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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 1, 2021 12:00am-12:30am BST

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this is bbc news. i'm geeta guru—murthy with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. fierce fighting in afghanistan — three cities are battling the taliban. the taliban already control vast swathes of rural territory in afghanistan. now they're really pushing in on a number of cities, advancing right to the heart of lashkar gah, capital of helmand province. more than a dozen aid trucks have reached the capital of ethiopia's war—torn tigray region. borisjohnson and his wife, carrie, have announced they are expecting a second child. their first child, wilfred, was born in april last year. and as jamaica's elaine thompson—herah takes gold in the olympic hundred—metre final, we'll look ahead to day nine of the tokyo games.
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hello and welcome. there is heavy fighting in the southern afghan city of lashkar gah, the capital of helmand province. security forces in two other key cities — kandahar in the south and herat in the west — are also battling to try to halt the taliban offensive. thousands of people have been fleeing their homes to other parts of afghanistan and neighbouring countries. our correspondent secunder kermani is in the capital, kabul. this is the most serious fighting we've seen since this latest taliban offensive began. the group already had captured vast swathes of rural territory. now, they're trying to take their first city and earlier this evening, they made their way right to the centre of lashkar gah before being pushed back by afghan special forces.
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in the last few hours, a number of air strikes have been launched against taliban positions there, too. the fighting, as you say, has also been taking place around herat in the west of afghanistan and kandahar in the south. caught in the middle of this, of course, ordinary afghan families. tens of thousands of people have had to flee their homes in recent weeks and the international military mission here will formally come to an end by september with the taliban looking emboldened, peace talks stalled, everyone�*s worried that in the coming weeks, the violence is going to get even worse. is kabul at risk too? kabul for the moment, _ is kabul at risk too? kabul for the moment, life _ is kabul at risk too? kabul for the moment, life goes - is kabul at risk too? kabul for the moment, life goes on - is kabul at risk too? kabul for the moment, life goes on as. the moment, life goes on as normal. there is a great deal of fear, uncertainty and apprehension. everyone's looking around nervously with what's happening elsewhere around the country. no signs of
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any imminent taliban pressure. that would be one of the last things they would do. there's a number of other cities we've already talked about who are launching offensives. we've also seen the taliban offensives in the northeast in the country and the northwest, so the taliban, one would imagine, would go through what they might concede as being an easier target, though as of yet, they've not been able to everin yet, they've not been able to ever in this entire 20 year insurgency cash capture and hold a single city. the worry is that it's only a matter of time before that happens. afghan porpoises doing their utmost to prevent that —— afghan forces. kemal kirisci is a senior fellow at the brookings institute and has written about the mass exodus that's happening as the taliban's control expands. he told me more about the displacement of people there. we must not forget that afghans, after syrians and venezuelans, constitute the largest group of refugees
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in the world, not to mention internal displacement as well. and do you foresee that number basically rising, and that more refugees, migrants coming into europe, as well? yes, i do. and actually, when the biden administration back in april announced that they were going to pull out the us military troops, followed by the nato ones, for me, it was very obvious that this is what was going to happen, and as your reporting suggests, taliban control is expanding in the country, there is a lot of violence. and the instability that is going to follow. afghans traditionally during the time of the soviet occupation had fled mostly to pakistan and to some extent iran, the two countries were in the world the countries
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that hosted the largest number of refugees, but this time it is clear that the movement will be westward. and iran for the last couple of years has been encouraging very much the afghans who sought refuge in iran to move on to turkey, and this is why there are more than 500,000 afghans right now in turkey. i suspect that in no time, in no time, if especially the capital in afghanistan falls into taliban hands, the numbers will increase and some of them will make their way to the greek—turkish borden — 0bviously, people worried about what happens to those civilians, what the impact is on neighbouring countries, but also the very real threat of security and more militant violence. yes, but i think there is the humanitarian face to this.
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us and nato presence had brought a modicum of stability and gains in the civil liberties, education and a little bit in the economy in afghanistan. and that's collapsing. that's collapsing, and i think the focus ought to be more on how to reach out to the civilians, innocent civilians who are fleeing this violence, and also the countries that are going to host these large numbers of refugees at a time i am afraid attitudes, public attitudes towards refugees is fast deteriorating in turkey, but also in european countries. president erdogan has visited southern turkey to inspect efforts to fight dozens of wildfires that have now killed six people.
