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tv   BBC World News  BBC News  July 21, 2021 12:00am-12:31am BST

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this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. the us climate envoy warns that the suffering caused by the coronavirus will be magnified many times over if the world fails to tackle global warming. this test is now as acute and as existential as any previous one. torrential rain in central china is causing widespread disruption — these passengers had to be rescued from a subway train. the billionaire�*s space race heats up, as amazon founder jeff bezos launches to the edge of the cosmos. afterwards he summed up the experience. oh, my god! laughter my expectations were high and they were dramatically exceeded.
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drawing inspiration for the olympics. we introduce you to the international anime characters representing the countries competing in tokyo. hello, a very warm welcome to you if you havejoined us wherever you are watching in the world. the us climate envoy, john kerry, has warned that the world doesn't have the luxury of waiting for the pandemic to end before it deals with global warming. speaking in london, mr kerry said the level of suffering from the coronavirus would be magnified, many times over, unless the climate crisis was tackled. the climate crisis, my friends, is the test of our times. and while some may still believe it is unfolding in slow motion, no.
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this test is now as acute and as existential as any previous one. the irony should not be lost on us that it is young people around the world who are calling on adults to behave like adults, and exercise their basic responsibilities. young people who feel forced to put down their school books, march out of the classroom to strike for climate. they know the world is not responding fast enough to an existential threat that they didn't create but for which they risk bearing the ultimate burden. here is our environment correspondent match mcgrath to explain what else mrjohn kerry had to say. a very wide ranging speech running almost 30 pages. he covered a lot of ground in this particular talk. he ranged on what was happening to the world right now, what happened in the past. his own experience in london.
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but he also really pointed the finger at a number of countries for not going fast enough and for others for cutting down their forests. he didn't name brazil and indonesia, but they were certainly in his sights, and he was particularly strong on china saying that china's promise to limit its emissions or peak its emissions by 2030 just wasn't good enough. they would have to do more quicker or the rest of the world would be in trouble and the 1.5 degree warming target that's in the paris agreement wouldn't be met. he was very strong on that and saying the us wanted to work with china but the chinese certainly had to do more — and others, too. he was very strong in saying that countries had promised back in paris to meet certain targets but their collective efforts to date meant essentially, we'd blow right past them and the world would be a very warm and pretty hellish place by the end of the century even if we achieved all the paris targets. what they're talking about now is a rapid — as the scientists have said — are rapid cuts in emissions over the next decade, essentially cutting them in half. to give you a sense of how much
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change we really need to make according to mr kerry today, we'd have to open up a solar power plant big enough, the biggest one in the world right now, every single day between now and 2030 just to switch our energy into the safe space where we could keep temperatures before 1.5. so, that is a massive monumental challenge and time is of the essence and mr kerry was very keen to make that point. matt mcgrath. with more on what lies behind the extreme weather around the globe, here's kim cobb, a climate scientist at the georgia institute of technology. well, it really all comes back down to heat. and the greenhouse gases that are accumulating in the atmosphere are warming the planet and we see this very clearly in the data. this warming has a number of dramatic effects on the climate system. obviously most notably it causes the kind of record—breaking heat
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extremes that we saw gripping the pacific northwest over recent weeks. those heat extremes can parch soils, dry out vegetation, lead to the perfect conditions for wildfires and unfortunately very prolonged droughts which are incredibly damaging across many regions of the world. a warming atmosphere is also able to hold more moisture. and that is something that is definitively linked to rising greenhouse gases in the science. that is directly related to the types of extreme rainfall events that we've seen historically over recent years. and of course is very much the topic of conversation with the ongoing catastrophe in germany right now. the greatest risk right now is that we slide from we're not certain that this is a big enough problem right now maybe it can wait, to it's already too late to put up our hands and say it's done. it's not done. there is so much we know we can do right now and there is no cause for doomism. this is something that we know we can tackle over the next decade. and absolutely work on a trajectory to cooling
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the planet by mid century. and people should know that that is still possible. this is not baked in in any way. and we have a dramatic choices to make about the kind of hot and dangerous future we want to continue to usher in or move towards climate stability and global cooling in the very near term. that's the choice we have to make and we have to make it this decade. kim cobb. let's get some of the day's other climate related news. dozens of wildfires in the western united states and canada are lofting smoke into east—bound air currents that are worsening air quality on the atlantic coast. the fires are led by a massive blaze in oregon, the bootleg fire has forced thousands of residents from mostly rural areas to abandon their homes. more than 80 wildfires are raging in 13 western states. the french parliament has approved a climate change law that environmentalists say falls far short of its initial objective.
