this is bbc news. the headlines: pressure grows on the government to help businesses facing soaring energy bills as some of its own mps join industry bosses in asking for support. the education secretary commits to tackling persistant pupil absences "head on", describing it as a priority. women travelling home alone, could soon be offered protection from a free mobile phone app. campaigners say it doesn't go far enough. i don't think that that is the way forward. it is not that i don't support it, it is that i don't think it will help protect women as making misogyny head crime would. —— a hate
crime. coming up, we'll be live in las vegas ahead of tyson fury�*s heavyweight title fight against deontay wilder. several energy firms are calling for the price cap which regulates household bills to be reformed saying it's "not fit for purpose" at a time of soaring gas prices. they say customers could face even higher costs if more suppliers are forced out of business. some backbench conservative mps have called for more help for businesses hit by rising energy bills. we will have more on this in the late news in about 15 minutes. and we'll find out how this story and many others are covered in tomorrow's front pages in half an hour. our guestsjoining me tonight for the papers are the former pensions minister ros altmann and jonathan walker, the political editor of the birmingham post and mail. the education secretary has
committed to tackling persistent pupil absences "head on", describing it as a "key priority". in a speech to head teachers this afternoon, nadhim zahawi said disadvantaged children lose out most from not being in school. ahead of the spending review later this month, he pledged to invest "record sums" in children's education. we must really close the gap, the disadvantage gap, and do the best by every single child, by focusing on the outcome for every single child. that means mental health must be better understood, and support provided where it is needed. i want us to pull wellbeing and put it at the centre of everything we do in schools, alongside a drive for rigorous standards and high performance. but of course we cannot do this if children are not at school, so another key priority for me will be getting to the root of what is causing children not to be at school and to be persistently absent,
and then tackling it head on. because the children who lose out the most from not being at school are likely, very likely to be the ones who can cope least — the vulnerable, the disadvantaged. you cannot help them if they aren't there. i will be tirelessly pursuing all of these issues to provide a world—class education system for all children, because the only way we can escape the quicksand of disadvantage is by building this together. paul whiteman is general secretary of the national association of head teachers. he says he's pleased mr zahawi was engaging with his members but on the issue of disadvantage, said the responsibility can'tjust rest with teachers. it can't all rest with educators, although the trigger for this is talking about persistent absence at school, one of the things we suffering from is the retreat
of support services around schools, the health service systems not being around for schools to refer to. it is notjust about what we can do in schools and what the secretary of state for education can do, but what his colleagues can do around the government table to make sure we can support the whole child, not just their education. plans for a phone service aimed at protecting lone women walking home have been announced by bt. the company's boss said the firm started to develop the system in the wake of the murders of sarah everard and sabina nessa. bt has set out its plans in a letter to the home secretary. some campaigners argue such a service does not tackle the real problem of male violence. earlier i spoke with dr gillian harrop, senior lecturer in forensic psychology at the university of worcester. it is great that it is one of measures for women's safety, but it has to be part of a wider culture where we are also calling out the
problematic behaviour and recognising where someone is behaving in a way that is not all right. when you see someone having a nickname at work, such as the rapist, do not laugh it off, look at who you can go to to report that, be proactive about what your strategies are and where people can go to report. called at friends and family. if you see something in the media, call it out. i remember reading about an actor who was playing a serial killer on tv, and talked about how he got into the role by stalking women and how he found it exciting. this was presented as a fun interview. we should be calling that out and saying, that isn't 0k. by calling it out and doing these small measures, it creates a culture of change rather than saying, we will do one thing in this app and that will fix the problem. it isn't really doing anything to change the culture that creates violence against women. haw creates violence against women. how successful are — creates violence against women. how successful are you — creates violence against women. how successful are you likely to be if you challenge a group of friends who have held views that you may be
