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tv   Newsday  BBC News  August 22, 2021 11:00pm-11:30pm BST

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welcome to newsday, reporting live from singapore. i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines... one week after the fall of kabul to the taliban, president biden doubles down on his handling of the evacuation, despite growing criticism. i think that history is going to record this was the logical, rational and right decision to make. at least 20 people have died in a week of chaos at kabul airport as people try to leave. those who do manage to escape express their heartbreak at feeling they have no other option. todayis today is the day that a generation of afghans have buried their dreams and aspirations and our lives. in other news... the east coast of the united states is hit by strong winds and heavy rain, as tropical storm henri makes
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landfall in the state of rhode island. new zealand's pandemic strategy is thrown into doubt as the highly infectious delta variant takes hold. this is bbc news... it is newsday. welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to viewers in the uk and around the world. we begin in the us, where president biden has said there will be no let up in the tempo of us evacuation efforts in afghanistan after a weekend in which 23 american military flights took off from kabul airport. there's been criticism of the decision to withdraw troops from afghanistan and the evacuation operation, but in the last few hours mr biden insisted there was no way to carry it out without causing
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pain and loss. he said nearly 28,000 people had been flown out since august 14th — the day before the taliban seized power. we lifted approximately 11,000 people out of a bowl in less than 36 hours. it's an incredible operation. —— kabul. let me be clear, the evacuation of thousands of people from kabul is going to be hard and painful, no matter when we started or began. it would have been true if we started a month ago or a month from now. there is no way to evacuate this many people without pain and loss and those heartbreaking images you see on television. it isjust heartbreaking images you see on television. it is just a fact. my heart aches for those people you see. we are proving that we can move thousands of people a day out of kabul. we are bringing our citizens, nato allies, aft galleys who have
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helped us in the war effort, but we have a long way to go. and a lot could still go wrong. president biden went on to say that history would show he did the right thing by deciding to pull out of afghanistan. at the end of the day, if we didn't leave afghanistan now, when do we leave? another ten years? another five years? another year? i'm not about to send your son or daughter to fight in afghanistan. i don't see where that is in our interests. and the talk about how our interests are going to be impacted, let me tell you, if you are sitting in beijing or moscow, you are happy we left? history is going to record that this was the logical, rational and right decision to make. let's cross now to washington to speak to our state department correspondent, barbara plett usher.
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great to have you. just listening to that, another staunch defence and president biden. he is doubling down, how effective is this strategy?— down, how effective is this strate: ? ~ . , down, how effective is this strate: 7~ . , , ., strategy? well, recent polls show there is still _ strategy? well, recent polls show there is still a _ strategy? well, recent polls show there is still a majority _ strategy? well, recent polls show there is still a majority of- strategy? well, recent polls show there is still a majority of support | there is still a majority of support in the country for ending the war in afghanistan and bringing troops back. but there is strong disapproval for how it was conducted. the president is focusing on how it was conducted and painting a sort of positive picture about steps that have been taken, that is his approach. he talked about having picked up the pace of the evacuations at the weekend, he said it was an extraordinary air left and he talked about improving access to the airport for those who wanted to get there, he suggested the perimeter, the us forces had extended the perimeter around the airport, the safe zone. he also talked about the vulnerability of it and he said it was dangerous and there are possibilities of attacks by islamic state militants and never being diligent but he said there was
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no reason to think we could not keep up no reason to think we could not keep up the pace of the evacuation. he also said that they hoped they could complete this by the deadline, which is the end of the month. it is a deadline he has imposed but he also said that military officials were discussing about the possibility of extending it if they had to, and thatis extending it if they had to, and that is something that has been called for by both people in the united states and also allies. he was very much coming at their and talking about the way they were carrying out what he called an extraordinary air left, an extraordinary air left, an extraordinary operation and how things were improving. and he says they will probably continue to improve. acknowledging also that any kind of evacuation would have been heartbreaking at any time. we will see if that makes a difference to people who have been watching those heartbreaking and chaotic images of the american exit from afghanistan. barbara plett usher one president
