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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 21, 2021 8:00pm-8:31pm BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines at 8pm... crowds continue to gather outside kabul airport amid reports of chaotic scenes — as the us advises its citizens not to travel there until they are asked, because of security threats outside the gates. senior taliban figures — including the group's co—founder, mullah baradar — are in kabulfor talks about establishing a new government. greece has erected a 25 mile fence on its border with turkey amid warnings of many afghan civillians fleeing their country. there have been clashes between australian police and anti—lockdown demonstrators in sydney and melbourne. animal welfare campaigners have welcomed new government proposals to stop puppy smuggling.
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the us embassy in afghanistan, is advising americans not to travel to kabul airport unless they've been instructed to do so, because of potential security threats at the gates. thousands of people are still massed outside the perimeter, desperate to board flights out of the country. it comes as the taliban's co—founder and head of its political wing, mullah abdul ghani baradar, arrived in kabulfor talks on forming a new afghan government. here's frankie mccamley. chaos consuming crowds near kabul airport. at the front, reports bodies are carried away from the crush,
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with others fighting for their lives. clear signs tension is mounting. this man threatening people with a whip. the us is now advising its citizens not to travel to the airport unless specifically told to, but even those can't get through. translation: we have got a legal |visa, many people who are coming | here don't have the right documents, but we have got the visa and they won't let us through. this morning, a plane carrying 200 evacuees, mainly security guards from the british embassy, arrived in brize norton. in hiding this security guard tells me he and other colleagues have been left behind. translation: we feel abandoned, we can't stay in our _ home, it is dangerous. sometimes i can't look at my kids. i was the one that put us at such high risk. if i knew this company would do this to us, i would never have joined. outside, banks are closed
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for the seventh day in a row. there is no cash in the machines. and hospitals are not running at full capacity because women are not turning up. the taliban's co—founder is now in the afghan capital, kabul. mullah abdul ghani baradar is expected to join talks on establishing a new government. so far, britain has evacuated just under 2,500 people, but time is running out as fears grow for those not here, in hiding, worried for their lives. this evening the shadow foreign secretary lisa nandy published a letter she's written to the foreign secretary — she's asking him to urgently step up the evacuation efforts from afghanistan — and says there are safety concerns when trying to leave the country. my office is in touch with hundreds of people at the moment, many of them filtered through labour mps but also coming directly to me through my inbox, through whatsapp, through friends in afghanistan. raising many of the issues that your report hasjust put out there.
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you know, the fact that people are being beaten, shot at, turned back at checkpoints. the fact that people are being asked to carry documentation that links them to the united kingdom in order to prove their eligibility but that is the documentation that makes them a target for the taliban who are checking those documents en route. there are no safe corridors to the airport, there are makeshift camps that have sprung up where people are being beaten, and even reports of rapes. and so i've been asking the government today to step up those efforts, to work with nato allies, to see if we can open up a safe corridor. the united states has done that and it may be possible for us to get our people safe passage through. we need some security and support at the airport and at the baron hotel where applications are being processed. we need more flexibility about the documentation that people are being asked to provide and we need to step up the capacity that we've got, so i've made a series of suggestions in the letter tonight and ijust very, very much hope that somebody is listening.
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is it not very much sort of at the behest of the americans, who are in operational command at the airport, as to the speed that evacuations can happen, the speed at which people are allowed through the gates to be processed? is it not beyond the british government's control and more in the hands of the americans at this stage? i mean, certainly the americans are absolutely critical to this, not least because we are clearly not going to be able to evacuate all of those british nationals and afghans who supported us by the 31st of august, which is the date that the agreement that the americans have with the taliban that they can use the airport expires. so we need the americans to help us to extend that deadline. the taliban, we also need help from them to get people through the checkpoints and get them to the airport and to the processing centre as well. i mean, we wouldn't want to start from here. we should have been at a far better place than this will stop but we have limited capacity
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and we need to work with our allies. one of the suggestions that i've made in a letter tonight is that we've had repeated reports from aid agencies of planes leaving kabul half full or virtually empty, and that i think is because we have very limited time on the runway because the runway is so crowded. could we be working with other countries who are trying to evacuate their citizens and afghans who supported them as well to make sure that we are just getting people onto the planes as quickly as possible and set up processing centres outside? we've got just a few days left until that agreement expires at the airport, and we've just got to step up these efforts. i mean, earlier this evening, just within the last couple of hours, the eu's foreign policy chief, josep borrell, has warned that he says it's mathematically impossible to evacuate all the allied afghans and british citizens, us citizens, foreign nationals by the 31st of august. what do you take from that? that the effort should be to extend the agreement with the taliban
