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This is BBC World News Today. Maracana this
Throughout the day, the Olympic torch has been
making its way through the city to the Maracana stadium.
We'll be getting a taste of how the atmosphere is building at one
of the many fan zones in Rio where thousands are gathering
And here in London, I'm Tom Donkin, here are our other headlines:
Months of scandals take their toll on South Africa's governing ANC -
they've suffered their worst ever poll results.
And we speak to the survivor who became the face of the Brussels
As well as the excitement around what the Olympic
we are live at the art stadium. It is less than three hours to the
official start of the games. The Opening Ceremony is set to begin in
the stadium behind me and as you can see, a lot busier now than it was an
hour ago. Fans, spectators, ticket holders, they are waking -- making
their way through and flanked, of course, by heavy security. It is a
huge police operation here. There are browned about 85,000 police and
army that has been deployed on the streets. There are around about 80
5000. All the bags of the checked, all the tickets are being checked.
It is only authorised access here at the stadium. You do get a sense of
the anticipation and the excitement building. The atmosphere is very
regulated, a little bit dampened down at the moment and I wonder
whether that will change as we approached the Opening Ceremony in
the hours to come. This Olympics has been marred in the build-up by an
number of issues. Zika virus, the pollution of the waterways, the
Russian athletes, you may render God we got the decision from the IOC
yesterday, clearing the way for at least 271 Russian athletes to take
part in these games. Added to that, the issues of security and
transportation and whether or not this city is ready to play host the
impact games -- to the Olympic Games.
The two books are expensive for us but the games have brought good
things for the city and for us to live here. His daughter Stephanie
who is an umpire in the track and field events can barely contain her
enthusiasm. I'm with excited. I can't wait for it to start and be
part of it. After a marathon journey around this vast culturally diverse
three, the Olympic Torch visited some of Rio's most famous landmarks.
There has probably 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 for many Brazilians.
Public support for the games has sometimes felt patchy with many
areas having little investment. The question is, who are these Olympics
for. There has been plenty of infuse yes, some protest and a lot of
security. 85,000 troops have been deployed in the streets and there
have been rumours of more demonstrations outside tonight's
ceremony. Health, health, shouts one protester. Amid real anger that the
billions have been spent staging the Olympics when Rio has arguably more
pressing priorities. This is a city undoubtedly transformed by the
games. Some new infrastructure and urban regeneration. There have been
missed opportunities in a city with high levels of inequality, the MPEG
-- the Olympic Games not providing so much impetus for change as had
been promised. Looking over my shoulder here, it is
all about security here and the checks that are being carried out
for the thousands of people. 80,000, we're expecting to be in total in
that stadium including athletes, officials, 45 heads of state and
spectators as well. Let's discuss the security issues in detail. We
have with us a security expert. Welcome. It is all about security.
We knew that would always be the case. Yes, this is the most games
with security in history. You've got thousands of municipal guards,
thousands of private security, it is really about protecting the pics
from a major terrorist attack or major crime. Brazilians have never
seen anything like this before. Nor have they seen terrorism, which is
of course what the global headlines have been about. They have seen big
events come and go and what they are concerned about is that when all of
this comes to an end, what will be left for the city and the state?
What is your assessment of what you think will be left? You have been
looking at this in detail. At the moment, you get a sense of
excitement. The locals are pretty excited about staging this event but
does that show perhaps don't worry run deeper? There has been a lot of
apprehension in the lead up and with event finally happening tonight,
most people are relieved that we got here. You've got the Rio that a lot
of the foreigners will be seeing and you've got the other Rio with the
poor and impoverished population live. For them, they are not X here
in thing this big surge in security the way that foreigners are. They
are getting less security than you might expect because all the police
have been moved to the big Olympic venues. The big concern when it
comes to an end is well innovative police practices continue? Will
people -- police continued to protect the poorer people? We are
looking at pictures of the heavy security here which has been
epitomised by the army that are in the street here. We are getting
reports that 85,000 police and army have been deployed. The largest
military operation in prison in history. Some may find that presence
reassuring, others may say intimidating, but it is a necessity,
do you think? There is an expression here in Brazil, for the English to
see. And a lot of the police presence is about calming the
international presence. For sure, there is a risk, it is read below.
