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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 14, 2022 4:00am-4:31am BST

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this is bbc news. welcome if you're watching here in the uk or around the globe. i'm simon pusey. our top stories: reports in the us say salman rushdie, who was stabbed at an event in new york state, has been taken off a ventilator and is able to talk. meanwhile, the man suspected of the stabbing pleads not guilty to attempted murder and assault. we report from france, where exhausted fire crews have spent weeks battling wildfires. the ground around me is smoking. there's smouldering embers here which very easily can be whipped up into yet another fire. one person is killed and dozens injured when high winds cause part of a stage to collapse at a dance music festival in spain. and more embarrassment for manchester united,
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as they lose 4—0 to brentford in the premier league. us media outlets are reporting that the internationally acclaimed author salman rushdie, who was stabbed during a literary event in new york state, has been taken off a ventilator and is able to talk. earlier the man accused of stabbing the author pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault. hadi matar was formally charged in a court in new york state. he's been the subject of death threats ever since the publication in 1988 of his controversial book, the satanic verses, which some muslims considered blasphemous. this report from our correspondent nomia iqbal. sir salman rushdie remains on a ventilator inside this hospital after undergoing emergency surgery.
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his agent has said the author is in bad shape. he faces losing an eye, the nerves in one of his arms are severed and his liver is damaged. sir salman was flown here from the neighbouring state of new york. it was there at a literary event where the attack happened in full view of a large audience. a man in a black mask jumped onto the stage, stabbing him at least once in the neck and several times in the abdomen. guests held the suspect down as others tried to help the author, who lay injured on the stage. i've been coming here for 31 years. this is one of the most peaceful, quiet places i have ever been in my life. you know, the guy has a price on his head from 1989. of all the places he might be attacked or hurt or, god forbid, die, chautauqua would be the last place i would think of.
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the suspect in custody is 24—year—old hadi matar from newjersey, whose parents migrated from lebanon. reports say that a law enforcement review of his social media accounts found he was sympathetic to the causes of the iranians revolutionary guards, a major military and political force in iran. it was in 1989 when iran's spiritual leader at the time placed a death sentence on sir salman. his book, the satanic verses, was considered an insult to islam and led to global riots which killed 45 people. he went into hiding for nearly a decade. questions are now being asked about the level of security precautions at the event where sir salman was attacked. but in recent years, he expressed discomfort about high levels of security, saying he wanted to be able to live his life freely. sir salman rushdie remains very ill in hospital — he's still on a ventilator.
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this hospital has some of the most advanced facilities in the country when it comes to dealing with trauma. a 24—year—old man is in custody — he's been denied bail and charged with the attempted murder and assault of an author who has spent a major part of his life living under the threat of extremist attacks. nomia iqbal, bbc news, pennsylvania. earlier, i spoke to jay rajiva who's an author and associate professor and director of literary studies at georgia state university. i asked about his initial thoughts following this brutal attack. just unbelievable, tragedy. to think that this could happen in 20—something years after the satanic verses, rushdie is somebody who has had a transformative impact on the field of literature, postcolonial literature, you can't think of it without thinking of rushdie and his accomplishments, and our thoughts are with him for his recovery. you described him as transformative. what is he to you? what impact has his work had on you and those you teach? everything. he inaugurated so much of what we consider contemporary post—modern, magic realist writing, showing that this could be twined to the subject
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of the partition of india. midnight's children resonates with me most. that style, unforgettable, has had an impact, you can trace connections to all kinds of writers. he has had that impact on tradition. an attack on him but also on writers everywhere and freedom of speech generally. yes. exactly. it's funny because rushdie was, is a very outspoken and i don't always agree with what he has had to say but in this case you have to consider the impact of writers everywhere, somebody is getting stabbed, somebody viciously assaulted, for putting words on a page, is unconscionable. this is something that we in solidarity should all rally around. should it be a wake—up call about the dangers writers
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face worldwide? it's a wake—up call for the dangers that marginalised people, people of colour, all kinds of people face worldwide. we talk about cancel culture, a bit of a spectre — this is the real danger of cancel culture, somebody facing physical violence, being targeted because someone disagreed with their interpretation of a certain religious component in a text, it is a huge wake—up call and also sadly quite continuous with the sort of apparent violence in america, the regular shootings and violence that happens here, also something that needs to be addressed in this country. almost a danger that's becoming normalised because we see it so much. what more can be done to protect people like salman rushdie all those who are controversial who might be divisive? can anything be done that isn't being done at the moment? we can think about making it, from the standpoint of violence, more difficult for people to obtain weapons to do this, but there is no 1—stop solution.
