News Round-Up

Sep 28: 15-yr-old girl fatally stabbed; Ofcom ‘must’ look into GB News; New 5 Series PHEVs

Here are the headlines on Thursday, September 28

Time 6:42 am, September 28, 2023

Teenager in custody after 15-year-old girl with ‘bright future’ fatally stabbed

A teenage boy remains in custody being questioned by detectives after a 15-year-old girl with a ‘bright future’ was stabbed to death on her way to school.

The ‘much-loved’ youngster, who has not been named, died after being stabbed in the neck with a foot-long knife during the Wednesday morning rush hour in Croydon, south London, a witness said.

A 17-year-old boy, who knew the victim, was arrested just over an hour after the attack which took place on busy Wellesley Road at around 8.30am.

Starmer denies ‘attack’ on private schools as he plans to charge VAT on fees

Sir Keir Starmer has insisted he is not launching an ‘attack’ on private schools with his plans to impose VAT payments on fees if he wins an election.

The Labour leader said he is ‘very comfortable’ with the institutions as they criticise him for his policy that would also see their business rates exemption ended.

He was also facing allegations of a ‘U-turn’ after Labour backtracked on plans to end the charitable status of private schools in England. The party said the move was no longer needed to fulfil its commitment to charge 20 per cent VAT on fees and make independent schools start paying business rates.

IT professionals urge Rishi Sunak to make AI ethics a priority at safety summit

The prime minister should put ethics high on the agenda when the UK hosts its AI Safety Summit in November, IT professionals have said.

A survey of professionals in the computing sector by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, found that a large majority (88 per cent) of those asked would like to see Rishi Sunak ensure the UK takes an international lead on ethical standards in the use of AI.

The government will host the summit at Second World War code-breaking hub Bletchley Park, where the opportunities and risks around the rise of artificial intelligence – particularly cutting-edge ‘frontier AI’ tools such as ChatGPT – will be discussed.

Ofcom must look into GB News over Dan Wootton and Laurence Fox, minister says

Regulators must look into GB News after the ‘unacceptable and disgraceful”’ on-air behaviour of Dan Wootton and Laurence Fox, a Cabinet minister has demanded.

Technology secretary Michelle Donelan said Ofcom had to take the response to the ‘next stage’ after both men were suspended by the broadcaster following Fox’s remarks about a female journalist.

Issuing an apology, Wootton said his ‘inappropriate’ reaction to the remarks about the political correspondent for online news site Joe was a ‘very unfortunate lapse in judgment’. But GB News suspended Wootton, having already taken action against fellow host Fox, and launched a ‘full investigation’.

National Grid report says risk of lights going out this winter has fallen

The risk of the lights going out has fallen ahead of this winter and is almost back to the pre-energy crisis normal, a new report has found.

National Grid’s Electricity System Operator (ESO) said on Thursday that it only expects there to be around six minutes between the end of October and the end of March where it might have to resort to special measures to keep the grid running smoothly.

In a report ahead of winter, when colder darker days mean people use more energy, the ESO said it expects the margin for this winter to be 4.4 gigawatts (GW). It is a margin of 7.4 per cent, and is significantly higher than the 3.7 GW that the grid had to play with last year. This means the period when demand might outstrip supply will be just around 0.1 hours, or six minutes, during the five-month period, down from 0.2 hours last winter.

Hollywood actors to resume negotiations with studios as writers’ strike wraps up

Actors across Hollywood will resume talks with studios and streaming services on Monday, with confirmation coming as details from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) agreement come to light.

Negotiators from the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists will sit down to discuss a new contract for actor working conditions on Monday.

Actors have been on strike for more than two months, in solidarity with the writers’ strike, which led to a complete shutdown of movie and film production. The actor-studio negotiation announcement came on Wednesday, the same day the nearly five-month-long writers’ strike formally ended.

Wednesday’s Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Canterbury named slowest UK city for broadband speeds

Canterbury has been named the UK city with the slowest broadband with an average speed of just over 34Mbps, according to new analysis by internet speed comparison site Broadband Genie.

The Kent city was named ahead of Ripon in North Yorkshire, Chester, Carlisle and Worcester after a study of more than 265,000 consumer internet speed tests. The village of Halkirk in the Scottish Highlands was named the UK’s overall slowest broadband area by the analysis, with residents receiving average speeds of just 2.8Mbps – well below the UK average of around 69Mbps – with 32 cities across the country also found to fall below that threshold.

In contrast, the fastest area for broadband was also found to be in Scotland. Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire was found to have average household speeds of 409.2Mbps, while Belfast was the city with fastest broadband, averaging 152Mbps, and came ahead of Portsmouth, Milton Keynes, Derry and Plymouth.

BMW expands 5 Series line-up with new plug-in hybrids

BMW has announced the introduction of new plug-in hybrid versions of its popular 5 Series.

There is the option of the 530e, which uses a four-cylinder petrol engine, or the new 550e xDrive, which uses a six-cylinder petrol unit instead. The new plug-in hybrids also boasts a larger 19.4kWh battery, which allows for a longer electric range of up to a claimed 62 miles.

Combined with an electric motor, the 530e produced 295bhp in all, while the 550e kicks out a healthy 482bhp, which allows for a 0-60mph time of just 4.1 seconds.


Sunny spells to start today but showers will arrive in the north-west later, reports BBC Weather. Cloud will also build in from the west during the day. Another breezy day with temperatures nudging 20 degrees in the south-east.

Tonight, the earlier rain will move eastwards and blustery showers will gather in the north-west.

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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