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BBC Front Page News

Taxpayers to bear Covid cost for decades to come, say MPs

UK national debt has increased to more than £2.2 trillion during the pandemic, almost 100% of GDP.

Jones defeat & Murray withdraws from tennis singles - day two so far

Day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is under way, and there has been a shock defeat for GB taekwondo star Jade Jones.

Sajid Javid criticised for 'cower' Covid remark

Opposition MPs and a victims' group founder criticise the health secretary's "insensitive comments".

Clashes in Paris over Covid measures

French anti-riot police fired teargas during protests against Covid-19 curbs and vaccination.

BBC news for Devon

Totnes protesters call for minor injuries unit to reopen

The NHS trust says it hopes the Totnes unit, which was closed in March 2020, can reopen in October.

Truro disabled rider completes 51-mile fundraising trek

Kirstie McPherson suffered a knee dislocation and temporary blindness in one eye on the ride.

Exeter Riverside Leisure centre reopens after fire

NHS and other key workers were the first in the pool which has been closed since February 2017.

Nursery worker Jayden McCarthy jailed for sex offences

The teenager is sentenced to 11-and-a-half years after abusing nine children at a nursery in Devon.

AskTen - Nine things you may not have noticed last week!

1. How to make meetings more productive. We are spending too much precious work time attending unproductive meetings. For most leaders and managers, meetings take up at least 20 hours every week; meetings merge into one another, and on it goes. READ MORE >>

2. PM calls for caution on ‘freedom day’. Boris Johnson has urged people to exercise caution as most restrictions on social contact are lifted in England. From today, nightclubs can reopen, there are no limits on how many people can meet or attend events and table service will not be required in pubs and restaurants. Masks will no longer be required by law. There are warnings cases will surge, with UK infections - currently at about 50,000 a day – expected to reach 200,000 a day later in the summer. The Times

3. Sunak may push budget into 2022. The chancellor may delay the Budget until 2022 to allow time for the Treasury to consider the economic impact of the third Covid wave and winding down the furlough scheme. It would be the third year in a row that plans for the autumn package were postponed. A surge in inflation means the chancellor faces an extra £10bn in interest payments over the next two years. About a quarter of governmental debt, around £460bn, is tied to the retail price index measure of inflation, so the Treasury must pay out more money to savers and investors when prices rise. Prices in June were up 3.9% on the year and the index appears to be rising steeply. The Daily Telegraph

4. Covid app ‘pings through walls’. Neighbours are being told to self-isolate because the NHS Test and Trace app is “pinging” people through walls. Sources close to the Test and Trace team say the Bluetooth signal used by the app is strong enough to penetrate walls. There are fears that a “pingdemic” will bring businesses, transport and schools to standstill, after more than half a million alerts were sent by the app last week alone. The Daily Telegraph

5. High street enjoys record quarter. Growth in high street sales between April and June made it the best three months on record, industry data has revealed. The British Retail Consortium – the trade body that represents retailers – said warmer weather, people holidaying in the UK and the start of the Euro 2020 tournament powered higher spending. It said retail sales were 13.1% higher in June than in the same month two years ago, while the total for the second quarter of 2021 was 10.4% up on the same three-month period of 2019. The Guardian

 

6. Fined for dumping. Southern Water has been fined a record £90m for deliberately dumping billions of litres of raw sewage into protected seas over several years, for its own financial gain. Over nearly six years, the water company poured a total of between 16bn and 21bn litres of untreated sewage into the seas off north Kent and Hampshire, so as to avoid financial penalties and the cost of upgrading and maintaining infrastructure. Daily Mail

7. 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. Their review covered 118 earlier studies, involving patients with 18 different cancers. 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

8. Last week in the City. The UK inflation rate hit 2.5% in the year to June, the highest for nearly three years, topping the Bank of England’s 2% target for the second month running. The upward tick is likely to fuel debate about interest rate rises. Consumer prices in the US rose by 0.9% from May-June - the largest monthly gain since 2008. BBC

9. Should you work at the weekend? Changes wrought by the pandemic have led to many reassessing their relationship with work. With support for a four-day work week rising, and even sectors traditionally associated with long hours, such as investment banking, seeing shifting attitudes, is the tide turning? What do you think? Have your say in our poll. VOTE HERE >>

10. 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