News Round-Up

Feb 22: UK warns Russia to ‘step back’; ‘Living with Covid’ neglects most vulnerable; West Midlands earthquake; Record fuel prices

  • Here are the headlines on Tuesday, February 22

Time 6:48 am, February 22, 2022

UK ambassador to the UN urges Russia to ‘step back’ as PM readies Cobra meeting

The UK’s ambassador to the UN has urged Russia to ‘step back’ from invading Ukraine as the prime minister prepared to chair a Cobra meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss the latest developments.

Dame Barbara Woodward told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council that Russia has ‘brought us to the brink’, warning that the country’s actions ‘will have severe and far-reaching consequences’.

The Cobra meeting, which is scheduled to take place at 6.30am, will be used to ‘coordinate the UK response’, including agreeing a ‘significant package of sanctions to be introduced immediately’, according to a Downing Street spokesperson.

Concerns that Living with Covid plan ‘neglects most vulnerable in society’

The axing of self-isolation laws and the end of free universal testing in England will cause uncertainty, anxiety and hardship, according to unions and charities.

Boris Johnson set out the government’s strategy for ‘living with Covid’ on Monday as he hailed the development of vaccines and treatments for coronavirus as ‘possibly the greatest national effort in our peacetime history’.

But the British Medical Association (BMA) warned that the strategy ‘fails to protect those at highest risk of harm from Covid-19, and neglects some of the most vulnerable people in society’.

Heavy rain may ‘slow down’ storm recovery efforts and risk further flooding

Heavy rain set to lash the UK could worsen the risk of flooding and ‘slow down’ recovery efforts following three storms which battered the nation in a week.

The storms – named Dudley, Eunice and Franklin – left 1.4m households without electricity, some for up to 72 hours, with latest figures showing just under 30,000 still without power as of Monday afternoon and residents in some areas told to evacuate.

As a result, the Environment Agency has urged communities in parts of the West Midlands and the north of England, especially those along River Severn, to be prepared for significant flooding until Wednesday following high rainfall from Storm Franklin.

Nicola Sturgeon to announce new Covid strategic framework

Nicola Sturgeon will set out her new strategic framework for dealing with coronavirus on Tuesday.

The first minister will speak in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon as the Scottish government’s blueprint for managing and recovering from Covid-19 is published.

On Monday, Sturgeon said it would be ‘unacceptable’ for public health decisions of the devolved administrations to be impacted by funding decisions taken by the UK government.

West Midlands struck by magnitude 2.8 earthquake – British Geological Survey

A 2.8 magnitude earthquake struck the West Midlands late on Monday night, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.

According to the BGS, the quake hit the town of Walsall, near Birmingham, at a depth of seven kilometres (4.35 miles) at 10.59pm. It was felt in a 20km radius from its epicentre.

Affected residents told the BGS the quake shook their homes, while one person said it ‘was like a wardrobe had fallen over or an explosion blast against the window’.

Fuel prices reach record high with petrol at 149p per litre

Motorists have been hit by fuel prices reaching record highs.

The average price of a litre of petrol and diesel at UK forecourts on Sunday was 149p and 153p respectively, according to RAC figures. This means the cost of filling up a typical 55-litre family petrol car is £82, while diesel models cost £84.

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams described the prices as ‘another unfortunate landmark’.

Monday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Trump’s social media app launches year after Twitter ban

Former US president Donald Trump’s social media app, that he hopes will rival Twitter, has launched.

Trump is seeking a new digital stage to rally his supporters and fight Big Tech limits on speech a year after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

His Truth Social app was offered for download from the Apple App Store to a limited number of subscribers who had pre-ordered, with others added to a waiting list to be given access over the next 10 days. The site encountered technical glitches shortly after launch, with reports that subscribers were shut out for hours. Others had trouble signing on.

1.5m taxpayers have a week left to file self-assessment returns

Around 1.5m customers have just a week left to file their self-assessment tax return and avoid a penalty, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is warning.

Some 10.69m customers have already filed a 2020/21 tax return.

The deadline for submitting tax returns was January 31 but, this year, HMRC gave people extra time to complete their 2020/21 tax return.

Markets nervy over Russia-Ukraine conflict

Traders tried to decide how best to respond to rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, with swings and uncertainty remaining strong.

A barrel of oil hovered up 1.6 per cent to 95 dollars for Brent Crude – although it remains off recent highs from last week. But the FTSE 100 leading index managed to ride out the wave intact, closing down 29.29 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 7484.33.

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By comparison, France’s Cac 40 lost two per cent and Germany’s Dax 30 fell by 2.1 per cent.

Weather outlook

Rain will push south-eastwards through England and Wales today, reports BBC Weather, turning patchier as the day goes on. Behind this there will be sunny spells.

A clear and dry night for most, although the north-west will be cloudy with the odd shower.

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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