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I'm Babita Sharma in Rio de Janeiro where the 2016 Olympic Games
The Olympic torch has arrived at Rio's sugarloaf mountain -
the opening ceremony is now just hours away.
We'll be getting a taste of how the atmosphere is building
at one of the fan zones where thousands are gathering.
And here in London I'm Tom Donkin, here's our other headlines.
Months of scandals take their toll on South Africa's governing ANC -
they've suffered their worst ever poll results.
Five months ago this woman became the face of the Brussels attack
when a photographer captured this image in the chaos that followed
Now she's spoken for the first time to the BBC.
Here we outside the Maracana Stadium where we are five hours away from
the opening ceremony that will signal the official start of the Rio
2016 Olympic Games. Behind me we have volunteers, officials, some
athletes will be coming through at some point here but crucially those
taking part in the ceremony. It is pretty calm here. A fewer hours ago
it was very calm as this area surrounding the Maracana Stadium has
been locked down by security, roads have been blocked and anybody
without accreditation to come into the area is not able to get into
this part of town. You do get a sense of the anticipation building
but when you are on the road and moving around the city it is quiet
because it is a public holiday here today. You get the sense that the
locals here are heeding the advice of the Maher of this city, who told
them yesterday to stay away -- the Mayor of this city who told them to
stay away to ease congestion. These Olympics have been marred in the
build-up by the controversy of the Zika, pollution of the waterways
holding sporting events, the Russian athletes, who we heard yesterday
with the IOC announcement yesterday clearing the way for at least 271
Russian athletes to take part in the Rio Olympics. As my colleague now
reports, the focus is on the opening ceremony and whether or not Rio can
deliver. This family will have one of the best views the night of the
opening ceremony. The Maracana Stadium dominates the skyline.
Despite their vantage point, how much have people in these
communities been touched by the Olympic spirit? TRANSLATION: Beta
tags are expensive for us. The Games -- the tickets are expensive for us
but the Games have brought us something good. His daughter can
barely contain her enthusiasm. TRANSLATION: I am really excited. I
can't wait for it to start and be part of it. After a marathon journey
around this vast, culturally diverse country, the Olympic torch visited
some of the most famous landmarks. There has never been a more stunning
backdrop for an Olympic Games. This is the first time the Games have
taken place in South America, a proud moment for the continent and
many Brazilians. Public support for the Games has sometimes felt patchy.
In many areas where there has been little investment the question is,
who are these Olympics? As the opening ceremony mayors, there have
been plenty of enthusiasm, some protest and a lot of security.
85,000 troops have been deployed on the city's streets and there have
been rumours that more demonstrations were held -- will be
held outside today's opening ceremony. This protester shouts
have! Anger at the billions being spent on these Olympics. This is a
city undoubtedly transformed by the Games. Some new infrastructure and
urban regeneration. There have been missed opportunities, too. In a city
with high levels of inequality. The Olympic games perhaps not providing
as much momentum for change as had been promised.
The security operation is very heavy here. The biggest presence of
security on the streets of Rio in the history of Brazil. Some 85,000
police and army will be deployed to ensure the safety of everyone
attending and participating. That is what you get a sense here of
regulation and quiet I should say as we count down the hours to the
opening ceremony. It is a very different situation if you are in a
fan zone in the city and the largest is in a Port region of Rio. This is
downtown Rio where my colleague Julia is and you have been speaking
to a lot of the bands they're getting excited and a bit of dancing
as well. Yes, I can't dance on air but let us go to the fans! A lot of
excitement in the fan zone. This is the harbour area of Rio and I have
been talking to some people to find out how they are building up their
excitement, just hours ahead of the opening ceremony. A lot has been
spoken of regarding the security issues and also the fact that there
are planned protests taking place. We don't know how big they are going
to be but of course we should make the point that this is a city and a
country that is facing a political uncertain times here as the
suspended president is facing an impeachment trial. Any sense that
people are worried about security and those protests, if they take
place, might mean? Yes, there are protests going on in two different
places in Rio today because of the political situation in the country
and also some activists are gathering, protesting against human
rights violations in the run-up to the Games, according to them. There
are fans from around the world and fans from Rio and I have asked fans
to join us and help us find out more about the atmosphere. These two are
from Rio and they went to their first ever football match. Yeah! I
am a big football fan, I love football a lot so it was a special
moment. So, you were watching Brazil versus China, the opening match of
women's football? We were cheering for the girls and they were doing
their job and they were great. It was the best, perfect! The perfect
first match I could ever imagine! Enjoy! Brazil won a 3- nil against
China in that match. There are other bands from other parts of the world.
She has made all her way from New Zealand to Rio. My partner's niece
is in the rugby sevens. My niece is playing in the women's rugby sevens
so we have come all the way from New Zealand to support her. What are
your first impressions of this city? There was so much negative news in
the build-up. We love it. It is more than what we expected it to be.
There are so much to do, it is so lively and vibrant. Love it.
