tv BBC World News America PBS August 27, 2021 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT
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and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. announcer: and now, "bbc world news". ♪ laura: i am laura trevelyan in washington and this is "bbc world news america." security is tight around kabul airport following thursday's attack. 170 people died in the blast. >> those killed in this awful attack were trying to escape years of violence in afghanistan. instead, they became the latest victims in a country torn apart by bloodshed. laura: despite that bloodshed, flights out of kabulontinue. about 12,000 people room flown out in the last day -- people were flown out in the last day. >> we do not believe there was a
second explosion at or near the hotel, that it was one suicide bomber. laura: plus, the number of people in hospital with covid is breaking records in several u.s. states. we will speak live to the former head of the y white house covid response team. ♪ laura: welcome to "world news america" on pbs and around the globe. the white house says the u.s. is entering the most dangerous phase of the evacuation mission in afghanistan yet. there are just four days until u.s. forces are due to leave afghanistan. meanwhile, the number of people killed in thursday's blast has risen to 170. more than 180 were injured. our correspondent in kabul has the very latest. and a warning, his report
contains distressing images. >> distraught relatives search kabul's morgues, looking for their loved ones. >> this baby you managed to save. >> amongst those killed, a taxi driver london who traveled to kabul to try to help his family get inside the airport. his eldest daughter and youngest child are still missing. his wife was also killed. his brother was at the airport alongside him. >> i saw some small children on the river. it was so bad. it was doomsday for us. >> many of those we meet say their relatives were not killed in the blast but by firing in the confusion afterwards, they believe by foreign soldiers. >> somehow i saw an american soldier and the fact is there were turkish soldiers. the fight came from the bridges,
like the towers. >> from the soldiers. >> yeah, from the soldiers. >> america's dertment of defense did not reply to our request for comment. a suicide bombing claimed by the islamic state group ripped through the densely packed crowd, causing panic. i.s. has repeatedly launched devastating attacks in the city. the blast has left a two-year-old fighting for his life. this looks to be one of the deadliest incidents ever in this horrific conflict. so many of the victims, those who worked with the international community. nour mohammed had been employed alongside american forces. >> with the u.s. army for years, and the reason he lost his life. he was not killed by taliban. he was not killed by isis. he was by the shelling. >> how can you be sure? >> because of the bullet, the
bullet inside his head. right here. right to his ear. he didn't have -- doesn't have any injury. >> these are his eight children. he had hoped to give them a better life. instead, this afternoon, they set a final goodbye. those killed in this awful attack were trying to escape years of violence in afghanistan. instead, they became the latest victims in a country torn apart by bloodshed. tens of thousands of people have been flown out of the country, but now only foreign nationals are being allowed inside the airport. the brith government has acknowledged some of those who want to leave will be left behind, like this former interpreter. >> there is no place for us to stay. we are so worried about our future. i think it is not fair. it is like the t triumph of
their own heroes. >> these are the last days. for thos who have not made it out, a deeply uncertain future. bbc news, kabul. laura: the pentagon has changed its assessment of thursday's attack, now saying it was a single suicide bomber in one location and not two explosions. the pentagon spokesperson says the focus now is preventing further attacks within afghanistan and around the world. >> the direction that this department has is to not allow attacks on the homeland from afghanistan again and we are committed to that as well as counterterrorism operations around the world because the threat has metastasized outside afghanistan to other places where we have to maintain a focus and a degree of the rise of counterterrorism capability. laura: for more on the parentless situation in afghanistan, we are joined now by the former cia chief of counterterrorism for south and
southwest asia. he has written a new book called "the recruiter: spying and the lost art of american intelligence." u.s. officials say the next few days will be the most dangerous yet for the evacuation mission. do you see the biggest threat is still being the islamic state in afghanistan? >> at the moment, they are the biggest threat. they have the most to gain by conducting operations right now and have had a soft target in terms of the crowds trying to make their way there and the way western officials and soldiers and marines were outside the perimeter of the hard-line meeting with them. i w would say it was a surprise and i am sure they are looking at what they did and what went wrong and what went right just as we try to change our security protocols to prevent another attack. laura: do you think that the taliban will be trying to contain the threat from the islamic state themselves?