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biden�*s remarks on afghanistan. thank you forjoining us. still to come in the later hours of newsday... us vice president kamala harris's trip to singapore, which has been overshadowed by fast moving events in afghanistan, with regional security expert lynn kuok. but first, more on our top story. whilst chaos at the airport has dominated the coverage so far, many of the afghans staying in the country are worried about what the future holds for them under the taliban's return to power, in particular on the issue of women's rights. the group have promised that women will be allowed to go to work, and girls go to school but many remain sceptical and anxious. 0ur correspondent secunder kermani sent this report, and a warning that it contains some distressing images. when the taliban took over kabul, many residents were terrified. but rowena, a young female journalist, decided she should
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go and talk to them, for her youtube channel. that was the last video she uploaded. she is unsure if the group will approve of her working or not. for now, many offices have told female employees to stay—at—home. many female professionals have fled in fear. it is hard to imagine the taliban accepting even small freedoms like this, filmed before the takeover. i really love myjob and i want to carry on working, she says. i hope the taliban will allow me to, otherwise i will have to leave the country and go abroad. the last time the taliban were in power in the 1990s, women were not allowed to work, girls could not go to school. even now, they defend punishments like lashing and stoning adulterers to death. today, under taliban rule, you do still see some women out and about in kabul,
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though significantly fewer than before. many are simply too afraid to step outside. so far, here, they have not been ordered to wear the burka or to stay at home unless accompanied by a man, but no one is sure if that will last. we have been trying to speak to any of the women here, but all of them are extremely reluctant to go on camera. that is not something entirely new, but one woman did tell me that while she was deeply anxious about the future, she did not feel safe saying anything critical about the taliban. even without new laws been imposed, the fear is changing the way many women dress. no one is buying jeans any more, says the shopkeeper. instead, they are buying head scarves and more conservative gowns. many are deeply suspicious of the group, but today the taliban told female employees at kabul�*s mayor's office to return to theirjobs.
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this woman is one of a handful that turned up. theyjust said, you have to wear the hijab, she tells me, but i already dress like this anyway. the taliban have always been vague on their commitments to women's rights. in some areas, they banned girls going to school beyond the age of 12. young afghan women have been among those taking part in scattered protests to defy the group. this woman is a prominent campaigner who was a member of the team negotiating with the taliban. a lot of women actually contact me, they come to see me or message me. they are trying to find a way out or looking for something different. not only in terms of security, but in terms of hope, for a better country. they do not have it any more. but in the meantime, i am very proud to see them getting ready to resist.
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many women worry, whatever the taliban say now, about being able to work or go to school, they will grow increasingly strict once the international focus comes to an end. for now, it is a time of deep uncertainty. secunder kermani, bbc news, kabul. 0ur chief international correspondent lyse doucet has just flown into kabul airport and sent her first impressions of the situation there. it hits you as soon as you put your foot on the tarmac of this airfield, the intensity and the urgency of this moment. every direction we look at kabul international airport, afghans and foreigners, in straight lines, boarding the military transport planes that are all around this tarmac. taking afghans, notjust away from their country, but away from the lives
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that they live, the identity that they cherish, leaving everything behind, to start from scratch. today is the day that a generation of afghans have buried their dreams and aspirations and our lives. this city, to us, is our home, despite its contradictions. we called it home, we were raised from here, we hope that the taliban can learn from the lessons of the past and everyone else and we can prove that we can move away from the tanks and bullets, towards a road where everyone can see themselves. this is a scene that no one expected, nobody wanted and no one will forget. there were said to be more than 10,000, possibly 111,000 people, now, in this airfield, waiting to board a flight, to take them anywhere out of this country.
