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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 21, 2021 4:00am-4:30am BST

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this is bbc news. our top stories: the us climate envoy john kerry issues a passionate plea to step up efforts to tackle climate change — with a stark warning about any failure to act now. this test is now as acute and existential as any previous one. torrential rain in central china causes widespread disruption and huge anxiety for passengers caught in one flooded subway system. i'm sarah mulkerrins live in tokyo, where, although the opening ceremony is still two days away, the action has got under way with hosts japan thrashing australia at softball. and, the billionaires�*
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space race heats up, as amazon founderjeff bezos launches to the edge of the cosmos, taking him on an emotional high. 0h, oh, my god! my expectations were high and they were dramatically exceeded. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. his words could hardly be more timely. the us climate envoy, john kerry, has delivered an impassioned warning about the risks of climate change and the urgency of acting now. speaking in london as floods devastate parts of europe and china, and heatwaves and wildfires sweep
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across north america, mr kerry warned that the world cannot wait for the pandemic to end to tackle climate change. the climate crisis, my friends, is the test of our times. and while some may still believe it is unfolding in slow motion, no. 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. mr kerry has also said that november's international summit
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on climate change, cop26, in scotland, would be "a pivotal moment". one man who will be part of this summit is bill hare, a climate change scientist, cop veteran and chief executive of climate analytics, based in berlin. i asked him to assess how well the international communities have been doing. we saw progress in the 90s with the kyoto protocol and with the major step backwards with the us government under george bush repudiating the protocol and followed by others, canada, australia and japan and so on and it went backwards. it has been a real rollercoaster ride and from excise point of view we have known for a long time how dangerous it is. i remember in 1995 and copped one germany when angela merkel was the
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junior environment minister already visibly concerned about climate change and they released a major study on river flooding in europe and i was reflecting on that in the last days watching the absolute catastrophe unfolding in parts of germany that i know very well. the loss of life, catastrophic problems in thinking, well, you know, the scientific community has been warning about this for decades and decades and i was really struck by whatjohn kerry said. i wasjust going struck by whatjohn kerry said. i was just going to pick up struck by whatjohn kerry said. i wasjust going to pick up on john kerry because the rhetoric is very strong, isn't it, and yet we have the international energy saying, 2023, we will have the greatest output of c02 have the greatest output of co2 emissions caused by us, ever! so it's very difficult for people to work out where rhetoric begins an action really starts. at}! rhetoric begins an action really starts.— rhetoric begins an action really starts. rhetoric begins an action reall starts. , ,, really starts. of course the us have been _ really starts. of course the us have been in _ really starts. of course the us have been in a _ really starts. of course the us have been in a difficult - really starts. of course the us have been in a difficult place l have been in a difficult place under donald trump and john kerry was a key figure in
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securing the paris agreement and i think we should all be very thankful that he is back on the case now and has absolutely correct. this is a really existential threat. climate change impacts everybody, rich countries, poor countries, wherever you are, it will be extremely serious that we do not tackle it. i guess thatis we do not tackle it. i guess that is where his energy coming from, that's when my energy is coming from, this is where the global movement energy is coming from. we simply have to do something really major this year. do something really ma'or this ear. ~ ., ., , do something really ma'or this ear, ~ ., ., , ., ., ., " do something really ma'or this ear, ~ ., ., , ., " year. what does that look like then, year. what does that look like then. bill? — year. what does that look like then, bill? what— year. what does that look like then, bill? what is _ year. what does that look like then, bill? what is the - year. what does that look like then, bill? what is the next. then, bill? what is the next major step?— then, bill? what is the next ma'or ste-? ~ . ., , major step? what we have been aimin: major step? what we have been aiming for— major step? what we have been aiming for the _ major step? what we have been aiming for the last _ major step? what we have been aiming for the last four - major step? what we have been aiming for the last four years . aiming for the last four years is to see countries really step up is to see countries really step up in terms of what they are promising to do in glasgow, what their ambition is. right now, there has been significant improvements since we adopted the paris agreement and now we have the global warming outcome and if pages are fully and honestly implemented, something
