tv Outside Source BBC News July 24, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm BST
hello, i'm karin giannone, this is outside source. the worst wildfires for a decade hit greece leaving more than 70 dead. survivors report taking desparate measures to escape with their lives. translation: thankfully, the sea was there, and we went into the sea because the flames were chasing us all the way to the water. it burned our backs, and we jumped into the water. with extremes of hot weather affecting places from sweden's arctic circle to japan, we'll be looking at why this is happening, and the link to climate change. also in the programme, hundreds of people are missing in laos after a dam breaks, unleashing a massive deadly flood. and if you want to get in touch, the hashtag is #bbcos. to greece, where devastating wildfires have killed
at least 7a people. three blazes broke out on tuesday afternoon. let's show you the frontline of one fire. sirens this is kineta, west of athens. terrifying scenes filmed by people trying to fight or escape the flames. fuelled by strong wings and high temperatures, the blaze engulfed hundreds of homes and cars. the fires are in the attica region that surrounds athens. as well as kineta, flames ripped through penteli and rafina. but the epicentre is here — mati. it's about a0 kilometres northeast of athens. it's a seaside resort. it's here the bodies of 26 people were discovered in a small courtyard of a villa. adults and children. some hugging each other. it appears they were trapped by flames. they were just metres from the sea. here's one emergency worker at the scene. translation: yes, it's true.
it seems that some of them knew each other, because they were found in groups of three, four, so they could be friends or relatives, or families who try to protect themselves, by hugging each other. the images coming into the newsroom from the fire are shocking. but they give a sense of the devasation. this is mobile phone footage of people on the beach. thick black smoke billowing as the fire bears down on the town of rafina. some people tried to escape in their cars. you can see the aftermath here. this is in mati. truly astonishing scenes — many cars left as just blackened shells. homes and livelihoods have been destroyed. these are pictures of the charred remains of buildings. scorched earth. this is a popular area for local tourists. and if we take a look at this area from the air. 4 you can see the extent of damage.
more than 170 people have been injured, and there are fears the number of dead will rise. some who survived returned to the scene today. this grieving husband lost his wife in the fire. he picked through the ashes, searching for her belongings. here's his account of what happened. i took my baby towards the sea, my wife, i didn't know what happened. i think she burned herself here. many others tried to escape the flames by running into the sea. these are still images that have we now have. when know at least six people died trying to flee into the sea some 715 were evacuated on boats. here are some of those who survived. translation: thankfully, the sea was there. we went into the sea, because the flames was chasing us
all the way to the water. it burned our backs and wejumped into the water. it was lightning fast. we did not realise what had happened. you couldn't! it was the first time i have ever seen something like this. this quote is how the mayor of rafina described mati. it "no longer exists." these are the deadliest fires the country has seen in more than a decade. a government spokesman said 15 fires started simultaneously on three different fronts around athens. they are investigating if arson was involved. and it's not over in kineta. these are pictures we have from there from earlier. several countries have offered their support. cyprus is sending fire fighters. spain is sending planes. a state of emergency has been declared in the attica region. here's greek prime minister alexis tsipras. translation: in memory of those who perished, we are declaring three days of national mourning. however, we should not let the mourning overwhelm us, because this is a time to fight, to be unified, courageous and most of all to have solidarity. a short time ago i spokt
to journalist jessica bateman from rafina, and asked her what it's like there. it's remarkably calm, now, actually. it feels like the local community have been really pulling together to today, everybody has stayed very calm, very level—headed. people being on the ground as soon as people came into the port to be evacuated. local residents were bringing them clothes, blankets, today, lots of people from the surrounding area were coming down with food and water, and distributing it. so, yes, quite a few tourists obviously, that are being evacuated from their homes, and had to flee in the most horrifying, terrifying of circumstances. and they have been transferred here to hotels, quite a few of them have managed to find urgency transport home. but yes, generally, nice
to see the community really pulling together. how close are the fire is now to where you are? from what i understand the fires in mati have been put out. it is very close, perhaps two kilometres up the road, where they all started, where... where the edge of the town was. and just tell me, what are people doing who have lost everything? this has come as such a shock to everyone. i think it is just too early for people to process it, really. people are being transferred to hotels, or they are staying with friends and family, and i think everyone's isjust trying to get on and give them enough food and water and survival for the day. not truly thinking ahead about what is going to happen next. but it's notjust europe.