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he pledged financial support for the affected areas, and said most of the fires, which broke out on wednesday, were now under control. dozens have been taken to hospital. hundreds of protesters in malaysia's capital, kuala lumpur, have defied virus restrictions to gather in the streets, demanding the resignation of the prime minister and his cabinet. public pressure has been intensifying on prime minister muhyiddin yassin to step down, as the country continues to struggle with rising covid cases. police in beijing say they have detained one of china's biggest stars, kris wu, on suspicion of rape. earlier this month, a student accused the chinese—canadian actor and singer of raping her two years ago, when she was 17. since then, at least two dozen more women have come forward alleging inappropriate behaviour. kris wu has denied all the allegations. the united nations food agency says more than a dozen trucks carrying emergency aid to tigray in northern ethiopia have reached the regional capital, mekelle.
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they were part of a i70—vehicle convoy stuck for weeks in the neighbouring afar region because of insecurity. some of the other trucks are also making their way to tigray. about 5 million people in the region rely on emergency assistance, with 400,000 living in famine conditions. vanessa tsehaye is a human rights activist and a horn of africa campaigner at amnesty international. she told me more about the situation on the ground. the situation is absolutely catastrophic. it's been like this since the conflict started, but as the conflict is entering its ninth month, it'sjust becoming worse and worse. this convoy that has reached, or part of the convoy that has reached is only a fraction of what is needed. yeah, this is the first convoy to reach the region in over two weeks, and it has, you know, hundreds of trucks, but right now the need 100 trucks a day to meet the need on the ground, which is not happening due to the restrictions to the region. and why exactly is it so tough
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for them to get through? i mean, we have access to the region which is a problem due to bureaucracy, restrictions, security reasons, and then there is problems within the reason of attacks on staff, attacks on bridges that are making it difficult to reach certain areas, and again fighting that's making it harder to reach certain areas — refugee camps, for example, where they have not been able to access them for several weeks now. and who is it that is the worst affected here? i mean, at this point, it's everyone. tigray, 90% of tigray�*s population is in need of food, emergency assistance. over 100,000 children are estimated to die of starvation if the situation does not change, and of course the refugees who are living in the area who had already had to flee the destroyed refugee camps, and some of them are still left, have not been able to receive any assistance, as well, in the past months and past weeks. so, at this point, it's
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everyone living in tigray who are in desperate need of aid. so, within the international community, who has the power, who has the ability to change this quickly? there needs to be much more pressure on all actors of the conflict to allow full and unhindered access to the region. in the beginning, it was completely blocked access by the federal government, and then we had more and more restrictions from the federal government. right now, there are different factors creating this disaster that's happening. and so, pressure needs to be put on all actors of the conflict, both from a security perspective, but also from bureaucracy and other kind of restrictions to ensure that access is actually allowed. so, yeah, everyone needs to be putting pressure on all actors of the conflict right now. when we say 400,000 people living in famine conditions, what exactly are you hearing, what does that mean on a day—to—day basis for women, for children, for all of these families? i mean, from a food perspective, of course, it means that people are hungry or starving, but we also have a situation where the entire health system has collapsed. we have pregnant women, young children, and stories that are not coming out, due to a communications blackout, as well. you know, the problem
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is access, of course, as mentioned, and attacks on staff within and access within the region, but there is also communications restrictions which is making it even more difficult for the humanitarian workers to do theirjob but also for us to hear a full picture of what's happening on the ground. so, what we are hearing is just a tiny, tiny bit of the massive picture of what's happening, u nfortu nately. hundreds of thousands of bangladeshi garment workers have rushed back to major cities after the government allowed export oriented factories to reopen despite a surge in the pandemic. the clothing factories, which supply brands in the us and western europe, will start work from sunday. bangladesh is under a strict lockdown which will end on thursday. the rush back to industrial areas has sparked fears of another wave of the virus. bangladesh has so far reported 1.2 million cases, with more than 20,000 deaths. more than 60 million americans across the pacific northwest and the us
