Category Archives: Community News

#NeverAgain: Students Across USA Protest Gun Violence

Out of the mouth of babes come the words that will make a difference.  School shootings are finally being taken seriously by lawmakers who have turned a deaf ear on the urgent need for changes in gun control laws and have favored the gun lobby over our children’s safety.  As students protested across America, all the way to the White House sitting before President Trump, we now seem to have the attention of lawmakers.  It is sad that it took these many deaths to get their attention.  Our heart and prayers go out to the families who lost their beloved children.

UC TRN Networks


Compliments of ABC News, By Collin Binkley, Associated Press

GunsWarDeath

In a wave of demonstrations reaching from Arizona to Maine, students at dozens of U.S. high schools walked out of class Wednesday to protest gun violence and honor the victims of last week’s deadly shooting in Florida.

The protests spread from school to school as students shared plans for their demonstrations over social media. Many lasted 17 minutes in honor of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Hundreds of students from Maryland schools left class to rally at the U.S. Capitol. Hundreds more filed out of their schools in cities from Chicago to Pittsburgh to Austin, Texas, often at the lunch hour. Thousands walked out in Florida.

At the protest in Washington, students held a moment of silence in memory of those killed in Parkland and listened as the names of the dead were recited. Daniel Gelillo, a senior at Richard Montgomery High in Rockville, Maryland, helped organize the protest and said students aimed to pressure lawmakers to act on gun control.

Up until now, he said, nothing has quite fazed them.

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New Cancer Vaccine Has 100% Cure Rate In Mice

By: Stanford Medical Center

Injecting minute amounts of two immune-stimulating agents directly into solid tumors in mice can eliminate all traces of cancer in the animals, including distant, untreated metastases, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine

The approach works for many different types of cancers, including those that arise spontaneously, the study found.

The researchers believe the local application of very small amounts of the agents could serve as a rapid and relatively inexpensive cancer therapy that is unlikely to cause the adverse side effects often seen with bodywide immune stimulation.

“When we use these two agents together, we see the elimination of tumors all over the body,” said Ronald Levy, MD, professor of oncology. “This approach bypasses the need to identify tumor-specific immune targets and doesn’t require wholesale activation of the immune system or customization of a patient’s immune cells.”

One agent is currently already approved for use in humans; the other has been tested for human use in several unrelated clinical trials. A clinical trial was launched in January to test the effect of the treatment in patients with lymphoma.

Levy, who holds the Robert K. and Helen K. Summy Professorship in the School of Medicine, is the senior author of the study, which was published Jan. 31 in Science Translational Medicine. Instructor of medicine Idit Sagiv-Barfi, PhD, is the lead author.

‘Amazing, bodywide effects’

Levy is a pioneer in the field of cancer immunotherapy, in which researchers try to harness the immune system to combat cancer. Research in his laboratory led to the development of rituximab, one of the first monoclonal antibodies approved for use as an anticancer treatment in humans.

Some immunotherapy approaches rely on stimulating the immune system throughout the body. Others target naturally occurring checkpoints that limit the anti-cancer activity of immune cells. Still others, like the CAR T-cell therapy recently approved to treat some types of leukemia and lymphomas, require a patient’s immune cells to be removed from the body and genetically engineered to attack the tumor cells. Many of these approaches have been successful, but they each have downsides — from difficult-to-handle side effects to high-cost and lengthy preparation or treatment times.

“All of these immunotherapy advances are changing medical practice,” Levy said. “Our approach uses a one-time application of very small amounts of two agents to stimulate the immune cells only within the tumor itself. In the mice, we saw amazing, bodywide effects, including the elimination of tumors all over the animal.”

Cancers often exist in a strange kind of limbo with regard to the immune system. Immune cells like T cells recognize the abnormal proteins often present on cancer cells and infiltrate to attack the tumor. However, as the tumor grows, it often devises ways to suppress the activity of the T cells.

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Trump’s Racism Strikes Again Calling Africa A Sh*t hole

By: Cara Ana

Africans were shocked on Friday to find President Donald Trump had finally taken an interest in their continent. But it wasn’t what people had hoped for.

Using vulgar language, Trump on Thursday questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway in rejecting a bipartisan immigration deal. On Friday he denied using that language.

The African Union continental body told The Associated Press it was “frankly alarmed” by Trump’s comments.

“Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice,” AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo said.

Some African governments found themselves in an awkward position. As top recipients of U.S. aid, some hesitated to jeopardize it by criticizing Trump, especially as his administration has sought to slash foreign assistance.

“Unless it was specifically said about South Sudan, we have nothing to say,” South Sudan government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told the AP.

But Botswana’s government called Trump’s comment “reprehensible and racist,” saying the U.S. ambassador had been summoned to clarify whether the country was regarded so poorly after years of cordial relations. Senegal’s President Macky Sall said he was shocked and that “Africa and the black race merit the respect and consideration of all.”

Both nations have been praised by the U.S. government as stable democracies in the region.

