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This is BBC World News Today with me, Karin Giannone.
Countdown to the Rio Olympics - but how safe are the waters
for the rowers, sailors and open swimmers?
A new report highlights concern about raw human sewage.
And visitors are warned about pollution on Rio's
I'm Babita Sharma live in Rio - stay with us on World News Today
We will be finding out, is this city ready to play host?
The United States has carried out air strikes in Libya targeting
the Islamic State group in the city of Sirte.
A Russian military helicopter is shot down in Syria,
Moscow says it was on a humanitarian mission.
And ten more cases of Zika are identified in Florida.
So, we're almost there - the Olympic Games open at the end
A political crisis in Brazil, the Russian doping scandal,
The Russians expect the final decision tomorrow,
Meanwhile, a report commissioned by the Associated Press
suggests Rio's waterways are as filthy as ever.
Babita Sharma is live for us in Rio.
Does this feel like more than the usual last-minute jitters? It
depends who you are talking to. We were down at the beach last night,
fielding error where thousands on the beach where super excited about
the Olympics. -- filming of Eire, where thousands. It's the first time
they have come to South America, let's celebrate it, we have no
concerns. And then here, in a lot of critics are saying they have major
concerns. The venues, the waterways are not fit for purpose. There is a
report out in a few hours ago telling us that after a 16 month
long investigation, they believe that Guanabara Bay and another
error, two main areas hosting sailing and canoeing, that they have
dangerously high contamination. Where the health of athletes can be
at risk. That's not the news that officials want to be hearing just a
few days before the Olympics begin. The opening ceremony takes place on
Friday. What they want us to do is concentrate on what we can see
behind us. This tells a completely different story as well. This is
going to be our home for the next weeks. It is the Olympic Park.
Pristine, brand-new, gleaming and ready for business. Just there in
the centre of your screen, you can see the tennis centre. Behind that,
the aquatic Centre. And then we have three buildings that will be held to
the judo, boxing, wrestling, handball offence. Then the
gymnastics area in the official Olympics stadium. Finally, the
second of the Aquatics buildings here. That is the stadium home to
diving, supplies dimming and water polo. -- diving Matt synchronised
swimming. This picture tells a different story, that Rio is open
full business and they are going to do it. Two things happened today
that hadn't happened before in this city. Olympic lanes came into effect
for the first time. Roads are painted green and what they are
designed to do is ease the congestion, allowing all the
authorised vehicles and athletes to proceed as normal. So far, it is
only day one. What we can tell is that they seem to be working. The
second thing is that a Metro system is now underway, connecting the
south zone, the centre of Rio to the West zone of the Olympic Park.
Again, that seems to be working. Passengers numbers, we are expecting
500,000 visitors to be coming here in the coming week. Whether or not
the infrastructure will be able to cope remains to be seen. People are
saying, who is going to benefit from these Olympics? It has cost a lot of
money. There are reports that 65,000 local people from the poorer
communities that had to be evicted to create what you can see behind
me. We have been doing a bit of digging around, trying to find out
who the winners and losers are going to be. Here is the report.
Rio is a city transformed by the Olympic Games.
Billions have been spent on investment in new sports venues,
But critics say it's money that should have gone to other,
If cities want to prioritise the needs of their citizens,
basic education, safety, access to water, food,
things that make a good life, the Olympics is clearly not part
What the Olympics are about is winners and losers.
Few have lost as much as local residents like Dona Maria da Penha.
There's nothing left here now, she says, gazing through a fence
to a corporate car park where the homes of almost
She was bloodied in the battle to save the favela, next
to the Olympic Park, but deemed an intolerable eyesore
for this global mega-event and bulldozed to the ground.
Putting on this showpiece has almost bankrupted the local government.
The impact can be seen and smelled everywhere.
Cleaning up its chronically polluted waters was another key promise Rio
made when it was chosen to host the Games.
But it's a pledge that simply hasn't been kept.
Guanabara Bay is full of solid waste, sewage and
A commitment to treat 80% of the sewage entering this bay
has long since been abandoned, the very waters
But officials say there will be a legacy, and spending is tight.
The Games in Brazil and Rio represent a new model for the Games,
a model of games that are more lean, with reduced costs, under control.
We have spent less public money to do 20 venues than London spent
These Games will be unique because Rio is a unique city,
rich and poor living cheek by jowl, but not all reaping the same benefit
Days away from the official start of the Olympic games. Aside from all
the other issues, people want us to remember that the events, the
competition is taking place. We have thousands of athletes descended upon
this incredible city. They are already in training, we saw them
yesterday in Guanabara Bay. Lots of athletes sightseeing at Christ the
Redeemer, catching some time before they get their training underway. In
their sites will be winning a medal. Joining me here in Rio is the man
that is involved in managing the medal making process.
Let's speak now to Victor Hugo Berbert.
Alongside him, Beatrice from the press team. There is a method to my
madness here. I need a glove, not necessarily to shake my hands, but
you have done something wonderful. Bringing in some very special
medals. I can't touch them, right? I have to have this instead. Yes.