Definitely coming back. Perfect. Thank you so much and good luck to
your knees. There is a lot of excitement here ahead of the opening
ceremony. This is one of the three fan zones in the city where the
opening ceremony will be transmitted but we will also have concerts
during the Games, all the competition being shown live, so
this is where many people will be able to come and enjoy the
competition and have some fun, some music and a good atmosphere. You
have got the atmosphere there Julia but I think as we count down the
hours it is going to be happening right here because the creative
director at what is taking place in the stadium -- Maracana Stadium is a
famous director from a number of Hollywood movies and he has said we
are dealing with tough times in terms of austerity, they have a tent
of the budget that London 2012 had to host this opening ceremony. He
said Athens with classical, London was smart and Brazil is going to be
cool. A lot of mystery surrounding what this will look like. We have
had some sad news that the footballing great Pele will not be
light in the cauldron so we are wondering who will be filling his
shoes? That is just the talk where you are but that is the talk in Rio.
It was very much tipped that it would be Pele, who else could have
the honour of lighting the torch in the Maracana Stadium? He released a
statement saying he is not in physical condition to take part in
the opening ceremony. He has been suffering from ill health for some
time. Devastating news for the many fans here in the city that were
expecting that it would be him and indeed it should be him but now
people are wondering about who it could be and possible names being
spoken about our the Olympic medallist, five-time Olympic
medallist who could possibly carry the torch and light the cauldron
here. Also the Brazilian tennis star. We will find out who exactly
it will be. The opening ceremony starts at 8pm local time and we
don't know how it will run but we do know that the famous Brazilian pop
sensation will be singing alongside to iconic Brazilian musicians and
also the British actress Dame Judi Dench will be making a speech. She
will be reading a poem, a Brazilian poem. That is all we know. As soon
as we get any more information we will let you know. Just before you
go, I have to ask you about the ceremony itself. A lot of mystery
about it. Behind you, it has been emptied out the day. Now, those
crowds are slowly building up. Locals have been told to stay away
and many have heeded that advice. Yes, we said that earlier that even
when we were travelling from the West to the North, the Olympic lanes
were flowing freely, the traffic was light and that is something I have
not been able to say in the last week. Locals have been listening to
that advice from the Mayor of the city. We are five hours, less than
five hours away from the opening ceremony and that could change. The
security presence means anybody with authorisation is allowed access it.
Anybody without accreditation cannot come into this area. Where Julia is
at one of the fan zones in downtown Rio, it is a different picture, a
lot more people milling around, it will be interesting to see how the
situation changes. Calm, almost too calm, the city is however ready to
host the opening ceremony in a few hours' time. Enjoy the tranquil
before two weeks of insane action. Thank you very much with the best
beat in the house, overlooking the Olympic stadium there in Rio.
From South America to South Africa where the governing
African National Congress has just recorded its worst ever electoral
performance in local elections the ANC has admitted defeat
in the key battle ground of Nelson Mandela Bay which includes
Christian Parkinson in South Africa, has been picking apart
Nomsa Maseko has this report from Johannesburg.
This is the first time the party of Nelson Mandela won less than 60%, an
embarrassment and a major psychological blow, even though it
still commands huge support, Countrywide. There have also been
issues but broadly the ANC have done very well against all of the arts.
Infighting, court cases and a host of corruption scandals, some
involving the President, are widely seen as the reason for the ANC's
weakening support. They need to learn from the opposition. They need
to take the citizens of South Africa seriously. The municipal election
results show that the ANC's power and influence is declining. The
party is coming to the realisation that it can no longer take it for
granted that the country's black majority will follow it blindly. The
official opposition Democratic Alliance unseated the ANC in Nelson
Mandela Bay, an area with rich history in anti-apartheid struggle.
We're very happy with the results so far, it's 95% counted.
We're still waiting for results from Johannesburg
and Tshwane but indications are that it looks like
we will do very well in both those municipalities.
None of the parties have won an outright majority in fiercely
contested cities, including Pretoria and Johannesburg. This puts the
economic freedom fighters, who won 8% of votes nationwide, in a strong
position to the kingmakers. A historic lesson in humility has been
learned. We will put the ANC in it so they can never again think they
are indispensable and they must learn to respect the people's power,
to respect the people's mandate. These municipal elections have no
doubt proven that South Africa's political landscape is maturing into
a competitive, multiparty democracy. Let's take a look at what else
is making news around the world. The death toll from the Bastille Day
lorry attack in Nice has risen to 85 after
a 56-year-old man seriously injured in
the incident died in hospital. The death was confirmed
on Twitter by President of the French Riviera
region, Christian Estrosi. He offered condolences to the family
of the latest victim. At least 13 people have been killed
when suspected militants opened fire at a market place in the Indian
town of Kokrajar. Police have blamed the attack
on an insurgent group called the National Democratic Front of
Bodoland. They say they have
killed one militant. Indonesian police have arrested six
men suspected of planning a terror The men, who were arrested
on the Indonesian island of Batam, are alleged to have been plotting
to fire a rocket at Singapore officials say
they were aware of the plan and had The president of Fifa,
Gianni Infantino, has been cleared of breaching the organisation's
ethics code following an investigation into his expenses,
recruitment practices and the alleged sacking
of whistle-blowers. in the benefits he enjoyed,
and any concerns regarding his hiring methods were simply matters
of internal compliance. Lawyers for the US-based Turkish
cleric, Fethullah Gulen say they fear that there could be
an attack on his life. The Turkish government has blamed
Mr Gulen for masterminding the recent failed coup there -
an accusation he denies. The government has submitted
evidence to the US in preparation The woman who became became --
the face of the attack has given a special interview
to the BBC. 35 people died and more
than 300 others were injured in blasts at the city's airport
and a metro station. Nidhi Chaphekar, featured
in one of the most iconic images, told the BBC in Mumbai
that her children saw their mother's when I first saw the picture my eyes
were out of my face. It showed how helpless I was at that particular
time. How frightened I look. The agony, the pain. I spoke to my kids
because I was worried about... I have a 14-year-old son, seeing their
mum in half covered clothes. He may have felt, or my daughter who is ten
years old, she may have felt my mum has been exposed to the world. I
said are you ashamed? They said they were looking at my strength. Even in
this condition your eyes are open. Even in this condition, you are
still wanting to be alive and that is what it is.
