Daily News Briefing: UK expert finds cheap, life-saving coronavirus drug – ‘major breakthrough’

Wednesday 17 June


Wednesday 17 June 2020 News Briefing – Today’s headlines are dominated by the global Coronavirus Pandemic. As of 6:30 am (GMT), these are the global active numbers.


Coronavirus Cases: 8,264,468

Deaths: 446,135

Recovered: 4,321,998

Today’s Outlook
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  • The US reports 24,000 new cases.

  • Cheap, life-saving coronavirus drug ‘major breakthrough.’

  • Don’t blame the public for Covid-19 spread says UK scientist.

  • France’s Covid-19 tracing app harder to link to other, EU official says.

  • Dubai’s taxis to use AI to detect potential coronavirus case.

Cheap, life-saving coronavirus drug ‘major breakthrough’ 

BBC News says a cheap and widely available drug can help save the lives of patients seriously ill with coronavirus.

The low-dose steroid treatment dexamethasone is a major breakthrough in the fight against the deadly virus, UK experts say.

The drug is part of the world’s biggest trial testing existing treatments to see if they also work for coronavirus.

It cut the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. For those on oxygen, it cut deaths by a fifth.

Read the full story on BBC News 


US reports 24,000 new cases

CNN says at least 24,219 new coronavirus cases and 840 virus-related deaths were recorded in the US on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

The US now has a total of at least 2,137,707 Covid-19 infections, including 116,962 related deaths have now been recorded in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

Read the full story on CNN


Don’t blame the public for Covid-19 spread says UK scientist 

The Guardian says from empty supermarket shelves to crowded parks, public behaviour has come in for criticism during the Covid-19 outbreak.

But blaming the spread of Covid-19 on selfishness or thoughtless behaviour is misguided and distracts from the real causes of fatalities, according to one of Britain’s leading behavioural psychologists. 

Read the full story on The Guardian


France’s Covid-19 tracing app harder to link to others, EU official says

France24 says France’s contact tracing app may not be able to connect with others across the EU because it stores data centrally, EU Commission vice-president Margrethe Vestager said on Tuesday.

The EU has been hoping that apps developed by member states to track infections will be able to link up when people move within the bloc, mapping the virus‘s spread better and so creating more security for a revival of travel and tourism.

Read the full story on France24


Dubai’s taxis to use AI to detect potential coronavirus case

Arab News says Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in taxis to detect coronavirus cases, state news agency WAM reported.

The technology will be able to monitor physical distancing and wearing of face masks for passengers and drivers through video analysis, the report added.

Read the full story on Arab News



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A quick look at the other top stories

Trump’s ‘woeful’ police reform order leaves systemic racism intact, critics say

The Guardian says Donald Trump faced renewed criticism on Tuesday for what critics said was a “woeful” attempt at police reform that failed to address systemic racism and fell far short of the demands of Black Lives Matter activists seeking fundamental change.

Read on


UK govt criticised for abolishing international aid department 

EuroNews says Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that the government department tasked with dishing out international aid (DFID) would be merged with the Foreign Office (FCO) in a move designed to deliver “more bang for our buck”.

Read on

Famine ravages Burkina Faso as farmers call for help

Africa News says Burkina Faso has been hard hit by drought and desertification. Just east of capital Ouagadougou, once fertile land is now dry.

The area used to support generations of farmers, but families now can only scrape a living.

Read on

Changes afoot for Middle East Kurds

Arab News says the fate of the Kurds is in a constant state of flux in all countries that have a sizable Kurdish minority.

US efforts to consolidate the Kurdish identity in Syria continue unabated. At first sight, this may look inconsistent with the American policy of shifting its focus from the Middle East to the Pacific Rim, but it is not.

Read on

India says 20 soldiers killed in border clash with China

Aljazeera says at least 20 Indian soldiers have been killed in a violent face-off with Chinese forces over a disputed border area in the western Himalayas, the Indian army has said, in a major escalation of a weeks-long standoff.

Read on 


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Premier League to restart, what you need to know

Premier Leauge to restart: What you need to know

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Pete Davidson, 'its ok to struggle and yu are not alone'

Pete Davidson: ‘It’s ok to struggle, and you’re not alone’

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