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The Daily Brief: US Approves First New Treatment For Alzheimer’s In Nearly 20 Years

US Approves First New Treatment For Alzheimer’s In Nearly 20 Years

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Summary:

  • The FDA has given approval for the heavily debated Alzheimer’s drug Aducanumab, also known as its brand name Aduhelm.
  • The FDA’s independent advisory committee as well as some Alzheimer’s experts have opposed the drug’s approval claiming that there is not enough evidence to prove its efficacy.
  • Aducanumab targets Alzheimer’s at its root rather than addressing the symptoms of dementia like other treatment options.
  • The drug is administered through monthly intravenous infusion and is intended to slow the cognitive decline in patients with mild dementia symptoms.
  • Aducanumab’s manufacturer, Biogen, has stated that the drug’s annual cost will be $56,000.
  • In March 2019 Aducanumab was tested in an international trial consisting of 3,000 patients. The trial was halted due to analysis showing that the drug was no better at slowing cognitive decline than a placebo.
  • In late 2019 Biogen conducted more analysis and concluded that Aducanumab did indeed work as long as it was given in higher doses than those tested in the international trial.
  • Recognizing the possible benefits of Aducanumab, the FDA approved the drug stating that there is “substantial evidence that aducanumab reduces amyloid beta plaques in the brain” and that this “is reasonably likely to predict important benefits to patients”.

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Pakistan Faces the Deadliest Train Crash Since 2005

  • At least 40 people have been confirmed dead after two trains collided in southern Pakistan.
  • 15 to 20 people were trapped in the wreckage forcing authorities to use heavy machinery in an attempt to get them out.
  • The Millat Express derailed and crashed into the Sir Syed Express on the way to Sargodha from Karachi.
  • Munir Ahmed, 29, one of the local residents who rushed to the scene after he heard the crash, stated “Everyone was crying, ‘Help me! Help me!…My heart sank…I helped a couple of them, but for a moment I think I lost my senses. I have seen some road accidents before but never saw so many dead and injured.”
  • The Ministry of Railways has demanded an inquiry into the incident and is looking to have a complete report within 24 hours.
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France Fines Google €220m For Abusing Their Advertising Power

  • Google has been accused of favoring Google AdX, the company’s online ad marketplace, at the detriment of other platforms.
  • This is roughly the fifth time Google has been caught in hot water with European advertising rules and now faces a €220m fine.
  • Isabelle de Silva, chief of France’s Autorité de la concurrence (Competition Authority), stated “The decision to sanction Google is of particular significance because it’s the first decision in the world focusing on the complex algorithmic auction processes on which the online ad business relies.”

Mali Coup Leader Sworn in as Interim President

  • Military leader Assimi Goita was sworn in as Mali’s new interim president in a ceremony held in the capital city of Bamako. Goita has led two coups that unseated a democratically elected transitional president and a prime minister.
  • In his inauguration speech, Goita promised to hold presidential elections as scheduled, which is in February. Soon after the ceremony, Goita appointed opposition leader Choguel Maiga as Prime Minister.
  • International communities, such as France and the African Union, have rejected Goita’s power grab. France suspended its cooperation with Mali’s military after Goita’s second coup, saying they will wait until civilians return to positions of power.
  • Many fear that further political instability could increase extremist attacks, which are already high in the region.
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Israeli Police Cancel March in Jerusalem

Israel Police, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Israeli police denied approval for a march held by right-wing Israeli groups due to a fear of dangerous tensions given the recent eleven day war with Gaza. The march was scheduled for Thursday in the Israeli occupied parts of Jerusalem’s Old City. 
  • The cancellation by Israeli police came soon after a Hamas leader warned that the march could lead to violence. Right wing Israelis showed discontent with the cancellation of the rally, angered that the government surrendered to Hamas’ threats.
  • Israel is currently in the process of approving a new government, which would end Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule. Israel lawmakers will vote by June 14th on the new government, as Netanyahu tries to block all chances of its instatement.
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All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Daily Brief

Salman Rushdie Severely Stabbed due to his Publication of the Book “The Satanic Verses”

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Salman Rushdie 2014
  • Salman Rushdie, an author, was severely stabbed in his neck and abdomen on stage by a suspect named Hadi Matar, causing him to be on a ventilator and potentially losing an eye.
  • An Iranian leader back in the 20th century wanted Rushdie killed because of his novel, Satanic Verses, that many Muslims found disrespectful. This led Salman to go into hiding for almost a decade.
  • Translators from different countries reading this book were harshly stabbed to death when the book came out and Iranian leader, Ayatollah Khomeini called for Salman’s execution for three million dollars.
  • The Iranian government has not yet responded to this issue, but many Iranians in the media claim him to be an apostate who later became an atheist.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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China Threatens Consequences if Pelosi Visits Taiwan

