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News Round-Up

Oct 30: Hamas ‘preventing’ Brits leaving Gaza; Sunak’s £100m AI fund; Interest rates may not rise

Here are the headlines on Monday, October 30

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Time 6:38 am, October 30, 2023

Hamas ‘preventing’ UK nationals from leaving Gaza, Biden security chief suggests

Hamas could be preventing British nationals from leaving Gaza, United States president Joe Biden’s security adviser has suggested.

Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, said Egypt and Israel were prepared to allow foreign nationals to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing.

But he said the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which rules the bombarded territory, had not agreed to terms that would grant foreigners an opportunity to depart for Egypt and reach safety.


Sunak reveals focus on treating cancer and dementia with £100m AI fund

A £100m investment in artificial intelligence will be used to research new treatments for cancer and dementia, the prime minister has said.

Rishi Sunak said the cash injection would be used to help discover ‘treatments for previously incurable diseases’.

The pime minister detailed how the spending would be used ahead of the AI safety summit, where international leaders are expected to meet to discuss ground rules for preventing the technology from causing harm.


IDF spokesman says Israel ‘troubled’ by antisemitism in Britain

The Israeli military is ‘troubled’ by the rise in antisemitism in Britain since Hamas’s attack on Tel Aviv, the Jewish community has been told.

It comes after the Community Security Trust (CST), a UK Jewish charity, said it had recorded about 800 incidents of antisemitism since October 7, when Palestinian militants killed about 1,400 people on Israeli soil and took more than 200 people captive.

Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), appeared to suggest that news of the increase in antisemitic incidents in the UK had reached his country, which is currently fighting back against Hamas in Gaza.

Bank of England expected to keep interest rates unchanged again

Experts think that the Bank of England will avoid another interest rate rise when it meets this week, the second pause in a row after almost two years of consecutive hikes.

The base rate, which influences the interest that people pay on their mortgages, is widely expected to be kept at 5.25 per cent, although markets see some chance that it could rise.

James Smith, a developed markets economist at ING, said that the meeting is likely to be highly predictable. In September, four of the nine-person monetary policy committee (MPC) voted to raise rates to 5.5 per cent.

Nicola Sturgeon’s WhatsApp messages during pandemic ‘deleted’

WhatsApp messages sent by Scotland’s former first minister Nicola Sturgeon about the pandemic were manually deleted from her phone, according to a report.

The Sunday Mail reported that documents given to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry show she is among a number of senior Scottish government figures who say their WhatsApp data no longer exists. They include current first minister Humza Yousaf and former deputy first minister John Swinney.

It comes after the UK inquiry’s legal team said it believes the ‘majority’ of WhatsApp messages shared among Scottish government officials during the pandemic ‘have not been retained’.


Just Stop Oil activists to hear judge’s ruling on M25 protests

Just Stop Oil activists who took part in M25 protests are waiting for a High Court judge’s ruling after being accused of being in contempt.

Mr Justice Soole is due to announce a decision on Monday after considering evidence at a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London last week.

Lawyers representing National Highways told the judge that protesters caused ‘considerable delays”’and are in contempt of court. The protesters have all mounted arguments in their defence.

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Charles and Camilla to fly to Kenya for the start of their state visit

The King and Queen will begin their first state visit to a Commonwealth country when they travel to Kenya.

Charles will acknowledge the ‘painful aspects’ of UK and Kenya’s shared history during the couple’s five-day state visit, being held as the east African nation celebrates the 60th anniversary of its independence from Britain.

Kenya became independent on December 12, 1963 and the two countries have enjoyed a close relationship since, despite the violent colonial legacy of the Mau Mau uprising which led to a period known as the Emergency.

HSBC’s third-quarter pre-tax profit more than doubles

Banking giant HSBC has credited the impact of higher interest rates as it revealed its third-quarter pre-tax profit more than doubled compared to the previous year.

The company said its pre-tax profit rose by 4.5bn US dollars (£3.7bn) to 7.7bn US dollars (£6.4bn), compared to the same period in 2022.

Profit after tax increased by 3.6bn US dollars (£3bn) to 6.3bn US dollars (£5.2bn), while revenue rose by 40 per cent to 16.2bn US dollars (£13.4bn).

Flood and rain warnings issued as weather builds to ‘nasty storm’

Heavy rain is being forecast overnight for several parts of the country as wet and windy weather is expected to build up to a ‘nasty storm’ later in the week.

The Environment Agency has issued 72 flood warnings as the latest band of bad weather approaches leading up to the next storm on Wednesday night which has been give named Storm Ciaran.

And the Met Office has yellow warnings for rain in place for south Wales, south east England and eastern Scotland down to Newcastle.

Weather

Aside from the weather warnings with heavy winds and rain, there will be the odd bright spell in England and Wales, reports BBC Weather. Scotland will see the lion’s share of the sunshine. Highs of 16 degrees in the south of England.

Heavy rain will persist in south-west England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For northern and eastern England it’ll be cloudy, and elsewhere it be mostly dry.

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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