japan is experiencing a record—breaking heatwave. in fact it's so hot, the governments weather agency is calling it a natural disaster. officials say 65 people have died this week. more than 30,000 people were admitted to hospital in the past two weeks suffering from heat exhaustion. take a look at these pictures: in a traditional ceremony, people try to cool the streets. not sure if that will make a difference, because crucially, the heatwave shows no sign of abating. here's rupert wingfield—hayes in tokyo: this is really very visit ended. yesterday, we had the absolute highest temperature ever recorded in japan, 41.1 celsius. in a townjust north of tokyo, and then in a city in western japan, another record, seven days and broken of temperatures above 38 degrees. this is because a large area of high pressure is just sitting over the top ofjapan, and has been since the
start of the map and is not moving. modern buildings are well equipped, air conditioning is normal. if you live in a modern apartment building 01’ live in a modern apartment building or office, then it is not a huge problem, but lots of older buildings, particularly schools and older houses, are not equipped for this sort of heat, and the heat in the summer, here, does get up into the summer, here, does get up into the mid—30s regularly, but it is usually for a day or two, and then it will drop back down and people can cool. it is... notjust the height of the heat, it is the fact that it height of the heat, it is the fact thatitis height of the heat, it is the fact that it is going on and on and on, and not getting cool at night, so it is not getting a chance to cool down that night, so that is having a very dangerous effect particularly on all people's health. at least half of those who died were over 65 years old. we've been talking about the heatwave in greece and japan, but it's not just these countries. this is part of a global weather pattern, with countries across the world experiencing heat waves this summer. even in sweden,
temperatures have reached the highest in a century — and the country is experiencing an unprecedented drought. there are 21 active fires across the country. the fires are raging across sweden go as far north as the arctic circle. that's prompted authorities to ask for international help. italy and norway have both sent firefighting aircraft to help. algeria recorded africa's hottest ever recorded temperature in the northern city of ouargla. it reached 51.3 degrees celsuis. this image is from the bbc‘s reality check. it shows global temperatures in july. in dark red you can see how many countries were above average for this period. so what's going on? here's the bbc‘s science editor, david shukman. well, behind all this, the key as ever is the jet stream. that is the flow of high altitude air that governs our weather. often in summer, it has a rather gentle wave meaning that we tend to get cooler
conditions, but this year, it has been meandering in great loops, and we have ended up to the south of it, which means that we are getting hotter weather. add to that, sea temperatures similar to previous heat waves, and climate change. the warming of the atmosphere making heatwaves more likely. so is this kind of weather the new normal or an occasional occurrence? i spoke to bbc weather presenter, stav da naos. some areas of the globe which have seen these heat waves have been pretty exceptional, for example, the heat in scandinavia. we have been seeing records broken across the peninsula all over the place the last few weeks, and we have seen other heatwaves elsewhere, most continents across the northern hemisphere have had their share of feet, for example, across north america, the northeast states, canada, at the moment it has cooled down with some rain, there. the western side of the states, and in fact british columbia also seeing a pretty intense heat at the moment, as is texas, nothing too unusual there across the south of the
states. and of course, the incredible heat that we are seeing injapan at the moment. much of eastern china, the korean peninsula and also japan has seen some pretty exceptional weather at the moment. at what is going on in our atmosphere that is creating these conditions right now? there is a combination of things coming together, as david explained, there. we have got a deeply meandering weak jet stream at the moment. thejet stream high up in the atmosphere which still our weather systems, and often spring up in areas of low pressure. what we have got in the northern hemisphere at the moment, in the summer, is weak contrast between the southern hemisphere and the temperatures in the north, so when we have a weak contrast between them, the jet stream is usually weak and slow. and so, where areas of high pressure are developing, we don't have much of a jet stream to move those areas apply pressure on, so they are settling in areas and remaining there for a long period of time, which is
what we see in several parts of the northern hemisphere. i know that people are asking whether this is climate change in action, it is a difficult question to ask you, but people want to know, is this going to go on for much longer? well, if the jet stream remains quite weak, as it is at the moment, it is likely that we will see these heatwaves remaining for a while. the heat across northern europe or across the north—west of europe will use a little bit, and it looks as though into next week, temperatures are set to rise again, and it will remain warm across scandinavia, and we have a couple of tropical storms, in fact, approaching japan, which will bring a little bit of respite, there, in the next few days, but this is sign again that the heat will build there. so, as of yet, no, looks like they are sticking where they are. much more on that story on the website. stay with us on outside source — still to come... we take a closer look at the coach
at the centre of bribery allegations at the centre of bribery allegations. theresa may is taking personal control of brexit talks with the eu, with dominic raab deputising for her. mr raab was drafted in as brexit secretary to replace david davis, who quit in protest at the prime minister's trade proposals. at the brexit committee of mp‘s today, john whittingdale mp asked the europe unit will have overall responsibility for the preparation and overall conduct of the negotiations. does that suggest that the two review should swap places, because in actual fact, the two review should swap places, because in actualfact, you the two review should swap places, because in actual fact, you are the secretary of state and you are being supported by the official next year. urn what we have done, is to try and make clear, given some of the tensions that you understandably refer to, and given the mixed functions that both the cabinet office europe team were performing, that both is a matter of the