August through what we're going to look at. This is the Bronze one. --
talk us through. It has a 0.5 kilograms weight. This is the
initial design with the goddess. On the back, the iconic emblem which we
have seen all around the city, Rio 2016. I'm not just holding any other
bronze medal, and I? If a particular one? It is 100 metres running. The
100 metres men's running, possibly the most celebrated race in the
world. I don't know if you can see that on the camera, but it is
actually etched in right there, men's 100 metres. Beatrice, I'm
pleased to say that you haven't just brought me the bronze. Let us take
on the other ones as well. We have silver here, which is just coming
out. As you take it out of the box, tell me a bit about how it came to
fruition, this design and the process of getting this right here.
The committee chose the design, then present it to the Brazilian team. We
scoped that on clay. And then we started engraving it. I don't want
to cling to it too much. They are a little bit heavy. This is the one
that we love. Thank you for letting me hold it, I am so excited! This is
gold. 100 metres men's gold. I'm holding it! See you later! Can I go?
This is what it looks like. What happens if I walked off right now?
Don't walk off, don't walk off! So, these are the ones that means so
much to the winners. But they do have an economic value of sorts?
It's good to calculate this, because it is a lot of work on it, a lot of
material. But is a lot of art on it. It's a sculptor. -- it's difficult
to calculate. We have a lot of artists that draw, design, scoped
and transport into the metal matrix and only strike them. It's an object
of art. It really is. It feels like such an honour to hold it. So, we
thinking, Blake for Jamaica for the bronze? America for the silver? And
you same bolt looking for their third win. I think I look pretty
good in it! -- and Bolt looking. Beatrice turned up with these medals
in very official manner. Can you show videos? She walked here, up the
left, holding a plastic bag with no security. -- can you show the
viewers. If you see pitches walking along, stand near to her! I feel so
privileged. -- if you see pitches. The design is beautiful. I might
keep a hold of this one. What do you think? Doesn't look fetching on me?
Can you do the hundred metres just as fast as Bolt? Don't think I need
to. I have my hands on it now. Just move away quietly, we will lead you
to it! Thank you very much. Lots more from the rear of the next few
weeks. -- lots more from Brazil. A Russian helicopter has
been shot down in Syria, killing all five members
of the military who were on board. The Defence Ministry said the crew
were returning to their base after delivering humanitarian aid
to the city of Aleppo. It is not clear which group brought
the helicopter down. Our security correspondent
Frank Gardner reports. Shot down over Syria's Idlib
province, this rebel footage shows Moscow says all five of those
on board were killed - after it said they were
delivering aid to Aleppo. For those still trapped in that
northern Syrian city, Pro-government forces have been
pushing back a rebel advance The rebels are trying to break
the government siege But Syrian troops, backed by Russian
air strikes, appear determined For it's quarter of a million
inhabitants, the humanitarian Can you consider displacing people
from their homes is Of course, people could run away
from Aleppo before, besieging it, but they decided to stay
because this is their home, this is their land,
they want to stay here. The Syrian government says it's
opened corridors of free passage for civilians trying
to flee the fighting and for any rebels
prepared to surrender, but so far only a trickle of people
have taken up the offer. And a British surgeon who has been
working with local doctors accuses In 2012, the Assad regime
actually passed a law to say that it was legitimate
to target hospitals, to target doctors,
to target civilians. In fact, to target anybody that
wasn't involved positively So they made it legal
to actually bomb hospitals. Amongst the latest victims
of Syria's endless civil war, a 14-year-old child star of a local
sitcom set in the ruins of Aleppo. He was killed by a missile
as he tried to flee the city The Pentagon says the US has carried
out air strikes in Libya against the stronghold
of the so-called The airstrikes followed a request
by the Libyan government. That is the GNA, the internationally
recognised government. This specific targets
will be precision targets. These are targets that the GNA has
indicated, has already made
progress on the ground, significant progress
on the But the precision targets
that they have asked for our assistance with in which they have
had more trouble. These are targets for example I can
detail today, was one of the targets It is that kind of
precision location, precision target that we will be
targeting that the GNA at this point felt like that would be a helpful
support for their efforts. The BBC's Aleem Maqbool
told us more about what They certainly say that they will
continue to support the Libyan They are saying this is at
the request of the government of It's also been
confirmed by the Prime Minister there, who said there had
been significant casualties in Sirte Which they requested
to support the gains that the government forces have made
around the city in recent weeks. But yes, the Pentagon
is saying it is consistent with their
policies of the past. Of course, they were heavily
criticised in not doing enough sooner when it came to fighting
Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. That's where they have been
conducting air strikes until now. These are the first in Libya
against Islamic State. And they do, Islamic State,
have considerable presence in Sirte, but we are talking about
around 1500 to 2000 militants there. But they have carried out
atrocities, executions and so on. And this is a time
when the Government of National Accord
are And that's why I think
the Pentagon chose to act now. Now a look at some of
the day's other news. A compound housing foreign
