News Round-Up

Aug 18: Pubs plea over Women’s World Cup final; EY to cut jobs; Sir Michael Parkinson tributes; Zenvo Aurora revealed

  • Here are the headlines for Friday, August 18

Time 6:37 am, August 18, 2023

Government calls on councils to allow pubs to open earlier for Women’s World Cup final

Pubs across England are hoping a minister’s letter to councils across England means venues can open early for the Women’s World Cup final.

England’s women will play Spain at 11am on Sunday in their first World Cup final after beating hosts Australia on Wednesday.

Communities minister Michael Gove has written to councils across England, urging them to do everything they can to help venues seeking to extend their hours for the game.

EY to cut jobs and hand out smaller pay rises

EY is set to axe jobs in the UK and has told staff to expect less generous pay rises as it seeks to cut costs.

The accounting giant said the round of redundancies will affect staff at its financial services consulting arm amid pressure on market demand.

EY will axe more than five per cent of the roughly 2,300-strong practice, with workers also expected to receive smaller pay rises and bonus pools for the year, according to the Financial Times.

Sir Michael Parkinson remembered as ‘one of the Northern lads’ following death

Sir Michael Parkinson has been remembered by Dame Maureen Lipman as ‘one of the Northern lads’ whose move from news to light entertainment was the result of his ‘good looks, personable manner and ready wit’.

Sir Rod Stewart, Sir David Attenborough and former cricket umpire Dickie Bird were also among those paying tribute to the legendary chat show host following his death.

Sir Michael died peacefully at home at the age of 88 on Wednesday night after a brief illness and in the company of his family, with his death announced yesterday.

Workers walked out of ExxonMobil refinery over safety fears, says union

Workers at a Fife refinery withdrew their labour over safety concerns, prompting calls for an investigation, a union has said.

ExxonMobil’s Mossmorran refinery in Cowdenbeath will be subject to inquiries from the Health and Safety Executive after industrial action on Tuesday.

Unite claimed about 200 workers withdrew their labour at the petrochemical plant – a legal right under the Employment Rights Act – because of safety concerns, although ExxonMobil said fewer than 100 workers walked out and many Unite members didn’t get involved.

New distillery produces whiskey in Belfast for first time in nearly 90 years

Whiskey production has begun again in Belfast for the first time since the 1930s.

An £8m conversion on the site of the Thompson Dock and Pumphouse in Titanic Quarter has brought about the city’s first working whiskey distillery in nearly 90 years.

Titanic Distillers has been granted a licence and is now pouring at the distillery, which will produce single malt whiskey from a blend of malted barley and yeast.

Treasury plans assure access to cash facilities

People and businesses should be no more than three miles away from the ability to withdraw or deposit cash under plans set out by the Treasury.

The financial services watchdog will be given the power to fine banks and building societies that fail to maintain standards on protecting access to cash.

Treasury economic secretary Andrew Griffith said cash had ‘an important and continuing role to play’, despite the shift away from reliance on coins and notes.

Digital phone system upgrade ‘to end 8am scramble’ for GP appointments

All GP surgeries in England will move to a digital phone system by spring, potentially bringing an end to the ‘8am scramble’ when patients usually rush to secure an appointment.

More than 1,000 practices have signed up for the upgrade, which will come into force from March.

The switch has been backed by a £240m investment from the government. It’s hoped it’ll allow patients to contact their GP faster and have their request dealt with on the day rather than having to call back. Patients should also be able to avoid getting an engaged tone.

Gaza Strip gets its first cat cafe

The global cat cafe trend, where people pay to have coffee and hang out with cats, has come to the besieged Gaza Strip.

In the impoverished Palestinian enclave run by the Hamas militant group and crippled by a 17-year blockade, residents seeking to escape the territory’s troubles flocked yesterday to the new Meow Cafe – Gaza City’s answer to the quirky concept tried successfully around the world.

The cafe’s founder, 52-year-old Naema Mabed, said she envisaged the spot as a unique escape from the pressures of life in Gaza – with its lack of recreational options, a youth unemployment rate of more than 60 per cent and frequent rounds of conflict with Israel since Hamas violently seized control of the strip in 2007.

Zenvo Aurora hypercar x 2, via PA

Zenvo Aurora revealed to mark ‘new era’ of firm

Danish hypercar maker Zenvo has unveiled its new Aurora supercar – a hybrid V12-powered model that is its most powerful and lightest car to date.

Revealed during Monterey Car Week, it is said to mark the ‘start of a new era’ for the brand. Named after the Northern Lights, the Aurora is an all-new model for Zenvo.

Using a carbon monocoque structure, it’ll be available in two guises: the ‘aggressively styled’ Agil and ‘beautifully elegant’ Tur. It has a 6.6-litre quad-turbocharged V12 engine plus an electric motor system that together are capable of 1,850bhp, taking it from 0-60 in 2.3 seconds and on to 280mph.

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Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 46.67 points down yesterday to end the day on 7,310.21. The Cac 40, meanwhile, was down 68.51 points at 7,191.74, the Dax was down 112.55 points at 15,676.90 and the Dow Jones was down 290.91 points at 34,474.83.

Weather outlook

Heavy showers will affect the south and west today, weakening as they push north-eastwards, says BBC Weather. It’ll be windy, with heavy downpours in the south and west by the evening, but drier with variable cloud in Scotland.

Saturday morning will see heavy rain clearing northern Scotland as it moves into the Northern Isles in the afternoon. There’ll be sunshine elsewhere, with light showers in the west, and it’ll be sunny for most by the evening but 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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