It was a blast like a ball of fire. A sound that was on full volume, and
I found myself someone picked me from that place and I was on the
ground. Those cries, cries of grief of people, those who were asking,
where is my child? I'm calling for my child, I'm asking for help.
People were crying because of pain. We have to live. We have to go on.
Life has the move. It has to go on for good. If you can do something
better for someone, I think you have gained something and that is what I
think we have two, everybody has two things. That is it.
That was the story behind one of the iconic images of the attack
on Brussels which took place back in March.
Two pilots have had a lucky escape after their cargo plane overshot
The Orio al Serio International Airport was closed
for two hours after the plane burst through a perimeter fence
and onto a highway while trying to land.
No-one was injured, but the incident caused severe
The airport, which is one of Italy's busiest
with more than ten million passengers each year,
All eyes are on the Olympic Stadium in Brazil where in just a few hours'
time the opening ceremony of the Games will take place.
It is not the height of summer but you are looking very well where you
are. This is how Brazilians do things. It is not like winter in
London, what I am used to! It is 27 Celsius here. It is a boiling hot,
for me anyway! The last few days it has been raining and cloudy so the
climate changes day by day. I don't know if you can hear the noise
behind me but we have got young kids, volunteers and possibly
participants in the opening ceremony clapping at the moment as they have
seats in the Maracana Stadium. The ticket prices, to give you an idea,
the cheapest seats were $60, the most expensive for this ceremony
around $1300. We think it is sold out, we are waiting to verify that.
It is a 45,000 seat capacity stadium in the Maracana Stadium and 206
Nations, the athletes from those 206 Nations and also a refugee team will
be coming through bearing their flags for the competition as they
get underway. All the focus will be on what the athletes are wearing. A
short time ago I was joined by the Brazilian fashion blogger who has
been looking at the athletes's uniforms in detail. She joined me to
talk about that and also have favourites, no guesses for which one
she likes, Brazil, of course I! Brazil brings the nature, florist,
flowers and birds, they bring the colour of the country. The flags and
I love the head because it reminds me of Brazil and it looks amazing.
They bring the colours and the designer is a breach where designer.
A lot of attention on the designs because it is a big moment. A big
moment in the world. So big in Brazil, the fashion designer it is
so big in Brazil and I love the colours. Let us talk about Canada.
My favourite. They did a really nice job. These blazers with the iconic
maple leaf, I love it and I could wear it in the day in my routine! It
doesn't look like a uniform. It is amazing. I love it. A lot has been
said about the Georgia team. I remember when the announcement came
out from the designer showcasing what the athletes were wearing and
people were saying they can't believe a dressing like this because
they said it was too traditional. It to traditional. It is not all the
uniforms are so kind of cool. The concept according to the designer
was medieval Georgian times so make of that what you will. They will be
hot because the uniforms are long and the temperatures today are 27
Celsius, so being cool is important. The day here is so hot and it is
strange, that uniform. I don't like it so much. We should talk about
Cuba because they have hit the headlines about their uniform. They
have Louis Bhutan -- Vuitton as their designer. It is so chic and
elegant. Vuitton made the collaboration and they have created
a really nice uniform for the Olympics. -- Louboutin is the
designer for Cuba. Stella McCartney's collaboration with
Adidas for 12 years is amazing. She has done a really nice line. The
uniform and the clothes to wear during the Games is 10% lighter than
it was in 2012. I am impartial but my favourite uniform that I have
seen is Team GB, designed by Stella McCartney. A look at what we can see
behind us. A lot more activity now. The performers who are going to be
taking part in the opening ceremony are behind me. The cartel much from
what they are wearing but I am being told there are over 1000 costumes
here -- you can't tell much from what they are wearing but I am being
told there are over 1000 costumes. A lot of pageantry, Carnival and
Samba. A bit of dancing and singing as well. You can stay up to date
with all the coverage on our website and mobile app.
What ever team or individual you are going after these Olympics I hope
they perform well for you. That is all for us and the team. Goodbye for