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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 22, 2021 5:00am-5:31am BST

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this is bbc world news. i'm reged ahmad. our top stories: desperate to escape — us troops fire tear gas in kabul, to try to push back thousands attempting to flee the taliban. translation: we have a legal visa. many people coming here do not have the right documents but we have the right visa and they will not let us through. senior taliban figures, including the group's co—founder, mullah baradar, are in the afghan capital for talks about establishing a new government. the former british prime minister tony blair has launched a scathing attack on the us decision to pull out of afghanistan. in other news, a state of emergency is declared in parts of new york state ahead of the forecast arrival of hurricane henri.
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hello and welcome. don't go to kabul airport. that's what americans hoping to leave afghanistan are being told, unless they're instructed to do so. the state department said it wanted to avoid creating large crowds and us defense officials have expressed concern about the possibility of attacks by islamic state militants. a week after the taliban seized power, their co—founder, mullah abdul ghani baradar, is in the capital for talks on forming a new government. our security correspondent, frank gardner, reports. crowds, chaos, confusion: the scene at kabul airport grows ever more volatile as thousands of afghans clamour to leave the country. gunfire. taliban fighters are guarding the outside of the perimeter, but even some people
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with valid travel documents are not getting through. translation: we've got a legal visa. - many people who are coming here don't have the right documents, but we've got the visa and they won't let us through. britain's ambassador, sir laurie bristow, has been helping to process applications. he says the evacuation is the biggest challenge he's ever faced. but a pentagon briefing said the taliban had so far not prevented the evacuation. we've had no hostile interactions, no attack and no threat by the taliban. we remain vigilant. we have also not experienced any additional security incidents. elsewhere in kabul, normal life is slowly returning, but banks have been shut and cash machines empty. there have also been reports of hospitals struggling without enough women turning up for work. taliban fighters, for so long part of a violent insurgency, are in control, seen
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everywhere on the streets. the group's co—founder and political chief, mullah abdul ghani baradar, has arrived in kabul. he is expected to form part of the new taliban—dominated government. he spent the last few years leading the taliban delegation at peace talks with the us in qatar. the taliban don't yet control the entire country. the panjshir valley, north of kabul, is once more a centre of resistance to their rule. anti—taliban forces claim to have retaken three districts in the north. back at the airport, time is running out for the evacuation. once it ends and the world's attention shifts elsewhere, many fear that life under the taliban is going to get a lot harder. frank gardner, bbc news. our correspondent, secunder kermani, is in kabul has been speaking to the afghans who hope to be evacuated. he says the situation
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at the airport still seems extremely tense. it is still very chaotic. i was speaking earlier on to one young afghan whose father had worked in the us embassy here for 20 years. they have been told to go to the airport, to be evacuated, tried for two days straight but were unable to get past the crowd and how they have simply given up. they have decided the situation at the airport is even more dangerous than the prospect for them of life under taliban rule. we are also getting reports tonight in the us media that there are concerns amongst us defence officials about the possibility of an attack by the islamic state group on the airport. a sense of panic that many there who are camped out ourfeeling is really fuelled by the fact that international troops are going to be pulled out by the end of the month. that is when evacuation process, it seems,
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for the moment at least, will end and, after that, many fear it will be extremely difficult to fly out of the country. so time, they feel, is really running out for them. so, as we were hearing there, mullah abdul ghani baradar, has arrived in kabul for talks on forming a government. but who is he and why is his arrival so significant? he's among the few dozen original members of the taliban. in his early 50s, he co—founded the taliban group and is one of the best—known. reported to have been one of the most trusted taliban commanders, he fled to pakistan after the us invasion in 2001 and was arrested in 2010 by security forces in an operation then considered to have dealt a fatal blow to the movement. mullah baradar was released in 2018 and moved to qatar — at the request of the us — to help bolster support for talks with them, acting as the taliban's chief ambassador. at one point, he spoke to president trump on the phone.
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he's been part of the taliban negotiating team in doha where he oversaw the signing of the withdrawal agreement with the americans. sherjan ahmadzai is the director of the center for afghanistan studies at the university of nebraska omaha. earlier i asked him what he thought mullah abdul ghani baradar plans for the future afghan. government are. i believe his vision is what the taliban is about. i do not think he has gone to ask for his own personal vision. the taliban movement, they have a supreme leader that will be very effective in making any decision of who will be next leader what mullah baradar thinks. i am sure he has consultations and advised many and that is why he's there with hamid karzai.
