welcome to bbc news, i'm duncan golestani. donald trump's administration has announced new rules that could deprive around 60 million american women of access to free contraception. the us department of health said employers and insurance companies can now exempt themselves on religious or moral grounds from providing contraceptive pills and other methods of birth control. earlier i got the latest from the bbc‘s peter bowes in los angeles. it goes back to 2009 when the affordable health act was introduced and a lot of debate at the time about this particular
provision. at the end of the day it was included so that only religious institutions could effectively veto on that decision to supply contraceptives free of charge to women who wanted them. now, under donald trump, it's being extended to include all employers. so if they decide for their own religious or moral reasons that they do not want to supply the women that they employ, essentially the funds through their health funds to pay for contraceptives, they will have the right to do that. how divisive a political issue is this? it's a hugely divisive legal issue. it always has been. of course, right now, conservatives are celebrating this. many of those conservatives are donald trump's base. this is something he promised to do when he was campaigning for office, for the presidency last year. he has kept true to his promise. for all that people had expected this to happen
at some point, there will be an argument, a campaign and, yes, legal action to try to get this decision overturned. at least one organisation, the american civil liberties union,... has already said it has begun legal proceedings. planned parenthood has spoken out against this and there is a chance it could go all the way to the supreme court. we spoke about how many women are thought to have benefited from this provision. in effect, however, how many employers really, how many large employers will take this away from their employees? well, that is a big question. the government today, the official announcing this, said that he did not think many employers would withhold the sort of insurance for women who wanted it.
but let's see what happens. other people express concern that some employers may use this veto to save money and to say that they are doing it because of their moral or religious belief but in fact it would simply be a ploy to save money by not spending it on healthcare for women that are employed in a particular company. we'll have to see how this pans out. there are certainly a lot of concern from women's organisations that this is an attack on the civil liberties of women. let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news. the first funerals have taken place in brazil of children killed on thursday by a security guard who set fire to a childcare centre in the state of minas gerais. seven children, most of them aged four, and a teacher have now died. the man threw ethanol over the children and himself before starting the fire. he later died in hospital. vigils have been held in las vegas for the victims of the deadliest
mass shooting in recent us history. police say they've followed up more than a thousand leads but still don't know the motive for the attack that left 58 people dead and hundreds injured. stephen paddock opened fire from his hotel room on the crowd below before turning the gun on himself. oil and gas companies have shut their operations and begun to evacuate staff in the gulf of mexico as tropical storm nate is getting closer to their facilities. the storm has killed at least 2a people in central america and has damaged thousands of homes. it's predicted to become a hurricane by the time it hits the united states on sunday. the european commission says the international deal to curb iran's nuclear programme is working and that all sides should keep to their commitments. it was responding to indications from president trump that he will decertify, or reject, the deal which was agreed by barack 0bama in 2015. it limits tehran‘s ability to enrich uranium in exchange for sanctions really.
stay with us here on bbc news, still to come: the stars of coronation street pay tribute to our vera at the funeral of the actress liz dawn. theresa may has said she has the full support of her cabinet after a former party chairman said there should be a leadership contest. the prime minister said the country needed calm leadership and declared that's what i'm providing. but grant shapps claims that around 30 tory mps back his call for a leadership election, adding there are cabinet ministers who feel the same way. 0ur deputy political editor john pienaar reports. if only theresa may's bodyguard could see off the political plots, but that's up to her friends and to her, away from westminster today, and doing her best to look cool, still in charge, getting on with business.
