tv BBC News BBC News August 18, 2021 8:00pm-9:01pm BST
this is bbc news. the headlines at 8pm. mps are recalled to parliament for an emergency debate on afghanistan — and from all sides they attack the government's handling of the crisis. the taliban secure their positions as the new rulers and afghans wonder what the future holds — here there is talk of betrayal. like many veterans, this last week has been one that has seen me struggle through anger, and grief and rage. we must deal with the world as it is, excepting what we've achieved ——we must deal with the world as it is, accepting what we've achieved and what we have not achieved. these are the lucky ones — britain will take 5,000 refugees this year, but what of all those left behind. afg hanistan�*s former afghanistan's former president
speaks for the first time in exile from the uae. for now, i am in the united arab and red so that bloodshed and gas is stopped. i am currently in talks to return to afghanistan. here stopped. i am currently in talks to return to afghanistan.— stopped. i am currently in talks to return to afghanistan. here we will hear the latest _ return to afghanistan. here we will hear the latest from _ return to afghanistan. here we will hear the latest from our _ hear the latest from our correspondent in kabul. have festivals and stay vacations contributed to covid hotspots? for sexual abuse trial of the r&b singer, r kelly, has begun in brooklyn, he denies any wrongdoing. i don't know if the dictionary has enough words in it to describe me. i'm more like a sensation, an idea. the best way to describe me as with the fragrance. ﬁx, the best way to describe me as with the fragrance-— the fragrance. a true original, a brilliant comic _ the fragrance. a true original, a brilliant comic voice _ the fragrance. a true original, a brilliant comic voice can - the fragrance. a true original, a i brilliant comic voice can attributes are paid to the comedian who has died at the age of 50.
good evening, and welcome to bbc news. the government has come in for some scathing criticism as a recalled parliament held an emergency session on afghanistan. two broad questions dominated the attack from mps on all sides — how is it that the taliban are back in power? and what does britain do now for those afghan allies who fear for their lives? the labour leader sir keir starmer accused the government of "staggering complacency" in underestimating the taliban threat. the former prime minister theresa may was among conservative mp's who criticised the government for its handling of the crisis in afghanistan, saying it is "incomprehensible and worrying". and we've seen an afghanistan veteran, conservative tom tugendhat giving an emotional speech about how recent events have reopened old wounds. he said the uk and its western allies had received a "very harsh lesson". mps across the house stood
and applauded his address. today, in afghanistan, as the taliban tightens its grip on the country — pockets of resistance spilt over in the eastern city of jalalabad. at least one person was killed and a dozen were injured. it comes as the ousted afghan president ashraf ghani, now in exile in the uae, made a statement, defending his decision to flee afghanistan on sunday. he says he left in order to prevent bloodshed and that he was in "consultation" to return to the country. with our first report tonight, here's our chief international correspondent lyse doucet. come and help, help, help. a girl at the gate screaming. "the taliban are coming, they are coming for me," pleading with western soldiers at kabul airport to let her in. this is the front line of fear in a capital turned inside out. the people who have had to run the gauntlet of new taliban check
posts along the main road to the airport. many afghans say they are trapped, they are sending sos messages to the world. these are just some sent to me. this one i have just received from someone who has been working at the british embassy in kabul, saying he has been to the gate of the airport three times. he says his children were almost killed when the taliban opened fire on the crowds. he, like others, is calling for a safer route out, otherwise, he says, it is better to stay—at—home and wait for our death. afghans and foreigners are now managing to make it onto the airfield onto one of many lists in this massive evacuation. everyone at the start of a new life, whatever their age. the uk, among many countries, doing what they can to help.
to get through the work load, to get the people that we need to get out of here to safety, how long have we got? it really depends on other things outside our control. the security situation, the approach of the taliban. we are working on the basis of days, not weeks, so we really do have to get those numbers through. flying in, taliban leaders, including the founding member of the taliban, now tipped to be president. first stop, an emotional return to kandahar in the south, birthplace of the taliban movement. now they are creating a government. in kabul today, a former president, hamid karzai, was in talks with one of the youngest taliban leaders, a 26—year—old. the family are linked to the hakani network, blamed for some of the worst attacks on afghan civilians. the youngest is now cast as a messenger of peace to political leaders who have not left.
but some afghans are still resisting the change. protest today in the eastern city of jalalabad. afghans still holding onto their national flag. but the old order is gone. the taliban enforcing a new one. lyse doucet, bbc news. 0ur correspondent secunder kermani is in the afghan capital kabul — earlier today he sent in this report about what life is like on the streets. this is the centre of kabul, and this is a city that is trying to return to some kind of normality, even as its residents process the dramatic events of the past few weeks. there are more restaurants and shops that are open today than there have been in previous days. there's more traffic in the streets, more people in the streets. there is not quite as many as usual, in particular, there are fewer women. although, i have seen some, and not necessarily wearing the all—encompassing burqa.
the fear is, of course, that in the coming days, the coming months, the taliban will impose more of their strict restrictions on women. there's also a strong presence of heavily armed taliban fighters patrolling the city in vehicles like this. they say they are here to prevent looting and unrest, despite their assurances of an amnesty for those linked to government, many who are here will be deeply fearfulfor theirfuture. that report from secunder earlier — and this evening he was able to send this update on what he's witnessed in the capital today. well, two very different scenes in kabul — at the airport, utter chaos. i saw taliban members firing into the air, beating people with stacks trying to control the crowd, contrast that with the city centre — where shops and restaurants are opening up and people are going out to eat ice cream. what i can't stress enough is how significant a presence the taliban have in the city now and how surreal it is to witness it.
