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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 11, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm BST

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hello, this is bbc news at 5pm. i'm victoria derbyshire. here are your headlines: thousands of civilians are fleeing major afghan cities, as the taliban continue their rapid advance — prompting a humanitarian crisis. our reporter has gained exclusive access to areas under the group's control. a 57—year—old british man understood to be working as a security guard at the uk's embassy in berlin has been arrested on suspicion of spying for russia. calls for the reform of a—levels after a record number of entries were awarded the top grades. labour says it's worried about inequality.
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well done, by the way, to all of those that got the result they want. but the gap now is getting bigger and bigger and there is baked—in unfairness. at least 65 people have died in wildfires in algeria, among them soldiers fighting the blazes. and here, under threat — sea horses off the coast of dorset. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. afghan president ashraf ghani has flown to the key northern city of mazar—i—sharif to rally the troops as taliban militants close in on the city. it comes as the taliban claims to have captured a ninth provincial capital, the northeastern city of faizabad. the afghan army chief has been removed from his post and thousands of displaced people are pouring
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into the capital kabul, fleeing fighting in other parts of the country. our afghanistan correspondent secunder kermani has been given rare access to newly captured taliban territory near mazar—i—sharif, where militants have been circling the city. his report was filmed by cameraman fred scott, and a warning this report contains some very distressing images. new territory... ..new weapons, all captured in this unprecedented taliban advance. caught in the middle, afghan families right across the country. how can you justify all this fighting, when it's causing the deaths of thousands of ordinary afghans, thousands of ordinary muslims?
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you're the ones who started the fighting here, though. shortly after the interview ends, the sound of helicopters. the taliban are still vulnerable to government air strikes. this is balkh, a town with ancient roots — thought to be the birthplace of one of islam's best—known mystic poets, rumi. now it's under taliban control. we came through here a little earlier this year. back then, it was still under government control. now it's one of around 200 district centres taken by the taliban.
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schools are open here, though in other taliban areas, girls are reportedly prevented from attending. the market is still busy. women have apparently been allowed to come here without male companions, if they need to. but elsewhere, taliban commanders have reportedly banned them. this man is a local taliban leader. despite what i have been told, he insists they haven't made the burqa compulsory. you said that women have to wear the burqa? that's right, isn't it? what happens if someone doesn't want to wear it? i heard that members of the taliban here caught one man
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listening to music and, to punish him, made him walk without any shoes on until he fainted, as punishment. the next day, a young woman was killed close by — allegedly for wearing immodest clothing. the taliban denied involvement. they seem to want to play down their more hardline views internationally but, at times, are in tune with some conservative afghans. many here praise improved security. accompanied by taliban fighters at all times, it's hard to know what residents really think. having already captured many rural areas and some border crossings, the taliban are now pushing in on afghan cities. half an hour's drive away in mazar—i—sharif, the government are still in control. there's a greater sense of personal freedom here that it's hard
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to imagine the taliban accepting. on the steps of the government's old courthouse in balkh, the taliban's legal system is in force. thejudge here says he's never ordered serious corporal punishment and that there's a system of appeal courts, but he defends stoning adulterers and cutting the hands of thieves. many people here in afghanistan and around the world would be horrified. the taliban are capturing new territory on an almost daily basis. they're still facing fierce resistance, but they've vowed to install what they term
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an islamic government. if that doesn't come through the stalled peace process, they say, it will come through more violence. secunder kermani, bbc news, balkh. in less than a week, the taliban have taken over the capitals of more than a quarter of afghanistan's provinces. the violence has resulted in an acute humanitarian crisis — tens of thousands displaced without access to the most basic resources. from kabul, yogita limaye — with cameraman sanjay ganguly — reports. desperation on a scale not seen in decades. thousands have arrived in kabul... ..in the past few days. people who had homes and jobs, who led dignified lives... ..forced to leave everything behind. angry that they have
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been left on their own. no government, no humanitarian agencies. we have seen this camp grow by the hour. people have been coming in from different parts of the country, as more and more provincial capitals, more and more cities are being taken over by the taliban. many of those we have met here have run once, twice, multiple times, and now they have come here to afg hanistan�*s capital, kabul. from here, they say, there's nowhere else to go. to get here, they've survived dangerous journeys, past taliban checkpoints and active front lines. this woman says they moved from one place to another for three days before they got to kabul. she has four children —
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the youngest is two. many have seen their loved ones being killed. they've had to leave their dead behind to save their own lives. many here have fled from kunduz in north afghanistan, which fell to the taliban on sunday. we'd met these men in the city when we were there, four weeks ago.