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what do we expect a taliban government to look like? we expect it to be an emirates but do expect government leaders or government ministers, rather, in the same way we can see other countries? the cabinet may be the same, however, the power, the seat of the power, may be different. there are speculations and discussions amongst taliban leaders that they will not come with a emirates but with a sura like they do in iran, someone dealing with the administration of the government. let us remind viewers that the international community have not been agreeing with this establishment of the taliban in afghanistan. they know what elections mean and how the country works under democratic society and i think the taliban do understand the public sentiment is against an emirate. they can push for an emirate but there will be some resistance from circles, including from people they want to bring into their
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inclusive government. how united are the taliban as a group then? do you have extremes, different factions within the group, or do they tend to have a shared sense of what the country should look like? 0n the surface, it looks like a united group, however, there are divisions. there many networks, those who fought the afghan forces who got killed and wounded and their view of this next government is that they won the war and they have a right and mandate for it to look however they want to look. the leadership may be accommodating for political sects and views but there are divisions and it is interesting to see after the meaningful consultations emerge and a form of government is publicly discussed. just briefly, there are forces holding out against the taliban. there is still fighting and resistance.
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who is the resistance at the moment in afghanistan? led by the first vice—president of afghanistan in the panjshir valley. the international community does not have appetite for another conflict in afghanistant and neither do do the afghans. i think they will end up with a sort of accommodation on something that will give them more rights to what they want. at the moment, that is why the president and mullah abdul ghani baradar are having talks and we are yet to know what agreements they are having and we should find out next week. the former british prime minister tony blair, who sent troops in 20 years ago, has launched a scathing attack on the us decision to pull out of afghanistan. in an article on his own website, mr blair said the uk has a "moral obligation" to stay until "all those who need to be, are evacuated." here's our political
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correspondent, chris mason. he says that it is tragic and unnecessary and dangerous what is happening. he says there is a moral obligation for the uk to stay as long as necessary to get everyone out who has a right to come to the uk because they worked with british forces. he is making a bigger argument here. he said in a 2007 article that it is a fight against radical islam, a political ideology that pivots the religion and the taliban are symptomatic of that and he said that the west has to show commitment and if that's a long—term commitment, so be it, he compares it to the long—term challenge that the west faced in taking on communism. of course the challenge for western governments, democracies, is that you have to have public will to maintain military presence and that is the challenge western leaders face.
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president biden�*s government has told us commercial airlines that they could soon be ordered to help transport people who've been evacuated from afghanistan following the taliban takeover. it's understood, if used, the civilian aircraft would not fly into afghanistan, but instead ferry evacuees from air bases in the middle east and germany. europe is bracing for a potential refugee wave, and europe is said and turkey has said they were not shoulder it on its own and leaders have appealed to show solidarity and offer safe routes for the refugees. hiding in the hills of eastern turkey, these afghan refugees have managed to cross into the country from neighbouring iran. 0f interceptor, they would be
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pushed back to the border. but for these young men, there is no way back. translation: �* ., , translation: it'll get worse in afghanistan- — translation: it'll get worse in afghanistan. it _ translation: it'll get worse in afghanistan. it is _ translation: it'll get worse in afghanistan. it is over. - translation: it'll get worse in afghanistan. it is over. we - translation: it'll get worse in afghanistan. it is over. we are l afghanistan. it is over. we are need to go to school. my life is finished and i am only 19. the question now haunting european politicians is could they be the start of a bigger european wave? as the taliban has taken over afghanistan, has ta ken over afghanistan, jackie has taken over afghanistan, jackie has been up the construction of a border wall. the president has spent the last three days on the phone with european leaders to warn them. translation: 4' , ., , them. translation: ., , ., translation: turkey does not have a duty _ translation: turkey does not have a duty or _ translation: turkey does not have a duty or obligation - translation: turkey does not have a duty or obligation to - translation: turkey does not have a duty or obligation to be| have a duty or obligation to be rip off migrant storage euro. once we sell the borders and send the current illegal migrants back home, it will be “p migrants back home, it will be up to them to decide where to go. up to them to decide where to i o, , . up to them to decide where to io, , . , ., up to them to decide where to go. greece is not taking any chances either, _ go. greece is not taking any chances either, to _ go. greece is not taking any chances either, to avoid - go. greece is not taking any chances either, to avoid the i chances either, to avoid the repeat of the 2015 refugee crisis, it has built aao kilometre fence and a new