The real concern now is organised crime, violet homicide, robbery, not
necessarily in the streets but outside in the low income areas.
After the Olympics, we have elections at the governor level, at
city level, and nobody really knows whether there will be sufficient
resources to maximise security into 2017. Thank you so much for joining
us. Enjoy the Opening Ceremony. Here, all about heavy security as
these ticket holders make their way through to the stadium. There was a
part of Rio which is already celebrating with a bit of Samba and
who better than to show us it than in one of the biggest fan zones in
downtown Rio is Peter Kochi. I'm in the old fort area of Rio.
Just before I described the place to you, I was here two years ago during
the World Cup and it is unrecognisable. There was a lot of
traffic flowing through here at that time but they have cut all that out,
it is for pedestrians to come and enjoy themselves and that is what
they are hoping to do here tonight. It is a huge square in the old port
area. A huge screen has been mounted here today. You can hear music from
thousands of fans milling here today, hoping to catch the Opening
Ceremony on one of the big screens here at Square. We have heard today
that the Opening Ceremony will probably not be the most expensive
in the history of Olympics but it will be the coolest one because who
puts up a better party than the Brazilians? And that cool vibe is
already resonating here at the square today. People playing
football, roller skaters, people running their bicycles, couples
trying to soak in the atmosphere just as we are. They are just hoping
that all the problems in the lead up to these games will just melt away
once the Opening Ceremony starts at his the kind of atmosphere that they
are trying to build here in Rio today.
Indeed. Peter, you get the best gigs, because you were at the World
Cup and now you are here again. Thank you very much. More from Peter
and the team in the fan zone as we build up to the Opening Ceremony
just a few hours away. 11,000 athletes, they will be taking centre
stage here. A lot of the spotlight will be on who is carrying the flag
is and what they are going to be wearing.
Let's take a look at some of the outfits causing a stir.
South Korea's outfits have gone down fairly well.
They have been infused with insect repellent designed
Here's Team China in a colour combination which critics have
The official Olympic outfit for Georgia prompted thousands
of Georgians to sign a petition calling for
But possibly the most controversial was the Iranian outfit.
However, such was the public backlash that they've had
It's still unclear just what exactly they'll be wearing tonight.
Last but not least, the home team outfit. As you would expect, those
traditional Brazilian colours. We will be assessing who is wearing
what and if they are wearing it well. Look out for Team GB's outfit,
designed by Stella McCartney. We will take you to all the news in the
build-up to the Opening Ceremony. Two hours away. Back to you in the
studio. You can follow bad beta. And you can get all of the action of the
website. Let's take a look at what else
is making news around the world. The East African regional body
I-GAD says the government in South Sudan has agreed to allow
in an international protection force to try and salvage
the country's peace deal. There's no clear timeline yet
for the deployment of Lawyers for the US-based Turkish
cleric, Fethullah Gulen say they fear that there could be
an attempt 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 At least 13 people have been killed
when suspected militants opened fire at a market place in the Indian
town of Kokrajhar. Police have blamed the attack
on an insurgent group called the National Democratic
Front of Bodoland. They say they have killed one
militant. 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 death was confirmed on Twitter
by President of the French Riviera He offered condolences to the family
of the latest victim. In South Africa, the governing
African National Congress has just recorded its worst ever electoral
performance in local elections. The ANC has admitted defeat
in the key battleground of Nelson Mandela Bay which includes
the city of Port Elizabeth. Nomsa Maseko has this
report from Johannesburg. The governing ANC has been handed it
first major election setback since 1994. 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 and rewired. Other issues have affected them but broadly, the
ANC has done well against all odds. But infighting, court cases and a
host of corruption scandals, some involving the president, are widely
seen as the reason for the ANC weakening support. What I would say
to the ANC is the need to learn from the opposition, they need to take
the citizens of South Africa very seriously. The municipal election
results show that the ANC power and influence is slowly 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 and ceded the ANC in Nelson Mandela Bay, an area
with rich history of anti-apartheid struggle. We are very happy with the
results so far. 95% counted and we are still waiting for results. But
indications are that it looks like we will do very well in both those
disabilities. But none of the parties have one and out my
honourable gentleman Jarecki in fiercely contested cities including
Johannesburg and Pretoria. Essentially, the people of South
Africa gave us keys to the classroom on an historic lesson in humility.