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it was besieged by the taliban then, but there was no fighting in the city. that's why tens of thousands had sought refuge in kunduz. today, we were told that during the taliban takeover, mortar shells landed in these camps for the displaced. we don't know what happened to the people we've met there. most of the north of the country has been taken over by the taliban now. those who have escaped to kabul are staring at uncertainty. fears that the capital, too, could fall within weeks. yogita limaye, bbc news, kabul. let's talk to politician
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shukria barakzai. she is in the capital kabul. thank you very much for talking to us. i would really like you to expand your audience here in the uk what the taliban will attempts are doing to people in your country.— taliban will attempts are doing to people in your country. thank you. at the moment _ people in your country. thank you. at the moment in _ people in your country. thank you. at the moment in my _ people in your country. thank you. at the moment in my country, - people in your country. thank you. at the moment in my country, it . people in your country. thank you. at the moment in my country, it is a really chaos. it is disaster for some what exactly the taliban are doing, i think, it was clear, they are saying one thing but they are doing something totally different. first, as even in your report i heard, they were saying they are very nice with the women, but that's not the truth. they are taking women for sexual slavery, they are hostage and people and they are using human shields to just save the war, so they are battling for a war and violence and rude tools. that is why it is... when done i
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could people of afghanistan are really feeling bad because after three years in the name of peace process and the delhi agreement, without might have peace —— in doha. they gained time and they immediately started their attacks on the afghans, and especially they are not only taking the afghan territory or landscape, they also are making people to be displaced from their own areas, even the area the taliban —controlled, they are not delivering any service to the public and to the people. they are not letting the media go, they are not letting people use smartphones because they believe that is anti—islam. that is why people cannot communicate with us where the areas are under taliban control. they are not nice with the afghan... let control. they are not nice with the afu han. .. control. they are not nice with the afuhan... ., ., afghan... let me ask you about, pepulation _ afghan. .. let me ask you about, pepulation of— afghan... let me ask you about, population of about _ afghan... let me ask you about,
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population of about 44,000 - afghan... let me ask you about, - population of about 44,000 people, so for people in the uk, that is about the size of a town called hinckley or yeovil. when the taliban take over the city, which they have done, what does that mean in practical terms?— done, what does that mean in practical terms? practicalterms? every big city, it means the _ practicalterms? every big city, it means the taliban _ practicalterms? every big city, it means the taliban are _ practicalterms? every big city, it means the taliban are going - practical terms? every big city, it i means the taliban are going against their agreement. they publicly announced they will not an attack big cities, so what they are doing, is really against what what they said, what is going on at the moment and what that means, that means that there are not only taliban but there are foreign fighters that they are helping with the taliban, because the taliban are aiming to keep control of afghanistan, with their own type of you and interpretation from islam. foreign fighters, such as is, such as al-qaeda, such as... others. as is, such as al-anda, such as... others. most of them are fighting
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the north side of the country, so they are not only looking for a political power, they are just fighting to have more space and safe haven and more landscape. for them, afghanistan does not mean anything, and especially the women situation, the humanitarian crisis, and in the entire of afghanistan, especially those big cities, it is chaos. it is hard to... in the end, it started with a war, been in the end, everybody wash their hands and left the country. it everybody wash their hands and left the count . . , everybody wash their hands and left the country-— the country. it has taken years to reall aet the country. it has taken years to really get the _ the country. it has taken years to really get the taliban _ the country. it has taken years to really get the taliban out, - the country. it has taken years to really get the taliban out, and i really get the taliban out, and several days from the taliban to swarm back in. what is your president, president ghani, and his forces doing to try and stop them?
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the afghan national security force, special force, the afghan national security force, specialforce, because they the afghan national security force, special force, because they are very well—trained well equipped and our commanders are on the front line, when it comes to politics, i think part of the chaos today, the government of afghanistan are responsible for it, because they were not really sending for a political constant among afghan leaders, political leaders in afghanistan, most of them in power in the government, but unfortunately the selfishness among the politicians and comforts of interest interests, in te rests, in a rests, ina veryt, in a very dangerous afghanistan in a very dangerous place, but in the afghanistan in a very dangerous rwas, but in the afghanistan in a very dangerous {was thet in the afghanistan in a very dangerous {was the government of afghanistan in a very dangerous ; was the government of afghanistan, releasing 5000 presenters, so that means extra 5000 fighters was joining the we means extra 5000 fighters was “oininu th ~ .,
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means extra 5000 fighters was “oininu th. ~ ., prisoners. we heard in the report that he had _ prisoners. we heard in the report that he had heard _ prisoners. we heard in the report that he had heard that _ prisoners. we heard in the report that he had heard that women . prisoners. we heard in the report i that he had heard that women were being forced to wear the burqa and some freedoms women have enjoyed since the taliban were pushed out all those years ago are now being rolled back. how worried are you about that? how's it going to affect women in your country? i about that? how's it going to affect women in your country?— about that? how's it going to affect women in your country? i think what the sa women in your country? i think what they say with — women in your country? i think what they say with the — women in your country? i think what they say with the bbc _ women in your country? i think what they say with the bbc news, - women in your country? i think what they say with the bbc news, i - women in your country? i think what they say with the bbc news, i don'tl they say with the bbc news, i don't believe they are doing in practice. they're not only forcing women, if you see social afghan media, the clips come from taliban, they are not only like the same before taliban, they are more brutal, they're more violent and they more against women and especially when it comes to women's rights activists, the young girls and educated women for so that is white they killed two women just because simply they were working with the ministry of women's affairs —— that his wife is and exactly the same story happened in another place. the way... we cannot
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keep silence about the crime and the moment done by did the taliban, the large number of civilian casualties comes up, and when comes to the women, neverthey comes up, and when comes to the women, never they will respect women as a human being. forget about our outlook. it does not matter to them. they do not like us to see as a human being in our country or like us to see as a human being in ourcountry or in our like us to see as a human being in our country or in our system to build and to cooperate in education sector, security sector, entrepreneurs. they are saying they change. i think they changed or two brutal ways rather than constructive ways, that we can trust that change was a real change. i think those changes... it isjust was a real change. i think those changes... it is just coming to confuse the international community and especially worldwide, they like to keep in contact with the world to
