tv BBC World News Outside Source PBS August 25, 2021 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
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and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. announcer: and now, "bbc world news". tion from kabut 31. ♪ ross: hello, i am ross atkins with outside source. evacuations from kabul are continuing and the u.s. is saying it will get all americans who want to leave out by the end of the month. secretary blinken: we are in communication multiple times a day through multiple channels. ross: americans estimat there are 10,000 people at the kabul airport hoping to get out. we will ask -- we will update you on the situation. a new report on covid-19 has been delivered to the white house. this is the latest attempt to find out if the virus passed
from an animal to a human or escaped from a lab. ♪ ross: at the state department in washington, the u.s. secretary of state has been giving an update on the situation in afghanistan. he has just completed that and is now taking questions from the journalists. let's listen in. >> what we are doing is very carelly tabulating everything we have, crosschecking, referencing different databases. we will have numbers for all of those categories in the days ahead after the initial efforts to get afghans out safely. with regard to the second part of your question about taking responsibility, i take responsibility. the president has said he takes responsibility, and i know all
of my colleagues across government feel the same way. i can tell you there will be 20 of time to look back at the last six or seven months, to look back at the last 20 years, and to look to see what we might have done differently. what we might have done sooner. what we might have done more effectively. but i have to tell you that right now, my entire focus is on the mission at hand, and it is -- there is going to be, as i said, plenty of time to do an accounting of this when we complete that mission. >> could you speak today about e future of the u.s. embassy in kabul? whether it will -- whether american diplomats will remain after the withdrawal on the 31st. more broadly, we are already seng women repressed by the taliban, people being attacked and intimidated, kept from getting to the airport. i wonder if you can outline any
concrete steps the united states is going to take to ensure that high risk afghans are not going to be forgotten by the united states. sec. blinken: with regard to our diplomatic engagement, we are looking at a series of options, and i'm sure we will have more on that in the coming days and weeks, but we are looking at a variety of options. as i said earlier, particurly because the effort to bring out of afghanistan those who want to leave does not end with the military evacuation planned on the 31st, we are very focused on what we need to do to facilitate the further departure of people who wish to leave afghanistan. that is primarily going to be a diplomatic effort, a consular effort, an international effort, because other countries feel the same way. and i'm sorry, the second part
of your question? wicks concrete steps you can give to people who are very worried -- >> concrete steps you can give to people who are very worried, understandably, that once the united states leaves they will no longer get safe passage to the airport. sec. blinken: the short answer is no, they will not be forgotten. we will use every diplomatic, economic assistance tool at our disposal, working hand-in-hand with the international community, first and foremost to ensure that those who want to leave afghanistan after the 31st ar able to do so, as well as to deal with other issues that need to be focused on, including counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance, and expectations of a future afghan government. i mentioned a few moments ago that we've got 114 countries
around the world to make clear to theiban the international expectation that the people will be able to leave the country after the military effort ends. we have lots of incentive and points of leverage with a future afghan government to help make sure that happens. i can tell you again, from my perspective, from the president's perspective, this effort does not end on the 31st. it will continue as long as it takes to get people out of afghanistan who wish to leave. >> how likely is it that the taliban will cooperate? sec. blinken: i am not going to give you a percentage. i can tell you the taliban has made their own commitments publicly and privately. they have a strong self interest in acting with a modicum of
sensibility going forward, but they will make their own determinations. >> the taliban right now, focusing on the mission right now, are not living up to their commitments. people are being stopped trying to get into the airport. i'm talking about women, sivs, other ghans, people with papers. they are being stopped outside the airport now in total bottlenecks which seem to rise to the level of what the president said was a contingency. we are loading planes but some are leaving without people. some people have private planes waiting for them with landing rights that can't get into the airport. beyond the sivs, there are lawyers, judges, women lawyers d educators. we told them for 20 years you can live up to their potential -- your potential, and now they
feel abandoned. i want to ask about local hires. we evacuated our and the sea and there have been cables back that i know you must be familiar with from people who feel completely the trade. there are thousands of people we rely on in embassies around the world. the message is we will not be loyal. they were not told about the evacuation. they were not put on choppers with our american aff. they have to force their way through taliban checkpoints and they get turned away at the airport. what is the message to people working for the u.s. government? veterans groups are angry about the siv's, and there are millions of afghan women who have told their daughters in many ways of a future which the taliban are already denying.
there are horrifying examples from provinces of people being targeted door to door, people in fe houses being sought out. all this promise that people would be safe. a taliban spokesperson said stay in your homes because we haven't told all of our people how to treat women, how to respect women. they also say you can go to school, you can work as long as you comply with sharia law. which, under their inrpretation, is the most stream -- extreme example of the islamic code seen anywhere in the world. sec. blinken: a few things. first, of the 82,000 plus people who have so far been evacuated, about 45%, 46% have been women and children. we are intensely focused particularly on making sure we get women out of harm's way.