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between two and 2.4 degrees, still well off 1.5 but we have a long way to go for countries to step up and get down to the 1.5 level. �* ., to step up and get down to the 1.5 level. �* . ., ,., ., ,, , 1.5 level. and that also takes mone . 1.5 level. and that also takes money- is — 1.5 level. and that also takes money. is that _ 1.5 level. and that also takes money. is that the _ 1.5 level. and that also takes money. is that the next - 1.5 level. and that also takes money. is that the next step | 1.5 level. and that also takes l money. is that the next step in a way, a genuine commitment to see the red is on the table if i can put it that way was a late we are in a moment in history. the efforts of countries such as the uk and germany and so want to introduce renewable technologies has led to a massive drop in the cost of these technologies. b, massive drop in the cost of these technologies.- these technologies. a 'ob i could have i these technologies. a 'ob i could have only i these technologies. a 'ob i could have only a fi these technologies. ajob i could have only a dream i these technologies. ajob i l could have only a dream job these technologies. ajob i - could have only a dream job ten years ago. this makes it cost—effective in most parts of the world now, it's cheaper to actually shut down a coal fired power station and build a new renewable power station then run the old system. that is the place we are in. you are absolutely right. there are many countries, poorer countries, that are developing, that need support, notjust direct cash but also de— risking investments by the banks and government guarantees
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to really roll out the clean technology. there are two big things we need to do in glasgow and one of them is to increase ambition and the other is to mmp ambition and the other is to ramp up the climate finance to bring the rest of the world with us. sticking to that topic now. a dense layer of smoke from wildfires in the western united states and canada has reached the east coast of the continent. in new york, health agencies are warning that the air quality has become unhealthy for sensitive groups such as people with breathing problems. at the same time, canada's western province of british columbia has declared a state of emergency, with wildfires expected to grow even larger in the coming days due to high heat and winds. and in the united states, more than 80 large fires are burning, the biggest of which is in the pacific northwest state of oregon. torrential rain has caused severe flooding in parts
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of central china. more than 10,000 people in henan province have been evacuated to shelters where it's reported a dam could collapse at any time. at least 12 people have died in the city of zhengzhou after its subway system was inundated with rushing water. mark lobel reports. shouting. floodwater spreading fear. the partly submerged city of zhengzhou, its subway system now an underground river. commuters are standing for air. rescuers bravely reacting to unprecedented scenes. though not everyone made it. large parts of the train system shutdown. rip currents seemingly running along roads. the amount of rain over the last three days in this provincial capital usually falls in an entire year.
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bringing traffic to a standstill. many homes were no place for refuge. 0ver10,000 residents in the region relocated. more than a dozen cities in this central part of china affected with the population of henan close to 100 million. with10,000 lost hectares of crops, the flooding causing an estimated $11 million worth of damage and counting. rescuers worked all hours to clear up the flooding, a result of many factors, including that a warming atmosphere caused by climate change makes extreme rainfall like this more likely. with downpours here forecast to continue for many hours yet. mark lobel, bbc news.
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the french parliament has approved a climate change law that environmentalists say falls far short of its initial objective. 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 crime, 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 climate change. studies have found that reefs in its northern waters have an unusual capacity to endure significantly higher temperatures. 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
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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. you see? the scenes you cherish for a lifetime. it's the first thing you do. save that. marion could not save her family 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.
