welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore, i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines... the final countdown to tokyo's delayed olympics. anticipation rises — but so do the covid cases and controversies. the opening ceremony is just hours away. i'm sarah mulkerrins live in tokyo as the city is finally waking up to the beginning of the games — with organisers hoping the sporting action on offer will boost the mood. china deals with the devastating aftermath of catastrophic flooding. thousands are evacuated from the huh—nan region — at least 33 people are confirmed dead. also on the programme,
renewed friction between the us and china. beijing rejects a plan by the who for a second visit to the country to investigate the origins of covid—19. this the response from washington: deeply disappointed, their position is irresponsible, and frankly, dangerous. live from our studio in singapore. this is bbc news. it's newsday. welcome to viewers around the world and in the uk. it's seven in the morning in singapore and 8am in tokyo where the much troubled 2020 olympics will finally open in a few hours�* time. after a year's delay due to covid—19, the wait is almost over for more than 11,300 athletes trying to get their hands on an olympic medal. there's already been a total of 91 coronavirus cases in tokyo directly
linked the games. that's after a sixth member of the czech olympic team tested positive in the last few hours. beyond the athletes�* village, daily covid infections in tokyo are now higher than at any time since january. and with no fans allowed into stadiums, there's less income for the organisers to try to recoup the cost of $12.6 billion dollars. celebrations at the opening ceremony will be the most subdued of any olympics in history. nevertheless, our tokyo correspondent rupert wingfield—hayes has managed to track down some excited fans. finding olympic fans in tokyo these days isn't so easy. but on this roof top at least, it's a different story. skateboarding is in the olympics for the first time, with the hope of attracting
young new fans, and it seems to be working. translation: it would be cool to watch great - skateboarders at the olympics. translation: | love _ snowboarding, so skateboarding is good practice for me, and it's fun! at one time, everyone here was an olympic fan. on the day tokyo won the bid back in 2013, people were delirious with joy. tokyo! today, the atmosphere couldn't be more different. the stadium where the opening ceremony will happen is surrounded by high fences — spectators kept far away. first, there was the enormous cost of the main stadium, then there were problems with the olympic logo, then there were allegations of corruption, and then covid hit. the whole games had to be moved by a year. this year, japan's olympic chief had to step down over a sexism 1’0w. then the composer of music for the opening ceremony was forced out because of bullying allegations. finally, one day before
the games were due to open, the director of the whole opening ceremony has been fired because it turns out he made jokes about the holocaust. it's no wonder some people here think these games are cursed. newsreel: the worlds biggest city, more than 10 million - population and still growing, tokyo prepares... it was all so different the last time tokyo held the games back in 1964. author robert whiting had arrived injapan two years earlier. it's too bad, one of the really nice things about the '64 olympics was for two weeks — two and half weeks — the city was just filled with tourists and athletes mingling with each other. the nice thing about the olympics is that they are a global festival. it really was a festival atmosphere. it was quite nice, and you know, now it's like the city's like a ghost town. not quite a ghost town. tokyo is supposed to be under a state of emergency, but you wouldn't know it in the famous nightlife district.
