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tv   BBC News  BBC News  September 18, 2021 4:00am-4:31am BST

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this is bbc news. our top stories: the us military admits one of its drone strikes in afghanistan killed ten innocent civilians, including seven children. we now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with isis k or where a direct threat to us forces. after australia, the us and britain agree a new security partnership, france recalls its ambassadors to washington and canberra. england eases restrictions for international travel, scrapping the need for expensive covid tests for fully—vaccinated people arriving from abroad. and, algeria's former president, abdelaziz bouteflika, dies at the age of 8a.
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welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. the us military says it mistakenly killed 10 afghan civilians in a drone strike in kabul last month, missing the intended target. seven of the dead were children. this is a major reversal of the pentagon's position, at the time, us officials said the strike was justified and righteous, because it prevented militants from using a car bomb to attack the airport. our afghanistan correspondent, secunder kermani, had this to say about the strike. we were there the morning after the strike and it was a terrible scene. family members came into the wreckage searching for remains of their loved one so they could try and bury them. they were utterly
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distraught and furious at the suggestion they had anything to do with isis. in fact, number of family members who were killed had worked with american aid organisations, american forces, even, in afghanistan. the family had been hoping to be evacuated out to america. this is an incredibly grim way to bring an end to this chapter in american involvement in afghanistan. meanwhile, here, there is a deepening economic crisis also increasing concern about whether the taliban will respect women's rights or not. they seem to have today replaced the women affairs ministry with a ministry for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice that has a very notorious reputation from their previous stint in power. at the same time, the taliban seem to be reaching out to a number of former government employees trying to encourage them to come back to work. here is our report filmed by my colleague.
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lifting off, the taliban's new air force. on board, their fighters. in the cockpit, theirformer enemies — pilots from the previous government. the fleet now under the taliban's control includes fighter planes originally donated by america. dozens of pilots fled abroad as the telephone took over, fearing for their lives, taking their aircraft with them. these helicopters launched a lot of attacks against the taliban, that's right, isn't it? but as the group announced an amnesty, others decided to stay on. you are both sitting here very calmly, but do you recognise that it's quite a strange situation for two people who were trying to kill each other now to be working together?
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elsewhere, the political transition is far less smooth. foreign reserves are frozen as the international community weighs up how to support afghans but not the taliban. banks have restricted cash withdrawals. second—hand markets have sprung up across the country. the war might have come to an end, but this is where you see the utter desperation that so many afghans are living in right now. most of this market didn't even exist a month ago — now it's full of people trying to sell whatever household possessions they can just to put food on the table for theirfamilies.
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most public sector employees weren't even paid their salaries in the last months of the previous government. now, they have no idea when or if they will be paid again. you were still working, but you didn't get a salary? this teacher has already sold whatever she can. the transition of power in afghanistan was much less bloody than many had feared. but half the country was already in dire need, and the struggle to survive is becoming even harder. secunder kermani, bbc news, mazar—i—sharif. france has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors from australia and the united states as the row over their nuclear
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submarine deal intensifies. australia scrapped a multi—billion dollar deal to buy french diesel—powered submarines in favour of american nuclear—powered ones. paris described the security pact between australia the us and the uk as �*a stab in the back�*. courtney bembridge reports. back injune the two presidents sat side by side in the sun in the uk. but that warmth has disappeared and, in an unprecedented move, france has recalled its ambassador to the us and australia. this is why. it is about conecting america's allies in new ways. a deal struck for a fleet of nuclear powered submarines. it replaces a multi—billion dollar deal australia had signed with france in 2016, in france was only told about it hours before the public announcement which has infuriated president michael.
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—— president macron. first came this warning from the foreign minister. translation: i am angry with a lot of bitterness - about this cancellation. it is not over. then the next move. the french embassy in the us tweeted that the decision to recall the ambassadors came from the president directly and reflects the exceptional seriousness of the announcements made on september 15 which it said constitutes unacceptable behaviour from allies and partners. the us says france is its oldest ally, and the defence secretary has spoken to his french counterpart to try to resolve their differences. it was clear from the discussion that there is still much work to do and more things to work on. there are opportunities and shared challenges and shared interests, that both ministers committed to continue to explore.