official devil of advice —— official level of advice that we get... this is outside source live from the bbc newsroom. our lead story is? the worst wildfires for a decade hit greece leaving more than 70 dead. there are reports some of the fires may have been deliberately lit. the prime minister has appealed for calm. some other stories being covered on bbc world service. five days after being released from hospital, eleven of the twelve boys and their football coach who were trapped in a thai cave have had their heads shaved before a buddhist ordination ceremony. the boys have been ordained as novice monks, and will live in a monastery for 9 days — a tradition for males in thailand who experience adversity. one other boy — a christian — will not take part. russian investigators have
arrested a 74—year—old space scientist, who is suspected of passing missile secrets to a nato country. the alleged spying concerns hypersonic missiles, which fly at more than five times the speed of sound. this image from the tour de france has been catching a lot of attention. police sprayed tear gas to break up a protest by farmers. some went over the cyclists who had to wash their eyes to get rid of it. the race was briefly halted. having negotiated their way through barricades of hay bales the teams eventually got underway again. the united states has announced a $12 billion emergency aid package to help american farmers hurt by president trump's escalating trade war. farmers will either receive direct payments, or be able to sell excess produce to the government. mr trump's tariffs on steel, aluminium and billions of dollars of chinese goods have sparked swift retaliation against key us farm products such as soy and pork.
the us agriculture secretary, sonny perdue, told reporters that american farmers could not be bullied to force the us to cave in. well for more on this, lets cross to our business reporter paul blake, who is standing by in new york. paul, who stands to benefit the most from this aid package? this goes back to the various trade disputes that donald trump has picked with china, and each development of that, those countries that have been affected have fired back with their own retaliation. in most cases, those have targeted agricultural producing parts of united states. farmers of soya, dairy, meat, pork, various other large agricultural sectors of the united states. people been asking why this sector is? a lot of them have strategic political value. rural parts of the us, and the farming communities, that are
heavily involved in these very sectors have been strong supporters of donald trump, said the idea behind them, is to put pressure on those farmers, because they are key constituents of donald trump, and the pressures sort of trickles up to the pressures sort of trickles up to the white house. stay with me paul, because there was a tweet from donald trump earlier today promoting his trade agenda ? he wrote that today promoting his trade and reiterated his claim that the us was being taken advantage of. whats the reaction been to this announcement? as he said, early, —— earlier, this is all about preventing farmers from being bullied from illegal tariffs, thatis being bullied from illegal tariffs, that is the line. it is pinning donald trump against many members of his own party. there have been reports that a republican in wisconsin has described it as soviet type economics, here. we have seen
paul ryan, the leader of republicans in the house of representatives, saying that tariffs were not the correct way to go about resolving trade disputes. so it is interesting about this trade disputes that it is pitting the president, and how that will lay out any individual districts or states, it is a cata clysm districts or states, it is a cataclysm that the president is taking, and the white house will be monitoring the reaction to this in the coming weeks and months. paul, thanks very much. china's government trying to limit the potential damage of a trade war with the us. beijing is digging deep with tax cuts worth around $172 billion and a sharp increase in spending on infrastructure, that'll rise by more than two thirds to almost $200 billion dollars. jinny yen, chief china economist at icbc standard bank, which is part owned by the chinese government has more. policy they could have been walking
a very fine line here, because it is about balancing the underlying economy, keeping that greater moment going, whilst trying to reduce the financial risk, —— momentum going. what is constructive about the new stimulus plan, and it would not call it that because a lot of the measures are existing, jilly what has happened is there is an extra push, said the start has significantly changed, particularly in the last couple of weeks. the central bank also came in, there is also keeping the liquidity, so the availability of cash between the banks, very ample. so, that together suggests that that policy change in terms of tone suggests that markets have been spooked, before these measures were rolled out, because of the external tensions, that we talk about. in terms of getting ready for that, i think the policymakers clearly are staying very agile to react to these tensions as quickly as possible, and i think that has been a quick reaction. london's heathrow airport has
released its latest half year results — and its seen a 2.3% rise in revenues. it's britain's busiest airport — and hasjust had permission granted to build a new runway. we asked the boss— john holland kaye — if he's preparing for a no—deal brexit. of course, that is something com pletely of course, that is something completely beyond our control, and unlike airlines and some other businesses, we cannot take our custom elsewhere. we are a large, fixed investment, we are going to be here, but the strength that we have is london, and the resilience of heathrow. so we are confident that we will be here, and thriving in the future, what happens on march the sist, future, what happens on march the 31st, of course, we don't know, but what we have been doing is taking responsible steps to protect our business through that time, and you will see through our results that we have been raising £1 billion of bonds to help protect us, so we do need to go back into the financial markets the two—year years. —— don't need to go back. as we make should that be that businesses continue to