i mean, every few minutes one of their patrols passes by, and they are heavily armed, we are talking about powerful assault rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers. for the moment, their attitude seems to be fairly friendly, but the concern, of course, is how long that will last. we have seen these protests in the east of the country now being met with violence, at least two people being killed there, i'm told. publicly at least so far, the taliban have adopted a fairly conciliatory attitude and tone, but many fear that they are not going to break any kind of challenge to their authority. the united nations says it has started moving up to 100 international staff out of afghanistan to work from kazakhstan, but stressed it is "committed to staying and delivering in support of the afghan people in their hour of need."|�*m joined now by laura padoan, a spokesperson for the united nations high commissioner for refugees. laura, commissioner for refugees. thank you so much foi us. laura, thank you so much forjoining us. will any un staff, including local staff remain inside
afghanistan?— local staff remain inside afghanistan? local staff remain inside afuhanistan? ., ., ., afghanistan? thank you for having me. i afghanistan? thank you for having me- i spoke _ afghanistan? thank you for having me- i spoke to _ afghanistan? thank you for having me. i spoke to my _ afghanistan? thank you for having me. i spoke to my colleague - afghanistan? thank you for having me. i spoke to my colleague in - afghanistan? thank you for having i me. i spoke to my colleague in kabul earlier today, and we have around 200 unhcr staff in the country both national and international. as far as possible, they will remain in the country to stay and to deliver assistance to the displaced people in need. we are attempting to evacuate two staff members today, but the vast majority are staying there to deliver. we are used to working in emergencies. we will continue to do so as long as it is safe for our staff to carry on. we have had assurances from the taliban that aid agencies can stay to deliver assistance. hopefully as long as we can have access to people, we will keep doing that. how in ractical people, we will keep doing that. how in practical terms do you work with the taliban? i in practical terms do you work with the taliban?— the taliban? i don't have details about that- _ the taliban? i don't have details about that. we _ the taliban? i don't have details about that. we are _ the taliban? i don't have details about that. we are a _ the taliban? i don't have details l about that. we are a humanitarian nonpartisan organisation so in any conflict situation, we do work with
all parties to make sure that the people who are most in need get the support and assistance they need. so in afghanistan at the moment, we are delivering emergency tents, blankets, shelters, medical cats, hygiene kits, because the displacement situation there is really dyer. we have been warning for quite some time now have that humanitarian and displacement crisis. more than half a million people outside their home since january, and that is in addition to 3 million people in the country who are internally displaced, and 80% of those are women and children, so we are really concerned about their safety and rushing to get aid around the people in need. you safety and rushing to get aid around the people in need.— the people in need. you must be watchin: the people in need. you must be watching along — the people in need. you must be watching along with _ the people in need. you must be watching along with the rest - the people in need. you must be watching along with the rest of. the people in need. you must be i watching along with the rest of us, the scenes at the airport to afghanistan people and capital are trying to get out. is there any role in the un for that? the trying to get out. is there any role in the un forthat?_ in the un for that? the prime minister announced _ in the un for that? the prime minister announced today - in the un for that? the prime minister announced today the j in the un for that? the prime - minister announced today the afghan
resettlement steam —— scheme. we don't have the fall details. it appears to be a mixture of both evacuation of afghan nationals directly from kabul alongside the resettlement of refugees who have crossed an international border into neighbouring countries. so we look forward to working with the government to be set off some of the most vulnerable people who are in need. they only reset all refugees you have crossed the border to a third country, a host country. la raff from the un, thank you so much. thank you. a key theme of the debate in the commons today — the first we have seen without social distancing since the pandemic — was britain's response to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in afghanistan. mrjohnson was accused of not doing enough to help those desperately seeking to leave the country. the government has announced plans to allow a total of 20,000 afghans to settle in the uk. some 5,000 afghans and their family members will be able to resettle in the uk via that scheme this year.
it will focus on women and children as well as religious and other minorities in greater danger from the taliban. here's the report from our political correspondent ben wright at westminster. prime minister, have you let down afghanistan? a statement was written, the explanation prepared — borisjohnson headed to parliament, brought back from its summer break. prime minister! the chamber was crammed, shoulder to shoulder now restrictions are lifted. the sacrifice in afghanistan is seared into our national consciousness, with 150,000 people serving there from across the length and breadth of the united kingdom. no matter how grim the lessons of the past, the future is not yet written. and at this bleak turning point, we must help the people of afghanistan to choose the best of all the possible futures.