We will be opening it to put the ANC in it so they may learn once and for
all never again to think that they are indispensable. They must learn
to respect the people's power, to respect the people's mandate. These
municipal elections have proven that South Africa's political landscape
is maturing into a competitive multiparty democracy.
Still to come, this woman became the face of the Brussels track. She has
spoken to the BBC for the first time.
The latest headlines: The Olympic torch has arrived
The opening ceremony is now just hours away.
Months of scandals take their toll on South Africa's governing ANC.
They've suffered their worst ever poll results.
China has sentenced another human rights activist after a week
The woman who became the face of the attack on Brussels in March
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, was featured in one of the most shared images
and she told the BBC in Mumbai that her children saw their mother's
The first time that I saw the picture, my eyes were struck by my
face. It showed how helpless I was at that particular time, how
frightened I looked, the agony, the pain. I spoke to Mike kids because I
was worried, I have a son who was 14 years old. Seeing his mum who was
half covered in clothes, my daughter, she is ten, my mother is
being exposed to the world. I said, are you ashamed? They said, we were
looking at your strength. Even in this condition, you are still
wanting to be alive. It was a blast like a ball of fire
it hit a sound. On form -- full volume. Next, I found myself way
away as if someone had kicked me from that place and I was on the
ground. Those 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
to move. If you can do something better for someone, I think you have
gained something. Everybody has to think that is it.
That was the story of Nidhi Chaphekar, whose image
in the aftermath of the terror attack on Brussels last
year was shared and seen around the world.
China has sentenced another human rights activist after a week
of trials that have caused a great deal of concern around the world.
Go Hong Gwor, who was given a three-year suspended sentence,
was one of those caught up in a large-scale crackdown last
Our correspondent John Sudworth has been in Tianjin this week.
The authorities have been at pains to insist the trials are open and
transparent. And, yet, I'm some distance away from the court because
any attempt to film in the vicinity is very quickly squashed with both
family members of those involved and journalists being kept well at bay.
Foreign media is told instead it must cover these court cases from
this media reception centre, complete with the big screen showing
photographs from inside the court and a transcript of the proceedings
though there is no way of verifying the accuracy of any of it. The
ultimate irony is that having been stopped from filming outside the
courts, being put on a bus and brought here, the government has
been publishing photographs of inside this media reception centre.
The message, the foreign media art being given every assistance and
welcome. Being involved in human rights in China has never been an
easy path to tread. What is different this time isn't just the
scale, with 300 people detained last year, nor within the fact that
amongst the 20 remained in custody ever since, there are some prominent
lawyers. What is interesting about what is happening here and for many
people deeply troubling is that the prosecutions are being linked to an
increasingly fervent national narrative, neatly summed up by this
video. It has been posted on the website of china's National
prosecution service. Chinese human rights lawyers are at the centre of
an international conspiracy, the video argues, that aims, through the
motion of democracy and freedom, to bring the kind of chaos and
instability in China that we can see elsewhere in the world. Now that the
trials for this week have finished, the security is gone and we are once
again free to film outside the court, the purpose to all this seems
very clear, to send a very chilling message to anyone who dares to
challenge the authority of the Communist Party, even if it's --
even in its own party run courts. Let's return to the greater show on
earth. For the first time, athletes from Kosovo will compete under the
MPEG flag. He was a judo athlete who will be competing at the games. --
under the Olympic flag. My name is Marina. I do judo in the
under 52 kilograms. It is going to be very scarce -- very special...
One judo player story. I want to bring you some live pictures from
Rio de Janeiro. These are some protesters who are attempting to
block the journey of the flames as it wakes six way to the stadium.
These Olympic Games haven't been without controversy. A lot of people
argue that the money spent on these games should have been spent on
infrastructure and to lessen the massive poverty gap within Rio and
around the country. Good night.