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leaders who currently control the situation there, or to find other ways of getting them out? what's your take on it? there's a few different things that we should do now. we should try to extend that agreement beyond the 31st of august. that will mean that we will need some kind of military presence in the country in order to make sure that that is upheld. that's one of the reasons why the united states is so important, because if all their troops leave at that hard deadline on the 31st of august, that's going to be very, very difficult. i've been talking to a number of the embassies in the region because those land borders are also important. many of those countries are struggling with the numbers of people that are already in their countries. they need other countries like the united kingdom and the european union to step up and reach some kind of agreement that we will do our part, that when there's refugee camps are overwhelming those countries that we are not just
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simply going to turn away. that would help to make sure that people can get across the borders right now. and i think also, i spoke to afghan aid workers yesterday and one of the problems is that they have safe houses operating for many afghan women across the country who have been targeted by the taliban and are fleeing, but they are funded by the uk government. there is conditions on the funding, which mean that they cannot actually help to extend those. so they are looking to the uk government to drop those conditions or loosen those conditions on what they can actually do in order that they can get help and safety to people right now. shadow foreign secretary lisa nandy. in response to lisa nandy�*s letter, a spokesperson for the foreign, commonwealth and development office said:
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today, one of the taliban's most prominent leaders, abdul ghani baradar, returned to afghanistan after years in exile. what do we know about him? well, he was one of the four men who founded the taliban back in 1994, and became a lynchpin of the insurgency after the taliban were toppled by the us—led invasion in 2001. then in 2010 he was captured in a joint us—pakistani raid. but he was released in 2018. it was hoped he would encourage the taliban to engage in peace talks with them. fast forward two years and he signs a deal — not with the afghan government, but with the trump administration. it culminates in the withdrawal of us troops. we know what happens next. the taliban quickly take control of afghanistan. and then, after years in exile, he's finally able to return to the country. the chairman of afghanistan's high council for national reconciliation,
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abdullah abdullah, has been taking part in the talks in kabul with taliban leaders. he posted these pictures on his social media which show the former afghan president hamid karzai was also in attendance. mr abdullah said the security of the people and inclusive political process were discussed in the meeting. he said respect for national values, including the flag, was raised too. our security correspondent frank gardner has more on the taliban and says there have been reports of violence against afghan citizens there are two questions that float to the surface here. there are a number of really chilling and disturbing reports which the un secretary—general mentioned about people being coerced. door—to—door hunting down of people from the former regime and the question is,
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are those just one offs by a few hot—headed militants acting on their own or part of a secret order issued from above? the bigger question, i think, is referring to what you are referring to there, the arrival in kabul, is the new taliban really reformed? are they actually changed? it depends which view you want to take. the chief of defence staff, britain's chief of defence staff, has been on the more optimistic side they've learned their lessons and seen how unpopular they been with many people and they're going to try to be more inclusive. cynics would say actually, this is just window dressing, it isjust lip gloss. they're saying the things the international community want to hear but once international attention and focus moves off afghanistan they will revert to type, oppressing women and imposing strict hardline rule. we simply don't know the answer yet. we can guess but we do not know. frank gardner. in a briefing, the pentagon press secretaryjohn kirby said
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there were a number of security concerns in and around the airport. the situation in the city is fluid and dynamic and you have seen the images over the last 2a, 48 hours yourself of the situation outside the perimeter of the airport and it changes. it changes almost by the hour and it changes in locations around the airport. it is very, very fluid and dynamic. i don't want to speak for the state department, obviously, but like our military commanders, they are going to make decisions in real time about what is in the best interest of innocent civilians that have need to get to the airport and we want to get inside the security gates. this will change every day. there will be modifications to our assessment in what we think is in the best interests. we have said from the very beginning of this that we are going to try to do this in a safe and orderly way and that means making sure
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that nobody gets hurt. to the maximum extent possible. what you are seeing is a prudent notification to make sure that whatever movement there is to the gates from outside the airport is done as safely as possible and that people have the information that need to make the best decisions for themselves going forward. john kirby. the us army's major general william taylor gave an update on how it is helping its nationals and afghans leave the country. the airport remains secure. us military personnel currently oversee flight operations in both us military, contracted aircraft, as well as foreign aircraft continue to operate within kabul airport. additionally, the us military has maintained the gate security at major gates and supported our state
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department colleagues in the processing of individuals to prepare for evacuation flights out of afghanistan. critical to getting americans and afghans at risk out of the dire situation requires additional space at intermediate spaces and safe havens at other locations. this impacts our throughput, as i discussed yesterday. two days ago, if you recall, the us military lifted nearly 6000 evacuees in a single day. in the last 2a hours, six us military planes and 32 charters departed kabul and through this combined effort, the total passenger count was 3800. also in the past 2a hours, a number of c17s are moving, providing critical relief that will increase our input to those intermediate staging venues and finally,
