of the united states. forecasters are warning of "historic" blizzards, deep snowfall, power cuts and travel chaos. the governors of new york, newjersey, massachusetts and virginia have declared emergencies and urged people to stay home. the uk says it's preparing a series of diplomatic and military initiatives in europe next week in the wake of growing tension between ukraine and russia. the prime minister, borisjohnson, issued a statement saying the uk was willing to double its nato troop contingent in eastern europe. a more detailed study is under way after initial research finds some people with long covid may have hidden damage to their lungs. researchers asked patients to inhale xenon gas before undergoing an mri scan. it revealed the lungs had difficulty in smoothly transferring oxygen into the bloodstream.
now on bbc news, yalda hakim travels back to afghanistan to find out what the country is like under taliban rule. last year, after 20 years of war, the taliban retook afghanistan. over 100,000 people fled. now, with access to the new taliban government, i want to find out what the country is like under their rule. they face a country shattered by war. the economy is close to collapse and millions face starvation. every baby and child in here is in a critical state and we just don't know if they are going to make it.
and this one—time terrorist group now faces a new terror threat of its own. can the taliban form a government that can put their violent past behind them and help rebuild this broken country? the last time i was in afghanistan, it was two months before the taliban took kabul. almost everyone i met then — members of the former government, human rights activist and journalists — have since led the country in fear of reprisals from the new taliban government. with routes into the country beginning to reopen, i decided to head back to afghanistan to see for myself what life was like for those who stayed behind. i had arranged to meet the dosts. they'd both lost their teaching jobs when the taliban took over.
i was struck by the risks this family were willing to take to demand an education for their daughter. under the previous government, girls receiving an education and women working had become the norm in kabul, but there are parts of afghanistan where things were very different. i travelled 500km to kandahar, in the south of the country.
it has always been seen as the conservative heartland of the taliban. me walking around here would have felt unimaginable a few months ago. and now, late in the afternoon as the sun's setting, we are out and about, walking around quite freely. it's clearly a different place, a different time — and a different country. but despite the surprising calm on the streets, there was a hidden threat here that was worsening by the day. widespread drought and economic crisis and sanctions against the taliban have created a situation where an estimated 98% of afghans are going hungry. i went to the paediatric unit of mirwais hospital to see for myself how families here were coping.
everywhere you look in this ward, there is a mother praying and it feels like that's all they have now. every baby and child in here is in a critical state and we just don't know if they are going to make it. like four—year—old munir, many of the patients in the ward were from the rural provinces surrounding kandahar city — areas that have been devastated and cut off by years of conflict. the next day, i drove to sangin, a small village in the south of helmand province. it was one of the most heavily bombarded areas during the war and responsible for more than 10% of daily casualties of the entire nato mission against the taliban. we have just arrived
at the outskirts of sangin and i have meta man who says his home was destroyed by foreign forces. much of this area was carved up by the warring sides with very little regard for the locals. this is where some of the most bitter battles were fought, and there seems to be very little left here standing. most of it is rubble. this building was a three—storey building and it's completely destroyed.
and a very different story over here — people who genuinely felt occupied by the foreign forces and the former government, and this is what they've left behind, homes destroyed. and this is the price of freedom that these people say they've had to pay. while i was in sangin, i've met a member of the taliban named abdul karim. he had previously kept his militant activities a secret from his neighbours but was now happy to talk openly.
despite all the destruction and poverty in this region, there has been one constant. helmand's poppy fields have provided a vital source of income for impoverished fighters and the taliban. afghanistan controls approximately 80% of the world's opium and for the last two decades, there has been a lot of talk about eradicating these fields. but it seems that these farmers have been working and operating as normal.
poverty and hunger is now affecting nearly everyone in afghanistan. there is a increasing concern that terrorist groups are using this to recruit and to challenge the new found authority of the taliban. isis in the khorasan, also known as isis—k, are the regional affiliate of the islamic state. during the taliban takeover, thousands of isis militants escaped from jail, swelling the ranks of the terror group. i received news that an isis operative had detonated a suicide vest in a clash with the taliban police. we have been called here by the taliban police who wanted to show us an isis sleeper cell that they recently attacked.
