this is bbc news. these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. pressure grows on the uk government to help businesses facing soaring energy bills as some of its own mps join industry bosses in asking for support. chinese president, xijinping, vows to unify china and taiwan as heightened tensions over the island continue. if china can be unified, all chinese will enjoy a happy life. if china cannot unify, everyone will suffer. the united states and the taliban will hold face—to—face talks in their first meeting since the group seized control
of afghanistan in august. women in the uk who are travelling home alone could soon be offered protection from a free mobile phone app. women priests and blessings for gay couples are some of the issues are likely to be addressed as pope francis looks at what has been described as the most ambitious project of tax reform in decades. the british teenager, emma raducanu, loses her first match since winning the us open. hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. there's growing pressure on the government to support businesses that are struggling with rising gas prices. a number of conservative mps have joined the leaders of industries
with heavy energy consumption in calling for ministers to intervene. representatives of the sector say their talks yesterday with the business secretary, kwasi kwarteng, ended with no immediate solutions. here's our business correspondent katie prescott. stoking the white heat of furnaces is burning a hole in the finances of industries that need vast amounts of energy, as prices to keep the wheels turning soar. they've asked the government to step in or see jobs lost. we in the energy intensive users group, we have chemicals, steel, ceramics, paper, industrial gases, glass, mineral products, so making products like lime that goes into water treatment and air pollution control, really essential materials and essential businesses and supply chains that supply the everyday goods that we need. the government says it is in regular contact with business groups to explore ways to manage the impact
of rising global prices and this underscores the importance of building a strong home—grown renewable energy sector to further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. meanwhile, it is no playground for smaller businesses. without a price cap to protect them, most fix their energy contracts years in advance. the unlucky ones are having to renew now, just as costs are bouncing. the next contract on our second venue is due up on the 1st of january and we're looking for places now, you are looking, at the moment, energy�*s selling eight times higher than it was when that contract started. eight times higher. that is just, like, that's crazy. while households might be directly protected by the energy price cap, when it comes to business bills, we're all in it together. if the energy prices are not lowered, only one thing will happen.
light switch flicks. katie prescott, bbc news. china's president xijinping has said that reunification with taiwan must be fulfilled. his comments come at a time of heightened military tension in the region. it also comes a day before taiwan, which china views as a breakaway province, celebrates its national day. mr xi added that unification should be achieved peacefully but he didn't rule out the potential use of force to achieve that goal. in response, taiwan has said its future rests in the hands of its own people. here a little of what president xi had to say. translation: unification is the hope of all chinese — translation: unification is the hope of all chinese people. _ translation: unification is the hope of all chinese people. if— translation: unification is the hope of all chinese people. if china - translation: unification is the hope of all chinese people. if china can - of all chinese people. if china can be unified, all chinese will enjoy a happy life. if china cannot unify, everyone will suffer.
our correspondentjohn sudworth is in taipei. this was a very confident chinese president saying not only must unification with taiwan be achieved, but that it will be achieved. you know, underlining this idea of this inevitability behind this process. of course it is important to say this is the kind of thing we have heard from the chinese leadership many, many times before. i think it is coming under more scrutiny at the moment because of the context. first of all, as you mentioned, these comments come around a couple of significant anniversaries, china recently celebrating its national day, taiwan's national day tomorrow, but also china upping the tension with these military sorties that it has been flying into the taiwanese air defence identification zone, acts seen as deeply provocative by taiwan and its allies. and of course a lot of that is kind of business as usual, linked to these sorts
of anniversaries when we see an uptick in rhetoric, but there is something bigger behind all this as well and that is the sense that possibly the political and strategic balance is shifting as well. the politics, because of course taiwan and china in many ways have never been further apart, china growing increasingly authoritarian, taiwan today a modern and vibrant democracy, but also as china grows more authoritarian, it is growing stronger, more wealthy, more powerful, it is updating its military and there is a fear here in taiwan that the strategic balance is shifting, that the day might not be too far off when for china, eyeing the possibility of taking taiwan by force, eyeing the possibility of an invasion calculates that finally the benefits outweigh the risks rather than at the moment what is kind of maintained the status quo some people suggested that at the moment invasion for china is a very risky option. an appeals court in the united states has temporarily reinstated texas' near total ban on abortions. the ruling overturns the decision of a lower court earlier this week,
which had blocked the bill. under the law, abortion in texas is prohibited after about six weeks of pregnancy and makes no exceptions in cases of rape or incest. the dispute could ultimately end up before the us supreme court. german police say they're investigating several cases of so—called "havana syndrome" at the american embassy in berlin. the illness first came to light in cuba in 2016. dozens of american officials have reported symptoms including nausea, memory lapses and dizziness. police in berlin said they were looking into an "alleged sonic weapon attack". the united states and the taliban are to hold their first face—to—face talks since the militants seized control of afghanistan in august. the state department said the meeting would take place in doha on saturday and sunday. so what can we expect from these talks? here's the bbc�*s nomia iqbal in washington.
