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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 21, 2021 12:00pm-12:31pm BST

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hello. this is bbc news. i'm victoria derbyshire. these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. senior taliban figures, including the group's co—founder, mullah baradar, arrive in kabulfor talks about establishing a new government. thousands continue to crowd the perimeter at kabul airport, desparate to escape the taliban. greece has erected a aokm fence on its border with turkey amid wanings of many afghan civilians fleeing their country. there have been clashes between australian police and anti—lockdown demonstrators in sydney and melbourne animal welfare campaigners in the uk have welcomed new government proposals to stop puppy smuggling.
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hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. the taliban's co—founder and head of its political wing, mullah abdul ghani baradar, is in kabulfor talks on forming a new afghan government. he's the most senior taliban leader now in afghanistan, and the man who signed the agreement with the united states that led to the american withdrawal. the taliban have promised an inclusive government for afghanistan. they say experts from the former government will be brought in for crisis management. other senior taliban leaders in the capital include khalil haqqani — one of america's most wanted terrorists — but also moderate figures such as the former president,
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hamid karzai. thousands of people are continuing their attempt to flee the country. our correspondent, danjohnson, is following developments from delhi. there is still chaos outside the airport, and no real solution to that, no clear way forward for how the foreign forces, the nations that are trying to get people out are going to overcome the crush, the crowds and the taliban checkpoints. and then we've got these talks happening now between the most senior leaders of the taliban and some other political figures across afghanistan. dialogue, discussions about how they're going to form a power structure, a government for the future, and inclusive government, the taliban spokesman put it out there, effective second—in—command, mullah baradar, they're in kabul talking to people like hammond karzai, in kabul talking to people like hamid karzai, the previous president of the country after the us invasion, a moderate voice. and also america's most wanted
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terrorist, $5 million bounty on his head, yet he could be an integral part of this discussion now about the future of afghanistan. he is said to be in charge of security in kabul, so in many ways the us are relying on him and his fighters allowing others to get through to get to the airport. there was reports this morning that 150 indians had been held hostage on their way to the airport. the taliban denied that, they said they are questioning some people but not holding them hostage. although people were expecting safe passage to the airport, the practicalities have been really tough, and the fact that the taliban is admitting that it is checking people and questioning their movements and intentions would put even more fear into those who are scared to even make their way to the airport because they risk exposing themselves to the taliban
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and potentially giving hints to the history that they have working for either the previous government or foreign forces. i want to ask you about security guards who were working for the british, protecting the british embassy, and there was an issue about whether they would be able to come to the uk because they didn't work directly for the british government, but there is good news for those guards. yes, there is for that group of 120 security guards who worked for the british embassy but through a contracting company, garda world, they were told that they didn't need to come to work any more, that there was no future work for them, but also that they didn't qualify for protected status and wouldn't be given the necessary visas to evacuate the country and come to the uk. there has been a u—turn on that, those 125 guards are now going to be evacuated and will be safe because
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they said at such a visible presence on the street guarding the british embassy, they would have been amongst the first to be at risk of reprisals from the taliban. and that is the difficulty, working out who does qualify, and when you have those people who are not direct employees, link through contractors in different companies, it is difficult working out how best to protect people. they work for a massive global security firm which presumably has other employees in kabul that it will need to look after, but it shows you how complicated this is, and who should take responsibility for making sure that anybody who was at risk is safe or able to leave the country. let's talk now to pen farthing, a former royal marine who runs nowzad, an animal welfare ngo in afghanistan. he's in kaaul. you have been trying to get members of staff out, i think you have managed to get pregnant members of
