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tv   BBC News  BBC News  August 28, 2021 1:00pm-1:31pm BST

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the head of the armed forces has said the uk will end its evacuation of civilians out of afghanistan today — leaving troops to return to britain in the remaining aircraft. general sir nick carter said it was "heartbreaking" that they had not been able to rescue everybody who is eligible. a mass airlift has been under way at kabul airport since the taliban took control of the capital this month. 170 people were killed when the airport was targeted on thursday by a suicide bomber. here's our diplomatic affairs correspondent caroline hawley with the latest. at raf brize norton this morning british military personnel arriving back on uk soil. around a thousand was flown out to afghanistan to help in an unprecedented rescue mission which is now in its final hours.
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we've done an extraordinaryjob to evacuate as many as we have, but i'm afraid it's absently heartbreaking that we can't bring everybody out. and i think that point has been made very strongly, certainly by the defence secretary and others over the last ten days or so. personally i've probably had over 100 messages from different afghans who i know in my long association with the country, and many of those friends of mine won't make it out. and for me, not a day passes without me having a bit of a tear in my out do what i about all that. in having a bit of a tear in my out do what i about all that.— what i about all that. in less than fortniuht, what i about all that. in less than fortnight, 14,000 _ what i about all that. in less than fortnight, 14,000 people - what i about all that. in less than fortnight, 14,000 people have i what i about all that. in less than i fortnight, 14,000 people have been evacuated by the raf. but among serving and former soldiers, there is a bitter regret that hundreds have not been able to reach the airport. afghans whose lives are now at grave risk. i airport. afghans whose lives are now at grave risk-— at grave risk. i served most of my four years — at grave risk. i served most of my four years in _ at grave risk. i served most of my four years in afghanistan, - at grave risk. i served most of my four years in afghanistan, down i at grave risk. i served most of my| four years in afghanistan, down in helmand province, kandahar province, and most people down there, forget
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about getting to couple. there are ten checkpoints between them on the motorway, let late down the motorway all the way to kobel. you can forget about trying to get the airport because every one of those checkpoints is a danger point where taliban or affiliated groups, drug dealers or simplyjust bad debts could murder and sadly have been murdering various people. the taliban now — murdering various people. the taliban now boast they are at the gates of couple airport with american hardware the us has left behind. but neither they nor international forces could stop the devastating attack on thursday that killed 170 people including 13 american soldiers. 0vernight the us retaliated against the so—called islamic state killing they believe and i as planet in a drone strike. but the threat of further attacks is very real. a better, bloody and chaotic end to a 20 year mission. and for so many afghans now, pure dread of what is to come.
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caroline hawley, bbc news. 0ur correspondent rajini vaidyanathan is in delhi. what are you hearing about the situation in kabul as the evacuation operations enters its final stages? as the 31st of august deadline approaches, us officials fear this will be an extremely dangerous phase in their evacuation. not least because of those real fears over another attack at couple airport. the us embassy in f afghanistan has issued a warning and urging all its citizens to stay away from the airport and telling anyone who is at certain gates to leave immediately. the telephone is saying it already controls some parts of the airport, but the pentagon said that at the moment it still has control of the gates and of all operations there, although the feeling is that that transfer to the taliban will come sooner rather than later. what about
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all those thousands of afghans who want to leave the country but haven't made it onto an evacuation flight? there are realfears haven't made it onto an evacuation flight? there are real fears of a humanitarian crisis in the country. more than half a million afghans have already this year been displaced. i spoke to one young man in the northern city of mazar—i—sharif a few days ago. his father was killed by the taliban over a decade ago. he is living in fear, staring on the floor of an abandoned building, he can't even buy food at the moment, he is struggling to eat. the un said that if it doesn't get the funding it needs to feed its world food programme in afghanistan, then there are real fears of programme in afghanistan, then there are realfears of famine programme in afghanistan, then there are real fears of famine there. thank you. 0ur political correspondent jessica parker is here. a difficult time as the operation draws to a close. as we know, the uk civilian evacuation expected to wrap up today, the military evacuation over the course of the weekend with some personnel already arriving home. general sir nick carter pretty clear this morning that this is a
