News Round-Up

Nov 4: Musk’s comments ‘sensationalist’; Services skirt recession; Driver banned for 70mph chase

Here are the headlines for Saturday, November 4

Time 5:43 am, November 4, 2023

Musk’s comments on AI ‘not helpful’

Elon Musk’s suggestion that artificial intelligence could eventually take on all jobs was ‘sensationalist’ and ‘not helpful’, one expert has said.

Professor Emma Parry from the Cranfield School of Management said Mr Musk’s comments where ‘helpful for people to understand the possible magnitude of changes’ caused by AI.

However, she said his ‘sensationalist statements are not helpful’ and that an ‘evidence-based approach that tells people what they can expect now’ was required rather than comments around something that ‘won’t happen in the near future’.

Services sector skirts recession

The UK’s services sector saw a lacklustre October with activity falling for the third month in a row as businesses continue to ‘skirt with recession’, an influential survey has found.

The S&P Global/CIPS UK services PMI survey showed a reading of 49.5 in October, up fractionally from 49.3 in September and coming in above the flash estimates of 49.2 for the month.

Any score below 50 indicates that activity in the industry has been contracting.

The industry, which spans services from hospitality, leisure and entertainment, to healthcare, transport and financial services, has been grappling with higher business costs and squeezed household budgets.

Driver banned for 70mph in 20mph zone

Police have released dramatic video footage of a dangerous driver who led armed police on a 70mph chase in a 20mph zone before crashing into a hedge.

Emre Baglam admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop, failing to provide a specimen for analysis, driving while disqualified and driving without valid insurance.

He was disqualified at Chichester Crown Court from driving for two years, and was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work as part of a 20-month suspended prison sentence.

The footage shows Baglam, 20, from Holmbridge Gardens, Enfield, failing to stop for police in Preston Road, Brighton, before carrying out dangerous overtakes and driving the wrong way into oncoming traffic.

New Skoda Superb revealed

Skoda has unveiled its fourth-generation Superb which aims to bring even more comfort and spaciousness than the outgoing version.

Available in both hatchback and estate layouts as before, the new Superb can be specified with a choice between six engines, with three petrol sitting alongside a pair of diesels and a plug-in hybrid version with a claimed 62 miles of electric-only range.

The whole car is longer and taller than the one it replaces, which means that it’s able to offer even more space than the outgoing Superb.

Retailers opt for light-hearted Christmas ads

Retailers are shunning the tearjerkers and taking a light-hearted approach to their festive ad campaigns this year in an apparent attempt to bring cheer to consumers facing a persistent cost-of-living crisis.

Sainsbury’s has turned to a young girl asking what Santa eats for Christmas dinner in a campaign that brings in some star power in the form of a cameo appearance from singer Rick Astley.

Set in a Sainsbury’s store as customers shop for their festive essentials, a girl steps up to the in-store tannoy to ask the all-important question: ‘Hey Sainsbury’s, what does Santa eat for his Christmas dinner?’

Pound rallies against dollar

The pound has rallied against the US dollar after weaker-than-expected jobs data across the pond, while the UK’s top share index has ended the week in the red.

London’s FTSE 100 wiped off some of Thursday’s rally with gains for some retailers failing to offset losses for energy giants.

The index was down 28.8 points, or 0.39%, to close at 7,417.73 on Friday.

Weather outlook

Early fog will slowly clear this morning, according to the Met Office, leaving a mixture of sunshine and showers for Northern Ireland and Scotland today.

England and Wales will see a band of wet and windy weather will move north with blustery heavy showers following.

Rain across central England will ease tonight but some mist and fog will develop.

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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