like many others, the owner of this restaurant is now refusing to close early or stop serving alcohol. he says he lost a quarter million dollars during the last shutdown. translation: i am struggling. i have friends who have had to close their restaurants. i was short of cash and had problems paying bills. that's why i decided to be open. the government is not helping us, so i have to protect my own living. there are certainly those who are looking forward to tonight's opening ceremony. many of them are already lining up to take photos close to the main stadium, but overall, the mood in tokyo is more weary acceptance than eager anticipation. rupert wingfield hayes, bbc news, tokyo. we can go live now to our sports presenter sarah mulkerirns in tokyo. despite all the controversies and threats of cancellations —
the opening ceremony oficially kicks of the games later but there has already been plenty of action on the football is not my favourite sport until very recently, for obvious reasons, but you have been paying attention to a very important game. tell us more. absolutely. good morning this friday morning ahead of the opening ceremony here in tokyo. that will take place at 8pm local time a little bit later. some of the action already in it that way, you have been enjoying the football, we have as well while they wait for the sport to come together suddenly we won't know what to be watching her where to look for all of those metals to come. so far we had the women's tournament starting on wednesday, then we had the men's tournament, a big game between brazil and germany. a bit of a grudge match, the repeat of the 2016 find out which brazil won in rio, and last night, they were winners again. ray charlotte's in and the everton striker, but then
3-0 the everton striker, but then 3—0 up by the break. germany did get two back. it was 3—2 at one stage before presale wrapped up the win 4—2. so a big win for them. also off the mark, mexico, 4— have been win—win for them over france. very good results for them on the night. then plenty of other good results in sporting actions that you can see, but let's focus, i suppose, and what many people here injapan will be feeling this friday, finite, we have got to the stage where these delayed games are about to get under way. it's been such a fractured and frost build—up, hasn't to? that we had bob in hearing about, i think, a lot of people will be siding a deep breath, a deep exhale when it all gets under way, and if it continues on safely. so let's speak to somebody who is part of the olympic torch relay. alicia ballots joins us now from
tokyo. hello, you where holding that olympic torch yesterday. just tell us how you got involved in that.- just tell us how you got involved in that. yes, i was fortunate — involved in that. yes, i was fortunate to _ involved in that. yes, i was fortunate to attend - fortunate to attend international middle and high school, — international middle and high school, which was small and represented over 40 nationalities in its student body— nationalities in its student body can and it really taught me to — body can and it really taught me to celebrate diversity, but i think— me to celebrate diversity, but i think in_ me to celebrate diversity, but i think in the real world, pe0ple's_ i think in the real world, people's differences often lead to discrimination and hate, but i think— to discrimination and hate, but i think that the olympics is a really— i think that the olympics is a really special event that allows _ really special event that allows people with these differences to come together through sports. sol differences to come together through sports. so i wanted to participate in the olympics in any way— participate in the olympics in any way possible, so i decided to apply— any way possible, so i decided to apply to be a torchbearer in the torch _ to apply to be a torchbearer in the torch relay.— the torch relay. and is that it over your _ the torch relay. and is that it over your shoulder _ the torch relay. and is that it over your shoulder there - the torch relay. and is that it | over your shoulder there that the torch relay. and is that it i over your shoulder there that i can see in the background because mac the mac yes, this is what i was carrying last night. so, how does that feel?
how did it fail yesterday, and quite nice to have that memento now. . ., , , quite nice to have that memento now. . . , , ., now. yeah, it was definitely an amazin: now. yeah, it was definitely an amazing feeling. _ now. yeah, it was definitely an amazing feeling. the _ now. yeah, it was definitely an amazing feeling. the theme i now. yeah, it was definitely an | amazing feeling. the theme for this year's torch relay was hope _ this year's torch relay was hope guides our awake and it's annoying — hope guides our awake and it's annoying that the hopes of the athletes — annoying that the hopes of the athletes who had to continue to train _ athletes who had to continue to train and — athletes who had to continue to train and stay motivated during a really— train and stay motivated during a really uncertain year, and the — a really uncertain year, and the hopes of the japanese public— the hopes of the japanese public for a safe but successful olympics during the pandemic, and the hopes of people _ pandemic, and the hopes of people around the world to see the olympics as a symbol of a brighter— the olympics as a symbol of a brighter future, knowing that all of — brighter future, knowing that all of these hosts are being represented by the flame i was carrying — represented by the flame i was carrying was definitely a really _ carrying was definitely a really powerful and special feeling. really powerful and special feelina. ~ ., really powerful and special feelina. . ., ., really powerful and special feelina. ~ . ., 4, feeling. what do you think the mood is like _ feeling. what do you think the mood is like amongst - feeling. what do you think the mood is like amongst you - feeling. what do you think the mood is like amongst you and | mood is like amongst you and your friends towards these games? i your friends towards these names? ~ ., your friends towards these iames? ~' ., ,.,, your friends towards these names? ~ . , games? i think that past couple of months. _ games? i think that past couple of months, there _ games? i think that past couple of months, there has _ games? i think that past couple of months, there has definitely| of months, there has definitely been _ of months, there has definitely been a — of months, there has definitely been a lot of tension regarding