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difficult, delicate moment in the operation, but when it does happen it will mark the end of 20 years of operations in afghanistan and two weeks of frantic evacuations from couple airport. but ministers have been very keen to stress that this doesn't mean an end to the government's commitment to afghanistan. they've been talking a lot about a second phase, a new phase, both in times of trying to get out those who couldn't get to the airport, people who worked with the airport, people who worked with the british authorities over the last 20 years, and refugees as well. the government has committed to taking up to 20,000 over the coming years. we expect some more details on that scheme pretty soon, possibly over the coming week. and there are key questions here — how are people be leaving afghanistan safely, other taliban going to co—operate, to what extent might they cooperate? so i think while the evacuation of couple airport may be coming to an end, without another complicated, difficult and longer term chapter is opening. difficult and longer term chapter is oeninu. . ~ difficult and longer term chapter is oeninu. ., ~ i. china has rejected accusations
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from president biden that it withheld key information about how the coronavirus pandemic started. a report by us intelligence came to no firm conclusion as to where the virus originated but did say that china had hindered the investigations. china said it had been open and transparent and the us report lacked scientific credibility. food producers are warning that worker shortages caused by a perfect storm of issues — including brexit changes and the pandemic — could threaten availability at christmas. the government is facing growing calls for a temporary visa scheme to try to fill the gap. our business correspondent katy austin reports. preparing these turkeys for christmas involves 100 extra workers who used to come in from eastern europe. because of brexit we don't have that guaranteed labour that we've had for the past 30 years. the bigger companies that supply all the supermarkets, they had made the decision to cut their production by between 20 and 25%, which is huge. so there will absolutely be a shortage of quality british turkeys.
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other areas of food production are also having problems. a shortage of meat processors has caused a backlog of pigs on farms. the government is basically saying that furlough is coming to an end at the end of september so you can have all of those people and that will resolve your issues. now, those people aren't living in areas where the manufacturing plants are, they don't have the right skills, and i suspect a lot of them wouldn't want to go and work in food manufacturing plants. food industry trade bodies warn there is now a chronic labour shortage across the whole supply chain. this business grows, imports and distributes fresh fruit and veg. there is everything here from carrots to pomegranates, and a lot of it ends up in high street restaurants. but here at this distribution centre, they are 20% short of staff. we are definitely going to start seeing more supermarket shelves empty, restaurant plates empty.
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and then the big concern ongoing from that is christmas. he supports calls for a temporary visa scheme to bring in food workers and lorry drivers from europe. isn't it more important to build a sustainable workforce from within the uk, and ultimately pay them more? i am more than happy to do that. but if the era of cheap labour is over, so too is the era of cheap food. the government says the supply chain is resilient, and it wants to see employers invest in the domestic workforce. but some firms are getting increasingly worried about their ability to keep our shelves and plates full. katy austin, bbc news. it's been another hugely successful day for great britain at the paralympics in tokyo. the team have won seven gold medals — including a dramatic double in the velodrome — for married couple neil and lora fachie. 0ur sports correspondent andy swiss has more and his report contains some flashing images. meet british sport's new golden couple. neil and lora fachie,
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husband and wife, and gold medallists within 20 minutes of each other. first neil and tandem pilot matt took the time trial in a new world record. but if that was special, just moments later it was a family double, as lora and her pilot produced a display of pursuit perfection. what a story, what a ride! a case of same surname, same outcome. for the couple who are both visually impaired, a remarkable feat. and afterwards, neil told me just what it meant. it was just superb. there were a few tears flowing on both accounts. she told me she was crying, and i had to admit that i was too. but, yeah, i mean, we sort of planned for this but you never really expect it to all come together like that. and the gold rush continued. jaco van gass, jody cundy and kadeena cox in the mixed team sprint, with just one lap to go they were trailing china, but cundy turned it round in breathtaking fashion. can he claw it back?
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oh, yes, he can! oh, it's unbelievable! britain ending the track cycling events on the highest of highs. meanwhile in the athletics, a new star was born. 21—year—old thomas young producing the performance of his life to win the 100 metres. and there was also gold in the women's100. sophie han retaining her title from rio, and once again showing her brilliance on the biggest stage. in the pool there was another gold for maisie summers—newton in the breaststroke — just 19 but already a double paralympic champion. but the celebration of the day undoubtedly belonged to will bayley. the former strictly competitor showing some less than fancy footwork, but he's into the table tennis final. imagine what he'll do if he actually wins it. yes, what a performance from will bayley. he will be hoping to retain
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his paralympic title in tomorrow's final. i can tell you, there has been another gold medal for britain in the pool in the mixed freestyle relay. so seven gold medals for paralympicsgb today. it has been their best day of the games so far. cricket, and england have pulled off a stunning victory against india on the fourth day of the test at headingley. they took eight wickets in the morning session to beat india by an innings and 76 runs. it leaves the series all square after three of the five tests. that's it for now. the next news on bbc one is at ten past five — bye for now.
