- NewsThe Independent
A lower caste woman was allegedly gang-raped and killed by four upper caste men in a case that has shocked India
- HealthThe Telegraph
Dangerously ill coronavirus patients are making "startling recoveries" in spite of being at "death's door" after being given drugs that dial down the immune system, experts have said. Trials are taking place of several drugs that prevent a part of the immune system called the complement system from becoming over-activated. The drug furthest along in trials, ravulizumab, is already used to treat rare blood diseases and is being tested at hospitals in Cambridge, London, Birmingham and Leeds. The drugs are known as "anti-C5" drugs because they prevent a molecule called C5 from triggering the complement-system response. Speaking at a coronavirus briefing on Thursday, Professor Paul Morgan, the director of the Systems Immunity Research Institute at Cardiff University, said the drugs were providing a lifeline for patients who were near death. He said: "Switching off C5 can have a big effect. We and others have used anti-C5 blocking agents in small scales on very severe Covid patients with very promising results. "These were people who had reached the stage where there was no further therapy for them; they were on ventilators, and really at death's door ... [some] have made startling recoveries. "Of course these are small numbers, but these drugs are now in large scale clinical trials and we want to see the outcomes of those in the too distant future." The complement system helps clear away harmful cells and triggers the production of immune cells known as cytokines which can cause inflammation. However, when in overdrive it begins attacking the body itself and is thought to play a role in many autoimmune diseases, including asthma, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. It is also the response that causes sepsis. In the early stages of the disease, Covid-19 is believed to switch off the body's ability to make the anti-viral proteins called interferons. It is the reason patients do not feel unwell even when they have a lot of virus in the body. Although anti-viral drugs such as remdesivir have not proved as successful as hoped in trials, it is possible they may work earlier in the illness to stop the immune system from overloading. Paul Lehner, professor of immunology and medicine at the University of Cambridge, said it was crucial to try and treat the disease before the dangerous immune storm had happened. "We have to get better at asymptotic screening and we need to treat those at risk early," he said. "We are identifying now, I think, good and better inhaled antiviral agents. We've got to learn how to treat early to avoid the severe stage disease. Inhaled interferons or remdesivir may be effective in the early stage." Professor Sir Stephen O'Rahilly, the director of the MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit at the University of Cambridge, also said people could help themselves by losing weight. Sir Stephen, who caught coronavirus in the spring, believes he only survived because he had lost 13 pounds in the preceding months and said: "Even a small amount of weight loss can be beneficial. Walk a mile, lose a pound. Even a modest degree of calorific restriction in a matter of days can start to shift fat in the organs even before body weight reduces. "We might be able to accelerate this with diabetes drugs, using them in people who don't have diabetes, to improve insulin sensitivity."
- PoliticsThe Telegraph
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani caught in compromising position with young actress in Borat film 'gotcha'
Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and former New York mayor, has been caught in a compromising situation with a young actress while unsuspectingly being filmed for the latest Borat film. Mr Giuliani was invited to a hotel in Manhattan in July by a member of comedian and director Sacha Baron Cohen’s team posing as a Russian reporter who said she wanted to talk about the president’s coronavirus handling. The journalist, played by Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, 24, starts off by discussing the virus and where it might have started with Mr Giuliani, 76. “Not with a bat,” Mr Giuliani says. “Have you ever eaten a bat?” he asks the reporter, who gets him to agree to try one. She tells him she is nervous, to which he replies: “I’ll relax you, you want me to ask you a question?” After they stop filming, she then invites the two-term mayor into the bedroom next door for a drink.
A man was filmed smashing wine and liquor bottles at a Tesco store in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland, on October 21, local reports said.“A very sad day watching all the whiskey and wine gone to waste,” wrote Martin Quinn, who took this video.According to Quinn, the incident happened late morning on Wednesday.Reports said the police were investigating, and while it was unknown what provoked the man, but he “was not wearing a mask and it is though [sic] that he became upset when asked to do so.”Local reports said the man refused bail terms, which included staying away from all Tesco locations in the country and remaining sober, and was set to appear in court on October 23. A judge directed that the man receive a psychiatric evaluation, the report said. Credit: Martin Quinn via Storyful