second, with regards to women and other afghans at risk going forward, we will use -- i will use every diplomatic, economic, political assistance tool at my disposal, working closely with allies and partners who feel very much the same way to do everything possible to uphold their basic rights. that is going to be a relentless focus of our actions going forward. ross: that is antony blinken, u.s. secretary of state taking questions about afghanistan, having already made a statement. in that statement, he emphasized the great effort americans are making to ecuate u.s. nationals and afghans who would like to leave within the few days that remain up until the 31st of august deadline. he also emphasized -- and this is something i have not heard
said so explicitly -- but over 100 countries have made representations to the taliban insisting that after the 31st of august to those who would like to leave the country are still allowed to do so. he also talked about certain points of leverage. we will have to see what those points are. but he was clear. he expects people beyond that deadline to still be able to leave and said the u.s. will support those who will like to. -- who would like to. the biden administration is still very much emphasizing the ccesses of the evacuation effort. we heard it there and saw it in his tweet. he said approximately 90,000 people were evacuated as of -- approximately 9000 people were evacuated tuesday. that means the total is over 82,000. there are still people waiting. some of them, as you can see in this footage, are at the airport.
>> i can also tell you there are more than 10,000 people at this time at the airport awaiting departure. this is a snapshot in time, and as we said yesterday, it will continue to change as more people are able to come onto the airfield and as flights depart. ross: they only include people at the airport, not beyon the perimeter or anywhere else at kabul. it seems some people will not get onto a flight before august 31. this is a headline from tuesday saying how many peop in afghanistan need to be rescued? the number remains esive. that ambiguity is concerning for governments. on tuesday, there was an emergency g7 meeting chaired by u.k. prime minister boris johnson. western leaders appealed to president biden to extend the deadline. those appeals were rejected.
here is our correspondent on the impact of that decision. >> ministers in the u.k. have been very clear. they have been saying for a week they know they will have to leave some people behind. there is a real sense of sorrow about that in the u.k. government. they do feel it is a failure in some sense, that there are people who will have helped british forces who will not be able to get out. ross: another effort -- another factor driving the effort to speed up the evacuation is safety. president biden detailed potential threats. president biden: the longer we stay, and isis affiliate in afghanistan is the sworn enemy of the taliban as well, every day we are on the ground is a day they are seeking to attack the airport, u.s. and allied
forces, and innocent civilians. ross: let's g more on this from the bbc security correspondent. >> they call themselves isis profits. -- prophets. they have carried out a number of attacks. they have been around since january of 2015. today have attacked afghan security forces, the u.s., and the taliban, even when the taliban were themselves insurgents. they are basically enemies of everybody, and they are looking for destruction and chaos. ross: poland has announced it will not evacuate any more civilians from kabul. the deputy foreign minister says ter a long analysis on the security situation, he cannot risk the lives of diplomats and soldiers. for afghans, the vast majority will remain after the deadline.
then we face a range of challenges, among them ongoing drought and rising food prices. from kabul, here is the bbc's chief international correspondent. >> tens of millions of afghans have no way out. they have no choice. some of them don't want to go. i mean, i am meeting educated afghans, journalists and other professionals who decided they don't want to be a refugee. they don't want an even more uncertain life abroad. they want to stay here and see if it works. people will stay, they will wait to find out what it is like to live again under taliban rule. ro: as you have been hearing, the u.s. secretary of state antony blinken has been giving an update on the situation in afghanistan. he is taking questions from journalists. the u.s. is still trying to get the vast majority of people out by august 31.