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surveillance system on its border with turkey. thousands of afghans who worked with european forces are waiting to be relocated. visiting a refugee centre in spain, eu leaders have appealed to their member states sense of solidarity. member states sense of solidarity-— member states sense of solidari . ~ ., , solidarity. we need to help. it is our moral— solidarity. we need to help. it is our moral responsibility. . solidarity. we need to help. it| is our moral responsibility. we must offer legal and safe routes globally, organised by us, the international community, to those in need protection. community, to those in need protection-— community, to those in need rotection. ,, ., ., protection. this small group of af hans protection. this small group of afghans has — protection. this small group of afghans has just _ protection. this small group of afghans hasjust landed - protection. this small group of afghans hasjust landed in - afghans has just landed in italy. afghans hasjust landed in italy. forthem, afghans hasjust landed in italy. for them, the nightmare is over. it is time to smile again, but thousands remain stuck in the country and while favourites are being organised, people may take matters into their hands. let's get some of the day's other news:
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israel has started airstrikes in gaza. the israeli army said it hit four hamas weapons are manufacturing sites and palestinian media spoke of explosions nearing a camp in central gaza. it follows protests, where security forces that israeli troops had shot and wounded many soldiers. a funerals are held in haiti for the victims of last week's devastating earthquake, tensions are rising over a lack of aid reaching remote areas, hardest hit by the disaster. humanitatian organisations say the poorest country in the americas is in urgent need of medical, food and sanitation assistance, while many haitians who lost their homes said they were unsure how to even start rebuilding. the trial of the r&b singer r kelly, who's accused of sexually abusing several women, has heard claims by his former tour manager, that he bribed a government worker to obtain a fake id to marry the singer aaliya who was underage. she was 15 at the time. kelly is also accused of bribery, and denies all the charges.
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this is bbc news, our main headline this hour: the united states has asked its citizens to avoid going to kabul airport where thousands of people continue to gather in an attempt to flee afghanistan. earlier i spoke to mark fallon. he was the us government's chief investigator responsible for bringing suspected terrorists to justice before the military commissions at guantanamo bay in cuba. he told me many of the taliban leadership spent time at guantanamo. we had at guantanamo were there based on bounties. they were sold, it was a human trafficking system in the us government was dropping flyers to pay for prisoners. so many of the prisoners at one time amo was sold by warlords and wound up there. many came
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through the bug rum collection point and were subjected to some brutal treatment there as well as when they got to guantanamo. and that type of treatment has scarred many of them. during one of the hearings, one of the groups known as the taliban and five swapped for an american in 2014 by president obama, he said that there is a 25 year war between person—to—person, village to village in afghanistan, city by city, province by province, tried by tribe. if you think that is a crime that every person in afghanistan should go to prison and we should bring them here to guantanamo. one time amo to them and around the world is a symbol of torture and injustice and oppression. as long as president biden keeps it open
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and it is a subversion of the rule of law he will have trouble with legitimacy and negotiating with people, especially those who have been to guantanamo and see what happens down there. we heard from the senior— happens down there. we heard from the senior leadership - happens down there. we heard from the senior leadership in i from the senior leadership in the taliban spokesperson specifically in that unusual news conference earlier this week that there will not be revenge, that everyone will be for given. but given what you are describing about some of the experiences in guantanamo bay with the taliban leadership, do you think that thatis leadership, do you think that that is believable or will there be some consequences now for the united states?— for the united states? there will be consequences - for the united states? there will be consequences for - will be consequences for generations to come. we invaded afghanistan in operation freedom, we went in and then we started to become the aggressor. we embraced cruelty as policy and human subjugation was rampant in the prison
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system there and forward operating bases. with prisoner and detainee treatment. and so what you have now is that you will see that not only did it harden the resistance but it brought fighters to the battlefield. even in iraq, when we were taking and sustaining our greatest losses and casualties of the us and uk forces there, the number one reason foreign fighters came to the battlefield was a big grab and one—time obey. so if you want to harden systems and have foreign fighters into the battlefield what you need to do is employ torture the way it was indiscriminately utilised by the us and coalition forces in afghanistan.— by the us and coalition forces in afghanistan. and there were leaderships _ in afghanistan. and there were leaderships in _ in afghanistan. and there were leaderships in the _ in afghanistan. and there were leaderships in the us _ in afghanistan. and there were leaderships in the us who - leaderships in the us who believe that one—time obey was the right move, especially at the right move, especially at the beginning of the war. what
