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tv   Newsday  BBC News  August 25, 2021 11:00pm-11:31pm BST

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welcome to newsday. reporting live from singapore, i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines: the united states says it will continue to evacuate people from afghanistan, even after the august 31st deadline. there is no deadline on our work to help any remaining american citizens who decide they want to leave to do so, along with the many afghans who have stood by us over these many years and want to leave and have been unable to do so. so what awaits the refugees taken to america? we'll have a special report from texas. also in the programme: researchers say booster shots of the covid vaccine may be needed, in the wake of a study suggesting waning protection after six months. and day one of the action
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at the paralympics in tokyo. australia and china lead the medals table. live from our studio in singapore, this is bbc news. it's newsday. it's 6am in the morning in singapore and 6pm in washington, where the us secretary of state, antony blinken, has said the taliban have made a commitment to allow american citizens and some afghans to leave the country after the end of the evacuation deadline. he said 4,500 us citizens have been rescued so far. in kabul itself, the scramble to leave is gathering pace. the pentagon says about 10,000 people are currently at the airport. secunder kermani has this report from kabul. shame on them! they've been through
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so much already. now wading through sewage in the hope of somehow being able to leave this country. huge crowds are still flocking to kabul airport, under the watch of american and british soldiers. despite the dirt, the dust, the gunshots and the chaos, people are still coming here, and they're coming here in their thousands. here, a makeshift camp has sprung up. most of the people gathered don't have permission to board an evacuation flight. the few that do are struggling to make their way inside. translation: we've been waiting here for six days and six nights. i the american embassy told us to come here, but we can't get past all these crazy people. is it worth it? is it betterjust staying here in afghanistan for the moment? there's no way we can stay here.
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the americans should shoot us or let us through. yesterday, the taliban said they're not in favour of afghans leaving. we saw no sign of them preventing people where we were, but they're clearly frustrated with the scenes unfolding. with time running out, there's a sense of panic amongst those trying to escape. many worry they'll be left behind, like this former british army interpreter who is yet to receive a response to his application. it's very dangerous for us, because from the day the taliban entered kabul, i've changed my home three times. so two days, two nights, we are living in one place. he's only got one document from the british army, and it doesn't even say who signed it. but we managed to find his former boss, now a retired soldier in the north of england.
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i absolutely remember him as one i of about eight interpreters i worked with out in afghanistan on my tour, and like all of the others that - i worked with, he was a brave, - bright, intelligent lad who actually genuinely wanted to do better for his country. i the british government says no—one's life should be put at risk because of their support for the uk's efforts in afghanistan and that it's working around the clock to relocate as many eligible afghans as possible. so are other countries. but these are the last days of the effort, and many who want to leave are set to left behind. secunder kermani, bbc news, kabul. that's the situation in kabul. as we said, the us secretary of state has insisted that efforts will continue to evacuate us citizens and some afghans after the end of the month. here's what antony blinken
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had to say earlier. as the president said yesterday, we are on track to complete our mission by august 31, provided the taliban continue to cooperate and there are no disruptions to this effort. the president has also asked for contingency plans, in case he determines that we must remain in the country past that date. but let me be crystal—clear about this. there is no deadline on our work to help any remaining american citizens who decide they want to leave to do so, along with the many afghans who have stood by us over these many years and want to leave and have been unable to do so. that was antony blinken you were just listening to. i'm joined now by our bbc washington correspondent, nomia iqbal. nomia, great to have you on newsday. as we have just heard, antony blinken says they have a commitment to keep going after this august 31
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deadline, but basically the us is relying on the word of the taliban on this, aren't they?— on this, aren't they? that's right, as ou on this, aren't they? that's right, as you can _ on this, aren't they? that's right, as you can imagine, _ on this, aren't they? that's right, as you can imagine, that's - on this, aren't they? that's right, as you can imagine, that's not. on this, aren't they? that's right, l as you can imagine, that's not gone down wealthy republican party here in america, the opposition to the government, but mr blinken was defiant there, saying there is no deadline to get americans and afghans out, but tell that to the taliban, who are effectively running the show. he went on to say they promised, the taliban promised, they would give people safe passage beyond that deadline, but we have heard reports and we've got our correspondence on the ground there that in some cases the taliban are not letting people through right now, so it will be like after that deadline? but i think the us is very confident, certainly that's what came out of mr blinken�*s press conference, that given how well they say the evacuation mission is going so far, they will get everyone out
