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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 21, 2021 7:00pm-7:31pm BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines at 19:00pm. crowds continue to gather outside kabul airport, amid reports of chaotic scenes — as the us advises its citizens not to travel there until they are asked, because of security threats outside the gates. senior taliban figures — including the group's co—founder, mullah baradar — are in kabulfor talks about establishing a new government. greece has erected a 25 mile fence on its border with turkey amid warnings of many afghan civillians fleeing their country. there have been clashes between australian police and anti—lockdown demonstrators in sydney and melbourne. animal welfare campaigners have welcomed new government proposals to stop puppy smuggling.
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the us embassy in afghanistan, is advising americans not to travel to kabul airport, unless they've been instructed to do so, because of "potential security threats" at the gates. thousands of people are still massed outside the perimeter, desperate to board flights out of the country. it comes as the taliban's co—founder and head of its political wing, mullah abdul ghani baradar, arrived in kabul, for talks on forming a new afghan government. here's frankie mccamley. chaos of consuming clouds near kabul airport. at the front, reports bodies are carried away from the crush, with us fighting for their lives. clear signs of tension is mounting. this man threatening people with a whip.
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the us is now advising its citizens not to travel to the airport unless specifically told to, but even those can't get through. translation: we have got a legal |visa, many people who are coming | here don't have the right documents, but we have got the visa and they won't let's through. this morning, a plane carrying 200 evacuees, mainly security guards from the british embassy arrived in brize norton. in hiding amid the security guard tells me he and other colleagues have been left behind. we feel abandoned, we can't stay in our home, it is dangerous. sometimes i can't look at my kids. i was the one that putters at such high risk. if i knew this company would do this to us, i would never have joined. outside, banks are closed for the seventh day in a i’ow. there is no cash in the machines.
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and hospitals are not running at full capacity because women are not turning up. the taliban's co—founder is now in the afghan capital, kabul. mullah abdul ghani baradar is expected tojoin talks on establishing a new government. so far, britain has evacuated just under 2,500 people, but time is running out as fears grow for those not here, in hiding, worried for their lives. let's speak to the shadow foreign secretary lisa nandy — who this evening has published a letter she's written to the foreign secretary — asking his to urgently step up the evacuation efforts from afghanistan. good to have you with us. what more specifically would you like to see the foreign secretary do? well, my office is in touch with hundreds of people at the moment many coming directly to me to my inbox and
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what's up and friends in afghanistan, raising many of the issues that your report is put out there. the fact that people are being beaten, shot at and it checkpoints people are being asked to carry documentation that links them to the united kingdom in order to prove their eligibility that is documentation that makes them a target for the child evaluate checking those documents. their makeshift camps that have sprung up by people are being beaten even reports of rapes. i have been asking the government today to step up those efforts and work with allies to see if we can open up a safe corridor. the united states has done that and it may be possible for us to get our people safe passage through. need some security and support at the airport and the hotel where applications are being processed. we need more flexibility about the documents people are being asked to provide and step up the capacity that we have got so i have
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made a series of suggestions in the letter tonight and ijust made a series of suggestions in the letter tonight and i just very much hope that somebody is listening. is hope that somebody is listening. is it not very much at the sort of behest of the americans who are in operational command as to the speed at evacuations can happen in the speed at which people are allowed to the gate to be processed. is not beyond the british government's control more in the hands of the americans at this stage? the americans — americans at this stage? the americans are _ americans at this stage? tue americans are critical americans at this stage? tte americans are critical to americans at this stage? ttj: americans are critical to this not least because we're going to be able to evacuate all of those british nationals by the 31st of august which is the date that the agreement the americans have the taliban that they can use the airport so we need they can use the airport so we need the americans to help us to extend that deadline. the taliban. we also need help to get people through the checkpoints to the airport and processing centre as well. we would