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staff out and your wife, how many are left? , , ., ., ., are left? yes, my wife managed to net out are left? yes, my wife managed to get out safely- _ are left? yes, my wife managed to get out safely. we _ are left? yes, my wife managed to get out safely. we have _ are left? yes, my wife managed to get out safely. we have 68 - are left? yes, my wife managed to get out safely. we have 68 staff i get out safely. we have 68 staff members and their family still here in kabul. i have got some good news that we are in talks with the foreign office, so that is an absolute result, so i'm going to ask all the nowzad supporters out there who have been absolutely amazing, you don't need to keep messaging the prime minister and others, we are obviously going to go through this process now with the foreign office and obviously our staff will be confirmed as able to travel to the uk. ~ , ., confirmed as able to travel to the uk. a , a, ,_ confirmed as able to travel to the uk. ~ confirmed as able to travel to the uk. when you say you are in talks with the foreign _ uk. when you say you are in talks with the foreign office, _ uk. when you say you are in talks with the foreign office, can - uk. when you say you are in talks with the foreign office, can you i with the foreign office, can you give an insight into how that is happening? do you have a phone number to happening? do you have a phone numberto ring, happening? do you have a phone number to ring, someone's e—mail address? how does it work? yes. number to ring, someone's e-mail address? how does it work? yes, we received an — address? how does it work? yes, we received an e-mail, _ address? how does it work? yes, we received an e-mail, and _ address? how does it work? yes, we received an e-mail, and they - address? how does it work? yes, we received an e-mail, and they have i received an e—mail, and they have gone off and our staff are being
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processed. i don't expect them to just let people in and travel to the uk, so they are following a process now and that is what this whole campaign is about, aiming to get the staff on that process so that they can be bettered and then travel to the uk -- can be bettered and then travel to the uk —— met protected and travel to the uk. i have been told it shouldn't take too long, so you can stop e—mailing the prime minister at the moment, i'm sure he will be quite relieved about that. find the moment, i'm sure he will be quite relieved about that. and in terms of the _ quite relieved about that. and in terms of the 60 _ quite relieved about that. and in terms of the 60 or— quite relieved about that. and in terms of the 60 or so _ quite relieved about that. and in terms of the 60 or so staff, - quite relieved about that. and in terms of the 60 or so staff, are| terms of the 60 or so staff, are they a mixture of british people and afghan civilians? i am they a mixture of british people and afghan civilians?— afghan civilians? i am the only brit. the rest _ afghan civilians? i am the only brit. the rest are _ afghan civilians? i am the only brit. the rest are all _ afghan civilians? i am the only brit. the rest are all afghan i brit. the rest are all afghan nationals. they are the innocent victims of this complete and utter disastrous policy on afghanistan, and there is only one person i blame for what has happened here in afghanistan, and that isjoe biden. there where he has done this, it is a humanitarian crisis above
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anything, and without his direction that the imf does not bring money into afghanistan, we have run out of money. nobody can now go out and buy food because the banks are still shut. everybody here lives day by day. there is not such a thing as savings, so people are now absolutely desperate for money so they can go and buy food, it is one crisis on another and joe biden is the main man in charge who created this absolute disaster. i the main man in charge who created this absolute disaster.— this absolute disaster. i don't know if ou this absolute disaster. i don't know if you heard — this absolute disaster. i don't know if you heard his _ this absolute disaster. i don't know if you heard his news _ this absolute disaster. i don't know if you heard his news conference i if you heard his news conference last night, he did take questions from the media. he was emphatic that he was standing his ground that this was the plan all along. yes, it was chaotic and there might be lost in trying to evacuate people, but he was pretty defiant. can you hear me, mr farthing? i
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was pretty defiant. can you hear me, mr farthing?— mr farthing? i can, i think our sianal mr farthing? i can, i think our signal went- _ signal went. i was talking aboutjoe biden�*s conference last night, he was defiant about the way it has been handled. , ., defiant about the way it has been handled. , . ., ,_ handled. yes, i have heard him say he has no regrets _ handled. yes, i have heard him say he has no regrets and _ handled. yes, i have heard him say he has no regrets and there - handled. yes, i have heard him say he has no regrets and there are i handled. yes, i have heard him say he has no regrets and there are no | he has no regrets and there are no problems. he is busily not watching the news, he is not reading any of the news, he is not reading any of the intelligence reports. he is completely incompetent, that is the only way i can describe this. thousands upon thousands of desperate people at that airfield. you have only got to see the soldiers there, the british soldiers. they are doing an absolutely fabulous job, soldiers. they are doing an absolutely fabulousjob, but soldiers. they are doing an absolutely fabulous job, but they are put in such a position, they are in a no—win situation. it is absolutely horrendous, and joe biden without a shadow of a doubt, this is on him, and for him to stand there and say he has got no regrets, that is the most callous thing anybody could ever say, just pure incompetence. that is all i can say about him. incompetence. that is all i can say about him-— incompetence. that is all i can say about him. ., ~' , . ~ about him. thank you very much, mr farthin: , about him. thank you very much, mr