after that deadline, he still expects citizens and nationals who have chosen to remain to have a good chance of getting out still. ♪ >> he is the first african-american to win the presidential nomination oa major party. exactly 45 years ago to the day, martin luther king declared "i have a dream." >> as darkness falls tonight, and unfamiliar light will appear in the southeastern sky, a bright, orange disc. >> there is no doubt this is an important milestone. >> it will take months and billions of dollars to repair what katrina achieved in just
hours. >> three weeks is the longest the great clock has been off-duty and 117 years. it was with great satisfaction that the clockmaker swung the pendulum to set the clock going again. ♪ ross: hlo, i am ross atkins with outside source. we are here in the bbc newsroom. our lead story comes from washington, d.c. secretary of state antony blinken says up to 1500 americans may still need to evacuate afghanistan but the taliban has committed to allowing departures after august 30 first. the bbc understands that a review of the intelligence into the origins of covid-19 has been delivered to the white house. the report is unlikely to contain anything like a smoking
gun. i should dampen expectations. the washington post is reporting it has been told the document is inconclusive about the origins of the virus, including whether the pathogen jumped from an animal to a human or escaped from a lab in central china. meanwhile, scientists at the world health organization have described it as a process that is stalled, saying the window of opportunity for conducting the inquiry is closing fast and some of the study is rendered biologically impossible. an intelligence report is being prepared for everyone to see. china will be paying close attention. let's hear more from our security correspondent. >> this was requested by the president after he looked at previous intelligence in may about the origins of the virus. that previous report could not
come to a conclusion about whether the virus was naturally curring, transmitted from animals into human, or the result of an accident in the lab. there was not much confidence about either conclusion. president biden asked his intelligence community to look again, to redouble their efforts of looking at that intelligence, of using new techniques, asking allies, intercepting communications, all of these. the sense of the report being delivered yesterday was always that it was unlikely to come to a firm conclusion. that seems to be the case according to some initial leaks of media reports out of washington today, which are suggesting that it does not come to a definitive conclusion. ross: thank you for that. wednesday was the first full day of sports at the paralympic games in tokyo. just like the tokyo olympics, this is happening a year late
use of covid. 4400 disabled athletes are taking part in the competition. that is a record. they come from 160 different countries. as with the olympics, they will be competing and largely empty stadiums because japan is still dealing with a surgeon covid cases. but by and large they believe holding the games is not a risk. >> there is no clation between the rise in cases and the presence of the olympics. the numbers in other regions of japan are higher than the numbers in tokyo. ross: here is the key moment from today's sport. british cyclist sarah story won her 15th metal -- gold medal. her first was as a swimmer almost 30 years ago in barcelona in 1992. just incredible. also incredible is the egyptian
table tennis player. he played his first matchn wednesday. he holds his bat with his mouth, serves with his foot, and is very, very good. he will have a chance to play again. rachel latham has more of the day's from tokyo. >> the first gold medal of the paralympic games went to australia. it was page graco in the 3000 meter individual pursuit who took that gold medal. she started off in athletics and only moved to cycling in 2019. this year in tokyo is the first time she has competed on the world stage in cycling. her teammate also took a gold medal for australia. and theorld record. and she is in her 40's. australia continued to dominate in the pool, winning eight
metals, four of them being a gold. staying at the pool, an athlete from russia's paralympic committee not only got the gold medal, she broke the first world record of these games in the aquatic center. a brazilian swimmer at his fourth paralympic games has already announced these will be his final games. he took the bronze medal in the freestyle. ross: u.s. secretary of sta antony blinken has been speaking in the last hour. he talked about u.s. citizens still in afghanistan and what will happen after the august 31 withdrawal deadline. sec. blinken: as the president said yesterday,e 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 we must remain in the
country beyond that date. but let me be crystal clear about this. there is no deadline on our work to help any remaining citizens who decide they want to leave to do so, along with the many afghans who have stood by us and want to leave and have been unable to do so. ross: quite a lot to take in during the briefing. what would you make out was the most significant? >> he did spend a lot of time talking about the post august 31 reality, saying as you heard there that they would not be evacuating afghans and had expectations they could still get out of the country, that they would use tools to get american citizens and afghans to leave after the deadline. economic assistance, diplomatic recognition, any kind of pressure they could put to bear.
he said the taliban has made public and private commitments to that end and they would do whatever they could to hold them to account. he also said there was discussion in the region about keeping the airport operating, countries who would be operating it. turkey has been talked about in the past. there was some suggestion qatar might be involved. the post august 30 one presents for diplomats, would the american embassy stay open? he said they were exploring many options and would make that decision. ross: i was interested to hear him saying he feels the u.s. will have an option to exert some influence over afghanistan after the end of august, but he didn't really explain how the u.s. would do that. >> he says the same thing other
western countries are saying, that they have various ways to put pressure on the taliban. development assistance, economic assistance. the country depends on financial aid. that's a big one. as far as the u.s. is concerned, it has a fair bit of leverage on that score. they have a fair bit of economic clout if that makes a difference to thealiban. they have said all along they don't want to be a pariah state. in fact, they have that to wield as pressure as well. those are the types of things he has talked about more specifically. he has made the point that americans have been talking to the taliban for several years with this peace, so to speak. they hava process in place.
as you have reported yourself, the head of the cia went to talk to the taliban leader. he said they will continue to use those contacts to press u.s. interests. ross: we will leave it there. thank you for joining us. barbara was live with us from the state department just as antony blinken, secrary of state, first gave a briefing and then took questions from journalists. the things worth emphasizing our that american -- are that the americans are still working hard to get everyone out by the 31st of august. it was interesting to hear how much emphasis there was on the fact that if some americans decide to stay past that deadline but wish to come home, or afghans wish to leave the country, america and mr. blinken says over 100 countries expect
the taliban to allow that to happen into september and beyond. thank you for watching. as ever, there is more on narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: financial services firm, raymond james. narrator: funding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ ♪ narrator: you're watching pbs. ♪ da-da-da-duh-da-da-da♪ ♪ da-da-da-da-da-da ♪♪
♪ ♪ narrator: funding for this presentation of this program is provided by... narrator: cfo. caregiver. eclipse chaser. a raymond james financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life well planned. narrator: funding was also provided by, the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum kovler foundation; pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs.