tv DW News LINKTV August 5, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT
tonight, athens and the acropolis under threat from wildfires. flames continue to spread. southern europe is facing its worst fires in decades and scientists warned this could be the new normal. also coming up. >> i have support from the whole world and this support makes a much stronger. >> the belarusian sprinter tells
us she is happy to be in poland after being forced to drop out of the olympics. she said that going home was not an option. and the cleric is sworn in as the iranian president as tensions increased. he is promising to save his country from crippling sanctions without giving into foreign demands. the end of an era. a football star will be leaving the barcelona football club. brent: to all of you around the world, welcome. a record heat wave is fueling
devastating wildfires across much of the southern mediterranean and eastern europe. hundreds of blazes have broken out. italy, croatia, greece, bulgaria, turkey, kosovo, and ukraine are tackling dozens of wildfires. scientists have linked them largely to the intense heat which they say is made more severe by global warming. grace's prime minister since the country is facing an unprecedented crisis. the flames have even threatened a key archaeological site. >> it out quickly. that was the message to residents in this community 30 kilometers from athens. firefighters have been struggling to get this latest brace -- blaze under control. hours earlier, the flames came
close to the site of ancient olympics. scores of fires are still raging. rescuers are exhausted after working nearly nonstop. many blame climate change as one of the main triggers of the fires. they are hitting many regions depending on tourism at a crucial time which were already battered by the pandemic. in turkey, a wall of fire surged toward a power plant on the coast. thousands of residents fled. by land and by sea. some refused to go. >> if this gets more extreme, we will leave, but we don't want to be the first. we were born in this region. we have always lived here. we have our workplaces, our
flats, i also work in tourism. what should i do? >> where do you want us to go? we live here, this is our home. our last solution would have been to throw ourselves into the seat but thank god that didn't happen. we stayed home and our phones on. eventually, after nearly half a day, the power plant was spared. turkey has seen its worst wildfires in decades. they have scorched untold hectares of land. temperatures have topped 40 degrees celsius for days. on sicily, dozens of fires have been burning. extreme heat his fueled these blazes, but officials say arson is to blame as well. with summer half over, there seems little respite insight.
>> we have team coverage of the wildfires tonight. earlier, i spoke to our correspondent in southwestern turkey and another in greece. >> even for the greeks, these temperatures are unbearable. the intensity of the sun, you cafeel the it is harmful. people stay inside. you can see the empty roads here. the tourist sites, this is what the govement decided will remain closed during the hottest hours of the day. this was definitely a difficult decision for the prime minister to make after the corona lockdown that hit the country hard. to him, the most important thing was to guide greece into a short but smooth and lucrative tourist season.
with the fires and temperatures, it is hard for people to enjoy the beauty of the country. >> we have been talking all week and the situation has been going from bad to worse. is it the same tonight? >> i am in front ofhe power planmentioned in your report. the situation seems to be under ntrol after fes spread to the site yesterday threatening the electricity supply ofearly 800,000 people in the area. we were not allowed access to see the damages caused by the fire, but authorities said the main unit wasn't damaged. the entire area had to be evacuated last night. we also had leave our hotel. people were trying to get out, only taking the most necessary things wh them. now we are being told by the
local authorities that this evacuation order has not been lifted and that is probably because the overall situation remains tense. there are at least 12 active fires here where i am and ao in the neighboring province. firefighting operations continue. >> many of the fires are close to densely populated areas. how are they dealing with people and fire being so close together? >> we have seen the footage from athens. thick clouds hanging over the city and people breathing toxic fumes in the greek capital. authorities keep sending messages informing people about the health hazards, informing people about behavior not making open fires and staying inside.