the us state department has really emphasised that this is not about giving the taliban at legitimacy by meeting them. i am sure there will be many critics of the government that will try and argue otherwise, but the state department is very specific in saying this is a continuation of the conversations they have already been having with they have already been having with the taliban and this is namely things that serve the us national interest, so this is about trying to get safe passage for the thousands of american citizens still in afghanistan as well as the afghan allies and also making sure that the country does not turn into a hotbed of terrorism. the only time that they do mention the word government in the statement is when they say they will press the taliban to form an inclusive government. the taliban has not recognised women in its leadership at all, so that is something the us wants to discuss with the taliban. as they say, the us state department is very clear in saying this is not about granting
recognition. they say in the statement this is not about legitimacy, but the taliban say they are not the same group they were when they were in power all those years ago, that they are now more inclusive, but the us has repeatedly said they would judge the taliban on its deeds, not its words. the announcement of the talks comes hours after a suicide bombing in northern afghanistan, which killed as many as 50 people. the target was a mosque used by the minority shia community in the city of kunduz during friday prayers. the group calling itself islamic state says it was behind the attack. officials say dozens more people were injured. it's the worst such attack since the withdrawal of us troops from the country in august. women travelling home alone could soon be offered protection from a free mobile phone app. the murders of sarah everard and sabina nessa prompted bt boss philipjansen to develop the app provisionally called 888 or "walk me home". he says it would allow users to opt into a remote tracking mechanism
which would activate an alert if they did not reach their destination in the estimated time. the home office says it is reviewing mrjansen�*s proposal. nhs england is planning to speed up the roll—out of a scheme which aims to get more people living with severe mental illness back into work. more than 4,000 people found jobs through the scheme last year but it missed its long—term target after being disrupted by the pandemic. charities say working regularly can often have a significant mental and physical health benefit. here is claire murdoch from nhs england. here is claire murdoch from nhs encland. , ., , , ., england. there is absolutely no reason with _ england. there is absolutely no reason with the _ england. there is absolutely no reason with the right _ england. there is absolutely no reason with the right support i england. there is absolutely no - reason with the right support white we cannot help people back into work and also help them stay in the workplace and it is things that all of us would recognise about the value of having a job. it gives you structure, it allows you to make a contribution, you have an income, it
is very good for your self—respect, it lets you socialise as well. pope francis is launching what some catholics are describing as the most ambitious project of church reform in 60 years. a two—year consultation exercise of every parish around the world begins this weekend and could tackle issues such as women's ordination, married men as priests and blessings for gay couples. our religious affairs reporter harry farleyjoins us. hello, just explain to us first a little more about what is going to happen with this, what pope francis is launching at this weekend. ﬁgs happen with this, what pope francis is launching at this weekend. as you sa , it is is launching at this weekend. as you say, it is effectively _ is launching at this weekend. as you say, it is effectively a _ is launching at this weekend. as you say, it is effectively a giant - say, it is effectively a giant consultation exercise, he is asking every diocese around the world to meet and discuss solutions to the issues they are facing. and so in terms of the process as you say, what will happen if those at local discussions will then be fed through to national bishops who will then
filter through those ideas next year before taking their suggestions, solutions to the problems they face, to rome in 2023. i think there are a couple of reasons why this is significant and first, the catholic church is a very hierarchical institution, so cardinals that sit above bishops who sit above priests, so this is a real shift towards consulting lay and audrey catholics i have the church's future direction foster cut ordinary catholics. it also covers topics such as women being ordained and blessings for gay couples. as one bishop said, it depends on what the people say, what we find is very different solutions,
very different opinions coming from different catholics around the world. in areas like the amazon where there is a drastic shortage of priests, i think we will hear calls for women is to be ordained as deacons and then in different parts of europe on the other hand we may hear first gay couples to receive a church blessing. the key thing is those local ideas will be fed through to national bishops and the key question in terms of whether we will see actual change is whether the bishops feel able to take some of those more radical solutions to the vatican in two years' time. ﬁre the vatican in two years' time. are there some _ the vatican in two years' time. are there some opponents even at this early stage?— early stage? this is part of pope francis' wider _ early stage? this is part of pope francis' wider reforming - early stage? this is part of pope francis' wider reforming agenda | early stage? this is part of pope - francis' wider reforming agenda and it is certainly not universally popular. he wants the chance to be less hierarchical and a more