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the pact means australia will become only the seventh nation to operate nuclear powered submarines, and it is widely seen as an effort to counter china's influence in a contested south china sea where it has built up military bases on islands and reefs. for its part, china has accused the us, uk and australia of having a cold war mentality. let's get some of the day's other news. two men have appeared in court, in londonderry, charged with the murder of the northern irishjournalist, leera mckee. the 29—year—old was shot dead by a gunman from the dissident republican group, the new ira, in derry, in april 2019. both men were released on bail. south africa's supreme court has rejected the former presidentjacob zuma's bid to have his is—month jail sentence overturned. the 79—year—old had argued that the sentence was excessive and that prison
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would endanger his health. mr zuma who's in hospital recovering from surgery was jailed for failing to testify at a corruption inquiry. he denies any wrongdoing. the former brazilian footballer, pele, has been re—admitted to intensive care after recently undergoing surgery to remove a tumour in his colon. the 80—year—old has been having treatment since late august, after the tumour was detected in routine tests. his daughter has tried to reassure fans by using social media to say he is now recovering well. the former president of algeria, abdelaziz bouteflika, has died after a long illness aged 8a. he led the north african country for nearly two decades, but his decision in 2019 to seek a fifth term in office led to massive street protests, which resulted in his resignation. rana jawad reports. a military officer and foreign minister for over a decade. for some, he was a hero.
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for others, the symbol of an ageing political elite. when he first came to power in 1999 algeria were still ravaged by a civil war sparked by the army's refusal to recognise the election victory earlier in the decade. by granting amnesty is a new president succeeded in bring the war to an end though the insurgents were to regroup in the following years, aligning themselves to al-qaeda and spreading their operations into the wider region. over time, the president's rapprochement with the west and openness to economic reform did little in the way of freeing the state from its dependency on oil revenues, reducing public debt and defeating growing unemployment.
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he ruled algeria for 20 years — through landslide election victories tainted by leadership that prevented the rise of any opponent that could replace the president or his ruling party. even senior members of the country's military and intelligence services were quietly sidelined over the years. in 2013 the man algerians had an special name for suffered a serious stroke, leaving him in a wheelchair. his speech and mobility had been gravely affected and his public appearances became extremely rare. in the elections the following year, he was not able to physically campaign but still won of 80% of the vote. his ill—health started to raise concerns about his ability to rule and the youth of algeria wanted change. when his candidacy for a fifth term in office was announced in 2019 it sparked massive
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and rare public protests, challenging his and the ruling party's group in algeria. weeks later, the relentless demonstrations coupled with pressure on him from the army led to his resignation. translation: in seven | days algerians have done the impossible. to get rid of a political regime that was there to stay. the president absolutely wanted to be president for life. he managed to survive algeria's tumultuous history as well as avoid the unrest that toppled long serving heads of state in neighbouring countries during the arab spring. however unlikely it seemed, in his final years at the helm, the rallying calls for change that did eventually reach algeria stripped him of a power that many thought he would never give up.
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stay with us on bbc news, still to come: a drugs bust in benin, but not what you would expect. these are fake pharmaceutical drugs. we have a special report on the international operation to get them off the streets. 30 hours after the earthquake that devastated mexico city, rescue teams still have no idea just how many people have died. well, there is people alive and there is people not alive. we canjust help and give them whatever we've got. a state funeral has been held for princess grace of monacol at the church where she married prince rainier 26 years ago. - it looked as though they had come to fight a war but their mission is to bring peace to east timor, and nowhere on earth needs it more badly. the government's case is being forcefully presented by monsieur badinter, thejustice minister. he's campaigned vigorously for abolition, having once witnessed one his clients being executed. elizabeth seton spent much
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of her time in this grotto and every year, hundreds of pilgrimages are made here. now that she has become a saint, it is expected that this area will be inundated with tourists. the mayor and local businessmen regard the anticipated boom as yet another blessing of saint elizabeth. this is bbc world news, the latest headlines: the us military admits a drone strike in afghanistan last month against a suspected car bomber killed ten innocent civilians — including seven children. after australia, the us and britain agree a new security partnership — france recalls its ambassadors to washington and canberra. in west africa, the trade in illegal, fake pharmaceutical drugs, which can pose a real danger to public health,
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has been a problem for a long time. but now, the independent intergovernmental body, the world customs organization, is leading a global operation with local authorities to crack down on the trade. the bbc was given exclusive access to one operation in benin. hannah gelbart reports. here in west africa, a bbc team is filming customs officers in pursuit of a group of smugglers. they're cracking down on fake medicines and the penalties here are high. the smugglers abandon their vehicles and their stash, any medicines or medical devices made or transported here without the right authorisation are automatically classified as fake, and these sacks are full of them. across town to a more fake medicines have been found. this driver was on his way to the benin main markets. inside his bag are 50 kilos of tramadol,