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recognise them, i think this is the type of the game the taliban is doing at the moment afghanistan for some they're doing one thing but they are saying something else. i think this resisting policy and this denying policy is really making the confusion among the afghans as well. that is why we lost the landscape, because at the beginning, the taliban said they will come peacefully, they will not interrupt anyone and anything, but unfortunately later on, when they saw the people standing against them, they showed their real face, so that is why we are facing the real face and real message of the taliban, which is nothing changed from their mentality, not by their behaviour, not by their character or not by the way they were preaching, so it exactly the same as it was in 1995. .. so it exactly the same as it was in 1995... 20 years, nothing happened, except afghanistan and the people of the of afghanistan were badly
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betrayed by friends of afghans —— the people of afghanistan for sub treasure ——... the wrong decision was made a politicians somewhere else. share --. .. the wrong decision was made a politicians somewhere else.— politicians somewhere else. are you afraid? it politicians somewhere else. are you afraid? it is — politicians somewhere else. are you afraid? it is not _ politicians somewhere else. are you afraid? it is not about _ politicians somewhere else. are you afraid? it is not about fear. - politicians somewhere else. are you afraid? it is not about fear. the - afraid? it is not about fear. the taliban are _ afraid? it is not about fear. the taliban are coming _ afraid? it is not about fear. the taliban are coming with - afraid? it is not about fear. the taliban are coming with the - afraid? it is not about fear. the i taliban are coming with the fear. they are coming, they're not coming as a civilised... it is hard for anyone to understand. they are coming with fear. that's how they are going to control the area. they are going to control the area. they are persecuting humans without any court. they are taking out women from their family.— court. they are taking out women from their family.- the . from their family. sorry... the ounu from their family. sorry... the young giris- — from their family. sorry... the young girls- just _ from their family. sorry... the young girls. just for _ from their family. sorry... the young girls. just for them - from their family. sorry... the young girls. just for them to i young girls. just for them to be, forced marriages, don't you think these things are very scary messages?— these things are very scary
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messages? these things are very scary messaues? , ., , , these things are very scary messaues? , ., , ., messages? yes, i do. sorry, 'ust to be clear, messages? yes, i do. sorry, 'ust to be ceanl did — messages? yes, i do. sorry, 'ust to be clear, did you i messages? yes, i do. sorry, 'ust to be clear, did you say i messages? yes, i do. sorry, 'ust to be clear, did you say that _ be clear, did you say that the taliban are gouging out the eyes of some women in front of their children?— children? yes, yes, that was happening- _ children? yes, yes, that was happening. why? _ children? yes, yes, that was happening. why? she - children? yes, yes, that was happening. why? she was i children? yes, yes, that was. happening. why? she was not government — happening. why? she was not government employee. - happening. why? she was not government employee. today i met with a woman representing the province and provincial council. taliban arrestor and make a video of her, that she would say she would not do any more governmentaljob, and then with the interference of the elder and tribal leaders of the same area, that woman and that female has been released, so right now she is in a bad shuffle somehow we can say that they have an excuse for it, do they have an excuse why they are not opening the schools in they are not opening the schools in the area where they are controlling? do they have an answer why we are going such a kind of court, like stoning women? do they have the knowledge and understanding of proper islam? this islam allowed
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them to a female on the street stop no. that's what they are using. islam as a tool. even their practice, what they are preaching, is not islam, because islam is not forcing someone, islam is about peace, it's not about violence. so that's making the extra side. they using the politics on one hand, they are sitting in doha and having a meeting with, let's say, special representative from america and others, but on the battleground, they are doing totally something else —— making the extra status. {lilia else -- making the extra status. ok, i'm ve else -- making the extra status. 0k, i'm very grateful _ else -- making the extra status. ok, i'm very grateful for _ else —— making the extra status. ok, i'm very grateful for your time. thank you so much for speaking to our british audience. an armed surveillance officer has described how he shot the streatham attacker sudesh amman as he ran towards him holding a knife. amman stabbed two people on a busy high street in london in february 2020, ten days after he was released
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from a prison sentence for terrorism offences. our correspondent helena wilkinson is at the royal courts ofjustice. tell us more about what's been said in court today, helena.— in court today, helena. victoria, as ou sa , in court today, helena. victoria, as you say. amman — in court today, helena. victoria, as you say, amman had _ in court today, helena. victoria, as you say, amman had been - in court today, helena. victoria, as| you say, amman had been released in court today, helena. victoria, as - you say, amman had been released ten days before he carried out this attack in south london. he was under surveillance and we heard today from a number of those undercover officers who work monitoring amman on the day of the attack and before that as well. we heard from one of the officers. he was a for two in court as bx75, and he told the jury they followed amman as he left the probation hostel where he had to stay as a condition of his release from prison and they followed him to streatham high road, it was after that that the undercover officer heard on that amman had started to stab people. he then said he ran towards the incident, he said it was at that point that he saw sudesh
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amman running towards him with in eight inch butchers knife, is how he described it. he tried to fire a shot at him and had no impact at all. the officer then told the jury that he gave chase and amman almost immediately stopped outside a boot store and it was at that point the officer said to the jury, i was officer said to thejury, i was in immediate fear of my life —— boots store for we also heard from another undercover officer. he was referred to in court as bx87 for his own protection, and he told the court he saw amman plunge the knife into the back of a woman. he appeared to break down as he was giving his evidence, describing the final confrontation that he had with amman. he said to the jury that it was clear to him that amman was intent on attacking him or members of the public. after that, both officers fired a number of shots