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foreigners as well as afghans. there are thousands more afghans, a crush of afghans who raced to the airport, to try to get on one of these flights. afghans have an expression when they travel, which means make yourjourney be happy. some will be so relieved, so relieved. some of them will have spent days outside, hoping to get inside here, it has taken some people days, days to get in because of the people who are pushing outside of the gates. little children, families, not knowing what kind of life they are heading to. that was lyse doucet, who has spent several decades reporting on afghanistan. the former uk prime minister tony blair, who sent troops
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into afghanistan 20 years ago, has described the us withdrawal as �*tragic, dangerous and unnecessary�*. mr blair said the decision to end what us president biden has called �*forever wars�* was wrong — describing the slogan as �*imbecilic�*. here�*s our political correspondent chris mason. he is the former prime minister most often remembered for the war in iraq. good evening. before that, came this moment in 2001. shortly after the september 11th attacks. military action against targets, inside afghanistan has begun. i can confirm that uk forces are engaged in this action. two decades on — chaos, desperation. tony blair says that afghanistan is being abandoned. it is tragic, dangerous and unnecessary, imbecilic to walk away. many people, as a result of what has happened in afghanistan are going to have a deep doubt
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as to whether we can be relied upon and the trouble with this decision is that our friends are now anxious and those people opposed to us feel heartened by it and that is not a good place to be. it is a conflict that cost the lives of a57 uk servicemen and women. thousands more were injured. as veterans ask themselves, if it was all worthwhile, the man who first sent them to afghanistan says yes. the fact is, the country did have a chance and it was really our own internal short—term politics in the west that has driven, in the last couple of years, us to put at risk what we gained and i think it is only now that we are realising, in this moment of crisis, exactly how much we gained and how foolish it is to lose it. it is managing that crisis here at kabul�*s airport that remains
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the focus for british soldiers and the government. the taliban says one minister are making that a little easier than it was. they appear to now be marshalling people into separate queues for the us evacuation and for the uk evacuation and that is making a big difference to the size of the crowds outside the uk gate and allowing us to process people much more quickly. thank you all. i mean, we are overwhelmed by this response. _ this is the welcome some of the afghan families who have made it to the uk are receiving. right, shower gel, - i have got another box. a synagogue in hertfordshire, collecting donations. ia lot of us have families where this| actually happened only 80 odd years ago and they literally left - where they were, with the clothes on their back, so it is our turn to now be the people to help. young lives prepare for new lives here. the future of the country
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they called home, so uncertain. chris mason, bbc news. i�*m joined now by peter galbraith, former un deputy special representative for afghanistan and former us ambassador. great to have you. we have just heard in that report, tony blair calling the us decision to withdraw imbecilic. how fair is that? i calling the us decision to withdraw imbecilic. how fair is that?- imbecilic. how fair is that? i think what was imbecilic _ imbecilic. how fair is that? i think what was imbecilic was _ imbecilic. how fair is that? i think what was imbecilic was the - imbecilic. how fair is that? i think i what was imbecilic was the strategy that was followed for the last 20 years. a strategy that was initiated, in fact, when tony blair was prime minister. that strategy involved, after ousting the taliban involved, after ousting the taliban in 2001, in partnership with the northern alliance, it then entailed
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creating, moving to create and afghanistan, highly centralised state in a country that is geographically and ethnically very diverse, concentrating all power in kabul and in kabul, diverse, concentrating all power in kabuland in kabul, all diverse, concentrating all power in kabul and in kabul, all power with the president, who can only represent one of the multiple ethnic groups. on the other part of the strategy was a counterinsurgency. and a counterinsurgency involves having to have a local partner as architects will tell you, and the trouble was there was no partner. the government in kabul was corrupt, ineffective and illegitimate. but peter, hindsight is 2020 and president biden says he does not want to hand this war over to another american president. what could they have done, do you suggest that us troops stay there indefinitely?— that us troops stay there indefinitely? that us troops stay there indefinitel ? ., , , indefinitely? no, my point is the o- osite.
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indefinitely? no, my point is the opposite- that — indefinitely? no, my point is the opposite. that the _ indefinitely? no, my point is the opposite. that the strategy - indefinitely? no, my point is the i opposite. that the strategy failed. what can you say about a conflict where you spent several trillion dollars, in the case of the united states, nearly 2500 dead, nearly 500 uk soldiers dead, and at the end of it the government and military collapse in ten days. my first visit to afghanistan was on february 1a, 1989 with the mujahedin, the day that the soviets withdrew. in the soviet installed government lasted another two years. in fact, it lasted longer than the soviet union. this time the american supported government could not even last to the end of the american withdrawal. it couldn�*t be a better example of failure. it couldn't be a better example of failure. , ., ., failure. peter galbraith, the former un deu failure. peter galbraith, the former un deputy special _ failure. peter galbraith, the former un deputy special representative .