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a strong prescription painkiller. he says he knows nothing about it, but back at his house, officers discover more drugs. all the items seized this morning are stored in a warehouse, where they're checked, reported to authorities and then destroyed. translation: we have seized 39 kilos of facemasks and more - than six tons of illegal pharmaceuticals. smugglers have lots of treats, they removed their backseats to make more space, sometimes they change their licence plates or at bay hide products among fruit and vegetables. the market for fake drugs is worth around 200 billion us dollars worldwide each year. world customs is an international organisation that works with local customs officers to deal with this kind of crime. right now, they're seizing drugs and 145 countries. it's their biggest ever crackdown on counterfeit medicines. when the pandemic started,
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we received some information regarding the increase of illicit medicines and also medical equipment linked to covid—19, and then we took action to set up the first group operation linked to covid—19. since the operation began, world customs say they've seized more than 307 million illegal medical items around the world. 99.5% of all of those were in west and central africa. benin shares borders with four different countries, and for decades, it's been the thorough fare for illegal medicines, made in india and china, destine for countries like nigeria, but in 2016, the government changed its approach. this market was once known as benin�*s open air pharmacy, but now there are no medicines for sale on display. translation: we used to sell fake drugs here but we had to change our goods. many sellers went and cropped and had to go back to their villages, like the person who owned this shop
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before me. i have heard that a lot of people suffer from kidney failure in benin and we were blamed with it. overall i think it is a good fight. the fight against fake medicines is ongoing, and with the pandemic, it's been brought to the world's attention. here, the uk government has announced major changes to rules for international travellers. among them is a simplified designation system defining countries as either open or on the red list, and the requirement for covid tests for people arriving in england has been relaxed. our transport correspondent caroline davis reports. travel has meant testing. across the country, centres like these have popped up to swab passengers, but things are about to change. throughout the summer, the travel industry and the government have disagreed about the use of these, pcr tests, for all travellers when they arrive in the uk. the government has always argued this is necessary to be
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able to identify variants of concern, but the travel industry say it's a barrier and too expensive. before the end of october, if you're double—jabbed, pcr tests are going to be replaced by the cheaper lateral flow tests. if you test positive, you will need to have a pcr test and isolate at home. it's a relief for hotels, who have struggled as families have stayed away because of the added cost. the uk market has dropped between 50—70% depending on the travelling month, especially for families hard hit by the restrictions implemented and the traffic light system, which obviously every three weeks is sort of like, yeah, a surprise, what is going to happen. so we definitely believe this change is going to boost sales massively. it's not the only change. from the 11th of october, fully vaccinated travellers will also no longer need to take a pre—departure lateral flow test before they travel. if you are not double—jabbed, it's a very different story. you will need to take
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a test before you travel and self—isolate at home for ten days after every international trip, as well as pay for pcr tests. for the industry, this change can't come soon enough. very pleased with the announcement, just what we wanted to hear. i think the government has been listening to the industry. we have been interacting with them for some time. it's a great piece of news for us. it will give our customers the end of summer they deserve, abroad in the sun. so, yes, we welcome the announcement. but not everyone in the scientific community agrees that pcr tests should be removed. i would like to see pcr tests remain because they have given us so much information already from the sequencing. so we know when delta was introduced into the uk, when the delta variant came in, that this virus was imported over 500 times, and we wouldn't have the information if we weren't doing the screening and sequencing associated with that. after months of insisting pcr tests were needed, why has the government changed its mind now? the judgement of the scientists, of the experts, was that it
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would have been too soon without having the numbers of people vaccinated, notjust at home where of course we had this very fast vaccination programme, but critically, abroad as well, at a level whereby, you know, we can now say with a lot of confidence, not only are nine out of ten adults vaccinated here but abroad also, they have caught up with the very high numbers that we saw earlier. and for those with loved ones in some red list countries, there was good news. passengers coming back from eight countries including turkey and pakistan will no longer have to quarantine in a hotel. ~ . ., ., longer have to quarantine in a hotel. ~ . . ., ., , _ hotel. we are relaxed and happy to see our _ hotel. we are relaxed and happy to see our families _ hotel. we are relaxed and happy to see our families or _ hotel. we are relaxed and happy to see our families or friends - to see our families or friends or people can move around freely. the summer may be drawing to a close, but today's announcement has given some hope. for now, they are enjoying this moment in the sun.
