News Round-Up

Jan 3: Junior doctors on strike; Storm Henk chaos; Next general election race starts

Here are the headlines on Wednesday, January 3

Time 6:43 am, January 3, 2024

Junior doctors prepare for longest strike in NHS history

The longest strike in NHS history ‘couldn’t come at a worse time’, experts said as they warned that elderly patients could put off seeking medical help due to the walkouts.

Hospital bosses said the health service is ‘in the grip of peak winter pressure’ as junior doctors in England take to picket lines for six days.

NHS Providers said the ‘unprecedented’ action will lead to delays in care for thousands of patients. The industrial action takes place from 7am on Wednesday, January 3 to 7am on Tuesday, January 9.

Trains disrupted, hundreds of flood warnings after Storm Henk lashes UK

Transport delays will continue on Wednesday as train services get back on track after rain and strong winds from Storm Henk lashed large parts of the UK.

Greater Anglia said train services were experiencing ‘severe disruptions’ in the late hours of Tuesday night due to the storm with ‘multiple incidents’ affecting services across the network. A joint statement from South Western Railway and Network Rail on X, formerly Twitter, said on Wednesday morning that disruptions linked to the storm will continue throughout the day.

The Environment Agency said there were 368 active alerts in England for possible flooding, 322 flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected and, in Northampton, one danger to life severe flood warning. A woman was also injured by a falling tree as gusts of up to 94mph hit parts of the country.

Political leaders to set out stall and start campaigning ahead of election

Political party leaders are set to lay out their stall to voters this week as they mark the start of what is likely to be a general election year.

With 2024 expected to see voters go to the polls to elect a new Westminster government, the first week of January will see a flurry of activity.

Rishi Sunak is expected to tell voters he is on a tax reducing mission on Thursday, Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer set to make his own intervention on Thursday in a speech in the south west, and Lib Dem’s Sir Ed Davey is scheduled on Wednesday to kick-start the year’s campaigning for his party in target seats in the so-called ‘Blue Wall’.

Death toll from Japan earthquakes rises to 62 with fears for those still trapped

A series of powerful earthquakes that hit western Japan left at least 62 people dead as rescue workers fought on Wednesday to save those feared trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings.

Aftershocks continued to shake Ishikawa prefecture and nearby areas two days after a magnitude 7.6 temblor slammed the area. The first 72 hours are considered crucial to save lives after disasters.

Water, power and mobile phone service were still down in some areas.

Five killed as Japanese coast guard aircraft collides with passenger plane

A passenger plane and a Japanese coast guard aircraft collided on the runway at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and burst into flames, with five people on the smaller plane killed, officials said.

All 379 people on Japan Airlines flight JAL-516 got out safely before the plane was engulfed in flames, transport minister Tetsuo Saito confirmed.

The pilot of the coast guard plane escaped but the five crew members died.

UK continues to ‘stand steadfastly’ by Ukraine’s side in 2024, PM tells Zelensky

The UK will continue to ‘stand steadfastly by’ Ukraine throughout 2024, the prime minister has told Volodymyr Zelensky.

Rishi Sunak also discussed providing ‘further deliveries of lethal aid’ to Kyiv with Ukrainian president Zelensky as the two leaders spoke in a phone call on Tuesday.

In a readout of the call between the leaders, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: ‘Prime minister Rishi Sunak spoke to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky today. He offered his condolences to all those Ukrainians killed and injured in barbaric Russian airstrikes over the Christmas period.’

Tuesday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Trump appeals against Maine decision barring him from ballot over Capitol attack

Former US president Donald Trump on Tuesday appealed against a ruling by Maine’s Democratic secretary of state barring him from the ballot over his role in the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

He was expected to also ask the US Supreme Court to rule on his eligibility to return to the presidency in a related Colorado case.

The Republican candidate appealed against the Maine decision by Shenna Bellows, who became the first secretary of state in history to bar someone from running for the presidency under the rarely used Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. That provision prohibits those who ‘engaged in insurrection’ from holding office. The appeal now goes to Maine’s Superior Court.

No job offer made to Dominic Cummings in meetings with PM, Downing Street says

No job offer was made to Dominic Cummings during a meeting with Rishi Sunak, Downing Street has said.

The former Vote Leave campaign director previously claimed the PM had sought a ‘secret deal’ with him in a bid to win next year’s election. The prime minister’s official spokesman said a ‘private political discussion’ had taken place, but Cummings was not offered a job.

The pair were said to have spoken in London in December 2022 and again over dinner in North Yorkshire in July, in meetings kept secret from some of Sunak’s closest allies.

2023 was second warmest year on record for UK, says Met Office

Last year was provisionally the second warmest on record for the UK since records began in 1884, the Met Office has said.

Only 2022, which saw temperatures exceed 40C for the first time in recorded history, was hotter. Wales and Northern Ireland had their warmest years, with the Met Office saying climate change has made these benchmarks ‘significantly more likely’.

Provisional figures show 2023 had an average mean temperature of 9.97C, just behind 2022’s figure of 10.03C and ahead of 2014’s figure of 9.88C.


A day of variable cloud and heavy showers, reports BBC Weather. It won’t as windy a day as yesterday, however winds are expected to be strong in the far south and north. Temperatures will be between eight and 12 degrees.

Winds will ease tonight as will cloud and showers, particularly in the south.

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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