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tv   Newsday  BBC News  August 12, 2021 1:00am-1:31am BST

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welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore, i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines. afghanistan in meltdown — us officials say the taliban could be in the capital kabul within weeks, as thousands flee the advancing militants. many of those we have met here have run once, twice, multiple times. and now, they come here to afghanistan's capital kabul. from here, they say, there's nowhere else to go. our reporter interviews some of the insurgents, as the bbc�*s granted rare access to newly taken taliban territory. we came through here a little earlier this year. back then, it was still under government control.
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now, it is around 200 district centres taken by the taliban. at least 65 people have died in algeria as more than 100 wildfires tear across the country. and we catch up with the teens bringing skateboarding to the olympics and the streets of japan. even our reporter goes for a spin! it's 8am in singapore, and 4.30am in afghanistan, where events are unfolding at a dizzying pace. as the taliban captured a ninth provincial capital, afghan president ashraf ghani fired his army chief. the government still remains in control in key urban centres
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but their hold on many areas is fragile. us officials say the taliban could reach the capital kabul within weeks. our correspondent yogita limaye is in kabul, a city crammed with thousands of people who've desperately fled from other parts of the country. 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 been left on their own — no government, no humanitarian agencies. this woman's sons are in the army. she says only the poor go to the battlefield, while politicians watch.
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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 — the youngest is two.
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many have seen their loved ones being killed. they've had to leave their dead behind to save their own lives. this man's parents died in the violence. many here have fled from kunduz in north afghanistan, which fell to the taliban on sunday. today, in kabul, we bumped into these men, who we'd met
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four weeks ago in kunduz. then, the city was a refuge for tens of thousands of people who had fled fighting in villages. now, we learned that in recent days, mortar shells landed in these camps. we don't know what happened to the people we'd 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. a humanitarian disaster is fast unfolding in afghanistan. the un says more than 1,000 civilians have been killed in fighting between the taliban and government forces.
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injuly, the areas controlled by the taliban were these, shown in red, with contested regions in yellow. but now, a lot more territory has fallen to the taliban, including nine of the country's 3a provincial capitals. 0ur afghanistan correspondent secunder kermani has been given rare access to newly—ca ptu red taliban territory. his report was filmed by fred scott. a warning — you may find some of the images upsetting. 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 is causing the deaths of thousands of ordinary afghans, thousands of ordinary muslims?
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you are 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 is under taliban control. we came through here a little earlier this year. back then, it was still under government control. now it is one of around 200 district centres taken by the taliban. schools are open here,
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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 is a local taliban leader. despite what i have been told, he insists they have not made the burqa compulsory. you have said that women have to wear the burqa, the chadar. that is right, isn't it? what happens if someone doesn't want to wear it?
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i heard that members of the taliban here caught one man listening to music and to punish him, made him walk for two kilometres without any shoes 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 is 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.
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there is a greater sense of personal freedom here it is hard to imagine the taliban accepting. many fear the taliban want to resurrect their practice of brutal punishments. they insist they were not responsible for this flogging, supposedly filmed last year, but they did recently hang two child kidnappers in public. 0n the steps of the government's old court house in balkh, the taliban's legal system was in force. for many, the taliban's brutal form ofjustice is what scares them the most about the group, but for others, they at least offer a swifter resolution than the notoriously corrupt government courts. thejudge here says he has never ordered serious corporal punishment and that there is a system of appeal courts, but he defends stoning adulterers and cutting the hands of thieves. many people here in afghanistan
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and around the world would be horrified. the taliban are capturing new territory on an almost daily basis. they are still facing fierce resistance but they vow to install what they term an islamic government. if that does not come through the stalled peace process, they say, it will come through more violence. secunder kermani, bbc news, balkh. let's take a look at some other stories in the headlines. indian officials say at least ten people have been killed
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and about 30 remain missing after their bus was struck by a landslide in the himalayan district of kinnaur. at least four other vehicles were swept away, leaving more people unaccounted for. research by the bbc�*s persian service has found that coronavirus has killed over 200,000 people in iran — more than double the officialfigure. the analysis is based on the number who've died beyond what would normally have been expected over the past 19 months. the spokesperson for tigrayan forces has told the bbc the ethiopian rebels will continue to pursue the national army and its allies, even if it leads to the capital addis ababa. on tuesday, the ethiopian prime minister called on civilians to join the army to fight tigrayan forces. still to come a bit later in the programme, we'll look at china's role in cutting global emissions. but first, wildfires in algeria
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have killed at least 65 people, including 25 members of the military who were fighting fires in forests east of the capital, algiers. algeria is the latest country on the mediterranean to be hit by wildfires. the bbc�*s north africa correspondent rana jawad reports. fires are still tearing through the region. the flames destroying a lush green forest that once stood there. this is not a natural disaster, according to algerian officials, but the work of arsonists. it has killed civilians, soldiers and volunteer firefighters. residents here used what little means they had at their disposal to help firefighters extinguished the raging flames that reached their homes. it is in difficult and strenuous moments like this that the capacities of the state and the distrust that many algerians have in it are laid bare.