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southeast are facing another record heatwave with forecasters predicting temperatures could climb to a0 degrees celsius in washington. records were shattered across the regions last month when a days—long heatwave killed hundreds of people. a study published earlier this month found that the devastating heatwave would have been "virtually impossible" without the impact of climate change. more than a hundred motorists have had to be rescued from a mountain canyon in colorado after a landslide swept across an interstate highway. around 75 people had to spend the night in their vehicles as emergency crews cut a path through the mud and debris to reach them. remarkably, there were no injuries. officials say heavy rain sent a torrent of mud and rocks cascading down slopes stripped bare by a wildfire last year. to the olympics now, where day eight has wrapped up. the women's100—metres final took place. elaine thompson—herah of team jamaica won in an olympic
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record of 10.61 seconds, just the second fastest time ever run by a woman. and a big win for switzerland, as belinda bencic became the first swiss woman to win 0lympic tennis gold. sunday will be day nine of the olympics. here's our sports reporter, chetan pathak, on what we can expect. attention turning to the men's 100 metres final now. for the first time since 2004 no usain bolt at an 0lympics. who then are the contenders? remember, christian coleman, the reigning world champion, is banned for missing a drugs test. the us desperate to regain this title after years of usain bolt domination. they last triumphed via justin gatlin in athens. their hopes may rest on trayvon bromell to win the race. he won the us olympic trials. usain bolt�*s picked him out as his favourite, he is the fastest in the world this year. interestingly, though, sneaked through the first round heats as a fastest loser on saturday, so we will wait and see. canada's andre de grasse, too, finished third in rio, he is
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being talked about as well. his best chance for gold, though, might well come in the 200 metres. want to also talk about the gymnastics because the athletics understandably takes our attention on sunday, but we are going to see the final of the women's vault and uneven bars. and no simone biles for either, the four—time 0lympic champion first withdrew from tuesday's women's team final and then thursday's individual all—around final, saying she had to focus on her mental health. she has yet to decide if she will compete in the floor and balance beam finals, those are next week. a us gymnastic statement saying simon biles will continue to be evaluated daily, so still uncertainty about whether we will see simon biles at these games again competing. in swimming, we've have got the 50 metres freestyle finals, a one length sprint for glory stop
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can the us superstar caeleb dressel when his fourth gold dressel win his fourth gold medal of these games? he set a world record to win the men's100 metres butterfly on saturday, as he gained his third medal gold of the games. it's caeleb dressel�*s second individual gold so far in tokyo. of course, he won the 100 metre freestyle, also won gold in the four by 100 metre freestyle relay. away from that, britain's adam peaty hoping to win his third gold medal in tokyo. he's an action in the men's four by 100 metre relay. in golf, it is the final round of the men's tournament. american xander schauffele reading home favourite hideki hideki matsuyama, the first japanese player the first japanese player to win the masters, by one shot. what a story it could be for him and forjapan if he could win that one. and in tennis, we've got the men's singles final. germany's alexander zverev, who ended novak djokovic's hopes of a grand slam, takes on russian karen khachanov in the men's singles. djokovic earlier lost the bronze medal match in three sets to spain's pablo carreno busta. he pulled out of the mixed doubles bronze match with a shoulder trouble, but it was a really heated display from djokovic, who threw one
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racket, smashed another. remember, it's not happened for him here. he wanted that golden slam, win all four majors in the same year and the olympic title, and not to be for him. let's see what he can do at the us open, but plenty to look forward to on sunday. chest and back at their —— chetan pathak. this is bbc news. the headlines: heavy fighting is taking place in the centre of the strategically important southern afghan city of lashkar gah. a convoy of more than a dozen aid trucks has managed to reach mekelle, the capital of tigray in northern ethiopia. zimbabwe's president says more needs to be done to tackle the country's crystal meth crisis, which is an issue amongst children as young as 14 in his country, and linked to the country's high unemployment. the government says the economy will soon improve. but millions are still struggling and zimbabwe has just suffered one its deadliest weeks since coronavirus was first detected there. mark lobel reports. a dangerous distraction through tough times for this
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24—year—old agriculture graduate in zimbabwe's capital. translation: when i smoke crystal meth i get a lot - of energy and i don't sleep at night. ifeel like i'm just waking up and anything is possible. if we were employed and occupied, it would help a lot. doing drugs is a way of healing the pain and stress of being unproductive, and not getting the opportunity to proceed with education. crystal meth is becoming worryingly common and can cost less than alcohol, so it's a convenient choice for those in poverty or with mental health issues. there's little hope of change as the pandemic persists with a record in daily covid deaths reported earlier this week. the government hasjust approved thejohnson & johnson vaccine but, so far, two doses of