the prime minister said the us pull—out from afghanistan meant there was little britain could do. labour's leader agreed there was no military solution, but said the government had failed to prepare. there's been a major miscalculation of the resilience of the afghan forces and staggering complacency from our government about the taliban threat. the result is that the taliban are now back in control of afghanistan. the gains made through 20 years of sacrifice hang precariously. tory backbench anger was growing, and one former prime minister was scathing. was our knowledge of the position on the ground so inadequate, or did we really believe this, or did we just feel that we had to follow the united states and hope that, on a wing and a prayer, it would be all right on the night? watching on, a demonstration demanding all afghans who worked for the uk can move here, and there is already a scheme in place. ministers have said the uk will also
take in up to 20,000 refugees over the next few years, including 5000 this year. in the commons, there were cross—party calls for more. it should have a minimum commitment of welcoming at least 35—40,000 afghan refugees in the uk. numbers matter less than need. we need to reject this artificial distinction between resettlement and asylum. today's debate revealed the depth of anger and anguish at what's happened. the words spoken here will make little difference to the immediate situation in afghanistan, but borisjohnson looks isolated as mps queued up to ask how a 20—year commitment unravelled so fast. no more so than those who had served in afghanistan, fighting in a campaign that cost the lives of a57 servicemen and women. like many veterans, this last week has been one that has seen me struggle through anger
and grief and rage. the feeling of abandonment, of not just a country, but the sacrifice that my friends made. the house of commons, full for the first time in over a year, had rarely seemed so quiet. 0ur political correspondent jonathan blake is at westminster. you will have heard that the prominent stress isolated. how big an issue as that is that? i prominent stress isolated. how big an issue as that is that?— an issue as that is that? i think it was interesting _ an issue as that is that? i think it was interesting to _ an issue as that is that? i think it was interesting to see _ an issue as that is that? i think it i was interesting to see the pressure on all sides from the house of commons today during the seven hours of debate. mps were recalled from their summer break, but the criticism, coming their way was that no surprise. nazi days as mps have watched their events in afghanistan unfold, leading conservative backbenchers as well as labour and other opposition parties have been speaking out with pretty uncompromising criticism of the
government's decision in the first place to withdraw troops, but more so the way that that decision has manifested in the tally band's rise to power so swiftly and afghanistan. what struck today certainly what struck me in the comments was the fact that it was packed in a way that we have not seen since pre—pandemic, some ministers where they are having to go eyeball with they are having to go eyeball with the labour front bench and their own backbenchers as well as this criticism came their way. so i think i deeply uncomfortable day for the prime minister and for the government where mps aired their frustration, their exasperation so clearly. frustration, their exasperation so clearl . ~ . ~ ., frustration, their exasperation so clearl. . ~ ., clearly. what kind of debate was there about _ clearly. what kind of debate was there about that _ clearly. what kind of debate was there about that they _ clearly. what kind of debate was there about that they give - clearly. what kind of debate was i there about that they give 20,000 afghan refugees in total to be received? ,., afghan refugees in total to be received? ., , ., received? out, some opposition arties, received? out, some opposition parties. the _ received? out, some opposition parties, the scottish _ received? out, some opposition parties, the scottish national. received? out, some opposition i parties, the scottish national party in the liberal democrats would like that figure to be more. labour have been a number on it. perhaps they
say because it needs to respond, the system and the number of refugees coming to the uk needs to be proportionate to the situation on the ground which has yet unclear. depending on the taliban's next move, and how many people decide to flee the country. but i think it was, it is seen perhaps by some on the conservative benches has a kind of marker, a statement of intent by the government, but i wouldn't be surprised if the pressure on them to allow more to come to the uk grows, but we have seen brycejohnson making moves to work with other countries on the g7 to attempt to get other nations, other western nations to share the burden, you like a man to be as generous as that government would see it and other countries have been in terms of the numbers they are trying to take. jonathan blake, thank you so much. and we'll find out how this story — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:30 and 11:30 this evening in the papers — our guestsjoining me tonight
are the political commentator and columnist grace blakeley, and deputy political editor, daily express sam lister. the headlines on bbc news... mps are recalled to parliament for an emergency debate on afghanistan, all sites have attacked the government's handling of the crisis. the taliban secure their position is afghanistan's new relays as afghan wonder what the future holds. the country's former president speaks by the first time from exile saying that he may return to the country. sport and for a full round up, from the bbc sport centre, here's mark edwards. good evening. harry kane won't play for tottenham in thursday's europa conference league play—off first leg in portugal. the england striker, who reportedly wants to leave the club, wasn't part of the group who flew out today for the game against pacos de ferreira. it's thought kane's still working on his fitness but could face wolves in the premier league on sunday.
what i can tell you is that he is better. he is getting his fitness better. he is getting his fitness better and better each day. like i said, he's got to work today, it's got to work tomorrow, and he will try but the group on friday. saturday we will make the decision with who will be involved in the game. romelu lukaku has been speaking to the press for the first time after rejoining chelsea. the belgium striker�*s promised to live up to his 97.5 million pound price tag and says he's looking forward to life back in the premier league after winning serie a last season at inter milan: the game in italy is much more different, much tighter space and more technical and it helped me a lot. like i said, the english game is different so for me, it's not something new, it's just getting back here and getting adept to my team—mates and whatever game plan the coach has, i can adapt myself and up the team.
——plan the coach has, i can adapt myself and help the team. england have rung the changes for the third test against india having around—the—clock for those, the only goal of the game at the riverside comments that one from the penalty spot after seven minutes between middlesborough and queens park rangers, 0—0 everywhere else. england have rung the changes for the third test against india which starts at headingly next week, following their defeat at lords which left them 1—0 down in the series. yorkshire batsman dawid malan has been recalled to the squad. he's been a mainstay of the t20 side but last featured in test cricket during the 2018 season against india. meanwhile, dom sibley has been dropped. his highest score in four innings against india in the current series was 28. zak crawley is also out of the 15 man squad. it's another double header in the hundred today, in the women's match london spirit have beaten welsh fire by seven wickets. heather knight sealing the win with a four. spirit could have made it
into the eliminators had they made 96 off 41 balls but struggled initially to get the runs in and had to settle for the match. fire are bottom of the table. andy murray has been knocked out in the second round of the cincinatti 0pen. h e's lost to wimbledon semi—finalist hubert hurkacz in straight sets 7—6, 6—3. murray showed some signs of getting back in the match but hurkacz proved too good in the end. and finally the defending champion dominic thiem has pulled out of the us open tennis which starts at the end of this month. in a statement on social media, thiem says he'll miss the tournament and the rest of the 2021 season, after continuing to struggle with a wrist injury he suffered back injune. formula 0ne's japanese grand prix, due to take place in october, has been cancelled because of a rise of covid cases in the country. f1 says the decision to cancel the grand prix was taken by the japanese government.