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ajudge in america has ruled that lawyers for virginia giuffre, the woman who's accused prince andrew of sexual assault, will be able to serve legal papers, on his representative in the us after a week of confusion and wrangling over whether the prince had been formally notified of the civil claim against him. our royal correspondent jonny dymond has more details. on wednesday the high court said it would assist lawyers for virginia giuffre, the woman who made the allegations against the prince, allegations the prince denies. it will assist those lawyers and serving the papers and now the judge in new york has said, as you say, that the papers can be served on the principles us lawyer. the man who spoke on monday. that means the case will almost certainly now overhead. that lawyer says that a deal struck by virginia giuffre in 2009, withjeffrey epstein, one—time friend of the prince, convicted paedophile,
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that deal will make any court case against prince andrew null and void. but that deal is secret and sealed and only when the case proceeds might it be opened. when the coronavirus pandemic first took hold in new york, all the city's theatres and concert venues closed their doors. broadway has begun to re—open, and now one of the big apple's premier orchestras is returning to the stage. the new york philharmonic is putting on its first season of concerts for more than eighteen months. the bbc�*s tim allman reports. established in 1842, the new york philharmonic has been performing for nearly 180 years. a vital and much loved part of the city's cultural bloodstream. but then came covid and the music stopped.
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now, 556 days later, final rehearsals are taking place. the philharmonic is coming home. i feel like we are an important part of bringing new york back to normalcy, even though it is starting very slowly and it is very tentative, we are aiming in the right direction. this is a very optimistic and exciting new beginning. the orchestra has performed a series of one—off events, mostly online, or outdoors, but this will be a proper concert, in a proper concert hall, with a paying and no doubt appreciative audience. ifeel like almost a rebirth as a musician. as a musician we play 130—140 concerts a year and you never take it
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for granted, but sometimes you think, oh i'm a little tired today i don't want to play this again, but not any more. i feel such gratitude. the first concert is called from silence to celebration, which seems strangely appropriate. organisers hoping the audience will simply enjoy the moment and be free. tim allman, bbc news. a reminder of our top story. the us military says it mistakenly killed 10 afghan civilians in a drone strike in kabul last month, missing the intended target. seven of the dead were children. this is a major reversal of the pentagon's position , at the time, us officials had said the strike was justified and righteous, because it prevented militants from using a car bomb to attack
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the airport. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @ lucyegrey. hello there. many of us yesterday had a decent day of weather. temperatures reached 22.3 degrees celsius in the warmest spots, but it wasn't like that everywhere. in argyll and bute, cloudy for much of the day with rain and mist and fog patches over the high ground until this happened. later on, as the weather fronts started to clear through, some of the cloud from the front was lit up by the setting sun, and it was a glorious end to the day. there is that weather front on the satellite picture, this stripe of cloud you can see here. the weather fronts associated with this cloud are particularly slow—moving, and they're going to take the whole of the weekend before they reach right the way across to the eastern side of the country. so, this weekend, mixed picture — could be a bit of rain around on saturday, but for many areas, it's a dry day.
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by sunday, outbreaks of rain become a bit more extensive, heavy and thundery as well for some. so, as i say, a mixed fortune, really. for southern and eastern scotland, western areas of england and wales, it's a cloudy start to the day with outbreaks of light rain and drizzle, probably some mist and fog patches mixed in as well. to the east of our weather front, perhaps east wales, but definitely central and eastern england, there'll be a lot of dry weather, sunny spells and warm in that september sunshine — highs up to 23. brighter slice of weather as well for west scotland and northern ireland, but here, a fresher feel to the weather, temperatures 17—19. now, saturday night sees heavy, thundery rain start to break out across wales, moving in across northern england, into scotland as well, so there will be some heavy downpours around. and then, through sunday, this area of heavy and potentially thundery rain will continue to push eastwards and become really slow—moving across parts of central and eastern england. there's a risk of some localised flooding, 30—110 mm possible in one or two areas. in the wettest areas, that's enough to cause some localised surface water flooding. at the same time, the western
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side of the country will turn brighter and drier and a bit sunnier through sunday afternoon. by monday, could still be a little bit of rain left over across east anglia and the far southeast of england, but otherwise, pressure will be building across the country for a time for monday and for tuesday as well, and that means for most of us, we're looking at a fine spell of weather with sunny spells. temperatures into the high teens or even the low 20s. however, it's not going to stay that way because, into the middle part of next week, we're going to see low pressure move in, bringing some heavy rain across the country and some much windier weather on the way as well.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: a top american general�*s confirmed one of the last military operations in afghanistan inadvertently killed 10 members of an innocent family. the head of us central command said an investigation had found a drone strike killed an aid worker and nine relatives — seven of them children. france is recalling its ambassadors from australia and the united states in what it describes as an exceptional decision. the french foreign minister said the ambassadors were returning due to the seriousness of the announcement made on wednesday that australia would scrap a multi—billion dollar deal to buy french—designed submarines. the former president of algeria, abdelaziz bouteflika, has died after a long illness aged eighty four. he led the north african country for nearly two decades, but the ailing president's decision in 2019 to seek a fifth term led to massive street protests.

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