Posts

moderna

Moderna And Merck Say New Experimental Vaccine Is Improving Survival Rates In Patients With Severe Skin Cancer 

Biopharmaceutical company Merck and mRNA vaccine developer Moderna are currently creating a new vaccine to help improve the quality of life and survival rates in individuals dealing with the most deadly form of skin cancer. The vaccine is showing positive results when combined with the therapy treatment known as Keytruda. 

Moderna and Merck will be presenting the current data they’ve collected over the past three years at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago. The newer data showed that around 75% of patients with deadly skin care who took the combination regimen were alive without any signs or symptoms of their cancer returning at the 2.5 year mark. 

Embed from Getty Images

55.6% of patients had the same results when they just received the Keytruda therapy alone. 

“That benefit was observed across different subgroups of patients, regardless of whether they had tumors with a large number of mutations or whether they had enough of a protein — called PD-L1 — that helps keep the body’s immune responses in check,” wrote Annika Constantino for CNBC

“The data reflects the potential for the shot to help treat a broad range of melanoma patients,” Dr. Kyle Holen, Moderna’s head of development, therapeutics and oncology, said.

Patients who took the vaccine with Keytruda showed an overall survival rate that hit 96% after 2.5 years, those who just took Keytruda had a rate of 90.2%. 

“Patients with severe forms of the cancer, known as melanoma, who received the combination were 49% less likely to die or have their cancer return than those who took Keytruda alone after roughly three years. The combination also slashed the risk of melanoma spreading to other parts of the body, or death, by 62%,” Constantino wrote

Embed from Getty Images

Fatigue, injection site pain, and chills were the most common side effects associated with the vaccine, and the majority of those side effects were mild, according to the data

The vaccine uses the same mRNA technology that Moderna utilized for their Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccine is custom-built utilizing the patient’s tumors after surgical removal. The shot is like many other vaccines in that it works to train the immune system to identify and attack specific mutations within cancer cells. 

“Moderna is excited about working to reduce the time between the initial analysis of a tumor and when a patient gets injected with the shot,” CEO Stephane Bancel said in an interview with CNBC.   

“Moderna also plans to file for accelerated approval with the FDA. The process allows for expedited approvals of drugs for serious conditions that fill an unmet medical need,” Bancel said. 

“Melanoma is responsible for the large majority of skin cancer deaths, and the rate of melanoma has increased rapidly over the past few decades” according to the American Cancer Society.

The organization states “about 100,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in the U.S. this year and nearly 8,000 people are expected to die from the disease.”

trial

Rapper Young Thug’s Trial Will Introduce Lyrics As A Form Of Evidence

A judge has stated that lyrics will be admissible as evidence in the trial of US rapper Young Thug, who’s currently being charged with racketeering and running what prosecutors call “a criminal street gang known as YSL (Young Slim Life or Young Stoner Life).

twitter

Elon Musk And Twitter To Face Off In Court For The First Time This Week

Lawyers for both Elon Musk and Twitter had their first chance to face off in court on Tuesday regarding whether or not the billionaire Tesla CEO should be forced to follow through with his $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform.

Gavel

Johnny Depp And Amber Heard Defamation Trial Continues: Social Media Blurs The Lines Between Fact And Fiction

Celebrity exes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are currently engrossed in a multimillion dollar defamation trial. Depp has sued Heard for $50 million on defamation charges after Heard implied Depp abused her during their marriage, leading to him losing work and social standing. Heard has also counter-sued for $100 million.

3 Police Officers Involved In Death Of George Floyd To Stand Trial This Week 

Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao are the three former police officers who helped Derek Chauvin restrain George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020.

Chauvin was recently convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, now, the three men are set to stand trial in a federal courtroom Monday for violating Floyd’s civil rights. 

The three former officers are charged with deprivation of rights under color of law for allegedly failing to give Floyd medical aid, according to the indictment. Thao and Keung are also being charged with failing to intervene when Chauvin was using unreasonable force as he kneeled on Floyd’s neck and back for over 9 minutes, leading to his death. 

Embed from Getty Images

Keung, Lane, and Thao have all pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. Chauvin admitted guilt back in December as part of a plea deal. A jury of five men and seven women have been chosen for the trial this week. 