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress called Trump’s comments “extremely offensive,” while opposition leader Mmusi Maimane said “the hatred of Obama’s roots now extends to an entire continent.” Uganda’s state minister for international relations, Henry Okello Oryem, called the remarks “unfortunate and regrettable” and hoped that heads of state will reply at an African Union summit later this month.

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Bill Gates Claims Cancer Will Be A Thing Of The Past

By: Chris Weller of Business Insider

Bill Gates is betting big that certain cancer therapies, if manufactured correctly, could help “control all infectious disease.”

Gates, cochair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, made the announcement during his keynote address at the recent JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.

“This would be a huge victory for humanity – and potentially a significant market for the life sciences,” Gates said, referring to the prospect of broadly effective immunotherapies.

Since stepping down from his post as Microsoft CEO in 2006, he and his wife Melinda have dedicated their lives to reducing poverty around the world. Infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis remain the top enemies.

The Gates Foundation has spent billions of dollars in grant money to this end, funding companies that research and manufacture disease therapies. In his recent keynote remarks, Gates mentioned a handful of deserving companies that could pave the way for controlling infectious disease.

One of the Gateses’ investments is the company Immunocore, which developed technology that stimulates patients’ immune system. The technology relies on the body’s own immune cells (known as T-cells), essentially reprogramming them, and using them to fight the cancer in a way that is personalized to the patient.

“Initially, Immunocore’s ‘T-cell receptor’ technology targeted cancers, but it could also be applied against infectious diseases,” Gates said.

The Gates Foundation has also taken an interest in gene therapies using a component of the human body known as messenger RNA, or mRNA. Modifying these molecules and injecting them back into the body can produce a stronger immune response. In his address, Gates pointed out that such vaccines would be cheaper, easier, and faster to make than traditional vaccines.

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Think Before Buying Your Next Squished Face Puppy

By: Nicola Davis Of The Guardian

Vets have urged dog-lovers to think twice about buying squashed-faced dogs such as pugs and French bulldogs, after many would-be owners were found to be unaware of the health problems such breeds often experience.

According to data from the Kennel Club, registrations of squashed-faced, or brachycephalic, breeds have shot up in recent years: while just 692 French bulldogs were registered in 2007, registrations reached 21,470 in 2016.

Certain DNA variations in dogs are linked to a short skull shape. The animals’ baby-like faces with large, round, wide-set eyes and flat noses are known to be a key factor in why owners choose such breeds: over time those traits have been bred for, and in some cases have been taken to extremes.

This selective breeding and prioritising appearance over health has left the breeds prone to skin disorders, eye ulcers and breathing difficulties among other problems.

Now the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has launched a campaign dubbed #breedtobreathe to draw attention to the issues, revealing that a new survey of 671 vets found 75% of owners were unaware of the health problems of brachycephalic breeds before they chose their squashed-faced dog. Moreover the vets said just 10% of owners could spot health problems related to such breeds, with many thinking that problems including snorting were “normal” for such dogs.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch Stirs Up UFO Claims In SoCal

Just what was that weird object in the sky seen from Southern California to Arizona on December 22, 2017???  Here is the story explained by the DailyMail.com with time-lapsed video from Elon Musk of SpaceX :

By Associated Press and Joe Pinkstone For Mailonline and Tracey Wright For Dailymail.com and Ariel Zilber For Dailymail.com

SpaceX_Falcon9_Launch_Startles_Residents_of_Southern_California_and_Arizona

So that’s what it was! Incredible time-lapse footage shows Elon Musk’s Space X rocket blasting off for the last time this year after causing 911 calls and a Twitter frenzy because it was thought to be an ALIEN UFO

  • Residents of Southern California and Arizona were startled just after dusk last week 
  • A strange white light which later turned out to be a SpaceX rocket launch appeared in the sky 
  • The streak of white light would create what turned out to be a fish-shaped pattern, prompting locals to speculate on social media as to what it was 
  • Local television stations as well as law enforcement agencies received a number of telephone calls
  • They were eventually told that what it was a rocket launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California
  • Incredible time-lapse footage has emerged showing the spectacular event in incredible detail from a photographer in Yuma, Arizona

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So many people thought this was an Alien visit from outer space and Elon Musk’s joking Tweet referring to it as a “nuclear alien UFO from North Korea” didn’t help reduce the anxiety.

SpaceX_Falcon9_NightView122217

ELON MUSK’S PLANS

SpaceX plans its first trip to the red planet in 2022, carrying only cargo, to be followed by a manned mission in 2024 and Musk said he would ‘cannibalise’ SpaceX’s other products to pay for it.

Musk said he plans to replace SpaceX’s other vehicles – Falcon 9, Falcon 9 Heavy rockets and Dragon capsule.

Instead of operating lots of smaller spacecrafts to deliver satellites, the BFR would complete all missions.

The rocket would be partially reusable and capable of flight directly from Earth to Mars, could still carry 100 passengers, and could also be used for fast transport on Earth, Musk said.

