News Round-Up

Jun 28: Steel plant to shut early; Gates warns over threat to green transition; Rimac’s robotaxi

  • Here are the early headlines for Friday, June 28

Time 6:33 am, June 28, 2024

Tata set to cease operations at steel plant earlier than planned

Tata is to take steps to cease operations at its steel plant in Port Talbot earlier than planned because of a strike by Unite, workers have been told.

The company had been planning to shut down one of the blast furnaces by the end of June and the second one by September.

But a message to employees said that because of the forthcoming strike ‘we are left with no alternative but to take preparatory steps to cease operations on both blast furnaces and safely isolate them no later than July 7’, as it claims it can’t be assured of enough resources for safe and stable operations.

Bill Gates warns political backlash could ‘slow down’ green transition

Bill Gates has warned that political backlash against green policies in developed countries could hamper the fight against climate change.

‘Politics could slow this stuff down,’ he said. ‘Rich countries not only need to [reduce] their own emissions, but they also need to be the primary source of both the risk capital and the bootstrap funding…to get to zero green premium.’

Gates was speaking at a London summit organised by his energy investment firm, Breakthrough Energy. ‘Green premium’ is a phrase he has used to refer to the extra cost of doing business in a less-polluting way.

Supermarkets ditch pineapple products from Kenyan farms over human rights risk

Morrisons and Iceland have stopped sourcing tinned pineapples from a Del Monte farm in Kenya after ongoing allegations of human rights abuses.

Claims of brutal violence and killings by Del Monte guards at the fruit farm in Thika were revealed in an investigation published last year.

Four supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose – stopped selling pineapple products sourced from the farm after the report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Guardian.

Six dead after train collides with bus in Slovakia

A train travelling from the Czech capital of Prague to the Hungarian capital of Budapest collided with a bus in southern Slovakia yesterday, leaving at least six people dead and five injured, officials said.

More than 100 people were aboard the Eurocity train when the accident happened shortly after 5pm local time (4pm GMT) in the town of Nové Zámky, police and the Slovak railway company ZSSK said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, and authorities were investigating. The crossing is protected by gates.

OpenAI and Microsoft sued for ‘exploitative’ copyright infringement

The Centre for Investigative Reporting (CIR) is suing ChatGPT maker OpenAI and its closest business partner, Microsoft, marking a new front in the legal battle between news publications fighting against unauthorised use of their content on artificial intelligence (AI) platforms.

The non-profit organisation, which produces the Mother Jones and Reveal news outlets, said OpenAI used its content without permission and without offering compensation, violating copyrights on the organisation’s journalism.

The lawsuit, filed in a New York federal court, focuses on how AI-generated summaries of articles threaten publishers – a move CIR called exploitative. OpenAI and Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

‘High E.coli levels discovered in Thames’ ahead of Henley Royal Regatta

High levels of E.coli have been found along a stretch of the Thames that will be used for the historic Henley Royal Regatta next week, campaigners said.

The levels of bacteria, which can cause serious infections, were found by the Henley and Marlow River Action group, which is testing the water on the Henley Mile daily from May 23 until July 7.

The group, which used a Fluidion World Health Organisation-verified E.coli analyser, took samples near Fawley Meadows, close to a Thames Water combined sewers overflow pipe that can discharge untreated sewage directly into the river. Thames Water says no untreated effluence has been discharged from the nearby treatment works since May 14.

Farage ‘let down’ by candidates as election campaign enters final week

Nigel Farage says he has been let down after one of his campaigners was filmed saying small-boats migrants should be used as ‘target practice’, as the general election campaign enters the final week.

An undercover Channel 4 reporter recorded one canvasser calling for migrants crossing the English Channel to be used as ‘target practice’ and another describing the Pride flag as a ‘degenerate’ ensign and suggesting members of the LGBT+ community are paedophiles.

Speaking at a £5-a-head event on the campaign trail in Boston, Lincolnshire, Farage said: ‘We’ve had one or two candidates that have said things they shouldn’t have said…In some cases, one or two people let us down and we let them go.’

Rimac Verne robotaxi interior, via PA

Rimac sets sights on robotaxi market with fully autonomous Verne concept

Nevera electric hypercar manufacturer Rimac is set to enter the autonomous ride-hailing market with its driverless Verne vehicle.

Based on a new and highly adaptable electric car platform, Verne features just two seats, after Rimac’s research showed that nine out of 10 taxi rides were made by either one or two people.

Rimac plans to put the Verne robotaxi in operation in Croatia – where it will also be built – by 2026, with plans to roll it out to the UK and Germany a year later.

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 45.65 points down yesterday to end the day on 8,179.68. The Cac 40 was down 78.43 points at 7,530.72, the Dax was up 55.31 points at 18,210.55, and the Dow Jones was up 36.26 points at 39,164.06.

Weather outlook

Today, north-western Scotland will see spells of heavy rain followed by showers later, says BBC Weather. Elsewhere will see sunny spells and patchy cloud, with scattered showers in the north, but it’ll be drier in the south.

Saturday will be cloudy with spells of rain at times in northern Scotland, Wales and central England. Elsewhere will be dry and largely sunny with just some patchy cloud in places.

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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