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towards amman. he fell to the ground and died at the scene for sub inquest here, victoria, continues tomorrow and is expected to go into next week. . ~' , ., next week. thank you, ellen wilkinson — next week. thank you, ellen wilkinson reporting. -- - next week. thank you, ellen i wilkinson reporting. -- helena wilkinson reporting. —— helena wilkinson. there are calls for an overhaul of the way a—levels are assessed and graded in the future, after this year's results saw record numbers given top marks. almost 45% of entries in england, wales and northern ireland were awarded a or a—star, fuelling concerns that soaring grades risk undermining confidence in the system. ministers are reported to be looking at replacing the traditional a to e grades with numbers, similar to gcses. sean dilley reports. the ring of success could barely resonate louder for many students across the uk still celebrating a top year for marks. but now the government is under pressure to review the way qualifications are assessed and concerns have been raised about the attainment gap between fee—paying schools in england, where around seven in ten students acheived an a or a star,
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compared to state schools, where around four in ten did. the labour party is among those calling for change. well done, by the way, to all of those that got the results that they want. but the gap now is getting bigger and bigger, and there is baked—in unfairness. and yet again it is the students who most need the support of government who are not getting that support. the government's former education tsar for england, who resigned over a high—profile disagreement about catch—up funding, is backing calls for a review but believes that fairness issues are much wider than an attainment gap between state and fee—paying schools in england. i think we should be worried. i think we should be worried about not only the gap at a—levels but the gap we see throughout the system. to tackle that and to deal with that we need a comprehensive, robust and long—term plan. i don't believe that recovery will happen naturally and i think
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if we don't do something intentional about it, we will have growing inequality in our education system. uk students taking a—levels, scottish highers and vocational qualifications have been subject to teacher—assessed grading to calculate their grades. in a recent pre—pandemic years, the government in england has put a higherfocus on exam day performance. the fairest means of assessing - people is by continuous assessment, and the only way that can be done properly is if teachers _ are taught how to assess. the government is now under pressure to review how qualifications are assessed in the future — for instance, by replacing a—level grades with numbered marks. but there is currently no review. as the uk's top universities warn of unprecedented demand, the education secretary, gavin williamson, has acknowledged qualifications will need to look different next year. the clear message from westminster now, though, is that students impacted by the pandemic are not to blame and they should be able to move onto the next stage and celebrate their success. sean dilley, bbc news. a british man has been arrested in germany on suspicion of spying for russia.
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it's understood the 57—year—old is a security guard working at the british embassy in berlin. our correspondent james reynoldsjoins me now. for us in on the hills we have so far. . , ~' ., , for us in on the hills we have so far. . p ., , , ., far. really know his first name, david, far. really know his first name, david. and _ far. really know his first name, david, and the _ far. really know his first name, david, and the initial _ far. really know his first name, david, and the initial of - far. really know his first name, david, and the initial of his - far. really know his first name, david, and the initial of his last| david, and the initial of his last name, s, but the crucial piece of information, the fact that he worked as a security guard at the embassy. that shows he is not an accredited diplomat, and therefore it is only double metoo have direct access to highly classified cables. locally hired staff safely do not. we know little bit about the involvement he had with russia, according to the german chief federal prosecutor's office. they say he exchanged documents for money. we don't know how many documents, we don't know what kind of documents, we don't know how much money, but the german government has been speaking. translation: we take this very seriously, - the idea that the detainee was engaged in spying on behalf of a russian intelligence service. secret service spying of a close ally on german soil is not something we can accept.
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therefore, we will follow the ongoing investigations of the attorney general very closely. you won't be surprised to note, victoria, there has been no comment from russia. victoria, there has been no comment from russia-— from russia. thank you very much, james reynolds. _ from russia. thank you very much, james reynolds. now, _ from russia. thank you very much, james reynolds. now, it's - from russia. thank you very much, james reynolds. now, it's time - from russia. thank you very much, james reynolds. now, it's time for| from russia. thank you very much, l james reynolds. now, it's time for a look at the weather. here's louise lear. good afternoon. today's shaping up to be a tale of two halves, with a weather front pushing into the west. and that's brought some rain, some of it heavy, and a slightly cooler feel, as you can see, behind it. brightening up into scotland and northern ireland. ahead of it's where we've got the best of the sunshine and the warmth, though, with temperatures peaking for the rest of the day at 25 degrees, 77 fahrenheit. that weather front continues to sink its way steadily south and east through the night. a band of cloud, a few spots of drizzle as well, but under the clearer skies, we will continue to see those temperatures fall away, down into single figures in rural areas of scotland. so, we start off tomorrow on a quieter note with a good deal of dry, sunny weather around. a weak weather front still producing the odd spot or two of drizzle, nothing more than that, but as we go through the afternoon, an area of low pressure will bring some showery outbreaks of rain
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into western scotland and northern ireland, along with north west england by the end of the afternoon. here, those temperatures, again, into the high teens as a maximum. but further south and east, highs of 24 degrees. hello, this is bbc news with victoria derbyshire. the headlines — thousands of civilians are fleeing major afghan cities as the taliban continue their rapid advance, prompting a humanitarian crisis. our reporter has gained exclusive access to areas under the group's control. a 57—year—old british man understood to be working as a security guard at the uk's embassy in berlin has been arrested on suspicion of spying for russia. here, calls for the reform of a—levels after a record
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number of entries were awarded the top grades. at least 65 people have died in wildfires in algeria, among them soldiers fighting the blazes. and under threat — seahorses off the coast of dorset. sport now, and for a full round—up from the bbc sport centre, here's chetan. good afternoon. lionel messi says he dreams of winning the champions league once more after being officially unveiled as a paris saint—germain player today. the argentina captain, who is 34, won four champions league titles with barcelona, the last of which came in 2015. messi says he's moved to paris to keep growing and to keep winning trophies. translation: of course it's a new experience, i but i'm ready for that. at the end of the day,
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it's football, and football's the same all over the world. i have friends here and that will make things easier, but i'm sure i will get used to the new team—mates. i'm really happy, and i can't wait to get going. and messi and his family seem to be settling right in. here he is with his three sons on the pitch at the parc des princes stadium. and it looks like they love football just as much as their dad and definitely weren't going to miss this open goal the team that beat city in last season's champions league final, chelsea, take on the europa league winners villareal in the uefa super cup tonight in belfast. thomas tuchel only took over at the start of the year, but in that time led chelsea to european success as well as a top fourfinish in the premier league. but the chelsea boss says it's important they now build on that success. it's not over. it hasjust started, and hopefully it's going to be a long journey.
