this is bbc news. welcome if you're watching here in the uk, on pbs in america or around the globe. i'm james reynolds. our top stories: schools closed, construction grinds to a halt, india declares a public health emergency in delhi with air pollution at dangerous levels. beto o'rourke out of the race — the texan democrat hopeful announces he's giving up on his american presidential dream. britain bans fracking to extract shale gas after experts warn they can't predict if it will cause earthquakes. the countdown is on for the rugby world cup — england take on south africa. we've got the latest from japan.
a public health emergency has been declared in delhi due to soaring levels of air pollution. officials are blaming farmers in neighbouring states who are using fires to clear land. they say the thick fog has turned the city into a gas chamber. from delhi, pratiksha ghildial reports. it is like a scene from a dystopian science—fiction movie. for a third day in a row now, residents of delhi are inhaling the season's worst toxic air. in some parts of the city, the levels of pm 2.5, the tiny particles that can penetrate deep into our lungs, are peaking at more than 500 mcg per cubic metre. the world health organization recommends a maximum level of 25.
i'm in central delhi, just near the main business district, and with the iconic india gate behind me. but as you can see, it is barely visible, with a thick blanket of smog around it. it is daytime, but hardly any sunlight is able to percolate the thick layer of smog that shrouds the city. the government says it is doing what it can. it has banned construction activities and plans to limit the number of vehicles on delhi's roads. but the main reason for the toxic air here is the burning of crop stubble by farmers in neighbouring states of haryana and punjab, and there seems to be no respite from that. in november last year, i was really ill. i wasn't wearing a mask and it was so polluted last year also, and i got really, really bad lungs. my doctor suggested me to wear a mask every day. translation: i didn't realise how bad it will get. do we really want our kids to grow
in such an environment? no—one really cares. no—one wants to improve the situation. several studies say that the pollution in delhi is damaging people's health at an alarming rate and causing premature deaths. it really is a public health emergency. the former texas congressman beto o'rourke has dropped out of the us presidential race. on social media, he said his campaign for the democratic party nomination didn't have the means to go forward — but that he'd work to ensure donald trump was defeated. this is a campaign that has prided itself on seeing things clearly and on speaking honestly and on acting decisively. we have to clearly see, at this point, that we do not have the means to pursue this campaign successfully.
about a year ago things looked very different. beto o'rourke was the rising star in the democratic party, he appeared on the cover of vanity fair with the headline, "i was born to do this." here's the bbc‘s washington correspondent chris buckler. so the mid—term elections, about a year ago, he ran for the senate seat in texas. and he wasn't successful, but it was a really spirited bid, and truthfully, in what is a republican heartland, he did exceptionally well. and at that point, he was seen as a real rising star within the party. in fact, he launched his presidential campaign with a photo shoot for vanity fair magazine. he was on the front cover. he talked about how he was born to be in this presidential race. the truth is he acknowledged it did backfire in some ways because it put
a lot of attention on him, and it meant he had to really live up to that. and truthfully, in the democratic debates really managed to stand out among this very crowded field of something like 20 people, all vying to become the presidential candidate for the party. although he has at moments, he's been very strong on issues like climate change and gun control, and actually, he announced he was not going to go ahead, some of those who supported him crying they genuinely believed in him. i struggle to find his final polling numbers, you have to scroll down the page till you find his single digit figures. who, if anyone, benefits from his accident? truthfully, the reality is that o'rourke is so far down the petting order —— from his exit, pecking order. we are starting to see four candidates: former presidentjoe
biden, elizabeth warren, petejade and bernie sanders. they are trying to convince democrats they are the present is had an rival donald trump in the 2020 election. they are the ones that are starting to break away. and when you look at the other candidates, going right the way down, they are in single digit percentages and low single digit percentages. so i think we are starting to get an idea of who could potentially be, and at the moment, elizabeth warren seems to be the front runner. chilean president sebastian pinera has backed away from plans to cut corporate taxes in yet another concession to anti—austerity protests. the decision follows a number of major step—downs by the chilean government, including the announcement that it is withdrawing as the host nation for two major international summits, including the un climate change conference. mr pinera is also facing mounting criticism for the behaviour of chile's security services, with protesters alleging a range of human rights violations.
