welcome to newsday. reporting live from singapore, i'm karishma vaswani. the headlines... a desperate search for survivors — in six us states devastated by powerful tornadoes. more than 90 people are now known to have been killed. my my mother still doesn't know the houseis my mother still doesn't know the house is gone. and were not going to tell her. it'lljust break her heart. we'll cross live to one of the worst—hit areas to talk to the head of the red cross in western kentucky. also on the programme... british prime minister, borisjohnson, warns that the uk faces an emergency, in the battle with the new omicron variant and calls for a massive increase in boosterjabs. there is a tidal wave of omicron coming, and i'm afraid it is now
clear that two doses of vaccine are simply not enough. the us secretary of state antony blinken heads to southeast asia, as the biden administration seeks to forge a united front against china. and a new champion in formula one — max verstappen snatches victory in the last lap of the final grand prix of the season. live from singapore. —— from our studio in singapore. this is bbc news. it's newsday. it's 7am in singapore and 5pm in kentucky — the us state worst hit by a devastating wave of tornadoes on friday. at least 94 people are now confirmed dead, with dozens more still missing.
a desperate search for survivors is under way across six states, with emergency crews combing through the debris. our correspondent, nomia iqbal, has the very latest, from mayfield in kentucky. there were more than 30 tornadoes but one hurtled down a single track of more than 200 miles. it is thought to be the longest path ever taken by a tornado in us history. it flattened many homes, whilst leaving others untouched. in an instant this small town of mayfield has been almost entirely wiped out. flattened homes are now buried in their own debris, toys and shoes are scattered amongst the twisted metal and shredded trees by a swarm of tornadoes that no—one had prepared for. deeneen is looking for her cousin who lives downtown. everybody�*s cell phone is down and i got up early
and i was so nervous i could not sleep. i could not get through to her yesterday and i drive a school bus and everything over there is destroyed, it is just heartbreaking. this is one of the churches that residents here in mayfield attended. it's about 100 years old, and people here tell me it only took around ten seconds for the tornado to blow through and destroy so much of it. some people actually took cover in here on the night that the storms came. nearby churches have opened their doors to give shelter to those who survived. jerry and his father managed to escape. his mother, who is in a nursing home, is unaware of what has happened. my mother still doesn't know the house has gone. and we're not going to tell her. why not? it would break her heart to let her know that the dream house that she designed has gone.
an operation is still under way at a candle factory in mayfield. more than 100 workers were on the night shift when the tornado tore through. a0 people managed to make it out. in the state of illinois, an amazon factory is looking for its missing employees. the amazon founderjeff bezos pledged to offer support. the governor here in kentucky says this is the deadliest tornado event the state has ever had. president biden has signed a federal emergency disaster declaration to help this state and others ravaged by the storms. nomia iqbal, bbc news, kentucky. i'm joined now by misty thomas, the executive director for the red cross in western kentucky. she's been on the ground in mayfield, the worst—hit area. thank you so much forjoining us on the programme, and i can only
imagine the terrible conditions there as we saw from my colleague's report. can you give us a sense of the devastation on the ground where you are? the devastation on the ground where ou are? . ~ the devastation on the ground where ou are? ., ~ ,, the devastation on the ground where ou are? ., ~ i. ., ., ., you are? thank you for having me on, and i 'ust you are? thank you for having me on, and i just want — you are? thank you for having me on, and i just want to _ you are? thank you for having me on, and i just want to say that _ you are? thank you for having me on, and i just want to say that the - and i just want to say that the american red cross is very deeply saddened by what we are experiencing — the loss of lives and the devastating destruction that we are seeing on the ground. i've personally never seen anything like it, i've been on the ground for two days now in mayfield, and i spent time with a few of the citizens there today. one had shared with me that he happened to open the door to let in a family member who had sought shelter at his house, and he was describing it — the only two words he could use pure evil. he said, "i've never seen anything like it, it was pure evil. i knew in that moment that our town was going to be devastated, but i had no idea it would look like this." it looks like matchsticks, the entire town, all