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  • US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed inTaiwan. Prior to the visit, China’s Foreign Ministry has voiced their disapproval, stating that “China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized in response  that “The speaker will make her own decisions about whether or not to visit Taiwan,” and that the US is looking to Beijing to “act responsibly and not to engage in any escalation going forward.”
  • The US has made it clear that members of Congress routinely visit Taiwan and that this trip is non-threatening and has precedent. Even so, some officials have expressed concern that China may invade Taiwan’s air defense zone or send missiles near Taiwan in retaliation.
  • Pelosi has criticized China’s leadership and vocalized support for Taiwan in the past. She is currently on her tour of Asia, with scheduled visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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First Grain Ship Departs Ukraine After Six Months of Russian Blockade

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Odesa pristav
  • The first shipment of grain departed the port of Odesa on Monday after Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports for the last six months trapped around 20 million metric tons of wheat and corn.
  • Russia recently made a deal with Ukraine, brokered by the UN and Turkey, allowing grain exports to resume, appeasing fears of a global food supply crisis and rising prices.
  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba celebrated the shipment, calling it a “day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.”
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was more hesitant to celebrate the shipment, stating “it is too early to draw any conclusions and make any forecasts” and he wants to “see how the agreement works and whether security will be really guaranteed.”

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Concerns Rise As US Teeters on the Brink of Recession

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US Stock Market Investing in the United States
  • The US economy declines for the second quarter in a row, causing, what other countries would consider, an economic recession. 
  • The prices for groceries, gas, and other basics are rising at the fastest pace since 1981. The US Central Bank is quickly trying to raise borrowing costs in order to cool the economy and ease the prices on goods, but with the contraction, at the annual rate of 0.9% in the 3 months to July, many are still getting concerned. 
  • President Biden struggles to convince the public that the economy is sound, with the unemployment rate at a low 3.6%. But with inflation in the US hitting 9.1% in June, the fastest price appreciation in 4 months, consumer spending has slowed at an annual rate of 1%. 
  • Many other countries, such as China and the UK, have been hit harder by the surge in energy prices and the War in Ukraine, causing risks from abroad. Other countries are facing much more serious problems and once they’re hit, their problems can spill over and affect the US. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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North Korea Could Possibly Be Preparing another Nuclear Test

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North Koreas ballistic missile North Korea Victory Day 2013 01
  • North Korea could be preparing a seventh nuclear test, especially after Mr. Kim announced that the country is fully ready for any military confrontation with the US at a Korean War Anniversary event. 
  • A US special representative in North Korea states that Jong-Un has tested an unprecedented number of missiles this year—31 to 25. Jong-Un also stated that threats from the US required North Korea to achieve the urgent historical task of strengthening its self-defense. 
  • Jong-un also stated that South Korea is reviving a plan to counter North Korea’s threat by mounting precautionary strikes; in June alone, South Korea launched 8 missiles of its own.
  • The North Korean regime is especially angry with South Korea’s new president Yoon Suk-yeol and his so-called Kill Chain strategy. This strategy allows South Korea to launch ballistic missiles and air strikes on North Korean targets if it ever feels threatened. 
  • North Korea has also not been getting as much engagement with Washington ever since Biden replaced Trump, and could be hinting at some sort of deliberate escalation by the North, and preparations have been underway at the Punggye Ri test site since March.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Russia Limits Gas Supply to Germany

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Black Sea port of Theodosiya panoramio
  • Gazprom, a major Russian energy provider, has stated it will reduce the supply of gas to Germany by half via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline due to repair work. 
  • Germany has said that they see no technical reason for the decrease in gas supply. The European Union continues to accuse Russia of weaponizing energy, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stating, “This is an open gas war that Russia is waging against a united Europe.”
  • Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement to allow the export of grain via the Black Sea after Russia continued to block millions of tonnes from being exported. The next day, Russia struck missiles at the port, some of which hit the infrastructure of the port.
  • The US and Ukraine are optimistic that the agreement will still be implemented, with the US State Department stating, “Despite these attacks, we do understand that the parties are continuing preparations to open Ukraine’s Black Sea ports for food and fertilizer exports…we also continue to expect that the Black Sea agreement will be implemented.”

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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