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tv   Our World  BBC News  November 7, 2021 3:30am-4:01am GMT

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explosion when a fuel tanker collided with a lorry in sierra leone's capital, freetown. fuel spilled before igniting and the resulting fire engulfed crowds of people and vehicles at a busyjunction. the vice—president has called it a "national disaster". police investigating a deadly crush at a music festival in the us state of texas say they're looking into reports that someone in the crowd was injecting others with drugs. eight people died in the stampede at the music festival in houston, when fans pushed towards the stage, causing panic. marches have been taking place in more than 200 cities around the world as part of what's been described as the global day of action for climate justice. tens of thousands of people took to the streets of glasgow, where the un's cop—26 climate talks are taking place.
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the former conservative prime minister sirjohn major has strongly criticised the government, saying its attempt this week to overturn the suspension of a tory mp who'd been judged to have broken lobbying rules was both "shameful and wrong." he said the government's actions were "unworthy of this or any government," and fitted a pattern of behaviour that he believed, was unconservative. here's our political correspondent, chris mason. very few are granted the privilege of living here, and so the verdict of those that have on the man who now does, matter. particularly when they are in the same party. and even more so when a former tory prime minister brands the current tory prime minister's government as perhaps politically corrupt. it seems to me, as a lifelong conservative, that much of what they are doing is very un—conservative in its behaviour. there are many strands to this that go way
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beyond the standards committee imbroglio of the last few days. there is a general whiff of, "we are the masters now" about their behaviour. he's referring to the former cabinet minister owen paterson, who's now resigned as an mp. he was facing a 30 days commons suspension and the possibility of a by—election for breaking rules around the work he did for private companies, alongside being an mp. but the government tried to block or delay that. until, at least, it changed its mind. i think the way the government handled that was shameful and wrong and unworthy of this or indeed any government. it also had the effect of trashing the reputation of parliament. if there is one man who knows a thing or two about how damaging sleaze can be to a government, it would be sirjohn major. it came, at least in part, to define his time in office. and we should remember, sirjohn is no fan of borisjohnson, and hasn't been for some time —
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he didn't vote for him to become conservative leader. it is though, nonetheless, quite something to hear a critique as wide and as deep from a former tory prime minister. parliament cannot be the play thing of any prime minister or indeed any government. this government has done a number of things that concern me deeply. they have broken the law, i have in mind the illegal prorogation of parliament, which i went to the supreme court. they have broken treaties, i have in mind the northern ireland protocol. they have broken their word on many occasions, the one that i find most odious was the cut in overseas aid. so if you are in the government now, what on earth do you say in response to all of this and what's happened in the last few days involving owen paterson? i accept, with hindsight, and the government has already made this clear, that with hindsight it was a mistake to try to bring that through on the timing that we did, but it doesn't mean it wasn't the right thing to try to do.
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i completely disagree withjohn major, i disagree with him on quite a few issues, but in particular on this one. this has been a bumpy few days for the government, entirely of its own making, as critics within the conservative party and beyond ask sharp questions about the prime minister's judgement. chris mason, bbc news, at westminster. now on bbc news, it's time for our world. bethany bell looks at the consequences of the recent wildfires in greece. this summer, greece was on fire. thousands of wildfires were fanned by its worst heatwave in decades. hardest hit was the country's second largest
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island, evia. the government has blamed climate change. i'm a firefighter for 23 years and as i can remember, there is no similar situation. here, the fires were catastrophic. around a third of the island was burnt. thousands of people had to flee their homes. and a way of life was destroyed.
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evia, off the coast of mainland greece. dense pine forests, beautiful beaches, and the sea. but this summer, a wildfire tore through the north of the island. it was the largest fire in greece since records began. over 50,000 hectares of woodland were burnt.
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it took almost two weeks to bring the blaze under control. i was sent to report on the fires this summer. two months on, i've come back to see the aftermath. this is lieutenant colonel stratos anastasopoulos who's responsible for co—ordinating firefighting aircraft across greece. chopper whirrs. he'd offered to take me up to see the extent of the destruction.
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i'm a firefighter for 23 years and as i can remember, there is no similar situation.
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it was a war above the fires because we had a lot of fires all over in greece. almost 100 fires per day for five or six days period. so it was very, very difficult for us. what was different about the fires this year? i think that the conditions, the weather conditions was very different from the other years. i think all of us, we can see the climb of changes. so we must think about all our lives and the life of natural environment. that is not only greece problem or americans problem or italians problem, no, it's a global problem.
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the forest i saw with stratos was evia's economy. on this island, many rely on the woodlands for their income. nikos dimitrakis is a farmer and beekeeper. he's one of hundreds of people here to have lost his livelihood. he feels the authorities should have sent more firefighters to put out the fires.
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are you ready? honey. how does it look? is it healthy looking? it's all right. it survived.
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it's incredible. the government is blaming climate change for these fires. hundreds of foreign firefighters were sent to greece to help. the government said it did all that was humanly possible to combat the blazes. but it said the fires were too intense for their defences. honey from pine trees accounts for 70% of greece's total honey
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production. and until the fires, two—thirds of greek pine honey was produced here in evia's huge forests. goat bells ring. the fires have affected the honey trade across the country. alexandra kakarouna lives 500kms away, in western greece. she started beekeeping as a child with her father. now she and her father run a honey business. like many greek honey producers, she used to take her beehives to evia for the pine tree pollen, but that's no longer possible.