found unpalatable for some time and you want them to sort of cease—and—desist and think more cleverly and sensitively about things? they could often turn around and say, what has happened to you, where is your sense of humour? this is it and what — where is your sense of humour? this is it and what we _ where is your sense of humour? ti 3 is it and what we hear on a university bystander programme, people don't want to be calling it out because they don't to be seen as having no sense of humour. but it is trying to establish that it between some of the things we don't have a problem with, like saying it is just a joke or banter, just a comment, but i do have a pollen with bigger things like rape and abuse and violence against women and girls, and starting that discussion to say, these things are linked. in terms of calling someone out, it might be that you call them out and have that conversation and they don't change the attitude then and there but they may reflect on it and may be a change is the way they think about it, or maybejust change is the way they think about it, or maybe just means they don't feel as comfortable saying that thing or doing that thing and, in
that way, it changes that culture because it sends a message that it will not be tolerated and if you say these things around me, you need to know i will call it out. if all of us start with that attitude and start saying, we will call it out, it does change the culture and it is not something that will happen overnight and is not something that will happen with one measure or one app. it is really about looking at what we can do as a culture, those small changes. if enough of us do it, it will hopefully start to make a change, but it needs organisations and the government on board, i do need a device to recognise that this is not a lost cause, it is something we can play a part in. 16 specialist centres will be opening across england from monday, bringing together experts on issues around long covid. we met
ten—year—old taylor who will benefit from the measures. ten—year—old taylor in the pool for her weekly hydrotherapy session. since having covid nearly 20 months ago, this is now the only place that she can be without behing in pain. when you wake up, your symptoms will already start to kick in. i wake up with a bad headache, and normally everything aches and i don't want to get out of bed. but when i do, i still feel that pain. it doesn't really go, and then i go to school tired, and ifeel like my hands are, like, going to collapse and not work, and the same with my legs. my back can hurt a few times, but it's not the same as my arms and legs. but my head can hurt a lot, and i'll always feel tired, and that goes on for the whole day. and it's notjust the physical pain — her mum also worries about her daughter's mental health. she used to do things like cheerleading and horse riding
and enjoy those things, but she wouldn't be able to do it now, and obviously while she's not been at school even with the lockdowns and then not going back last year because of the pain, she's become quite isolated and then that's obviously affected her as well. well, the world's first study into children with long covid suggests that one in seven still suffer symptoms 15 weeks after contracting coronavirus. and so, now, 16 hubs are opening across the country, looking at long covid in children, and one of the pilot's is here in bristol. long covid is essentially a new condition, and there are symptom clusters or groups of symptoms that we don't understand completely and we need to develop treatments for. the outcome for children in general is much, much better than the outcome for adults. so what the hub is going to do is to bring the top specialists at bristol children's hospital together and discuss cases. i feel really strongly that what we need to do is to offer treatment quickly, because the kids are sick and they're missing school right now. how does it feel to know you're
going to have access to a specialist team of doctors that are hopefully going to get you better? i feel better because, like, they can properly help and not... well, other doctors can help, but these ones are made for long covid. taylor's being seen on monday. after months of pain, she and herfamily hope she can get the help she finally needs to get better. fiona lamdin, bbc news. in just a few hours' time, tyson fury will defend his wbc heavyweight title against the american deontay wilder in las vegas. it will be the third time the pair have met in the ring with the previous encounter resulting in a knockout victory for tyson fury. i've been speaking to fury�*s first—ever amateur coach, steve egan. he told me what he thought when he first saw the then—young prospect walk into his gym. i saw he was a big lad straight away, didn't know he was 1a. he walked straight through, went on the
bags down the end, was moving very well for a big lad. bags down the end, was moving very well fora big lad. i bags down the end, was moving very well for a big lad. i turned to my father after about 30 seconds and said, a champion of the world. he said, a champion of the world. he said, hejust walked said, a champion of the world. he said, he just walked through the door. i said, said, he just walked through the door. isaid, i know, but there is something about him. i couldn't believe that his name was tyson fury. believe that his name was tyson fu . . , believe that his name was tyson fu . ., , , , , believe that his name was tyson fu . . , , , , ,., believe that his name was tyson fury. he has expressed some somewhat intolerant views _ fury. he has expressed some somewhat intolerant views in _ fury. he has expressed some somewhat intolerant views in the _ fury. he has expressed some somewhat intolerant views in the past, _ fury. he has expressed some somewhat intolerant views in the past, for - intolerant views in the past, for which he has apologised. it has caused a bit of controversy. how is he regarded at your club? he is like a nod. he he regarded at your club? he is like a god- he was _ he regarded at your club? he is like a god. he was the _ he regarded at your club? he is like a god. he was the flagship - he regarded at your club? he is like a god. he was the flagship of- he regarded at your club? he is like a god. he was the flagship of our. a god. he was the flagship of our gym, and still is. a fantastic lad, a good way about him, great boxer, works hard. we've got nothing bad to