thrive with brexit uncertainty. in nigeria, sixteen senators have defected from the ruling party, robbing president muhammadu buhari of his parliamentary what's more, this man, senate president bukola saraki, the third most powerful political leader in the country, has said the chances of him defecting to the opposition are very, very high. today president buhari tweeted: and he added that the apc has done its best to stop the defections. here's the bbc‘s abdul hassan, in abuja. from the beginning, the present leadership of the parliament, the senate and the house of representatives, imagine against the wish of the party and the presidency. the reason is the fact that recently, congress were held at state at the national level, to
choose leaders of the party, and the significance of the choice of the leaders of the party, is the fact that election is near, and with the election, most are politicians, within the party, they believe that it is when we have an influence, it is going to be difficult for him to be able to pass legislation now, looking at the fact that... when his party had a majority in the parliament, he had problems passing the budget, the way that he wanted it. i think what he needs to do is to put the house in order, to make peace with the aggrieved members of this party. those that are left, and those that are still willing to leave. you may remember the bbc africa 5 eye 5 investigation last month showing football officials across west africa accepting cash on camera. it was part of a sting operation by controversial ghanaian journalist anas aremeyaw anas.
well during that investigation, anas captured footage of the head coach of the nigerian national football team taking cash during a discussion about player selection. our nigeria correspondent mayenijones reports. this is the chief coach of the nigerian national football team taking a handful of cash. this secret according was captured by undercover reporters in september 200017. -- 2017. the video was handed to the bbc by
the controversialjournalist, anas aremeyaw anas. he chose the coach of the superego taking the money after a conversation about their selection. his reporters were pretending to be football agents, they wanted two eye during players to be picked for the then upcoming african nations championship. after he took the money, they alluded to other financial incentives. according to the fever and nff code of ethics, officials should not engage in any activity that would cause suspicion, all except any cash gifts. as the coach of the senior national side. best everfinish gifts. as the coach of the senior national side. best ever finish at the 2018 tournament, so he is one of those managers that you would say is
highly regarded. there is no suggestion that the money impacted his player selection. he told them tea m his player selection. he told them team selection was based on performance alone. he has told the bbc that the reporters give him 750 and not 1000 dollars. he says that that is considered symbolic and not... he does not believe he has breached the rules of the fellow of the nff. quick look at the weather across the
united states that the dip way. we have got the weather front across eastern areas, here it is, it is one of those funds that is that in a dead straight line, but we have got pulses of energy running across the eastern areas, bringing some... we could see some localised flooding from north carolina into maryland and also pennsylvania. one place we have seen very nasty flooding in the last 24 hours is laos where we have reports of a damp collapsing. hundreds of people reported missing, and water is deep in places. across vietnam, we have seen 27 fatalities asa vietnam, we have seen 27 fatalities as a result of a slow—moving pressure, followed by a tropical storm. it continues to be wet here over the next few days, another 50 millimetres of rain also. meanwhile,
earlier in the week, injapan, we saw record temperatures, 41 celsius injapan. saw record temperatures, 41 celsius in japan. just met a saw record temperatures, 41 celsius injapan. just met a trickier. the highest temperature ever recorded in japan. the weather picture here, we'll see some subtle changes. it will stay hot and humid, but the chance of seeing some country showers in the short term, which might ease the temperatures by an odd degree. further afield, a tropical storms taking shape, which could ease the winds across japan, but it depends how close that system gets to the side of the country. meanwhile, the main story in europe has been those wildfires that have claimed scores of lives in greece near athens. we have seen some fairly brisk winds here. the winds have been fanning the flames. that makes it really difficult to battle the braces. eastern europe will see
some thundery showers, but we will... some thundery showers, but we will. .. western europe some thundery showers, but we will... western europe is dry with some hot spells of sunshine. temperatures have been rising, the next couple of days, and we could see 37 celsius in the hottest part of north—eastern france, belgium, netherlands, that kind of heat. dangerous of heat across this part of europe. we have seen 33 degrees and monday, the art is whether we have seen so far, this year. looking at the weather picture that tomorrow, right across the north—west of the uk, with temperatures rising a little bit, but probably the main story, part from the heat is we might as you get to see some rain or pantry showers as we had through the friday night, bringing some welcome rain for some of us. hello, i'm karin giannone, this is outside source. the worst wildfires for a decade hit
