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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”.

NYT

BBC

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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.
  • Tweets:

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.

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Crime

Six People Killed in Shooting at Independence Day Parade

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800px 4th of July Independence Day Parade 2014 DC 14466342590
  • Six people were shot dead at an Independence Day parade near Chicago, Illinois. The gunman is still unknown and actively being searched for.
  • The gunman, who is being described as a white man near the age of 20, started shooting at random with a high powered rifle from a rooftop. The parade, which should have included hours of activities and entertainment, quickly ended and crowds were dispersed.
  • Those living in nearby suburbs or areas where the suspect might have gone have been told to shelter in place.
  • July 4th marks the colonies gaining independence in 1776 from Great Britain and the formation of the United States of America.

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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Crime

Eight Gang Members Arrested and In Possession of Underwater Drones

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800px Drug trafficking Caribean Sea
  • Spanish police arrested eight gang members that had unmanned underwater drones, six aerial drones, as well as other illegal substances in their possession.
  • The police said the drones could be used for illegal purposes, specifically “to be delivered to French narco-traffickers to be used to transport significant quantities of cocaine.”
  • One of the underwater vehicles was completely built, and two more were still being completed. The drones could potentially be controlled from anywhere in the world.
  • More than a year long investigation was carried out with the help of the French police to investigate the gang and arrest members in Cadiz, Malaga, and Barcelona.

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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Daily Brief

Three People Killed in Copenhagen Mall Shooting

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800px Fisketorvet Copenhagen Mall Interior 15915770832
  • Three people were killed at a mall in Copenhagen, Denmark after a gunman started randomly shooting with a rifle.
  • The suspect is a 22-year old Danish man with a mental health condition and “known among psychiatric services,” according to Copenhagen police chief Soren Thomassen.
  • Two Danish teenagers were killed, one boy and one girl, and a 47-year old Russian citizen. Four other people are in critical condition from the shooting.
  • Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen spoke about the incident, stating, “Our beautiful and usually so safe capital was changed in a split second.”

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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Daily Brief

Argentina’s Economy Minister Quits

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Martin Guzman
  • Argentina’s economy minister, Martin Guzmán, resigned from his post after a week of economic crisis in a 7 page letter published on Twitter.
  • Guzmán initiated office in 2019 taking lead in restructuring Argentina’s debt.
  • In addition to the global rise of food and energy costs, Argentina is battling with 60% inflation.
  • In his letter of resignation, Guzmán calls for a “political agreement within the governing coalition.”
  • Many speculate his statement was in reference to his deputy – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – whom he was openly at odds with when approaching the country’s economic problems.
  • Prior to the resignation, Fernández took to criticizing economic policy starting with Guzmán’s inflation strategy.

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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Daily Brief

3 Hezbollah Drones Shot down by Israel

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Levant Basin
  • The Israeli military says one drone was shot down by an F16 fighter jet and the other two by Barak 8 missiles via ship.
  • The drones were unarmed.
  • In an official statement Hezbollah confirms ownership of the drones which were heading for the Karish gas field in disputed territory off the Mediterranean coast of Israel.
  • Israel previously announced plans to extract gas from the offshore rig, eliciting threats from Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah.
  • The disputed territory amplified tensions between Israel and Lebanon.
  • Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister, accuses Hezbollah of barring Lebanon from cooperating with Israel concerning maritime borders.
  • This incident evoked support for Hezbollah, many taking to social media platforms to express gratitude for the militant group’s brazen confrontation against Israel’s platform in the Mediterranean. 

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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Daily Brief

Russian Forces Finally Abandon Snake Island as a Gesture of Goodwill

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Battle of Snake Island 2022
  • Russian forces have officially abandoned Snake or Zmiinyi Island as a gesture of goodwill in order to prove that it was not obstructing grain exports. But this claim was instantly dismissed by Ukraine once Moscow continued to shell its grain stores. 
  • Snake Island was seized by Russians on February 24; the island, which is just 22 miles away from Ukraine, is exposed to attacks from all directions, including air and sea. Once Russia seized it, Ukraine attacked the island itself and any vessels carrying troops or heavy weaponry. 
  • Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov states that controlling this island and stationing troops doesn’t make sense for either side and the island is an easy target. He argued that maintaining “fire control,”.which is having the capability to strike any target approaching the island, is a better advantage for either side. 
  • The key question is whether the Ukrainians will consider  exporting grain to reboot the war economy. However, the Russian warships still gain dominance over the Black Sea, and although they are offering Ukraine to export grains from Odessa, Ukraine rejected it due to it having to remove mines from outside the port. 

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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