COVID-19 variants. It’s all Greek. The WHO will now use Greek letters in public discourse to refer to the variants, with the so-called U.K., South African, Brazil and Indian variants, for example, now labelled ‘Alpha’, ‘Beta’, ‘Gamma’ and ‘Delta,’ respectively. It comes after criticism that scientific names such as B.1.351, 501Y.V2 and 20H/501Y.V2 – all given to the so-called South African variant – were too complicated, while the tradition of naming a variant after the location of source caused stigma. BBC

OECD warns of uneven recovery. The OECD warned of an “uneven” recovery. The Paris-based organisation expects global growth to reach 5.8% this year – up from 4.2% previously, thanks to big government spending packages and vaccinations picking up steam in advanced economies: China’s recovery could take less than a year, the US and South Korea’s 18 months, while much of Europe may need three years before living standards are back to pre-pandemic levels. For some emerging markets the recovery will take much longer. Financial Times

Almost 50 shops a day disappear from the High Street. More than 8,700 chain stores closed in British High Streets, shopping centres and retail parks in the first six months of this year. That is an average of nearly 50 outlets a day as the impact of the pandemic and changing shopping habits continue to hit many towns and city centres. BBC

The bottom line. Data from the ONS has revealed that the average UK house price rose by over 20% between the Brexit referendum in June 2016 and March 2021, from £212,887 to £256,405. Financial Times

UK Exports to EU hit by Brexit. Food and drink exports to the EU almost halved in the first three months of the year. The group’s data showed that EU sales dropped by 47% compared to the same period in 2020. Covid is likely to have had an impact but the trade body said the decline was largely due to changes in the UK’s trading relationships with the bloc. The government said it was “too early to draw any firm conclusions” on the longterm impact of Brexit. The Independent

Aspirin linked to cancer survival. Taking aspirin alongside conventional treatments may reduce the risk of cancer patients dying by 20%, a new analysis has found. The researchers, at Cardiff University, also found that the painkiller appeared to reduce the risk of the cancer spreading within the body. The 250,000 patients who had reported taking aspirin (as a supplement to other treatments) had a 20% reduced mortality rate. The lead researcher said: “There is now a considerable body of evidence to suggest a significant reduction in mortality in patients who take aspirin. BBC

The bottom line. A new survey found that almost one in five adults can’t explain the difference between a noun and a verb. A noun is a word that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality; for example, a leader. A verb is a word or phrase that describes an action, condition or experience; for example, to lead. Editor

Coffee can reduce risk of stroke. A cup of coffee a day can reduce the risk of a stroke by a fifth, according to a new study. Researchers at Semmelweis University in Budapest said data from almost half a million Britons showed people who drank a moderate amount of coffee, 2 to 3 cups a day, were 21% less likely to have a stroke. The Daily Telegraph

Author: Seb

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