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translation: there are fires everywhere. we have not seen the government here. we do not have a state. the people of the government — long live the members of the protection team. translation: the citizens are paying the price. - the fires have reached our homes, we have three dead and four wounded people brought in due to the fire and smoke translation: those who set the fires are accountable to god. - thank god we are still standing. - we will never abandon our country or our land. - algeria is not a stranger to forest fires. but this week's particularly high temperatures and dry conditions have made an already bad incident worse. in the past, the cause of wildfires were largely unknown — a combination
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of deliberate arson and negligent social and environmental practices in the wild are known to have played a role. algerian officials say they have launched an investigation to identify the people they believe are behind what they described as highly synchronised acts, given the numerous fires that broke out at the same time. but no details were provided on what the motivations could be. if you want to get in touch with me, i'm on twitter — @bbckarishma. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme. a british man working at the embassy in berlin's arrested on suspicion of spying for russia.
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the big crowds became bigger as the time of the funeral approached. as the lines of fans became longer, the police prepared for a huge job of crowd control. idi amin, uganda's brutal former dictator, has died at the age of 80. he's being buried in saudi arabia, where he lived in exile since being overthrown in 1979. two billion people around the world have seen the last total eclipse of the sun to take place in this millennium. it began itsjourney off the coast of canada, ending three hours later when the sun set over the bay of bengal.
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this is newsday on the bbc. i'm karishma vaswani in singapore. our headlines. the afghan army chief is sacked as taliban fighters take more and more territory. it's thought they've now taken over nine provincial capitals. at least 65 people have been killed in raging wildfires in algeria, including 28 soldiers who were trying to fight the flames. it's believed italy has recorded the hottest temperature ever in europe. a reading from near syracuse on the island of sicily registered 48.8 degrees celsius. italy's current heatwave, nicknamed lucifer, is being caused by an anticyclone moving up from africa. china has said the world should have full confidence
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in its climate actions plans. the statement comes a day after the un's climate body urged beijing to take "immediate, rapid and large—scale action." so, is china doing enough? lauri myllyverta is the lead analyst for the centre for research on energy and clean air. he explains why beijing's actions matter in the global effort to reverse climate change. china is responsible for almost 30% of global admissions 30% of global emissions china is responsible for almost 30% of global emissions and has been responsible for two thirds of the increasing emissions in the past decade. so, china's contribution to this is absolutely crucial. there's no way to do this without china. and how seriously is beijing taking this? in the past year, beijing has made a significant new commitment to target carbon neutrality by 2060. it has been taken very
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seriously in terms of political effort, but at the same time, china's co2 emissions have risen 5% above the pre—pandemic levels already, because of the very coal—heavy recovery focused on heavy industry and construction, and so there is a lot between the targets later this decade and what is happening right now on the ground. as you point out, the dependence on coal is a really big part of china's economic development right now. what is holding china back from doing more on this front? it's not different from other countries. there are very significant interests and political interests behind the economic
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model and setting a new path is certainly a big obstacle, and the decision is being made right now this year, on how fast to move on the transition. one of the arguments i hear from china, notjust china but a lot of developing countries, is that the west had its turns to industrialise. why shouldn't countries like china? there's no question that china has already industrialised and is going to develop its industry. if you look at china's plans and policies, this is all about developing new industry, making china's industry is ready
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for this century and in that sense, there is no contradiction between industrialisation and targeting carbon neutrality. a 57—year—old british man has been arrested in germany, on suspicion of spying for russia. the man, named only as david s, worked at the british embassy in berlin and is accused of passing documents to russian intelligence in exchange for cash. our security correspondent gordon corera has this report. a berlin spy case involving british secrets and russian spies. german prosecutors allege that the man, who worked here at the british embassy in berlin, passed on official documents in exchange for money. he is alleged to have been working for the russian intelligence service. their embassy is located not far away in berlin. the man, who worked as a security guard, was arrested yesterday in potsdam, south—west of berlin, and his apartment and office were searched today. translation: we take extremely
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seriously the indications _ that the detainee's secret service activity was done on behalf of a russian intelligence service. because spying on a close ally on german soil is absolutely unacceptable and we stand in full solidarity with our british friends. so what do we know about the suspect? he's been named simply as david s, his second name withheld under german privacy laws. he's a 57—year—old briton. he was employed locally by the embassy as a contractor, so not as a diplomat. and it's alleged he was working with the russians since at least november of last year. the arrest came after what i understand was an intelligence—led operation, runjointly by german and british authorities, including the security service, m15 here and metropolitan police. once they felt they had enough evidence a germanjudge issued an arrest warrant. cold war berlin was the spy capital of the world.
