tv BBC News BBC News September 18, 2021 5:00pm-5:30pm BST
this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at five: at least four energy companies are expected to go bust next week — amid soaring gas prices. ministers hold talks with industry representatives. we barely seen supply failures in recent weeks. part as a consequence of that and the result of other things, it's really difficult to tell if there will be any more. holiday firms say they expect a surge in bookings after travel restrictions in england are relaxed. france is recalling its ambassadors to australia and the united states, in protest over a security deal which includes the uk. us armed forces apologise for their �*tragic mistake�* — after killing ten innocent people including children —
in a drone strike during their final days in afghanistan. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. at least four energy companies are expected to go bust next week, because soaring gas prices have left smaller suppliers unable to provide their customers with the energy they have paid for. the government is holding urgent talks with the energy industry — about the sharp increase in wholesale gas prices — which have risen to record levels. the rising cost is being driven by several factors — including strong global demand.
a short time ago i spoke to emma pinchbeck, the chief executive of energy uk. she explained what customers can do if they have concerns. what is clear is there are record—breaking prices at the moment and that is having an impact on the industry. the important thing for people watching is there are processes in place that if their supplier fails or they are struggling to pay their energy bill, there is support in place for customers, but also the government will see what it can do to help the mechanisms that are already there is a result of any failures. where is that support? they can come to the energy uk website. in the summer when we were looking at the high price of gas, the energy suppliers came up of additional places on top of the ones that were already obligated to provide for energy
customers. they can go to citizens advice, but the first thing to say is just phone your supplier. if you are worried about paying your energy bill this autumn, there is help, just get on the phone to your supplier. i understand when a company does go bust and we could well see that, there is a process which kicks in and bigger companies are allowed to bid and take over the smaller companies, how likely is it they will do that with the prices and the crisis? yes, we have had suppliers go through it already this year. one of the things we are worried about is the impact of these prices on the retail market. that is one of the questions in consideration at the moment. we want to make sure every customer that is impacted by this gets
picked up by the market. the regulator is talking to the government and the government is talking to the industry and we will make sure customers are looked after during this unprecedented situation in the energy sector. travel companies say that holiday bookings have surged since yesterday's announcement that foreign travel rules are being relaxed in england the travel traffic light system is being replaced with a single red list. fully vaccinated people will no longer need a pre—departure test before returning from non—red list countries. simonjones reports. we will come to that report later in the programme. professor lawrence young is from the university of warwick. he says the new testing regime raises concerns about how new variants will be detected with the new requirement for fewer tests. the idea is, if you have, after returning from abroad, after two days, a positive lateral flow test, you then go ahead and have a pcr test. it is that pcr test that will be sequenced. that is relying on people to behave and have that test and to have a pcr test
after they have shown a lateral flow test to be positive. that is the bit we are all a bit worried about. just because you are not coming from a red list country, doesn't mean you couldn't contract it from a green country, it would assume people would have to take a test and now we are saying we don't have to take a test? that's right, this is inevitably going to result in people bringing back more infections from abroad. given the high levels of infection we already have in the country, perhaps that is not much of an issue. the key issue has to be the importation of variants — we know that previous waves of infection have been driven by travellers returning to the uk. look at what we are facing with the delta variant that originated in india. we mustn't let our guard down,
it is really important we keep genomic surveillance going, because we know that some of these variants can affect the efficacy of vaccination. and that is the risk we are running, actually. the us state department says it intends to hold talks with senior french officials, in the coming days, to try to calm adiplomatic storm over a new defence pact between the united states, the uk and australia. france is upset because the deal involves the cancellation of a contract to supply french designed submarines to the australian navy. in a measure of its frustration, paris has recalled ambassadors to washington and canberra. our correspondent, hugh schofield, has the latest from paris. we already knew the french reaction would be one of fury. we heard jean—yves le drian, the foreign minister, on thursday saying it was like a �*stab in the back�*. but my reading is that president macron feels that the message isn�*t getting through. he fears that in america, australia,
britain, they take the french reaction to be one of anger over the loss of the contract. the contract, i think from the french point of view, is the least of it. yes, there�*s money at stake, but far more important in french eyes is the loss of face, the humiliation and the sense that things have been cooked up behind their back. this was a deal arranged between the americans, the australians and the british, three english—speaking nations, without any kind of consultation with france, who they insist are after all a nation with a stake in the pacific region because they have territory out there in polynesia and new caledonia. there is a huge degree of anger and the recall of the ambassadors, though not significantly the british ambassador, is meant to reinforce this feeling that france is very unhappy, fears that there�*s a new world order being sorted out behind its back in which it has no part. now, as if there weren�*t enough pressures on families already this year — we�*re now learning that there may be a shortage of popular toys this christmas.