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that wants to get out by this tuesday. that wants to get out by this tuesda . ., ., �* , , h, tuesday. nomia, there's been some speculation — tuesday. nomia, there's been some speculation in _ tuesday. nomia, there's been some speculation in the _ tuesday. nomia, there's been some speculation in the american - tuesday. nomia, there's been some speculation in the american press, | tuesday. nomia, there's been somej speculation in the american press, a question i think also asked tojen psaki in the white house, that the us is offering cash... some sort of quid pro quo?_ quid pro quo? there were some re orts quid pro quo? there were some reports that _ quid pro quo? there were some reports that came _ quid pro quo? there were some reports that came out _ quid pro quo? there were some reports that came out that - quid pro quo? there were some reports that came out that afterj reports that came out that after that g7 meeting on monday that cash came up. and cash is a big issue here because the taliban does not have any of it. they don't have access to the central bank or international monetary fund, which the afghan government had, and they need the money if they want to run the country, and that money is protected by us institutions and international institutions. the taliban really wants international recognition. they want legitimacy. look at how many press conference as
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they keep doing, and of course western countries... what we don't know, we don't have any concrete evidence, that that evidence is being used against them at the moment. fisct being used against them at the moment. �* . ., ., moment. act i, the deadline, though, as we know. — moment. act i, the deadline, though, as we know. is — moment. act i, the deadline, though, as we know, is fast _ moment. act i, the deadline, though, as we know, is fast approaching, - moment. act i, the deadline, though, as we know, is fast approaching, and l as we know, is fast approaching, and given the actuation efforts of and picking up a so far, do you have a sense of whether the us will be given any notice before that final flight leaves —— nomia. it’s given any notice before that final flight leaves -- nomia. it's going to be a tricky _ flight leaves -- nomia. it's going to be a tricky one, _ flight leaves -- nomia. it's going to be a tricky one, because - flight leaves -- nomia. it's going to be a tricky one, because i - flight leaves -- nomia. it's going| to be a tricky one, because i don't imagine we are going to see planes picking people up right at the last minute. i think it's too much of a dangerous operation and the us military has had what they plan to do in the final two days, from monday to tuesday, is focused instead on getting the troops out, because they are there up __ up —— up to 6000 of them to facilitate
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this departure. in that press conference, mr blinken gave some numbers. he said since the 1ath, since the mission began to evacuate, more than 80,000 people have been taken out of the country. there was some criticism that the us is not really saying how much american citizens are in the country and he made the point of, well, we don't strike americans when they go and live abroad. some of them register with the embassy, some of them don't some of them don't want to leave, some of them don't want to leave, some of them are happy to stay there, and he also made the point there, and he also made the point there are many people who are applying for repatriation and they are not actually american, so he is saying that it takes a long time to process all of this and it's been done i were by our, so it is still a long process, but as i say, they are very confident they can hit that deadline. ., ., �* deadline. nomia iqbalthere, i'm sure we will— deadline. nomia iqbalthere, i'm sure we will be _ deadline. nomia iqbalthere, i'm sure we will be checking - deadline. nomia iqbalthere, i'm sure we will be checking in - deadline. nomia iqbalthere, i'm sure we will be checking in with i deadline. nomia iqbalthere, i'm i sure we will be checking in with you on that evacuation, the patient that evacuation and the reaction in the united states in the coming days as
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that deadline approaches. thank you forjoining us on newsday. don't forget, you can get more on the rapidly developing situation in afghanistan on our website. there, you'll find a live page updated with the latest developments as those evacuations from kabul airport gather pace. do check it out. let's take a look at some of the stories in the headlines in the uk. uk supermarkets tesco and iceland have warned there could be food shortages at christmas due to issues with the supply chain. the supermarkets are calling on the government to allow more emergency lorry drivers from overseas to help solve the problem. customers are being urged not to panic buy. the use of tasers by police forces needs to be reviewed to prevent a loss of trust in the communities they serve, according to the police watchdog. a review by the independent office for police conduct found black people were more likely to face a taser and that some officers were not considering the risk of injury to vulnerable people.