what i think is necessary for the country now, what the country needs, is calm leadership. that's exactly what i'm providing, and i'm providing that with the full support of my cabinet. thank you. maybe, but not all ex—cabinet colleagues from happier times, like the former party chairman, who's been outed as a plotter and admits stirring mutiny, gathering names of other tory mps who want the prime minister gone, and gone quickly. well, actually, just over a period of time, since the general election that went so badly wrong, there are quite a lot of colleagues who feel we might now be better served by having a leadership election sooner rather than later. and this was really to try to gather those people together in order to be able to say that to her. mr shapps claims some 30 mps support a plan to get mrs may out and force a leadership contest, including five former ministers. under tory rules, it takes 48 mps to force a vote of no confidence. if she loses that vote, she must resign. allies say rebels don't
have the numbers. i was in the hall when the conservative party rose as one to give her a thunderous standing ovation, and i've also been in receipt of telephone calls, text messages, and e—mails from people in my constituency and elsewhere, saying "get behind theresa. " i've been able to say to them "absolutely, we are all behind theresa!" grant schapps knows what he needs to do, he needs to get 48 signatures to trigger an election for the leadership of the conservative party. he says he's got up to 30, that could be eight. i suspect that he hasn't got anywhere near what he needs, and that's why he's doing this tantrum at the moment. by the time mps gather here again next week, mrs may's team feel sure they'll have seen off this assault, at least for now. but privately among tory mps, there's no longer much debate about whether mrs may will be driven out of office, just about when. few seem truly to believe she can fight on through another election, and just now, she's looking so weakened that even lasting through to brexit, less
than 18 months away, looks like a tall order. that accident—prone speech was tough to watch, even for ministers who are thought to fancy herjob. she tried to revive her premiership and everything went wrong. watching her and ambitious colleagues it's hard to avoid thinking, "be careful what you wish." more now on the shooting in las vegas with police saying they've followed up more than a thousand leads in their quest to establish a motive behind the killing of 58 people last sunday. there have been vigils to remember the victims of the shootings, as our correspondent james cook reports from las vegas. # amazing grace, how sweet thy sound...# in their darkest hour, they have turned to their god. #..like me#.
the massacre in las vegas struck at the heart of the christian country music community. these are patriotic americans. they are proud of their country and of its freedoms, including the right to carry a gun, even after the deadliest of mass shootings. we lost my uncle from a head wound on tuesday afternoon. tara king is the niece of brett swanbeck, who was 61 years old. my uncle was the funniest, funnest, hillbilly, red neck, country music—loving good old boy. this was brett at the concert with his fiancee. even though tighter gun laws may have perhaps saved his life his niece is resolute. i believe in the right to bear arms.
i believe we are in the land of free. we are here because we are free to make our choices. your uncle's been shot and killed by a gunman. yes. that doesn't change your view? absolutely not. are you kidding me? my uncle is all about... ..he‘s all for guns. the worst thing that could happen, my uncle would be in a fit, my whole entire family, if they were going to take oui’ guns away. grief, it seems, does not heal divisions in the united states. guns and country music have always gone together. the cultures are intertwined. in rural america, you often hear people say that this lifestyle is maligned and misunderstood. and even in mourning, many people here are determined to defend their right to bear arms. for those americans, these crosses are the price of freedom. james cook, bbc news, las vegas. it's a key indicator of the health of the economy,
productivity, the amount each worker produces per hour. well, on that measure, the latest official figures show that the uk is lagging 15% below the average of the most advanced economies. and, as our economics correspondent andy verity reports, that could have serious implications for the chancellor philip hammond as he prepares for next month's budget. at this cumbria glass maker, growth starts with a glob of molten sand. at each stage of the process, where it's melted, shaped, and transformed into luxury goblets, the firm's analysed how it can trim costs and boost the amount each worker produces, their productivity, from new glass recipes to energy—saving furnace doors and that in turn can boost the amount each worker is paid. 0ur turnover has doubled and our productivity has tripled. we managed to reduce our energy costs by 30% byjust changing the style of doors. the furnaces didn't have any doors, they had to be invented and designed especially for us, but a small
change that's brought about a massive benefit to the company. u nfortu nately, growth in productivity like that is now the exception, not the rule. until the financial crisis, each worker produced a little more each year, but that engine of growth has stalled. if it had kept growing like it used to, each worker would produce a fifth more than they do now. we're not the only ones struggling to boost productivity, japan and canada produce less per worker, but we're now behind italy and france and far behind germany. that weak record helps explain why we have the lowest unemployment in 42 years, but living standards aren't improving. the economy has been growing by adding workers, not by boosting the amount each worker produces. the big reason for that is a lack of investment by private companies and by the government. it's not good for britain and it's not good for british people for the economy to be producing lower wage jobs of a lower quality.
