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Nissan cuts operating profit forecast after Japan recall
Japan’s Nissan has reduced its full-year profit forecast as a safety inspection scandal hit earnings. The carmaker expects operating profit of 645bn yen ($5.7bn; £4.3bn) for the year to March 2018, down from previous guidance of 685bn yen. It also saw a sharp drop in operating profit for the three months to September owing to weakness in the US. It recalled 1.2 million cars in the domestic market last month after flaws in safety checks were discovered.
No safety driver in Waymo’s self-driving car taxi fleet
Self-driving car company Waymo has said it is confident enough in its technology to ditch the human safety driver and open up its fleet to the public. Companies testing autonomous cars typically have a human on hand ready to step in if the car malfunctions. But Waymo, owned by Google parent company Alphabet, said it no longer needed that protection – though at first one of its employees will ride in the back with customers.
The service will be made available in Phoenix, Arizona over the next few months, Waymo’s chief executive John Krafcik said. It is the not the first time Waymo has demonstrated cars without human drivers – even as a back-up – on public roads..
‘UK wellbeing rises after Brexit vote’
In the year after the UK narrowly voted to exit the European Union, there was a small but significant increase in the population’s feeling of wellbeing, official statistics show. The improvements in areas such as life satisfaction and happiness were seen only in England, however. Elsewhere, the rates flatlined. People in Northern Ireland continued to report the highest levels of wellbeing. Rates of anxiety increased slightly, but not significantly. To obtain the Office for National Statistics data, more than 100,000 adult UK residents were asked to answer the following questions, on a scale of nought to 10, with nought being “not at all” and 10 being “completely”:
Sky threatens to shut down Sky News to aid Fox takeover
Sky has threatened to shut down Sky News if the news channel proves to be an obstacle in Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox bid. Regulators are investigating the deal amid concerns that Mr Murdoch’s media empire could become too powerful. Sky told the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that the regulator should not assume “the continued provision” of Sky News. BBC media editor Amol Rajan said it was a “credible threat”. Fox owns 39% of Sky but wants full control of the satellite broadcaster.
Priti Patel’s cabinet future in doubt over Israel trip row
Priti Patel has been ordered back from Africa by the prime minister following controversy over her meetings with Israeli officials, the BBC understands. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said “some kind of development” was expected today and Ms Patel’s sacking seemed “almost inevitable now”. Ms Patel apologised on Monday to the PM about unauthorised meetings with Israeli politicians in August. But it appears she was not candid about further meetings held in September.
Electric cars’ green image blackens beneath the bonnet
The humble Mitsubishi Mirage has none of the hallmarks of a futuristic, environmentally friendly car. It is fuelled by petrol, runs on an internal combustion engine and spews exhaust emissions through a tailpipe. But when the Mirage is assessed for carbon emissions throughout its entire lifecycle — from procuring the components and fuel, to recycling its parts — it can actually be a greener car than a model by Tesla, the US electric vehicle pioneer.
‘Bad news’ for British motorists as Saudi instability contributes to rising fuel costs
British motorists should brace themselves for a surge in the cost of petrol after oil prices hit levels not seen for two-and-a-half years, analysts have warned. The RAC has predicted a rise of 3p per litre for unleaded users in the next fortnight as oil markets factor in uncertainty on several fronts. Brent crude struck $64 (£48.75) a barrel on Monday, continuing a rise in oil costs in recent weeks that had been mostly built on market hopes of further production cuts to tackle a long-standing supply glut. But stability in Saudi Arabia – the world’s largest producer – has come into sharp focus in recent days. Initially, the market was forced to digest the potential implications of a reform drive by the country’s crown prince.
Motor insurance drives rise in premiums at UK’s esure
British insurer esure Group Plc (ESUR.L) said on Wednesday it expected 20-25 percent growth in full-year premiums as it reported a record quarter for premiums, helped by rising demand and legal changes that raised the cost of motor insurance. The company, which provides insurance products to drivers, home owners, pet owners and holiday makers across Britain, said gross written premiums rose 25.4 percent to 625.8 million pounds in the nine months ended Sept. 30. This was higher than the 600.3 million pounds estimated by RBC. The insurer also said it expected its full-year combined operating ratio to be at the lower end of its 96-98 percent range, which translates into a higher underwriting profit. A number below 100 percent indicates a profit. Motor gross written premiums jumped 30.4 percent to 561.5 million pounds in the nine months period.
Uber drivers con ride-hailing company out of £10k in fake journey scam
A teenager teamed up with a gang of Uber drivers to fleece the ride-hailing company out of thousands of pounds in a fake journey scam, a court heard. Onome Omonoseh, 19, created fake customer accounts with details of stolen credit cards from the dark web, then booked long journeys through the app. Omonoseh would rack up a bill costing hundreds of pounds for a trip out of London and the driver would keep three-quarters of the fee, Wood Green Crown Court was told. Uber is thought to have lost up to £10,000 while Omonoseh made at least £1,760 as the “coordinator” of the scheme, although the prosecution accepted the figure was “conservative”.
One in three cars in VW emissions scandal yet to be fixed, figures show
A third of cars manufactured by Volkswagen with devices to cheat emissions tests remain unfixed, two years after the scandal erupted. In what was coined the “diesel dupe”, VW equipped their vehicles with defeat devices designed to realise when they were being tested so they could appear to be much less polluting than in reality. The company subsequently pledged to recall all of its cars and remove the devices. However, the monthly rate of fixes to Volkswagen manufactured cars has fallen to 2% of those affected from a previous high of 10% in February, despite the task not having been completed, according to the Department of Transport. The emissions scandal affected 1,207,152 vehicles in the UK and while two-thirds of the cars have been fixed, the rate of fixes to the remainder has stalled.
The 600,000 small firms who could be hit by VAT hike: Shake-up could also see thousands of popular goods and food hit with the tax for the first time
Up to 600,000 small businesses could face a punishing tax hike in a major shake-up of VAT – while thousands of popular goods and food items could incur the duty for the first time. The Government might also scrap red tape for smaller business and slash fines for those which fail to fill out paperwork on time in a huge overhaul of Value Added Tax. Although the plans could reduce the complications faced by businesses, there are fears Chancellor Philip Hammond will seize on them to bolster his coffers in this month’s Budget. Small companies with a turnover under £85,000 a year do not presently have to charge VAT on goods and services they sell. This throws a lifeline to many contractors, family companies and entrepreneurs seeking to grow their firms.