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without sufficient warning, her son was trapped inside. he said "momma, 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 he was gone. here in this village, so many homes that were not washed away by the flood water will remain uninhabitable and unsafe and they have to demolish those first before they can begin the process of rebuilding people's homes and lives again. toothpaste, a candle, the bare essentials. they are enough for now. despite this support, as night falls, with literally no doors to lock, new threats emerge. i do have an axe beside my bed
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and i close my door. so if someone comes and wants to rape me, i think there is nothing more to take away. let me sleep and tomorrow is a new day, hopefully with coffee, and then we have to work again. anna holligan, bbc news. stay with us on bbc news, still to come: chasing tennis gold in tokyo. we bring you the story of one american challenger hoping to serve up success for himself and his team. coming down the ladder now. that's one small step for man,
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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 symbols of the violence and hatred to 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 amperly. _ thousands of households across the country are suspiciously quiet this lunchtime as children bury their noses in the final instalment of harry potter.
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you are watching bbc world news with me, david eades. 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 climate change. right, officially, there are just two days to go before the olympics are opened in tokyo. let's get the latest from the games. sarah mulkerrins is there. at last, some sport to talk about and reason for the japanese to be cheerful? absolutely, and it has been a long time coming, hasn't it? it has been a fractured and torturous build—up forjapan, the today the action has gotten under way and in soft bolt they have a win under their belts. something to celebrate for japan, they are the defending champions. they won gold in
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beijing, 2008, upsetting the americans. that was the last time sofball was in the olympics and it was japan who got the action at the olympics under way and unofficially, sort of, we know a couple of teams in their events getting through their schedule started early, we were going to have the football getting under way this wednesday in tokyo. and 8-1 this wednesday in tokyo. and 8—1 win for this wednesday in tokyo. and 8—1winforjapan against australia in the opening round game. the opening ceremony is on friday. there has been so much talk and build entities 0lympics, of delayed by a year by the global pandemic. it would be good to get a japanese perspective here, a volunteer at the olympics. i'm joined now by 0lympics volunteer, mieko kakiuchi. joining us here on bbc world news. thank you forjoining us mieko. i understand you will be volunteering at the tennis, not
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far from sera tokyo bay. are you excited by the games taking place. you excited by the games taking lace. ., , ., you excited by the games taking lace. . , ., , you excited by the games taking lace. . i. , place. can you see me? i need ou place. can you see me? i need you are- _ place. can you see me? i need you are- can — place. can you see me? i need you are. can issue _ place. can you see me? i need you are. can issue our. -- - you are. can issue our. —— konnichiwa _ hai, hai. ican hear i can hear you 0k. i can hearyou ok. i am i can hear you ok. i am ready. fantastic— i can hear you ok. i am ready. fantastic stuff. are you excited about the games taking place injapan? i excited about the games taking place injapan?— place in japan? i am very much lookin: place in japan? i am very much looking forward _ place in japan? i am very much looking forward to _ place in japan? i am very much looking forward to it, _ place in japan? i am very much looking forward to it, but - place in japan? i am very muchj looking forward to it, but some people are not. it's a very sensitive moment injapan. people are not. it's a very sensitive moment in japan. and, mieko, in terms _ sensitive moment in japan. and, mieko, in terms of _ sensitive moment in japan. and, mieko, in terms of the _ sensitive moment injapan. and, mieko, in terms of the public opinion, you are a volunteer. you saw the olympics take place, didn't you, back in
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1964. foryou, place, didn't you, back in 1964. for you, as a japanese member of the public, do you get a sense that perhaps once the action gets under way that shift, the feelings will shift from the public here? well, ma be. from the public here? well, maybe- the _ from the public here? well, maybe. the 24th _ from the public here? well, maybe. the 24th is - from the public here? well, maybe. the 24th is my - from the public here? well, maybe. the 24th is my first| from the public here? well, - maybe. the 24th is my first day to work, from my house to the site in tokyo bay area, i do not know what kind of attitude that people will have, looking at my work uniform. we have to wear this work uniform from home to the site. in the train, it may be some people will look at me and wonder... i wonder what their reaction would be. it is interesting, that sense, isn't it? about, you know, when you are walking around in the street. we know as journalists