douglas: it is in their best interest to do. they are indeed rivals. that is not disingenuous to say. even though they really subscribe to the same fundamental philosophy, the differences are more in terms of rivalries, internal politics, and the like. they are both competing for resources. the taliban is threatened by the appeal that the islamic state has, which can draw from their own fighting force, their resources, and their materials. isis-k has benefited. whatever they do right now particularly with western forces right now comes to a grea embarrassment to the taliban. it feeds into their narrative how they serve as a better alternative as opposed to the taliban, the most hard-line of those in afghanistan. laura: what about this very difficult situation where the u.s. military are relying on the taliban to secure the perimeter of the airport? essentially, isn't the taliban head of security in kabul wanted by the u.s.? douglas: it is rather
problematic and awkward, yes. the head of the security of the taliban in kabul is someone who has a $5 million reward for justice on him, and he was in fact a principal emissary to al qaeda. he was also the printable emissary to the pakistani government. he basically ran the day-to-day operations, which means approving the suicide attacks, approving the kidnappings of westerners, that included a family some years ago who were released and more a couple years later. so it is awkward but it is a necessity. there is really not an alternative. for the moment, we need to rely on them for the security. traditionally in conflict zones and afghanistan in particular, there are several ways to have security. locals, police, military before they actually got to a british or american base. depending on the taliban means dealing with enemies, but it is a necessary part of putting
interest over emotions and dredges. -- grudges. laura: thank you so much for joining us. douglas: thank you for having me. laura: let's look now at the growing humanitarian crisis in afghanistan. the u.n. has toldhe bbc the country could fall into famine if it does not receive aid. the world food program estimates 40 million people are facing the threat of starvation. medical supplies are running out, too. bbc's south asia correspondent has more. >> in this hospital now guarded by the taliban lies an 18 month old. malnourished, his mother cannot afford to feed him. he was sent these pictures by a doctor in the northeast region of one of the country's poorest. there and across against him, we are told food and gas prices have risen since the taliban have taken charge.
millions were already on the brink of starvation. now, the u.n. says it urgently needs more money to avert a crisis. >> of guinness 10 stands -- afghanistan stands on the brink of another humanitarian disaster. without that money coming in, we will not be able to supply food to those 20 million people who are already poor. >> so there could be a famine? >> absolutely. that is what we will see if we cannot get our food bundles to them. but because of the drop, because of the conflict, people cannot save themselves. >> they just want to go. >> this week in the northern city, dozens have been boarding buses to get to kabul. the u.n. says the conflict has forced more than half a million afghans to flee their homes this year alone. >> the taliban are here also.
they want to let the people go out of the country. >> he is just one of them. his mother lives in india. she fled to delhi a decade ago after her husband was killed by the taliban. now she is terrified for her son. he is really scared. the taliban are beating people up in front of him every day, she says. they say they are not the same as before, but they are. >> the taliban have not changed. >> the dr. i talked to agrees the words from the taliban in kabul do not reflect the reality beyond. we changed his voice. >> as i am talking to you now, girls are not allowed to go to school where i am. many women are not allowed to work. >> even before the taliban took control, afghans were suffering. now, across the country, there
are real fears for the future. the world may have left, but afghanistan still needs help. laura: let's go to afghanistan now. our chief international correspondent is in kabul tonight for us. are people still trying to get to the airport despite those blasts? >> it is really extraordinary, laura. it is the measure of people's desperation, their sense that this is possibly the chance of a lifetime to get on a flight, to leave afghanistan, to give themselves and possibly their children a better future. even as the days are counted, i am still receiving messages from people saying "i got enough of the embassy, i need to get to the airport." and even though the taliban have made it absolutely clear that the only people who can get to the airport are people with foreign passports.