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the national assembly decided that most fossil fuel cars will be banned from 2030, and single—use polystyrene food containers from 2025. but the offence of ecocide, killing the environment, will be the equivalent of a misdemeanour, not a felony, as environmentalists had demanded. an expedition that will draw together israeli, arab and european scientists has set out on a mission to shed light on how corals in the red sea are coping with global warming. studies have found that reefs in its northern waters have an unusual capacity to endure significantly higher temperatures. an operation is under way to rescue passengers submerged in waist—deep floodwaters on a subway train in china. henan province has been hit hard by heavy rain in recent days and more than a dozen cities have been flooded. china's state media has shared these images from social media but they've not yet been verified. the passengers were travelling in zhengzhou, in central henan province when their carriage began to fill with rising water. here's my colleague michael bristow. what we already know about the flooding in henan what we really know about the flooding in henan
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province there in central china is mostly what we are seeing there is images which are being posted on social media and those images are very, very dramatic. most dramatic of all from zhengzhou, that's the provincial capital, the subway station there. initially we had pictures of cascading water flowing down steps inundating the subway station and then these images emerged of people actually on trains standing in water rising up to their shoulders. they look remarkably calm considering what they must be feeling and what they were going through at that time. central china is prone to flooding this time of year. there's always heavy rain. sometimes it's worse than at other times. in this particular area along the yellow river there have historically been major floods that have killed hundreds of thousands of people. nothing like that in recent years but what they're saying is that this this rainfall this
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year is the worst since they started keeping accurate records in about 60—70 years. so although the area has seen historical flooding, this particular level of rainfall at this particular time this year does seem to be worse than in the recent past. michael bristow. the german chancellor angela merkel has pledged funding within days to get essentials to flood victims without bureaucratic delays. speaking in the devastated town of bad muenstereifel, she said a cabinet meeting would free up finances on wednesday. in the nearby town of ahrweiler, anna holligan has been to visit the homes of the victims of the disaster. they re not convinced the money will reach them anytime soon, so are starting to rebuild on their own. the scenes you cherish for a
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lifetime. it's the first thing you do. marion could not save her photo albums. but her three children survived. they are alive, they are ok and yeah, that makes me feel really happy. and that's the biggest thing you can get. people who could not get to higher ground did not have a hope. this used to be my kitchen. without sufficient warning, her son was trapped inside. he said "momma, there is a lot of water. "there is a lot of water, there is a man "coming by and he screams, help, help, help and he went "down the water and he comes back up and down again and then
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then he was gone. marion's son is now among the legions of young people investing their energy and the regionwide clean—up. they have travelled from across the country, teaming up with the exhausted emergency workers. we have the fire brigade and military with us. farmers are still here and helping to get all the things out. this helping hands, neighbours that have helped from all over germany. here in this village, so many of the homes that were washed away by the flood water were made uninhabitable and unsafe by it and they have to demolish those first before beginning the process of rebuilding peoples homes and lives again. toothpaste, a candle, the bare essentials are enough for now. despite the support, as night falls, with
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literally no doors to lock, new threats emerge. i do have an axe beside my bed. and i close my door, if somebody comes to rape me, i think there's nothing more to take away. let me sleep, tomorrow is a new day, hopefully with coffee and then we have to work again. anna holligan, bbc news, ahrweiler. let's look at some of the day's other news. a report published by the indian government's former chief economic advisor has concluded that india's deathtoll from coronavirus could be ten times the official figures. new research suggests the number of "excess deaths" in the 18 months of the pandemic is likely to be, between 3 million and 4.7 million. the government has
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recorded a14,000 deaths. former hollywood producer harvey weinstein has been extradited from new york to california to face trial on rape and assault charges. weinstein was convicted in new york in 2020 for sexual assault and rape and was sentenced to 23 years in prison. in los angeles, he is wanted for trial on charges of attacking five women from 2004 to 2013. the chair of former president trump's 2017 inaugural committee has been arrested on foreign lobbying charges. federal prosecutors allege that thomas barrack conspired to act as an unregistered foreign agent on behalf of the united arab emerates, while mr trump was a candidate, and then president. according to a spokesperson, mr barrack will plead not guilty. jeff bezos, the billionaire founder of amazon, has been to space and back, in the first crewed flight, of
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his rocket ship, new shepard. on the flight was the oldest person who has been to space — 82—year—old wally funk, and the youngest, 18—year—old oliver daemen. our correspondent sophie long reports from texas. preparing to board his 60 foot sub—orbital rocket. he was not nervous, he said. just excited. this was notjust about realising a lifelong dream, but expanding his ever—growing empire beyond the grip of gravty. with him on this first fully autonomous passenger flight three other civilians — his brother mark bezos, 82—year—old trail blazing aviator wally funk and 18—year—old dutch student oliver daemen. she was one of the victory13, a group of american women training to be astronauts but never made it to space. until
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now. six, five, four, command engines start, two, one. as you can hear, blue origin�*s reuseable rocket, carrying its first human passengers and first paying customer, is now on its way to space. blast off for the new shepard, lift off for space tourism. the capsule separated from the post or attune a 50,000 feet and continue to the edge of space. they floated, weightless, enjoying what those who have seen it say is a life—changing view of earth... ..before the capsule fell back to its surface, carrying in it the oldest and youngest astronauts ever. oh, my god! my expectations were high, and they were dramatically exceeded. everybody who has been up into space, they say this, that it changes them and they look at it and they are kind of amazed and awestruck. i want to thank you,
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sweetheart, because you made it possible for me. i've been waiting a long time to finally get it up there. critics say this is the wrong time for billionaires to be joyriding in rockets, while the planet faces climate—driven disasters. a historic step in the richest man on earth's mission to move industry into orbit. sophie long, bbc news, in the west texas desert. stay with us on bbc news, still to come... serving for tennis gold. frances tiafoe practically grew up at the tennis court. now, he's heading to the tokyo olympics. coming down the ladder now. that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. a catastrophic engine fire is being blamed tonight for the first crash in the 30 year history of concorde, the world's only supersonic airliner. it was one of the most vivid
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symbols of the violence and hatred that tore apart the state of yugoslavia. but now a decade later, it has been painstakingly rebuilt and opens again today. there's been a 50% decrease in| sperm quantity, and an increase in malfunctioning sperm unable to swim pmperly. _ thousands of households across the country are suspiciously quiet this lunchtime as children bury their noses in the final instalment of harry potter. this is bbc world news, the latest headlines. the us climate envoy, john kerry, has warned that the suffering caused by the coronavirus will be magnified many times over if the world fails to tackle global warming. there's been majorflooding in the chinese city of zhengzhou, with video footage showing swamped subway trains and cars
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being swept down city streets. with nearly two days to go until the opening ceremony of the tokyo olympic games on friday, quesitons about covid—19 continue. on tuesday, the international olympic committee president thomas bach insisted cancelling the games was never an option. hours later the head of the tokyo organising committee refused to rule that out if cases continue to rise. translation: what would happen if the covid-19 infection _ was spread further? well, i think when that happens we will have to have a full consultation. i think that is all i can say at thisjuncture. mr muto was talking at a separate press conference to the ioc one beforehand. in that, officials attempted to offer reassurance. the isolation and the playbooks are very very strict indeed. there can never be zero risk but we have reduced it is far is humanly possible.
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as far as. —— as far as. regardless of the uncertainty, athletes from nations across the world are ready to get under way — and a group of artists injapan has reimagined the flags of the countries that will be competing — by turning them into drawings of samurai. the artists hope that this project will get people around the world excited about the games. sofia bettiza reports from tokyo. music plays anime characters of samurai warriors, each of them representing a country that's going to compete in the olympics in just a few days. it's the work of a group of artists in japan. translation: our pro'ect is about connecting i different countries. i'm really excited about the games. i've watched every olympic since i was a little girl and i'm so happy thatjapan is hosting it. first, they research the history and the meaning of a country's flag. for example, the mexican flag
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has an eagle perched on a cactus eating a snake — so they've incorporated all those elements in the mexican samurai. sometimes, they hold polls on twitter asking people to vote for the most iconic symbol or object from a country. the designs are really sophisticated. just look at the details. maple leafs for canada, a sherlock holmes monocle for the uk, and of coursejapan — in a traditional kimono. translation: samurais | because we want everyone to get to know traditional japanese culture. and we drew them as anime characters because anime is famous all over the world. with the designs they're creating, the artists hope that people injapan and around the world will get excited about the olympics because of course no—one will be able to get into that stadium as japan has banned all spectators because of covid.
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the japanese authorities have declared a state of emergency in tokyo. and many people here feel it's wrong to hold the games when covid cases are on the rise. but despite that, these designers take pride in what they do. and they don't do it for money. many of them are web designers, students, and vets during the day. translation: i feel very proud that the olympics i are being held injapan and with this product, we want to promote mutual understanding. that's what the games are about. with only a couple of days to go, these designs are not going to erase all the restrictions and the hurdles facing the games. but they symbolise the olympic spirit. as athletes from all corners of the globe join together once more. sofia bettiza, bbc news, tokyo.
