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News Round-Up

Dec 5: Sellafield denies cyber attacks; Pay rises for Ikea staff; Toyota’s hydrogen vow

  • Here are the headlines for Tuesday, December 5

Time 6:39 am, December 5, 2023

Sellafield denies networks have been victim of cyber attacks

Sellafield has denied reports its IT networks have been attacked by cyber groups linked to Russia and China.

The Guardian said an investigation into the nuclear site in Cumbria found security breaches using sleeper malware and dating back to 2015, which it says weren’t reported to regulators for ‘several years’ and the malware could still be there.

But a statement from Sellafield Ltd, which runs the site under the control of the government-run Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, said the company had ‘no records or evidence’ that its networks had been ‘successfully attacked by state actors’ as outlined in the report.

Ikea announces 2024 pay rises for UK staff

Ikea has revealed plans to hike pay for UK staff as part of more than £35m of investment in higher wages and bonuses.

The furniture retailer said its hourly paid employees will get a 10% rise in 2024, split into two 5% uplifts, based on their current pay.

It’ll take hourly wages to £12, rising to £13.15 for staff in London.

Bitcoin price breaches $42,000 for first time in nearly two years

The price of bitcoin breached $42,000 (circa £33,304) for the first time in around 20 months yesterday, buoyed by speculation that Americans might soon be able to invest in the cryptocurrency through more traditional means.

The price of one bitcoin hit as high as $42,089 (£33,304) during the morning – the highest it had been since early April 2022.

It means the price of bitcoin has soared by around 50% in less than two months.

Rail passengers facing disruption as driver strikes continue

Strikes by train drivers will continue today, causing more travel chaos in parts of England.

Members of the train drivers’ union Aslef at c2c and Greater Anglia will walk out, followed by strikes in the coming days at other train operators.

Trains could be disrupted on the evening before and morning after strikes. Drivers across England started a week-long overtime ban last Friday that is also disrupting services.

Culture secretary says £15 rise in BBC licence fee would be ‘high’

Culture secretary Lucy Frazer has said a £15 rise in the BBC licence fee would be ‘high’ amid reports that Rishi Sunak is set to block a 9% hike in the annual charge.

She was asked on Times Radio about the PM’s suggestion that the BBC needs to be ‘realistic’ about what people can pay.

For the past two years, the licence fee has been frozen at £159 but it was previously agreed it would rise in line with inflation after April 2024. Asked about a rise to over £170, she said: ‘Well, obviously, that’s high. This is something that we’re looking at.’

Harry’s legal challenge against Home Office to begin

The Duke of Sussex’s legal challenge over his security arrangements while in the UK reaches the High Court today.

Harry is taking action against the Home Office over the February 2020 decision of the executive committee for the protection of royalty and public figures over his security, after being told he would no longer be given the same degree of personal protective security when visiting.

The duke was cleared to bring the challenge in July 2022 and the claim will now be heard over two and a half days.

Rural road crashes more likely to be deadly, report says

Vehicle crashes on rural roads are around four times more likely to result in a fatality than those on urban highways, according to a new report.

Insurer NFU Mutual said an average of one in every 31 collisions on rural roads in Britain resulted in a death in 2022.

That’s compared with a ratio of one in every 120 on roads in towns and cities. The analysis is based on Department for Transport figures for crashes in which at least one person was injured.

Sunak steps up fight to control immigration

Rishi Sunak has declared the time has come to ‘get control of immigration once and for all’.

Home secretary James Cleverly yesterday outlined the government’s five-point plan to tackle rising legal migration, increasing the skilled worker earnings threshold to £38,700, which would also be the minimum income for family visas.

The proposals would also prevent shortage occupations from paying 20% less and ensure the migration advisory committee reviews the graduate immigration route to prevent abuse.

Toyota Mirai

Toyota ‘not giving up’ on hydrogen cars

Toyota has reaffirmed its commitment to hydrogen power.

It has developed two generations of its FCEV-powered Mirai saloon car, pictured above and at top, and launched the Japan-only Crown this year, although the manufacturer has missed its own targets on sales of hydrogen cars, shifting just over 3,900 of them last year – less than 1% of its total global sales of around 9.5m vehicles.

But Yoshihiro Nakata, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, has now said: ‘We are not giving up on hydrogen. Momentum is growing and we are receiving more and more inquiries about our technology and products. We need to collaborate with like-minded partners to establish a hydrogen society.’

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 16.39 points down yesterday to end the day on 7,512.96. The Cac 40 was down 13.56 points at 7,332.59, the Dax was up 7.24 points at 16,404.76, and the Dow Jones was down 41.06 points at 36,204.44.

Weather outlook

Cloud and rain will gradually become confined to the south-east today, says BBC Weather, turning drier and brighter from the west. A few showers will linger along some coasts, mainly in the far north and south-west.

After a cold start for many, Wednesday will turn increasingly cloudy and windy from the west, with rain reaching Northern Ireland, Wales and far west Scotland by the evening. Elsewhere will be dry and bright.

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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