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not want to start from here. we should be in a far better place than this but we have limited capacity and we need to work with our allies. 0ne and we need to work with our allies. one of the suggestions are made tonight is that we have had repeated reports from aid agencies of planes leaving kabul half—full are virtually empty and i think that is because we have limited time on the runway below the runway is so crowded. could we be working with other countries trying to evacuate their citizens to make sure that just getting people onto planes as quickly as possible and set up processing centres outside. we have only a few days left until that agreement expires and we have the step up efforts. just agreement expires and we have the step up efforts-_ agreement expires and we have the step up efforts-— step up efforts. just within the last few hours _ step up efforts. just within the last few hours the _ step up efforts. just within the last few hours the eu's - step up efforts. just within the last few hours the eu's foreign policy chief has warned that he says that it policy chief has warned that he says thatitis policy chief has warned that he says that it is mathematically impossible to evacuate all the allied afghans and british citizens, us citizens and british citizens, us citizens and foreign nationals by the 31st of
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august. what you take from that? that effort should be to extend the agreement with the taliban leaders who currently control the situation there ought to find other ways? what is your take? we there ought to find other ways? what is your take?— is your take? we should try to extend that — is your take? we should try to extend that agreement - is your take? we should try to | extend that agreement beyond is your take? we should try to - extend that agreement beyond the sist extend that agreement beyond the 31st and that means you'll need some kind of military presence in the country in order to make sure that is upheld. that is one of the reasons why the united states is so important that if all of their troops leave in the 31st of august that will be very, very difficult. i have been talking to a number of embassies in the region because those land borders are also important in many of those countries are struggling with the numbers of people already in their countries and they need other countries like the united kingdom and european union to step up and reach some kind of agreement that we will do our
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part that when there's refugee camps are overwhelming those countries that we are not simply going to turn away which would help make sure people can get across borders right now. i spoke to aid workers yesterday and one of the problems they have got is they have got safe houses operating for many afghan women across the country who have been targeted and are fleeing but they are funded by the uk government and there is conditions and the funding which means they cannot actually help to extend those so they are looking to the uk government to drop those conditions always in those conditions and what they can actually do in order that they can actually do in order that they can actually do in order that they can get health and safety to people right now.— they can get health and safety to people right now. thank you very much. people right now. thank you very much- let _ people right now. thank you very much- let me — people right now. thank you very much. let me bring _ people right now. thank you very much. let me bring you - people right now. thank you very much. let me bring you an - people right now. thank you very l much. let me bring you an update because we had a statement from the foreign office in response to lisa's letter saying that the government's
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top priority is to do all we can to deliver on our obligations to british and those who have helped us to get them out as quickly as possible. since sunday, they go on to say, we have evacuated more than 2000 people from afghanistan including british nationals and afghan staff. that is from a foreign office spokesperson sending is that 0ffice spokesperson sending is that statement in the last few minutes. today, one of the taliban's most prominent leaders returned to afghanistan after years in exile. what do we know about him? well, he was one of the four men who founded the taliban back in 1994, and became a lynchpin of the insurgency, after the taliban were toppled by the us—led invasion in 2001. then, in 2010, he was captured in a joint us—pakistani raid. but he was released in 2018. it was hoped he would encourage the taliban to engage in peace talks with them. fast forward 2 years —
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and he signs a deal; not with the afghan government, but with the trump administration. it culminates in the withdrawal of us troops. we know what happens next. the taliban quickly take control of afghanistan. and then, after years in exile, he's finally able to return to the country. leading afghan politician abdullah abdullah has been taking part in the talks in kabul with taliban leaders. he posted these pictures on his social media. mr abdullah — who is chairman of afghanistan's high council for national reconciliation — said the former president of the country hamid karzai was also in attendance. mr abdullah said the �*security of the people' and �*inclusive political process�* were discussed in the meeting. he said respect for national values, including the flag, was raised too. 0ur security correspondent frank gardner has more on the taliban and says there have been reports of violence against afghan citizens. there are two questions that float to the surface here. there are a number of really chilling and disturbing reports which the un