its history — matchsticks, although metal twisted in it. it's devastating, the people are devastated.— devastating, the people are devastated. ., devastated. those conditions sound absolutely terrible, _ devastated. those conditions sound absolutely terrible, and _ devastated. those conditions sound absolutely terrible, and the - devastated. those conditions sound absolutely terrible, and the people | absolutely terrible, and the people on the ground that you are meeting, telling you the stories, as well, i imagine that the needs of the community there, people who are obviously probably in shelters at this point in time — how much more help do they need, what kind of help do they need? what sort of rebuilding are you seeing that they will need right now? so rebuilding are you seeing that they will need right now?— rebuilding are you seeing that they will need right now? so we sheltered about 200 peeple — will need right now? so we sheltered about 200 people last _ will need right now? so we sheltered about 200 people last night - will need right now? so we sheltered about 200 people last night and - will need right now? so we sheltered about 200 people last night and ourl about 200 people last night and our eight shelters in kentucky. so that gives you a little bit of an idea of people who don't have a family member or friend people who don't have a family member orfriend to go in—state in a house with that we are aware of. so we are aware of the immediate needs of shelter and food, and our caseworkers work with them to assess do they have medical equipment that
needs to be replaced? so we help them with that, we also provide emotional and spiritual care, and that's how volunteers help our families. so it's an immediate, holistic approach — but moving beyond that and looking at rebuilding, i'm not even for sure that the assessments have gotten that the assessments have gotten that far. but when you ask me, how do we help them — there have been a lot of things brought in, people have been so good to this area and the six states that have been hit the six states that have been hit the hardest. i would say the immediate need right now is monetary, because that financial donation to those families for the red cross, that way they can go and purchase exactly what they need. so thatis purchase exactly what they need. so that is the easiest way to help these families.— that is the easiest way to help these families. . , ., ., , these families. have you faced any issues reaching _ these families. have you faced any issues reaching people _ these families. have you faced any issues reaching people because - these families. have you faced any issues reaching people because of| issues reaching people because of electricity blackouts, for instance? we hearing there's over 50,000 people, and there must be more, frankly, without power? ﬁnd
people, and there must be more, frankly, without power? and that's a hard question _ frankly, without power? and that's a hard question to _ frankly, without power? and that's a hard question to field _ frankly, without power? and that's a hard question to field because - frankly, without power? and that's a hard question to field because we i hard question to field because we don't know if we are not reaching people. so the national guard is out and they are going through the town, combing — of course the red cross is not capable, there's not one organisation capable of taking on a disaster this large by themselves, so we are all linking arms and partnering together, fema is coming in, first responders from all over the commonwealth have shown up today. so we are just linking arms and walking through that community, and walking through that community, and making sure that every place there was a house that we are making sure that everybody has been accounted for. that'll take time. with the red cross has been doing today as we've been out in our emergency vehicle handing out water and snacks to families that were able to stay in their home, they may have some roof damage, orjust in their home and without electricity and water. i
their home and without electricity and water. , ., ~ , ., and water. i see, indeed, thank you so much for— and water. i see, indeed, thank you so much forjoining _ and water. i see, indeed, thank you so much forjoining us _ and water. i see, indeed, thank you so much forjoining us on _ and water. i see, indeed, thank you so much forjoining us on newsday,| so much forjoining us on newsday, the executive director for red cross in western kentucky, i wish you best of luck in your operations going forward. you can find comprehensive coverage of the rescue efforts across those six us states on the bbc website, including the latest from our correspondent on the ground in kentucky, nomia iqbal. that's at bbc.com/news or on the bbc news app. let's turn now to the uk — where there's to be a rapid acceleration of the booster programme, with prime minister borisjohnson warning of a "tidal wave" of infections from the new omicron variant. he said that thousands of extra volunteers and military planners would be brought in so that all eligible adults in england can be offered a boosterjab by the end of this month. it's understood that could mean up to 18 millionjabs injust 19 days. the announcement came as the uk's
covid alert level was increased from level three to level four. our medical editor fergus walsh has more. queueing round the block for their booster, you will see a lot more of this in the coming days. from tomorrow, the over—30s in england and scotland will be able to book their booster, and the over—18s from later in the week. good evening. over the past year... addressing the nation tonight, the prime minister said the country was facing an emergency in its battle against omicron. there is a tidal wave of omicron coming, and i am afraid it is now clear that two doses of vaccine are simply not enough to give the level of protection we all need. a wave of omicron through a population that was not boosted would risk a level of hospitalisation that could overwhelm our nhs and lead, sadly, to very many deaths.
