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News Round-Up

Dec 17: Petrol prices falling; Warship shoots drone; Christmas affordability worries; New VW ID.2all SUV

  • Here are the headlines on Sunday, December 17

Time 6:08 am, December 17, 2023

Petrol prices fall to lowest level in more two years

Petrol prices are at their lowest in more two years, the RAC has said, with a litre of unleaded now 142.57p on average at the pumps, a price not seen since the end of October 2021.

It is around 10p a litre cheaper than in the run-up to last Christmas, but diesel prices have not fallen.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said the drop comes during one of the busiest times of year on the roads, and added: ‘Prices are falling steadily every day. We just have to hope this continues.’

Cameron adds to growing pressure on ‘sustainable ceasefire’ 

The government has added to growing global pressure on Israel as the foreign secretary called for a ‘sustainable ceasefire’ in the escalating Gaza conflict.

Lord Cameron’s intervention, in a Sunday Times joint article with German foreign affairs minister Annalena Baerbock, saw him warn that ‘too many civilians have been killed’ and is a significant shift in the Government’s tone.

He said: ‘Our goal cannot simply be an end to fighting today. It must be peace lasting for days, years, generations. We therefore support a ceasefire, but only if it is sustainable.’

British warship shoots down suspected attack drone

A Royal Navy warship has shot down a suspected attack drone in the Red Sea, the defence secretary has said.

It is the first time in decades that the Royal Navy has shot down an aerial target in anger. Grant Shapps said it was believed merchant shipping in the Red Sea was the intended target.

HMS Diamond, the Type 45 destroyer that shot down the suspected drone, was only sent to the region two weeks ago amid growing international concern about the threat to shipping.

Russia and Ukraine exchange drone attacks after EU funding is blocked

Russia and Ukraine each reported dozens of attempted drone attacks, just hours after Hungary vetoed £43bn of EU funding to Ukraine.

Ukraine’s air force said on Saturday that its air defences shot down 30 out of 31 drones launched overnight against 11 regions of the country.

Russia said on Friday that it had thwarted a series of Ukrainian drone attacks with anti-aircraft units destroying 32 Ukrainian drones over the Crimean peninsula.

Transport strikes ‘severely damaging’ hospitality and retail

Northern Ireland’s hospitality and retail sectors have continued appeals for transport unions to call off planned strike action during the run-up to Christmas, as all bus and train services were suspended for a second consecutive day on Saturday.

There has been widespread disruption across Northern Ireland due to the strike action from Unite, GMB and Siptu union members who are pursuing a pay increase.

The action started at 12.01am on Friday and was to continue until 12.01am on Sunday. Another strike is planned for next Friday, December 22.

Airbnb agrees to pay 576 million euros to settle a tax dispute

Short-term rental platform Airbnb has agreed to pay 576 million euros (£494.7m) to settle a years-long dispute over unpaid taxes in Italy – and said it will not try to recover the money from its hosts.

In November, Italian prosecutors said AirBnb owed about 779 million euros (£669m) in short-term rental taxes it had failed to pay on behalf of Italian landlords who used the platform between 2017 and 2021.

The San Francisco-based company said in a statement on Wednesday that it was working on introducing new tools for hosts to have their taxes withheld automatically and paid to the Italian tax authorities on their behalf.

More than a quarter of people worried about affording Christmas

More than a quarter of people in the UK are worried about affording their Christmas plans, as households look to cut down on spending this festive season, according to a new survey.

Some 28% reported feeling worried about being able to afford the things they planned to do this Christmas, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found.

Nearly half said they were planning to spend less on Christmas food and presents, while 39% planned to shop earlier this year to spread the costs.

Judge gives go-ahead for wolves to be reintroduced to Colorado

A federal judge has allowed the reintroduction of grey wolves in Colorado to move forward in the coming days by denying a request from the state’s cattle industry for a temporary delay in the predators’ release.

While the lawsuit will continue, Judge Regina Rodriguez’s ruling allows Colorado to proceed with its plan to find, capture and transport up to 10 wolves from Oregon starting on Sunday.

The lawsuit from the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and The Gunnison County Stockgrowers’ Association alleges that the US Fish and Wildlife Service failed to adequately review the potential impacts of Colorado’s plan to release up to 50 wolves in Colorado over the next several years.

Latest Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Volkswagen confirms new ID.2all SUV

Volkswagen has released the first official teaser image (top) of its upcoming ID.2 SUV electric car.

It builds on a concept already released, called the ID.2all. That model was a Polo-sized EV which Volkswagen stated would be targeting an on-sale price of less than €25,000, or around £22,000. 

With a standard hatchback design, the ID.2all concept has a claimed range of up to 220 miles with a 10 to 80% charge taking just 20 minutes.

First church blessings for same-sex couples hailed as ‘quite a moment’

The first use of prayers of blessing for same-sex couples in Church of England services will be ‘quite a moment’, a campaigner has said.

Known as prayers of love and faith, the blessings can be used as part of regular services from today, after they were approved by the House of Bishops just days earlier. The motion was passed by 24 votes to 11, with three abstentions.

Queen shows ‘relief’ after coronation, new documentary reveals

The Queen raised a laugh from family and friends when she showed her ‘relief’ after returning to Buckingham Palace following the King’s coronation.

Camilla was filmed blowing out her cheeks by a BBC documentary crew after arriving with Charles to a rapturous welcome from members of the royal household, who applauded and cheered following their crowning at Westminster Abbey.

The Princess Royal, interviewed for Charles III: The Coronation Year, which airs on Boxing Day, said: ‘Well ask any actor who comes off stage having done a performance they’ve really put a lot into – it’s that kind of relief.’

One year to go until current session of Parliament must end

The countdown to the next general election has reached a symbolic moment, with exactly a year to go until the current session of Parliament must end.

December 17 2024 is the latest possible date by law for proceedings in Westminster to finish, ahead of the country going to the polls.

If a general election has not already been called by this date, Parliament will be dissolved automatically and an election must take place within 25 working days.

Original AC/DC drummer Colin Burgess dies aged 77

Australian drummer Colin Burgess, an original member of rock band AC/DC in the early 1970s, has died, the band confirmed on its social media accounts. He was 77.

‘Very sad to hear of the passing of Colin Burgess,’ says an unsigned post on the band’s official Facebook page late on Friday. No cause of death was given.

Amber rain warning extended as public transport services face disruption

A number of public transport services have been cancelled as weather warnings over the weekend have been extended.

A yellow weather warning across much of the Highlands, Argyll and Bute, Stirling and Perth and Kinross was issued at 6pm on Saturday.

Sunday’s amber warning has been extended until 6am on Monday, and a number of public transport services have been cancelled as a result. The Met Office warned the most severely impacted areas could endure a month’s worth of rain in a day.


Rain persisting in north-west Scotland today, later moving in south-western Scotland, Northern Ireland and far north-western England. Mostly dry but continuing cloudy elsewhere. Another windy day, says the BBC Weather service.

Tonight, spells of rain will push across northern England and Wales tonight. Light rain lingering in Northern Ireland and Scotland. Mostly cloudy and dry elsewhere but clear spells in the far north.

Tomorrow will be generally breezy and cloudy with spells of rain, these most frequent in Wales and central England. Drier with some brightness in far northern Scotland but rain moving in later on.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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