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so, the courage there is to face the challenge. does anybody have a recipe to do better after the champions league victory? i don't know. i don't have it. personally it was my first champions league win, so i think the courage is to face the challenges and to step up and to keep on demanding. and the most important is that we don't lose sight by thinking too much about pressure and about expectations. like psg, manchester city are desperate to win the champions league for the first time, too. they begin the defence of their premier league title against spurs on sunday. phil foden is out with a foot injury but says he and his team—mates are ready for the challenge ahead. to be primarily champions, it's going _ to be primarily champions, it's going to — to be primarily champions, it's going to he _ to be primarily champions, it's going to be even _ to be primarily champions, it's going to be even harder- to be primarily champions, it's going to be even harder to i to be primarily champions, it's i going to be even harder to repeat that _ going to be even harder to repeat that everything _ going to be even harder to repeat that. everything is _ going to be even harder to repeat that. everything is to _ going to be even harder to repeat that. everything is to want - going to be even harder to repeat that. everything is to want to i that. everything is to want to beat us and _ that. everything is to want to beat us and with— that. everything is to want to beat us and with a _ that. everything is to want to beat us and with a set _ that. everything is to want to beat us and with a set of— that. everything is to want to beat us and with a set of standard i that. everything is to want to beat us and with a set of standard andl us and with a set of standard and try and _ us and with a set of standard and try and win — us and with a set of standard and try and win the _ us and with a set of standard and try and win the league. _
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england will be without bowler stuart broad for the rest of the series against india, and james anderson is also a doubt for the second test which starts tomorrow at lord's. a scan has revealed broad sustained a tear to his right calf in a warm—up session yesterday, whilst anderson missed practice today with a quad muscle problem. saqib mahmood here has been called—up as cover. moeen ali's also been brought back into the squad, posing another challenge to virat kohli's side. we will have to be at our best going up against moeen. and he is a great guy. and, yeah, it's always mutual respect and very nice environment when he is playing on the field, whether with or against he has always been a pleasure to share the field with. we'll have more for you in sportsday at 6:30pm. for now, back to you, victoria.
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good afternoon. list many of today's news. four gang members have been found guilty of murdering an nhs worker who was stabbed in east london. prosecutors say david gomoh was randomly attacked as he talked on the phone to his girlfriend last april. he staggered back home and died in front of his family. his killers will be sentenced in september. in the last few moments, the crown prosecution service have been speaking about today's verdict. david gomoh was a smart, hard—worked and dedicated young man. he had graduated from university and worked at the nhs. david had no gang links and was loved by many. he was murdered at random during a frenzied attack during the first pandemic lockdown. he was on the phone to his girlfriend when he was approached by his killers, who were unknown to him. the case has highlighted the tragedy that comes from postcode wars and gang rivalries. these individuals had planned to kill anyone they came into contact with, those they believed
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belonged to opposing gangs. david was tragically caught in the middle of this meaningless feud, and despite having no connection to gangs, he was killed without hesitation. the impact and fallout of this type of senseless killing simply to prove their allegiance to gangs is far—reaching and has left yet another family grieving the loss of their loved one. due to an issue with the latest covid—19 data, the data does not include figures from wales.