so, we must act now. the original target was to offer a booster to all over—18s by the end of january. that has now been brought forward to the end of the month. it will require one million jabs in arms a day — double what is being achieved now. this huge push on boosters comes at a price, record waiting lists are set to get even longer. it will mean some other appointments will need to be postponed until the new year. but if we don't do this now, the wave of omicron could be so big that cancellations and disruptions, like the loss of cancer appointments, would be even greater next year. up to 200,000 omicron cases daily are thought possible by the end of december, four times the current level. but, although a few omicron infected patients are now in hospital, it's unclear how
severe the variant is. we have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. and i think ourjob is to highlight that this is a big wave, it's coming straight at us. if we see even half the severity we saw with delta we are facing a very large number of hospitalisations and potential deaths. the uk's covid alert level has been raised to four out of five, meaning pressure on the nhs is widespread, but it is not yet at risk of being overwhelmed. so, the battle lines against omicron are drawn. the race between the vaccine and the virus will be at a faster pace than anything we have seen so far. fergus walsh, bbc news. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: with a collapsing economy, afghanistan's drug trade is on the rise. we have a special report.
saddam hussein is finished because he killed a lot of people, our women, our children. the signatures took only a few minutes, end to three—and—a—half years of conflict — conflict that has claimed more than 200,000 lives. the foreign audience of world leaders, the presidents of bosnia, serbia and croatia put their names to the peace agreement. the romanian border was sealed and silent today. romania has cut itself off from the outside world in order to prevent the details of the presumed massacre in timisoara from leaking out. from sex at the white house to a trial for his political life. | the lewinsky affair tonight - guaranteed bill clinton his place in history as only the second -
president ever to be impeached. this is newsday on the bbc in singapore. our headlines... a desperate search for survivors is under way in six us states devastated by powerful tornadoes. the number of dead is approaching 100. borisjohnson has warned that a "tidal wave" of omicron is coming. he's urged people to get a booster before the new year. the us secretary of state, antony blinken, is heading to southeast asia as the biden administration seeks to bolster economic and security cooperation in the region and forge a united front against china in the indo—pacific. his first stop is the indonesian capitaljakarta on monday, followed by trips to malaysia and thailand. i'm joined now by peter layton, visiting fellow at the griffith asia institute and an expert
on security in asia. great to have you on the programme, peter. indonesia is the first stop on the trip, and the us and china have often seen southeast asia as a crucial battle ground for regional security. what's the point of mr blank and's visit? the americans are certainly trying _ blank and's visit? the americans are certainly trying to — blank and's visit? the americans are certainly trying to bring _ blank and's visit? the americans are certainly trying to bring southeast i certainly trying to bring southeast asia closer to the us. the american grand strategy for managing the rise of china has shifted from the trump years into trying to encourage allies to get closer to the us. but there's a couple problems with that from a southeast asian viewpoint — one is from the american way of looking at things, northeast asia is the set centre of gravity, and northeast asia on the indian
increasingly over the years gotten more difficult and more assertive. to get us help might mean they have to, if you like, lean towards the united states, which would be a very difficult ask at the current time. just briefly, the big issue for countries in this part of the world is taiwan — do you see that coming up is taiwan — do you see that coming up as a talking point between antony blinken and his asian partners? the southeast blinken and his asian partners? tue: southeast asian blinken and his asian partners? tte: southeast asian states blinken and his asian partners? "tte: southeast asian states may blinken and his asian partners? t'te: southeast asian states may bring that up. itjust a pet dashed depends on where you sit. i'm not sure the people in the region think that taiwan, while there's the potential it's not necessarily all that likely. bear in mind that a major conflict over taiwan, something like a big war, this is notjust a regional issue but a global issue. it would certainly shatter the global trading system.