20 months ago George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was handcuffed and pressed to the pavement lying on his stomach while former officer Chauvin applied pressure to the back of his neck and back with his knee. Floyd continuously pleaded with officers that he couldn’t breathe, calling out for his mother and gasping consistently for 9 minutes. 

The officers called for medical services but did not provide any actual aid to Floyd, who eventually fell unconscious and stopped breathing. He remained in that state while being taken to the hospital, where he later would pass away. 

Embed from Getty Images

The video of Floyd’s tragic passing went viral, sparking one of the largest social justice movements around the world. Ben Crump, the Floyd family’s attorney, recently made a statement regarding the difficulty the family is facing, constantly reliving this tragic moment. 

“This trial will be another painful experience for the Floyd family, who must once more relive his grueling death in excruciating detail. On behalf of the legal team and the family, we trust and expect that an impartial jury representative of the community will be seated to do this important work.”

This federal case is separate from the state charges for Floyd’s death, which Keung, Lane, and Thao are set to endure trial for in June. The state charges include aiding and abetting, with all three officers pleading not guilty. 

All four officers were fired due to the bystander video release of Floyd’s death, and were arrested and charged days later. Chauvin pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charged for violating Floyd’s rights during the arrest. 

Chauvin is currently facing a sentence of between 20 and 25 years in prison to be served during his current 22.5 year sentence on the state murder charges. 

Britney Spears Now Able To Hire Her Own Lawyer In Case To End Conservatorship

Britney Spears received an amazing victory in her battle to end the conservatorship that she’s been in for 13 years now. The pop star is now able to hire her own lawyer to help end the conservatorship which Spears herself has called “abusive.” 

The conservatorship currently gives Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, full control of her business, estate, finances, social outings, and personal affairs. He is currently the sole individual in charge of her $60 million estate. 

“You’re allowing my dad to ruin my life. I have to get rid of my dad and charge him with conservatorship abuse.” 

Embed from Getty Images

Spears spoke in front of the court via phone call in an emotional testimony filled with understandable rage and sadness. She claimed to have always been “extremely scared of [her] dad.” 

“I’m fed up with the multiple psychological evaluations and want the conservatorship brought to an end without another one. I’m not a perfect person, but my team’s goal is to make me feel like I’m crazy.” 

This marks the second time Spears has been able to address the courts herself since the conservatorship began. Last month she made headlines after calling the legal arrangement abusive and stupid in a passionate 20-minute testimonial. 

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny approved of former federal Mathew Rosengart to be Spears’s lawyer. Rosengart spoke to the media after this major announcement, claiming that he would be filing a petition to end the conservatorship and remove Jamie Spears as the conservator “as soon as possible.” 

Embed from Getty Images

“We will be filing a petition as soon as possible to move Mr Spears, subject to our formal retention. As I said in open court, a very fair question is: Why is Mr Spears not voluntarily stepping down? He does not belong in this conservatorship any more. And we believe he should voluntarily step down immediately,” Rosengart claimed. 

This has been a major win for Spear’s fans all around the world who have been advocating for her freedom from the conservatorship for years now. 

“This is not just about Britney alone. This is about every other person who is trapped in one of these, what I would call a prison,” said 34-year-old Patrick Thomas, head of the recently formed Free Britney America group, whose group is pushing for a congressional hearing and federal oversight of conservatorships.

As Thomas mentioned, Britney’s current situation has opened up a much larger conversation about abusive conservatorships in general, and the unfair control they give certain individuals.

Judge Gavel

Biden Administration Watching Derek Chauvin Trial Closely As Verdict Is Reached 

The Biden administration is keeping a close eye on the closing arguments and deliberations that occur in the Minneapolis trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. The President himself voiced his concerns over potential fallout from the trial during a private meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus. Vice President Kamala Harris has also been greatly discussing preparation tactics with certain aides. 

The US is currently dealing with a major wave of mass shootings as well as the country begins to reopen with the rollout of multiple Covid-19 vaccines. Additionally, the killing of 20-year-old Duante Wright and 13-year-old Adam Toledo at the hands of the police also have racial tensions at an all time high, as both incidents occurred within two weeks of each other. 

Embed from Getty Images

According to CNN, “the whipsaw of events, along with near-daily episodes of major shootings across the country, have only heightened pressure on both the President and Congress to hold police accountable for misconduct, a challenge now playing out against the backdrop of new calls for gun legislation.”