CHECK OUT THE SPACEX  LAUNCH PLANS AND SCHEDULES

MORE COVERAGE ON SPACE EXPLORATION IS ON THE SPACEFLIGHTNOW.COM WEB SITE THAT ALSO COVERED THE SPACEX ROCKET LAUNCH.

 

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F.C.C. Repeals Net Neutrality

By: Cecilia Kang

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to dismantle landmark rules regulating the businesses that connect consumers to the internet, granting broadband companies power to potentially reshape Americans’ online experiences.

The agency scrapped so-called net neutrality regulations that prohibited broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service or certain content. The federal government will also no longer regulate high-speed internet delivery as if it were a utility, like phone services.

The action reversed the agency’s 2015 decision, during the Obama administration, to better protect Americans as they have migrated to the internet for most communications.

Ajit Pai, the chairman of the commission, said the rollback of the rules would eventually help consumers because broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast could offer people a wider variety of service options. Mr. Pai was joined in the 3-to-2 vote by his two fellow Republican commissioners.

“We are helping consumers and promoting competition,” Mr. Pai said in a speech before the vote. “Broadband providers will have more incentive to build networks, especially to underserved areas.”

The discarding of net neutrality regulations is the most significant and controversial action by the F.C.C. under Mr. Pai. In his first 11 months as chairman, he has lifted media ownership limits, eased caps on how much broadband providers can charge business customers and cut back on a low-income broadband program that was slated to be expanded to nationwide carriers.

His plan, first outlined early this year, set off a flurry of opposition. Critics of the changes say consumers may have more difficulty finding content online and that start-ups will have to pay to reach consumers. In the last week, there have been hundreds of protests across the country, and many websites have encouraged users to speak up against the repeal. Some groups have said they planned to file a lawsuit challenging the change.

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Terrorist Attempt In New York

By: The BBC

“Terrorists won’t win,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said after a blast at the Port Authority terminal in Manhattan during the morning rush hour on Monday.

The suspect, Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant, was injured by a “low-tech explosive device” strapped to his body, officials say.

Three other people suffered minor wounds when it blew up in an underpass.

A photo circulating on social media shows a man, said to be Akayed Ullah, lying on the ground with his clothes ripped and lacerations on his upper body.

Mayor De Blasio said he was believed to have acted alone.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said: “This is New York. The reality is that we are a target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy, against freedom.

“We have the Statue of Liberty in our harbour and that makes us an international target.”

The explosion occurred at about 07:30 (12:30 GMT). Andre Rodriguez, 62, told the New York Times: “I was going through the turnstile. It sounded like an explosion, and everybody started running.”

Another eyewitness, Alicja Wlodkowski, told Reuters news agency that she had seen a group of about 60 people running. “A woman fell. And nobody even went to stop and help her because the panic was so scary,” she said.

Nearby subway stations were evacuated, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal temporarily shut.

It is the biggest and busiest bus terminal in the world, serving more than 65 million people a year.

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State of Emergency Declared In California Firestorms

Thousands of families have been impacted and displaced in the disastrous California Firestorms.  Mayor Garcetti (Local), then Governor Brown (State), and now President Trump (National) have all officially declared the State of Emergency for the California Wildfires disaster.  Assistance to help families up to the Federal level will be made available with these official declarations.  Information about how to apply for disaster assistance and emergency resources is available on the FEMA Disaster Assistance Website.

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Time Awards Hollywood Whistleblowers As Person of The Year

By: BY STEPHANIE ZACHAREK, ELIANA DOCKTERMAN AND HALEY SWEETLAND EDWARDS of Time

Movie stars are supposedly nothing like you and me. They’re svelte, glamorous, self-­possessed. They wear dresses we can’t afford and live in houses we can only dream of. Yet it turns out that—in the most painful and personal ways—movie stars are more like you and me than we ever knew.

In 1997, just before Ashley Judd’s career took off, she was invited to a meeting with Harvey Weinstein, head of the starmaking studio Miramax, at a Beverly Hills hotel. Astounded and offended by Weinstein’s attempt to coerce her into bed, Judd managed to escape. But instead of keeping quiet about the kind of encounter that could easily shame a woman into silence, she began spreading the word.

“I started talking about Harvey the minute that it happened,” Judd says in an interview with TIME. “Literally, I exited that hotel room at the Peninsula Hotel in 1997 and came straight downstairs to the lobby, where my dad was waiting for me, because he happened to be in Los Angeles from Kentucky, visiting me on the set. And he could tell by my face—to use his words—that something devastating had happened to me. I told him. I told everyone.”

She recalls one screenwriter friend telling her that Weinstein’s behavior was an open secret passed around on the whisper network that had been furrowing through Hollywood for years. It allowed for people to warn others to some degree, but there was no route to stop the abuse. “Were we supposed to call some fantasy attorney general of moviedom?” Judd asks. “There wasn’t a place for us to report these experiences.”

Finally, in October—when Judd went on the record about Weinstein’s behavior in the New York Times, the first star to do so—the world listened. (Weinstein said he “never laid a glove” on Judd and denies having had nonconsensual sex with other accusers.)

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