consultative, more listening to her ordinary lay catholics and that is certainly not universally popular. i spoke to one conservative this week who described this process is a recipe for chaos. some really value the church's traditional hierarchy and they worry that this process will throw into confusion some of theissues will throw into confusion some of the issues that the church has historically been very firm but very clear on. ~ ., historically been very firm but very clear on. a, ., ._ ., , clear on. moving away from this articular clear on. moving away from this particular story _ clear on. moving away from this particular story to _ clear on. moving away from this particular story to the _ clear on. moving away from this particular story to the subject i clear on. moving away from thisj particular story to the subject of cop 26, the hugely important climate summit that is happening in glasgow next month, we had thought of pope francis would be attending at that but it now seems he will not. what more could you tell us?— but it now seems he will not. what more could you tell us? yes, it was heavily rumoured _ more could you tell us? yes, it was heavily rumoured he _ more could you tell us? yes, it was heavily rumoured he word, - more could you tell us? yes, it was heavily rumoured he word, pope i heavily rumoured he word, pope francis himself said earlier this year that his speech was already being written it so i think he himself hoped he would be going as well stop i think it was always a huge disappointment notjust for the huge disappointment not just for the organisers huge disappointment notjust for the organisers but for him himself. he
had surgery this year, so while it is a disappointment to him, it is also understandable. the headline. pressure grows _ also understandable. the headline. pressure grows on _ also understandable. the headline. pressure grows on the _ also understandable. the headline. pressure grows on the uk - also understandable. the headline. i pressure grows on the uk government to help a business is facing soaring energy bills as at some of its own mps energy bills as at some of its own mstoin industry energy bills as at some of its own mps join industry bosses asking for support. chinese president vows to unify china and taiwan as heightened tensions over the island continue. and the united states and the taliban will hold face—to—face talks in their first meeting since the group seized control of afghanistan in august. one out on the growing pressure on the uk government to support businesses with growing gas prices. joining us now is david hunter,
director of market studies. bring us up to date with how the prices are looking right now. thea;r prices are looking right now. they have been extreme _ prices are looking right now. they have been extreme and _ prices are looking right now. tue: have been extreme and volatile. prices are looking right now. tte: have been extreme and volatile. in fact, since the peak of the market on tuesday, they have fallen back to some 25%, but prices are hugely elevated compared to a year ago. if you want to buy gas for the year ahead, it is more than double what it was a year ago and if you want to buy it for next month or this winter, we are talking multiples of the same price as last year. so a very concerned at time for businesses and potentially consumers down the line too.— down the line too. fundamentally, is it concern fundamentally _ down the line too. fundamentally, is it concern fundamentally about - it concern fundamentally about simply, it concern fundamentally about supply, is that what is at the root of the problems we are seeing? t of the problems we are seeing? i think a lot of the feed in the market is currently day—to—day stories and rumours even about
short—term supply constraints. we have had over the last few weeks issues with supplies from norway and also from russia where flows have been lower than anticipated given the prices and certainly demand at the prices and certainly demand at the moment. europe also has a situation where its gas storage levels are relatively low compared to normal for levels are relatively low compared to normalfor this levels are relatively low compared to normal for this time of year so that amplifies the price concerns, but the underlying point behind it is a quicker than x—rated economic recovery from the first micro—slowdown, energy prices fell sharply. —— quicker than expected. but where markets have recovered quickly than expected, supplies have struggled to catch up. i quickly than expected, supplies have struggled to catch up.— struggled to catch up. i spoke to the trade association _ struggled to catch up. i spoke to the trade association for- struggled to catch up. i spoke to the trade association for the - struggled to catch up. i spoke to l the trade association for the steel industry here just after the meeting with the business secretary and he said kwasi kwarteng had listened and
understood but offered no immediate solutions. he warned that the energy crisis could soon become a steel crisis. is that something you anticipate if government does not intervene? could we see various sectors of business and industry going into crisis because of supply issues and the price of energy? i think there is very great stress on business as a of these energy price increases and we can see in a number of countries around europe, italy, spain, greece and others will follow it for sure, government support and short—term mitigation measures for increasing prices, so it will definitely be putting pressure on businesses, particularly businesses that have not hedged or bought ahead for their energy, so it is quite normalfor for their energy, so it is quite normal for large industrial businesses to follow the markets and make advance purchases and hedge their risk in rising markets, but not all businesses have been doing that all have been able to do that,