whether— been a lot of tension regarding whether we should support the hosting — whether we should support the hosting of the olympics here in tokyo — hosting of the olympics here in tokyo 0t— hosting of the olympics here in tokyo. of course, with the case is continuing to rise, but i think— is continuing to rise, but i think now— is continuing to rise, but i think now that the olympics have — think now that the olympics have already begun, i think more — have already begun, i think more people are beginning to be excited, — more people are beginning to be excited, and i thinkjust in the — excited, and i thinkjust in the past _ excited, and i thinkjust in the past few days, there has already— the past few days, there has already been events, and the japanese _ already been events, and the japanese teams have been showing some great performances so far _ showing some great performances so far so — showing some great performances so far so i — showing some great performances so far. so i think people are starting _ so far. so i think people are starting to get more excited and are _ starting to get more excited and are being reminded of the inspiring— and are being reminded of the inspiring moments that the only books _ inspiring moments that the only books can— inspiring moments that the only books can bring.— books can bring. lovely to attack tl- _ books can bring. lovely to attack tl. well _ books can bring. lovely to attack tl. well done - books can bring. lovely to attack tl. well done so i books can bring. lovely to l attack tl. well done so far, and enjoy the action over the coming couple of weeks. part of the olympic torch relay. it is interesting that she mentioned some of the action so far. japan under way with two wins
from two in softball. they also one in the football, so perhaps now that we are having this scaled—down opening ceremony a little bit later and then the sport will start properly on saturday, those feelings and a lot of the negativity in the tension and anxiety and paranoia that is quite justified amongst the whole global community when you think about who was staying in olympic games, we may all suddenly start to relax a little bit into it a little bit more as the sport gets under way. more as the sport gets under wa . , , , , ., way. yes, 'ust slightly more. certainly — way. yes, just slightly more. certainly when _ way. yes, just slightly more. certainly when you _ way. yes, just slightly more. certainly when you hear- certainly when you hear inspirational stories likely just stories likelyjust dead from that guest of yours, what articulate young lady. a real inspiration to have that on the programme. we'll have more on the olympics later in the programme — more specifically, surfing. and you can keep up to date with all of the action on our website — we'll have a special live page while the events are going on — just log on to bbc.com slash news
let's take a look at some other stories in the headlines.... the united states has imposed sanctions on a senior cuban official and a security force which answers to the cuban ministry of the interior, over their response to anti—government protests earlier this month. the us state department says the repression of the demonstrations was a human rights violation — and warned that more action could be taken. several popular websites around the world have been affected by an outage of service, linked to problems at the web provider akamai. it says the issue has now been fixed, and was not caused by a cyber attack. among the sites affected were air b'n'b, the ups delivery service, british airways and the playstation network used for online games. norway has marked the tenth anniversary of the utoya massacre with a ceremony on the island where 69 people were killed by
anners baring brayvik. survivors of the attack called for more to be done to tackle racism and right wing extremism. still to come on the programme — the latest on the growing row between the us and china on the investigation into how the covid pandemic started. but first. . .. tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from the region of huh—nan in china as officials confirmed that at least 33 people have died. they include a dozen commuters injeng — jhou who were caught on the city's underground as the carriages filled with water. jeng—jhou had a year's worth of rain in three days — and more is forecast. i'm joined now by sylvia who has been working there for the last three years. sylvia, thank you so much forjoining us on the programme, and i hope that you and yourfamily are
the programme, and i hope that you and your family are safe. i know it's been really traumatic conditions over the last couple of days. can you tell us what your personal experience of the flight has been?— your personal experience of the flight has been? good morning. as for my personal _ flight has been? good morning. as for my personal experience, | as for my personal experience, i should admit that i am so lucky because my part of that city that i'm living in, it wasn't touched that bad as other parts of the city that were evacuated, that were destroyed, and still, they are fighting these things that are happening. for me, we also cannot work right now. we are still staying in the house. we cannot leave right now, but we do tl safe because in that area, it is fortunately really dead. but like i said, not all of the parts of the city are
like that. of the parts of the city are like that-— of the parts of the city are like that. , ., ., like that. yes, sylvia, what are your — like that. yes, sylvia, what are your friends _ like that. yes, sylvia, what are your friends in - like that. yes, sylvia, what are your friends in other i like that. yes, sylvia, what i are your friends in other parts of the city telling you about how bad the situation has been? 0k. how bad the situation has been? ok. so, some of my friends that are from the university, writes that the university was flooded really bad. some of the bridges have already fallen, and roads are not possible to move. also, i have a friend who was staying in a railway station for more than 20 hours because there was no way to leave the railway station. there was no way to go on the train. it was flooded. so some of the right neck i'm very sorry to hear about the experiences that you have heard from your friends. experiences that you have heard from yourfriends. can ijust asked, how have local authorities responded to the crisis because mac are people getting help? we were updated
about the information that we have here. every hour, we are getting some message as ballots what kind of roads we should have waited, all of this was really clear. of course, there was also army that was helping all of those people, and they still do. i can see around the house that they are doing cleaning, they are helping people. they rescue those people. they rescue those people who are far away from homes and they cannot come back because stale, the roads are... not dead. because stale, the roads are... not dead-— not dead. sylvia, thank you so much for _ not dead. sylvia, thank you so much for your _ not dead. sylvia, thank you so much for your time _ not dead. sylvia, thank you so much for your time on - not dead. sylvia, thank you so much for your time on the - much for your time on the programme today, and i do hope that you stay safe over the course of the coming days. well, you are watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme...