the revised calendar for the season will be revealed in the coming weeks. there's a new leader after stage five of the vuelta a espana, but it happened in the most unfortunate circumstances. estonia's ryan tara may was wearing the red jersey for only the second day, but lost it after getting caught up in this crash just seven miles from the finish. he got left behind as belgium's yasper philipsen claimed his second stage win of the race. frenchman kenny ellis—onde is now the overall leader, five seconds ahead of reigning champion pree—moz rog—litch. that's all the sport for now. we'll have more for you on the bbc news channel later on. thanks so much, mark. currently the situation at the
airport is stable, however, there are threats, and they are closely monitoring those at are threats, and they are closely monitoring thos— are threats, and they are closely monitoring thos are threats, and they are closely monitorin: thos . . , ., , monitoring those at any moment, they could happen- — monitoring those at any moment, they could happen- we _ monitoring those at any moment, they could happen. we can _ monitoring those at any moment, they could happen. we can identify - monitoring those at any moment, they could happen. we can identify them, l could happen. we can identify them, if we identify them, we will take immediate military action without hesitation in accordance with our rules of engagement. the taliban and every other organisation that country knows that. the taliban and are in and around kabul right now, but they are not interfering with our operations. did that state department, the taliban are facilitating this a passage to the airport for american citizens, that his us passport holders. we also have a rest, as he saw the other day, of unarmed innocent civilians massing on the airfield where it became a safety hazard to our aeroplanes, crews and also to themselves. we currently have that situation under control inside the airfield. ,, ., ., .,
airfield. the us chairman “oint chief of staff i airfield. the us chairman “oint chief of staff updating h airfield. the us chairman joint chief of staff updating the - chief of staff updating the situation at kabul airport. and two other needs now. —— on two other news now. 0nto the government's latest coronavirus figures now, and they show there were 33,901; new infections recorded, in the latest 24—hour period, which means, on average, there were 30,177 new cases per day in the last week. 6,321 people are currently in hospital with the virus. 111 deaths were recorded in the past 2a hours, with an average of 94 deaths a day in the past week. 0n vaccinations, 89.6% of adults in the uk, have now had their firstjab, and more than 77.5% have had two jabs. after falling over recent weeks, the average number of daily confirmed covid cases is now showing signs of a small rise. so how much pressure is there on local areas? have covid "hot—spots" appeared because of staycations or events like music festivals? 0ur health editor hugh pym reports. there hasn't been the big surge
in infections which some experts had predicted for august. uk case numbers are lower than mid—july, but there are some areas where there's been an increase in recent weeks, including cornwall — partly linked to the influx of holiday—makers. there have been reports of positive tests among some of those who were at a surfing and music festival at newquay last week. local officials say it's too early to judge that from the data, but they acknowledge that covid has been spreading in some parts of the county. as people mix in large numbers, particularly if they're unvaccinated, there's the likelihood that there will be spread amongst that particular age group. we are seeing in general that the 18 to 30—year—olds are having the highest rates of infection in our area. of the top ten infection hotspots in england as of last week, three were in cornwall. two more were in the isle of wight, another tourist destination.
some others were further north in england. that's in terms of cases relative to the local population. we're going to see influxes of people to certain holiday destinations, and while that doesn't change the official population figures, it means that there are a lot more people within an area. and a lot more people in an area means there's going to be much more chance of covid and much more chance of transmission. indoor social mixing was cited as a factor in an infection spike in lincoln, with a surge in cases linked to a nightclub, though numbers have since fallen back. there could be implications for hospitals, and the nhs in the southwest of england has come under greater pressure, with ambulances having to wait at some hospitals to hand over patients. we've got a combination of rising numbers of covid cases, - but that's set alongside the fact |that people are trying to go fullj pelt to recover the care backlogs. we've also got lots people - who are seeking urgent emergency care at the same time as staff are off on leave, and also, - we've had large numbers
of staff self—isolating. i with pop—up vaccination centres, local health chiefs in the southwest are urging people to get theirjabs and do regular lateral flow tests. hugh pym, bbc news. 16 and 17—year—olds in wales well—received their offer of the covid—19 vaccine by the end of this week. there are about 67,000 people in that age group in wales, it follows guidance on the joint committee of vaccination imitation on vaccinating the over 16. teenagers have the same age in england and already been told to expect the invitations by next monday. an urgent call for medical personnel and equipment for haiti has been made by the regional health organisation covering the caribbean following saturday's devastating earthquake. haiti's earthquake is now known to have killed nearly 2000 people and injured about 10,000.
carissa etienne said many hospitals in the worst affected regions had been either damaged or destroyed. 0ur correspondent, james clayton has just sent this report from the centre of the disaster zone. we've just got to a rural location about 25 minutes from the town of lakai, and what we are seeing here is utter devastation. more so than in in that town. so what we saw there was maybe one in six, one in seven in seven houses that had been flattened, but here, pretty much every single house has been totally destroyed. what these houses are made of are things like this, rock, poorly made cement and it's really, really heavy. of course, when they collapse in, they can cause these catastrophic injuries. and that's exactly what's happened here. we just spoke to one woman who lives in that house there and she says that her 15—year—old son who has just about to finish school was killed when he was trying to charge his phone. devastating stories everywhere. one of the things that you notice
when you come into a place like this is that everyone says exactly the same thing, "where is the help? "where the medical supplies? "where are the search and rescue teams? "there is nothing." he become up to us asking for food, asking for water. ——people come up to us asking for food, asking for water. you've got to remember, this is now five days after the earthquake, and they have still had absolutely no health care whatsoever. the comedian sean lock has died of cancer at the age of 58. known for his surreal content and deadpan style, he's perhaps best known for being a team captain on channel 4's eight out of ten cats — for 18 series. ricky gervais is among many performers and writers who've been paying tribute — he said sean lock was one of the most influential comedians of his generation. 0ur entertainment lizo mzimba reports. he was one of britain's finest comedians, known for his lightning wit and laid—back style of humour. ijust have one thing, one request. if at any point in the show you are erring on the side of laughter, go with it, yeah?
