News Round-Up

Sep 15: Charges over Sara Sharif murder; Staff shortages at Gatwick; Supermarket loyalty card prices ‘not as good as they seem’

Here are the headlines on Friday, September 15

Time 6:38 am, September 15, 2023

Sara Sharif’s father to face court after being charged with 10-year-old’s murder

The father of Sara Sharif is among three people to face court on Friday charged with the 10-year-old’s murder.

Surrey Police said the Crown Prosecution Service authorised charges against Urfan Sharif, 41, as well as Urfan’s partner Beinash Batool, 29, and Urfan’s brother, Faisal Malik, 28, all of Hammond Road, Woking.

They have also been charged with causing or allowing the death of a child. All three are set to appear at Guildford Magistrate’s Court.

Death toll soars to 11,300 after flooding in Libyan coastal city of Derna

The death toll in Libya’s coastal city of Derna has soared to 11,300 as search efforts continue following a massive flood fed by the breaching of two dams in heavy rains, the Libyan Red Crescent said.

Marie el-Drese, secretary-general of the aid group, told The Associated Press that a further 10,100 people are reported missing in the Mediterranean city. Health authorities had previously put the death toll in Derna at 5,500.

The flooding swept away entire families on Sunday night and exposed vulnerabilities in the oil-rich country, which has been mired in conflict since a 2011 uprising that toppled long-ruling dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Thousands impacted as Gatwick air traffic control hit by staff shortages

Thousands of airline passengers have been impacted by cancelled, delayed or diverted flights due to a lack of air traffic control staff (ATC) at Gatwick airport.

The airport confirmed a short notice staff absence in its ATC tower, managed by National Air Traffic Services (Nats), which meant 42 flights were cancelled or diverted while dozens more were heavily delayed on Thursday. More than 6,000 passengers are likely to have been affected by cancellations.

It comes just over two weeks after a Nats technical glitch caused widespread disruption at airports across the UK, leaving thousands of holidaymakers stranded overseas for several days.

Labour small boats scheme criticised as it sets out plans to cut asylum backlog

Labour has pledged to create temporary so-called ‘Nightingale courts’ to speed up asylum decisions as the Opposition party sets out its stall on immigration ahead of a general election.

Sir Keir Starmer this week used a visit to The Hague in the Netherlands to push his party’s proposed solution to the small boats crisis as a way of ‘taking control’ of the situation. The Labour leader’s proposals have faced criticism from both the left and the right, with home secretary Suella Braverman accusing him of looking ‘to hand Brussels the keys to our immigration system’.

Sir Keir indicated he could be prepared to do a deal with Brussels which would involve the UK taking a quota of asylum seekers who arrive in the bloc in exchange for the ability to return people who cross the English Channel.

Zelensky expected to visit Capitol Hill as Congress debates aid for Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected at the White House and on Capitol Hill next week as he visits the US during the United Nations General Assembly.

Zelensky’s trip comes as Congress is debating president Joe Biden’s request to provide as much as 21 billion dollars (£17bn) in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine as it fights the Russian invasion.

An administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive visit, said Zelensky will meet with Biden at the White House next Thursday.

Concerns thousands of jobs at Britain’s biggest steelworks could be lost

There are concerns that thousands of job losses are set to be announced at Britain’s biggest steelworks under plans to produce ‘greener’ steel.

Tata, the Indian conglomerate that owns the Port Talbot steelworks in south Wales, has been in talks with the government for months over state aid worth hundreds of millions of pounds to help switch the plant’s two coal-fired blast furnaces to electric arc versions that can run on zero-carbon electricity.

The move could lead to around 3,000 job losses, mainly at Port Talbot, unions fear.

Government urged to include self-driving vehicle legislation in King’s Speech

Progress in developing self-driving vehicles risks stalling if the government fails to include relevant legislation in the King’s Speech, MPs have warned.

A report by the Commons’ Transport Committee stated the UK had a ‘competitive advantage’ over other countries in relation to the technology, but warned ‘we must maintain it’.

The select committee urged the government to introduce new laws putting into place a robust regulatory framework for self-driving vehicles. This should cover vehicle approval, liability for accidents, cybersecurity and the use of personal data, according to the report.

Thursday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Supermarket loyalty card prices ‘not as good as they seem’ – Which?

Up to a third of loyalty offers at Tesco and Sainsbury’s are ‘not all they’re cracked up to be’, watchdog Which? has warned, as it urged the competition watchdog to investigate supermarket dual pricing.

The consumer group analysed 141 Clubcard and Nectar card prices at Tesco and Sainsbury’s, tracking them back six months to find that around a third (29 per cent) of the member-only promotions were at their so-called ‘regular’ price for less than 50 per cent of the six-month period.

Both Sainsbury’s and Tesco said Which? had failed to take inflation into account when analysing prices, and stressed that they adhered to Trading Standards rules on promotions.

John Lewis says cost of shoplifting jumps £12m due to organised crime

The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) said it is facing a £12m jump in the cost of shoplifting as bosses at the retail giant blamed a surge in organised crime.

Dame Sharon White, chairwoman of the department store owner, told reporters that the recent spate in shoplifting at stores was driven by ‘crime groups’ rather than thefts linked to the soaring cost of living.

The boss said she met with Sir Mark Rowley, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, earlier this week to discuss shoplifting. The retailer called on the government to change legislation in the England and Wales to make it a criminal offence to abuse shopworkers, in line with current rules in Scotland.


Rain will fall in southern Scotland and Northern Ireland today, while England and Wales will be dry with plenty of sunny spells. Temperatures will hover around 14 degrees in Scotland and 25 in the south-east of England.

The rain will get lighter tonight leading to cloudy patches that’ll drift into northern England. It’ll be dry and clear elsewhere.

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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