so it's sort of, if you like, a regional event that would be seismic in its implications. i think perhaps the southeast asia want to focus more on matters now... the southeast asia want to focus more on matters now. . .- the southeast asia want to focus more on matters now... thank you so much forjoining _ more on matters now... thank you so much forjoining us _ more on matters now... thank you so much forjoining us on _ more on matters now... thank you so much forjoining us on newsday, - much forjoining us on newsday, peter. let's take a look at some other stories in the headlines. the g7 group of rich democracies has warned russia of "massive consequences" if it invades ukraine. speaking after a summit of foreign ministers in the english city of liverpool, uk foreign secretary said they had sent a clear message to russian president vladimir putin. we want russia to stop its aggression with respect to ukraine. and we are very clear that there would be severe consequences if that incursion took place. this is about deterring russia from taking that action.
naftali bennett has arrived in the united arab emirates on the first—ever official visit by an israeli prime minister. it comes after the two countries established diplomatic ties last year. mr bennett is due to meet the crown prince of abu dhabi, sheikh mohammed bin zayed, on monday. they're expected to discuss ways of boosting cooperation and strengthening economic and commercial ties. the south african president, cyril ramaphosa, has tested positive for covid—19, though his symptoms are said to be mild. earlier on sunday, mr ramaphosa delivered a eulogy at a memorial service for fw de klerk, the last leader of south africa's white minority government. the 69—year—old president, who's fully vaccinated, is now self—isolating in cape town. now, a special report for you on afghanisatan. amid an economic collapse there, the country's drug trade looks to be booming.
afghanistan has long been behind the vast majority of the world's heroin, now it's emerged as a major manufacturer of crystal meth, too. the taliban say, for the moment, they can't outlaw drug production without being able to offer alternative sources of income to poor farmers. secunder kermani and cameraman malik mudassir have travelled from kabul, across southern afghanistan for this report. they are one of afghanistan's most lucrative exports, but these drugs are destroying lives here and abroad. there is heroin and, increasingly now, crystal meth. this, an exclusive look at where the meth is coming from. these drugs in southern afghanistan
will be smuggled to countries as far away as australia. the amount in this room alone would sell there for around £2 million. this is how it is made. makeshift open—air labs in the desert under the noses of the taliban. these trucks are full of a key ingredient. traffickers here have discovered a common wild plant that can be used to produce meth cheaply. last week, the taliban banned farmers from picking it, but they are not shutting down the meth labs. this man with links to the trade. "when the taliban announced their ban on this plant," he tells me, "the wholesale price of meth doubled and there are still warehouses full of it."
this is another dangerous drug — heroin from opium from like these, most commonly associated with afghanistan. around 80% of the world's heroin supply originates here. before the taliban takeover opiun traders paid off corrupt officials and sold the black paste secretly. now they have been allowed to open up stalls in markets. we're driving through a bazaar, where opium is being sold openly. much of it is then going to be processed into heroin. the taliban are not stopping drug production — in fact, they have been taxing it for years, but they don't want journalists seeing it being traded, that's why we are filming from inside a car. you call yourselves an islamic government, but you're allowing drug production. isn't that hypocritical? translation: under the islamic emirate, l before 2001, the growing and selling of opium dropped to zero. right now, we are trying to find alternatives. we can't take this away from people without offering them something else. for years poorfarmers
have relied on opium to provide for their families. now, as afghanistan's economy collapses, without international support when water levels continue to drop, many see it as the safest crop to grow. opium destroys a lot of people's lives. the taliban regularly haul these addicts off to rehab centres, but many end up straight back here. for now, more drugs look set to hit the streets both in afghanistan and across the world. secunder kermani, bbc news, afghanistan.