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farthing. for— about him. thank you very much, mr farthing, for talking _ about him. thank you very much, mr farthing, for talking to _ about him. thank you very much, mr farthing, for talking to us. _ about him. thank you very much, mr farthing, for talking to us. good i farthing, for talking to us. good luck. thank you. joining me is dr mohammad haqnal, he's the former head of afghanistan's public health system. now a lecturer at city, university of london after arriving in the uk in 2019. isa is a former health minister, could you talk to us about the situation in the country when it comes to the chaos and covid? the in the country when it comes to the chaos and covid?_ chaos and covid? the situation is not ve chaos and covid? the situation is rrot very good- — chaos and covid? the situation is not very good. let _ chaos and covid? the situation is not very good. let me _ chaos and covid? the situation is not very good. let me just i chaos and covid? the situation is| not very good. let me just correct my title. i was not the minister for public health, i was the chief of the health system, it is a different position in the country. the situation is not very good because during the recent conflict, several hospitals have also been totally destroyed, and because of the covid—19 and also during the last two months, there was no contact with most of the organisation, and i think it is very important that 75%
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of the health budget is dependent on foreign aid, so imagine whoever is implementing the services, most of them are non—governmental organisations. if they are not sure who will pay them for the services... i5 who will pay them for the services. . ._ who will pay them for the services... , ., , , services... is the health system likel to services... is the health system likely to collapse? _ services... is the health system likely to collapse? it _ services... is the health system likely to collapse? it depends . services... is the health system| likely to collapse? it depends on the international _ likely to collapse? it depends on the international support, i likely to collapse? it depends on the international support, and i likely to collapse? it depends on l the international support, and that is why we are thinking hopefully the international will also stand on their promise to provide financial support at least to those organisations that they are implementing the services. 75% or 80%, imagine if you don't like 80% or 75% budget, then most of the qualified people unfortunately are also leaving the country, so then
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with no resources, and unfortunately with no resources, and unfortunately with this chaos that we have, so the health secretary has been under arrest. ~ ., , ., , . health secretary has been under arrest. ~ ., , . . , arrest. would you expect western governments _ arrest. would you expect western governments to _ arrest. would you expect western governments to start _ arrest. would you expect western governments to start dealing i arrest. would you expect western governments to start dealing with j governments to start dealing with the taliban government when it is formed officially in a more serious way very soon? b5 formed officially in a more serious way very soon?— way very soon? as long as i'm concerned — way very soon? as long as i'm concerned about _ way very soon? as long as i'm concerned about health i way very soon? as long as i'm concerned about health and i concerned about health and education, so the international community, the international organisation, non—governmental national organisations, they are in preventing services, so we have these humanitarian sectors, our expectation is to maintain all this financial support and the health and educational support regardless of whoever is managing the country, so the humanitarian service should also be provided in order to reduce the
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loss of life in the country.- loss of life in the country. thank ou ve loss of life in the country. thank you very much _ loss of life in the country. thank you very much for _ loss of life in the country. thank you very much for talking i loss of life in the country. thank you very much for talking to i loss of life in the country. thank you very much for talking to us, | loss of life in the country. thank. you very much for talking to us, dr mohammad haqnal. greece says it's completed a 40—kilometre fence on its border with turkey and installed a new surveillance system, amid fears of refugees arriving from afghanistan. the greek citizens' protection minister said "we cannot wait for the possible impact" of the taliban's takeover of afghanistan. his comments came as president erdogan of turkey called on european nations to take responsibility for people fleeing the taliban. and just to remind you for more in—depth coverage on this story head to website or our news app. there you'll find everything you need to know on who is leading the taliban today and who will potentially take charge of the new government. the british government has rejected
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a call to issue 10,000 temporary visas to eu workers to tackle an estimated shortage of 75,000 lorry drivers. logistics uk, the trade body which represents freight businesses, says many restaurants and supermarkets are facing serious supply problems. but ministers say employers should invest in the domestic workforce, by offering higher wages, rather than rely on foreign labour. earlier i spoke to alex veitch, general manager of public policy at logistics uk. he explained how serious the situation is. it he explained how serious the situation is.— he explained how serious the situation is. , , ., , ., �*, situation is. it is serious and it's caettin situation is. it is serious and it's getting worse- _ situation is. it is serious and it's getting worse. we _ situation is. it is serious and it's getting worse. we aren't - situation is. it is serious and it's| getting worse. we aren't making situation is. it is serious and it's i getting worse. we aren't making this call for 10,000 temporary visas for qualified, safe eu nationals to come back to the uk and tide us over for the peak christmas period, the build—up to which starts now, to give us time to catch up from the mist driving tests and to rhys gill and retrain uk nationals to take up
