UK-US airstrikesUK-US airstrikes

News Round-Up

Feb 4: Third round of airstrikes; Valentine’s ‘too expensive’; Cancer vaccine trialled

  • Here are the headlines for Sunday, February 4

Time 5:49 am, February 4, 2024

Third round of UK-US airstrikes

The UK joined the US for a third time in conducting a wave of airstrikes on Houthi targets in a bid to prevent further attacks on international shipping along a major trade route.

Defence secretary Grant Shapps said the fresh assaults were ‘not an escalation’, but instead were designed to ‘protect innocent lives and preserve freedom of navigation’ in the Red Sea.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4s were supported by Voyager tankers during the joint mission on Saturday with Washington, as they targeted locations in Yemen used by the Houthis, an Iran-backed militant group.

One in 20 say Valentine’s Day ‘too expensive’

One in 20 (5%) people feel that Valentine’s Day has become too expensive to celebrate, a survey has found.

Those who will be spending money to celebrate the day on February 14 typically pay around £39, with 7% of this group spending between £91 and £100, according to the research carried out by Opinium.

Nearly a fifth (18%) of people surveyed said that they believe Valentine’s Day is over-commercialised.

New mRNA cancer vaccine from Moderna trialled

A new mRNA cancer vaccine made by pharmaceutical firm Moderna is being trialled in British patients.

The mRNA technology – which was adapted to make Covid-19 jabs – works by helping the body recognise and fight cancer cells.

Experts believe these vaccines may lead to a new generation of ‘off-the-shelf’ cancer therapies.

Once in the body, the mRNA (a genetic material) ‘teaches’ the immune system how cancer cells differ to healthy cells and mobilises it to destroy them.

Families risk falling into poverty without funding extension

Ministers have been warned that more families risk falling into poverty if a “lifeline” hardship fund used to help struggling households buy food and heat their homes is not extended.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said the UK Government’s cost-of-living and Covid-19 support provision, the Household Support Fund, is due to end on March 31.

In the past 12 months, the organisation said it has provided £820 million in funding for millions of households in England facing financial difficulties.

The LGA said ministers had not yet confirmed whether the fund will be extended into 2024/25, leaving town halls “in limbo” over the implications for their budgets.

Edinburgh march calls for ceasefire in Gaza

Thousands of pro-Palestine supporters gathered in Edinburgh on Saturday in support of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Carrying Palestinian flags and placards, they marched from Edinburgh Castle down the Royal Mile to the Scottish Parliament, shouting slogans such as: ‘No Justice, No Peace’, and: ‘Ceasefire now!’

Arranged by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, spokesperson Mick Napier said: ‘Israel needs to act on last week’s Order of the World Court, which requires that it take measures to prevent further genocide, and stop preventing aid getting to the two million people of Gaza.

‘The only way that is possible is with an immediate ceasefire, which is what we are calling for.’

Car Dealer headlines you may have missed

Autonomous drones tested in Antarctica

Pilotless drones are being tested in Antarctica with the aim of using them to carry out scientific research.

A test crew has arrived at the largest British science facility on the continent, the Rothera Research Station.

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) said successful tests will allow the drones to undertake research such as surveying marine ecosystems and studying glaciers, while reducing CO2 emissions by around 90%.

The Windracers Ultra UAV (uncrewed aerial vehicle) is a twin-engine, 10-metre aircraft which can carry up to 100kg of cargo or sensors for distances of 1,000km and does not require a human pilot to take off, fly or land as it is equipped with a sophisticated autopilot system.


Heavy rain will affect western Scotland today and Northern Ireland, northern England and the Welsh hills will see some lighter rain, according to the Met Office.

Further southeast will be drier but cloudy with some sun. However, it will stay windy and mild throughout the day.

Tonight it will stay cloudy with some clear breaks and showers in the west while persistent rain will continue in the west of Scotland, turning heavier with the possibility of snow.

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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