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a broadening of empathy, a willingness to acknowledge positions that are difficult, rushdie is a difficult, and because of that, genius writer, a willingness to do that is what will help us move forward and stop us from being in our own little bubbles. but there is no one, unfortunately, no one solution. but we hope the literature has that effect. that was jay rajiva, who as an author and director of literary studies. the latest we are hearing from the us is that salman rushdie is no longer on a ventilator and is able to talk. we will bring you more if we get confirmation of that news. several european countries have seen a wave of deadly wildfires, triggered by record temperatures and drought across the continent. here you can see there are currently major fires in much of western europe. officials are concerned that
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windy conditions could make the situation worse. firefighters in france are continuing to battle what they're calling a monster fire south of bordeaux, which has forced thousands to evacuate their homes. bethany bell reports from the gironde. the woods near bordeaux are still burning. this area was hit by a massive fire injuly and another blaze this week. fire crews from across europe have come here to help their french colleagues, many of whom are exhausted. the pine forests and the peat rich soil are like a tinderbox. even when the big fires are out, the danger still remains. as you can see, the ground around me is smoking. there's smouldering embers here, which very easily can be whipped up into yet another fire. the blaze breaks out in the bushes. firefighters rush to put it out.
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but it's a constant struggle. last night, the flames reached the edge of this village, threatening several houses. we met the mayor as he supervised a truck spraying water into the woods. translation: we've never known a summer like this. | it's a catastrophe, an environmental catastrophe, and also a climate catastrophe. the sun and wind need to be replaced by clouds and rain as quickly as possible. 10,000 people have been evacuated from their home region. at a shelter in the town of sal, christian told me it's the second time he's had to flee this summer. they are more out of money to think about now. translation: i'm fed up with it mentally and physically. - it's time to go home, but itjust doesn't stop. it's a very serious fire, the first time there's been such a big fire in our region. christian hopes he'll be able to go home soon. cooler temperatures are forecast for next week. but he, like everyone here,
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is worried about the future. bethany bell, bbc news in the gironde. let's get some of the day's other news. there are fears water levels in germany's river rhine could fall below a critical point on monday, bringing a key route through the country's industrial heartlands to a standstill. a long run of dry weather has already caused water levels to drop to a point that some commercial barges can no longer navigate parts of the river, or have to substantially reduce their cargo loads. the two main candidates in kenya's presidential election are said to be running neck and neck with more than a third of the results now confirmed. former prime minister raila odinga has just a 1% lead over deputy president william ruto. the head of the electoral commission has admitted that announcing the result of tuesday's election is taking too long as frustration grows in the country. colombia's first left—wing president, gustavo petro, has replaced the country's top military and police commanders less than a week
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after taking office. mr petro said their selection criteria were zero corruption and zero violation of fundamental rights. the former rebel fighter said security success should not be measured in the number of dead, but in promoting rights and liberty. protests have taken place near the ancient inca city of machu picchu after tourists were unable to access the site. the authorities have been reducing the number of tickets on sale due to fears that visitor numbers were leading to unnecessary wear and tear. both foreign and local tourists were stranded unable to reach the iconic historical site. seven people have been wounded, two of them seriously, in a shooting injerusalem, in what israeli police are describing as a terrorist attack. shots were fired at both a bus and a parking lot in an area nearjerusalem's western wall. police are still looking for the suspect. add 1:24am we got a call that
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there was a sure —— shooting going on at the were wall in jerusalem. got to the scene as people laying on the floor. three were in critical condition and another few lightly injured stop there was a baby that we took out of harms way. were transferred to the hospital for harms way. were transferred to the hospitalfor care. one person has died and dozens more were injured when high winds caused part of a stage to collapse at a dance music festival in spain. the incident happened at the medusa festival in cullera, a beachside town south of valencia. the six—day festival has been suspended. the bbc�*s tim allman reports. wind rushes. dance music in distance. at times it was hard to tell which was noisier, the pulsating sounds coming from the stage or the winds whipping through the festival's site. thousands attended this dance music event and the combination of hot temperatures and the sudden arrival of fast—moving air caused all sorts of problems. you can see the way streamers and cables were blown away at high speed.