the thrill of taking to the waves at the tokyo games, as surfing makes its debut as an olympic sport. 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 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 properly. _
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 newsday on the bbc, i'm in singapore. our headlines... the final countdown to tokyo's delayed olympics. anticipation rises — but so do the covid cases and controversies. the opening ceremony is just hours away. china deals with the devastating aftermath of catastrophic flooding. thousands are evacuated from the henan region — at least 33 people are confirmed dead. china has rejected a plan by the world health organisation for a second phase of an investigation
into the origins of covid 19. a senior chinese health official said the proposal, to consider whether the virus could have escaped from a chinese laboratory, did not respect science and disregarded common sense. well, the white house press secretaryjen psaki was asked about china's stance and gave this frank response. we are deeply disappointed. the position is irresponsible and, frankly, dangerous. alongside other member states around the world, we continue to call for china to provide the needed access to data and samples. for more on this we can talk to our north america correspondent david willis. we've just heard from the white house — it feels like a stalemate at this point, with china refusing to budge, and the us insisting that they do. where do we go from here? president biden, of corus...
response in which he's been in office, the two superpowers had clashed over such things as cyber security and human rights. now they are trading a war of words, if you like, over another key question. the origin of the coronavirus pandemic, and a couple of months ago, president biden urged his top officials to get to the bottom of the causes of the pandemic, not least because the pandemic, not least because the bulk of the 4 million people who have died of the virus are here with the united states, more than 600,000 deaths so far. now, president biden revealed that us intelligence officials where pursuing a number of different leads and theories among them, the possibility that the virus could have resulted from a laboratory accident in china. that gave further momentum to a theory that up to then had really been seen here as a right—wing conspiracy theory. the possibility that the virus
was man—made in some form, and china hasn't really been helping it south in this regard, some might argue, officials from the world health organization where on the able to get access to the wuhan area in january of this year. to get access to the wuhan area injanuary of this year. more than a year after the first cases of the virus came to light. now, beijing has flatly rejected a request from the who for its investigators to be allowed to inspect the laboratories, research institutes in wuhan. china has called it disrespectful and arrogant, and the united states concerned about that. they say china is irresponsible and dangerous in this regard, but, of course, without access to those facilities, does research institutes, it is very difficult to work out how officials can gain access to
the cause of this pandemic. absolutely. david, does the less china tensions really having an impact on people out here in this part of the world and asia as well. i have to apologise for the sound on that interview with david well s, but thank you, david, for your analysis. let's take a look at some of the stories in the headlines in the uk.... the government of madagascarsays, it has thwarted an attempt to assassinate the president. several local people and foreigners were arrested this week, as part of an investigation into the alleged plot. last month the authorities anounced they had foiled an effort to kill the head of the national police force. large wildfires have been burning across the timber—rich region of karelia in northern russia. officials say there are about thirty fires across 9 thousand hectares, close to the border with finland. a state of emergency was declared on tuesday. british rock icon eric clapton has said he will not perform at venues that require concertgoers
to be fully vaccinated against covid—19. he says he will not perform anywhere there is a "discriminated audience present". in may, the guitarist said he had experienced a "severe" reaction to the astrazeneca vaccine. surfing will make its olympic debut at the tokyo games, as 40 thrill—seeking athletes take to the waves of suri—gas—aki beach. one of the favourites will be brazil's gabriel medina — he's already a double world champion and runs his own educational foundation for young surfers in sao paulo. he's confident he can rise to the challenge and become surfing's first male olympic champion. feels amazing, the olympics is