a story for you now from the racing world — max verstappen has been confirmed as the new formula one world champion, after a thrilling and controversial end to the final race of the season in abu dhabi. the 24—year—old dutchman beat britain's lewis hamilton on the last lap to win his first title, denying hamilton a record eighth championship. the final result had been challenged by hamilton's mercedes team, but the result was upheld. mercedes say they intend to appeal. the win makes max verstappen the first—ever dutchman to become a formula one world champion. so as you'd expect, it meant a lot for those watching on from the netherlands. cheering. this was the moment fans following from one cafe saw the red bull star cross the line ahead of lewis hamilton. for his take on the race — here's rob manifield, host of the everything racing podcast. it was always going to be dramatic, and it didn't disappoint. so yeah, hamilton started second, got the jump on verstappen. there was a little bit
of controversy at the start of the race, but that got tidied up quite quickly. and hamilton drove a sublime race today, he was faultless. and then, a safety car later on from nicholas latifi's crash towards the end brought everyone back together. and then, yeah, the controversy started from there, with some cars being able to un—lap themselves — which then brought hamilton and verstappen right back close together again. so yeah, it's a race that had a bit of everything. you've got lewis hamilton, all—time great seven time world champion, he was going for his eighth. you've got max verstappen, 2a years old, one of the best drivers of his generation, a pure talent. ever since he signed his contract at 16, debuted at 17, won his first race for red bull when he was 18 — he's always been the real deal and a special talent, and we all knew you'd be world champion one day. —— he would be world champion one day. but yeah, finally red bull gave him a car that he could take
to the mercedes, and he did. they are both two of the best drivers notjust on this current grid, but any grid. that's all for now — stay with bbc world news. hello there. it was noticeably mild today right across the country, but particularly so for england and wales. now we look to the northwest through this evening and overnight, this deep area of low pressure — small system, but very vigorous — passing through the northwest
of the uk, will bring a spell of gales to northern ireland and in towards scotland as well. stormy conditions for the hebrides and the northern isles, perhaps severe gales for a time, some blustery showers. it will turn drier here by the end of the night, but for england and wales, it'll stay cloudy with outbreaks of rain certainly through wales and into the midlands. mild in the south — double figure values here, little bit cooler further north. and that's how things look into monday. we hold onto the cloud for large parts of england and wales. we'll continue with this persistent rain as well for parts of wales in the midlands, into northern england, some areas pretty wet all day. brightest weather will be across scotland and northern ireland. a few blustery showers, wintry on the hills, will be milder across the south, single figures across the north. that weather front for england and wales clears away into tuesday. high pressure begins to build in here. it stays unsettled over the northern half of the country, lots of isobars and weather fronts. windy for scotland and northern ireland and some rain, particularly for the north and west of scotland.
england and wales, closer to that area of high pressure, should be largely dry, some cloud around but also some good spells of sunshine. those temperatures will be around orjust a little above the seasonal norm. as we head out of tuesday into wednesday, we continue with that area of high pressure across the south of the country, so settled with light winds. still quite windy across the northern half of the country with further outbreaks of rain thanks to that weather front. so, with some wet weather, northern ireland, certainly for northern and western scotland, maybe a little bit of brightness at times. stays windy here, lighter winds in the south. again, variable cloud, some good spells of sunshine, temperatures perhaps a little bit higher again — double figure values for most. nights will be much milder as well, frost—free for most of us. then, beyond wednesday, we see this area of high pressure start to really take its force across the uk. that'll push the weather fronts away from the north. it'll be sitting on top of the by friday and into the following weekend, so it means winds will turn very light. so, there's a chance it turns