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secretary—general mentioned about people being coerced. door—to—door hunting down of people from the former regime and the question is, othersjust one offs former regime and the question is, others just one offs by a few hot—headed militants acting on their own or of a secret order issued from above? the big question, i think, is referring to what you are referring to there, the arrival in kabul, is the new taliban really reformed? are they actually changed? it depends which he want to take. the chief of defence staff, britain�*s chief of defence staff, britain�*s chief of defence staff, britain�*s chief of defence staff has been on the more optimistic side they�*ve learned their lessons and seen how unpopular they been with many people and they�*re going to try to be more inclusive. cynics would say actually, this isjust window dressing, it isjust lip actually, this isjust window dressing, it is just lip gloss. they�*re saying the things the international community want to hear one�*s international attention and focus moves of afghanistan they will
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revert to type, oppressing women and imposing strict hardline rule. we simply don�*t know the answer yet. we can guess but we do not know. the situation in the city is fluid and dynamic and you have seen the images over the last 2a, 48 hours yourself of the situation outside the perimeter of the airport and it changes. it changes almost by the hour and it changes in locations around the airport. it is very, very fluid and dynamic. i don�*t want to speak for the state department, obviously, but like our military commanders, they are going to make decisions in real time about what is in the best interest of innocent civilians that have need to get to the airport and want to get inside the security gates. this will change every day. there will be modifications to our assessment in what we think is in
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the best interests. we have said from the very beginning of this that we are going to try to do this in a safe and orderly way and that means making sure that nobody gets hurt. what you are seeing is a prudent notification to make sure that whatever movement there is to the jobs from outside the airport is done as safely as possible and that people have the information that need to make the best decisions for themselves going forward. the us army�*s major general william taylor gave an update on how it is helping its nationals and afghans leave the country. the airport remains secure. us military personnel currently oversee flight operations in both us military, contracted aircraft, as well as foreign aircraft continue
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to operate within kabul airport. additionally, the us military has maintained the gate security at major gates and supported our state department colleagues in the processing of individuals to prepare for evacuation flights out of afghanistan. critical to getting americans and afghans at risk out of the dive situation requires additional space at intermediate spaces and safe havens at other locations. this impacts our throughput, as i discussed yesterday. two days ago, if you recall, the us military lifted nearly 6000 evacuees in a single day. in the last 2a hours. six planes and 32 charters departed kabul and through this combined effort, the total passenger count was 3800. also in the past 2a hours, a number of c 17 is a moving,
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providing critical relief that will increase our input to those intermediate staging venues and finally, in the past 2a hours, three flights landed at an international airport. there are no afghans in just one week, since beginning this operation, have left afghanistan and will be transitioned to fort bliss today for further processing in this process. our correspondent barbara plett usher gave us her reaction to the briefing — and the message being given to americans trying to leave the country a lot of the questions were about this warning that the us embassy put out say not to come to the airport unless instructed to because of security threats which is a tougher message from the embassy than the ones they have been sending out so far. the pentagon officials were
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asked about that quite a lot and they did not give specific details about what this threat was. there are unnamed us officials being quoted in the american media just recently saying that one of the biggest current threats is the possibility of attack by the afghanistan branch of islamic state which is also opposed to the taliban. we know, we got a notice from the white house about the national security meeting president biden hasjust had national security meeting president biden has just had that this issue was raised at that meeting. at the pentagon briefing we were told that there was no reported change in what they called the enemy situation around the airport so it seems like there a great deal of heightened vigilance but said that, there is also a crush of people around the airport which can change by time and location depending on the situation so that is also a factor and they
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spoke at length, the pentagon officials, but what they called the fluid situation at the gates. however the general did say that the military personnel at the gates were capable of processing anyone who had the right documentation. with so many people now hoping to escape afghanistan, turkey has warned of a new wave of migration, and called on european countries to take responsibility. greece has also built a new 25—mile fence and surveillance system along its border with turkey. the greek government says it won�*t wait passively, for the possible impact of a refugee crisis, following the taliban takeover. earlier i spoke to the freelance journalist daphne tolis who is in athens. she have us some more detail on the wall. the 40 kilometre steel fence has been completed. the defence minister and the citizens protection minister were both yesterday, friday, there. they visited the wall, the border there. they said that greek borders