20 people have been killed since the demonstrations began. so, what are the protesters hoping to achieve? boris van der spek is the editor of the news publication chile today. so after the last couple of weeks — of course, the protests started two weeks ago — were more violent, more massive than we're seeing right now. after these two weeks, after a few reforms, after a cabinet shuffle from president pinera, what these protesters are looking for are more profound reforms in chile. the most specific demand they're looking for is a new constitution. so at this moment, we are seeing in santiago, but also in other cities throughout the country, people gathering in social gatherings, but also in marches, manifestations, discussions, debates, to talk about a possible new constitution and what this constitution would look like. boris, just to pick up on that — that constitution was written during the pinochet military government in the early 1980s.
how simple would be for the country to decide "let's have a constitution?" that's very difficult to decide for the country. because, of course, there's a lot of sectors within the government, within chile, elite people who are earning a lot of money in the system, who would not profit from a new constitution. they would love to see the current constitution continue. but, of course, you have such huge opposition in the country from social movements, from organisations, from opposition sectors who all oppose this constitution. well, i mean, it's going to be a tough debate and it's not clear whether a new constitution is going to be drawn up. the debate is there. just to stop you — president pinera became famous around the world back in, what, 2010? with the chile mining disaster, greeting those miners. he wants to project chile abroad. he has now had to cancel two major summits. how difficult a moment is this for chile's president?
it is a disaster for the chilean president and the government. the apec summit with xi jinping and donald trump possibly signing a trade deal there, it would be a major step for chile, chilean business. and, of course, the climate summit — the first big climate summit after paris. it would be the best opportunity for chile to show the country in its full force and for pinera to show himself as a world leader. so, yeah, for him this has been tragic. terrible to have to be forced to cancel these summits. britain has become the latest european country to halt fracking for oil and gas because of safety concerns. the government withdrew its support after a report by its oil and gas authority warned that it wasn't possible to predict the size or timing of any earthquakes that the process might trigger. france and germany, have already banned onshore fracking and it has
been controversial in the uk for some time. our news reporter charlotte gallagher is with me now. just to remind everyone, if you could tell me from the beginning, what is fracking? is a process to extra ct what is fracking? is a process to extract oil or gas from deep within the earth. how it works as you drill a well, and then this narrow well, you pump down the sand, water and chemicals. those three things mixed together, essentially, the gas or the oil floats to the surface, simply, that is how it works. what has the british government now done? they've suspended it immediately. this is after a report from a government agency said it was impossible to predict the size or probability of earth tremors caused by fracking, and the government have said at this stage itjust isn't safe enough to proceed. now there was actually only one active fracking site in the whole of uk, in
lancashire, north—west england. activity there was suspended in august when there was an earthquake. now it looks like all future projects are being put on hold. let you know what a public opinion was like in that area? in that area, public opinion was very strong against fracking. there was lots of protest at the site. lots of people in the area did want it because it was going to bring jobs and money to the area, others were very, very unhappy. lots of people were arrested, actually, they went to the site to protest. and it cost the local lancashire police £11 million to believe this very small site in lancashire. very controversial. and opposition to fracking here in the uk has doubled in recent years. it isn't something that is particularly popular. we also mentioned in the introduction france and germany. is it possible to think maybe this is it possible to think maybe this is it for the future of fracking in major parts of western europe?