we need to invest in roads, in skills, in the kinds of investments that lead to high—value jobs, and into sectors in which those high—value and those high—earning jobs are going to take place. the treasury had been expecting productivity to grow, not to slump, and the official forecasts now look wrong, leaving the chancellor with a headache. with the economy projected to grow more slowly, the taxes won't roll in as fast, leaving him with a lot less room for manoeuvre and less money set aside in case of emergency. if productivity doesn't pick up, then economic growth won't pick up and the chancellor will have less tax revenue to play with, even less than he thought, and that means he will find it really difficult, more difficult than he thought it would be, to increase public pay, to give more money to the nhs, to sort out the social care problem. this really matters for my income and your income, and also for the quality of public services. the chancellor had thought he'd have a rainy day fund of £26 billion.
waiting for a rainy day, chancellor! money he could spend or use for tax cuts, without busting his self—imposed financial targets. when official figures revised at the nest next budget much of that money won't be there. andy verity, bbc news. the trial of an army instructor accused of trying to kill his wife has been shown pictures of the parachute she was wearing which he's alleged to have tampered with. victoria cilliers suffered multiple injuries when both her main and reserve parachutes failed to open during a jump over salisbury plain. duncan kennedy reports from winchester crown court. this is the first time the parachute at the centre of this case has been seen in public, it was worn by victoria cilliers. 0ne expert said he'd never seen a main chute so tangled and said the reserve chute had ties, known as slinks, that were missing. the prosecution case is that emile cilliers, on the left here, sabotaged his wife's parachute by deliberately
tangling the main chute and removing two slinks. the court heard emile cilliers wanted victoria cilliers dead so he could benefit from her life insurance policy and because he was having an affair with another woman. when mrs cilliers main and reserve chutes failed to open over salisbury plan, she fell 4,000 feet and suffered multiple injuries. he should have handed it back in. under cross—examination from the defence, he admitted that other parachutists get their rigs in their lockers and that to have done so might not have been unusual. the jury might not have been unusual. the jury was told that he also tried to kill his wife a few days earlier in their kitchen by tampering with this gas mixture. he denies two counts of attempted murder. the case continues next week. duncan kennedy, bbc news, at winchester crown court. you're watching bbc news. the headlines this hour: civil rights groups in the us have vowed to fight the trump administration's new rules blocking access
to free contraception. the prime minister insists she has the support of her cabinet after a former conservative chairman said 30 mps want a leadership election. oil and gas companies have shut their operations and begun to evacuate staff in the gulf of mexico, as tropical storm nate gets closer. the storm has killed at least 2a people in central america and damaged thousands of homes. the storm system has now moved over the gulf of mexico. this image, taken earlier on friday, shows the eye of the storm at the bottom of the screen, moving up over the yucatan peninsula in mexico. the us gulf coast, and florida, can be seen at the top of the screen. nate is predicted to become a hurricane by the time it hits the united states on sunday. janey mitchell reports. deadly floods, mudslides, destruction, scenes all too familiar
this hurricane season. but this time, central american countries spared the worst of hurricanes irma and harvey have been in the firing line, honduras, costa rica and nicuragua. translation: the flood has taken away almost everything these people had in their homes. they had breakfast this morning but have not had lunch or dinner because they've lost everything. aid agencies say the succession of major storms this years has prompted them to consider expanding their provisions for such events. one of the lessons might be that we need to relook at preparedness scenarios and preparedness plannings and take into account the fact we will see more storms and they will be more ferocious. forecasters are predicting that what is now a tropical storm churning north could strengthen into a hurricane as it heads for mexico and the us, making it the third major storm to hit southern us
states in two months. storm surge watches have been issued for alabama, mississippi and louisiana, which bore the brunt of hurricane katrina 12 years ago. it should be all right right here, but, uhh, i lost my boat in katrina, so, i didn't wanna lose it again. louisiana has declared a state of emergency, ordering people to evacuate coastal areas. because the waters in the gulf of mexico remain extremely warm, there is the potentialfor this storm to intensify very quickly. landfall is expected early sunday morning either as a strong tropical storm or a weak category 1 hurricane. texas, florida, puerto rico and many caribbean islands are still reeling from hurricanes harvey, irma and maria. but the hurricane season is far from over. for many, the end of november cannot come soon enough.