the toy retailers association says ongoing problems with shipping containers, and a lack of lorry drivers, means its taking longer for products to arrive from overseas. in the us — one of the world�*s most famous orchestras has struck up again after more than a year the new york philharmonic returned to the stage on broadway for the first time in 18 months. when the coronavirus pandemic first took hold in the big apple, all the city�*s theatres and concert venues were forced to close their doors — the orchestra faced more than 550 days of cancellations and around $20 million in lost ticket revenues.
good afternoon. the government is holding urgent talks with representatives of the energy industry, about the sharp rise in wholesale gas prices. there are warnings the increased costs already affecting some businesses could also mean higher bills for domestic consumers. it�*s understood that four small energy companies are set to go bust next week. energy companies are set strong global demand is one of the reasons prices are at record highs. here�*s our business
correspondent, katy austin. gas is a key source of the energy that heats our homes and power our industries. since the start of the year, wholesale prices have soared, prompting the government to hold talks with the energy industry today. reasons for the increases include high demand. we today. reasons for the increases include high demand.— today. reasons for the increases include high demand. we are going to be talkin: include high demand. we are going to be talking about _ include high demand. we are going to be talking about how— include high demand. we are going to be talking about how we _ include high demand. we are going to be talking about how we get - include high demand. we are going to be talking about how we get through l be talking about how we get through short term prices and then how we can transform the industry so it doesn�*t happen again. the doesn't happen again. the unprecedented _ doesn't happen again. the unprecedented costs are taking their toll, with four small suppliers already going bust and more set to follow next week. steelmakers which need a lot of energy are worried. this price now, but what is it going to be like in the winter? if it carries on i�*m fearful notjust the steel sector but all energy intensive sectors, and then
downstream operations because that is what we do. we are at the start of the supply chain we sell to manufacturers.— of the supply chain we sell to manufacturers. , , ~ , manufacturers. high energy prices have already _ manufacturers. high energy prices have already forced _ manufacturers. high energy prices have already forced two _ manufacturers. high energy prices have already forced two large - manufacturers. high energy prices have already forced two large uk i have already forced two large uk fertiliser plants in the north of england to close and one consequence is a shortage of their crucial by—product carbon dioxide and that could hit food and drink businesses. because it is used to stun some animals before slaughtering and for meat processors via the process could hit production. it is meat processors via the process could hit production.— meat processors via the process could hit production. it is used to extend meat _ could hit production. it is used to extend meat shelf— could hit production. it is used to extend meat shelf life _ could hit production. it is used to extend meat shelf life on - could hit production. it is used to extend meat shelf life on all - could hit production. it is used to l extend meat shelf life on all foods and at a time when we are struggling because of the haulier shortage in this country to the supply chain running, to have a shorter shelf life on the products going under shelves is going to cause even more disruption, so this is a really serious problem. the disruption, so this is a really serious problem.— disruption, so this is a really serious problem. the online food delivery company _ serious problem. the online food delivery company ocado - serious problem. the online food delivery company ocado now - serious problem. the online food | delivery company ocado now says serious problem. the online food i delivery company ocado now says it has limited stock of some foods because the squeeze on carbon dioxide means it cannot get enough dry ice, and the trade body
representing major supermarkets says the disruption could not have come at a worse time with the lorry driver shortage already causing issues. the rising price of gas is mainly felt by businesses at the moment but it is likely to feed through in terms of higher bills for consumers at a time when the cost of living is already rising. the business secretary kwasi kwarteng said business can meet demand for gas and that the government does not expect supply emergencies this winter but when it comes to prices there are global factors at play. katy austin, bbc news. our politcal correspondent, nick eardley is here. we have heard that four small energy companies have already gone bust because of this and this will add urgency to the government�*s talks with the energy sector this weekend and next week.— with the energy sector this weekend and next week. absolutely. the main thin the and next week. absolutely. the main thing the government _ and next week. absolutely. the main thing the government is _ and next week. absolutely. the main thing the government is emphasising j thing the government is emphasising is that it is not panicking, and the message from ministers is that there is sufficient capacity and supply to meet demand over the winter months.