france and germany have banned it for good. the netherlands have suspended it. the republic of ireland has suspended it as well. the uk government at the moment is saying no, this isn't the end of fracking, this is being suspended for the time being. they say if it is safer in the future they will go back to it. and in fact, fracking was suspended in england during 2011 for one year and then it came back. a lot of people are saying, especially rival politicians, look, there is an election coming up, we know fracking is unpopular with a lot of people and this is a ploy by borisjohnson. he would deny that, but later said they would ban fracking completely if they got into power. any politicians in favour of it? not many, to be honest. some within different parties. the local mp in where that site was was very, very against fracking in lancashire because his voters were incredibly
unhappy. individually people in parties have been in favour, and borisjohnson a few years ago that it was a wonderful thing. so he has obviously changed his tune. charlotte gallagher, thank you very much. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: 50 years and counting, we'll tell you about the russian postwoman whojust keeps going and going. the israeli prime minister, yitzhak rabin, the architect of the middle east peace process, has been assassinated. a 27—year—old jewish man has been arrested and an extremistjewish organisation has claimed responsibility for the killing. at polling booths throughout the country, they voted on a historic day for australia. as the results came in, it was clear. the monarchy would survive. of the american hostages, there was no sign. they are being held somewhere inside the compound,
and student leaders have threatened that should the americans attempt rescue, they will all die. this mission has surpassed all expectations. voyageri is now the most distant man—made object anywhere in the universe, and itjust seems to keep on going. tonight, we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms, or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals. this is bbc news. the latest headlines: a public health emergency has been declared in the indian capital delhi, with all schools closed for four days because of dangerous air pollution. more now on the air pollution crisis in the indian capital, delhi. i'm joined from los angeles by nasa scientist daniel cusworth. over the past few years, he has done extensive research into identifying the sources
of the city's pollution. daniel, so good have you tojoin daniel, so good have you to join us. in this case, what is causing the pollution? so this time of year, the post— monsoon is when farmers harvest the rice crop and in the combine harvesting, rice residue is left on the fields and in order to ready the crops for the next planting cycle, they burn the crops, and these burnings are detectable from space, you can hotspots from space, you can see from satellite imagery, you can see the smoke emanating throughout the plane which includes new delhi, and if you look at the service monitors, if you look at the service monitors, if you look atair at the service monitors, if you look at air pollution, monitors, you can see very much a spike in air pollution corresponding to when these fires are being set. how bad is this in comparison to other earlier episodes of pollution that delhi much of —— must have suffered?
delhi much of —— must have suffered? delhi is an urban area and has many sources of dental air pollution but doing this time of year, it is not uncommon for the air quality, particularly the particulate matter, to be around 400 or 500 micrograms per cubic which is about ten or 20 times above what the world health organisation recommendation is so it is very high and it is very polluted. the indian government is clearly taking some measures to protect its population, closing schools and so on, but what kind of measures can the state take to stop the pollution, to make it go away? that is certainly best addressed by the farmers and by the policymakers but certainly, there are regulations that can be pursued in addition to agricultural enhancements in terms of mechanised harvesting and other types of combine harvesters which allow for subsequent planting of
crops that doesn't require that type of burning but it is something that needs to be engaged with the local and state forces. and when you look at the photos and when you study farming activity near delhi, are you able to work out exactly when the pollution might clear? certainly. so if you — we have a long record of satellite imagery that has been tracking the smoke coming from these fires and this goes back 10—15 years and what we have seen is in about a two week period or up to one month period in late october early november, when you see the burning taking place and subsequent pollution enhancements to the city, so as long as the burning is happening up wind in the regions of punjab, we should expect there to be enhanced pollution downwind and in new delhi and also through the plane. daniel, thank you very much for joining plane. daniel, thank you very much forjoining us. the indigenous khoisan people
of south africa have secured a deal to be paid a regular income from the sale of a herbal tea which they used for centuries, before it became a commercial product. future sales of rooibos tea, or what's sometimes called red bush, will generate thousands of dollars a year for the people. rich preston has this report. south africa's cederberg wilderness. home to this little red plant. a red plant which rakes in around $60 million a year and accounts for about 10% of the global herbal tea market. now, some of that money will go to the people who discovered it. this area, around three hours' north of cape town, is the only area where rooibos is grown. the khoisan people were using it for centuries before it was commercialised under colonial rule. an agreement between the khoisan people and the south african rooibos council means they'll now get 1.5% of farm gate prices.
