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News Round-Up

Oct 15: German trade invitation; Louvre and Versaille evacuated; Autumn chill arrives; £11m fine for cyber attack

Here are the headlines for Sunday, October 15

Time 5:59 am, October 15, 2023

German minister sends apparent trading relations invitation to UK

A top German politician has indicated that the EU might be open to looking again at post-Brexit trading relations with the UK, telling politicians to ‘call us’.

German finance minister Christian Lindner told BBC News that the UK has a ‘standing invitation’ on any future talks on reducing trade barriers or “obstacles in daily business life’.

‘If you want to intensify your trade relationship with the EU – call us!’

Louvre and Versailles evacuated

The Louvre Museum in Paris and Versailles Palace evacuated visitors and staff on Saturday after receiving bomb threats, police said.

The move came as the French government started deploying 7,000 troops to increase security around the country after a fatal school stabbing by a suspected Islamic extremist.

The evacuations of two of the world’s most-visited tourist sites come amid heightened vigilance around France following Friday’s school attack, and global tensions linked to the war between Israel and Hamas.

Autumn chill arrives

The autumn chill continued across the UK on Sunday, with temperatures plummeting overnight.

The Met Office predicted that Saturday would be the coldest night of the season so far, with lows of -5C in Scotland and Northern Ireland and just above freezing in the rest of the UK.

Both urban and rural areas saw temperatures fall, with a widespread grass frost developing.

Luton Airport deals with 16,000 customer queries

Luton Airport has received more than 16,000 customer queries following a fire at one of its car parks earlier this week.

Up to 1,500 vehicles were affected when the airport’s multistorey Terminal Car Park 2 became engulfed in flames on Tuesday.

A London Luton Airport spokesperson said: ‘Since Tuesday night’s incident, together with Apcoa Parking we have responded to almost 16,500 customer queries.’

Equifax fined £11m for cyber attack

The UK’s financial watchdog has fined Equifax £11m for its role in one of the largest cyber attacks, which affected more than 13 million British consumers in 2017.

The credit rating giant failed to keep its customers safe during an ‘entirely preventable’ cybersecurity breach, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said.

The hack happened after Equifax’s UK arm outsourced customer data to its owner based in the US, Equifax Inc.

The company collects information on customers and produces credit reports, which can be used by lenders to assess whether to approve financing for things like mortgages, cars and credit cards.

John Lewis hires Royal Mail property boss

The John Lewis Partnership has appointed a new property chief to lead Dame Sharon White’s ambitious plans to expand into housing.

The retail group, which runs the department store chain and Waitrose supermarket business, said Royal Mail executive Martin Gafsen will become its director of property from November 15.

He will succeed Chris Harris, who unexpectedly stepped down from the position in June after more than five years.

EU opens investigation into X

The European Union has opened an investigation into Elon Musk’s X platform over concerns about the spread of illegal content and disinformation around the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The European Commission has sent the social media giant a formal request for information under its new online safety rules, known as the Digital Services Act (DSA), which came into force earlier this year.

Social media platforms have seen a surge in misinformation, violent content and hate speech about the conflict between Israel and Hamas in recent days, with both the EU and the UK warning the largest platforms that they must do more to stop its spread.

If the EU believes X, formerly known as Twitter, has breached the rules, it could open a formal investigation and if a breach is confirmed, X could face a substantial fine – up to six per cent of global turnover – or have its service suspended.

Sunshine and chill

Today will see plenty of sunshine across the UK although there will be some showers across Scotland, according to the Met Office.

Temperatures will be below average for this time of year and overnight there will be frost on the way.

There will be some mist and fog overnight and showers will continue in Scotland.

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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