so it depends on the level of exposure to market prices. but you would expect a loss of pressure to be on the government and to increase on the government to step in in some way, at least in the short term, given the extremely volatile crisis we have seen, and that also could be the case that domestic consumers in a little while. domestic consumers are currently protected by an energy price cap, which in itself went up by 12, 13%, price cap, which in itself went up by 12, i3%, just at the beginning of this month, but that is nothing compared to the increases that we will see in april if the market does not alleviate.— not alleviate. and if other governments _ not alleviate. and if other governments are - not alleviate. and if other governments are offering | not alleviate. and if other - governments are offering subsidies to their industry and business in the short term and the uk government are so far has not said it is going to do that, then you can see that the storing up a huge number of problems for the government and we can see pressure coming from their own mps to intervene and to do something at this stage.- own mps to intervene and to do something at this stage. there will be hue
something at this stage. there will be huge pressure _ something at this stage. there will be huge pressure on _ something at this stage. there will be huge pressure on the _ something at this stage. there will. be huge pressure on the government. obviously, market prices have risen relatively recently and relatively sharply. they have been higher than the previous year for some sharply. they have been higher than the previous yearfor some months sharply. they have been higher than the previous year for some months of course, but if the prices we are seeing at the moment are maintained for a period of time, there will be huge pressure on the government to intervene and ensure industrial competitiveness, but also to make sure that people can heat their homes in the winter. it is a very difficult position for government to be in, because these are huge sums of money we are talking about, but it is certainly something i am certain will be rising very, very close to the government's agenda at the moment. in close to the government's agenda at the moment-— close to the government's agenda at the moment. ., ., the moment. in the medium to longer term, what the moment. in the medium to longer term. what does _ the moment. in the medium to longer term, what does the _ the moment. in the medium to longer term, what does the government - term, what does the government needed to do to try to prevent this sort of volatility? to needed to do to try to prevent this sort of volatility?— sort of volatility? to an extent, as is sort of volatility? to an extent, gas is becoming _ sort of volatility? to an extent, gas is becoming increasingly i sort of volatility? to an extent, gas is becoming increasingly a l gas is becoming increasingly a global market with the increase of liquefied natural gas tankers which are able to move around the world, so it is getting closer to global
price and just as with the price of oil, there is only so much that a government can do in that respect when there is a market, demand, supply and other customers for that oil or gas. so if prices remain elevated for a long period, that puts pressure on competitiveness, notjust in the uk but elsewhere, i think it will be very interesting to see what happens in the coming weeks in terms of if we move on, if we have a milder start to the winter than expected and flows of gas from russia and qatar and places like that are more robust than they have been recently, then we can see an easing, but in the long term we really have to think that the energy transition is setting us on a path to wean us off fossil fuels. this is another reason why this is an important goal to achieve in the long—term, but in the meantime, people also need to heat their homes and the industry needs to operate,
so pressures in the long—term. thank so pressures in the long-term. thank ou. france has threatened to reduce electricity supplies to the british crown dependency ofjersey amid fresh tensions over post brexit fishing rights. its europe minister said france had applied for a50 licences for its fishermen to access british waters, but had only been granted half that number. lucy williamson reports from paris. questioned about the row over british fishing licenses on a morning news programme clement beaune it said it was no immediate threat. taste beaune it said it was no immediate threat. ~ . . ., beaune it said it was no immediate threat. ~ ., ., ,, ., . threat. we are talking about cutting ower to threat. we are talking about cutting power to each _ threat. we are talking about cutting power to each jersey _ threat. we are talking about cutting power to each jersey resident, i threat. we are talking about cutting power to each jersey resident, he . power to each jersey resident, he said,, but reducing the level of electricity to the island as possible. resentment has been piling up possible. resentment has been piling up on this side of the channel over clement beaune vaccines, post brexit border checks for northern ireland,
and a secret british american submarine deal in the pacific. fishing rights have been a source of tension for years but brexit has a sharpened division, with european fishermen asked to prove their connection to uk what is. some small french boats say they are not equipped to provide that proof. —— uk waters. next week eu ministers will meet in luxembourg to discuss their response. as politicians on both sides of the channel point to the waters at separate britain and france. voters in the czech republic have just a few hours left to decide whether to return the controversial prime minister, andrej babis, to power for a second term. it's the second day of voting to choose a new prime minister and parliament. the ruling populist party maintained a slight lead during the election campaign despite accusations of corruption and criticism of its handling of the pandemic.
