News Round-Up

Apr 2: Boat crossings hit new high; Shop price inflation eases; Abarth shows more of hot 600e

Here are the headlines on Tuesday, April 2

Time 6:52 am, April 2, 2024

Number of migrants crossing English Channel in 2024 passes 5,000 mark

More than 5,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel this year, with nearly 800 making the journey over the Easter bank holiday weekend, according to the latest figures.

A total of 791 migrants made the journey on Saturday March 30 and Sunday March 31, according to provisional figures from the Home Office.

Before Saturday’s crossings, 2024 had already see a record high in the number of people making the journey in the first three months of a year. Stopping the boats was one of Rishi Sunak’s five pledges to the electorate ahead of an expected general election later this year.

Labour attempts to draw economic competence battle lines with campaign stunt

Labour will attempt to fight the Tories on economic competence in its latest campaign stunt, as it unveils a ‘cost of chaos’ website totting up government spending under Rishi Sunak.

The website, launched on Tuesday, aims to count the costs of decisions made by Sunak, including scrapping the northern leg of the HS2 rail project.

A month before the May 2 local elections, Labour suggests the cumulative costs of ‘VIP helicopter rides’, by-elections, fixed rate mortgages coming to an end and other economic decisions mean the Conservatives have ‘wasted’ £8.2bn.

Labour could axe all hereditary peers from House of Lords, reports suggest

Labour plans to axe all hereditary peers from the House of Lords, reports have suggested.

But the 92 hereditary lords who sit in Parliament’s upper chamber would still be allowed to retain their access to the Palace of Westminster as a sweetener, the Financial Times has reported. This would allow them to still enjoy access to Parliament’s bars and subsidised restaurants.

Labour has previously vowed to abolish the unelected upper chamber of Parliament, with Sir Keir Starmer having branded it ‘undemocratic’.

Shop price inflation eases to lowest rate since December 2021

Shop price inflation eased to its lowest rate since December 2021 driven by falling food costs and competition between retailers, figures show.

Shop prices were 1.3% higher than a year ago in March, slowing from February’s 2.5% and well below the three-month average of 2.2%, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-NielsenIQ Shop Price Index.

Food prices overall were 3.7% higher than a year ago, down from 5% in February, the 10th consecutive month of slowing inflation for the category and its lowest since April 2022.

Easter weekend Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Gaza medical officials say Israeli strike kills four foreign aid workers

Gaza medical officials say an apparent Israeli airstrike killed four international aid workers with the World Central Kitchen charity and their Palestinian driver after they helped deliver food and other supplies to northern Gaza.

Footage showed the bodies of the five dead at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah. Several of them wore protective gear with the charity’s logo.

Staff showed the passports of three of the dead – British, Australian and Polish. The nationality of the fourth aid worker was not immediately known. The Israeli military said it was conducting a review ‘to understand the circumstances of this tragic incident’.

Donald Trump posts £140m bond to avert asset seizure

Donald Trump posted a 175 million dollar (£140m) bond on Monday in his New York civil fraud case, halting collection of the more than 454 million dollars (£363m) he owes and preventing the state from seizing his assets to satisfy the debt while he appeals.

A New York appellate court had given the former president 10 days to put up the money after a panel of judges agreed last month to slash the amount needed to stop the clock on enforcement.

The bond Trump is posting with the court now is essentially a placeholder, meant to guarantee payment if the judgment is upheld. bIf that happens, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee will have to pay the state the whole sum, which grows with daily interest. If he wins, he will not have to pay the state anything and will get back the money he has put up now.

Abarth 600e shown off again in new pictures

Abarth has released more images of its upcoming 600e hot electric SUV.

The trio of pictures were released on Easter Sunday to celebrate the brand’s 75th anniversary, and show off the car’s aggressive bodywork, including fatter bumpers, 20-inch wheels, rear spoiler and a brand new paint colour called ‘Hypnotic Purple’.

The interior has also been seen for the first time, with the pictures showing off a pair of heavily-bolstered sports seats, sports steering wheel and a matt grey dashboard panel with ‘Abarth’ emblazoned across it. No more performance details have revealed, other than the 237bhp power output figure already published.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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