greece leaving more than 70 dead. survivors report taking desparate measures to escape with their lives. translation: thankfully, the sea was there and we went into the sea, because the flames were chasing us all the way to the water. it burnt our backs, and we jumped into the water. also in the programme, hundreds of people are missing in laos after a dam breaks, unleashing a massive deadly flood. israel has shot down a syrian warplane close to the border between the two countries. it's the latest incident of live fire, on a border which has increasingly become a flashpoint in the region. every day outside source features bbc journalists working in over 30 languages. your questions are always welcome. #bbcos is the hashtag. at least 20 people are believed to have died and many more
are missing, feared dead, in laos after a dam collapsed in the south—east of the country near the borders with vietnam and cambodia. the dam failed at around 8 o'clock last night, and this is footage of the aftermath today. the collapse of the dam unleashed 5 billion cubic metres of water, which caused flash flooding in six villages down river from the dam, washing away homes and causing immense damage. because of the flooding, around 6,600 people have been made homeless. you can see some of them here, wading through muddy floodwater, carrying their belongings and young family members. as well as the human cost, the flooding has caused extensive damage, breaking up roads and bridges, and blocking vital supply routes, which is making relief efforts difficult. some people may still be stranded and the full extent of the damage is still unknown. the dam was still under
construction, part of a project due to be completed next year. this is a computer generated image of part of the project. one of the firms involved in the project, from thailand, has issued a statement saying that a subsidiary dam collapsed after relentless heavy rainfall "caused high volume of water to flow into the project's reservoir". but it says nothing of the loss of life, only that people down river had to be evacuated and and urgent assessment of the situation is being made. earlier i asked bbc southeast asia analyst nga pham whether enough was done to warn nearby villages of the dam's impending collapse. my contact from the region said that during the day, actually, the company sent out warning letters to the villagers. but how many hours before the actual collapse of the dan the actual collapse of the dam we are not really sure. some said that it's something like 5—6 hours, which was obviously not enough. this is an industry that's very controversial but something that laos is viewing as a way of providing energy to asia and enriching its economy.
exactly. laos had the ambition to become something called the battery of southeast asia, meaning that the main source of income of laos would be actually electricity and the power that it generates through numerous power stations across the country. up to now, it has more than 40 hydropower electric stations and the ambition is by 2020, there will be something like 100. so the number is really large. and most of the power generated will be sold to thailand and to other countries. the statements that we've had from the companies who built the dam leave out any mention of the human victims, this is quite amazing to many people? yes, i thought it was quite a bizarre move by the company,
actually, because the thai company ratch issued a couple of statements and they never mentioned the people who were killed or the people who were missing or the damage that was caused to the population there. they actually said that they did help evacuate people, but the scale of that we're not really sure. so the statements actually were just talking about the cause, the presumed cause of the disaster. but i know that the south korean companies also helped out with the evacuation and they also tried to send in assistance, mobilise helicopters, for example, and boats, to try to get people out of the disaster zone. we're expecting that the number of dead we have so far will become much higher in due course? yeah, because the terrain is very difficult and the weather conditions is very, very difficult as well. so i think that the assistance
actually is going in, but very, very slowly. the lao government actually has declared a state of emergency, state of calamity they call it there, to call for international assistance. and i think aid is coming in, rescue teams from thailand, from singapore actually also, coming in. but we will see how that is developing in the next 24 hours. the israeli military says it's shot down a syrian warplane. here's the israeli ambassador to the united nations. two patriot missiles were launched at a syrian fighter jet that infiltrated into israeli airspace. the idf monitored the advance of the fighter jet, which infiltrated about two kilometres into israeli airspace. it was then intercepted by the patriot missiles. these pictures are from social media. allegedly showing
the aftermath of the incident. you can see what appears to be the trail of the jet as it goes towards the ground. the syrian news agency sana claims that the plane was conducting raids against "armed terrorist groups" in the area. worth noting though that the syrian government routinely describes rebel groups as terrorists. the syrian line is that the plane was targeted when it was over syrian airspace — though it didn't say whether it had been hit. the incident happened at the border region between israel and syria. it's known as golan heights, and it's a complicated area, as this map shows. israel has occupied it since 1967, although it's not recognised internationally as israeli sovereign territory. syria nominally controls a third of it. that orange you can see is a un observer force zone. in a tweet the israel defence forces said they were on "high alert" following "an increase in activity by syria's air force in the region. given the completely differing
accounts of what happened, i asked the bbc‘s middle east regional editor youssef taha which was more believable. both of them and neither of them. the thing is, the syrian state news agency is saying that the plane was hitting rebels, whom it calls terrorists, over syrian airspace near deraa in the south—west. while the israelis say that the plane had crossed over the golan heights, which are occupied by israel since 1967 as you said, and therefore they control that airspace as well. now, syrian government has been advancing and routing the rebels in the south. now they are saying that israel, by hitting this plane, is supporting the rebels, whom it calls terrorists again, and therefore it is supporting them, and this comes two days after israel has helped to evacuate around 422 white helmet people and their families from syria.