you know if you get to a bit and you go, is that funny? just go wahey! chuck yourself in. his comedy career began in the 1990s and he was soon winning awards and fans across the country. i went for a job recently, a bit of voice—over work. and i actually got offered the part of the speaking clock. but i didn't like the script. and i said, cant we jazz it up a bit? something like, humpty dumpty sat on a wall. humpty dumpty had a great fall. all the kings horses and all the kings men, coming up to about five plus ten! in the house! his observational humour made him a regular on comedy shows for the next 30 years. i think anyone who's got a twitter account is vain. that's the ultimate sign of vanity. you think people are really interested in what you just mutter. paying tribute, eddie izzard said, farewell, sean, you brought a wonderful comedic talent to the world and you will be missed. jon richardson said i idolised sean as a comic long before i became a comedian myself and ten years
working alongside him didn't diminish that in the least. echoing the thoughts of so many by describing sean lock as an incredible comic brain and a truly unique voice. now it's time for a look at the weather with louise lear good afternoon. quiet but dull sums up the weather story today, probably not what you want to hear but we have seen quite a lot of cloud around, and the best of the breaks to the east of scotland, running down through the east of the pennines and to the north of london but the cloud out to the west thick enough for a spot of drizzle and temperatures here mid to high teens. at the very best, we could see 22c where we keep the sunshine. it stays mild through the night but that cloud continues and it will turn quite misty and damp along west facing coasts once again. another grey start to tomorrow morning. as i say, a mild start, and we could have a window of finer weather once again,
especially through northern ireland, stretching across wales and into the midlands as we go through the day. it won't last very long. eventually, more cloud with showery outbreaks of rain moving in from the west from another weather front. temperatures disappointing again for this time of year, ranging from 13—21c. hello this is bbc news. the headlines. mps are recalled to parliament for an emergency debate on afghanistan — and from all sides they attack the government's handling of the crisis. the taliban secure their positions as the new rulers and afghans wonder what the future holds — here there is talk of betrayal. like many veterans, this last week has been one that has seen me struggle through anger, and grief and rage.
we must deal with the world as it is, accepting what we've achieved and what we have not achieved. these are the lucky ones — britain will take 5,000 refugees this year, but what of all those left behind. afghanistan's former president speaks for the first time in exile from the uae. for now, i am in the united arab and red so that bloodshed and gas is stopped. i am currently in talks to return to afghanistan. there were about four and a half thousand military personnel in kabul but had no hostile interactions with the he said lines remain open for communication. and festivals and vacations have contributed to covid hotspots look at all the evidence.
the trial for our kelly has begun at a federal court in brooklyn. he denies any wrongdoing. i'm such an amazing company at her, more like a sensation or an idea. that's how he described me is with the fragrance. that's how he described me is with the fragrance. throughout the day council leaders across the country have said they are ready to provide a safe haven for those fleeing afghanistan. they're calling on the government to make more money available to fund the resettlement schemes. 0ur correspondent alex forsyth has been to calderdale in west yorkshire to see how one community is preparing to welcome afghan refugees. lunch at saint augustin�*s is about far more than food. this centre supports asylum seekers, offering advice, guidance and a sense of community. here, these families know what it is like to have to flee your home. jan was an interpreter for the british army, he came
to the uk through an official route, but now cannot contact his family who are still in afghanistan. i couldn't get to my mum and dad like two months and i really don't know about the situation will be at the moment. it's just a heartbreaking situation. the concern about recent events is palpable. howbeit, not his real name, has family in kabul. he is desperate for them tojoin him here. there's my mum, brother and sister left and wife. i have spoken to them and they are all crying. they are all crying? how are they feeling? it is bad. here the idea of a scheme to help settle refugees from afghanistan is welcome, but they question whether it will be enough, whether some might try to make it on their own. florence didn't come to the uk through official channels, she claimed asylum in 2016 and said the process can be tough. i was not allowed to go to school,
i was not allowed to do anything within my community. how was that? it was really bad, i felt like i was in a country where i came to seek safety, but it was worse than i was before. this part of west yorkshire has long welcomed those seeking sanctuary. for more than 20 years calderdale has taken in asylum seekers and it volunteered to resettle syrians during the war. the council says it is ready to step up again, but the leader says they must have support. we want to be open and welcoming, but we need proper support from the government to enable us to do that without it having an impact on local people and services. in halifax town centre there is empathy for the plight of afghans and awareness that public services, not least housing, are under pressure. half of me says, yes, we should help out, which is what we are doing. the other half is rightly saying, well, there are obviously people in this country who are british
citizens who need help and support. if it stays at 20,000, that is fine, but it is when it starts to get into half a million and a million people. where else are they going to go? i it is really important everybodyl opens the doors to these people. that is the political challenge, balancing the need to open the doors with the needs of existing communities, a challenge with much at stake for so many. alex forsyth, bbc news, halifax. clearly these are disturbing times for lots of people, and for details of organisations which offer advice and support with mental health, go online to bbc.co.uk/actionline. i'm joined now by carter malkasian, former us military adviser and author of the american war in afghanistan: a history.