authorities depend on the cooperation of the people. we are still seeing these dramatic images from the ancient site of olympia where firefighters don't seem to be able to control the flames. on the contrary, the flames are extending. today alone, 19 villages around olympia needed to be evacuated. you can see how much impact the fire has on the people here losing their livelihoods every day and firefighters not just battling the flames, but also logistics. >> it is much the same situation where you are. we know that president erdogan has pledged to do everything that is needed, but he is also facing criticism. >> the cricism directed toward
the president and his government is gwing louder with every day. it is coming from the opposition, coming from local people who have lost everything in the flames. it is coming from those who are taking to social media to express their anger. some have called for the president to step down. some are saying the authorities reacted too late when the blazes erupted more than a week ago. they were not wl-equipped enough in terms of firefighting infrastructure. although they knew that this area is prone to fires. turkey got help from abrd, but the government strategy is to reject criticism or redirect it. brent: thank you to our correspondence. here is a look at some of the
other stories making headlines. eyewitnesses say rebel forces have taken control of a town, site famous for its 12th-century churches carved out of the rock. this suggests forces are advancing. the eu is calling for a permanent cease-fire in afghanistan following the taliban's latest attacks. eight civilians were killed and others wounded in kabul this week. the taliban is warning they may lunch were -- more attacks. the white house says the u.s. may soon require all foreign visitors to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. it is part of the plan to ease restrictions for international travelers. most foreign nationals have not been allowed in the u.s. the pandemic again. the belarusian sprinter who
refused to return home early from the olympics says she is happy to be in safety and poland. she arrived in warsaw on wednesday days after accusing belarusian officials of forcing her to fly home. she said she fears for her life if she returns to belarus after criticizing her team managers. poland has offered her humanitarian beset. -- visa. our reporter spoke with her in warsaw. >> welcome. how are you? >> i feel really good because i have support from the whole world and this support makes me much stronger and i am here in poland and i feel myself in safety and i am happy to be here.
>> when you're thinking of what happened and future, what is your first doc? what are you dreaming of now? >> i am dreaming to continue my sport career. come want to compete in the next olympic games. it was my big dream even before the situation. >> could you explain what happened in tokyo? who threatened you? how was the situation when you have the information that you had to go back to belarus? who was it and what did he or she tell you? >> they told me our main coach, he sees me as someone they decided should go home and it is not his decision.
they had to transport me to the airport. >> we are joined now by a political analyst in stockholm. it's good to have you on the program. this case has received a lot of attention around the world. will it lead to consequences inside belarus? >> i do believe that there will be no harsh consequences. when it comes to the population, it will become threatened and feared as it becomes every time when something international happens like that. that is the first time when the olympic athlete was threatened in the way that she was. there will be some kind of consequences on the international level, i don't believe the belarus population
will be affected. >> she is now in poland. how could this affect relations between the eu with belarus and russia? >> during the last year, we have seen so many belarusians fleeing and getting humanitarian assistance or political asylum. i believe this is just an ordinary case in a way of procedures. of course, it is allowed case wh it comes to media attention because the first case when it comes to the olympics, at the same time i don't belve it will worsen relations even more even though it does harm the image of those officials themselves. >> it is no secret that the president of belarus, he enjoys
the backing of russia. is there any possibility that we are going to see regime change in belarus as long as vladimir putin remains in power? >> it is difficult to speculate. we can discuss the case in terms of the cold war as big global powers. at the same time, we have seen vladimir putin was unable to influence lukashenko in a broad spectrum. he was only able to provide him with some kind of financial assistance when it comes to credits to support the economy. the same time, you don't see that vladimir putin is willing or able to influence the regime change in della reese. -- in belarus.
brent: we appreciate your time. iran has a new president. the ultraconservative cleric took the oath of office today. foreign guests attended the inauguration which was broadcasted live on state television. he takes over from a moderate and faces an economy crippled by u.s. led sanctions. tensions are high with the u.s. and israel preparing for possible confrontations. joining us from washington is an advisor on iranian policy. the biden administration, do you think it's going to seek to swiftly confront toronto now that he has been sworn in? >> i don't think so. he has made clear that he wants
to join negotiations and that is the preferred path forward for the biden administration as well. it is clear that the job has become more difficult now with him coming in which is part of the reason why many who have pointed out to the biden administration they should have pursued democracy -- diplomacy sooner than they did, this situation it was entirely predicted if diplomacy wasn't pursued fast. the biden administration has been clear that return to the jcpoa is essential for the u.s.. >> let's talk about sanctions. here is part of what he said. >> the sanctions imposed against
the iranian nation must be lifted. we will support any diplomatic plan that supports that goal. brent: what would be achieved in loosening the current u.s. sanctions imposed on iran by donald trump? >> those sanctions would only be lifted if there was an agreement that the united states comes back into the nuclear deal and the iranians sees the activity that are in violation of the agreement. the sanctions lifting is again just as it was with the signing the jcpoa, something that would only come if the iranians agree to restrictions on their program. he is talking about getting the sanctions lifted. the question is, will he drop such a hard bargain trying to prove that he is more effective than the previous government?