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and people who arrived in the country, is that sense of tension and eggs it around it. do you think the tokyo games will be a good thing eventually forjapan, or do you think you are worried?— are worried? yes, there are man , are worried? yes, there are many. many _ are worried? yes, there are many, many problems, - are worried? yes, there are many, many problems, of. are worried? yes, there are - many, many problems, of course. but the games re: wonderful moment for us and we have been waiting a long, long time. when it was first in 1964, i was 22, i had just graduated from couege i had just graduated from college and had just started work. at that time we did not have good television and we did not know, even the word volunteer. now is the first and last chance for me to be a part of the olympics and, this kind of the olympics and, this kind of togetherness of all the world in one sky. of course, i
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am very, very looking forward to it and i think it is a good thing, great thing for us. mieko, thank you so much for your timejoining us. you are going to be volunteering at the tennis, close to us here in tokyo bay, a couple of hundred metres to my left—hand side. definitely one of the most anticipated sports, isn't it, particularly for the japanese public because they have for time grand slam champion naomi 0saka playing. and frances tiafoe as well as worth keeping an eye on, the 23—year—old defeated stefanos tsitsipas at wimbledon. laura trevelyan went to meet him at the courts in maryland, where his tennis career started. they laugh a triumphant return for america's newest tennis star frances tiafoe
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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 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 also 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? erm, i mean, a different level of hunger, a different level of desire. coach 0liver 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.
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i'd say "look, the day you're gonna 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 as a friend and mentor. frances' 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 you work hard 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. 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
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to the olympic games. as he prepares for the olympics, the 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's aiming for an olympic medal. laura trevelyan, bbc news, maryland. you know, great story there and we will no doubt be keeping track of his progress when the action properly gets under way. david. sarah mulkerrins, thank you very much indeed. and another race is going on. jeff bezos, the billionaire founder of amazon has been to space and back in the first crewed flight, of his rocket ship new shepard.
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0ur correspondent, sophie long, reports from texas. boarding his 60—foot suborbital 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 gravity. with him on this first fully autonomous flight, three other civilians. his brother, mark bezos, 18—year—old dutch student 0liver daemen, and 82—year—old trailblazing aviator wally funk. one of mercury 13, a group of women who went through astronaut testing and training beforejeff bezos was born, but never made it to space until now. mission control: five, four, three, two, one. i as you can hear, the reusable rocket, carrying its first passengers and paying customer is on its way to space.
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blast—off for the new shepard and lift—off for space tourism. look out the window. holy, good god! the capsule separated from the booster at 250,000 feet and continued to the edge of space. look at this. dark up here! where the four people were floating and weightless but critics say this is the wrong time for the uber—rich to be blasting off in rockets while the planet faces climate—driven disasters. the blue 0rigin capsule floated back to the desert carrying the richest, oldest, and youngest people to have ever travelled to space. oh, my god! my expectations were high, and they were dramatically exceeded. everybody who's 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, sweetheart, because you made it possible for me. i've been waiting a long time. heh! a historic step for the worlds richest man to move industry into orbit. sophie long, bbc news,
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in the west texas desert. you are right up to date. this is bbc news. 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 an 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.
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just because we will pull a little bit more cloud 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 mid—teens. that is the one area that stands out as being significantly cooler. watch out 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
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of the temperatures but even here things are creeping up — stornoway getting closer to 20 degrees, potentially 31 for the south—west of northern ireland, 31 or the south of england and wales as well. 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. 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, john kerry, has said the world can't wait for the end of the covid—19 pandemic before facing up to the environmental crisis. mr kerry warned that the suffering caused by not tackling climate change would be much worse than coronavirus. there's been severe flooding across central china. it's caused widespread disruption, with video footage showing images of roads turned into rivers and cars being stranded by fast rising water. scientists say 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, 0liver daemen, and the oldest, the pioneering female aviator wally funk. now on bbc news, hardtalk.

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