“The bully pulpit is more than just a bully pulpit. I think the President can help set a tone in the country, there is no question in my mind,” said Representative James Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat who is the highest-ranking African American member of Congress.

In terms of the Chauvin trial, representative Karen Bass of California expressed how she’s “very worried” for the potential unrest the nation will endure within the next week.  “I don’t think anyone in Minneapolis, frankly, anyone in the United States or over a good part of the world would understand any other verdict other than guilty.”

Embed from Getty Images

Harris recently spoke in an interview as well on the trial: “Certainly, we want to make sure that the American people call for justice — we all want to know that those calls are met. And we need to all be aware that when those calls for justice are not met, people rightly express their First Amendment right to speak out, to assemble and to express their concern, their pain, their disappointment — as long as it’s peaceful protests.”

According to advisers, “Biden wants neither to replicate the heavily militarized response to protests under former President Donald Trump nor to appear absent in the face of violence or unrest directed at law enforcement, one official said. He also believes he must directly acknowledge the systemic racism that pervades criminal justice in America.”

Biden has put his support behind the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which is a bill that would establish a national registry of all police misconduct, ban racial/religious profiling by law enforcement, and overhaul the system that grants police officers qualified immunity from certain crimes. 

America is patiently awaiting the results of the Derek Chauvin trial in what’s being viewed as one of the biggest trials in history when it comes to racial inequality in this country.

Congress Questions Tech CEOs Over Role In Capitol Riot

Sundar Pichai of Google, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and Jack Dorsey of Twitter all testified before two committees of the House of Representatives on “social media’s role in promoting extremism and the rampant spreading of misinformation” regarding the pandemic, Covid-19 vaccine, and election process.

Derek Chauvin Set To Go On Trial For The Murder Of George Floyd This Week 

The murder trial of Derek Chauvin will begin this week in Minneapolis. Chauvin is charged with the second-and-third-degree murder of George Floyd as well as manslaughter after he detained Floyd over suspicion of passing a $20 counterfeit bill last May. 

In a viral 9-minute video of the interaction between Chauvin and Floyd, the former officer can be seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck while he was already handcuffed and two other officers kept him on the ground. Floyd can be heard multiple times saying that he couldn’t breath and felt like he was about to die. The video then led to some of the biggest protests against racial injustice and police brutality since the 1960s.

In Minneapolis especially, the Black Lives Matter movement began with hundreds of peaceful protests which eventually were turned violent, many times due to police interference. The authorities claim to be planning on increasing the amount of police and national guard presence on the streets ahead of the trial this week. 

Embed from Getty Images

Areva Martin is the Civil rights attorney and commentator who is working with Floyd’s family. Martin recently spoke to the press ahead of the trial this week to discuss how “the family is seeking justice, the public is seeking accountability.”

The world is waiting to see if the US will be courageous enough to stand up to a system that has a history of violating the rights of African Americans and, rather than protecting those lives, has actually destroyed them.”

The prosecution and defence are mainly concerned with the cause of Floyd’s death and Chauvin’s reasoning for why he felt he had to lean into Floyd’s neck for such an extended period time when he was already detained. 

In an autopsy performed by the Hennepin county medical examiner office, it was determined that Floyd’s death was a homicide due to the fact that he suffered from heart failure brought on by “law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” 

Embed from Getty Images

It’s expected that Chauvin’s defence team will focus on the findings that Floyd had heart disease as well, and there was evidence of “fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use,” in his system. Floyd’s team, on the other hand, is expected to focus on the fact that Chauvin had a long history of using excessive force in the past, including multiple incidents of kneeling on people throughout his career. 

After Floyd’s death, Chauvin was fired and arrested, and this marks the beginning of what is likely to be one of the most closely watched court cases in modern history. 

“George Floyd wasn’t the first person to be killed by police on this block, but [in the past] media wasn’t the way that it is and a lot of it got swept under the rug … How do we prevent this from happening? That could be my son. I have two sons,” said Mileesha Smith, a Minneapolis community member who was present at a vigil held this weekend ahead of the trial. 

If Chauvin is charged to the fullest extent, he could face a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Social Media Apps on iPhone

CEO’s Of Google, Facebook, And Twitter To Testify In Front Of Congress On Misinformation

This marks the first time the chief executives of Facebook, Google, and Twitter will be appearing before lawmakers since the Capitol riots and Covid-19 vaccine distributions.