say about him at all, he's just fantastic. say about him at all, he's 'ust fantastic. ., say about him at all, he's 'ust fantasticﬁ say about him at all, he's 'ust fantastic. ., ., ._ , ~ say about him at all, he's 'ust fantastic. ., . , ~ ., fantastic. you will always think of him is that _ fantastic. you will always think of him is that 14-year-old. - fantastic. you will always think of him is that 14-year-old. what - fantastic. you will always think of him is that 14-year-old. what is. him is that 1a—year—old. what is your prediction, if you will share that with us, for this fight against deontay wilder? they have met each other before. which way will it go? tyson will win, unless wilder lands one of those bonds. you cannot write him off, because he is one of the biggest punches in history. i think he will use his range and boxes head off for a bit. i think they will get to the second half of the fight, seven or eight. he to the second half of the fight, seven or eight.— seven or eight. he has not had the easiest build-up _ seven or eight. he has not had the easiest build-up to _ seven or eight. he has not had the easiest build-up to this _ seven or eight. he has not had the easiest build-up to this match, - seven or eight. he has not had the | easiest build-up to this match, has easiest build—up to this match, has he? easiest build-up to this match, has he? ., , ., ., , , easiest build-up to this match, has he? ., , ., , ., he? no, his daughter was very ill at one state he? no, his daughter was very ill at one stage when _
he? no, his daughter was very ill at one stage when she _ he? no, his daughter was very ill at one stage when she was _ he? no, his daughter was very ill at one stage when she was first - he? no, his daughter was very ill at one stage when she was first born, | one stage when she was first born, so it is a distraction, but when he gets his head on something, he is totally focused. so five weeks is plenty to get his head back. it was just about working on tactics and stuff, he was ready for it. so i think he will be ok.— stuff, he was ready for it. so i think he will be ok. describe to us what it is like — think he will be ok. describe to us what it is like to _ think he will be ok. describe to us what it is like to face _ think he will be ok. describe to us what it is like to face someone - think he will be ok. describe to us| what it is like to face someone like that and to know you will probably get hit in the face by them. luckily, ijust face holding the pads! it has to be daunting, because he is fantastic. i think is probably one of the best boxers out there at heavyweight, i really do, he has everything. footwork, clever, heart of a lion. but you have to nail him down to beat him. nobody can outbox him in this era.
there's growing pressure on the government to intervene, to help businesses struggling, with soaring energy costs. there are fears some small to medium sized firms, could go to the wall. energy prices going up is not what we need, my overheads are already extremely high as it is. it's a concern about the viability of the business. but what help could the government offer? we'll take a look at the options. also tonight... plunged into near darkness — lebanon suffers a nationwide power cut. after two high—profile murders of young women, a mobile phone app that
can trigger an alert of danger. and a last—gasp chance for scotland to qualify for the world cup. good evening. business leaders are warning that soaring energy bills for many small and medium sized firms are unsustainable without government help. calling for ministers to provide financial help. here's our business correspondent, katie prescott. our biggest customer is 0cado. cooking on gas. these are simmering broth 2a hours a day.
there is little this business can do to cut its energy use. bills recently have been painful. energy prices going up is not what we need, my overheads already are extremely high as it is and it's a concern. it's a deep concern about the viability of the business and i don't want to pass that cost on to our customers. i will do everything i can to avoid that. businesses don't have the cushion of an energy price cap. they tend to fix their bills a year or two in advance, so for those whose contracts are coming to an end at the moment, it's a really painful time and it's even worse for companies like this one, who don't have those contracts and pay their energy bills on a three—monthly metered basis. industries like cement and glass with the heaviest energy consumption in the uk are seeing their costs rocketing. to keep the furnaces burning, they're crying out for government support.