this has huge ramifications for the indigenous world and also for other industries where many, many people can be brought under one agreement. so it is a world first. and i think it's really important for that reason. the deal should bring the khoisan around $650,000 a year, but they say it's not just about the money. while there are monetary benefits attached, this was very much a dignity issue and the recognition by the industry, you know, that the khoisan are the knowledge holders to the uses of rooibos. its first knowledge was very, very important. and that was really what their struggle was about. the income will help new generations of the indigenous people, who still live in the rural areas where their ancestors first discovered the sweet taste of this little red bush. rich preston, bbc news.
in case you didn't know, the rugby world cup final is less than six hours away. forfans injapan, it's been the trip of a lifetime. this year's tournament is the first ever held in asia, and it's been a chance for players and fans to experience different cultures. let's cross live to japan and speak to a couple who are rugby fans, takashi and zuzana koike, who live in saitama, north of tokyo, and have been soaking up the atmosphere. pumping your fist already! six pumping yourfist already! six hours to go! starting with zuzana first. i can see you there. how exciting is this forjapan? well, this is really a wonderful time forjapan, really, to hold these events injapan and i have to say, i can see that kids are getting really excited about this game. and i heard from a teacher that her daughter said she wants to become a rugby player. so it is having a really good effect on japan, ithink, yes.
having a really good effect on japan, i think, yes. takashi, having a really good effect on japan, ithink, yes. takashi, coming to you and i have to ask the first question and i know this, you have your wales shirt on? you are a wales fan? but you cannot support them in the final! england and south africa. who will you cheer for? um, well, i have some friends in england so well... let's see... you might switch at half—time if south africa are winning! you could switch sides! yes, yes, whichever side which is losing, i will support them. just both of you, have any particular players or coaches in this tournament caught the imagination of people in japan? right. 0h. tournament caught the imagination of people in japan? right. oh. well, i know that there are many players who are very popular, especially among
women, and eddie jones was popular. and eddiejones women, and eddie jones was popular. and eddie jones is women, and eddie jones was popular. and eddiejones is well—known, well known. tell me a bit about the reaction to eddiejones injapan. 0h, reaction to eddiejones injapan. oh, yes. once he, yeah, he built the trust that england is going to win. yes, i have heard that. eddiejones brought the level of japanese yes, i have heard that. eddiejones brought the level ofjapanese rugby to such a high level so we trust that he will do a greatjob to such a high level so we trust that he will do a great job for england. now, when the match starts in about six hours, will you be at home watching? yes. yes, we will be. is it the kind of event when you look out of the window, everyone will be watching the rugby?|j look out of the window, everyone will be watching the rugby? i think so. will be watching the rugby? i think so. unfortunately we live in the countryside so we cannot see that far! but i was in a pub in tokyo and it was packed with the businessmen from wales and australia and japanese businessmen and packed and
i believe that in parts of tokyo, it would be all packed. in terms of japan's recent history, is this one of the great events that japan has hosted recently? i think so, yeah. for me personally, it's been the first time that i have watched the by first time that i have watched the rugby and i'm really thrilled to watch it and especially, i like it, i like watching the perfect techniques like sometimes it is amazing how they catch the ball and kick them around. thank you, zuzana. thank you, takashi. i will let you get on and watch the match. thank you, thank you. good luck, you guys. let's head to russia now for a story of true commitment and dedication. it's the tale of a postwoman, but not any postwoman. this particular postie has been delivering mail for more than 50 years, and she's even become something of a local celebrity,