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iam not i am not sure about that monocle for sherlock holmes. that is a very imaginative take. once the games kick off this weekend, one to watch in the tennis player is america's frances tiafoe. the 23—year—old defeated the world's number—four ranked player, stefanos tsitsipas at wimbledon — and is a rising star in men's tennis. tiafoe is the child of immigrant parents from west africa, as laura trevelyan reports. they laugh a triumphant return for america's newest tennis star francis tiafoe to the maryland courts where he grew up playing. he's the conquering hero after his shock win at wimbledon over top player stefanos tsitsipas in the first round, the next challenge comes at the olympic games. he's ready. having a go, having a clear plan of where you want to go and what you're trying to achieve, and having a true passion for something and really chasing after it each and every day, anything is possible. i'm just trying use my story
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to inspire so many other people that feel like they can't achieve something because of circumstances. and what a story it is. frances showed me the storage room at the elite maryland tennis centre where his father was a maintenance worker. so, you slept here? yeah, in this room while my mum was working double shifts overnight at the apartment that we usually stayed at. my dad would stay here. so, that's kind of what it was for me and my brother. what do you think it did for you coming from these origins? a different level of hunger, a different level of desire. coach oliver akli remembers those days and how difficult life could be for his star pupil. sometimes he trains here. sometimes he doesn't have money to eat. i'd say "look, the day you turn pro, i'll get "all my money back." look where he is right now. i am so proud of him. so is everyone here at the maryland academy. 16—year—old robin montgomery is a rising american tennis star, who counts frances tiafoe as a friend and mentor.
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his story is so unusual as a tennis player, what do you think the lesson is there? that anything is possible, it- doesn't matter where you come from or how you have | grown up or anything. just as long as you believe in yourself and work hard i for what you want to do. like this moment at the 2020 us open when frances tiafoe stepped on court telling the world that black lives matter. for sibi soumahoro who came from the ivory coast who came from the ivory coast to play at the very same academy as tiafoe, that activism was a revelation. seeing him actually wearing the black lives matter mask on the us open court, that was really courageous of him to do that. he realised how important this subject is for us and for the world. for the youngest players, too, frances tiafoe is a role model. it's good to see someone that looks like me
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on tv playing tennis. it felt like that i could do the same if ijust play. as hard as him i and work as hard. frances tiafoe's tennis journey has taken him a long way and now this child of immigrant parents from sierra leone who came to the us fleeing conflict is heading to the olympic games. as he prepares for the olympics, new hope for american tennis knows he is carrying the weight of so many expectations. his parents are his inspiration. they overcame so much and it was all about the work and what you can do to better yourself. if you have the opportunity, don't let it fly by, grab it with two hands and see how far you can go with it. maybe you can go all the way. we will see, maybe, maybe. that is the american dream which frances tiafoe embodies. now he is aiming for an olympic medal. laura trevelyan, bbc news, maryland. an olympic model was faster,
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stronger, higher, now faster, higher, stronger together. stronger, higher, now faster, higher, strongertogether. —— higher, stronger together. —— the higher, strongertogether. —— the olympic motto. hello. the heat goes on and it will do for a couple more days and indeed nights. because of the persistence of the heat the met office have issued in extreme heat warning. two particular areas have been identified, this one to the south west of england covering parts of the midlands and wales, this one across northern ireland which comes into force on wednesday. it doesn't mean that these are the areas exclusively affected by the heat but these are two areas identified as potentially having the biggest impacts. you can see the heat an issue really from first thing on wednesday. we start our day with temperatures around 20 celsius in many areas. it will be a little cooler through wednesday perhaps down some of the north sea coast. just because we will pull a little bit more cloud
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in here but overall, still a very hot day lies ahead. temperatures across the southern uk widely in the high 20s to the low 30s, hotting up significantly will be northern ireland, hence while itjoins that heat warning perhaps 30 degrees towards the south west here. warmer along the north coast than yesterday but still cloudy for northern scotland with some lingering sea fog. here temperatures are peaking in the near teens. that is the one area that stands out to being significantly cooler. later in the day potentially for showers across the north west of england — certainly another hot, humid night to come for many. we move into thursday, i suspect there will barely be a cloud in the sky and the temperatures will rise accordingly. still for northern scotland some cloud around and that does just hold things back in terms of the temperatures but even here things are creeping up — stornaway getting closer to 20 degrees with a potentially
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31 for the south west of northern ireland, 31 or the south of england and wales. a change friday, a subtle one to start off with, an easterly wind and temperatures start to edge back. but through friday evening and overnight into saturday and on into the weekend low pressure starts to take hold from the south west. it will inject showers into england and wales, some heavy spells of rain to come for some. it will pull cooler air across all parts of the uk. so by saturday some sunshine still for scotland and northern ireland but a fresher feel for all of us.
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this is bbc news, the headlines. the us climate envoy has said
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the world can't wait for the end of the covid—19 pandemic before facing up to the climate crisis. john kerry warned that the suffering caused by not tackling global warming would be much worse than coronavirus. there's been severe flooding acorss central china. it's caused widespread disruption, with video footage showing images of roads turned into rivers — and cars and people being swept along streets, inundated by fast flowing water. scientists says some regions have experienced an entire years worth of rain in the past three days. the american billionnaire, jeff bezos has made a 10—minute, 18 second trip to space. the founder of amazon was accompanied by his brother, mark — the youngest ever astronaut — oliver daemen — and the oldest — the pioneering female aviator wally funk. now on bbc news...

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