while the americans are almost all gone and the taliban are back. i'm joined now by carter malkasian, former us military adviser and author of the american war in afghanistan: a history. thank you so much forjoining us. the british prime minister because the taliban victory in the chronicle of an event foretold. is he right? in a sense he is. people knew going into afghanistan there is danger getting stuck in a quagmire. people understood in the united states, leaders understood that the soviets had failed there. so we knew this and nevertheless we could not find a way out and trapped in afghanistan probably because of terrorists that threats we were worried about and then partly because we wanted to help the country so much. definitely
right this was a chronicle of defeat. ., ,. , ., , , , defeat. you described as the best brief us adviser _ defeat. you described as the best brief us adviser in _ defeat. you described as the best brief us adviser in afghanistan i defeat. you described as the best brief us adviser in afghanistan of| brief us adviser in afghanistan of the last few years. did you see this coming? the last few years. did you see this cominu ? ~ , , the last few years. did you see this comina? y, . the last few years. did you see this comina? . , ., the last few years. did you see this cominu? ., , ., ., , coming? myself and several others warned there _ coming? myself and several others warned there was _ coming? myself and several others warned there was a _ coming? myself and several others warned there was a distinct - warned there was a distinct possibility that the government would collapse after united states left and that the collapse could be rapid. not the only possibility but we knew that from the history of afghanistan. afghanistan has a history of when defeat happens out in the field things can unravel very quickly. that's how we took the country in the first place in 2001, but as i say those things even having seen that in advance it does not mean it was the wrong decision to make, it's a cost that must be borne but it does not mean that we
should have left afghanistan, there's other things and concerns that countries have that may need to be addressed now. you that countries have that may need to be addressed now.— be addressed now. you spent a long time in afghanistan, _ be addressed now. you spent a long time in afghanistan, with _ be addressed now. you spent a long time in afghanistan, with the - be addressed now. you spent a long time in afghanistan, with the there l time in afghanistan, with the there ever a moment that you thought the west and its allies might prevail in the medium to long—term? west and its allies might prevail in the medium to long-term? absolutely. my scepticism — the medium to long-term? absolutely. my scepticism is _ the medium to long-term? absolutely. my scepticism is not _ the medium to long-term? absolutely. my scepticism is not something - the medium to long-term? absolutely. my scepticism is not something i - my scepticism is not something i started outwith. 0ver my scepticism is not something i started outwith. over time it became more and more sceptical. early on i like many others thought that we would be able to enable the government to stand on its own and with the rate of system we could do that. we will talk about the province and i worked closely with the british there, after we saw how much change occurred between 2009 and 2011, after we saw how much
ground fell under government control and how i drove places throughout the district that i was in from the top to the bottom in areas that were completely under taliban control, i saw how schools were established and how clinics kept running and got stronger and councils were formed. in that deftly gave me hope that things could go better. and it maybe it could stand on its own and especially if there's just a small presence over the time the government could on its own. 0ver government could on its own. over time it became more and more pessimistic and overtime as her to see that may be a portrait is a very compelling argument. has see that may be a portrait is a very compelling argument.— see that may be a portrait is a very compelling argument. has the talent band significant _ compelling argument. has the talent band significant change _ compelling argument. has the talent band significant change from - compelling argument. has the talent band significant change from the i band significant change from the time it ran the country from 1996 to 2001? , ., time it ran the country from 1996 to 2001? y ., . ., i time it ran the country from 1996 to 2001? , ., . ., �* ., 2001? they have changed. i'm not sure whether _ 2001? they have changed. i'm not sure whether or _ 2001? they have changed. i'm not sure whether or not _ 2001? they have changed. i'm not sure whether or not we _ 2001? they have changed. i'm not sure whether or not we can - 2001? they have changed. i'm not sure whether or not we can see i 2001? they have changed. i'm not. sure whether or not we can see that it significant. the international community understands that they want to administer the country and they
don't want to harm like they have in the past, and they understand they don't want to see attacks coming up to the rest of the world. trying to portray that its rate different than making actions necessary to do. when i think about what was said the other day they would say women will be free within the bounds of islamic law, but i'm not sure exactly what the taliban interpretation of that will mean. in the past has not been good. i've spoken to many taliban over years and when they talk about freedoms for women they will say things like this, we protect women, we make sure they are safe from the violence of the world. it's you in the west to let women to be vulnerable to this kind of violence. so statements like that i have great scepticism of how the taliban are actually going to change. the person who served in _
actually going to change. the person who served in afghanistan _ actually going to change. the person who served in afghanistan was i actually going to change. the person who served in afghanistan was the i who served in afghanistan was the british mp who gave a speech today in the house of commons decrying a lack of strategic patients in afghanistan by the west and questioning what the west stands for, do you share those views? to a sense i for, do you share those views? to a sense i do. — for, do you share those views? to a sense i do, to an _ for, do you share those views? to a sense i do, to an extent _ for, do you share those views? trr —. sense i do, to an extent i don't. we stay there from 2001, the whole 20 years is very concerned about the return of terrorism and the last ten years when all of the countries went out a very small presence and manage the forces much better, able to use air strikes and special operations forces in a very in—depth way. in a small number of troops usually around 10,000, we kept back tens of thousands of taliban. and i think that's a big human accomplishment. and i think there was patient throughout that time. could we have
