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News Round-Up

Dec 3: Boosters may offer Omicron protection; Labour calls for Xmas party probe; Petrol prices ‘completely unjustified’

  • Here are the headlines on Friday, December 3

Time 6:53 am, December 3, 2021

Booster vaccines may offer good protection against Omicron, experts say

Booster vaccines may well offer good protection in the face of the Omicron variant, experts behind a major new study have suggested.

A team studying the effects of third doses said the body’s T cell immune response after a booster shot is such that it may provide protection from hospital admission and death.

The study also backs up the UK’s decision to offer Pfizer or Moderna as a third shot, with mRNA jabs leading to the most significant rise in immunity levels.

‘Wicked’ stepmother and ‘pitiless’ father to be sentenced over Arthur’s killing

The ‘wicked’ stepmother and ‘pitiless’ father who killed six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes will be sentenced at Coventry Crown Court today.

Emma Tustin, 32, was convicted yesterday of murdering the defenceless boy who had been subjected to a campaign of ‘evil’ abuse.

Her partner and Arthur’s father, 29-year-old Thomas Hughes, was found guilty of manslaughter, after his son suffered an ‘unsurvivable brain injury’ on June 16, 2020.

Labour calls for police investigation over alleged Downing Street parties

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has called on the country’s most senior civil servant to call in the police over allegations that parties were held in Downing Street amid Covid lockdowns.

The Daily Mirror said the PM gave a speech at a packed leaving do for a senior aide last November when the country was in the midst of the second lockdown.

The newspaper said members of his No 10 team then held their own festive party days before Christmas, while London was under Tier 3 restrictions.

Christmas parties cancelled in ‘catastrophic’ blow to hospitality

Companies are cancelling office Christmas parties in their droves due to fears over the Omicron variant amid warnings of a ‘catastrophic’ blow to hospitality during the peak festive season.

Pleas are mounting for financial support for the sector as pubs, restaurants and venues see parties scrapped and big events scaled back given the rise in cases of the new variant across the UK.

Sacha Lord, the night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, has joined a growing chorus of calls from the hospitality and tourism industry for the government to offer support by freezing VAT at the lowered rate of 12.5 per cent for two years.

Petrol price hikes branded ‘completely unjustified’

An increase in the cost of petrol at the pumps has been called ‘completely unjustified’ following a declining wholesale price.

The RAC Fuel Watch said the wholesale cost of petrol fell 10p in November to its lowest level since September, but the price on forecourts continued to rise, hitting record levels of 147.72p per litre.

The average cost of a litre of petrol was up 3.1p per litre at the end of November (147.28p), with a similar story for diesel, up 2.7p to 150.64p, which hit a record high of 151.1p despite wholesale cost dipping seven per cent.

Thursday’s Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

People can snog who they wish, Javid says

The Health Secretary has revealed it is a ‘Javid family tradition’ to kiss his wife under the mistletoe, as he said it had nothing to do with the government who people chose to kiss.

Sajid Javid said that ‘people can snog who they wish’ this Christmas, after a minister had advised against locking lips to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Mr Javid told ITV News: ‘People can snog who they wish. I’ll certainly be kissing my wife under the mistletoe – it’s a Javid family tradition.’

Black Friday fails to boost footfall

Black Friday failed to boost high street footfall despite a resurgence in consumer confidence and bricks-and-mortar shopping, figures show.

Total UK footfall fell by 15.7 per cent in November on the same month in 2019 as the harsh weather deterred some customers from shopping in stores, according to BRC-Sensormatic IQ data.

However it was still comparatively strong at the second highest figure for this year, only second to October.

Virgin Media hit by TV service outage

Virgin Media has been hit with a service issue caused by a ‘major power outage’ that has left thousands of customers unable to access TV channels, with some also reporting broadband issues.

The company said it has engineers working to fix it as soon as possible but has warned customers that ‘temporary disruption’ could continue as it brought channels back online.

According to service status website DownDetector, customers began reporting issues just after 11am on Thursday, with more than 18,000 reports of issues with Virgin Media TV logged by the site.

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Toyota debuts Corolla Cross and Yaris GR Sport alongside hydrogen concept

Toyota has introduced two new models – the Corolla Cross and the Yaris GR Sport – while revealing a new hydrogen-powered concept.

The five-seater Corolla Cross – which will sit in the middle of the C-HR and RAV4 in Toyota’s line-up – is set to arrive in Europe from Autumn 2022.

It’s powered by a fifth-generation hybrid electric powertrain, available with the choice of either front- or all-wheel-drive.

Dry day expected before outbreaks of rain this evening

Rain will clear the southeast this morning leaving a mostly dry day. The north will see sunny spells but it stays cloudy in the south. Rain will move into the north-west and south-west later on, reports the BBC.

This evening, outbreaks of rain will move across the far south. Tonight, a band of rain will move eastwards across Wales and England. The north will see showers overnight, which may be heavy at times.

Tomorrow will be a cool and breezy day. The south will be mostly dry with sunny spells, but there will be the odd shower in places. The north will be cloudy with showers, these wintry on high ground.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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