Nov 11 round-up: PM speaks to Biden; Uni students home for Christmas; AMG takes ‘Green Hell’ record; Suzuki Swace on sale

Time 7:40 am, November 11, 2020

  • Here are the headlines for Wednesday, November 11

University students to be allowed to travel home in December

University students in England will be allowed to travel home in early December so families can be reunited for Christmas under government guidance for the coronavirus pandemic.

Institutions will be told by the Department for Education (DfE) to end in-person teaching and switch to online classes so they can return between December 3-9.

Under guidance to be published today, universities will be told to set staggered departure dates during the ‘student travel window’ so they can safely return home.

PM discussed Brexit and Good Friday Agreement with Biden

Boris Johnson was among the first world leaders to secure a call with Joe Biden since his victory in the November 3 election, which the Republican incumbent is controversially continuing to contest.

The former vice president’s warnings over Brexit have prompted concerns that Johnson may have a strained relationship with the man who will take over the White House in January.

But they are understood to have spoken for around 25 minutes from 4pm on Tuesday in a wide-ranging conversation on trade, Nato and democracy, ahead of Biden speaking to Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheal Martin.

Mercedes-AMG takes Nurburgring record

Mercedes-AMG has grabbed the fastest luxury car lap record at the Nordschleife Nurburgring in Germany.

Its GT 63 S 4Matic+ four-door coupe posted a 7:23,009 time for the ‘Green Hell’ 20.6km track (without straight-line measurement for track section T13) and 7:27,800 min for the 20.832km complete track (with straight-line measurement for track section T13).

The GT wore Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres during the record-breaking drive and the model’s optional aero package was fitted.

North of England worst hit by pandemic says study

The north has been hit harder than the rest of England during the pandemic, according to a study.

The report, compiled by the Northern Health Science Alliance and other organisations, put a conservative estimate on the economic cost of the increased mortality in the north at £6.86bn. It also estimated that the pandemic’s impact on the region’s mental health would cost around £5bn a year.

The report led by scientists from the universities of Newcastle, Manchester, York and Liverpool found 57.7 more people per 100,000 died in the Northern Powerhouse than the rest of England between March and July.

Instagram brings enhanced self-harm content detection tools to UK

Instagram is introducing new technology to its app in the UK and Europe that is able to better identify suicide and self-harm content which breaks the app’s rules.

The new moderation tools are able to more proactively spot self-harm content and automatically make it less visible in the app, and in some cases remove it completely after 24 hours if the machine learning is confident it breaks the site’s rules.

The feature is already used on Facebook and Instagram outside of the EU, where human reviewers can then take further action such as connecting the poster to local help organisations and in the most severe cases, calling emergency services. However, these referral aspects are not yet ready to be introduced to the UK and Europe because of GDPR.

Seasonal jobs ‘down by third’

The number of seasonal jobs on offer is down by a third compared with a year ago, new research suggests.

Firms are advertising around 13,600 roles in the run up to Christmas, according to jobs site Adzuna.

The virus crisis is changing the type of work on offer, with more cleaning, logistics and delivery jobs being advertised. Topping the list of companies still looking for seasonal staff are parcel courier company Yodel, Royal Mail and online tutoring platform Tutorful, said Adzuna.

Suzuki Swace goes on sale

Suzuki has announced that its new Swace estate car will be priced from £27,499 when it goes on sale in the UK this month.

The Swace is the second car to be developed with Toyota, and is underpinned by the same platform as the firm’s Corolla Hybrid Estate, while also being produced in the UK, and shares its 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid system.

Two trim levels are offered: the £27,499 SZ-T gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and rear parking camera, while the £29,299 SZT adds blind spit monitoring, wireless phone charging and front and rear parking sensors.

Shoppers relying more on buy now, pay later schemes, survey finds

More than a third (35 per cent) of people are relying on buy now, pay later schemes more often now than before the coronavirus pandemic, a survey by has found.

Just over half (54 per cent) of 18 to 24-year-olds surveyed said they have used the scheme more frequently since the crisis started. Meanwhile, 27 per cent of people who have used such a scheme in the past 12 months said they did so because they could not afford to make the purchase outright at the time.

One in six (15 per cent) people now use the schemes for all purchases where the option is available – up from four per cent who said this when a similar survey was carried out at the end of 2019.

Get more from Car Dealer

  • Premium stories
  • Used car data
  • Magazine early access

…and looking at the weather

Heavy rain will affect Northern Ireland western Scotland today, reports BBC Weather. The rest of the UK will see a foggy and cloudy start with brightness in the south-east later. Rain will arrive from the south-west later on.

Heavy brand will speed across the UK from east to west tonight. Clear skies in Northern Ireland bringing chilly conditions.


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.

More stories...

Server 190