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a stretch of fencing appears to have been blown over and had to be dragged away as people left the area. look at how these low—flying clouds sped through the night air. eventually, emergency crews turning up after part of the stage collapsed. here it was in the light of day, the damage nature can cause. with the festival suspended, people began heading home. the party ending in the worst possible way. "we were caught at the campsite, suddenly there "was a lot of wind, very hot air, all the sand "sta rted to move. "we saw tents flying," this festival—goer said. "it was chaos." "the party is least important thing," said this man. "the important thing is someone died". in a statement on social media, organisers said they were devastated
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and saddened by what happened. what was meant to be a joyous event turning to tragedy. tim allman, bbc news. a mass has been held in northern mexico to honour the ten miners who remain trapped under ground. the ceremony took place both for them and their families. the men got stuck ten days ago when a tunnel wall collpapsed, triggering flooding. rescue efforts at the mine continued by pumping water out to try and create an exit. you're watching bbc news, a reminder of our top stories: the man accused of stabbing the author sir salman rushdie has appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault. firefighters have been battling a huge forest fire in the gironde region of france, as drought conditions are experienced across europe. ukraine's president zelensky says that every russian soldier who shoots at the zaporizhzhia nuclear plant or uses it as a base to shoot from,
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will himself become a target for ukrainian soldiers and intelligence officers. in his nightly video address, mr zelensky said all those russians involved in what he called "nuclear blackmail" must be tried by an international court. he accuses russian troops of cynically using the power plant to shell the nearby cities of nikopol and marganets. translation: every russian soldier who either strikes - the znpp or shoots from its territory must realise that he will become a special target for our intelligence, special services, and for our army. margaret kosal is a professor of international affairs at georgia institute of technology. she was a senior advisor at the us department of defence. here's her reaction to the events. this is something that should not be going on. there has been unilateral condemnation, including calls by states like china to allow international observers
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and international inspectors into the zaporizhzhia plant. why do you think either side would be shelling this plant? is there a logical explanation you can think of? it doesn't seem like there'd be any winners. you are correct. if there was a catastrophic incident at the plant, there would be no winners, and because of the prevailing winds, it would potentially contaminate russia, just as much as it would contaminate area in ukraine. now, as to why it might be being used as nuclear blackmail, is likely geopolitically, it likely reflects that russia is not doing well in the rest of the campaign. we are hearing unverified rumours that the russian military operations have
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pulled out of kherson, to the south—west, so the uptick in activity around the zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant likely reflects the lack of co—ordination, the lack of command and control and generalfailure on the side of the russians. it is the largest nuclear plant in europe, should we be worried and further afield ? well, anytime a military conflict is going on next to or at a nuclear power plant, that is certainly of concern. now, one does need to recognise that it would take a missile directly hitting the nuclear reactor to cause a major catastrophic event. that is at the far end of possibilities. there certainly is a great deal of concern around the spent
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fuel which is less well protected, less well insulated, hitting one of the cooling facilities that brings in the water. right now, there continue to be two of the six reactors that are continuing to run and are needed to produce electricity, but the greatest likelihood of risk is due to safety from the exhausted workers who are being forced to continue under a very stressful situation, and some potential safety concerns. piero angela — one of italy's most popular writers and television presenters — has died at the age of 93. he was famous for his work connected to the education
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of science. he had worked for the italian state broadcaster, rai, for seventy years. last year he was made a knight of the grand cross of the order of merit of the italian republic. members of the taliban have beaten female protesters and fired into the air as they violently dispersed a rare rally in the afghan capital dozens of women protested against the rolling back of women's rights since the taliban returned to power a year ago. girls have been barred from attending secondary schools in most of the country and women have only been allowed to work in a few sectors including public health and security. the internationally renowned photographer, kiana haeri has travelled across afghanistan over the past year, documenting stories of women protests and prisons. she was at the protest in kabul and told us what she saw. we already know that the taliban was going to crack down before the protests started, there was a strong presence of taliban fighters. i probably had about five minutes to photograph, and we actually timed it