janey mitchell, bbc news. the spanish government has suggested holding new regional elections in catalonia to try to resolve the dispute about independence. the education minister said autonomous elections would be a positive move towards political co—existence. but, the former leader of catalonia, artur mas, has warned that the region is not yet ready for real independence, even though he believes it has won the right to break away from spain. james reynolds reports from spain. espana, espana. tonight, spain has brought its football and its many arguments to this, the coastal city of alicante. the national sport reveals this country's divisions. spain's fundamental questions extend to these, its fans, and its national team. can you be both catalan and spanish at the same time, or must you choose between the two? gerard pique, the team's most
famous catalan player, faces these questions. he was booed here in training for having publicly supported the catalan referendum. in a tearful statement, he even offered to leave the squad. but tonight, protected by headphones, he got off the team bus ready to play. i don't really like him, to be honest. why? because he's mixing all the time sport and politics. but he won the world cup for spain! so? it doesn't allow him to say everything he wants anywhere, you know. translation: he can do whatever he wants off the pitch so long as he performs on the pitch.
translation: i'm going to whistle him. he's a hypocrite who thinks one thing and says something else. contrast that to 2010, when gerard pique and half a dozen more catalan players helped spain win the world cup, suspending the myth that catalan players wouldn't give their all in spanish jerseys. tonight, at a bar in alicante, fans scrutinise pique's performance. translation: pique always delivers. the problem with him is that he always wants to be on the front page. gerard pique helped his team to victory here and qualification for next year's world cup. and that really is spain's entire point, the whole country is better off when its catalans stay put. james reynolds, bbc news, alicante. the funeral of liz dawn, who was coronation street's vera duckworth for 3h years, has been held at salford cathedral. she died last week at the age of 77. judith moritz reports. to her family she was "mum" and "gran," but to millions she was vera.
salford cathedral isn't far from the corrie cobbles where liz dawn made her name, and from where her cast mates came to say goodbye. carry on doing what you're doing. show them you've got principle! jack and vera duckworth were one of tv‘s most enduring double acts, on screen for more than 30 years. now i can say i'm going to bingo and then i might go for a drink after. i can't think of another coronation street character who's as strong as vera duckworth was. what a great comedy couple they were. there'll never be another jack and vera. they were amazing, legends. very dear friend, and you're all part of one family? absolutely, we are, and it's times like this that you really understand that. she'll be looking down now and just saying, "eh, that were nice." do you know, don't he talk posh, him. liz dawn worked in factories herself before becoming an actress.
she was often funny, but always believable. that was her saying, wasn't it? "ta—ra, chuck." rita and shirley are long—time vera fans. they came to pay their respects and remember the highlights. and when she had the house clad and everything, didn't she? yeah, yeah, she did. admiring my stone cladding, are you? well, it's certainly eye—catching. the laughter, the tears, the arguments she had and everything, ‘cause that's what goes on in real life, ain't it? they closed coronation street today as liz dawn's real and screen families came together to remember the soap legend they loved. judith moritz, bbc news, salford. more than 30 years after the chernobyl nuclear disaster, radioactive wild boar are being found in sweden. in 1986 the nuclear reactor at the soviet union power station in ukraine exploded, scattering radioactive material across europe. today sweden's wild boars, a popular game animal in the country
have been discovered to be contaminated with several times the normal level of radiation. it's one of sweden's most popular game animals. today the country consumes more wild boar meat than ever, but recently the species has been found to contain dangerously high levels of radiation, the result of fallout from chernobyl. in what remains the world's worst nuclear disaster, in 1986 the reactor at the soviet power station chernobyl exploded, sending a plume of radioactive material into the air. more than 30 years on it's still leaving its mark among sweden's wild boar population. 0ne animal that was shot dead had around ten times the safe limit of radiation. translation: 13,000 becquerel, that really gave me a shock. i've shot deer containing 22,000 becquerel 30 years ago, but among wild boars, i've never heard of that. the levels have fallen in other wildlife, but experts say while wild boar are exposed to more radioactive material as they root around in the soil.