kept on going to afghanistan? yes we could have it was a viable option and yes we could have done it. but i think at the time and perhaps even now still departure was more compelling option.— now still departure was more compelling option. now still departure was more comellin: otion. ., ~ . compelling option. thank you so much for “oininr compelling option. thank you so much forjoining us- — let's speak now to dave, who worked for an international charity from 2009 to 2011 in herat in afghanistan — where he used physiotherapy and disability inclusion to help afghans back into their communities, jobs and schools. if you have been in contact in recent days and will have people say to you? recent days and will have people say to ou? �* , , , to you? it's been quite interesting to you? it's been quite interesting to have first-hand _ to you? it's been quite interesting to have first-hand experience i to have first—hand experience through friends who i worked with in that time who are still over there and living to hear how the takeover was actually occurring. they were
reporting, the war was happening about five km outside and that it was two climbers in the next minute there's the takeover. so hearing from them they are very fearful. they are fearful of their lives and that we were working for a charity and we had nothing to do with the army because they primarily were the targets we were kind of secondary so to keep well away from them was our aim and we were concentrating more on the work we were doing in disability inclusion. they have been there all the time in terms of my colleagues they had been through the talent been before and then there was this time of kind of rest, but really in the background there was always a fear, it was constantly a fear and so hence we had a very strict security rules to help not
only protect us but also to protect them and it's interesting that at them and it's interesting that at the time you were thinking that while, i needed to experience afghanistan and we were invited to people's homes, or security measures said we were not allowed at the time that was very frustrating. now i'm so grateful because it not only protected us but primarily now it is protecting our colleagues. bier? protecting our colleagues. very briefl , is protecting our colleagues. very briefly. is it _ protecting our colleagues. very briefly, is it safe _ protecting our colleagues. very briefly, is it safe for _ protecting our colleagues. very briefly, is it safe for them i protecting our colleagues. very briefly, is it safe for them to carry on working right now? thea;r carry on working right now? they are workin: , it carry on working right now? they are working. it is — carry on working right now? they are working, it is not _ carry on working right now? they are working, it is not safe _ carry on working right now? they are working, it is not safe for— carry on working right now? they are working, it is not safe for them i carry on working right now? they are working, it is not safe for them to i working, it is not safe for them to carry on because you are looking at a very unpredictable time. you are looking at something that's just literally five days in we have seen what's happened. and we are here reports of girls being bashed in the streets. horrible things which are basically where it unpredictable
time as to what is going to happen and that's where we all feel so hopeless. we've got the latest official figures on the cost of living today — and it turns out that prices are not rising by as much as some were predicting. the consumer prices index — which is a way of measuring inflation — was 2% injuly. that compares to 2.5% the previous month. cheaper clothing is one reason for the dip in the rate of inflation. but there's a warning — inflation could go much higher later this year. 0ur consumer affairs correspondent, colletta smith, reports. in the last few weeks, there's one thing that's been stretching budgets across the country. fuel prices have been rocketing. in fact, thejuly fuel price was the highest seen in eight years. there've been some pretty good summer sales when it comes to clothing and shoes, and that's been keeping prices overall a bit lower.
but the thing that's still been pushing inflation up are those eye—watering petrol and diesel prices. and with more long road trips for holidays in the uk this summer, people are really feeling the cost of a full tank. when you fill a car up like that, it costs about £70. he travels about 25 miles there, 25 miles back every day for work, so it's a big expense, really, for diesel. yeah. it's pretty expensive again, 130 odd, locally. it's notjust drivers who are impacted. this month's inflation figure is normally used to set the price rise for rail season tickets, but not this year. the government say they haven't yet decided when — or if — they'll be putting prices up. that's music to the ears of transport campaigners. would be really good news if injanuary, we hear that there's no increase. the situation, really, is going to be terrible if they were to increase it. i can't imagine that they would because we're coming back
from a pandemic and we need to get people back on board and get people in towns and cities spending. but it's not all bad news for those splashing out over the holiday season. summer clothing sales are back after the disruption of last year. well, ijust assumed it was because lots of the season's clothes weren't selling, people weren't going on holiday and that kind of thing, so everything's been slashed. although prices haven't increased as quickly as some economists were expecting, costs will go up more in the autumn because a big energy price rise will kick in at the end of september. all of this is putting the chancellor under pressure to scrap his plans to increase the pension rate by more than inflation — the so—called triple lock. pensioners are due an increase of around 8%, which is a pay rise most of the workforce can only dream of. with household budgets set to be squeezed on all sides after a summer holiday spending splurge, it's time to buckle up for the months ahead.
colletta smith, bbc news, in barnsley. exams in scotland will go ahead as normal next year if it is safe for them to do so. the scottish government said nationalfive, higher and advanced higher exams would be held in spring providing public health advice allows them to take place. new analysis suggests sixth form colleges in england face a big fall in funding per pupil. the institute for fiscal studies says an extra 570 million pounds is needed to keep up with the rising number of students. the trial of the grammy—award winning us singer r kelly got under way today at a us federal court in new york. the r&b star is accused of racketeering, sexual abuse and bribery — charges which he has denied. if the singer is convicted on all counts he could face ten years to life in prison. samira hussain reports. for r kelly's many accusers, this federal court in brooklyn is where, finally, their voices may be heard. jonjelyn savage is here.
for years, she has been pushing for charges against kelly. she says her daughter had been held captive by the musician. the opening statements will open some people's eyes to what we have been knowing for the last five and a half years, when we started this journey, because we knew something wasn't right and we knew that it had to stop. in those opening statements, prosecutors said kelly targeted, groomed and exploited young girls and boys for his own satisfaction, and that this case is not about a celebrity who likes to party, but a sexual predator. # i believe i can soar... r kelly is one of the most successful artists of all time, credited with redefining r&b music. but in a spectacular fall from grace, the musician has spent the last two years behind bars awaiting trial. kelly and members of his entourage are accused of recruiting women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with the r&b singer.