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the england football captain harry kane has announced he won't be leaving tottenham hotspur during this transfer window. the striker, who's contracted to spurs until 2024, has been the subject of intense transfer speculation all summer. manchester city had previously confirmed that they were interested in signing him. still to come a bit later in the programme, we'll be in texas to find out what happens to afghans fleeing the country once they land in the us. but first, protection against coronavirus starts to reduce within six months of people being fully vaccinated with the pfizer or astrazeneca vaccines. new research suggests that booster vaccines will be needed at some point to maintain protection. 0ur health correspondent sophie hutchinson has this report. more than three—quarters of adults in the uk have now had two
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doses of a covid vaccine, but how long that protection lasts is a crucial question. sarah, a head teacher, received her second dose in april, but injune, after herfamily all caught the virus, she became infected too. 0bviously, i'd been shielding at home, i'd been staying in different rooms, keeping doors and windows open, wearing masks in communal areas of the home. so i'd hoped not to get it with my double vaccine, but i knew there was always a possibility of getting it. it was obviously very disappointing to get it in the end, and my symptoms were just like that of a heavy head cold, really. i didn't have to stop working, i was working from home throughout that period. i had to rest a little bit more than usual, but i felt like it was a much lighter version than i had the year before. sarah's one of a growing number of people who've been infected despite being double—jabbed. today's study by the zoe covid team
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adds to the evidence that vaccines lose some effectiveness over time. it found protection from infection, with both the pfizer and astrazeneca vaccines, reduced slightly within six months of the second dose. but for most, the vaccines still seem to prevent severe disease. what this study tells us is that we have to keep an eye on the level of immunity and track it as time goes on, so that we can make a prediction, one month, three months, six months into the future, of when a booster might be required. and infections have been rising sharply in some parts of the uk. scotland, where schools have gone back, hit another record high today, well over 5,000 new cases, with more than a third among teenagers and children. experts are warning the new term is likely to be difficult. so i think we do need to be braced for a challenging period. exactly how high the numbers
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will be, it is very, very challenging to predict that. where i think we can be more confident is that levels of mortality are going to remain low, because we have study after study that still shows the vaccines are working. cornwall�*s rocketing rates of infection have been blamed in large part on a music and surfing festival. preparations are well under way for this weekend's reading festival, where thousands will gather, and where there are crowds, that is likely to be covid. sophie hutchinson, bbc news. if you want to get in touch with me on any of the topics we have touched on on newsday, i'm on twitter. @bbckarishma you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme:
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vice president kamala harris continues a diplomatic charm offensive by the biden administration in south east asia. he's the first african—american to win the presidential nomination of a major party, and he accepts exactly 45 years ago to the day that martin luther king declared, "i have a dream." as darkness falls tonight, and unfamiliar light will appear in the southeastern sky — an orange glowing disc that's brighter than anything save the moon — our neighbouring planet, mars. there is no doubt that this connection is an important milestone there is no doubt that this election is an important milestone in the birth of east timor as the world's newest nation. it'll take months and billions i of dollars to repair what katrina achieved injust hours. three weeks is the longest the great clock has been off—duty in 117 years, so it was with great satisfaction
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that clockmakerjohn vernon swung the pendulum to set the clock going again. big ben chimes this is newsday on the bbc. i'm karishma vaswani in singapore. 0ur headlines: evacuations continue, but huge crowds remain at the airport in kabul. with next week's deadline looming, the race to get out is gathering pace. meanwhile, the united states pledges to continue to evacuate people from afghanistan, even after the august 31st deadline. as the us military evacuates afghans who worked with american troops out of kabul, in states across america, plans are being made for their arrival. 200 are heading to austin in texas. for afghan americans in the us waiting for news of family trying to get out,
