. and the sun very, very strong at the moment, very high uv levels in southern england, parts of wales. the lower levels further north only because we'll have more in the way of cloud. so, as we head through sunday evening and into the early hours of monday, we keep clear spells, especially across england and wales. still more cloud at times across scotland and northern ireland, some mist and murk. and it will be another very warm and muggy night. 0vernight lows between 12—17 degrees. so, we start monday with high pressure still in charge, but notice the centre of the high is slipping a little further westwards. that will allow a very gentle north or north—westerly flow of air across the country. and that'll bring just a subtle change in the temperatures,
a slightly cooler day for many, a bit more cloud working into north sea coasts as well. some cloud for north—west scotland, parts of northern ireland, and you'll see maybe just the odd shower, the odd sharp shower breaking out across southern areas. those temperatures a little down, still quite warm in the south. a little bit cooler further north. as we look further ahead, there is a lot of dry weather on offer this week. still some relatively high temperatures. it mayjust start to turn a bit more unsettled by friday.
the headlines: rescue workers searching for victims of the devastating floods which earlier in the week hit germany and the benelux countries have warned that more bodies may be found in submerged cars, cellars and collapsed buildings. at least 170 people are known to have died, most of them in western germany. residents of los angeles are once again being required to wearface masks indoors following an increase in coronavirus cases amongst the non—vaccinated. the rule comes into effect at midnight local time, making la the first area of its kind to restore such requirements in the us. the cuban president, miguel diaz—canel, has dismissed last week's historic demonstrations as a lie. during a pro—government rally in havana, mr diaz—canel claimed false images posted online had encouraged and glorified the destruction of property. he had previously blamed us—backed mercenaries for instigating the demos. those are your headlines.