as the bbc‘s tim allman explains. ekaterina dzalaeva has been doing this for a long, long time. 83 years old, trudging up and down the mountainous roads of north ossetia. a round trip of roughly 40 kilometres, which she used to do six days a week. it's a career choice that stretches all the way back to world war ii. translation: my brother was sent to the front, and all the children rushed to get jobs at the post office. i told myself that when i grow up, i'll definitely become a postwoman. ekaterina is a well—known figure round these parts. people stop to give her a hug or even take a photo. translation: we respect her age very much, especially considering it's a mountainous area. i don't think it's easy even for young people to walk along these roads. in such a remote area, her work can be vital
but she believes it can also be therapeutic. translation: my salary isn't that big, but it helps me. ifind it easier when i'm walking. ifind it easier when i chat to people. i've experienced a lot of sorrow, and when i'm doing nothing it's difficult for me. but when i leave home, it's easier. ekaterina says people wait for her to bring the post, and they love her when she does. day after day, the deliveries never stop. tim allman, bbc news. tough enough to play in the rugby, maybe! a reminder of our top story, a public health emergency has been declared in the indian capital delhi because of soaring air pollution levels. all schools have been shot until tuesday and face masks are being handed out to millions of pupils. the city's pollution level is 20 times higher than that that
the world health organization considers acceptable. you can reach me on twitter. i'm @jamesbbcnews. hello there. winds have already been picking up across parts of the uk. there is some stormy weather to take us through saturday — gales and also heavy rain which, for some of us, will cause some disruption to travel and potentially some damage as well. your bbc local radio station will keep you up to date. you can see the swirling area of cloud on our earlier satellite picture. this is an area of low pressure which has been deepening as it has been approaching the british isles. on the southern flank, you can see these isobars squashing together. that shows a swathe of strong winds continuing to develop right now across parts of wales and the south—west of england. some very heavy rain to be had here as well. but there are met office yellow warnings in force for the strength of the winds.
the strongest winds through the first part of the morning across the south—west of england and south wales, gusts of 60, 70, maybe 80 miles an hour on exposed coasts. as the day wears on, those strong winds will transfer further east across southern england, the south midlands, and up into east anglia. 50, 60, maybe 65mph gusts. those winds could be quite damaging. there will also be some heavy and persistent rain slowly pushing east and north. but at the same time, there will be parts of northern england, southern scotland and northern ireland that see precious little rain. sunny spells. the winds here will be lighter. not a bad day. further north in scotland, they will be happy, and persistent —— further north in scotland, there will be heavy and persistent rain which could cause flooding and easterly winds gusting to 50 or 60 miles an hour. there is lots going on across the uk through the day ahead. top temperatures of 10—13. if you are planning to head out and about during the evening,
those winds will only slowly ease. it will certainly stay blustery for a while. into the first part of sunday, it should be a little calmer out there. some rain at times and lows of 7—9 degrees. sunday, low pressure still very much in charge. notice not as many white lines, not as many isobars on the chart. winds will be considerably lighter. around the centre of that area of low pressure, we will see showers or longer spells of rain spiralling around across the uk. it isn't all doom and gloom if you are heading out and about, because you can see some breaks in the cloud as well. there will be some spells of sunshine, and those top temperatures — 10 degrees in aberdeen, 14 in cardiff. staying unsettled with further heavy downpours into the start of the new working week and then for the middle of the week, it will pick up a northerly wind that is going to feel rather chilly.
this is bbc news. the headlines: a public health emergency has been declared in the indian capital delhi because of soaring air pollution levels. all schools have been shut until tuesday and face masks are being handed out to millions of pupils. the city's pollution level is 20 times higher that which the world health organization considers acceptable. britain has become the latest european country to halt fracking for oil and gas because of safety concerns. its been suspended since august after tremors in north—west england. experts told ministers they could not predict how often or how strong future tremors might be. the former texas congressman beto o'rourke has dropped out of the us presidential race. on social media, he said his campaign for the democratic party nomination didn't have the means to go forward —