Ulez sign via PAUlez sign via PA

News Round-Up

Oct 31: UN calls for Gaza ceasefire; Shop price inflation eases; 60,000 a day pay ULEZ

Here are the headlines on Tuesday, October 31

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Time 6:39 am, October 31, 2023

UN agency says urgent ceasefire in Gaza ‘matter of life and death’ for millions

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees told a UN emergency meeting ‘an immediate humanitarian ceasefire has become a matter of life and death for millions’, accusing Israel of ‘collective punishment’ of Palestinians.

Philippe Lazzarini warned that a further breakdown of civil order following the looting of the agency’s warehouses by Palestinians searching for food and other aid ‘will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the largest UN agency in Gaza to continue operating’.

According to the latest figures from Gaza’s Ministry of Health, more than 8,300 people have been killed – 66 per cent of them women and children – and tens of thousands injured, the UN humanitarian office said.


Elon Musk expected to attend Rishi Sunak’s AI safety summit

Elon Musk is expected to attend Rishi Sunak’s artificial intelligence (AI) summit.

World leaders including US president Joe Biden are not attending, with Downing Street denying the prime minister’s global gathering is being snubbed by world leaders. But it is understood Musk will attend, though it is unclear if this will be in person or virtually.

The PM also announced he would appear ‘in conversation’ in a livestream chat with Musk on his X social media site after the summit closes.


Israel declares ‘time for war’ amid global pressure for pause in fighting

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out a ceasefire in Gaza, declaring a ‘time for war’ amid continuing calls for a humanitarian pause in the conflict from the UK and other allies.

UK political leaders have called for the pause in the fighting to allow Palestinians to flee Gaza and for aid to be distributed.

Similar appeals have been made by the USA and other countries, but Netanyahu told Israel’s allies it would not heed calls for ceasefire.

Shop price inflation eases for fifth consecutive month

Shop price inflation has eased for the fifth consecutive month to its lowest rate since last August, figures show.

Prices were 5.2 per cent higher in October than a year earlier, down from September’s 6.2 per cent, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-Nielsen Shop Price Index.

Imported goods saw higher levels of inflation due to a weaker pound, still-high producer costs and emerging trade frictions, while prices for some domestically-produced food, such as fruit, were lower compared with last month.

Dominic Cummings to face questions at Covid inquiry

Dominic Cummings, the former chief adviser to Boris Johnson who fell foul of lockdown rules, will face questions at the Covid-19 Inquiry.

A key figure in Downing Street throughout the government’s early response to the pandemic, Cummings will give evidence on Tuesday as the investigation continues.

Lee Cain, the former Number 10 director of communications who left government a day before Cummings, will also appear at the inquiry alongside his close ally.


Councils scale back levelling up ambitions as costs rise

Councils are cutting back on plans backed by the government’s Levelling Up Fund in the face of inflation and tight deadlines.

Only around 15 per cent of the money awarded in October 2021 has been spent in the two years since, according to data obtained by the PA news agency under the Freedom of Information Act, with £1.4bn left to spend.

FOI responses showed many projects are still in the design phase and are yet to submit planning applications, despite the fund being intended for ‘shovel ready’ projects. PA found several projects supported by the fund had been cut back or paused due to spiralling costs, with the Local Government Association warning that ‘crucially important projects’ were ‘at risk’ without further support from the Treasury.

Monday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Around 680 Safestyle workers lose jobs after window firm enters administration

Administrators for Safestyle have said the business has made around 680 of its workers redundant after it fell into administration.

Interpath Advisory said around 70 of the door and window maker’s 750 employees would be kept on in the short term to help wind down the business. It comes after Safestyle said on Friday it intended to appoint administrators after failing to find a buyer.

The Bradford-headquartered business has a manufacturing site in Wombwell, near Barnsley and 42 branches and depots across the country.

Around 60,000 vehicles in London hit by daily Ulez fee

Around 60,000 vehicle owners a day are paying the £12.50 fee for entering London’s expanded ultra low emission zone (Ulez), new figures show.

A report published by Transport for London (TfL) revealed that 93,700 vehicles that failed to meet minimum emissions standards were driven in the capital on an average day in the first month after the expansion on August 29.

Some 36 per cent were exempt, leaving around 60,000 – including those owned by private motorists and businesses – liable for the £12.50 daily charge. That is three per cent of the total number of vehicles recorded as being driven in London each day.

Weather

Scotland will see a mixture of sunshine and showers, while the rest of the UK will see cloud and showery rain – the showers will be particularly relentless in the north-west and Northern Ireland, reports BBC Weather. The showers will get sharper in the south-west of England later on. Highs of 15 degrees.

Heavy rain will push northwards from the south-west to cover most of the country tonight. It’ll be chilly in the far north.

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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