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Police set to target drivers using mobile phones

Police set to target drivers using mobile phones

In a week-long crackdown, police across England and wales will target motorist that are using their mobile phones whilst driving.

This operation comes after government plans to double the points and fines handed out for the offence and will the use of messages on road signs and dedicated patrols.

“We aim to make ‘driving distracted’ as socially unacceptable as drink driving”. Said the National Police Chiefs’ Council

A similar week-long campaign took place back in May and ended up with 2,323 offences recorded across the 7 days. This time the campaign follows a report by the RAC released in September suggesting that the number of drivers using phones is rising.

The report states that back in 2014 just 8% of drivers admitted they had used their phone whilst driving. That figure has now risen to a shocking 31%

During this week campaign police will work alongside paramedics to educate drivers on the risks involved in using a phone behind the wheel

In the police’s armoury for this week will be unmarked vans, helmet cams, high-seated vehicles and high vantage points to catch offenders, all on dedicated patrols.

Police social media pages will also be used as a vital tool in this campaign showing videos and messages to educate drivers and encourage community support.

“It won’t work”

says Paul Newman, the founder of charity Handsoff. In 2006, Paul’s sister, Ellen, was killed by a driver who was using a mobile phone.

He said “all the policing in the world” would not work and that the industry had a “huge responsibility” in fixing the problem.

“This is just the beginning; the car has been bombarded by technology and nobody is taking notice of it.

“It’s worse than ever out there and it’s never going to stop. There will be a crackdown but that will go away, give it a few weeks and back to normal. It won’t work.”

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‘Real opportunity’ for UK business with Donald Trump says Farage

‘Real opportunity’ for UK business with Donald Trump says Farage

Politicians must apologise to Donald Trump after criticising him as there is a “real opportunity” to improve trade with the US, according to Nigel Farage

UKIP leader, Nigel Farage was the first UK politician to meet with the president-elect. After he said “be in no doubt that Donald Trump was a supporter of the UK and willing to be very close partners.”

He added “Critics should stop whinging and just get on with it.”

“the UK is a special place” Trump once said

Trump, who will take office in January as the incoming US president has since had a phone conversation with Theresa May aswell as contact with other ministers.

Farage, campaigned alongside Mr Trump during the US election and has said that many British politicians, including those close to the PM, had been “quite rude” and should now re-think their attitudes.

“I do think that just too many members of this government said too many nasty things about the President-elect, and I think there has to be a mending of fences,” he said.

“There were huge opportunities to be had in Brexit Britain “Mr Farage said “and Donald Trump would be a much more accommodating partner than his predecessor Barack Obama”

The UK is favoured by not just the incoming president but his entire team of staff he said

“They like our country, they recognise what we’ve done together in the past, and they’re coming into this with an incredibly positive view. We need to seize the day.”

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Armistice Day

Armistice Day – A two-minute silence will be observed across the UK later to remember the nation’s heroes

At the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, Prince Harry will lay a wreath for the commemorations. He is also due to read Rupert Brooke’s poem The Soldier.

Silence will fall at 11:00 GMT today to remember all the servicemen and women killed in conflict.

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This evening both English and Scottish footballers will risk a fine from Fifa and defy their ban on wearing poppies at Wembley during the world cup qualifier.

To commemorate the moment the guns fell silent at the end of WW1, on 11 November 1918 silence will fall across Britain as people gather at war memorials, in offices, schools and many other public places.

Arboretum has been a national site of remembrance since 2001 and will later host a military parade with several hundred veterans and serving members of the armed forces as well as Prince Harry.

Following Armistice Day, Remembrance Sunday will take play on 13th November. At the Cenotaph in London many royals and senior politicians will pay their respects.

Armistice Day marks the anniversary of the day the Allies and Germany signed a truce in a railway carriage in the Forest of Compiegne in France at 05:00. Six hours later, at 11:00, the conflict ceased.

In 1919 King George V announced that a two-minute silence would be observed and the silence continues to be observed every year on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

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How will Donald Trump’s victory impact British business?

How will Donald Trump’s victory impact British business?

Donald Trump’s presidential victory came as a surprise to most and at the end of one of the bloodiest US presidential election campaigns of recent years.

But what will the businessman do when he enters the white house in January and how will his economic policies impact British businesses?

Firstly, trump is the son of a Scot, he owns property including golf courses in Scotland, and is said to enjoy Britain when he visits.

“Britain’s been a great ally,” he said in May. “With me, they’ll always be treated fantastically.”

He supports Brexit and has made positive remarks about a British/US trade deal.

He said: “I’m not going to say front of the queue, but it wouldn’t make any difference to me whether they were in the EU or not. You would certainly not be back of the queue, that I can tell you.”

Trump is proven to be flexible on policy. Meaning the UK will have opportunity to influence some areas of international policies

And let’s face it, the deep-rooted intelligence and military relationships between Britain and the US will endure, regardless.

So, back to business.

A selection of business leaders and financial analysts were asked how they see a Donald Trump presidency.

Chief executive and founder of advertising agency, WPP, Sir Martin Sorrell said

“this is effectively a second Brexit that leaves many very surprised, including the markets and me. It’s going to take a significant amount of time to assess the implications beyond the short term.”

