News Round-Up

Dec 4: Another 75 Omicron cases confirmed; Thousands face second weekend without power; Wolf apologises for Grenfell hurt; Polestar teases new 3 model

  • Here are the headlines on Saturday, December 4

Time 7:13 am, December 4, 2021

Another 75 Omicron variant cases confirmed in England

A further 75 cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in England amid signs of a “small amount” of community infection, the UK Health Security Agency has said.

The latest cases take the total for England to 104 and for the UK as a whole to 134 – including the first confirmed case in Wales.

The figures came as a risk assessment by the HSA rated the new Omicron variant as ‘red’ for severity of infection and ‘amber’ for transmissibility between humans.

Thousands of homes face second weekend without power

Thousands of people are facing a second weekend without power as further cold weather is predicted to hit the UK.

Homes across parts of Scotland and the North East and North West of England are still off supply a week after Storm Arwen hit on Friday November 26.

As of early Friday evening, just over 9,000 homes were without power, according to industry body the Energy Networks Association.

Boots owner reportedly considering £10bn sale of pharmacy chain

The parent company of Boots is reportedly considering putting the pharmacy chain on the market next year.

US retail giant Walgreens Boots Alliance is lining up advisers from Goldman Sachs to explore a potential sale of the pharmacy, according to Sky News.

The PA news agency understands that a potential valuation of the business would be £10bn.

Ex-children’s minister: ‘We have a duty to put this right’ after Arthur’s murder’

The murder of a six-year-old boy by his stepmother should prompt change around social care, a former children’s minister has suggested.

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was left with an unsurvivable brain injury while in the sole care of 32-year-old Emma Tustin, who was on Friday jailed for life after being convicted of murder by assaulting the defenceless child in Solihull on June 16, 2020.

Ex-children’s minister Tim Loughton said ‘we all have a duty’ to make sure other vulnerable children are not let down by social care in the same way as Arthur, whose body was found to be covered in 130 bruises following his death.

Prime Minister gets Tory candidate’s name wrong during byelection visit

Boris Johnson gave his party a campaign boost with a visit to a byelection constituency – but then got the Tory candidate’s name wrong.

On a whistle-stop visit to Oswestry in the North Shropshire constituency, the Prime Minister described Dr Neil Shastri-Hurst as a ‘fantastic’ candidate – but did not quite get the correct name for the Conservative Party hopeful, a former British Army medical officer and honorary NHS consultant who now works as a barrister.

Mr Johnson, wearing a mask, said: ;I think we’ve got a fantastic candidate, Dr Neil Shastri-Hughes, who I’ve just been seen contributing already to the life of the community by vaccinating people, he’s a doctor amongst his many other talents and what he’s also going to do is work very, very hard for the people of North Shropshire.’

Friday’s Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Mercedes F1 boss apologies for ‘additional hurt’ to Grenfell bereaved

The boss of Formula One team Mercedes has apologised to Grenfell survivors and bereaved relatives after signing a partnership deal with a firm behind some of the insulation installed in the tower.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team principal Toto Wolff thanked campaign group Grenfell United for their offer to meet following their condemnation of the deal with Kingspan.

In a letter, Wolff said the 2017 fire in west London was ‘beyond imaginable’, and said he wanted to apologise for the ‘additional hurt’ the Kingspan announcement had caused.

Bulb administration could cost billpayers £400m more than alternative

The process that the Government used to prop up failed energy supplier Bulb could be £400m more expensive than its alternative, a newly released estimate from the energy regulator has shown.

Court documents filed last week as Bulb entered special administration show that Ofgem recommended the more expensive route as it worried about the domino effect that the supplier’s collapse could otherwise set off.

Ofgem usually deals with failed companies by moving their customers to a new supplier, something called the Supplier of Last Resort process.

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Polestar teases new 3 model ahead of 2022 launch

Polestar has released a teaser image of its upcoming 3 SUV ahead of its launch next year.

Arriving as the firm’s first SUV, the Polestar 3 will be the first to be built in the US at the Volvo Cars production facility in Charleston, South Carolina.

Polestar is intending to make the 3 into ‘one of the most climate-responsible cars ever made’, while high-end technologies such as autonomous highway piloting functions will be incorporated courtesy of cutting-edge LiDAR sensors.

Showers expected across the country

Today will see variable cloud and showery rain for most, falling wintry on higher ground. Staying drier to the far south and far north, but with a few scattered showers here. The BBC is warning people to expect a cool and breezy day.

Tonight, much of England will be cloudy with outbreaks of showery rain, these wintry on hills. Wales and Northern Ireland will have broken cloud and showers. Mostly dry with clear spells for Scotland.

Tomorrow, northern and western areas of the UK will become largely cloudy with lengthy sunny spells, with just the odd shower in places. Cloudier further east, with spells of rain lingering here.

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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