While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 7

WHO recommends arthritis drugs for Covid-19 to cut death risk

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday recommended using arthritis drugs Actemra from Roche and Kevzara from Sanofi with corticosteroids for Covid-19 patients after data from some 11,000 patients showed they cut the risk of death.

A WHO group evaluating therapies concluded treating severe and critical Covid-19 patients with these so-called interleukin-6 antagonists that block inflammation “reduces the risk of death and the need for mechanical ventilation”.

According to the WHO analysis, the risk of dying within 28 days for patients getting one of the arthritis drugs with corticosteroids such as dexamethasone is 21 per cent, compared with an assumed 25 per cent risk among those who got standard care. For every 100 such patients, four more will survive, the WHO said.

Moreover, the risk of progressing to mechanical ventilation or death was 26 per cent for those getting the drugs and corticosteroids, compared with 33 per cent in those getting standard care. The WHO said that meant for every 100 such patients, seven more will survive without mechanical ventilation.


Dutch crime reporter Peter R. De Vries shot on Amsterdam street

Celebrity crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, known for his work in exposing the Dutch underworld, was shot and seriously wounded on a street in Amsterdam, police said on Tuesday.

“Peter R. de Vries was shot down in Lange Leidsedwarsstraat,” police said in a statement, referring to a street near one of the city’s largest public squares, where he had been in a television studio earlier in the evening.

He was taken to a nearby hospital in “serious condition”, the police said, calling for eyewitnesses to come forward.


Iranian couple allegedly drugged, murdered 2 children, son-in-law

The older couple first came to the public eye on a winter night in Teheran, Iran, when their film director son invited them to the stage after a screening. They were frail, and seemingly shy, and the younger man helped his mother up the stairs, then draped his arm around his father’s shoulder.

That was five years ago. Now their son is dead, and Akbar Khorramdin, 81, and his wife, Iran Mousavi, 74, are back on the public stage, accused of his killing and, in a twist that has shocked and riveted Iranians, the killings of a daughter and a son-in-law over the course of a decade.

The victims were drugged, suffocated, stabbed and then dismembered, authorities said.


Italy into Euro 2020 final with shoot-out win over Spain

Jorginho converted the decisive spot kick as Italy beat Spain 4-2 on penalties after their Euro 2020 semi-final ended 1-1 after extra time on Tuesday, earning them a place in Sunday’s final against either England or Denmark.

Spain missed two of their spot-kicks, including one by substitute Alvaro Morata, whose late equaliser had taken the game into extra time.

After a cagey first half Italy struck on the hour when a fast-paced break begun by goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma ended with the ball falling for Federico Chiesa, who cut in from the left and curled in a superb finish.


Sports figures defend teen sensation Raducanu over Wimbledon exit

British sports personalities from Andy Murray to Marcus Rashford rallied to the defence of teenage tennis sensation Emma Raducanu on Tuesday after suggestions she quit her debut Wimbledon because she could not handle the pressure.

The previously little-known 18-year-old, ranked 338 in the world, was the last of 14 British players standing in Wimbledon after three superb wins that had fans on their feet.

But she was forced to retire against Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in their last-16 match on Monday with breathing difficulties.


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