Live News Updates: UK becomes first country to approve Omicron vaccine

Afghanistan has two anniversaries ahead of it. Friday is Independence Day, which commemorates the signing of the 1919 Treaty of Rawalpindi, in which Britain granted Afghanistan autonomy over its foreign policy. However, most will be more concerned with Monday, which marks a year since the Taliban regained control.

This week also begins the 75th anniversary of Britain’s withdrawal from the Indian subcontinent, marking the partition of India and Pakistan. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation from Delhi’s historic Red Fort, with a likely focus on the unrest in Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim-majority state.

It’s all about the present for British schoolchildren as on Thursday pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive the emails and envelopes with their A levels and exam results. Then the serious task of accepting and finding study places through the clearing process begins.

As with the Advanced Higher exam results announced last week for Scottish pupils, the A Level results are expected to be below last year but likely to be above pre-pandemic years. The review board AQA has announced that papers will be graded more generously to reflect the return to normal testing conditions.

The summer of discontent in Britain will be marked by another national rail strike this week, exacerbated by a general strike on London’s public transport networks. Next Sunday more than 1,900 workers at Britain’s largest container port Felixstowe will go on strike and we have another week of strikes by criminal lawyers in courts in England and Wales with no solution in sight.

We are about to take a significant step forward in Nasa’s Artemis space program. The mission aims to land the first female and ethnic minority astronauts on the moon, preparing for a long-term lunar presence and providing a springboard for sending humans to Mars. Nasa plans to livestream the transfer of the Artemis-1 rocket to the launch pad on Wednesday, with a goal of completing the launch by the end of the month.

economic data

Inflation watchers will be busy with updates from the EU, Japan and Canada this week, and Wednesday’s release of the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes may provide some indication of the Fed’s willingness to tighten monetary policy.

It’s also set to be a busy week for UK business news with numbers on jobs, inflation, productivity, retail sales, consumer confidence and house prices. All are likely to seek comment on the state of UK plc.


This week we reach the end of the current earnings season with results from a group of retailers that are either online only or have benefited particularly strongly from e-commerce Walmart on Tuesday, target and Tencent a day later and AO world on Thursday.

AO World is trying to shift its business model away from revenue growth towards building and maintaining margins. The problem for such retailers as we enter an economic downturn will be maintaining sufficient sales demand.

Read the full calendar for next week here.

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