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good afternoon. it's been a stunning morning for england's bowlers as they skittled out india before lunch to take victory in the third test at headingley. the tourists had begun the day 139 runs behind but were soon in trouble as 0llie robinson took early wickets, including that of virat kolhi. robinson the pick of england's bowlers as he went on to dismiss rishab pant and then ishant sharma — his fifth wicket of the innings. craig 0verton wrapped things up as england won by an innings and 76 runs to level the series 1—1. manchester city are playing arsenal in the premier league's early kick off. it's nearly half time and — it's 3—0 to city. arsenal were down after 15 minutes. ilkay gundogan and ferran torres capitalising on some
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poor arsenal defending. there are six more games today — with the pick of them kicking off at 5:30 at anfield. liverpool host chelsea with both sides boasting a 100% winning record from their two matches so far. i'm looking forward having many spectators. 0ne much with us which was pretty— spectators. 0ne much with us which was pretty impressive, and a very good _ was pretty impressive, and a very good start — was pretty impressive, and a very good start. from now on, we are into details. _ good start. from now on, we are into details. into— good start. from now on, we are into details, into adapting and into connecting better and better. and, yet, connecting better and better. and, yet. the _ connecting better and better. and, yet, the stress test is on. manchester united don't play until tomorrow. they're away at wolves, bouyed by the knowledge that they have sensationally secured the signing of superstar cristiano ronaldo — 12 years after he last played for the club. he's expected to play after the international break. 36—year—old ronaldo has yet to agree personal terms, and needs to sort his visa and undergo a medical. it's been reported that united
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will pay in the region of £12.8 million for the player, plus nearly seven million in potential add—ons. ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances for united between 2003 and 2009. he will be probably another main catalyst for change towards greatness again. the team needs to win trophies, with him amongst the strikers, i think it is a fantastic addition. so many options. it's going to be a nightmare. as we've been hearing it's been another successful day for paralympics gb, with seven gold medals won today. britain's maisie summers—newton won her second gold with victory in the 100 metres breaststroke, and there was gold in the 4 by 100 mixed relay. sprinter thomas young won gb�*s first athletics gold in the 100 metres final, while sophie hahn defended her 100 metre title. earlier, there were incredible scenes in the velodrome, as the track cycling came to a close.
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three gold medals and three world records — with husband and wife neil and lora fachie winning titles within half an hour of each other. there are days that are good in a relationship, and there are days like today— relationship, and there are days like today which we will never ever forget _ like today which we will never ever forget lora— like today which we will never ever forget. lora put the pressure on, she broke — forget. lora put the pressure on, she broke the world record in the qualifying — she broke the world record in the qualifying. and then she managed to win the _ qualifying. and then she managed to win the gold in her final as well. we obviously hope this would happen, but for— we obviously hope this would happen, but for it_ we obviously hope this would happen, but for it actually come together is mind _ but for it actually come together is mind blowing. formula one has decided to cut its calendar to 22 races this season due to the coronavirus, and qatar is now expected to host its first grand prix on the 21st november. 0n the track max verstappen bounced back from his crash yesterday. the dutchman topped the time sheets in final practice at spa ahead of qualifying this afternoon for the belgian grand prix. his red bull teammate sergio perez was second, ahead of mercedes' championship leader lewis hamilton. that's all the sport for now.