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failure. peter galbraith, the formerl un deputy special representative for afghanistan, thank you forjoining us on tuesday. if you want to get in touch with me, i�*m on twitter @bbckarishma. i look forward to hearing your thoughts. you�*re watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme... why new zealand�*s government is questioning the effectiveness of its rapid lockdown pandemic strategy. we speak to a public health expert in auckland. washington, the world�*s most political city, is it assessing the health of the world�*s most powerful man. i health of the world's most powerful man. . . health of the world's most powerful man. ., ., ., , man. i had a relationship with miss lewins . man. i had a relationship with miss lewinsky- but _ man. i had a relationship with miss lewinsky. but it _ man. i had a relationship with miss lewinsky. but it was _ man. i had a relationship with miss lewinsky. but it was wrong. - man. i had a relationship with miss lewinsky. but it was wrong. south | lewinsky. but it was wrong. south africa, 97 lewinsky. but it was wrong. south africa. 97 peeple _ lewinsky. but it was wrong. south africa, 97 people have _ lewinsky. but it was wrong. south africa, 97 people have been - lewinsky. but it was wrong. south africa, 97 people have been killed| africa, 97 people have been killed today in one of the worst days of violence between rival black groups. 0ver violence between rival black groups. over the last ten days, 500 have died. . ., ., ~ ., ,
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over the last ten days, 500 have died. . ., .,~ ., , , died. czechoslovakia must be free! russia is observing _ died. czechoslovakia must be free! russia is observing a _ died. czechoslovakia must be free! russia is observing a national- died. czechoslovakia must be free! russia is observing a national day i russia is observing a national day of mourning for the 118 submariners who died. we of mourning for the 118 submariners who died. ~ . . of mourning for the 118 submariners who died. ~ ., ., ., who died. we are all with them now. with our hearts. _ who died. we are all with them now. with our hearts. the _ who died. we are all with them now. with our hearts. the pope _ who died. we are all with them now. with our hearts. the pope has - with our hearts. the pope has celebrated mass before a congregation of more than 2.5 million people in his home town of krakow. ,, ., million people in his home town of krakow. ,, ._ , , ._ , krakow. stay with us, stay with us, chance this — krakow. stay with us, stay with us, chance this ocean _ krakow. stay with us, stay with us, chance this ocean of— krakow. stay with us, stay with us, chance this ocean of humanity. - krakow. stay with us, stay with us, chance this ocean of humanity. the po -e chance this ocean of humanity. the pepe says. — chance this ocean of humanity. the pepe says. do _ chance this ocean of humanity. the pope says, do you want me to desert room? —— rome? this is newsday on the bbc. 0ur headlines... president biden has again defended washington�*s much—criticised evacuation efforts from afghanistan, saying the us has flown out 33,000 people since last month. at least 20 people have died in a week of chaos at kabul airport as people continue to try to flee.
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new zealand�*s covid minister has admitted the emergence of the delta variant has "changed the game" considerably and made the country�*s existing virus policy look less adequate. previously, the country has crushed potential outbreaks quickly with strict, sweeping lockdowns. but the emergence of 21 new cases on sunday has many wondering whether it is practical to try to lock out the virus for good. joining me now to discuss this is professor ananish chowdhury from the university of auckland. great to have you. how do you think the emergence of the delta variant might change the covid strategy in new zealand? 50. might change the covid strategy in new zealand?— might change the covid strategy in new zealand? so, good evening to ou. it is new zealand? so, good evening to you. it is morning _ new zealand? so, good evening to you. it is morning here. _ new zealand? so, good evening to you. it is morning here. thank- new zealand? so, good evening to you. it is morning here. thank you| you. it is morning here. thank you for having me. i should say that i am not a public health expert, i am
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an economist. but i have done some work on this. from the very beginning, the elimination strategy was always going to be difficult. and this is particularly becoming more difficult with the delta variant that spreads very rapidly. and as you probably are aware, most other countries have stopped trying to eliminate this. and over the weekend, among the few remaining ones, australia�*s prime minister said, look, this is not an option. case numbers may rise. but cases are not the same as deaths. and therefore, we need to figure out a way of dealing with the pandemic without these extensive lockdowns. because we know that they are causing significant collateral damage. causing significant collateral dama . e. , ., causing significant collateral damaue. i. ., causing significant collateral damaue. ., ., ~ damage. right, so you have talked about the fact _ damage. right, so you have talked about the fact that _ damage. right, so you have talked about the fact that you _ damage. right, so you have talked about the fact that you are - damage. right, so you have talked about the fact that you are a - about the fact that you are a behavioural economist. is there a
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public willingness from what you have seen in new zealand to accept that covid is here to stay and it will exist in the population? i think we are getting there. i have written a book here where i talk about some of the cognitive biases that make us prone to being very fearful of pathogens. i talk about how we often overestimate even those that have a small possibility. and one thing that is coming through here is that when these kinds of crises happen, we tend to focus a lot on what people identify as the lives in front of our eyes. but in doing so, we ignore statistical lives, the lives that are being caused by various other causes in the background on the secondary losses might actually be much larger. but we don�*t focus on it and
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it is not reported breathlessly in the news media. so once a narrative takes hold, it is not so easy to dislodge it. but i think, as the evidence comes through... i�*m dislodge it. but i think, as the evidence comes through... i'm so sor , evidence comes through... i'm so sorry. that's _ evidence comes through... i'm so sorry, that's all _ evidence comes through... i'm so sorry, that's all the _ evidence comes through... i'm so sorry, that's all the time - evidence comes through... i'm so sorry, that's all the time we - evidence comes through... i'm so sorry, that's all the time we have | sorry, that�*s all the time we have for the segment. thank you for joining us. moving to other news... the east coast of the united states has been hit by strong winds and heavy rain as tropical storm henri made landfall in the state of rhode island. power has been cut to more than 125,000 homes from newjersey to maine. the bbc�*s bahman kalbasi is in long island and can tell us what is happening on the ground. here, what a difference 12 hours makes. it has gone from very heavy winds, massive rain and an ocean that seems to be coming closer and closer with very big waves that keep pounding two blue skies. this tropical storm moved pretty fast, we
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know that it has made landfall in rhode island. about five or six hours ago. but the worry is that these communities sitting on the ocean had a storm surge and that is not as much any more, it seems like much of long island has been spared, although the worries about flooding continues. there are a number of flash flooding warnings across the state, including neighbouring states in newjersey and connecticut. but oral it seems that at least this part of new york state has been spared, we will have to see about the total damage when the flooding counting comes in from rhode island. thank you very much. we will have more for you on that hurricane in later additions. thanks forjoining later additions. thanks for joining us. later additions. thanks forjoining us. that�*s it for now.
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hello there. after the rather cloudy weather we had to contend with last week, this week does promise something just a little bit brighter. certainly it will be largely dry with some spells of warm sunshine. having said that, no heat wave on the way. temperatures will be nothing exceptional for the time of year, but high pressure firmly building and in taking control of our weather. that�*s why it�*s going to be mainly dry and settled, but the winds around high—pressure flow in a clockwise direction, so we will be pulling our air down from the north and not tapping into any of this heat across parts of southern europe. so, as we head through monday, we will start off with a lot of mist and murk, and certainly quite a lot of cloud around. much of that will break up, though, to reveal some spells of sunshine. i think it will stay a little bit misty and murky for some western coasts, and it�*s going to be another grey and quite gloomy day across shetland. a small chance for a shower over high ground in western scotland,
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wales and the southwest, but most places fine, with light winds, some spells of sunshine, so not feeling too bad, 21—23, maybe 2a celsius in parts of western scotland. now, as we head through monday evening, any showers that do crop up in the west will fade. it�*s going to be dry, some clear spells, but some areas of cloud. and this area of cloud here may well work into parts of eastern england and perhaps into the midlands, and then continue its journey westwards as we head through the day on tuesday. so it could well cloud over a little bit across some parts of wales, maybe even with the odd spot of drizzle. some misty, murky weather clinging to some of these northern and western coasts, but elsewhere, tuesday will bring further spells of sunshine. again, the highest temperatures likely to be across western scotland, maybe parts of northern ireland as well, up to 2a, possibly up to 25 celsius. wednesday, a similar sort of day, best of sunshine in the west. more cloud filtering into eastern areas, and also this noticeable northerly wind starting to develop close to eastern coasts. so that will knock the edge off the temperatures here,
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the highest temperatures once again out towards the west. now, a subtle change as we head towards thursday. 0ur area of high pressure is likely to drift away northwards, allowing this frontal system to work into the picture. not a lot of rain with that, but a lot of cloud into eastern areas, and coupled with that strong northerly breeze, it is going to feel really quite cool for eastern coasts. not quite as cool further west, but even here, temperatures coming down a little as we head towards the end of the week.
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hello, this is bbc news. we�*ll be taking a look at tomorrow mornings papers in a moment — first the headlines. a meeting of g7 leaders will be held on tuesday to discuss the situation in afghanistan — as thousands of people continue trying to flee the taliban advance. thousands of afghans continue their days long vigil

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