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from the moment the girls stepped on the street, started chanting, to the time that the taliban started firing, it was about ten minutes — less than ten minutes, actually. no—one has been hurt. a bunch of foreign journalists and a few localjournalists have been arrested. a few people have been beaten up. when i learned they were going to fire, we knew theyjust wanted to intimidate and stop the women. so they've done this in previous protests as well. they fire in the air, just to disperse the crowd. i wasn't surprised that it actually became violent and they started shooting at... i was very surprised at how quickly it happened. i've attended a few of these protests. these women are extremely brave for putting their face, putting themselves out there. and on top of that, what i found very interesting was, when this happened, when the shooting happened, the shopkeepers on the main street, they started giving refuge to us. i'm a female journalist, right? otherjournalists, foreigners, and also the female protesters,
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which i found very surprising for afghan culture. but they took us in. they gave us safety. we waited until things calmed down and then we left the shop. it may only be the second weekend of the premier league season in england but already the size of the job the new manchester united boss erik ten hag has is plain to see. while their big rivals manchester city were strolling to a 4—0 victory to go top of the table, united's new boss saw his team humilated by the same scoreline away at brentford. all four of the goals coming in a dreadful first half. it means united are currently bottom of the table with the worst goal difference in the league. ten hag has become the first manchester united manager in more than 100 years to lose his first two games. his next fixture is against liverpool who they lost 5—0 to when they last played at old trafford. of course i hoped on a better start. this start it doesn't make it easier. but still i have to believe to get it because i have seen good things in the last period, but the two games to now,
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i'm disappointed. swimming — and romania's david popovici has broken the 100 metre freestyle record at the european aquatic championships in rome. the seventeen—year—old double world champion sliced a twentieth of a second off the thirteen—year—old record — finishing in 116.86 seconds. he beat hungary's kristof milak into second place — with italy's alessandro miressi finishing third. here in the uk — the national trust's orford ness nature reserve on the suffolk coast is home to barn owls, brown hares and chinese water deer. but it's also home to some cold war secrets. the island which is open to the public for tours, was once used as a secret military test site. mike liggins went to have a look.
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arriving by ferry at orford ness, for 80 years the mess was home to a number of secret military establishments until it was purchased by the national trust in 1993. today, orford ness is a place of mystery. my guide, glen pearce, keen to show me a nuclear bomb. oh, keen to show me a nuclear bomb. 0h, 0k. keen to show me a nuclear bomb. 0h, ok. 50 keen to show me a nuclear bomb. 0h, 0k. ., 0h, ok. so the unique part of our collection, _ 0h, ok. so the unique part of our collection, the _ 0h, ok. so the unique part of our collection, the only - our collection, the only national trust spot with a nuclear bomb. this is an early 19705 nuclear bomb. this is an early 1970s model and this one was carried by a plane. about ten times the power of hiroshima in this one bomb. pm times the power of hiroshima in this one bomb.— this one bomb. an airfield was created on _ this one bomb. an airfield was created on orford _ this one bomb. an airfield was created on orford ness - this one bomb. an airfield was created on orford ness in - this one bomb. an airfield was| created on orford ness in 1913. between the wars the mess was involved in the development of radar and, involved in the development of radarand, yes, involved in the development of radar and, yes, written�*s nuclear bomb was tested here in the cold war era. the nuclear bomb was tested here in the cold war era.—
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the cold war era. the area we are in now. — the cold war era. the area we are in now, the _ the cold war era. the area we are in now, the atomic - the cold war era. the area we l are in now, the atomic weapons research establishment, we're looking at the nuclear bomb and what they were testing is that the casing fuse mechanisms would not actually go off underneath the plane. so testing for heat and shock vibration.— testing for heat and shock vibration. . , . , vibration. there was never any nuclear mass _ vibration. there was never any nuclear mass material- vibration. there was never any nuclear mass material on - vibration. there was never any nuclear mass material on the i nuclear mass material on the mess but there was high ness but there was high explosives. these laboratories were protected just in case. locally it is still known as the island of secrets and still spoken about in hushed tones. when you talk of suffolk in general, people hear the name orford ness but what we are told here what happens you now is still shrouded in mystery. today, orford ness is notjust about military history. it is also a haven for wildlife. there are hairs and chinese water dear and goals, of course. water dear and goals, of course-— water dear and goals, of course. ., ., ., ., course. local lad and i love bein: course. local lad and i love being outside _ course. local lad and i love being outside and - course. local lad and i love