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where does this honey come from? where did it use to come from? how many other honey producers are being affected?
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are you worried about the future of honey production here in greece?
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the forests that nikos and alexandra rely on for their bees will eventually regenerate if they can be protected from future fires. but the trees will take up
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to 30 years to grow back. chainsaw whirrs. there's a real danger of erosion and flooding when the rains come. chainsaw whirrs. the race is on to create protective terraces of logs to stop landslides this winter.
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the forestry department has hired teams of locals to cut down burnt wood all over northern evia to make space for new trees to grow. chainsaw whirrs. it wasn't just the island of evia. this summer, athens was burning too. we came here in august, we stood here and we watched, first of all there was smoke coming over that mountain, and then we saw the flames coming over the mountain and the hillside burning. to see all the, where
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the fire actually... elias tziritis works for the world wildlife fund and is also a volunteer firefighter who worked right here in this suburb this summer. he's concerned that megafires will happen again and again, unless there's more focus on prevention. here we are in the... ok, we are here. in the beginning, we think that it was one more fire to fight. this is the fire that get out of control, very easily, and with no wind. and what happened right here, how did the flames get so close to the houses? as you can see, the forest is mixed with housing. the majority of the fires start from cities to the forest. so these are red areas.
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what did you think when you heard the government blame climate change for this fire? the politicians here in greece say the problem of forest fires is climate change, but you know, climate change is one of...one of the criteria to have more intensive forest fires, it's not the ultimate criteria. and the forest fires don't start from climate change. we have 10,000 incidents in the country, 40% of them are negligence. elias says forest management is essential. fires can be stoked by dead, broken branches and dead leaves. known as forest fuel, this can be highly flammable and needs to be cleared. the main problem in greece with forest fires is the concentration of forest fuels. so we must find clever ways
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to decrease the forest fuels. post—fire management is very crucial, we must take the correct decisions to protect forests, to protect soil, to prevent erosion. if we don't solve the causes of fires, you have done nothing. are you worried that if there are more heatwaves next year and then years to come, we're going to see more huge megafires like this? the recent scientific results showed us we're going to have more heatwaves, more days of fire danger, so things are not so optimistic about forest fires and the beginning of megafires in the future. if you ask our colleagues in spain, portugal, italy or turkey, they're going to explain to you that the new trend in forest fires is megafires, megafires are affected by climate change. so we must believe in prevention in order
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to answer climate change. and we see the effect of climate change across europe, when you see countries that recently were not affected from forest fires, like romania, poland, sweden, scandinavian countries, so you see that fires are going up north in europe. how do we fight climate change? we must take serious political decisions. we must cut the emissions in order to stop or to slow climate change. on the other hand, we must prepare the citizens to adjust to the new reality. i'm very confident about nature, nature is going to do the work. the mediterranean forests are used to forest fires. it's inside the rehabilitation mechanism. so i trust nature. what i don't trust, i don't trust humans. laughs.
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applause. back in evia, nikos is getting married. he's invited us to the civil wedding. he and his wife evmorfia are expecting a baby. a little boy. traditional music plays.
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your son is going to grow up with the forest, in a way, so he's going to grow up with the new forest that's growing now.
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a day after his wedding, i met nikos again in his half burnt orchards. he'd brought some honeycomb from his hives. mmm, that's good! it's really good. i've never had honey out of a, directly out of a hive before. so good. mmm. he told me it felt like the end of an era.
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evia's forest will eventually grow back, if new fires can be prevented. but these burnt trees are an unsettling reminder of how fragile this landscape is — especially if megafires in the mediterranean become the new normal. hello. severe gales in northern scotland as sunday begins. the risk of travel disruption, some big waves along the coastline and we could well see some gusts around 60—70mph gradually easing during the day.
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some rain or showers around for a time too. many other places, though, will be staying dry, just the odd shower in the west. the best of any sunny spells in the east. temperatures a little bit down compared with saturday. the winds easing, and that's the process that continues into sunday night. the clearest skies will be across parts of eastern scotland and down the eastern side of england. prolonged clear spells will allow temperatures to drop away, and there may well be a touch of frost here and there as monday begins. cloud increasing again in the west, another weather system moving in here. so that's going to bring some rain into northern ireland on monday. moving across scotland and eventually reaching parts of northwest england and wales. and with this, the breeze starting to freshen again. some hazy sunny spells continuing across parts of eastern england. it's mild, and that's how it will stay in the week ahead.
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this is bbc news. welcome if you're watching here in the uk or around the globe. i'm rich preston. our top stories: hospitals overwhelmed in sierra leone after a hundred people are killed in a fuel tanker explosion. many more are injured. us police are investigating reports that someone at a houston music festival was injecting people with drugs before the crowd stampeded. the death of a pregnant woman sparks protests in poland against the country's near—total ban on abortion. she's said to be the first woman to die as a result of the law. and demonstrations around the world demanding urgent action to combat climate change as the cop26 summit continues.

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