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the manyjobs available in our sector. the many “obs available in our sector. ,., ., the many “obs available in our sector. ., ., ., , sector. the government have already re'ected sector. the government have already rejected that — sector. the government have already rejected that call _ sector. the government have already rejected that call and _ sector. the government have already rejected that call and have _ sector. the government have already rejected that call and have said i sector. the government have already rejected that call and have said you i rejected that call and have said you should just pay british workers more. should 'ust pay british workers more. ~ , ., ., , should 'ust pay british workers more. . , . ., , ., , more. we see that wages are rising. we are working _ more. we see that wages are rising. we are working hand _ more. we see that wages are rising. we are working hand in _ more. we see that wages are rising. we are working hand in glove - more. we see that wages are rising. we are working hand in glove with l we are working hand in glove with the government on reskilling, on apprenticeships, and trying to get people into our sector where there are jobs available for people impacted by covid. the problem is that it has been very difficult to actually get a driving test over the past year. it is nobody�*s fault, it is due to covid restrictions at the ddsa, so we have a huge backlog of people waiting to take their test to become a truck driver, so we would like these 10,000 temporary visas. there are many other sections where the government has done exactly that. ., ., , ., ., ,
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that. the government has already re'ected that. the government has already rejected your _ that. the government has already rejected your idea, _ that. the government has already rejected your idea, and _ that. the government has already rejected your idea, and thank- that. the government has already rejected your idea, and thank you | rejected your idea, and thank you for explaining why you feel it is necessary. so what is the impact going to be, then?— necessary. so what is the impact going to be, then? well, we will see what can be — going to be, then? well, we will see what can be done. _ going to be, then? well, we will see what can be done. we _ going to be, then? well, we will see what can be done. we did _ going to be, then? well, we will see what can be done. we did encourage the government to rethink. we are not the only sector calling for this, and infact not the only sector calling for this, and in fact the government has provided a quota of 30,000 similar visas forfarm workers. provided a quota of 30,000 similar visas for farm workers. they have also got a similar programme for people in the creative industry, for exchange students and for a total of eight different sectors. but if exchange students and for a total of eight different sectors.— eight different sectors. but if they don't change _ eight different sectors. but if they don't change their— eight different sectors. but if they don't change their mind _ eight different sectors. but if they don't change their mind when i eight different sectors. but if they don't change their mind when it i don't change their mind when it comes to lorry drivers, what will the impact be? when it comes to supplies to supermarkets and other stores in the run—up to christmas, for example? the concern is that we will start to see supply chain disruptions. we are certainly not saying that people should go and panic buy, it is a very resilient sector. there will be sure prioritisation of urgent supplies, food and medicine,
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everything that people need, but there will certainly be a knock—on effect to the supply chain. it is unclear where the impact will be in which sectors. police have released an image of a man wanted in connection with two murders in central london. detectives told the public not to approach lee peacock, a9, who officers want to question after they discovered two bodies at separate addresses half a mile apart in westminster. the headlines on bbc news: co—founder, mullah baradar — arrive in kabulfor talks about establishing a new government. thousands continue to crowd the perimeter at kabul airport, desparate to escape the taliban. greece has erected a aokm fence on its border with turkey amid warnings of many afghan civilians fleeing their country. australian police have clashed with thousands of people protesting against lockdowns in
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melbourne and sydney. it comes as a record number of covid cases were recorded in new south wales — the home of the country's biggest city, sydney. here's the state health minister. we are in a very serious situation here in new south wales with this particular variant of the virus. and if you can get either one of the two vaccines that have been made available, just go and get it. just go and get it. if you fit within the categories, go and get the vaccine. earlier the bbc�*s phil mercer gave me this update from sydney. there was chaos and violence right in the heart of australia's second biggest city, melbourne, for a couple of hours. thousands of demonstrators were confronting the police. the authorities say some people had turned up to demonstrate peacefully, but the vast majority were looking for trouble. they certainly found it.