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will remain secure and impenetrable and that border forces are on alert for any possible wave of afghan refugees trying to cross into europe through greece. it is widely supported, i would say, especially after last year, the events of february 2020, when thousands of refugees and migrants attempted to cross in large numbers from turkey�*s land border, the same border that divides greece and turkey, after turkish president erdogan said that the borders were open. so people tried to come through greece to move further to the european union, and following those events, that is what actually sped up the completion of this border, which was already announced that it would happen, but this made it faster to happen, to reinforce the existing border and to make an even more reinforced
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steel fence across this zone, which is actually one of the deadliest land borders for asylum seekers, migrants, refugees crossing into europe. the metropolitan police are hunting for a 49 year—old man — wanted in connection to a double murder in the lisson grove area of central london. the bodies were found in separate properties within a short walk of each other. tolu a—day—o—yay sent this report from the area. this is the man the police want to speak to in connection with two violent deaths. they say you should not be approached and anyone with
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information about his whereabouts should call 999. it was on thursday night that officers were called to a property here close to regent�*s park. aas—year—old woman was pronounced dead at the scene, then, a few hours later, just after 2am on friday morning, the body of a 59—year—old man was found in the nearby crescent. both victims were stabbed. at this early stage we are retaining an open mind a concerning motive but we are treating these crimes is linked. i know this will cause concern amongst the community. last week there was an unrelated shooting incident near to the area. four people were treated in hospital. with a double investigation now under way here the police have shown it to reassure the local community that are to say. across the area and a dedicated team has been tasked with finding mr peacock. lee lived locally in the area and we have a number of lines
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of enquiry but this time his whereabouts are unknown. at this stage i would say that both of the victims were known to the. we are not treating these as random attacks. 0fficer say it is vital anyone with information comes forward and their thoughts are with the victims families. the british government has rejected a call to issue 10,000 temporary visas to eu workers — to tackle an estimated shortage of 75—thousand lorry drivers. logistics uk — the trade body which represents freight businesses — says many restaurants and supermarkets are facing serious supply problems. but ministers say employers should invest in the domestic workforce — by offering higher wages — rather than rely on foreign labour. earlier, i spoke to alex veitch from logistics uk — i asked him how serious the situation is. it�*s serious and it�*s getting worse.
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we are making this call for 10,000 temporary visas for qualified, safe, eu nationals to come back to the uk and tide us over for the peak christmas period, the build—up to which starts now, to give us time to catch up from the missed driving tests and to reskill, retrain uk nationals to take up the manyjobs that are available in our sector. we see that wages are rising. we are working hand in glove with the government on reskilling, on apprenticeships, on trying to get people into our sector where there are jobs available for people impacted by covid. the problem is that it has been very difficult to actually get a driving test over the past year. it�*s nobody�*s fault, it�*s due to covid restrictions at the dvsa and so we have a huge backlog of people waiting to take their tests to become a truck driver and so we think it�*s a reasonable ask to create 10,000 temporary visas, and we are saying that because there are many other sectors where the government has done exactly that.
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the trial of the r&b singer r kelly, who�*s accused of sexually abusing several women, has heard claims by his former tour manager, that he bribed a government worker to obtain a fake id to marry the singer aaliyah, who was underage. she was 15 at the time. kelly is also accused of bribery, and denies all the charges. the latest government coronavirus figures, show there were 32,058 new infections recorded, in the latest 24—hour period, which means, on average, there were 31,698 new cases per day, in the last week. the most recent figures show there almost six and a half thousand people in hospital with the virus, on thursday. 104 deaths were recorded in the past 2a hours, with an average of 100 deaths a day in the past week. 0n vaccinations, 87.5% of adults in the uk, have now had their firstjab, and 76.3% have had two.
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around 300,000 carbon dioxide monitors, could be made available to schools in england next month, to help improve ventilation and reduce the risk of covid. the department for education says the monitors will help identify where more air—flow is needed. australian police have clashed with thousands of people protesting against lockdowns in melbourne and sydney. it comes as a record number of covid cases were recorded in new south wales. here�*s the state health minister speaking earlier. we are in a very serious situation here in new south wales with this particular variant of the virus. and if you can get either one of the two vaccines that have been made available, just go and get it. if you fit within the categories, go and get the vaccine.