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a senior government adviser has told the bbc that a mass roll—out of a third booster dose of the covid vaccine may not be needed. professor adam finn, who sits on thejoint committee on vaccination and immunisation, said it is still "unclear" whether all over—50s should be offered a third jab this autumn. our health correspondentjim reed explained why a third booster had been suggested. there's two reasons why scientists and politicians might want to go ahead with this. one is to top up immunity. there are some early signs in some research that, over time, the immunity you gain from taking a vaccine might fade, although at the moment research in that is ongoing. the second main reason is the potential emergence of new variants of the virus this autumn, and, again, a third booster dose might offer some extra protection against that. so, yesterday, the health secretary for england, sajid javid, was asked about this, and he suggested the plan would probably be all over—50s would be offered a booster shot at the same time as their flu shot this autumn. but before going ahead, politicians in every part of the uk, every nation, are waiting on advice, final advice, from this independent group of scientists called thejcvi. and on the bbc this morning, professor adam finn,
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who sits on that body, said two things. one, it was quite likely that a small number of very vulnerable patients would get this third dose of a jab, so if they have suppressed immune systems, if they're dealing with cancer treatment or a transplant, for example. but he said studies to work out if it's worth rolling it out much wider, to all those over 50, were ongoing, and he said a final decision on that was still, as he put it, uncertain. we need to review evidence as to whether people who receive vaccine early on in the programme really are at any serious risk of getting serious disease or whether the protection they've got from those first two doses is still strong. we clearly don't want to be giving vaccines to people that don't need them. so, this debate is coming at a time when other scientists have raised concerns, doubts about whether giving this third booster dose is really worth it, both from a health point of view, but also potentially from an ethical point of view. this idea is it really right
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for people in this country to get a third dose while people in some developing countries are struggling to get a first dose. we're likely to hear more about this over the next couple of weeks, with a final decision probably taken before september. joining me now is expert in infectous diseases, paul hunter, professor of medicine at the university of east anglia. thank you for talking to us. various issues i would like to talk about. let's start with that third jab for over 50s this autumn. what is your view? . . . ' . over 50s this autumn. what is your view? ,,. '. ., over 50s this autumn. what is your view? , '. ., , view? this is a difficult one, this. i view? this is a difficult one, this. i certainly — view? this is a difficult one, this. i certainly sympathise _ view? this is a difficult one, this. i certainly sympathise with i view? this is a difficult one, this. i certainly sympathise with the i i certainly sympathise with the difficulty globally of us vaccinating people for a third time in many people who are vulnerable around the world are unable to get a vaccine is morally questionable and i think that is a very potent argument. in terms of actually whether or not a further dose is beneficial in the uk, i think there
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is evidence that the vaccine is waning in its effectiveness to stop infection, but that was really expected from the start. but what the vaccine seems to still be able to do is protect quite strongly against the developing severe disease even if they do actually catch covid—19. so, personally, i think particularly people who are particularly vulnerable, and by that i include people who are over 80 and people with severe underlying health problems, should be offered a booster starting in september. the rest, over 50s, that's a more difficult situation. and i think in terms of those individuals, i think a booster would certainly increase the quality of their protection, but probably not as much as value as
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could be done by using those vaccines elsewhere around the world. i want to ask you a broader question. ijust report the latest covid—19 data, just under 3000 people have tested positive in the latest 24 hour period. —— 30,000 people. how useful is it now but we are at this stage in the pandemic to report those infection rates? i think many of us find it actually very useful to have daily reports like that. i personally would be sad not to see that happening. but what i would say, and this was made yesterday in the parliamentary, all party upon entry committee, not by me but by other witnesses, that actually we are getting to the point where infection is not necessarily what we should be looking at, but disease. and i think there is a case to be argued that actually we stopped testing a cinematic people
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and that we focus on test of people who are ill. who have got symptoms that could be due to covid—19, and also in terms of hospital data, we would rather at the moment report all patients in hospital who have got positive tests but we actually start trying to distinguish between those that are in hospital because of covid—19 and those thatjust happen to be covid—19 positive but are in hospitalfor something else. understood. july the 19th was with restrictions in england were relaxed. that was three and a half weeks ago. there were predictions that infections could rise to potentially 100,000 a day even with the vaccine programme. that has not happened yet. why, do you think was meant i was not surprised when they fell... �* meant i was not surprised when they fell... ~ ., , meant i was not surprised when they fell... ., , , . fell... and i actually predicted that before — fell... and i actually predicted that before they _ fell... and i actually predicted that before they started i fell... and i actually predicted that before they started to i fell... and i actually predicted l that before they started to fall. and the reason for that is that it
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does look like we are getting to what is called the endemic equilibrium of this disease, where we are left with the infections oscillating around eight sort of normal level. and i think we are going to see going forward is that many more years actually of us seeing quite a bit of the virus that causes covid—19 but not so much covid—19 because by the time we have been vaccinated and by the time we have had one or more other infections, the vast majority of illness will be very mild and probably asymptomatic. but it does in a be that we have actually reached that point. it be that we have actually reached that point. he will go up in the autumn and winter, but then again as we move into the summer. and actually if you look at the last week or so, today's figures are pretty much the same as last
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wednesday's. so cases do seem to have pretty much flattened down now. finally, herd immunity again, at that all party upon them meeting again, we heard her divinity is not achievable for various reasons including the fact that we keep getting new variants. so are people like yourself saying that is something that we cannot achieve now when it comes to covid—19 equipment i don't think we've ever been able to achieve it with covid—19 because the primary infection from covid—19 is an infection of the nose and throat. �* , ., , throat. and immunity to those sorts of infections — throat. and immunity to those sorts of infections don't _ throat. and immunity to those sorts of infections don't really _ throat. and immunity to those sorts of infections don't really last - of infections don't really last long, eitherfrom natural infection orfrom long, eitherfrom natural infection or from vaccines. long, eitherfrom natural infection orfrom vaccines. so, back in january, we did some analysis on the alpha variant and suggested that would never actually achieve herd immunity and the delta variant has just made that even more out of reach. but it does not need to do that. we are going to see the virus
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circulating for decades to come, often at quite high levels, but the amount of disease that that causes because of the fact that immunity to severe disease actually lasts a lot longer, we will see that diminishing to very low figures in coming months and only a few years. so the virus is here forever, but the disease covid—19 will relatively shortly become something that is consigned to the history books. can become something that is consigned to the history books.— to the history books. can we worry less about — to the history books. can we worry less about it _ to the history books. can we worry less about it than? _ to the history books. can we worry less about it than? absolutely, i i less about it than? absolutely, i think so. less about it than? absolutely, i think so- i _ less about it than? absolutely, i think so. i think— less about it than? absolutely, i think so. i think once _ less about it than? absolutely, i think so. i think once you've i less about it than? absolutely, i think so. i think once you've had your double vaccine, you are still at risk, particularly if you are in one of the very older age groups or you have got some other severe underlying condition, but for the rest of us, it is extremely unlikely that we are going to get severe
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disease, not impossible, but at some point we will invariably get on infection, a natural infection, and that will boost that and strengthen that will boost that and strengthen that immunity. the people who do need to worry of people who have not been vaccinated because you've not been vaccinated because you've not been vaccinated because you've not been vaccinated and you have not had the advection, then when you do get your first infection, you will be just it must —— just as much at risk of severe disease and hospitalisation and potentially death for your age group as he would have been at any time during this epidemic. have been at any time during this eidemic. . ~ have been at any time during this eidemic. ., ,, , ., , have been at any time during this eidemic. . ~' , ., , . epidemic. 0k, thank you very much for talkin: epidemic. 0k, thank you very much for talking to _ epidemic. 0k, thank you very much for talking to us. _ epidemic. 0k, thank you very much for talking to us. thank _ epidemic. 0k, thank you very much for talking to us. thank you - for talking to us. thank you professor paul hunter. the headlines on bbc news — thousands of civilians are fleeing major afghan cities as the taliban continue their rapid advance, prompting a humanitarian crisis. a 57—year—old british man understood to be working as a security guard at the uk's embassy in berlin has been arrested on suspicion of spying for russia. calls for the reform of a—levels after a record number of entries were awarded the top grades.