“Increased levels of uncertainty will mean more hesitation to make important decisions in the short term, both by people and governments. But it may accelerate implementation of helpful reforms in the medium term to reduce uncertainty and stimulate investment as a result.

Clearly immigration, trade and terrorism were key issues that swayed electoral opinion in a very significant way, just as they did in the UK, and probably will in the European referendums and elections to come.”

Centrica’s (Owners of British Gas) chief executive, Iain Conn said

“What is clear from this vote, and similarly the Brexit vote last June, is that while globalisation may have been on average good for the world, it has also left many people behind.”

“We have to listen to this, and business, government and civil society will need to map a path forward together. The subject of social inequality is one shared by the UK and the US, and perhaps should be part of the agenda for the special relationship between our two countries.

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Trump Triumphant

Trump Triumphant – US Presidential Election 2016

Donal Trump wins the US Presidential Election 2016 to take the White house beating Hillary Clinton

Despite the months of polling that favoured Mrs Clinton, The Republican, Trump has emerged the winner with his victory coming down to a few key states.

In what is already being dubbed “Americas Brexit” by social media, the decision was decided on the battleground states of Florida, Ohio and North Carolina which cleared the way for a trump victory

Global markets have already plummeted. The Dow is set to open 800 points down.

It was the Wisconsin vote that put Trump over the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

Trump took to the stage in New York to announce his victory and said: “I just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us on our victory.”

“Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.”

He added: “It is time for us to come together as one united people.”

After her dreams of becoming the first female president of the US were shattered, Clinton aged 69 did not attend her post result rally in Manhatten

Supporters wept and left early from her election night party as the result started to become clear last night.

Mr Trump will succeed Democratic President Barack Obama who, after two four-year terms in the White House, was barred by the US constitution from running for re-election.

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The US Presidential election 2016 – The day is finally here

The US Presidential election 2016 – The day is finally here

The most powerful country on earth will today vote for their new leader. The consequences of which will echo across the world, whomever is picked. Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?

When America picks its president, they also become commander-in-chief of the largest military on the planet. So, as you can imagine It’s a big responsibility and comes with a lot of power.

In the final days before the vote both candidates have been frantically traveling all over America, both holding rallies in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan – all could be decisive states in the election.

Clinton has encouraged voters to back a “hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America”

Meanwhile Trump said voters had a “magnificent chance to beat the corrupt system”.

Polls suggest that Clinton, Democrat, has the lead over the republican Trump. So far a record number of US citizens have registered their vote early by post or polling stations.

The Hispanic population is said to be in high turnout for this vote and are believed to be mainly in favour of Clinton.

In the early hours of this morning, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump held their final rallies. Mrs Clinton in Raleigh, North Carolina and Trump in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Mr Trump, pledged to reverse job losses. “Today the American working class is going to strike back, finally,”

Whilst Mrs Clinton said the US people did not “have to accept a dark and divisive vision of America”.

In this so far bitter campaign, candidates have swapped insults and become caught up in a series of scandals. They have often been trending on social media for good or bad and have been the subject of many an internet meme or stand-up comedians routine.

At an all-star event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with an invitation list to rival the Oscars, Clinton was joined on stage by Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi as well as President Obama and his wife Michelle.

Mr Obama urged voters to “reject fear and choose hope”.

Whilst in Scranton in the same state, Mr Trump insisted the momentum was with his campaign. Referring to a recent FBI investigation he described Mrs Clinton as the “most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency”. This investigation looked into Mrs Clinton’s time serving as secretary of state between 2009 and 2013 and her use of a private email server.

Following a series of sex assault allegations made against Mr Trump, the French President Francois Hollande said trump made him “want to retch”. Trump denies the allegations, and a recording of him making obscene remarks about women.

Trump is often accused of fear mongering and encouraging xenophobia after saying he would ban Muslims from entering the US, describing Mexicans as “rapists” and saying he would build a wall along the US southern border to stop illegal immigration.

When will we know who has won?

 

The first polls will begin to close about 11pm GMT (6pm ET),but things will get a lot more interesting about 1am GMT (8pm ET) when they close in key battlegrounds like Pennsylvania. If Clinton doesn’t take this state, it will be a massive blow to her campaign.

The final result is estimated to be announced between 0400-0500 GMT tomorrow morning

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Tesco Bank latest victim of fraudsters – 20,000 customers lose money

Tesco Bank latest victim of fraudsters – 20,000 customers lose money

Thousands of Tesco Bank current accounts have had hundreds of pounds stolen by fraudsters

The bank has said its systems have noticed “suspicious activity” on many customer accounts and customers cards have been blocked. Customers have reported long delays getting in touch with Tesco Bank via phone.

The bank originally estimated the number of accounts to be a few thousand “less than 10,000” but have since stated that the figure is now over 20,000

Most of the effected customers had been contacted by Sunday evening according to the bank but now the estimated number of effected accounts has risen and more customers are to be contacted.

“stolen money would be refunded from Monday onwards and within 24 business hours” stated the Bank

Although many cards have been blocked, any affected customers are still able to use online banking.