it's being challenged by two opposition blocks which have been gaining support. results are expected later on saturday. our correspondent told us more about the problems facing as he faces the possibility of a second attempt. tiara possibility of a second attempt. two centrists possibility of a second attempt. “ti-err centrists ranged possibility of a second attempt. “tihrrr centrists ranged against possibility of a second attempt. “ti-err centrists ranged against him but he is also facing the far right are nipping at his heels and so he has to attract both voters from both sides of the electoral divide here in the czech republic. the centre—right opposition are hoping to con him, deprive him of that parliamentary majority, there are 101 seats. —— hoping to corner him. it all depends on what the president will do. he has already said he will appoint the leader of the largest party in parliament to form at the next government. that will almost
certainly be andrej babis, but now there are questions about the president's health. he is unwell, he sequestered in his presidential retreat and it is unclear what role he will be able to play in the post—election talks. facebook has apologised after once more reporting problems with the services days after a major outage. on monday, facebook which owns whatsapp and instagram saw its products are taken off—line for more than six hours. the company said last night's issues were not linked to that incident and confirmed the problem was not solved. donald trump has been accused of trying to hide nearly $4 million during his use of power. —— the problem was solved. the trump organisation has denied wrongdoing and called the reports are misleading.
tennis, and the british teenager emma raducanu, has lost her first match since winning the us open. she was beaten in straight sets by the world number 100, aliaksandra sasnovich, at indian wells. you're watching bbc news. more than one hundred children arejoining the wildlife expert and bbc presenter chris packham to deliver a petition to buckingham palace. they're calling on the royal family to conserve nature on its estates and reintroduce animals like beavers and wild boar. our reporter sanchia berg has more. planting trees at balmoral this month for the queen's platinum jubilee. the royal family has defended the environment for decades, but rewilding campaigners say they could do much more. they own more land than any otherfamily in britain. campaigners say it's been degraded by pastimes like grouse shooting, here on another highlands estate. they say rewilding royal estates could change landscapes
across the country and bring back animals like these beavers in devon. the aim of the petition was to get our royal family to think about taking some more dramatic action when it comes to conservation, both of the environment and of wildlife, at a crucial time given that we're in an environment and biodiversity crisis. the royal family are landowners of some magnitude. they own 800,000 acres of the uk, 1.4% of our land surface. the royal estates said... prince william launching the earthshot prize. he has become an international champion of the environment. the campaigners hope he will see rewilding of his own family lands as part of that work. sancha berg, bbc news.
time for a look at the weather forecast. some rain to come into the afternoon across eastern scotland, parts of northern england and north wales. but wherever you are, rain or shine, it is still likely to feel rather warm. certainly temperatures above average for the time of year, as they have been the last couple of days, because we are pulling a lot of very warm air up from a good way south up in the atlantic, it is essentially tropical air. here because this band of rain through the afternoon, syncing across eastern scotland into northern england and wales, perhaps just a a few showers for the south—west as it moves on here. ahead of it, temperatures 19, 20 degrees. to the rear of it, summer sunshine, warm for scotland and northern ireland. the weather front is a marker between the very warm air to the south and air more typical of that we would sit in at this time of year, shall we say, coming in from the north—west. perhaps a chilly
weather when st paul light across at some of the scottish glens in fact of the night. it is weakening all the while because high pressure is trying to squeeze in from the west. across southern and eastern england first thing on sunday, may be a little bit of drizzle, some cloud, but it will brighten all the while and then a much brighter start for scotland and northern ireland. quite windy across scotland, gusty, westerly winds and those will usher in so showers. we could be looking at 20 degrees across southern england and wales on sunday, but to the north of the uk, temperatures mid teens more typically and into the new week, high pressure is keen to sit to the south of the uk. weather fronts will dry and sneak in to the north. for scotland, there will be some wetter weather around, particularly in the west on monday, perhaps some thick cloud for northern ireland and northern england. to the south, a lot of fine weather and need that area of high pressure, but with a high at this
time of year, there is at risk of generating the same problem we had first thing on saturday. some dense and lingering patches of fog and thatis and lingering patches of fog and that is likely to be the story for many mornings through our weak headed to the south of the uk and we never see a return of those at 20 degrees highs. temperatures at looking that they will sit widely in the mid teens in the days ahead. a lot of fine weather to come, wettest probably for scotland by the end of the week and some showers at the northern ireland.