i am meeting so many afghans who say they have foreign visas but only have an afghan passport, and some don't even have that. but laura, we are seeing tonight on social media the taliban are already posting pictures, videos saying the foreign occupation has ended, the islamic government is at the airport. their vehicles are already moving right into the center of the military and civilian airfields. although the pentagon tells us the americans still control the gates, control the operations, but not for long out. laura: you are a veteran of reporting from afghanistan. how would you describe the mood tonight? >> afghans sadly have become used to living within every day violence. they got used to the targeted assassinations. they got used to the savage bombings of the kind that we saw at the airport last night.
they got used to saying with no hint of exaggeration, when i leave ho in the morning, i am not sure that i will come home at night. kiss your mother goodbye. hug your children. because it may be the last time. but this moment, i have never seen a moment so fraught anxiety and fear. of course, it is a small percentage of 40 million afghans, but that educated generation in particular, which came of age in the space provided by the international engagement over the last two decades, they fear and with reason they would lose almost everything they built up. it is not like losing your job. it is not like losing a loved one. it is like losing everything you know and hold dear about yourself. and who wouldn't be scared in a moment like this? laura: in kabul tonight. thank you. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's
program, reimagining the bard for the long night. the uk's first all-black, all-female shakespeare company makes its debut. laura: the u.n. secretary-general's warning that the conflict in ethiopia has spread beyond the region and the humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding. antonio guterres was speaking that 200 people were reportedly killed. >> these are some of the latest people forced to leave their homes in ethiopia. the 10 month war has spread south to far regions. the world's top diplomat is warning 80 minutes every catastrophe is unfolding before our eyes. >> while human suffering is growing with syracuse political and economic and humanitarian
situations in the region. all parties must recognize a simple truth, there is no military solution. >> despite international calls for a cease-fire, all sides seem intent on continuing to fight. laura: there is an alarming trend in america's battle against the covid pandemic. a number of states including texas and kentucky are now seeing a record number of hospitalizations. that means there are more severe cases in those states than ever before. florida has become one of the worst hit areas. it is shattering records in new cases, hospitalizations, and in deaths. on thursday, more than 900 people died from covid in florida. that is the most ever in a single day there. overall, the number of covid
patients in u.s. hospitals is the highest in eight months. for more, we are joined now by andy, who was the white house senior adviser for the cobit response team. thank you so much for joining us. are you concerned that the u.s. is in danger of going backwards in the battle against covid? >> i think delta has thrown the entire world for a very unpleant loop and the u.s. has been no exception. the southern part of the u.s. has been especially hard-hit. people have not been vaccinated here, of which about 27% of adults are especially vulnerable. as you reported, we are seeing record hospitalizations now throughout the south. i fear that as time passes, that will spread to other parts of the u.s. as well. laura: d the biden administration, which of course you were a key part, declare independence from the virus to soon, do you think now? andy: oh i think there is very
clear evidence we are not free of this virus. whether we were in the spring i think was due to the fact that we have not yet seen what has become a much more infectious variant in delta that spread around the world. the u.s. is no exception. the u.k. is now seeing another uptick. israel is seeing another uptick. of course, countries that have not had access to vaccines are having more significant issues. bangladesh and other parts of the world. the u.s. is not immune. just not responding in the same way. laura: to that point, the u.s. has been criticized for offering booster shots before much of the world can even get one dose. what is your response to that? andy: my response to that is the leaders of the g7 and the g20 need to make a serious concerted
commitment to vaccinating the globe. and i would say that even more clearly by march of 2022, that would be over 70% of the globe. the good news is that as of today, we vaccinated 5 million people -- 5 billion people. we need to do another 6 billion before march. it is possible. i know countries, the u.s. among them, are looking at the data and science and saying, we think a third rooster is appropriate. countries are going to tend to make decisions in the best interest of their taxpayers, but i don't think any country should be permitted to give a third rooster unless they commit -- third booster unless they commit to hitting these targets. i hope at the meeting in november that is what happens. laura: on this key question of what actually caused the pandemic we learned today from an unclassified u.s.