In an official statement by the bank they said “We can reassure our customers that they will not lose out as a result.” but added “customers should contact the bank if they had any concerns”

Alan Baxter was left with just £21.88 after £600 was taken from his account

He said: “Tesco said they couldn’t offer me emergency funds but would offer £25 as a goodwill gesture.

“I’ve got food and petrol to pay for. I have a delivery of coal coming tomorrow for our coal-fired heater and I won’t be able to pay.”

After losing £500 from one account and £20 from another Kevin Smith said

“I was just about to go to bed last night when I received a text message from Tesco saying there had been fraud on my account. So of course, you panic.”

Many customers have taken to social media to complain about long delays contacting the banks customer services department

“Appalling service here. Woken at 4am to say contact urgently. Spent over three hours on hold. No answer,”

“Been waiting 40 mins to get through to @TescoBankNews. I hope my money is safe…”

“My weekend is not going very well, thanks to Tesco Bank. Money has vanished from my account and you don’t even answer the phone.”

 

-UPDATE-

 

After money was taken from 20,000 accounts, Tesco Bank has stopped online payments for current account customers.

Benny Higgins, the bank’s chief executive said he was “very hopeful customers would be refunded within 24 hours.”

Over the weekend roughly 40,000 accounts reported suspicious transactions, of which half had money taken

Cards can still be used for cash withdrawals, chip and pin payments, and bill payments.

“Customers cannot make online transactions until the situation is back under control” said Mr Higgins

“some accounts have been subject to online criminal activity, in some cases resulting in money being withdrawn fraudulently” the bank confirmed

“We apologised for the worry and inconvenience that customers have faced” He added

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Road hauliers could face tough consequences due to fall in pound value

Road hauliers could face tough consequences due to fall in pound value

The Freight Transport Association has warned that road hauliers will need to commit to tougher financial reserves in order to operate legally in the UK due to the drop in value of the pound

For standard operator licence holders, there are financial standing requirements in place, stated in Euros by European law. These are reassessed each year on October 1 in accordance to the current exchange rate and then come into force on new year’s day.

Financial standing does not have to be paid, but instead is an indication that a company has reserves readily available if needed.

The FTA expects that the requirements will rise from £6,650 to £7,800 for the first vehicle, and from £3,700 to £4,300 for each vehicle after that.

Last year these figures actually dropped from £7,000 to £6,650 for the first and from £3,900 to £3,700 for each subsequent vehicle

A head of member advice at the FTA, Es Shepherd said “The potential hike may create difficulties for hauliers as they now need to demonstrate to the traffic commissioners – the industry regulator, that they have over 15% greater reserves available.

“The financial standing requirements exist to demonstrate to the Traffic Commissioner that a commercial vehicle operation is solvent, and ostensibly to show that they don’t need to start cutting corners in vehicle maintenance and safety in order to save costs.”

The financial standing rates for restricted operators do not usually changes year-to-year and are currently £3,100 for the first vehicle and £1,700 for each vehicle after that.

Shepherd added: “The increase would come as a sudden shock to operators who will need to demonstrate these extra reserves by the New Year.

“While ‘cash at the bank’ is the most straightforward way of demonstrating compliance, other methods permitted by the Traffic Commissioners include joint and several guarantees, overdraft facilities, credit facilities and invoice finance agreements.”

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Shocking number of drivers caught on their phones more than once

The shocking number of drivers caught on their phones more than once has been revealed

In the last 4 years nearly 10,000 drivers have been caught being distracted whilst driving on more than one occasion

Over 600 drivers were caught three times and 1 person was even caught five times!
These numbers were unearthed by a BBC Radio 5 live freedom of information request to the DVLA.

“authorities are not taking the offence seriously enough” says BRAKE the road safety charity and these figures prove that.

Plans for tougher penalties are being pushed ahead says the government

These numbers come following the news that Tomasz Kroker will be jailed for 10 years after he killed a family of 4 whilst distracted by his phone behind the wheel of a HGV. Read more about that story and watch the dashcam footage released by police here

This data covers 4 years as that’s how long the DVLA keeps its data for and refers to people who committed CU80 (Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, mobile telephone etc) offence which also carries 3 penalty points

The DVLA said “Although 238,694 people have been caught driving while distracted at least once, just 284 have received a ban as a result”

Number of drivers that received a CU80 from 2012-2015:

  • Once – 228,301 drivers
  • Twice – 9,722 drivers
  • Three times – 638 drivers
  • Four times – 32 drivers
  • Five times – one driver

According to Brake. Between March 2010 and March 2014 The number of traffic officers on our roads dropped from 5,635 to 4,356. Campaigners say this is the real reason that the number of CU80s handed out dropped form 68,409 to 42,950 in the same time period.

“these statistics are astonishing and worrying” said the campaigns director for Brake, Gary Rae, adding ‘Tougher sanctions are needed’
“It’s further evidence that the authorities are not taking illegal use of mobiles behind the wheel seriously enough. We need tougher sanctions on drivers who use their devices when driving, and that includes increasing both the fines and penalty points,” he said.

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Vote for Britain’s best motorway service station

Vote for Britain’s best motorway service station

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