coming up. it's really big for us, you know, for this sport. i'm excited to go to japan. it will be at that event. hopefully we get some good waves, you know, and make the best of it. i know we are not going to have people on the beach there, not many, you know, like we are you still, bites, yeah, i know everyone is going to be rooting for us and we appreciate all the love and support that they give us. surf is really an individual sports. we are not having a contest thatis we are not having a contest that is a real team. you know, we are representing presale, but if i win the gold medal, my partner wants to win a gold medal. everyone wants a gold medal. everyone wants a gold medal. sojust one medal. everyone wants a gold medal. so just one guy is and when. the sport will grow even more, you know? and this is a great opportunity for every line, you know because maxell
it's good for the spirit, good for the new generation and can i get for us. we work really hard for this, you know because mac and can inspire people all to one day become a professional surfer and changing their lives just like we did. changing their lives 'ust like we did. ., . changing their lives 'ust like wedid. ., . ., we did. you can get much more on the olympics _ we did. you can get much more on the olympics on _ we did. you can get much more on the olympics on the - we did. you can get much more on the olympics on the bbc- on the olympics on the bbc website. we have coverage throughout the entire season of the olympics. to be sure to check it out. before we go, a twist on our top story — the tokyo olympics. saint luke's hospital in missouri is hosting an olympics celebration of its own, dressing newborn babies in tiny team usa outfits. they're even awarding medals to the mini �*athletes'. it goes without saying that each is a gold—medal winner, of course with a few perfect 10 scores. can't imagine explaining
silver to any parent. certainly my children wouldn't be pleased with getting a silver. that said for this edition of newsday. thanks for watching. the heatwave is coming to an end, it may not feel like it right away because it's been so hot for so long. and in northern ireland on thursday, we beat the all—time high record once again, 31.4 celsius, that's three times in the space of a week that northern ireland has beaten its all—time high temperature record. and the amber warning from the met office of extreme heat is still in force for friday, that's because the temperatures will remain high during the night and during the daytime. you can see clear skies across many through the early hours in some areas, temperature is still around 20 degrees celsius. but it is quiet on the weather front, at least for now.
areas, but through the evening and into afternoon, some coastal towns and cities along the north sea coasts will probably stay cloudy, fairly cool as well, relatively speaking, but with a breeze blowing out of the east and that heat still travelling towards the west, this is where we are going to have the higher temperatures. so once again, 30 degrees is just about possible in northern ireland, high 20s, across in wales, maybe the midlands. look at that, only 24 degrees expected in london. lots of sunshine, the possibility of a thunderstorm during the afternoon, and then in the evening, clouds are increasing in the southwest of the country. so friday night, we could see some thunderstorms, and that heralds a really thundery weekend for many of us with slow—moving downpours brought by this area of low pressure on saturday and on sunday. the best of the weather will actually be across scotland and northern ireland, so this is where the sunshine will be. where it's further south, you can see from morning onwards, we've got cloud, outbreaks of rain, some thunderstorms, and remember, these are slow—moving storms, so a lot of rainfall in a relatively small area, in a short space of time,
leading to potential flash floods. temperatures quite a bit lower, mostly in the low 20s. similar weather expected on sunday, if anything, the storms could be even more severe across some southern and southeastern areas. again, the best of the weather out towards the northwest. glasgow could be the warm spot, possibly northern ireland as well, around 24 celsius. and the cool weather is expected next week with a low pressure close by, bringing fresher conditions. that's it from me.
this is bbc news. we will have the headlines and all the main news stories for you at the top of the hour as newsday continues straight after hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk. i'm stephen sackur. hungary's prime minister victor orban seems to regard his increasingly toxic relationship with the eu's brussels institutions as a badge of honour and a political asset. on a range of issues from press freedom to lgbt rights, hungary routinely ignores the collective interpretation