are we seeing a notable ratcheting up of israel's involvement in syria and the tension between syria and israel? this has been going on for a while now, for a few weeks, because israel's problem is iranian presence and iranian—backed fighters' presence inside syria. we had a visit on monday by the russian foreign minister, sergei lavrov and his chief of staff, valery gerasimov, tojerusalem, offering to keep iranian troops 100 kilometres away from the border with israel. this was rebuffed by israel because it is worried by iran's long—range missiles, which of course would go further than 100 kilometres. so, the battle continues. also they don't want hezbollah fighters inside syria. they supported president assad to quell the protests by the rebels there as well. stay with us on outside source, still to come...
we look into reports that north korea is dismantling part of an important rocket engine testing site, honouring the deal it struck with the us last month. a million public sector workers in the uk will get their biggest pay rise in nearly a decade. it includes 2.9% extra this year for the armed forces, 2.75% for prison officers and up to 3.5% percent for teachers. police will see a 2% rise, the same increase seen by gps and dentists. but labour says it will come at the cost of other services, because it will be funded by other government departments and not the treasury. education editor branwen jeffreys has more. the calls to lift the pay cap have been getting louder. the public sector, tired after a decade of austerity. growing problems recruiting and keeping staff.
nowhere more so than in schools. we're going to design posters about how to keep safe in the sun... not enough teachers starting training, too many leaving after a few years. so, headteachers have been pressing for today's pay rise. but it's only younger teachers that will get the full pay rise. classroom teachers are getting the biggest slice of these government—backed increases. but these are pay rises for some but not all public sector workers. even so, it could be just enough to help stave off the threat of industrial action that was looming for this autumn. all this to be paid for out of further government savings. but not everyone is happy. the union for rank and file police said it was insulting. £2.50 more a week for those starting on the beat.
and fears across the public sector that local budgets will pick up some of the bill. there's no extra money for pay. whether in wales or england, this will come out of existing government spending. branwen jeffreys, bbc news. this is outside source, live from the bbc newsroom. our lead story... the worst wildfires for a decade hit greece leaving more than 70 dead. there are reports that some of the fires may have been deliberately started. the prime minister has appealed for calm. some other stories being covered on bbc world service.
five days after being released from hospital, eleven of the twelve boys and their football coach who were trapped in a thai cave have had their heads shaved before a buddhist ordination ceremony. the ceremony was in honour of a diver who died during their rescue operation. the boys have been ordained as novice monks, and will live in a monastery for nine days, a tradition for males in thailand who experience adversity. one other boy, a christian, will not take part. (00v) russian investigators have arrested a 74—year—old space russian investigators have arrested a 74—year—old space scientist, who is suspected of passing missile secrets to a nato country. the alleged spying concerns hypersonic missiles, which fly at more than five times the speed of sound. this image from the tour de france has been catching a lot of attention. police sprayed tear gas to break up a protest by farmers. some went over the cyclists who had to wash their eyes to get rid of it. the race was briefly halted. having negotiated their way through barricades of hay bales, the teams eventually got underway again. nicaragua has been experiencing months of political violence which has seen the death of more
than 300 people. most observers say it's groups allied to president ortega who are mostly to blame. that has brought more and more people out onto the streets. here's one other protest. national student day was marked by marches in the capital managua. they held up crosses carrying backpacks to symbolise those killed in the past three months of protests. and it's clear who they blamed. translation: president ortega's time has run out. the majority of people are calling for his resignation and to stop the oppression. nicaragua has already decided. nicaragua is free, the streets belong to the people. these protests all began originally against plans to cut social security payments but they've expanded into something far bigger. we should say there have also been protests in support of the president. this march was organised by a different group of students, people holding banners supporting the sandinista movement, and mrortega. he gave a rare interview last night to fox news in the us.
president ortega defied calls to bring an end to the violence, and to his more than a decade of rule, by stepping down. mr president, 40 years ago, you were a young revolutionary fighting as you say a brutal family dictatorship. now, the protesters on the street chant, ortega and somoza are the same thing. to end the violence, and to help your country, would you consider you and your wife stepping down from power? translation: we were elected by the voters. so, there have been electoral periods or term limits. and our electoral period ends with the elections of 2021, when we will have our next elections. there's been a lot of reaction to this interview, opposition groups
challenging a lot of what he said. most controversially, he spoke of "armed attacks by paramilitaries", but said they were, quote... "..opposition groups that obey political organisations, some are members of the liberal party". that's one of the opposition parties. the united nations office on human rights however earlier this month said the great majority of human rights violations are by "government or armed elements who seem to be working in tandem with them". earlier one famous nicaraguan involved in human rights gave the bbc her reaction. i can personally contest what he said with regard, for example, when he says that no—one has ever been attacked when they've been on a peaceful demonstration. i was there on mother's day, on a huge demonstration to honour the mothers who have lost children who had been killed by these repressive operators. and on that day, that very day, they killed 18 people and they wounded between 70 and 80 — and i was there.