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it is coming to a close at the hat he had for the first half. i'll have more in the next hour. the head of the armed forces has said the uk's operation to evacuate civilians from kabul airport will end today. general sir nick carter said it had been "heartbreaking" that troops had not been able to rescue everybody, but insisted some "very challenging judgments" had to be made on the ground. well, there are of course many different types of people who haven't been able to get out of afghanistan — and will now have real concerns about both their own safety and that of their families. among them are academics. professorjane falkingham is from southampton university and works with a campaigning organisation — the council of at—risk academics. earlier, she explained to me what she and the organisation has been doing. u nfortu nately, we unfortunately, we cannot bring you that at the moment. but she was telling me earlier that there are 12
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academics that the organisation had specifically pinpointed who needed to leave afghanistan because of concerns around their safety, and she said thatjust one of them had managed to leave. we can actually hear from managed to leave. we can actually hearfrom her managed to leave. we can actually hear from her now. i'm working with the council for at—risk academics, which is an n60 and a charity which has been working since the 1930s. and they actually work with virtually all of the uk universities, so 124 universities are working with the council. but over the past week, i've become particularly involved — primarily because our local mp, julian lewis, contacted me about one of his constituency members who was trapped in afghanistan. and then i've been working with them over the last week, really to heighten the attention on academics who are particularly at risk. so we fed in a list of 12 people to the fcdo over the last week,
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including all of their details on why they are particularly at risk. unfortunately, we've only been able to get one of those out. cara's actually been inundated with contacts from afghanistan. i think they are working currently with over 80 academics in afghanistan who are at risk — particularly female academics, but also academics who are working in the area of human rights, security, law, gender, international relations — all areas which actually expose them to particular risk. so you said that you put 12 names to the foreign office, and only one of those 12 people has got out. what were the difficulties in getting them all out? so, basically, first of all, we actually got very little response from the government, from the commonwealth. the home office did contact cara, i think, on thursday,
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after stephen wordsworth, who's the director of cara, was interviewed on this channel. the home office did get in touch to check up on the details. but since then we've heard nothing. the only one that got out actually is in the netherlands — safe and secure in the netherlands — was evacuated by the dutch. i do understand that the 12 academics who are working, or had been working, on a uk funded research programme — the gender, justice and security research programme at the london school of economics — 12 of those academics were evacuated by nato. and they are currently with their families in poland. but out of the 12 names we put forward, all of whom by the way had due diligence conducted on their cases. cara is very careful to go through the cases and only take on people who really are at risk and who really are bona fide academics. only one of those 12
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has managed to get out. so it sounds like you've obviously not had any communication with the 11 remaining...? no, we have been in communication with them through e—mail and through telephone calls. several of them made attempts to get to the airport. indeed, one of them was actually at the gate at the time of the blast and so was waiting outside the gate. was unharmed, thankfully. very shaken. went home. all of them now are in hiding. many of them are moving on a daily basis. several of them are very high—profile academics, female academics, who have been in particular roles with local government over the past 20 years. many of whom have been working with the uk government on various projects, development projects, human rights projects, with dfid and other organisations. and are just very fearful.
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well, in the last half an hour, britain's ambassador to afghanistan, laurie bristow, has said that the time has come to end an airlift which had evacuated almost 15,000 people. more than double the initial target. the biggest airlift for 70 years. were actually now hearing the ministry of defence has confirmed the final uk evacuation flight purely for afghan nationals has now left kabul airport. so a significant moment, bringing to a close that evacuation of afghan nationals. the dreadfully sad news is that there are those who remain behind, at
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least 1100 people it is estimated who were eligible for airlift, but the uk government said it simply was not possible to get everybody out, the same as has been said by the americans. there will be people who will be left behind. borisjohnson has said that the government will do everything in its power to help them out. at the airport, just in the past few moments, britton's ambassador to afghanistan has said it is time to close this part of the operation down, and we are hearing therefore that the final uk evacuation flight purely for afghan nationals has left the airport. it is now uk troops who will come back in those last remaining flights. and we will keep you updated. coronavirus plans for schools in england have been described as "a recipe for chaos" by education unions, who say they will not be enough to prevent a rise in infections. the government said it
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has updated its advice on how to respond to an outbreak with minimum disruption to education. paul gosling is the headteacher of exeter road community primary school in exmouth, and also the vice president of the national association of head teachers. i asked him how feels about schools reopening. i've got a growing nervousness, actually. we finished in the summer. everyone i know wanted to have a rest from what was quite a difficult 18 months. and then hoping that infection rates would be tailing off during the summer holidays and that we could return to normal in school in september, which is something that we all wanted to do. but, you know, the news from sage and what's been going on in scotland is raising some concerns now, that perhaps the government has not got plans in place to really address what might happen in the next few weeks. well, the government says it has updated its advice on how to respond to an outbreak with minimum disruption. are you clear about the plan and how it will work? yeah, i've been reading the plans this morning, i've been preparing ready for my school to open.