intelligence report that it is split and finds it inconclusive. how important is it that we know? andy: it is important. we have to know. but it is not the most important thing right now. in fact, we need to be careful that the fight betwe east and west and north and south do not get in the way of collaborating to vaccinate the globe. we have to see russia, the u.s., china all work together to vaccinate the globe or we won't be able to get there. we have to get to the origin of this virus. sometimes it takes decades, as it has with prior viruses. the chinese are notably secretive. we have to break them of that. but the same time, we have to fight the existing battle that people are depending on. today, there are people dying across the world. that should be job one job two is to trace -- that should be job one. job two is to trace where it
started. laura: thank you for joining us. andy: thank you. laura: superstar cristiano ronaldo is headed back to manchester united. the club agreed to pay $17 million for him. the deal is subject to personal terms, a visa. he left manchester in 2009 for real madrid. he has won over 30 trophies in his storied career. people in the u.s. state of louisiana have been preparing for the arrival of hurricane ida. it is do to make landfall this weekend with potentially devastating wind, rain, and storm surge. the mayor of new orleans has ordered people in low-lying areas to evacuate. to shakespeare now, my favorite subject. a new theater group in the u.k. wants to bring a love of the bard and his plays to a wider audience. the first ever all black, all-female company is now performing, as our reporter
reports. >> one of the most iconic scenes, romeo and juliet's passionate declaration of love. but now one theater company wants to shake shakespeare up. exploring the bard's work through different perspectives. >> the mask of night is on my face. >> shakespeare is very british, and that is such a massive part of british identity as well as the industry. it is like, where do we as black and black people and mixed-race fit within that and claiming a new narrative on what shakespeare could be? >> do you love me? >> there will be plenty more of this scenes from the theater company. the uk's first all black, all-female group, committed to reinventing shakespeare's most famous texts for modern-day audiences, which they believe will make theater more
inclusive, a place for everyone to relish new interpretations. >> summons thee to heaven. >> that is a way to modernize it, finding those themes and conflicts and the joy that happens in the black community and where that fits in with shakespeare. one of the videos we are doing in our first project explores child loss, black mortality rates. >> and all of their shs will be written, directed, produced, and acted by black women. >> there does seem to have been a lot of progress, particurly in the last two or three years, with the number of on-screen actors from more diverse backounds, peoe directing people in the production team. but how do you think that translates in theater? >> it is not just about what people are seeing on stage. it is also behind-the-scenes. black hair and makeup teams, it makes a difference to how
everyone feels onset. >> their first production available online this month is a series of short shakespeare scenes and monologues. as we come out of the pandemic, they are looking forward to being back on stage in other upcoming work. >> we are not just making theater for black audiences. they are the main focus, but it is something that can be enjoyed by the whole pot nation. laura: adina campbell reporting there on updating shakespeare. before we go tonight, let's update you on our top story. the u.s. says it will keep evacuating americans and afghans from kabul airport until the last moment despite continuing concerns about further terro attacks. u.s. officials today warned that more attacks are likely. reports from kabul now say as many as 170 people died in the suicide bombing at one of the gates of the kabul airport. pentagon officials clarified today it was actually one attack and not two, as previously
thought. i am laura trevelyan. thank youo much for watching "bbc world news america." ♪ narrator: funding for this presentation of this progr 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 ♪♪
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> nawaz: good evening. i'm amna nawaz. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight: high alert. evacuations face new challenges after the deadly attacks in kabul, with fears of more violence as the u.s. completes its withdrawal. then, an uncertain future. the supreme court blocks the latest eviction protections. we break down what that means for renters in need. and, its friday. david brooks and jonathan capehart on the fallout from the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan, and the latest on the january 6 commission. plus, family ties. we talk to famed actor and director sean penn-- and his daughter, dylan-- on their new film "flag day," and