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it's an anxious time. the bbc�*s laura trevelyan has been speaking to some of them. haroon abassy leads a protest in austin, texas, by afghan americans who work for the us military and are calling for their families to be evacuated from afghanistan. peoplejust want to bring theirfamily here because they are in danger, so that is why we're here. i work, and because of my work, my family is going to be butchered or killed. haroon was an interpreter for the us army and settled here seven years ago. now he's desperately worried about his parents in kabul. they left our house, they locked the door. the only thing they took with them was some food items and and one pair of clothes, so they locked the door and they are sleeping outside the airport. they are afraid if they go back, of course, the taliban have already
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found out that their son was a translator, so they cannot go back. for the afghans who are being evacuated and are about to arrive here in texas, volunteers are unpacking the donations which have been pouring in. despite the polarised politics of immigration in the us, staff believe that afghans will be welcome here. the people who helped us overseas, it's a special category that really does speak across political boundaries and rural, urban, and people understand that these are people who we really need to help. andy hogue of the local republican party agrees, but he says the biden administration has bungled the withdrawal so far and things may get even worse. i hope they make a decision that does not result in a tectonic- shift of afghanis coming to the united states. i i'm hoping it will result in those who need to be here for safetyl reasons to be here and those that need to stay and fight _ for afghanistan are staying put. the last thing we want is a brain drain in - afghanistan, where their best
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and brightest are either- being silenced by terroristic activities or are being - flighted to america. amid this debate over who gets to come here from afghanistan, tim kennedy is deploying from texas to the middle east to support the evacuation of the afghans who work for the us military. he is a us army sniper and veteran of the war. what is it that you hope you will achieve on this mission to afghanistan? that's hard. it's a hard question. i hope that i can preserve and protect human life. as many people that want to live and not to have to live under the tyranny of the taliban, that want to be contributors to a free world and free society, then i will fight for that. i will die for that. that's the america that these former translators believe in, but theirfaith in us might has been tested. now they can only wait and pray theirfamilies make it out
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of afghanistan alive. laura trevelyan, bbc news, texas. well, in other news, the us vice president kamala harris has been visiting vietnam as part of an effort to increase us engagement in the region, in the light of china's growing influence. vietnam is battling its biggest covid—19 outbreak yet, with hanoi under strict lockdown and troops deployed to ho chi minh city. kamala harris said it was an uncertain time. the threats we face are accelerating more rapidly. we have all felt this deeply, both as covid—19 has taken millions of lives around the world and as our world has come together to develop and distribute vaccines that are saving millions of lives. 0ur south east asia correspondent jonathan head explained the strategic importance of the visit and the promise by the us
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of an additional1 million vaccines to vietnam. the biden administration is trying to claw back what it believes is lost us influence, lost over many years but lost during the trump administration, where president trump focused mostly on china, paid very little attention to south east asia. president biden said he wants to reverse that. vice president harris's visit is an important part of that re—shifting again back to this region. and vietnam actually did very well on covid last year. it was almost a poster child for controlling it. all the countries in this region have been hit very hard by the delta variant and very few of them have been able to vaccinate large parts of their population, they're very short of vaccines. vietnam interestingly shorter than most. and this is one area where the us can do very well because china started vaccine diplomacy earlier in the year. in vietnam, the population is actually quite anti—chinese and the government was quite reluctant, didn't take any vaccines from china, but all the countries that took large amounts from china are now very concerned about the effectiveness of those vaccines. so this push by the us to offer vaccines is an open goal for them.
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and indeed vice president harris has offered partnerships in medical technology, pandemic preparedness, she opened the first branch of the cdc, the center for disease control, the us one, in hanoi today in vietnam, so she is capitalising on it as much as possible. because after all, in the wake of what's going on in afghanistan, it's quite hard for the us now to be presenting itself as, you know, a really powerful ally to countries in this region. i think there will be much more wait—and—see on that line. the bbc�*s jonathan the bbc�*sjonathan head there on the us vice president kamala harris's trip to the region. let's take a look at some other stories in the headlines today. all children in china will begin to study the political ideology of the chinese president, xijinping, as part of the national curriculum. from kindergarten through to university, china's ministry of education said the new material would strengthen resolve to follow the ruling communist party and cultivate patriotic feelings.
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the latest us intelligence report into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic is inconclusive, according to us media reports. it looked at whether the virus could have been the result of a lab—leak or passed from an animal to a human. the subscription website 0nlyfans, known for its adult content, has announced that it will delay making changes to prohibit sexually explicit photos and videos from october. in a tweet, the website now says it has suspended the policy change. however, it has not specified whether the delay will be permanent. armenia's parliament has descended into a mass brawl as the country remains split following last year's defeat in a war with azerbaijan. local media says chaos erupted when a ruling party minister described some former defence ministers as "traitors", prompting water bottles to be thrown. bottles and hand sanitisers have
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since been removed from the chamber. anticipation is now growing for the second day of the paralympics in tokyo, but day one has beenjam—packed — with 2a medal events in track cycling, swimming and wheelchair fencing. day one saw china win four golds in fencing and one in swimming, as li zhang overtook great britain's tully kearney in the final moments in the 200 metres freestyle. but australia came out top today — with six golds in swimming and cycling, including the first gold of the games. that was claimed by cyclist paige greco, who won her first ever medal in the 3,000—metre pursuit. also on the velodrome track, dame sarah storey clinched great britain's first gold medal of the games, winning the women's individual 3,000 metres pursuit. incredibly, it's her 15th medal. as soon as she came and got quite close to crystal,
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i was like, "i know it, she's going to win." and, barney, what has it been like for you? it's been... apart from chaos...! it's been fine and, no, the kids have been incredibly... just been amazing. to go from that kind of change for them, which is seeing mum every day — charlie has only ever been away from sarah for one night before this trip. and he is only three, despite his size! so it's been really, you know, tricky to try and predict what would happen, but the kids have been brilliant and coped really well. the first member of the refugee paralympic team will be in action on tuesday — swimmer ibrahim al hussein. lots to look forward to. that's all
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that we have time for, though, on newsday. thanks forjoining me. i'm karishma vaswani. hello there. we just had the hottest day of the month on wednesday. and it was western scotland the place to be. looks lovely in the sunshine and temperatures reached 27 celsius. now, it won't get as hot as that again through the rest of the month because we've got this weather front moving down toward the southwest of the uk. it's bringing in cloud, one or two spots of rain just for a while, and as that weather front moves through, so we introduce a cooler wind off the north sea. that's blowing in cooler air and it's dropping the temperatures as well. we start with some fog, though, quite extensively across northern ireland in the morning. not so much fog in scotland. the fog will lift. the cloud that we start
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with in wales and the southwest will break up. sunshine for many western areas. but the wind will continue to blow in more cloud to the eastern side of the uk. should get more sunshine, though, for the northern isles, some areas of cloud lingering across some easternmost parts of scotland. much of the country, though, seeing the sunshine and temperatures 23, maybe 2a in the west of scotland this time. could make 22 or 23 in fermanagh and tyrone. always warmer for wales, western parts of england. down the eastern side, a lot of cloud, a cooler wind as well. and around the coasts in particular, temperatures could be no better than 16 or 17 degrees. there could be a hint of sunshine now and again, but generally it's going to be pretty cloudy at headingley for day 2 of an exciting test match. not quite so chilly on friday. by this stage, the cloud is pushing more towards wales and western parts of england, and that means we should get a bit more sunshine for the eastern side of england. there will be some areas of cloud for scotland and northern ireland, some spells of sunshine too, and temperatures are back down to around 19 or 20 degrees typically, perhaps a little lower than that in the far north and east of scotland.
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heading into the weekend, big area of low pressure is bringing lots of showers into central europe. they're not far away from the southeast on saturday, but over the weekend, it's high pressure that should tend to dominate. always a wind coming in from the north sea, some brisk winds for the southeast of england. should be a fair bit of sunshine, though, i think, on saturday, some patchy cloud bubbling up here and there. and in the sunshine, again, across western scotland, we could see temperatures up to 22 degrees. second half of the weekend, still dry, high pressure around, bit breezy and cooler around some of those north sea coasts, a bit more cloud perhaps coming into scotland and northern ireland, sunshine for england and wales and temperatures typically 19 or 20 celsius.
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this is bbc news, the headlines the us secretary of state, antony blinken, says the taliban have made a commitment to allow american citizens and at—risk afghans to leave the country after the end of month evacuation deadline. but, there's been continuing chaos and confusion at kabul airport, with a massive crush of people thronging the entry points as the deadline approaches. us vice president kamala harris is on a visit to vietnam as part of an effort to increase us engagement in the region. she said america would find new ways to raise pressure on beijing over concerns about disputed asian waters. the latest us intelligence report into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic is inconclusive, according to us media reports. it looked at whether the virus could have been the result of a lab—leak, or passed from an animal to a human.

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