but it is being taken seriously, there are a series of meetings going on across whitehall today, the business secretary meeting with companies and operators and officials on the environment department meeting with food supplies, especially pork and chicken suppliers who are concerned about packaging, potential packaging shortages. labourargued about packaging, potential packaging shortages. labour argued that this is down to government failure to plan long term and that has left the country vulnerable, and they are particularly worried, we heard about the cost of living in that report, and the potential for some increases in prices at the same time as taxes are going up and universal credit is being reduced, but as i say, ministers think that supply is secure and that there is not going to be widespread disruption. they hope that the energy price cap will protect many people from the brunt of energy prices going up but they are preparing for disruption. this
weekend they are trying to work out how significant the disruption could be. nick, thanks forjoining us. there are warnings that anger in france, over a new security pact signed by britain, the us and australia, could cause a rift within the nato alliance. president macron has taken the unprecedented step of recalling his ambassadors to australia and america for talks, in the escalating row. the new defence agreement scuppered a multi billion pound deal for the french to supply australia with submarines. from paris, hugh schofield has more. for the americans, the australians and the british, it�*s a new alliance to ensure stability in the pacific and thwart the strategic ambitions of china. but australia�*s decision to buy nuclear submarines from the us has left the french feeling stunned and humiliated. their contract with australia has been simply binned. ordered back home by president macron, the french ambassador to canberra was as polite as he could be about the reasons
for france�*s anger. i think this has been a huge mistake. a very, very bad handling of the partnership because it was not a contract. it was a partnership. partnerships are supposed to be based on trust. lam with i am with the president of france and that— i am with the president of france and that makes me feel better. they laugh just a few months ago, it was all smiles at the g7 summit in cornwall between presidents biden and macron, and all talk of cooperation and shared challenges. but behind—the—scenes the french are convinced that the three english—speaking nations were hatching the plan to cut them out. the fallout is potentially very great. this puts a big rift down the middle of the nato alliance, pushes france to doing more with other european countries, puts britain very much in the camp of the americans in dealing with the indo pacific, but britain needs a functioning nato alliance. my worry is that this does deep damage to nato going well beyond the diplomatic row over
an arms deal. noticeably, here at the french foreign ministry, the one ambassador who has not been recalled is the one to london. one reason being put about is that the french regard of the british role in the new pact as being that of a junior partner, but it does also suggest a willingness to keep lines of communication open. the souring of relations is in stark contrast to when president macron visited an australian submarine in 2018. with an election coming early next year, he has, perhaps, to act tough, but his angry reaction has broad support. for most people, it�*s not the government that�*s been humiliated, but france, and it�*s a row that could have major implications for future international security. hugh schofield, bbc news, paris. relatives of the family of ten afghan civilians, killed in an american drone strike in kabul last month, say the attack amounted to a war crime. us officials have admitted the air strike, which killed seven children, was a mistake. jeremy bowen has more from kabul.
this is all that remains of the toyota corolla that the americans tracked for hours, as they convinced themselves — entirely incorrectly — that it was packed with explosives. five of the seven dead children were playing in the car when it was hit. its owner, zemari ahmadi — who they believed, wrongly, was an islamic state bomber — had just driven it home from his work with an american aid organisation. the survivors have moved out. after their terrible loss, they want compensation and resettlement in a safe country.
this was america�*s last act of war before it pulled out of afghanistan, and the decision to fire the missile smacks of panic. and what a legacy. it isn�*t necessarily the parting shot of the americans, because they still have the capacity to hit targets from the air. the us relies increasingly on drones. across the road, the neighbours are still traumatised by what they heard and saw. america�*s latest deadly blunder shows how dangerous its drone strategy can be for civilians. jeremy bowen, bbc news, kabul. let�*s take a look at the latest coronavirus figures. they show there were 30,141; new infections recorded, in the latest 24—hour period. that means in the last week, there was an average of 29,561 new cases per day. 8,068 people were in hospital, across the uk, according
to the latest figures, with 164 deaths, that�*s of people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test. the average number of deaths per day in the last week is now 143. 89.3% of people aged 16 or over have had their firstjab while 81.6% are now double vaccinated. travel companies say holiday bookings have surged, following yesterday�*s announcement that the covid rules in england are being relaxed for people going abroad. in future, countries will be ranked simply as low or high risk, instead of red, amber and green. those who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to take a covid test before returning from a low—risk area. that�*s it. i�*ll be back with the late news at 22:10. now on bbc one, time for the news where you are.
the us has closed one of its border crossings with mexico after 12,000 migrants crossed into a texas city in the space of a week. officials in the city of del rio said they were finding it increasingly difficult to provide food for the rapidly growing number of undocumented arrivals, mostly from haiti, who now make up a third of the city�*s population. mostly from haiti, who now make up simonjones reports. mostly from haiti, who now make up a makeshift camp that has grown at staggering speed, leading to what has been described as a humanitarian crisis. the bridge providing the only shelter from the scorching sun to thousands of migrants, mostly from haiti, seeking a new life in the us. the city�*s mayor says it simply cannot cope. we now have one third of the population of the city of del rio, texas, in a confined space under the city of del rio international bridge. so, that said, i had thought that the alarm was set on monday. this is setting the nuclear bomb alarm that this is no longer sustainable, acceptable.