absolutely right now, gas prices are at an unprecedented level and the businesses that manufacture the goods that we need are trying to operate under these unprecedented conditions. and they're backed by some conservative mps with these industries in their constituencies. they need government support, either in direct support or a cap on their energy prices to allow them to continue in business but so far, that support isn't forthcoming. the government says: for now, though, businesses like this, as what they are paying for gas in the market is more than the amount they can charge under the energy price. but businesses like these
facing rising transport costs and taxes would like to see a similar sort of. i'm doing everything i can to keep this business running. the last thing we need now is sky high energy bills to top that. katie prescott, bbc news. 0ur political correspondent, jonathan blake is here. businesses are saying they want the government to help and intervene. what can the government do? i don't aet what can the government do? i don't net the what can the government do? i don't get the sense — what can the government do? i don't get the sense they _ what can the government do? i don't get the sense they are _ what can the government do? i don't get the sense they are on _ what can the government do? i don't get the sense they are on any - what can the government do? i don't get the sense they are on any major. get the sense they are on any major intervention here. there are more talks in the coming days as they work out possible measures, possible steps to take. as for what that could be, the sorts of things industry is asking for, a possible subsidisation of wholesale energy costs in the short term, a price cap for business in the long term, those are expensive measures that the government is being expected to take. while they are not been ruled out, i would expect any steps to be much more limited in scope. we have seen the government willing to allow
domestic energy providers to go to the wall without any intervention there, so that relatively hands off approach will continue but there is pressure from industry, some conservative mps worried about the knock—on effects of this crisis, but unless we see lots ofjobs on the line or the shutdown is in production becoming unsustainable, it seems it is pressure the government is willing to bear. and tomorrow morning andrew marr will be joined by the business secretary, kwasi kwarteng, and by the boss of one of the big six energy suppliers. that's at 9am here on bbc one. us officials and representatives of the taliban have met face—to—face for the first time since the militants took control of afghanistan in august. america maintains the talks in the qatari capital of doha, do not signal official recognition of taliban rule. in afghanistan the funerals have been taking place of some of the victims killed in yesterday's suicide bomb attack in the northern city of kunduz.
around 50 people died with the islamic state group saying it carried out the attack on a mosque. well, our correspondent, yogita limaye, is in doha for us. the first time both these sides have met. do we have any idea what has come out of the meeting so far? from the talihan's — come out of the meeting so far? from the taliban's point _ come out of the meeting so far? from the taliban's point of— come out of the meeting so far? from the taliban's point of view— come out of the meeting so far? h...” the taliban's point of view this as part of a series of efforts from the group to try to gain international recognition. they met with uk diplomats a few days ago, now they are meeting us officials and the acting foreign minister of the taliban appointed government and who is leading the delegation here has said they will also meet european officials soon. the reason they want to get international recognition is because it is directly linked to the unblocking of foreign funds into afghanistan which have been frozen since the group seized control of the country. but he also said they
don't want anyone to interfere in the internal affairs of any country. they are speaking against the backdrop of girls not being allowed to go to secondary schools in most parts of afghanistan and women not being allowed to go to work. it is unclear whether the us would bring up unclear whether the us would bring up those issues in these talks. thank you. lebanon's electricity grid has shut down, leaving the country without power for the second weekend in a row. it's two largest power stations ran out of fuel amid an ongoing economic and financial crisis hitting the country. officials say it's unlikely electricity supplies will resume before monday. from beirut, here's our middle east correspondent, anna foster. careful steps in the blackest of nights. for many, this is the reality of life now in lebanon. lights and hope are in short supply. translation: the collector comes
l at the end of each month to take i 300,000 lira from me and where is the electricity? there is no electricity. lebanon's national grid was already weak. when it works, it's only for one or two hours a day but for the country's poorest, that's a vital lifeline. people here are dealing with crisis after crisis and while this blackout wasn't a surprise, it's just another thing to make an already difficult life even tougher. this is keeping the lights on for 300 flats. those who can, pay for expensive private generators but prices have doubled in the last month and they are getting harder to afford. some people they text me and they can't, "we don't have much money." we are helping them but it's difficult for us too. so without all of this and without you, the people are in complete darkness? yeah, unfortunately. a ship carrying fuel is on its way.