the other thing i can tell you with regards to the, i've been on the phone with the students when they've been calling me to ask me for help and they've been saying to me, they're killing us. bianca jagger there referring to another claim mr ortega made that ""not a single nicaraguan has died in any church". one priest tweeted. .. "no attack on the church? parish of divine merchuly 13th... what about this? " he's been posting images like this bullet marks inside his church, where two protestors were killed earlier this month, after paramilitaries fired inside. if you want to find out more, this article web on the bbc website does a good job going through that interview with president ortega point by point, and trying to work out where the truth lies. there is a lot more on all of our stories on our website including the
spanish in which a section. —— spanish in which a section. —— spanish language section. next to rajasthan in northern india where so—called "cow vigilantism" has become a matter of fierce debate. in this latest incident in a town called anwar, police are accused of delaying helping a muslim man, who died after being lynched for alleged cow smuggling. in hindu—majority india, cows are considered holy and in several states it is illegal to kill them. the leader of the opposition congress party rahul gandhi said the latest lynching was an example of pm narendra modi's "brutal new india where humanity is replaced with hate". but mr modi's bjp party fired back, with minister piyush goyal calling mr gandhi a "merchant of hate". here's sangeetha rajan with more on what we know about the incident. the allegations in the police are that they received a call at around midnight, around 12.40 midnight but the hospital records show that the man was admitted only at four o'clock.
there has been allegations against the police officers saying that they took efforts to take the cows to a shelter, to a safe shelter, before taking the victims to the hospital. well, these are still allegations and a senior police officer has told the bbc that they are looking into it and this thing is being investigated. why do we believe this particular man was targeted? so, this man, like a few others in the past, has been believed to be kidnapping cows. so, stealing cows from the state, rajasthan. but his friend, who escaped from this attack, has told the bbc that they had bought cows legitimately and they were travelling to the border between the two states and that's when the group, the mob, the cow vigilantes, how they call themselves, they attacked them. one of them died, the other, he escaped from the place to save his life. just explain to us why this sort of crime occurs, what's behind it, because this is not the first time
something terrible like this has happened? so, in a country like india, so it is led or it is ruled by the hindu nationalist bjp party, which is a right—wing party. and this sort of a government actually is pro—hindus. so, in hinduism the cow is a sacred animal and slaughtering cows or eating beef is seen to be something that's against the beliefs. and now, there are people, there's been criticism that the ruling party is actually supporting people, and the right—wing groups that are related to the ruling party, are supporting people to be aggressive, to be violent against these, you know, muslims, the poor or tribal, you know, the people who can't afford meat like fish or chicken who try and eat beef, which is cheaper. certain sections of the population, muslims... untouchables as they had been known, eat beef.
and have come to be targets by some of these gangs. yeah, because it's the cheapest meat that they can afford, they can't afford chicken or fish. and even there have been cases in the past where people... where muslims have been attacked, they have just been accused that they had beef at home even though they've not had beef at home or milk traders, for example, this guy who was killed last week, his father says they bought the cows just for milk trading and not for the beef. butjust because they were seen with the cows they were believed that they were taking the animal for its beef and that the animal was going to be slaughtered. let's turn to north korea, and show you this picture. it's a recent satellite image, said to show evidence that the dismantling of one of the country's main launch sites has begun. it's called so—hae station. it's in here in the north—west of north korea. the image was released, along with many more, in this article by the us—based monitoring group 38 north. they say it's evidence that pyongyang is complying with a promise to the us. donald trump said kimjong—un had vowed to destroy an engine test site during their singapore
summit injune. though he didn't specify which one. here'sjenny town, managing editor of 38 north. journey these are the signs that we have been looking for and certainly after the singapore summit, in the press c0 nfe re nce after the singapore summit, in the press conference which president trump did he did mention that there was a promise from the north koreans to dismantle an engine test site and so this is what we have started to see now happen at the so—hae launch facility. i think it is even more interesting that we are seeing them dismantle the structures on top of the launchpad itself, which is used for space launches and satellite launches which might be considered pa rt launches which might be considered part of its civilian programme and which has stood in the way of diplomacy in the past. so i think this is a large confidence building measure in a longer process to help try and keep momentum going for the