the swedish authorities claim it doesn't pose a threat to humans. translation: what you can expect of radiation at such low levels is an increased risk of cancer, but at these levels, at an individual level, there is a very, very low increase of the risk. but many hunters just aren't willing to take that chance. luxmy gopal, bbc news. and that is the way it is looking. don't forget, you can get in touch with me and the rest of the team on twitter. now let's take a look at the weather. hello there. we've had a treat over the last couple of evenings. some amazing sunset pictures and this was one of them actually from friday evening. beautiful colours there, all because the sun was setting underneath this bank of high cloud that's been streaming down from the north—west. another picture there, this time from coventry. you can see the layers of cloud. that cloud has been thickening and it's been bringing with it
outbreaks of rain from the north—west. that's spilling down across england and wales. the rain not amounting to very much, but it does mean it's much more difficult to see the moon at the moment. a lot of cloud as we head into the weekend. throughout the weekend we'll continue to feed in cloudier skies, and probably on saturday you're more likely to catch some rain. should be drier across more of the country on sunday and probably that bit brighter as well. this is early saturday, though, and it's a dull start across southern parts of england, perhaps south wales. a bit of rain and drizzle around here. a little bit brighter, though, as you move northwards for a while. in other parts of wales, the midlands, already some showers feeding in on those stronger west to north—westerly winds. a lot of showers to begin the day in northern ireland. in scotland, these showers to the north of scotland could be rather heavy for a time. most of the showers in scotland and northern ireland will be in the morning. in the afternoon they become fewer and lighter. eastern scotland should see some sunshine poking through, a bit more shelter here.
improving in the afternoon with some sunshine in north—east england. in between these drizzly rain bands that are moving towards the midlands and this rain that's stuck in the far south—west, we may get some unreliable breaks in the cloud for central, southern england, perhaps south wales. temperatures getting up to 16 or 17 degrees. not quite as warm as that, though, for the super league grand final. that's at old trafford. there will be some rain around here. it's going to be quite a dull and damp weekend on the whole across manchester. although this weather front is taking the rain away from the english channel. around the top of this flat area of high pressure, we're again drawing in a lot of cloud. so it's staying pretty mild overnight. we'll still have some of these drizzly showers around on sunday, especially in western scotland. a few running in across wales perhaps into the midlands. many eastern parts of england and scotland, perhaps southern england and south wales, much drier and brighter. a little sunshine, temperatures
similar to those on saturday. into the early part of next week and we're going to find all our weather coming in from the atlantic. moving on more quickly over the coming few days, these systems weakening as they run across the uk. it means we're going to find the wind picking up from monday to wednesday, and the wettest weather is always going to be in the north—west. this is bbc news, the headlines: the trump administration has announced new rules that could deprive around 60 million american women of access to free contraception. employers and insurance companies can now exempt themselves from providing birth control on religious or moral grounds. civil rights groups say they'll fight the move. spain has apologised to people injured during sunday's disputed referendum in catalonia. the catalan government could be just
days from declaring independence from spain but its former leader has warned the region's not ready to go it alone. vigils have been held in las vegas for the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in recent us history. police say they've followed up more than a thousand leads but still don't know the motive for the attack that left 58 people dead and hundreds injured.