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the bbc�*s phil mercer has the latest from syndey. thousands of demonstrators were confronting the police. authorities say that some people had turned out to demonstrate peacefully, but the vast majority were looking for trouble. and they certainly found it. riot police had to support mounted units and there were times during the afternoon when it seemed that the police may well lose control of the city centre. in the end, more than 200 people were arrested. there were other smaller less dramatic rallies, protesting against australia�*s strict regime of lockdowns here in sydney and brisbane, adelaide and darwin. but all the headlines will be around the unrest in australia�*s southern city of melbourne. loads and loads of people confronting the police, venting their anger at these very strict lockdowns that now affect millions of australians. the government has announced plans
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to tighten rules on the importation of dogs into the uk, in response to a rise in puppy smuggling. they include raising the minimum age for imported dogs from 15 weeks to 6 months, and banning heavily pregnant animals. hundreds of puppies brought into the country illegally are intercepted each year. the numberfound not to have met the uk�*s pet import rules more than doubling between 2019 and 2020 alone. many have health problems and had not been checked by certified vets. an increase too in the number with docked tales and cropped ears, more than 600% in the last five years. many have health problems and had not been checked by certified vets. an increase too in the number with docked tales and cropped ears, more than 600% in the last five years.
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when it comes to ear cropping, we unfortunately have seen an increasing demand for dogs with cropped ears, a completely unnecessary and abhorrent mutilation which causes nothing but pain and has no medical benefits. it is done purely for look. we have seen an increase in their use in the media, social media influencers and celebrities which has led to an increase in public demand. the government is proposing new rules for puppy welfare standards, including raising the minimum age at which they can be imported from 15 weeks from six months, a ban on importing heavily pregnant dogs and a ban on importing dogs with cropped ears or docked tails. animal welfare campaigners have welcomed a consultation, saying it could bring it significant progress against the fight against such practices. there is still some rain to come out of this low pressure as it finishes time for a look at the weather. saturday saw quite a large amount of cloud sitting across the uk. heavy
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rain for some. quite a contrast for sunday as we look to sunnier skies and a lot of dry weather as well. the reason for the change, we move an area of low pressure away from the east of the uk. it allows high pressure to build from the south—west and that high—pressure look set to continue building to sunday into monday and really establish across the uk for week ahead. some of the rain that we see in the remainder of the night could be some of the heaviest pc for a good few days in some parts of the uk. there will be heavy showers into the small hours across northern and eastern england. the majority it is dry. misty and murky and lows of 13-15. on dry. misty and murky and lows of 13—15. on sunday that low is quite slow to make its way into the continent. it will throw some showers and cloud into eastern england through the course of the day. much more sunshine on offer across the board and with light
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winds it should all feel a little warmer. some isolated showers developing. quite slow moving because there will be some areas picking up some downpours this sunday afternoon but they will be in the minority. sunday is much drier, and brighter. take a look into the midlands and northern england through sunday afternoon and you can see some of the areas to see there�*s more persistent showers. some for the far south—east, too. but high pressure really does take over as we look at monday and that will suppress activity in the atmosphere perhaps just a little more cloud drifting across the south—east on the breeze of the north sea from time to time. monday will be a day of dry weather, light winds and some spells of sunshine. temperature is getting closer to average the time of year. still a couple of degrees
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down the week ahead that high is very keen to sit in place so a lot of fine weather in the outlook and in reasonable temperatures. just the chance of a northerly wind across eastern counties later in the week, killing things a little. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines... crowds continue to gather outside kabul airport, amid reports of chaotic scenes — as the us advises its citizens not to travel there until they are asked, because of security threats outside the gates. senior taliban figures — including the group�*s co—founder, mullah baradar — are in kabulfor talks about establishing a new government. greece has erected a 25 mile fence on its border with turkey amid warnings of many afghan civillians fleeing their country. there have been clashes between australian police and anti—lockdown demonstrators in sydney and melbourne. animal welfare campaigners have welcomed new government proposals to stop puppy smuggling.

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