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News Round-Up

Apr 4: Pressure over UK arms sales to Israel; Alzheimer’s diagnosis hope; Mokka Griffin cheapest electric SUV

  • Here are the headlines for Thursday, April 4

Time 6:40 am, April 4, 2024

Pressure mounts for suspension of UK arms sales to Israel

Pressure continues to mount on the government to suspend arms sales to Israel following the deaths of three British aid workers in an airstrike in Gaza.

A letter published last night and signed by more than 600 lawyers, including former Supreme Court justices, said the government risked breaching international law by continuing to allow the export of weapons to Israel.

The signatories said the worsening situation in Gaza and the International Court of Justice’s conclusion that there was a ‘plausible risk of genocide’ obliged the UK to suspend arms sales to the country.

Nationwide blood test trials hope to improve Alzheimer’s diagnosis rate

Thousands of people across the United Kingdom will have access to trials that could revolutionise the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

The blood tests could be ready for use in the NHS within five years as part of a drive to fix the nation’s low diagnosis rate.

University College London and Oxford University will lead the trials to research the cheap tests for proteins in people with early stages of dementia and those who have mild or progressive memory problems.

Post-Brexit border fee brings warnings of higher food prices and empty shelves

Food suppliers have warned of higher prices and empty supermarket shelves thanks to a new post-Brexit border charge being introduced at the end of the month.

Importers will have to pay up to £145 to bring small amounts of products such as cheese, salami and fish through the port of Dover or via LeShuttle – formerly the Eurotunnel – from April 30, according to guidance published yesterday.

The fee is intended to cover the cost of operating the border control posts introduced after Brexit and won’t apply to goods brought into the UK for personal use. But importers warned the new charges could lead to higher prices for consumers.

Reform UK drops two more candidates over racist comments

Reform UK has dropped two more parliamentary candidates after accusations they made racist comments on social media.

Campaign group Hope Not Hate found tweets by candidates Jonathan Kay and Mick Greenhough in which they made derogatory comments about Muslims and black people.

Reform UK has now ditched seven candidates for the upcoming election following complaints about their comments on social media.

Ferry ‘chaos’ as CalMac boss removed from post

Opposition parties say there is ‘chaos’ in Scotland’s ferry services after the chief executive of CalMac was removed from the post amid ongoing challenges with its fleet.

The company, which is the UK’s largest ferry operator, announced yesterday that Robbie Drummond was leaving the role with immediate effect.

In recent years the ageing nature of CalMac’s ferry fleet has led to delays and disruption on its routes around the west coast of Scotland. These problems have been compounded by ongoing delays to two ferries being built at Ferguson Marine in Port Glasgow.

Easing of airport security liquid rules delayed by a year

A planned relaxation of rules around airline passengers carrying liquids in hand luggage has been delayed by a year.

The government said it has granted extensions to several large UK airports unable to meet its June 1 deadline to fully install new scanning technology.

The new scanners produce more detailed images, meaning passengers can pass through security with containers holding up to two litres of liquid in their hand luggage. The Department for Transport refused to provide a breakdown of the situation for each airport, citing security concerns.

Sherlock Holmes manuscript could fetch almost £1m at auction

An autographed manuscript of The Sign Of Four featuring Sherlock Holmes is set to become the most valuable Sir Arthur Conan Doyle item ever offered at auction.

The 1889 manuscript is estimated to sell for $800,000 to $1.2m (circa £633,000 to £949,000) as part of an auction held in New York by Sotheby’s during its book week in June.

Sotheby’s is selling the manuscript as part of a larger auction of literary works from the library of Dr Rodney Swantko, who died in September 2022 and was known in literary circles for his collection of more than 40 rare books and manuscripts.

Jay-Z’s Made In America festival cancelled for second year in a row

Jay-Z’s annual Made In America festival, held in Philadelphia over the Labour Day weekend, has been cancelled for the second year in a row.

The festival announced the cancellation on social media and its official website yesterday. A specific reason wasn’t outlined, and a representative for Made In America referred questions back to the statement.

‘As purveyors of change, the Made In America executive production team is reimagining a live music experience that affirms our love and dedication to music and the work we do. We promise an exciting return to the festival,’ the statement read, without providing a timeline for the festival’s return.

Vauxhall Mokka Electric Griffin

Vauxhall Mokka Griffin trim level makes it cheapest electric SUV

The electric version of the Vauxhall Mokka has just had a price cut thanks to a new trim level – Griffin.

The Mokka Electric Griffin now starts from £29,495, making it the cheapest new electric SUV on sale – and £7,115 less than the original entry-level Mokka that started from £36,610.

Under the bonnet is a 50kWh battery that provides a claimed range of 209 miles and links with an electric motor that produces 134bhp and 260Nm of torque. Orders open on April 17 with the first deliveries expected in June.

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Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 2.35 points up yesterday to end the day on 7,937.44. The Cac 40 was up 23.18 points at 8,153.23, the Dax was up 90.76 points at 18,373.89, but the Dow Jones was down 43.10 points at 39,127.14.

Weather outlook

Any rain in the south this morning will clear, leaving variable cloud and showers, says BBC Weather. The north will be cloudy with patchy drizzle, and rain and strong winds will move in from the south-west later in the day.

Friday will be unsettled with spells of rain lingering in the north and snow on the Scottish hills for a time. Further south will have sunny spells and scattered showers, mainly in the west. It’ll also be windy.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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