it's another short—term solution to an enduring problem. lebanon's politicians are talking about answers but the struggling country doesn't have time to waste. anna foster, bbc news, beirut. the government's latest coronavirus figures show there were 34,950 new infections, recorded in the latest 24—hour period. not including cases in wales. that means on average there were 36,665 new cases reported per day in the last week. as of thursday, there were 6,763 people in hospital with coronavirus across the uk. 133 deaths were recorded, that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test, which means 113 deaths were announced on average every day, in the past week. 85.4% of the population aged 12 or over, have had theirfirst dose of a vaccine and 78.5% have
been double jabbed. the deaths of sarah everard and sabina nessa highlighted the dangers women face out alone on the streets. there are a number of personal safety apps on the market to alert friends or relatives of danger, and now there are plans for a phone service from bt that would allow users to opt into a gps tracking bt has contacted the home secretary about it's plans, but some campaigners argue such a service doesn't tackle the deeper problem of male violence. here's graham satchell. more than six months after the murder of sarah everard, flowers and messages are still being left at the bandstand on clapham common where a vigil was held in her name. sarah's death and that of sabina nessa, killed last month in south london, have led to a wide public debate about the safety of women and potential solutions. bt have now come up with plans for a smartphone app called walk me home. an emergency number, potentially 888, would enable women to have theirjourneys tracked
and an alert triggered if they don't reach home in a set time. the government says it is considering bt�*s proposal and welcomes working with the private sector but there are already a number of apps like this. oi! screams alarm rings hollie guard, for example, has been downloaded more than 300,000 times. in an emergency it alerts a series of contacts, gives a precise location and starts recording video automatically. it was set up by hollie guard's family after she was killed by herformer partner. 0urapp is for 0ur app is for everybody, anyone who wants to feel extra safe when they are out of the house. it is tried, it's tested, and it's been working out for six years and we can put that out tomorrow to the whole country. is technology the answer? the co—founder of the campaign group reclaim the streets says bt�*s idea is little more than a sticking plaster.
an app isn't the answer to preventing or ending violence against women and girls. the answer has to be changing our culture that emboldens and enables men to attack women and girls or harass us in the street. a woman is killed every three days by a man in the uk. campaigners say it shouldn't be up to women to download an app to make themselves feel safe. graham satchell, bbc news. now with the days's sport, here's sarah mulkerrins, at the bbc sport centre. it's been a dramatic night of world cup qualifying football northern ireland had their hopes dented in swizerland and england had a routine win in andorra. there was late drama in glasgow. scotland scored a stoppage time winner against israel to claim a crucial three points as andy swiss reports. commentator: hampden park is absolutely bouncing! - for scotland, and their supporters,
an evening of drama but, ultimately, delight. they knew victory would put them inside of a world cup play—off spot but it was their opponents israel that led 2—1 at the break. after it, though, scotland came roaring back. lyndon dykes' effort was initially ruled out because of a high boot but after a var check, finally, 2—2. could scotland find a winner? in the fourth minute of stoppage time, guess what? commentator: this is huge! scott mctominay sending hampden park into pandemonium. a 3—2 win that could be crucial. it'll certainly be unforgettable. for northern ireland, though, it was a different story. their tricky trip to switzerland soon became even trickier. jamal lewis sent off after a second yellow card for time wasting. switzerland took advantage as they eased to a 2—0 victory. northern ireland's hopes of a play—off spot now hanging by a thread. in andorra, meanwhile, a bit of history as kateryna monzul became the first woman to referee
an england men's match, and it was one the visitors soon dominated. ben chilwell and bukayo saka put england in control by the break, and after it they cruised clear. further goals from tammy abraham and james ward prowse, before jack grealish rounded things off with his first england goal. a 5—0 win and edging ever closer to world cup qualification. andy swiss, bbc news. there was a thrilling manchester derby in the women's super league as under—pressure city came from behind to rescue a draw at united. the visitors were 2—1 down late in the second half, and also down to ten players, when ellen white pounced to secure a share of the points. st helens have won their third consecutive super legaue grand final. they overcame catalan dragons in a tense encounter at old trafford, which had the french side bidding to become the first overseas team to win the showpiece event. stuart pollitt reports.