News Round-Up

Jan 10: Horizon scandal spotlight turns on Fujitsu; Aldi was 2023’s cheapest; BMW tests AI glasses

Here are the headlines on Wednesday, January 10

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Time 6:49 am, January 10, 2024

Ministers under pressure to move swiftly to address Horizon Post Office scandal

Ministers are under pressure to address the miscarriage of justice suffered by hundreds of subpostmasters, as public anger over the Horizon IT scandal saw former Post Office boss Paula Vennells hand back her CBE.

It comes as the spotlight also turns on IT giant Fujitsu, after its faulty accounting software Horizon helped lead to the conviction of more than 700 Post Office branch managers.

Since 2012, the company has been awarded almost 200 contracts worth billions, with growing questions about why the government has not severed ties with the firm in the wake of the scandal. Bosses at Fujitsu have been called to answer questions from MPs on the Business and Trade Committee next week, after an ITV drama on the scandal fuelled public attention on the issue.


Tory MPs seek to ‘toughen’ Rwanda Bill as Sunak faces Commons showdown

Rishi Sunak faces a showdown with MPs over his Rwanda Bill when it returns to the Commons next week, with around 30 MPs prepared to back amendments aimed at toughening up the legislation.

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt on Tuesday announced the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill’s committee stage will take place on January 16 and 17.

The prime minister is under pressure from both sides of his party over the legislation, which is aimed at overcoming the Supreme Court’s objections to the stalled plan to deport some migrants to the African country.


Cameron ‘worried’ Israel may have acted against international law

The UK foreign secretary has said he is ‘worried’ that Israel may have acted in breach of international law in the Middle East conflict.

Lord David Cameron said that he ‘of course’ has concerns about the crisis in Gaza but that it is not his job to make a ‘legal adjudication’.

Lord Cameron also called on Israel to restore water supply in Gaza but declined to be drawn on whether depriving the civilian population of it amounts to breaking laws on armed conflict.

Epstein grilled over ‘blackmail’ attempt after alleged Andrew sexual activities

Paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein refused to answer questions over whether he attempted to blackmail the Duke of York after his alleged sexual encounter with Virginia Giuffre, court documents have revealed.

Epstein declined to answer almost all of the questions, also known as pleading the fifth amendment in the US, during his interview under oath as part of Giuffre’s civil claim against disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.

He was quizzed over whether he and Maxwell instructed Giuffre to have sex with Andrew in 2001 and if the information gathered as part of the legal action ‘has the potential to affect the reputation’ of the duke.

The duke strenuously denies any wrongdoing.

Moon landing attempt abandoned after spacecraft hit by fuel leak

A crippling fuel leak has forced a US company to give up on landing a spacecraft on the moon.

Astrobotic Technology’s lander began losing fuel soon after Monday’s launch, possibly because of a ruptured tank. The spacecraft also encountered problems keeping its solar panel pointing towards the sun and generating solar power.

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‘Given the propellant leak, there is, unfortunately, no chance of a soft landing on the moon,’ Astrobotic said in a statement. It could have been the first US moon landing in more than 50 years, and the first by a private company.

Aldi named 2023’s cheapest supermarket by watchdog Which?

Aldi has beaten rival Lidl to be named the cheapest supermarket of 2023, according to consumer group Which?

Aldi was the cheapest supermarket for 11 months of the year, with Lidl beating the rival discounter for one month in October, the consumer group said.

December’s results show a basket of 43 groceries was £74.83 at Aldi, narrowly cheaper than at Lidl where it cost £76.74. Waitrose was almost £20 more expensive than Aldi in December at £94.94 and was the most expensive supermarket every month throughout the year, Which? found.

Tuesday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

20mph speed limits make central London roads the world’s slowest – study

London has the world’s slowest city centre for drivers because of widespread 20mph speed limits, according to new analysis.

Journeys of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) in central London took an average of 37 minutes and 20 seconds last year, location technology company TomTom said. This was one minute more than in 2022 and was the longest time among the 387 cities across 55 countries analysed, putting London top of the slow city centre ranking for the second year in a row.

A spokesperson for Mayor of London Sadiq Khan described the study as ‘misleading’.

BMW looks at introducing augmented reality glasses to its cars

BMW will expand the video, gaming and augmented-reality features available in its cars, with the firm revealing a range of new advancements.

Shown at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where BMW last year revealed a colour-changing car, one of the main pieces of technology are augmented-reality (AR) glasses, which the firm says will ‘enrich the driving experience in the future’.

The AR glasses can show navigation instructions, entertainment content as well as information on electric car charging. While yet to be fully integrated into a production vehicle, BMW is continuing to explore the feature as it says ‘mixed reality’ technology will become ‘increasingly popular’ in the next few years.

Weather

A drizzly day for the north, reports BBC Weather. Clearer in the south and central areas, which will see temperatures lower, but it will be a day of winter sunshine. Around six degrees for the south and Midlands, rising to seven in the north.

It won’t be quite as cold tonight as in recent months, but southern areas will still likely see a frost. Drizzle will stay in the north.

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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