as well as attacks from isis—k, members of afghanistan's shia minority have a right to be wary of the taliban as they were heavily persecuted by the regime of the �*90s. after spending time with the kasemi family, i wanted to put some questions to the new taliban police governor for the province. upon arrival at his office, he was in the middle of receiving requests from members of the community.
a lot of the people coming to petition commander mawlawi seemed to be taliban fighters. i wanted to press him on whether he was also committed to protecting the interests of other communities in kandahar. so you can guarantee to the shia community here in kandahar that they will be safe, but they can go to their mosques, that they can worship without being targeted? what about the bomb that went
off at the shia mosque? there's been so much bloodshed over the last 20 years and the people now in charge were the ones terrorising the citizens of this province and this city. it's difficult to know how people will come together and how there will be some form of reconciliation now. during my time in afghanistan, i'd been trying to reach members of the former afghan police force — a community that had every reason to fear a taliban takeover. none of them would meet me in person but eventually, i got through to a police officer who had been in hiding since the collapse
what i found during my time here in afghanistan is that this is a nation that is very much divided. there are those who are in the rural communities in sangin who feel they were ignored for the last two decades and then, there are those who are living in hiding, living in fear, concerned about the taliban sweeping back to power and what that actually means for their future. the harsh winter is now setting in and famine is afflicting millions of afghans. this will require more than the healing of divisions to solve. billions of assets are frozen abroad and sanctions
hello there. the winds from storm malik eased down quite quickly during the latter part of saturday and we saw a ridge of high pressure build in to give us a fine start for sunday morning — cold, frosty and sunny for many — but conditions will deteriorate across the north and the west of the country later as the next deepening area of low pressure hurtles in off the atlantic. this has been named by the uk met office as storm corrie, and that'll arrive later on sunday across scotland, northern ireland, northern england. but we start the day off largely fine and settled with lots of sunshine around. the sunshine will hold on across central, southern and eastern parts of england through the day. cloud will build up further north and west and it'll start turning wetter and windier for northern ireland. northern and western scotland, some snow developing on the hills. gales developing across the western isles. it's going to be a chilly day across the board for sunday — highs of 5 to 9 degrees.
and then through sunday evening and overnight as storm corrie moves across the north of the uk, a real squeeze in the isobars behind this system as it pushes out into the north sea, so i think some of the greatest impacts will be felt once again across scotland. but we have a blanket yellow warning of wind gusts for the northern half of the uk — 50—60 mph gusts here — and an amberwarning for the northern half of scotland, where we could see gusts 70—80 mph, maybe even stronger than that for a time across the north—west of the country. along with that, there'll be some heavy rain and mountain snow which will clear away and then, in the early hours of monday, we'll see a rash of blustery showers pushing down from the north—west with clear spells in between, some wintriness over the higher ground. a chilly night to come, but not as cold as the previous night. so we start monday, then, off on a chilly note. there will be some sunshine around across eastern areas. the strong winds will have cleared away by this point but it will be a breezy day with further showers packing in to northern and western areas. again, some of these will be wintry on the hills. and another fairly cool day to come — 6—9 degrees. we could just make 10 degrees across south wales, south west england. beyond then, as we move
through the week, we'll see further wet and windy weather affecting northern and eastern parts of the country around this area of high pressure. not as windy as what we've had over the weekend, but with higher pressure always towards the south, many southern areas will tend to stay a lot calmer. and there will be some milder air moving in from the south—west for a time. most of the rain in the north. signs of it turning chillier for all by the end of the week.
hello. this is bbc news. i'm rich preston. our top stories: historic blizzards in the united states as a fierce winter storm with high winds and heavy snowfall hits the east coast. "stay inside and hunker down" is the advice from this meteorologist attempting to measure the situation on the coast. downing street is considering sending more british troops and military hardware to eastern europe, as nato weighs up options to increase pressure on russia. the medical trial throwing new light on why some people experience breathlessness after covid. ash barty wins the australian open to become first home winner in 44 years.