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china's sinopharm jab have reached less than 10% of people the state says need to be fully vaccinated to control the virus, so they can feel as confident as the vice president. so, after several lockdowns this past year, similar restrictions have just been extended again — a further risk to isolated people tempted by cheap drugs. amphetamine increases the risk of developing depression and suicidal ideations. in a country mired in recession after a drought and lockdown the past two years, encouraging tobacco sales and a bumper maize crop could offer some relief. but despite the government's optimistic economic forecast, millions still live in poverty or on low wages. and zimbabwe's president, emmerson mnangagwa, has himself
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warned of a new phenomenon of unbecoming trends threatening the fate of zimbabwe's youth. there is a need for projects, projects that generate - income for the youth. the young are zimbabwe's future. breaking the link between drugs and the disillusioned will help ensure they find a more positive path. mark lobel, bbc news. american military forces have boarded an israeli—operated oil tanker after two crew members, a british national and a romanian citizen, were killed in a reported drone strike. the us navy has said experts boarded the tanker to "ensure there is no additional danger to the crew, "and are prepared to support an investigation into the attack". israel has accused iran of being behind the attack, which occurred off 0man�*s coast in the arabian sea on thursday. iran has not yet responded to the allegations, but it appears to be a serious
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escalation in tensions in the region. 0ur correspondent tom bateman is injerusalem. he explained more from there. the foreign minister, yair lapid, who has quite firmly put this at the feet of the iranians and said that he had spoken to the uk foreign secretary, dominic raab, about this because one of the two people killed on board was a british security guard on the ship. the other was a senior member of the crew, a romanian national. now, mr lapid said that he expected the need for what he described as a "severe response" following that attack. that was in a phone call to that uk official, to mr raab on friday night, and in terms of the details we have now about this attack, as you say, us navy fifth fleet explosive experts have been on board and the maritime security industry is saying that they understand this to be a drone attack
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by a so—called attack drone. now, these are explosive—laden drones that are flown by remote control into objects, and it's believed this was flown directly into the bridge of this ship and that's when the fatalities occurred. so, there is an investigation going on. the ship is continuing north past muscat at the moment under its own power, officials say, but it is under us naval escort, but what this does is to really ramp up tensions into what is often seen as a shadow war between the iranians and the israelis across parts of the middle east. but this, in terms of what happens at sea, as far as those confrontations are concerned, marks a serious escalation. tom bateman in jerusalem. the british prime minister's wife, carriejohnson, has announced she is pregnant. this will be the couple's second child together. announcing the news on instagram, carriejohnson also revealed that she had a miscarriage at the start of the year. she said, "i feel incredibly
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blessed to be pregnant again, "but i've also felt like a bag of nerves." here's our political correspondent, nick eardley. carrie johnson's posted on instagram that she's expecting around christmas. remember, she and borisjohnson were married in may in that fairly small and secret ceremony at westminster cathedral. now they're expecting their second child in downing street around christmas time. it is pretty rare for prime ministers to have children while they're in office — i think there's only been four in the last 150 years or so, so it's quite a rare thing. but in this post that carrie johnson has put up on her instagram page, she's also revealed that she had a miscarriage at the start of this year. ijust want to read you a particular point of it which she's put up, saying "i feel incredibly "blessed to be pregnant again, but i've also felt "like a bag of nerves.
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"fertility issues can be really hard for many people, " particularly when on platforms like instagram it can "look like everything is only ever going well." she goes on to say, "i found it a real comfort to hear "from people who'd also experienced loss, so i hope "that in some very small way sharing this might "help others, too." so, happy news for the prime minister and his wife, but also some sadness in that post as well. and mrsjohnson saying that she hopes that by sharing her own experience, it might be able to help others. the uk telecommunications industry hopes a satellite that has gone into orbit will help maintain its global leadership in the sector. a quarter of the world's big telecoms spacecraft are manufactured in britain, and the new quantum platform is billed as the market's next—generation product. quantum was launched on an ariane rocket from french guiana. here's our science correspondent, jonathan amos.