he is also accused of paying victims and witnesses to cover up his alleged crimes. i didn't do this stuff! r kelly has been confronting allegations of sexual abuse for more than two decades, but the only time he faced criminal charges, back in 2008, he was acquitted. these new charges against r kelly are far more serious, and this time several victims will testify against him. but also perhaps there has been a shift in culture — the me too movement has made it harder for rich, famous abusers to hide their misdeeds. samira hussain, bbc news, new york. geronimo the alpaca will be slaughtered after his owner lost a last—ditch high court bid to save him. the animal has twice tested positive for bovine tuberculosis and, as a result, the department for environment, food and rural affairs has ordered its destruction.
his owner helen macdonald, says she will fight the decision. i won't to break the law, but there is plenty of things that we can do. and we will do it. because this is wrong, and i have been ignored by george eustis now since 2018, and he's the environment secretary, and he has to stand up now and be counted for his official's behaviour. there are people in that department that have blatantly told lies, and this animal should not have to pay with his life. in a who—dunnit worthy of tinseltown, a huge hollywood—style sign has appeared on the outskirts of wrexham — and nobody�*s sure where it came from. some locals have linked it to a—list actors ryan reynolds and rob mcelhenney — who recently bought the town's football club. ian haslam has been trying to find out more. whichever angle you look at it from, the wrexham sign has brought a touch of glitz and glamour to the slag heap upon which it now so proudly stands. and people can't get enough of it.
it's a little bit of fun so yeah, i think it's a great idea. it's fun for the kids, isn't it? they've come to have a look. you've come to take a look at it today. are you impressed close—up? yes, it's huge when you get up close to it. is this putting wrexham on the map? it's about time! it is clearly based on the hollywood sign, that worldwide symbol of the entertainment industry, which has inevitably led to suggestions that wrexham afc is behind it. after all, the national league club is now owned by hollywood actors robert mcelhinney and ryan reynolds, who recently told the bbc about his vision for the future. the wrexham club is incredible. more incredible still is the community around it. so this is as much a project investing in the wrexham red dragons as it is investing in the community of wrexham itself. so we are really excited. but not excited enough to stick up a giant wrexham sign, apparently. he tweeted, i wish i had thought of that. but if i were to really dig into it, i wish i wasn't someone who wished they'd thought of that. so who did? we asked the leader
of wrexham council for his thoughts. it brought a smile to people's faces. from all over the world, people have been contacting me. so let's hope it stops here for as long as it possibly can. there is the connection with wrexham football club and the new owners, and i think people are trying to put two and two together. none of us know, nobody knows. who do you think is responsible for the sign? i reckon it's probably ryan reynolds or somebody like that, definitely. i yeah, definitely ryan reynolds. but surely there are other people in this town that might want to do that? no one else that could afford to do something like that. it's only plastic. still a lot of money, isn't it, surely. why, do you know who put it up? no, that's why i am here! i'm trying to find out from people like yourself! so no closure on the matter, only continued speculation and intrigue. surely we will find out soon. now it's time for a look at the weather with louise lear good evening. so far this week, the weather story has been dominated by cloud.
it's been a rather grey start, hasn't it, really? and through this afternoon, the cloud was thick enough at times to produce a little bit of light drizzle in places. this was cumbria earlier on. there was also some sunshine be found, though, across eastern scotland, to the east of england and down just to the north of london as well. we had a few breaks in the cloud from time to time. now, the cloud will continue to fill in as we go through the evening as well, and once again along exposed west—facing coasts, it'll be thick enough for a spot or two of drizzle. could be quite misty as well across the hills. temperatures are holding up, though, staying into double digits first thing for thursday morning. so, once again, we start off with a cloudy story. there will be some breaks and some sunshine coming through northern ireland. you can see a slice just moving across the east of the pennines before yet more cloud arrives and some showery outbreaks of rain push in from the west. so, a really messy story to try
and pinpoint down for tomorrow, and again, those temperatures are going to be disappointing. friday looks a slightly quieter day. yes, i know there's a weather front pushing in from the west, and it will gradually bring outbreaks of rain. but ahead of it, it looks likely to be dry. there'll be some around, the winds swinging to a southerly ahead of that weather front, will also drive in slightly milder air. so, with the sunshine, we could see temperatures peaking at 23 or 2a degrees — that's 75 fahrenheit. and in fact, we're going to continue to import some heat from the near continent. not the extreme heat from the mediterranean, but ahead of this weather front, we will continue to see some increasing warmth. however, this weather front is going to bring some heavy rain as well. so, as we head towards the weekend, it looks likely to be quite a warm story, but also quite wet at times, possibly even with some sharp, thundery downpours. so, eastern england on saturday seeing the best of the sunshine, the best of the weather. 0ur weather front is going to take its time to arrive in from the west, some of that rain will be heavy from time to time. it's only 18 or 19 degrees
this is bbc news — i'm christian fraser — our top stories. the exiled afghan president has spoken for the first time since the taliban seized power. ashraf ghani — says he still wants a leading role — and only left the country to stop afghanistan imploding like yemen or syria. in the uk, borisjohnson faces a barrage of criticism from his own mp's who accuse him of retreating from afghanistan "on a wing and a prayer2. the prime minister was told his foreign policy is in tatters. we will talk tonight to the female afghan journalist who upended years of taliban doctrine by sitting down with one of the group's top leaders yesterday for an exclusive interivew. and with that in mind, we'll ask what the taliban were promised by the trump administration in last
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