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riot police had to support mounted units and there were times during the afternoon when it seemed that the police may well lose control of the city centre. in the end, more than 200 people were arrested. there were other smaller, less dramatic rallies, protesting against australia's strict regime of lockdowns here in sydney and brisbane, adelaide and darwin, but all the headlines will be around the unrest in australia's southern city of melbourne. loads and loads of people confronting the police, venting their anger at these very strict lockdowns that now affect millions of australians. and what is the covid infection rate in new south wales? if you look at the national figures, victoria, since the pandemic began, australia has recorded about 42,000 coronavirus infections, so a sense
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the early part of last year, 42,000 coronavirus infections have been documented across the entire nation. fewer than 1,000 people have died. so compared to many other countries, australia's situation is pretty good. that is because of various factors, strict lockdowns being one of them, also the closure of australia's international borders since march of last year. if you look at new south wales, for example, today, 825 new covid infections were reported. that is the worst daily figure for the whole of australia since the pandemic began. and thatjust gives you an indication as to how serious the outbreak is, especially here in sydney. a curfew will be imposed in virus—hit suburbs in the next 24—48 hours. this is australia's strictest ever lockdown.
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quite clearly you would be hard pressed to find anybody who likes lockdown, but the thousands of people who protested against the situation in various australian cities do not necessarily reflect the view of millions of australians who are staying home and trying to do the right thing. lebanon is facing its worst economic crisis in modern times, as a fuel crisis continues to put pressure on the country. the shia militant group hezbollah says it has now made arrangements to import fuel from iran, despite us sanctions. the bbc�*s azadeh moshiri reports. with no electricity and therefore no lights, ahmad has to improvise to do hisjob. this is but one small example of how lebanon's month—long fuel crisis is affecting everyday life. translation: the living conditions are difficult because of the - power outage. sometimes we are forced to turn on a phone light so that we can continue our work. there is no electricity, no petrol and no diesel.
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78% of the population is now living below the poverty line, according to the united nations, and violence and protests have become a common occurrence. adding even more pressure, the country's central bank announced it was ending imported fuel subsidies last week. the decision has led lebanon's already troubled economy to collapse. restaurants and shops have been forced to close and as fuel supplies dwindled, endless queues formed at petrol stations, with drivers hoping to fill up before any price hikes. translation: my car has been parked in a queue outside the filling _ station for two days, but i still have no petrol. is there anything more degrading and humiliating than this? despite months of this crisis, lebanon's divided politicalfactions have still not found a solution or even managed to form a united government.
