News Round-Up

Aug 16: Inflation expected to slow down; Rail fare rise to be below inflation; Aston reveals DB12 Volante

Here are the headlines on Wednesday, August 16

Time 6:52 am, August 16, 2023

Inflation expected to slow down again after energy price fall

Official figures are set to reveal another slowdown in inflation on Wednesday after energy prices decreased in July.

It comes after another record increase in wages placed further pressure on the Bank of England to grapple with inflation and continue with recent increases to interest rates.

The consensus among economists is that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will reveal Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation of 6.7 per cent for July, down from 7.9 per cent in the previous month. The fall will be partly down to a reduction in energy prices.


Pay talks are closed, government tells junior doctors as four-day strike ends

The government has insisted there will be no more talks over pay as the latest strike by junior doctors in England drew to a close.

As the four-day walkout ended at 7am on Tuesday, health minister Will Quince insisted that negations on pay are over but said he is ‘open’ to discuss other issues including working environments.

It is the fifth time junior doctors from the British Medical Association (BMA) have staged industrial action in England amid the ongoing dispute over pay. NHS officials have suggested that the action will have led to thousands of appointments, operations and procedures being postponed. Hospital consultants are set to stage their own strike later in the month.


Patients could skip their GP for cancer checks, says Barclay

Patients with cancer symptoms could potentially skip a GP appointment and instead go straight for a scan, the health secretary has suggested.

The suggestion, from an interview with Steve Barclay in The Daily Telegraph newspaper, is the latest proposal floated amid ongoing pressure on the health service.

It comes as ministers face an uphill struggle to cut waiting lists, with 7.6m people waiting to start treatment at the end of June. It follows reports this week that targets to ensure patients see a specialist within two weeks of being urgently referred by their GP for suspected cancer could be scrapped.

Next year’s English rail fares rise will be below inflation, says government

Next year’s rise in English rail fares will be below inflation, the government has announced.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the increase will not be as high as the rise in the Retail Prices Index (RPI) for the 12 months to July. The July RPI figure has traditionally been used to set the following year’s increase in average train fares.

That was 12.3 per cent last year, but the government used July’s average earnings growth of 5.9 per cent to determine this year’s increase in the cost of train travel. RPI for July will be published on Wednesday and is expected to be around nine per cent.

Andrew Malkinson: Police and prosecutors had vital DNA evidence in 2007 – report

Police and prosecutors reportedly knew in 2007 that another man’s DNA was on the clothes of the woman Andrew Malkinson was wrongly imprisoned for raping, yet he stayed behind bars for 13 more years.

Malkinson, who spent 17 years in prison for a rape he did not commit, had his conviction quashed last month after DNA linking another man to the crime was produced.

Case files obtained by the 57-year-old as he battled to be freed show that officers and prosecutors knew forensic testing in 2007 had identified a searchable male DNA profile on the rape victim’s vest top that did not match his own, The Guardian reported. They opted to take no further action and there is no record that they told the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the body responsible for investigating possible miscarriages of justice, according to the report.


Death toll from devastating Maui fire reaches 106

The blaze that burned through the town of Lahaina on Maui last week has killed at least 106 people, Hawaii’s governor said.

The announcement on Tuesday comes as a mobile morgue unit arrived to help Hawaii officials working painstakingly to identify those killed in the wildfires.

The US Department of Health and Human Services deployed a team of coroners, pathologists and technicians along with exam tables, X-ray units and other equipment to identify victims and process remains, said Jonathan Greene, the agency’s deputy assistant secretary for response.

Tuesday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Wilko bidders face last chance to enter battle for collapsed retailer

Possible bidders for Wilko will have their final opportunity to declare an interest in buying the crisis-stricken retailer on Wednesday as administrators seek a deal to save jobs.

The historic high street chain fell into administration last week, putting the future of its 400 stores and 12,500 workers in jeopardy.

It is understood that administrators from PwC set a deadline of Wednesday for the first round of offers for the firm. However, any deal for the retailer, its brand or stores is not expected to be sealed on the day.

Own-brand goods help Asda grow revenue by 9.6 per cent

Supermarket giant Asda said it had benefited from its own-brand goods as customers tried to find cheaper alternatives during the cost-of-living crisis.

The business reported a 9.6 per cent hike in like-for-like sales in the three months to the end of June, rising to £5.4bn. The figure excludes the fuel business.

Bosses at the retailer said that Asda was still suffering from increases in its costs, but that it would pass through savings to customers ‘wherever we can’. Sales of the company’s own-brand products jumped by 14.7 per cent during the period, Asda said.

Marks & Spencer upgrades profits forecast after ‘strong’ sales

Marks & Spencer has raised its financial guidance after ‘strong trading’, telling investors it will deliver higher profits for the year.

The historic high street business said it has increased market share in both its clothing and home, and food businesses over the past 19 weeks.

On Tuesday, the company recorded an 11 per cent sales rise in its food operation, while its clothing and home business saw sales grow by ‘over six per cent’. The clothing and home arm reported particularly ‘strong’ growth in its stores, with ‘subdued growth’ online. It added that it sold more products at full price, meaning less stock went into its latest sale than previously planned.

Aston Martin DB12 Volante revealed as glamorous new convertible

Aston Martin has unveiled the DB12 Volante as a stunning convertible version of its new GT car.

Following the reveal of the DB12 in coupe form earlier in the year, the Volante arrives to provide a more glamorous, roof-down feel. Making its debut at this week’s Monterey Car Week in California, the DB12 is powered by a 671bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine – significantly more than the 503bhp the previous DB11 Volante had at its launch in 2018.

The DB12 Volante uses a fabric soft-top, featuring eight layers of insulation. It takes just 16 seconds to close electronically and can work at speeds of up to 31mph. It can be opened using the key, too. The roof comes as standard in black, but red, blue and ‘black and silver’ colours are also available.

Weather

Mist will clear to leave a day of sunny spells, reports BBC Weather. Patchy clouds will develop later bringing the chance of an odd shower. Cloudier in parts of northern Scotland where there will be heavier showers. Warmer today with highs of 26 in the Midlands and south-east.

A dry night for most with patchy mist and cloud developing in places.

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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