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and certainly, there are some steps in there that, if you get an outbreak in school, you can take and give the school some measures that they can put in place. but, however, what i'm worried about is that staff are going to be getting ill and they are going to be off school and hopefully won't be getting seriously ill because they are double vaccinated, but that will cause disruption. we won't have staff in school, teachers may well be absent for a period of time. so the government may have a plan for reducing infection, but if infection gets into a school it will cause a disruption through staff and pupil absence. are all of your staff double vaccinated? yes. but you're still concerned about the prospect of them getting sick? i'm concerned about them. as you know, if you do test positive for covid, you do still have to self—isolate. so they won't be able to come into work. and as we know, some people might get ill from this but even being off for ten days,
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which you need to do if you contract the virus, even if you only get it mildly, that will disrupt schools. but that sounds like a problem that is literally never going to go away. because schools have to go back. it is a fact of life, as you say, that people will catch the virus even though they're double vaccinated, but hopefully won't be ill enough to go to hospital. so what are you suggesting should be done about that? well, i think that the isolation measures that we had before where we could ask people not to come in would stop the virus ripping through schools. i guess what we're worried about is that there will be a huge spike in schools so september will be disrupted. head teacher paul gosling. plans to ban single—use plastic plates, cutlery and polystyrene cups in england have just been announced to help tackle plastic pollution. the measures will be considered in a public consultation this autumn, with scotland, wales and northern ireland having similar plans. here's our political correspondent, nick eardley.
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this is our bamboo set... is this the future of eating on the go? paris sells bamboo cutlery across the uk. we are still working with bamboo and hemp. sustainable items which he hopes are part of the answer to reducing plastic consumption. what do you think about the idea of banning plastic cutlery? yeah, i will vote for anybody who will ban it. i think plastic is everywhere. look, we cannot get rid of plastic completely, but there are definitely certain areas where we can improve. this is the problem — plastic in oceans around the world, deadly for a number of species. campaigners have been urging the government to act. the reality is that, you know, we are really facing an environmental crisis. our oceans are full of plastic and they're killing marine life and they're damaging our ecosystem. banning these items is going to contribute to stopping plastic pollution. we need the government to go much, much, much further. we're facing a plastics crisis
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and we need to turn off the tap. and this is what ministers want to ban — single—use plastic cutlery and plates. it's all part of a strategy from the government to try and get rid of what it calls "avoidable plastic waste" by 2042, but — so far anyway — there's no mention of things like this, plastic coffee cups, and some want ministers to go further. there will now be a consultation, but it could be another 18 months before a ban becomes law. friends of the earth say faster, more radical action is needed. we need government to take an overall approach, - to say that what we're going to do is bring an end to all plastic- pollution and what we're going to do is drastically reduce _ the amount of all single—use - products, not just a fork followed by a spoon followed by a cup. we're trying to be sustainable... paris hopes increased awareness and reduced cost will make alternatives to plastic more popular. if we came to your house for dinner, we'd all be eating
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with bamboo cutlery? i will give you bamboo cutlery — no plastic in my house. nick eardley, bbc news. now it's time for a look at the weather with 0wain wyn evans. let's have a look at the headline. dry with— let's have a look at the headline. dry with sunny spells. looking good for most _ dry with sunny spells. looking good for most of— dry with sunny spells. looking good for most of us. we dry with sunny spells. looking good for most of us.— for most of us. we have seen some mist and fog _ for most of us. we have seen some mist and fog patches. _ for most of us. we have seen some mist and fog patches. most - for most of us. we have seen some mist and fog patches. most of- for most of us. we have seen some| mist and fog patches. most of these will tend to clear. breezy across south—eastern parts. it will remain quite grey and cloudy, with some low cloud, mist and fog across coastal parts in particular. today's top temperatures getting to about 20-21 c. a temperatures getting to about 20—21 c. a relatively mild air mass at the moment. through tonight, we will notice the low cloud, mist and fog returning across northern ireland, scotland, parts of northern england as well. elsewhere, clearer skies. not as chilly as last night.
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high pressure remains with us over the next couple of days. dry, settled with some sunshine. we will keep you posted. stay safe. we will see you soon. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines...
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the final uk evacuation flight purely for afghan nationals has


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