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the shia militant group hezbollah has now announced that a ship carrying iranian fuel is headed for lebanon, despite us sanctions. it may complicate matters, but for lebanon's people, all that matters is keeping the lights on. azadeh moshiri, bbc news. animal welfare campaigners in the uk have welcomed new government proposals to stop puppy smuggling. plans include a ban on the import of dogs with cropped ears or docked tails and raising the minimum age for imported puppies. frankie mccamley reports. the rspca has been intercepting illegal animal imports. 0peration delphin at holyhead port rescued almost 100 puppies being smuggled into the uk. many of those illegally shipped suffer health problems and have not been through proper checks by certified vets. smugglers have also found legal loopholes to transport dogs with docked tails and cropped ears
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into the country — a practice some vets say are purely for looks but can cause a lot of pain. when it comes to ear cropping, unfortunately what we have seen is an increase in demand for dogs with cropped ears — a completely unnecessary and abhorrent mutilation that causes nothing but pain and has no medical benefit. it is done purely for the way these dogs look. and we have seen an increase in their use in the media — by social media influencers and celebrities — which has led to an increase in demand by the public. animal welfare campaigners have been calling on the government to clamp down on these practices and introduce measures to deter puppy smugglers. today, the government is launching a consultation on new powers to help tackle these issues which include raising the minimum age for importing a puppy from 15 weeks to six months, banning the import of dogs with cropped ears and docked tails, and stopping the import of heavily
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pregnant dogs to help both protect puppy and mother welfare. we're delighted to see the government taking decisive action when it comes to importation of puppies, pregnant pitches and dogs with cropped ears. it has been something we have been calling for for a long time and is a real win for animal welfare. welfare that's increasingly under threat, with the number of puppies caught in conditions like this more than doubling last year. frankie mccamley, bbc news. around 300,000 carbon dioxide monitors are to be made available to schools in england next term to help improve ventilation and lessen covid outbreaks. the department for education said the portable monitors could be used to identify areas where more airflow is needed. however, the £25 million order for co2 monitors has yet to be finalised, only weeks before most schools return. a rare hurricane warning has been issued for parts of the north—eastern united states as tropical storm henri continues to strengthen.
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it's expected to hit portions of long island and connecticut on sunday. it would be the first hurrricane to hit the region for 30 years. now it's time for a look at the weather with 0wain. hello, hello, everyone, i hope you're doing all right. many i hope you're doing all right. of us will see some p| u nsettled many of us will see some pretty unsettled conditions today, and the reason for this is these weather fronts. this is the headline for the weekend. 0n fronts. this is the headline for the weekend. on balance tomorrow will be a better day, more in the way of sunshine and drier conditions. we will still have showers around. whereas today, less settled thanks to the presence of low pressure and weather fronts. to the presence of low pressure and weatherfronts. these to the presence of low pressure and weather fronts. these are draped across the uk and have brought some heavy rain already today, and very slowly they are moving towards the east. in close—up, you can see them. it is a swirl across the uk, so the
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heavy rain across south—western parts of england and wales is moving across towards the east and north, introducing that rain in parts of the midlands and curling around the west coast of scotland and into northern ireland. ahead of the weather front, northern ireland. ahead of the weatherfront, something brighter, weather front, something brighter, and weatherfront, something brighter, and behind the weather front, also something brighter. but here we are likely to see some very heavy, thundery downpours. today's top temperatures reaching about 20 or 21 celsius at best. there is a change on the way as the weather front moved towards the east, so we still hang on to this drier weather behind it, still in the company of those heavy showers, and the weather front loses a lot of its energy as it moves towards the east and leaves us eventually. it was quite muggy last night with the return of mist and fog patches, many of us seeing something clearer tonight, still quite mild, 1a or 15 celsius the low. tomorrow morning should be better, because we say goodbye to
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the weather front and hello to this, an area of high pressure. high pressure tends to lead to a more settled weather story, whereas low pressure brings something unsettled. so the high—pressure moving in, bringing the more settled conditions. some showers will remain across the uk tomorrow, but when compared to today it will be drier, and we will still see cloud cover overhead. top temperature is tomorrow up a notch, 22 or 23 celsius. the high pressure will stick around over the next couple of days, you will probably hear us talking about it quite a lot, well into this coming week, and is keeping the weather fronts at bay, bringing something more settled, and it is right across the uk. what i can't promise his wall—to—wall blue sky and sunshine for the coming days, but certainly drier and brighter, and it will be a touch warmer as well. stay safe, and see you soon.
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hello, this is bbc news with me, victoria derbyshire.
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the headlines: senior taliban figures — including the group's co—founder, mullah baradar — arrive in kabulfor talks about establishing a new government. thousands continue to crowd the perimeter at kabul airport, desparate to escape the taliban. greece has erected a aokm fence on its border with turkey amid warnings of many afghan civilians fleeing their country. there have been clashes between police and anti—lockdown demonstrators in sydney and melbourne. now on bbc news, click gets rare access into nasa hq to take a look at the research and engineering that is going to make space exploration possible. this week, another chance to see our race to space,

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