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a group of former gurkha soldiers who are on hunger strike outside downing street say they are getting weaker by the day. they are calling for ghurkas who retired before 1997 to be eligible for a uk armed forces pension. ministers say they're committed to ensuring the gurkha pension scheme is sustainable and fair. our correspondent lebo diseko reports. british and gurkha troops are battling to split the terrorist into isolated bands and then wipe them out one by one. they're a force that has served the crown for more than 200 years, fighting all over the world. but these gurkha veterans do not receive a full uk armed forces pension. they're now on hunger strike and say they're willing to die to right what they see as a historic wrong. gurkhas who retired before 1997 were part of the gurkha pension scheme.
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they receive less than those in the armed forces pension scheme because it was thought they would retire in nepal. the gurkhas are coming! cheering. but in 2009, after a high—profile campaign backed by the actress joanna lumley, most gurkhas were allowed to settle in the uk. many now say they're struggling to survive on pensions that don't meet the cost of living here. my counterpart gets - nowadays over {1200—1300 i'm getting somewhere £350. gyan raj rai joined the gurkha forces at the age of 17 and served for 20 years. we want to be treated equal to the british i in every aspect, according to the tripartite _ agreement's spirit. so, that is what british i government does not want. these veterans say they've been failed by successive governments, both labour and conservative.
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i want to work cross—party to find a solution. it cannot be right that government is treating gurkha veterans this way, that they are resorting to going on hunger strike. and i think parliamentarians need to step up and take action. ben wallace needs to look out of his window, walk the ten metres to where this protest is taking place and take action. a spokesperson for the ministry of defence said in a statement... these gurkha veterans say they want the british and nepalese governments to set a date for talks about their plight and say they want a gurkha representative to be there. if that happens within three months, they're willing to postpone their hunger strike. lebo diseko, bbc news.
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in russia, the jailed opposition leader alexei navalny has been charged with another crime. the investigative committee, which looks into major crimes in russia, says it has now charged alexei navalny with "creating a non—profit organisation that infringes on the rights of citizens". winchester is the least affordable city in the country to buy a home in. that's according to the halifax. it's released new figures which suggest properties in the hampshire commuter city cost 14 times average earnings, significantly higher than the uk average. typically, people have to pay eight times average earnings to buy a home. seahorses off the coast of dorset that are at risk from the anchors of boats could be protected by new "eco—moorings". the creatures are under threat because anchors drag along the sea bed, damaging their fragile habitat. now experts in studland bay have come up with a new way for boats to moor, asjohn maguire reports. these underwater meadows of seagrass provide a vital habitat,
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teeming with wildlife, and it's where you can find the spiny seahorse. normally up to around 16 centimetres long for an adult, they come here in the spring to feed on plankton or small shrimp and to mate. famously, it's the male that gets pregnant. it's a protected species, and studland bay is a marine conservation zone. but boats in this popular area off the dorset coast can create problems. we've counted up to 450 boats here in one day. it's the noise, the anchors, the general movement of everything seems to affect the seahorses. they're very prone to stress, and so if you can sort of reduce that stress, then they're quite happy, relaxed seahorses. if they have a lot of stress, then they move back out to sea. the wildlife presenter steve backshall has dived here and says boat anchors and mooring chains can damage the sea bed. they completely destroy all the substrate around it, which means that all the seagrass
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dies, and it gets rid of that binding substrate, which then washes away as sand. and so you just end up with these big, barren circles around all the moorings. and within that, nothing can live, and particularly not seahorses. so, here's a solution. the seahorse trust is installing this environmentally—friendly design. instead of a chain, the mooring's attached to a fixed point in the sea bed via a rubber line that stretches with the tide and minimises damage. divers put this screw anchor into the sea bed. it goes in around seven feet deep into the sea bed, then connected to these rubber pieces here — thick, dense rubber. this is what replaces the chains on a traditional mooring that are said to do so much of the damage. this is held vertically by these floats here. there's then another rubberised cable that goes up to the buoy, which obviously floats on the surface. a boat can come up
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and clip onto there. the university of southampton is monitoring the efficacy of the eco—moorings. and, if proved to be beneficial, it will mean seafarers and seahorses can coexist peacefully. john maguire, bbc news, dorset. women can now wear trousers at the henley royal regatta everywhere for the first time in its 182—year history. previously, women could only wear a dress or skirt to gain access to the steward's enclosure at the annual event in henley—on—thames, oxfordshire. but for the first time since 1839, women can wearjackets, blazers with trousers, or trouser suits. it comes after a petition last year by a university of oxford rower who called the dress code "draconian". the dress code only came in the late �*70s, early �*80s to what we have now. and we felt just with the introduction of all the new events for females that if they would like to wear
