- 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."
- NewsThe Independent
A lower caste woman was allegedly gang-raped and killed by four upper caste men in a case that has shocked India
- NewsEvening Standard
Nadine Dorries told MPs she is "no longer immune" to coronavirus as she rejected the notion that there can be herd immunity without a vaccine.The health minister, 62, was the first MP to be diagnosed with Covid-19 in March.
- 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.
- PoliticsThe Daily Beast
Over the past couple days, President Donald Trump has been repeatedly threatening to release his entire, unedited interview with 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl before an edited version airs on this coming Sunday’s episode. Well, he finally did it and it may have the exact opposite effect he was hoping for.“Look at the bias, hatred and rudeness on behalf of 60 Minutes and CBS,” Trump posted on Facebook the morning of his final debate with Joe Biden. He then added, for good measure, “Tonight’s anchor, Kristen Welker, is far worse!”But what anyone who watches all 38 minutes will see is that the president spent the bulk of his time openly whining about how “tough” the questions were while refusing to actually answer any of them in a coherent manner.In the first few seconds, Stahl, who has been with 60 Minutes for close to three decades, calmly asks Trump if he’s ready for some “tough questions.”“No, I’m not,” he replies glumly.“You’re not OK with tough questions?” Stahl laughs in response, seeming to think at first that he might be joking.Instead, the president immediately starts accusing her of bias, saying, “You don’t ask Biden tough questions. It’s terrible.” On multiple occasions, she has to remind him that she’s not the one interviewing Biden and Kamala Harris for the same episode.Her first “tough” question? “Why do you want to be president again?”Again and again, Trump declines to say what he would do in a second term and instead boasts about the “great job” he’s done in his first. Asked what his “biggest domestic priority” is, Trump instead claims he “created the greatest economy in the history of our country.” Stahl shoots back, “You know that’s not true!”There is a deep defensiveness on Trump’s part throughout, including when Stahl suggests his rallies aren’t as big as they used to be due to the pandemic. “You’re so negative!” he tells her. “You come in with this negative attitude.”Ultimately, Trump reaches a breaking point when Stahl pushes back on the unsubstantiated allegations surrounding Hunter Biden. “It’s never been verified!” she tells him. Later, Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller confirmed that one of the reasons they released the full video is so that viewers could see Trump rant about Biden’s supposed “foreign corruption.”> This is one of the reasons we taped the interview. We knew there was zero chance 60 Minutes would air a discussion on Joe Biden’s foreign corruption. https://t.co/wFVpdoLudN> > — Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) October 22, 2020Sensing his frustration, Stahl tells him that she didn’t want their interview to get so contentious.“Yes, you did,” Trump replies, reminding her that she told him she was going to ask some “tough questions.”“You’re the president,” Stahl says in response. “Don’t you think you should be accountable to the American people?”Trump claims he doesn’t “mind” tough questions. “But when you set up the interview, you didn’t say that,” he adds. “You said, ‘Oh, let’s have a lovely interview.’”The president is openly admitting that he expected friendly treatment from a news program well known for its serious investigative journalism.As he continues to whine about the media asking Biden “softball” questions, a White House aide interrupts with a five-minute warning before a scheduled “walk-and-talk” interview with both Trump and Vice President Pence. “Well, I think we have enough,” Trump tells his staff. “I think we have enough of an interview. That’s enough, let’s go.”President Trump posted the full interview with the expectation that it will reflect more favorably on him than the edited version set to air this Sunday. It’s unclear at this point how that’s possible.After Trump released the video, CBS released the following statement that accused the administration of violating its agreement with the network:“The White House’s unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement with CBS News and release their footage will not deter 60 MINUTES from providing its full, fair and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades. 60 MINUTES, the most-watched news program on television, is widely respected for bringing its hallmark fairness, deep reporting and informative context to viewers each week. Few journalists have the presidential interview experience Lesley Stahl has delivered over her decades as one of the premier correspondents in America and we look forward to audiences seeing her third interview with President Trump and subsequent interview with Vice President Pence this weekend.”How Rudy Giuliani Got Caught Red-Handed With Borat’s DaughterRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- PoliticsYahoo News Canada
Throwing 'shade' at Trump: Former White House photographer Pete Souza says president doesn't have an 'ounce of empathy or compassion'
In advance of the U.S. presidential election in November, a new film The Way I See It spotlights former White House chief photographer Pete Souza as he reflects on both the Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan presidencies, and how they differ from Donald Trump.At the core of the film directed by Dawn Porter, which was part of the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), is how respect for the office of the president and empathy for the people of America is critically important for anyone in that role. The message comes across by looking back at some of the most impactful and interesting photographs taken throughout Souza’s career at the White House.“I want people to think about what kind of person, what kind of human being do we want in the office of the presidency,” Souza told Yahoo Canada. “Do we want somebody who’s confident, respectful, dignified, ethical, moral or do we want somebody who’s a liar, who bullies people, who thinks the presidency is about him.”“Those are the two choices between the current president and Joe Biden, because Joe Biden has those same leadership qualities and human qualities as Barack Obama and Donald Trump has none of them.”Throwing ‘shade’ at TrumpSouza, who has photographed arguably the most notable Democratic and Republican presidents in U.S. history (although he had significantly more access to Obama), never sought out being featured in a documentary. He got the attention of Laura Dern and her production company’s team, who ended up attending one of Souza’s book talks and eventually convincing him to participate.The legendary photographer mostly kept his political opinions to himself but when Trump became U.S. president, he had to speak up and call out the behaviour and rhetoric he disagreed with. Souza started getting attention on social media when he began making using his images of Obama to compare the two presidents on Instagram, eventually collecting them into a book call “Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents.”While the “shade” is addressed throughout the film, it also shows that stark contrast between the photographs taken of Trump versus Obama. Authentic, emotional and humanizing moments that were able to be captured by Souza seemingly do not exist of President Trump.“I don’t know that they exist,” Souza said. “The one time we saw him supposedly consoling families was after those two mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, and they virtually showed all the video footage behind the scenes, that was all about him wanting to be treated like a rock star, he didn’t really console anybody.”“He just doesn’t have an ounce of empathy or compassion inside of him, that’s not who he is, everything’s about himself, it’s not about other people. I don’t know that those images exist because that’s not the kind of human being he is.”The importance of the still image for historyIf anyone was at all doubting the power of a still image, The Way I See It showcases the undeniable way Souza’s images, of both joyous and upsetting moments, can instantly impact your emotions.Some of the many notable images of Obama include the former U.S. president and officials in the situation room during the Bin Laden raid, five-year-old Jacob Philadelphia touching Obama’s hair in the Oval Office, and several touching images of Obama with his daughters and wife, Michelle. Souza released another book titled “Obama: An Intimate Portrait,” a visual biography of the Obama presidency.“[The still image] can evoke emotion in a more visceral way than video,” Souza explains “Everybody brings their own background and prejudices when looking at a still image, but at the same time it is a universal language and I think people can relate to an image and know that it's authentic, as soon as they see it.”Not only are these images beautiful but they also shape history, capturing moments in time for future generations to see, be informed and learn from.Moving forward, if Biden becomes the next U.S. president after the November election, Souza does plan to call Biden and “remind him that the job of the official White House photographer is to document the presidency for history.”“In order to do that, he needs to give his photographer the kind of access that I had with President Obama,” Souza said. “The Biden administration can make a determination on whether those images are made public or not, but for history, he's got to make sure that his photographer has access, and I have no doubt that Biden will understand that.”