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in the past 2a hours, three flights landed at dulles international airport. there are now afghans, in just one week, since beginning this operation, have left afghanistan and will be transitioned to fort bliss today for further processing in this process. our correspondent barbara plett usher gave us her reaction to the briefing — and the message being given to americans trying to leave the country. a lot of the questions were about this warning that the us embassy put out say not to come to the airport unless instructed to because of security threats which is a tougher message from the embassy than the ones they have been sending out so far. the pentagon officials were asked about that quite a lot and they did not give specific details about what this threat was. there are unnamed us officials being quoted in the american media just recently saying that one
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of the biggest current threats is the possibility of attack by the afghanistan branch of islamic state which is also opposed to the taliban. we know, we got a notice from the white house about the national security meeting president biden has just had, that this issue was raised at that meeting. at the pentagon briefing we were told that there was no reported change in what they called the enemy situation around the airport so it seems like there a great deal of heightened vigilance, but saying that, there is also a crush of people around the airport which can change by time and location depending on the situation so that is also a factor, and they spoke at length, the pentagon officials, about what they called the fluid situation at the gates. however the general did say that the military personnel at the gates were capable of processing anyone who had the right documentation.
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barbara plett usher. with so many people now hoping to escape afghanistan, turkey has warned of a new wave of migration, and called on european countries to take responsibility. greece has also built a new 25—mile fence and surveillance system along its border with turkey. the greek government says it won't wait passively, for the possible impact of a refugee crisis, following the taliban takeover. the freelance journalist daphne tolis is in athens and gave us more details about the wall. the a0 kilometre steel fence has been completed. the defence minister and the citizens protection minister were both yesterday, friday, there. they visited the wall, the border there. they said that greek borders will remain secure and impenetrable and that border forces are on alert for any possible wave of afghan refugees trying to cross
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into europe through greece. it is widely supported, i would say, especially after last year, the events of february 2020, when thousands of refugees and migrants attempted to cross in large numbers from turkey's land border, the same border that divides greece and turkey, after turkish president erdogan said that the borders were open. so people tried to come through greece to move further to the european union, and following those events, that is what actually sped up the completion of this border, which was already announced that it would happen, but this made it faster to happen, to reinforce the existing border and to make an even more reinforced steel fence across this zone, which is actually one of the deadliest land borders for asylum seekers, migrants, refugees crossing into europe.
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that was a freelance journalist in athens. in other news, the metropolitan police are hunting for a 49—year—old man wanted in connection to a double murder in the lisson grove area of central london. the bodies were found in separate properties within a short walk of each other. this is the man the police want to speak to in connection with two violent deaths. met detectives say 49—year—old lee peacock should not be approached and anyone with information about his whereabouts should call 999. it was on thursday night that officers were called to a property here close to regent's park. a 45—year—old woman was pronounced dead at the scene, then, a few hours later, just after 2am on friday morning, the body of a
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59—year—old man was found in nearbyjerome crescent. both victims were stabbed. at this early stage we are retaining an open mind a concerning motive but we are treating these crimes as linked. i know this will cause concern amongst the community. last week there was an unrelated shooting incident near to the area. four people were treated in hospital. with a double investigation now under way here the police have sought to reassure the local community that it is safe. extra patrols are under way across the area and a dedicated team has been tasked with finding mr peacock. lee lived locally in the area and we have a number of lines of enquiry but this time his whereabouts are unknown. at this stage i would say that both of the victims were known to lee. we are not treating these as random attacks. officers say it is vital anyone with information comes forward, and their thoughts
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are with the victims�* families. at least eight people have died after hurricane grace made landfall in mexico today, causing severe flooding and mudslides. the category 3 hurricane produced maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour when it arrived in veracruz state in the early hours of the morning. the nearby river actopan burst its banks, and the storm also caused power cuts and brought down trees. the british government has rejected 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. alex veitch from logistics uk has been explaining the scale of the problem. it is serious and it's
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getting worse. we are 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 missed driving tests and to reskill and retrain uk nationals to take up the manyjobs available in our sector. we see that wages are rising. we are working hand in glove with the government on reskilling, on apprenticeships, on 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 dvsa, so we have a huge backlog of people waiting to take their test to become a truck driver,
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so we would like these 10,000 temporary visas. we think it is a reasonable ask. there are many other sectors where the government has done exactly that. the latest government coronavirus figures, show there were 32,058 new infections recorded, in the latest 24—hour period, which means, on average, there were 31,698 new cases per day, in the last week. the most recent figures show there are almost 6500 people in hospital with the virus, on thursday. 104 deaths were recorded in the past 2a hours, with an average of 100 deaths a day in the past week. on vaccinations, 87.5% of adults in the uk have now had their firstjab, and 76.3% have had two.