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the glienicke bridge there was known as the bridge of spies because of the exchanges that took place between east and west. spying has changed since then. secrets can be stolen remotely over cyberspace, but that does not mean that old—fashioned human spying, as seemingly witnessed in today's case, has gone away. it's unusual but it's not surprising. it would be more surprising if russia were not doing this. it's no surprise that they are conducting espionage against a country that they consider to be their adversary, the uk, and it's also not surprising that they get caught in the process, which is quite reassuring. so far this potential security breach at the embassy does not look to be too serious. but it does serve as a reminder that beneath the surface of a city like berlin spies are still plying their trade. gordon corera, bbc news. now, skateboarding has become very popular injapan after its teenage athletes
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achieved a sweeping victory at the tokyo 2020 summer games. you may remember, i told our reporter mariko oi we should try it out when she gets back to singapore — and she appeared reluctant but she actually went to learn the sport from the country's youngest gold medallist.
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what a great sport mariko oi is. hello. we provisionally saw a new temperature record in europe on wednesday — 48.8 celsius recorded in sicily. the exceptional heat shown by the red colours here in this chart transfer a bit westwards across the med into the weekend, with record—breaking heat for spain and portugal. cast your eyes further north, though, across the uk, the blues appearing back on the charts. temperatures dropping below normal once again — so a cooler end to the week across the uk, and it will be blustery at times, mainly because of this area of low pressure — out to the west at the moment, but it will track across the north. through the night and into the morning, though, this weather front will bring some cloud and patchy rain into southern areas, keeping temperatures up in the mid—teens for some. but a much fresher start across many parts in the uk, but a sunny start for the vast majority. and for many, we'll see some good, sunny spells throughout
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the day, but cloud amounts will increase at times in the south, spreading into wales, the midlands, and through the day, northern ireland, western scotland seeing batches of showers pushing in, some of those becoming heavy and thundery. only the odd one reaching eastern scotland and northern parts of england, as well as the isle of man. temperatures here in the teens into maybe the low mid—20s again across the south and east. but it will be a windy end to the day across parts of scotland, northern ireland, winds close to gale force across these coastal districts. further heavy, thundery showers rattling in notjust through the evening, but overnight, as well. head further south, most places will be dry, some clear skies around, and a slightly fresher night across some southern areas compared to what we'll have to start thursday morning. so, into friday we go, temperatures widely still in double figures, so not desperately cold. but it's another story of sunshine and blustery showers across scotland and northern ireland. a bit windierfor england and wales on friday, too, and we will still see the chance of some lingering cloud, especially towards southern counties of england, bringing the odd spot of light rain. but temperatures dropping
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relative to what we've seen on thursday — even in the south, low 20s, but still pleasant enough where you've got the sunshine out. then, as we go into the weekend, our area of low pressure pushes eastwards, allowing the cold air in, and just a chance we could see some other weather systems working their way in from the west, bringing outbreaks of rain at times. this is how we see saturday at the moment — just be aware, though, it is liable to change, maybe a brighter day for scotland and northern ireland, less breezy but rather cool with sunny spells. but a bit more cloud across england and wales, and it's the north and west where we could see some rain at times brightening up again towards the south and the east. bye for now.
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