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trousers, they should be allowed to wear trousers. if you've ever spent a couple of nights under canvas, you'll know the relief of getting back into your own bed. that's a feeling max woosey has not experienced in well over a year. the 11—year—old from devon hasjust spent his 500th night in the great outdoors to raise money for charity. andrew plant went to see how he was marking the occasion. hi, i'm max. this is my home. as you can see, i've got all my teddies. he hasn't slept indoors since march last year. after 499 nights in a tent... ..max is treating himself tonight, building his very own log cabin instead. so, you've done 499 nights in a tent, but your 500th is under wood. is that going to be weird? no, cos, like... ..i'm in this and... ..i've built this pretty well. but you know what? we've got a little tarp,
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so if it does rain, then i won't get soaked. i thought for my 500th night, it'd be a bit more crazy and a bit more fun. max was inspired by his next—door neighbour, who was dying of cancer. rick gave him a tent and told him to have an adventure. max decided to raise money for the hospice that looked after him instead. he just had to persuade his parents first. well, i said a straight no to begin with. there was still frost on the ground, so it was just an outright no. and then he asked again the next day, and again it was no. and then after i think three or four days, we said, "well, 0k, you can do a night." and then he said that he wanted to set up a fundraiser. how did you react to that? he said that he would like to raise money for the north devon hospice. and i actually said to him, "that's a really nice idea, but i don't think anybody will really be bothered that you're sleeping outside. " does he remind you? he reminds me about that every single time his total goes up.
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and go up it has, every single day. he's now raised well over £500,000. max is now on tent number ten, and it's not all been in his back garden. he's pitched up at downing street for tea with the pm, spent a night at london zoo... horn beeps. ..even been given a military escort to school. i'm freezing cold... he's slept out in snow, braved plenty of wet and windy weather... the winds picking up. ..and not once been tempted to tiptoe back upstairs. really gusty! so, tonight, it will be a different view to fall asleep to — no tent overhead, just tree branches instead. do you ever think you'll stop sleeping outside? i definitely could. just don't want to. so, it's lights out one more time for max, for the 500th night and counting.
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andrew plant, bbc news. in a moment, it will be time for the bbc news at 6pm with george alagiah. now it's time for a look at the weather with louise lear. good afternoon. wednesday, it's all been about a west—east divide across the country, with the best of the sunshine certainly the further east you are. beautiful morning for a round of golf in lowestoft, as you can see by this weather watcher picture, but further west, there has been some floud and some rain around. just as stunning, yes, but some of that rain has been quite heavy at times across parts of north west scotland. you can see quite clearly from the radar where i'm talking about, turning quite showery as it moves its way through north west england and wales, with the best of any brighter weather continuing the further east. now, it will continue to cloud over this afternoon, but we will cling on to some sunshine across eastern and south east england. and with that sunshine, we'll also see some warmth, with temperatures peaking into the mid—20s. underneath the cloud and the rain, a little bit cooler, a bit more of a breeze here, as well. western scotland and northern ireland closing the day
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out with some sunshine, and those clear skies through the evening will allow those temperatures to fall into single figures. but as our weather front sinks south and east, really by then just a band of cloud, and that'll prevent those temperatures falling much lower than the mid—teens in the london area. so, a little bit of cloud and drizzle first thing in the morning to encounter on thursday, different start to the day. this low pressure's winding its way into the far north west, and that will bring a change as we go through thursday afternoon. so, yes, some cloud around through central and southern england for a time, but staying largely dry. clouding over from the north—west as we go through the day with showery outbreaks of rain into northern ireland, western scotland and north west england. and temperatures will likely peak at 16—20 degrees in the north, but once again, mid—20s not out of the question across the south east. now, as we move towards friday, looks likely that that low pressure will continue to sit into the far north, continuing to spill in some showers, particularly on those exposed west coasts. elsewhere, not a bad day, largely fine and dry with top temperatures of 22 celsius.
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now, as we move into the weekend, it looks likely that that area of low pressure could influence the story for a time, and there will be some showers. but hopefully high pressure will then start to build in from the west and quietening things down. so, it's certainly not a bad weekend for most of us, what we like to call a good deal usable weather out there to get out and enjoy in the garden. good deal of dry weather around, just need to look out for that rain in the far north and west through the first half of the weekend.
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today at 6pm... the taliban fighters determined to recreate their islamist state in afghanistan — a humanitarian crisis unfolding. civilians are paying the price — more than a thousand have been killed in recent months — now they're on the run, as taliban forces advance. many of those we've met here have run once, twice, multiple times, and now they've come here, to afghanistan's capital, kabul. from here, they say, there's nowhere else to go. the bbc has rare access to the taliban militants and their commanders — they know what they want and how they'll achieve it. so, if the taliban
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are on their way back, what's the last 20 years of international

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