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around 300,000 carbon dioxide monitors could be made available to schools in england next month to help improve ventilation and reduce the risk of covid. the department for education says the monitors will help identify where more airflow is needed. australian police have clashed with thousands of people protesting against lockdowns in melbourne and sydney. it comes as a record number of covid cases were recorded in new south wales. here's the state health minister speaking earlier. 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. the bbc�*s phil mercer has the latest from syndey. thousands of demonstrators were confronting the police.
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authorities say that some people had turned out to demonstrate peacefully, but the vast majority were looking for trouble. and they certainly found it. 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. phil mercer reporting from sydney.
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the government has announced plans to tighten rules on the importation of dogs into the uk, in response to a rise in puppy smuggling. they include raising the minimum age for imported dogs from 15 weeks to six months, and banning heavily pregnant animals. lebo diseko has the story. hundreds of puppies brought into the country illegally are intercepted each year. the numberfound not to have met the uk's pet import rules more than doubling between 2019 and 2020 alone. many have health problems and had not been checked by certified vets. an increase too in the number with docked tails and cropped ears, more than 600% in the last five years. the government is proposing new rules for puppy welfare standards, including raising the minimum age at which they can be imported from 15 weeks from six months, a ban on importing heavily pregnant dogs and a ban on importing dogs with cropped ears or docked tails.
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when it comes to ear cropping unfortunately we have seen increased demand for dogs with cropped ears, and apparent mutilation which causes nothing but pain and has no medical benefit, it is done purely for looks. we have seen increasing their use in the media, by social media influencers and celebrities which has led to an increase in demand in the public. animal welfare campaigners have welcomed a consultation, saying it could bring it significant progress against the fight against such practices. it is hoped these proposals will lead to new rules, ending what has been called to a grim trade, and preventing cruelty.
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(pres) they're big, clunky, and the picture quality isnt great. you'd think that in the age of streaming services there's not a lot to love about old—style vhs tapes. but there are people who want to rewind to the days of the video tape. andyjohnson is one of them. he runs what he claims is the country's last video shop. ian haslam went to take a look. # you're the best around. # nothing's gonna ever keep you down... videodyssey in liverpool couldn't be more retro if it tried, and it seems people can't get enough. it's the same as vinyl really, where they were considered obsolete, broken, worn, fuzzy, things went wrong with them, but then after a while, people liked that nostalgic feel, physical connection to touching it, putting it in the machine and playing it, you know? right now, business is brisk. it does give me a little bit of nostalgia, just holding them and what not and seeing them. the goonies, for example, down there. jurassic park, all family favourites. you're really chuffed with this, aren't you? can i introduce you to this one as well, stillwater trout angler? does that float your boat? you do get a constant stream of twentysomethings coming into the shop and saying, "wow! this is amazing, it's like a little bit of time travel." and then they pick up things like, "oh, it's harry potter!"
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and many more besides. of course the old potential pitfalls still apply. my friend found a blue movie in the woods, watched it in his video recorder and, it being in the woods, it chewed up and he had to dismantle his whole video recorder. very embarrassing in many ways. that is still a concern for people, is it? it is. i would recommend not putting tapes that you find in the woods straight into a player. but one in 100, one in 1000, might chew up in your machine but that's part of the adventure and the journey. you never know, do you? look at this, rocky iv. of course the whole process of watching a video is a bit fiddly compared to how it is today. you've got to whack that in. it's gone in all right. press play. there you go. and then... look at that. can we sort this picture out, andy? i think that might be one of the ones in the woods, mate. earlier this week andy's stock was boosted significantly when andy took delivery of a huge
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video haulfrom a garden shed in scotland that was bound for landfill. and this is what i came back with, 20,000 video tapes. wow. i don't think we will ever get offered a collection that big again, so ijust couldn't say no to it really. neither can vhs fans. to get some popcorn and have a nice time with the family, with my siblings, watching old movies. i think it's great. i can't stand looking - for a video on the internet and going into the shopl was a whole experience. rewinding time might just be the future. ian haslam, bbc news. and you think some of my friends still mock me for having a dvd player. i won't name names. now it's time for a look at the weather with susan powell. hello. saturday saw lots of cloud sweeping across the uk bearing some quite heavy rain for some of us. and there is still some to come out
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of the remnants of this area of low pressure as it finishes its journey

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