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can the us, what kind of reprisals can the us expect specifically, do you think? the taliban is known for ruthlessness and they believe... we will have a lot of issues trying to negotiate with the taliban right now because we lack legitimacy and we still have 39 people at one time amo and many held in indefinite detention without trial. as long as that remains a symbol of us torture, injustice and oppression, we are going to be negotiating from an inferior position because it is a manifestation of hypocrisy of imperial rule. and that is going to challenge the us and the uk for decades. residents on the east coast of the united states are bracing for one of the most powerful storms in years. hurricane henri is expected to make landfall on long island or in southern
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new england on sunday. the hurricane will make landfall across the north—east of the united states on sunday. over recent hours the storm has picked up energy as it has worked across warm waters of the atlantic gulfstream. it is being driven around an open area of low pressure, sending it in a north—westward direction. landfall is expected around long island but there will be impacts elsewhere, rhode island, massachusetts new jersey and into connecticut with damaging wind and as well as that torrential rain will cause flooding problems. after that the winds calm down and the rain will eventually accelerate towards the eastern parts of canada over the next few days. so hurricane henri no doubt bringing back uncomfortable memories from hurricane sandy that hit in 2012.
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damaging gusts of wind, 250 millimetres of rain causing flooding in itself but as well as that, coastal communities will be watching out for a storm surge. that could be around 3— five foot high, bringing inundation to coastal communities. tanya dendrinos reports. a star—studded stop a grand celebration of new york city �*s emergence from the worst of the covid—19 pandemic. but mother nature had other plans. covid-19 pandemic. but mother nature had other plans.- nature had other plans. please -la -- nature had other plans. please play -- pay _ nature had other plans. please play -- pay close _ nature had other plans. please play -- pay close attention - nature had other plans. please play -- pay close attention to l play —— pay close attention to the following safety message. due to approaching severe weather, all persons should move quickly and calmly to the nearest exit.— nearest exit. around 6 million --eole nearest exit. around 6 million peeple living _ nearest exit. around 6 million people living in _ nearest exit. around 6 million people living in coastal - nearest exit. around 6 million people living in coastal parts i people living in coastal parts of long island, connecticut and massachusetts have been issued with hurricane warnings. a state of emergency has been declared in parts of new york
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with winds of up to 120 kilometres an hour forecast along with as much as six inches of rain. while the hurricane's rf this stretch of the us coastline, new york governor andrew cuomo pleaded with residents to take the storm seriously. i with residents to take the storm seriously.— with residents to take the storm seriously. i cannot tell ou storm seriously. i cannot tell you how _ storm seriously. i cannot tell you how many _ storm seriously. i cannot tell you how many people - storm seriously. i cannot tell you how many people i - storm seriously. i cannot tell you how many people i have | storm seriously. i cannot tell i you how many people i have in the middle of a storm helped out of a house carrying everything on the back through floodwater with their children, putting them into boats, in dangerous situations and people saying to me i should have left yesterday. i should have left yesterday. i should have left yesterday. please, please do not make that mistake. it comes after hurricane _ not make that mistake. it comes after hurricane grace _ not make that mistake. it comes after hurricane grace tore - after hurricane grace tore through eastern mexico on saturday leaving widespread destruction. a number of people
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have died including a mother and six of her children. translation: pis and six of her children. tuna/mom- and six of her children. translation: as they were takinu translation: as they were taking them _ translation: as they were taking them out _ translation: as they were taking them out they - translation: as they were taking them out they took i translation: as they were | taking them out they took out my wife and my other children. they pulled out a 4—year—old. then an eight—year—old. a two—year—old girl. and a newborn who was only 15 days old. . ., newborn who was only 15 days old. . . ., ~ newborn who was only 15 days old. . . ., ,, ., old. the hurricane weakened to a tro - ical old. the hurricane weakened to a tropical storm _ old. the hurricane weakened to a tropical storm as _ old. the hurricane weakened to a tropical storm as it _ old. the hurricane weakened to a tropical storm as it moved - a tropical storm as it moved inland at the potential for heavy rain and flooding continues. tanya dendrinos, bbc news. now to other news and police in australia have clashed with thousands of people in two of the country's biggest cities, who've been protesting against covid restrictions. more than 200 people have been arrested in melbourne and sydney, and at least seven officers were injured. sydney has just extended lockdown measures for another month, as phil mercer reports.