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being outside and i - course. local lad and i love being outside and i love . course. local lad and i love - being outside and i love nature so this ticks all the boxes. and when you are out here, on your own after hours, what is it like? it your own after hours, what is it like? , ., ., , it like? it is amazing. truly bizarre. — it like? it is amazing. truly bizarre, amazing _ it like? it is amazing. truly bizarre, amazing views, i it like? it is amazing. truly - bizarre, amazing views, amazing spectacles of nature and quite eerie but excitingly so at the same time. to eerie but excitingly so at the same time-— eerie but excitingly so at the same time. ., , ., , , same time. to visit orford ness ou need same time. to visit orford ness you need to _ same time. to visit orford ness you need to book— same time. to visit orford ness you need to book online. - you need to book online. facilities are basic. there is no cafe but it is a magical place and well worth a visit. mike liggins, bbc news on orford ness. in some exciting new additions have made their debut at a zoo in gaza city. three extremely cute line cubs born on friday evening and i said to be in excellent condition. do that make zookeepers admit a lack of medication and food may make it difficult to care for them. one visitor said that the cubs were wonderful. quite cute. you can get more news on our website
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but for me and the rest of the team, thank you for watching and stay tuned right here to bbc news. hello. the heat does begin to ease in the week ahead. there will be more showers in the forecast as well but in the short—term we still have the met office amber warning for extreme heat in places, valid until the end of the day on sunday. still likely to see some impacts from the heat on both health and transport as well. a good deal of sunshine around through sunday morning, particularly across england and wales. showers developing though across northern ireland, pushing their way through the day up into parts of scotland, likely to be heavy and thundery. likely to see one to two showers developing across parts of wales in south—west england, most will be dry, though. some mist and low cloud clinging to the north—eastern coasts. temperatures will be the talking point once again. 35 or 36 celsius, the top
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temperature, across parts of south—east england. widely in the high 20s or low 30s celsius. the showers start to become more active as we go through sunday evening and overnight. they're starting to develop across north—west england, wales and south—west england. again, still heavy and thundery but falling onto dry ground. there may be problems with flash flooding in some places. and still a very muggy night. parts of southern england could have a tropical night again. temperatures not falling below 20 degrees celsius. as we head through monday, the low pressure starts to become more dominant, and we will start to see more frequent showers developing. now on monday once again, the main focus of the showers will be across scotland and northern ireland. again, they will be heavy and thundery, merging to give a longer spell of rain. but a greater chance we will see a few of those showers pushing their way across england and wales. not everyone will see them but there is a chance we could see some rain from those showers as we head through monday. a cooler feel across scotland and northern ireland on monday. still very muggy and very warm across much of england and wales, but the temperatures will be starting to fall down. as we head into tuesday, you can see we see more frequent showers across
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the north of england and into scotland, but also some showers, more frequent showers, developing across the southern half of england as well, so a greater chance that we will see some spells of rain on tuesday. and you will notice the temperatures are starting to come down, still warm but close to where they should be for the time of year. so through tuesday and wednesday, this area of low pressure is still close by — still the chance we will see some showers, some thunderstorms, but given how dry the ground is, it may well be that we'll see problems with flash flooding. but certainly in the days ahead, things will be turning cooler with a chance of some rain. bye— bye.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: the man suspected of attacking author sir salman rushdie has been charged with attempted murder and assault. hadi matar, of newjersey, pleaded not guilty. the writer was stabbed several times. he has been subject to islamist death threats since 1988 following publication of his novel the satanic verses. french firefighters have been tackling wildfires raging across the country, including a very large blaze near the south—western city of bordeaux. fire crews are exhausted from the unrelenting heat that has driven the worst wildfires for decades. experts say the extreme conditions are being driven by climate change. droughts have been declared in eight areas of england. the environment agency in the uk says that after the driest summer in nearly 50 years, it would take "weeks' worth
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of rain" to replenish water sources, while experts warn england's drought could last


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