negotiations themselves. south korea has welcomed these latest developments as promising. but it also cautioned to wait for confirmation from government sources. it comes at a time when there are increasing questions over north korea's willingness to stick to its pledges made at the summit. on monday donald trump tweeted... "a rocket has not been launched by north korea in 9 months. likewise, no nuclear tests. japan is happy, all of asia is happy. but the fake news is saying, without ever asking me (always anonymous sources), that i am angry because it is not going fast enough. wrong, very happy!" but as this bbc article notes, reports on a us intelligence leak earlier this month reveal pyongyang may still be continuing its weapons programme. here's su—min hwang from bbc korean service. we have seen the space launch site being dismantled, two sites being dismantled according to 38 north and
that could be seen as a positive sign that north korea is moving towards disarmament. however, the overall consensus is that it is premature to say that. however there are other reports, could not be verified although a lot of north korea watchers agree that there are signs that north korea is actually upgrading some other key sites. and also the dismantling of this particular site, analysts say that they could be reversible. so if north korea wanted to, they could actually put things back together and it is not going to be tetra mental towards the steps towards nuclear disarmament. so there are signs of scepticism of this movement. yes, this will provide a momentum towards the conversation between the us and north korea at is ita between the us and north korea at is it a practical, major step towards it? probably not. another key is that there hasn't been any external inspect is to verify what has
actually happened on the site. we've seen the same thing happening in other periods, dismantling of another site and we now have another one. so, what this says is that north korea may be willing but we can't really verify it. to greece, where devastating wildfires have killed at least 74 people. we have been hearing stories of people escaping from the flames by running to the sea. this was near the seaside village of mati, people described how they were forced there by the blaze which struck like a flamethrower. we will be back tomorrow at the usual time. there is some rain in this forecast
and boy, do we need it? this summer has been exceptionally dry across many parts of the country. this particular weather station in southwark has not recorded any rain at all since the beginning ofjune. and these are the latest statistics from the met office forjuly. where you see the dark brown colours on the map, that indicates rainfall of less tha n the map, that indicates rainfall of less than 20% of the average. i mention there is some yeah. in this forecast — where is it at the moment? a lot of it is out here in the atlantic tied up in an area of low pressure on the satellite picture. that will approach our shores over the next few days but before it does, we will continue to draw this very hot air up from the self pass leap into southern and eastern portions of the uk. another muqqy eastern portions of the uk. another muggy start in the south—east on wednesday morning. small chance of a shower in the south—east. 22 degrees
in belfast but perhaps 32 across parts of the south—east. and then we look ahead to thursday and again, a lot of sunshine to be had. but some changes out west. this frontal system approach in northern ireland, a bit of rain here late in the day. winds strengthening in north—western areas. whereas down towards the south—east, remember that hot air wafting up from the south, 33 degrees in london. somewhere could even get to 35 degrees. remember that swirl of cloud i showed you, that swirl of cloud i showed you, that area of low pressure, by friday it will be drifting close to the north—west of the uk. we will see some yeah. moving across northern ireland into western scotland and western fringes of england and wales. at the same time we are looking like we are going to bring some thunderstorms up from the south. hit and miss but if you catch one it will really fill up the rain gauges, perhaps enough rain to cause some disruption. if you have travel
plans late on friday it is worth staying tuned to the forecast. however, watch how the frontal systems sweep away to the east by saturday. and that will allow us to bring in some fresh air. we tap into these green and even blue colours in these green and even blue colours in the atlantic, that fresh air racing across the country for saturday morning. there will still be some sunshine about. still some rain left behind across shetland. temperatures 19-26, i think that behind across shetland. temperatures 19—26, i think that will feel very pleasant. and a lot of fine weather on sunday as well. we bring another area of low pressure in from the south—west, a bit of uncertainty about the timing on this. that area of low pressure, that first one, will drift across north—western parts of the country. so, some rain to come here. then high pressure never too far away as we get into next week. but it still looks like beer gnabry in frontal systems towards the north—west of the uk, so most likely to see rain here. it
remains to be seen exactly what the pressure pattern will look like by the time we get into the end of next week. if high pressure builds strongly across the continent and we have the low pressure towards the north—west, fresher atlantic yes. air will work into the north—western parts and the southern areas will have more heat. so, the chance that it could be turning hot again down in the south next week. tonight at ten, the worst wildfires in greece for more than a decade, have so far killed at least 76 people. the flames swept through woodland, destroying seaside towns east of athens. many people couldn't outrun the fires, caught out by their speed, the heat fanned by strong winds and high temperatures. i took my baby and i ran towards the sea. my wife, i didn't know what happened. i think she burnt herself here. greece's prime minister alexis