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another rocket climbs skyward to bolster a sector that europe, and the uk in particular, has come to dominate — the business of telecommunications satellites. there are hundreds of these spacecraft overhead, bouncing tv, phone calls, broadband and other data services around the planet. but the new satellite going into orbit, called quantum, represents a big step forward in technology. while traditional telecom spacecraft are configured before launch to do very specific tasks, quantum has been built for flexibility. it's the sector's first fully reprogrammable spacecraft. it's able to rapidly change the coverage, bandwidth, power and frequency of its signals. one of its uses will be for disaster response, providing emergency communications to the teams that are sent in to help people in places hit by catastrophic floods or earthquakes. quantum's manufacturers in the uk — that's airbus and
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surrey satellite technology ltd — will incorporate the prototype's technology into their future spacecraft, hoping to maintain their world—leading status in what has become a highly competitive field. jonathan amos, bbc news. something rather out of this world is taking place in shanghai, where a futuristic new planetarium has opened. the facility, which is the size of around five football fields, showcases the nation's extra—terrestrial exploits. in recent months, beijing has landed a spacecraft on mars and sent the first astronauts to a chinese space station. it also features working telescopes and a range of interactive exhibits. it looks very intriguing. a reminder of our top story.... heavy fighting is taking place in the centre of the strategically important southern afghan city of lashkar gah. much more on all of our stories
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on the website. don't forget you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter — i'm @ geetagurumurthy. bye for now. hello. between the showers on saturday, we reached 23 celsius in suffolk. we had nine hours of sunshine in parts of cornwall. that is often the case when we have sunny spells and showers. the north york moors saw about 17 mm of rain from the showers during saturday as well and they haven't altogether died out through the night because we've got the complication of a weather front. what it is is cooler in the north. temperatures into a single figures in rural parts of scotland and northern ireland. that's because we're behind this cold weather front. as i say, that's complicating our sunny spells and scattered showers scenario because we've actually got rather more cloud to start across parts of northern england, showers following on that brisk wind into the north and east of scotland but fewer showers further west across scotland, very few showers for northern ireland generally speaking and further west, but they will break out both on our weather front and further south. it looks like the most potent
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showers during the day on sunday are likely across southern and eastern parts of the uk, slow—moving with hail and thunder and lightning. once again torrential downpours, we need to keep an eye on those. and temperatures generally will be a degree or so down on those of saturday because of that northerly breeze although a fairly light breeze in southern areas, as i say. and those showers will rumble on and through this evening and for a start tonight, but then they do fade away. we lose that weather front away from southern and eastern areas and it'll be a fresher night for all, i think. we'll notice that difference by the time we get to monday morning. but some brightness and sunshine and a relatively quiet start to the week. 0ur weather front�*s not too far away in the south, so that's going to provide the focal point again for a few showers and perhaps developing over the cumbrian mountains and up into snowdonia in wales, one or two not far away from northern ireland, and western scotland should be fine and dry but still cool in the north and east with that gentle northerly drift which gets cut off by our slight ridge of high pressure for a time late monday into tuesday. but then, we're looking
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at the atlantic influence coming in from midweek on which is going to be difficult to pinpoint the detail at this stage. so, don't take this as read but it does look more unsettled again as we go through the midweek and beyond period. that, as you can see, illustrated here on our weather charts with more showers and longer spells of rain appearing, and even some showers to start the week as i say in southern areas and across wales in particular. so, yes, fewer showers, a little bit quieter to start the week, still quite cool and it stays cool with more wind and rain later.
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this is bbc news.
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the headlines: fighting is raging around three major cities in afghanistan as the taliban try to seize them from government forces. militants have made rapid gains since it was announced almost all foreign troops would leave by september. thousands of people have been fleeing their homes to escape the violence. the un food agency says several trucks carrying emergency aid to tigray in northern ethiopia have reached the regional capital mekelle. they were part of a convoy that got stuck for several weeks. around 5 million people in the region rely on emergency assistance, with 400,000 living in famine conditions. on day eight of the tokyo 0lympics, it was a clean sweep forjamaica in the women's100 metres final, with elaine thompson—herah taking the title. it's her second successive olympic gold in the event.

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