brent: what is at stake for iran if they failed to have a meeting of the minds? >> there is a tremendous amount at stake. at the end of the day, the vent -- the dynamic that was in play in 2012 and 2013 when president obama decided to invest in diplomacy are still in play today. if there is no such agreement, they will gravitate toward a military confrontation. it would be disastrous for the united states and iranians. it would also put an end to the effort they have put into play to reduce its military footprint in the middle east. the american public wants to see the troops coming home but that will not be a reality, that will not take place unless there is some form of agreement that once
again puts into place these restrictions on iran's nuclear program and list sanctions. >> the president also spoke about relations with neighboring countries. >> i extend the hand of friendship and brotherhood to all countries in the region. especially our neighbors. brent: is it possible that his aim could be to reach peaceful agreements with all of iran's neighbors including saudi arabia and israel? >> with saudi arabia, it certainly is possible. th are having a dialogue taking place and iraq now that is making some successes. there is a tremendous amount of problems left. it is a positive thing that they are engaged in that diplomacy and it is also positive that he is reaffirming his commitment to
it. that diplomacy will not be able to be successful if on the other hand you see arising of tensions in other areas. brent: as always, we appreciate your time and your insight. here's a look at the other stories making headlines. a leader of one of the worlds wealthiest criminal organizations has been arrested in spain. he was detained in a joint operation today. officials say he was carrying fake identification, six cell phones and or than 6000 euros in cash. mexico is suing gun makers and distributors for $10 billion in damages. the suit filed in a u.s. court alleges that gun companies have facilited largscalecum --
smuggling of guns into mexico. in sports, we start with football. leah no messy will part ways with fc barcelona. that despite the club reaching a deal on a new contract. they reportedly needed to restructure to complete the deal and they were unable to do that. he is from argentina. he joined twitch when years ago. -- he joined 21 years ago. he has won six times is the best player in men's football. a sports journalist and editor-in-chief of a german
website joins me now. i assume this news is hard for you to deal with. >> thank you for having me. it came out of nowhere. nobody expected it. i would say not only e city of barcelona is in shock, but the entire football world. brent: what has this player meant to barcelona, to the world of football and to fans such as yourself? >> he is the best plar at the club of all time. many are saying he is the best football player ever. leaving his boyhood club where he played 21 years is huge news. it is shocking, devastating for fans. therefore, the times are changing. there is a change coming for
barcelona. we will see how the club will deal with it. brent: if the reports are correct, it was too expensive to make this new contract happen. if you look at it from a sterile way, it looks like he loves his money or than barcelona. >> the club says in his press release that the player wanted to stay in barlona the club want to keep him but they can't ford to ep him because of the financial regulations, the salary cap in the spanish otball league. it is a money issue. that's not a good look on him, some would say. >> ready think he is going? he is 34. can he be after spending his entire career with just one club? >> there are certainly clubs who
can afford him. a certain french club can surely afford him. manchester can afford him. we would have to say if he ends up at one of these clubs, i would assume so. there are rumors going on that there are still negotiations behind the scenes with him and barcelona. we will have to wait and see what is happening. brent: we appreciate your time tonight. thank you. let's turn to the olympics in tokyo. after a terrible start, the u.s. basketball team has stumbled into the gold-medal gig. the u.s. trailed at halftime before kevin durant helped them to pull away by 19 points.
the french passed slovenia by a single point. in the pool, it was perfect tense for a 14-year-old in women's diving. a woman from china became the sports second youngest chinese gold-medal winner. she dedicated her victory to her sick mother. at the olympic stadium, a jamaican provided the drama in the 110 meter hurdles. wearing yellow on the left, surprised the runner from the u.s. on the right to win a true fault -- photo finish. jamaica claimed a third gold in these games and track and field. here is a reminder of the top story.
>> ♪ >> a french court has given the green light to the controversial health pass. from next monday, all adults will have to show proof of vaccine status to attend restaurants and cafes. melbourne has imposed its sixth lockdown, joining sydney in brisbane in renewed restrictions to come back the delta variant. two thirds of the country's population are now affected by such measures. >> the turkish coast guard has evacuated villagers from a smoldering power plant.