Paris introduces 30kph speed limitParis introduces 30kph speed limit

News Round-Up

Aug 31: British forces ready to attack IS fighters; Greens in Scottish gov; More affordable houses; Paris 30kph speed limit

  • Here are the headlines on Tuesday, August 31

Time 6:53 am, August 31, 2021

US pulls out of Afghanistan but RAF ‘able to operate’ against IS fighters there

British forces are prepared to launch air strikes to target so-called Islamic State terrorists in Afghanistan, the head of the RAF indicated as the US-led military presence in the country came to an end.

US forces finally withdrew from Afghanistan on Monday, a day ahead of the deadline set by Joe Biden, bringing to an end a deployment which began in the wake of the September 11 attacks two decades ago.

The end of the Western military presence – the UK had already pulled out its remaining troops – also concluded the airborne evacuation effort from Kabul, leaving Afghans wanting to escape the Taliban facing an uncertain future.

Greens to be formally appointed to Scottish government as Holyrood returns

Nicola Sturgeon set out details of her government’s deal with the Greens as Holyrood returns after the summer recess.

The first day of business is also expected to see Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater formally appointed as junior ministers in the Scottish government – the first time ever Greens have held such positions anywhere in the UK.

It comes after a co-operation agreement between the two pro-independence parties was endorsed by the members of both organisations this weekend.

More than 300 arrests made during first week of Extinction Rebellion protests

More than 300 arrests have been made during the first week of Extinction Rebellion’s fifth wave of mass protests in London.

Some 11 activists were arrested during action on Bank Holiday Monday, which saw protesters block Tower Bridge with a van and caravan. It follows 34 arrests on Sunday when demonstrators occupied the Science Museum in protest against its partnership with oil giant Shell.

The Metropolitan Police said there had been a total of 367 arrests in the capital since the environmentalist group began its latest round of action, dubbed the Impossible Rebellion, on August 23.

Jenrick sets out £8.6bn funding package to boost affordable housing supply

Owning a home will become a ‘realistic and affordable’ goal for thousands more families, ministers claimed as the government set out details of an £8.6bn funding package.

The money is expected to deliver around 119,000 homes in England, with around half expected to be sold and tens of thousands built to rent at a discounted rate. The funding forms part of the £11.5bn affordable homes programme which runs from 2021 to 2026 and could provide up to 180,000 new homes.

The £8.6bn allocation will deliver properties including 57,000 homes for ownership, 29,600 for social rent, typically around 50 per cent to 60 per cent of market rates, and 6,250 affordable rural homes.

Weekend Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Paris introduces strict speed limit for cars on nearly all its streets

France’s capital has introduced a new speed limit for vehicles on nearly all the streets of Paris with the maximum speed now just 30kph, less than 19mph.

It is the latest initiative by a city trying to burnish its climate credentials and transform people’s relationship to their vehicles. City officials say it is also aimed at reducing accidents and making Paris more pedestrian-friendly.

Car owners are fuming, while delivery drivers say it will create longer wait times for customers. Taxi drivers say it will drive up rates and hurt business.

Traffic returning to pre-Covid levels after bank holiday rush, says AA

Traffic is returning to pre-pandemic levels with a ‘perfect storm’ of congestion over the bank holiday weekend, the AA has said.

The return of music festivals, international travel restrictions and scepticism about the safety of public transport will lead to 18.4m car journeys being made over the three days, according to the motoring association.

The number of cars on the road will increase by 37 per cent on last year’s August Bank Holiday weekend total, according to the AA, after 2020 was severely affected by coronavirus restrictions.

Ofgem launches £450m fund to encourage green innovation

Energy regulator Ofgem has opened a £450m fund to encourage innovation that can help the UK reach its climate change ambitions.

The fund will aim to ensure that homes and businesses across the country can be powered in greener ways.

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The UK has committed to becoming ‘net zero’ by 2050. This means cutting greenhouse gas emissions so much that the country absorbs as much as it emits, and will require large-scale changes to how the UK’s economy is powered, including new ways of heating homes and transporting people and goods. The £450m will be available over the next five years – but can be extended for ‘strong plans,’ Ofgem said.

Yet more cloud

Another cloudy day for most parts of the UK, although the north-west will see the odd burst of sunny spells, reports BBC Weather. It’ll also be dry for most of the country, apart from some light drizzle in eastern parts.

Tonight will see thick cloud build in the east and lighter cloud in the west. Drizzle will remain in eastern areas.

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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