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they came in their thousands to protest against melbourne's lockdown. the police said some did so peacefully but the majority were looking for trouble. there were smaller rallies in brisbane and sydney and earlier the authorities in new south wales had announced australia's worst day of the pandemic so far with 825 new covid—19 infections. with only 30% of australians fully inoculated, the state's health minister appealed to residents to be vaccinated. there is no time now to be selfish. it is time to think of the broader community and your families. if you are actually spreading the virus you could be responsible for the deaths of people. the new south wales premier warns that the delta variant was so contagious that australia's long—held strategy of trying to eliminate the virus was over.
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phil mercer, bbc news. the american civil rights leaderjesse jackson and his wife are in hospital in chicago after they tested positive for covid—19. the condition of 79—year—old reverend jackson, and that of his wife, 77—year—old jacqueline, remains unclear at this point. there a protege of martin luther king, jackson was a key figure in the modern civil rights movement, leading policy on issues including voting rights. museums and archaeological sites across greece have stayed open late into the night for people to enjoy august's full �*sturgeon' moon. the full moon first appeared on saturday but for anyone who didn't have time to appreciate it fully it will reach what scientists call peak illumination on sunday night. moons are often given their names by native american tribes and the sturgeon moon is named after sturgeon caught in the us great lakes in late august.
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you can reach me on twitter — i'm @regedahmad hello again. saturday was always going to be the slightly dodgier day of the weekend in terms of weather and we have a lot of cloud, most of us saw some heavy rain as well. the grey skies we had in wales for a time with rain coming down and misty over the hills but since then that rain band has progressed northwards and eastwards and it will continue to do so over the next few hours as well. that said, i think it will stay wet across parts of eastern scotland and down the eastern side of england for the next few hours with some heavy rain going across northern england, the east midlands and east anglia and we still have more rain to come across parts of the south—east. all the while it will turn a little drier across western areas with temperatures 13—15 degrees. mist and fog patches to watch out for in eastern scotland,
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probably over the pennines and eastern areas of england as well. on sunday morning we will have some thick cloud running in across parts of anglia and england with patches of rain expected. into the afternoon the sky will brighten up, but there will be showers, some of them quite heavy for central and eastern scotland, central and eastern england, dry with sunshine for south—west england and wales, northern ireland and western areas of scotland. then into next week it looks like the high pressure will be with us and that will bring the air from scandinavia so no heatwave in the forecast but there will be a pleasant spell of weather and it will be largely dry with some sunshine to look forward to. so that is settling down and it gets under way on monday. most of us will have a dry day with some sunny spells. in the sunshine, it is august and it will feel warm in the sunshine with temperatures widely climbing into the low 20s. peaking at around 22 in glasgow, birmingham and cardiff. into the forecast for tuesday and again another
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largely fine day. you could find a few mist and fog patches for the early risers, but otherwise we are looking fine with spells of sunshine. the winds coming on shore around parts of east anglia and kent keeping temperatures here around the coastal strip probably at around 19 or 20 with the highest temperature across western areas at 24, perhaps in glasgow. that really would feel pleasantly warm. as we look at the forecast for the rest of the week you can see that the weather stays dry and the temperatures remain in the low 20s. there may be a tendency for it to turn cloudy across the north and east of scotland and eastern england towards the end of the week.
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this is bbc news, the headlines: 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. pentagon officials described the situation around the airport gates as fluid and dynamic. the taliban say they are making progress in forming a government in afghanistan. the group's co—founder and head of its political wing, mullah abdul ghani baradar, is in kabulfor talks, which are expected to include militant commanders, former government leaders and religious scholars. hurricane henri is making its way towards the us, prompting the authorities in new york to declare a state of emergency. it's expected to hit the country's northeastern coast later on sunday and could be the first hurricane to reach new england in 30 years.
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now on bbc news — the media show.

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