contractors in the Afghan capital, Kabul, has come under attack
from Taliban fighters. A truck bomb went off at the gate
of the North Gate compound and then In the following gun battle,
one police officer and both A leading air crash investigator
says he's confident that flight MH370 was deliberately flown
into the sea. Larry Vance told an Australian news
programme that the erosion on recovered wing parts points
to a controlled landing. The plane disappeared with 239
people on board in March 2014. The mother-in-law of the Formula One
boss, Bernie Ecclestone has been freed in a police operation
following her abduction The kidnappers had demanded
a $36 million ransom Two suspects were arrested
and the victim was not injured. Turkey says it's captured 11
soldiers suspected of trying to seize the country's President
during the failed They are said to have been caught
in a forested area near the resort of Marmaris
after a two-week manhunt. Recep Tayyip Erdogan was on holiday
in Marmaris on the night of the coup attempt but fled after a tip-off,
just before his hotel was raided. More than two weeks after the coup,
the last of the renegade soldiers These 11 men are accused
of being part of the squad that was sent to seize
or kill President Erdogan. Tipped off the last minute,
he narrowly evaded Over the weekend, he has announced
a sweeping overhaul of the Armed Forces, placing them under
full civilian control for the first These measures will make our
military much stronger, he promised. They will also, inevitably make
the Turkish President even more The government still wants to uproot
the influence of this man, preacher Fethullah Gulen who lives
in the US and was once He is blamed for
instigating the coup. Thousands of his followers have
been arrested or sacked. The full ramifications
of a botched coup that killed more than 200 people,
many of them listed at this memorial, and stunned a country that
believe such things were no longer possible,
are still being felt here. No one knows how far president
Erdogan will go to pursue The raw emotions that have been
stirred up are badly straining Turkey's relations with its western
partners, who President Erdogan believes should have
given him more wholehearted The pro-government rally by Turks
in Cologne over the weekend has now provoked
a spat with Germany. The German authorities would not
allow an address by Mr Erdogan to be broadcast
to the crowd. Turkey has stubborn
and summoned a senior German
diplomat here to complain. There will be friction with the US,
too, over requests to extradite
Fethullah Gulen. The captured soldiers were jeered
by government supporters as The mood in Turkey
is angry and fearful. Previous coups have left deep
scars on this country. It's been another tough day
for the Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump,
as leading party members distance themselves from his attacks
on the family of a Muslim army In an exclusive interview,
the captain's father told our North America Editor Jon
Sopel he won't ask for an apology This is one fight that people
are telling Donald Trump he can't win, but for the moment
he isn't listening, media that he had been
the subject of a vicious attack Their speech at the Democratic
Convention about the death captain posthumously awarded
the Bronze Staff for heroism. I asked them if they had committed
an attack on Mr Trump. He can insult, he can disrespect
women, judges, even the members of his own party, yet
when an ordinary citizen of this country, a patriotic
American Muslim of this country, says anything about him,
he says he has been Ghazala Khan was derided by Mr Trump
for not having spoken Without saying a word,
I was sitting in their heart. So I was surprised that he
doesn't feel the pain. What type of person doesn't
feel the pain? You are attacking Mr Trump
over his behaviour, very openly. Isn't there a danger that you will
get attacked openly as well? In every person's life,
there comes a time when you choose to either say what is the call
of the time or shy away. I felt my family supported my stand,
they said, you should do that, and the burden,
we would equally bear. The normal law of politics is that
if you are in a hole, you stop digging, but that is not
Donald Trump's style. Not only over the Khan family,
this weekend he has got in a right tangle over policy towards Ukraine,
and having previously said he had a close relationship
with Vladimir Putin, he has now clarified
he has never met him. It has not been a great few days
for the Republican candidate. Jon Sopel, BBC News,
Washington. Health authorities in Florida have
advised pregnant women not to go to an area where ten more people have
been diagnosed with the Zika virus. Our reporter reports from Miami.
The tourism industry here in Florida is obviously
massive to this part of
the world, about 106 million visitors a year come here.
And of those, about 1.5 million are British.
At any one time, there are
A lot of them come to the southern part of Florida around
Of course, what we know is that Zika is particularly
dangerous for pregnant women and four women thinking of becoming
And that's why the Foreign Office has suggested that people
consider postponing any nonessential travel if they are pregnant.
That's not the advice incidentally that the
authorities, the medical authorities, the people that look
It's not the advice they are giving Americans.
Bystanders forming a human chain to rescue a woman whose car was stepped
away in floods. -- swept away. This happened in the state of Maryland.
As well as sweeping away cars, storm damaged businesses and homes. Two
people died during Saturday night's storms. Thankfully, this particular
episode ended happily. Just to remind you of our main news story.
A new report highlights 'alarmingly high' air and water pollution
in Rio, with just days to go until the start
And the United States has carried out air strikes in Libya targeting
the Islamic State group in the city of Sirte.
Requested by Libya's to recognised government.
If you want to get in touch with us here at BBC World News,
But for now from me and the rest of the team, goodbye.