the number of haitians crossing the south—west border into the united states has been rising for months. many have travelled from south america. they had fled there after the devastating earthquake of 2010. but there are now calls for urgent action to prevent the situation become completely unmanageable. the department of defense... ..as well as the director of homeland security... they are in charge of the people that are under that bridge, most of whom are from haiti. and they have told us that the people who are under that bridge right now are going to be relocated by the united states department of defense. some are going to
arizona, others are going to california. others may be going to loredo, we were told. but there's one thing we know for a fact and that is that there is nothing but _ uncertainty and indecision by the biden administration about exactly what they are going to do. there has been no response yet from the president. he is under pressure to reverse a decision to cancel deportation flights to haiti after another earthquake there this year. but hundreds more migrants are believed to be on their way to texas, posing a major political and humanitarian challenge. simon jones, bbc news. texas, posing a major political and humanitarian challenge. simon jones, bbc news. the bbc has said �*it�*s not a legal requirement to be double—jabbed�* — following speculation that two of this year�*s strictly come dancing professional dancers have not been vaccinated against covid—19. the latest series starts tonight on bbc one but some of the celebrity dancers are reportedly reluctant to be paired with them. a short time ago i spoke to our correspondent aruna iyengar explained how the vaccination status of the two had come to light.
13 million people tuned in to the last final in december when bill bailey won. now there has been reports in the sun newspaper that two of the dancers have refused to be vaccinated. the press officer i spoke to from strictly completely denied that that was the story at all and said basically, they would not confirm or deny that and they really wouldn�*t be able to comment on anybody�*s covid vaccination status. what they did confirm, one participant has tested positive on the show, so they haven�*t confirmed if it is a dancer or a participant, co ntesta nt. they say the show is following all the covid guidelines, all the participants are being regularly tested. the launch programme which is being shown tonight was recorded last saturday and the positive case was discovered the next day. the first live show will be on the 25th of september, so at this stage it doesn�*t mean the positive tested
person will necessarily have to drop out. no partners have been swapped as a result of this and about the sun newspaper story, they have said it is not a legal requirement to be double jabbed and the programme is following all covid protocols. time for a look at the weather with stav. we�*ve done pretty well the sunshine today. quite one for south—eastern england. we will see thunderstorms in the evening in the first part of the night. we�*ve done pretty well with the sunshine today, plenty of areas were dry, fine, quite warm for central, southern, eastern england, but we�*ll continue to see the chance of heavy showers and thunderstorms through the midlands this evening and into the first part of the night. it�*s not been sunny everywhere, we have had this weak weather front bringing more cloud to southern scotland, northern england, wales and the south—west. these weather fronts will start to reinvigorate as we move through the night. the showers and storms through the midlands fade away,
but it is out west where we see to see these weather fronts bringing more persistent and at times heavy rain, but the eastern side of england will stay dry, quite mild and muggy here, but further north a bit fresher, particularly where we have any clear spells across the far north of scotland. so for part two of the weekend, we have more weather fronts round, so it�*s going to be cloudier generally, certainly to start the day, with outbreaks of rain, some of it quite heavy. the rain, though, becomes confined towards the eastern side of the country through sunday afternoon, particularly eastern england, some heavy thundery bursts. meanwhile, it brightens up out west, so a better day for wales with some but the eastern side of england will stay dry, quite mild and muggy here, but further north a bit fresher, particularly where we have any clear spells across the far north of scotland. so for part two of the weekend, we have more weather fronts round, so it�*s going to be cloudier generally, certainly to start the day, with outbreaks of rain, some of it quite heavy. the rain, though, becomes confined towards the eastern side of the country through sunday afternoon, particularly eastern england, some heavy thundery bursts. meanwhile, it brightens up out west, so a better day for wales with some sunshine, one or two showers, though not quite as warm as what we�*ll see today.
hello, this is bbc news. the headlines... at least four energy companies are expected to go bust next week amid soaring gas prices. ministers hold talks with industry representatives. we�*ve already seen four supplier failures in recent weeks, partly as a consequence of that and partly as other features of the market. it�*s really difficult to tell whether there will be any more. that�*s one of the reasons that the government is talking to industry this weekend. holiday firms say they expect a surge in bookings after travel restrictions in england are relaxed. france is recalling its ambassadors to australia and the united states in protest over a security deal which includes the uk. us armed forces apologise for their tragic mistake after killing ten innocent people, including seven children, in a drone strike during their final days in afghanistan. strictly�*s back but there�*s controversy as reports suggest two of the show�*s professional dancers are refusing to get covid jabs.
now on bbc news, wejoin afghanistan�*s so—called 9/11 generation as they say farewell to their afghanistan. this is the 9/11 generation. stop, stop, stop, stop, stop! they grew up in an afghanistan characterised by opportunities, freedom and success. but seemingly overnight, their role changed. and as kabul falls to the taliban once again...
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