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US FDA Authorizes Use Of Blood Plasma To Treat Coronavirus

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US FDA Authorizes Use Of Blood Plasma To Treat Coronavirus

Just 24 hours after the United States president Donald Trump accused the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of impeding the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics for political reasons, the health agency has on Sunday authorized the use of blood plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 as a treatment for the disease.

The FDA said early evidence suggests blood plasma can decrease mortality and improve the health of patients when administered in the first three days of their hospitalization. It was not immediately clear what the immediate effect of the decision would be.

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Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Peter Marks said on a conference call with reporters that “it appeared that the product is safe and we’re comfortable with that and we continue to see no concerning safety signals.”

The agency also said it determined it was a safe approach in an analysis of 20,000 patients who received the treatment, adding that so far, 70,000 patients have been treated using blood plasma.

Moreover, there have been allegations surrounding the announcement of the so-called “emergency use authorization” by FDA, after the president Trump had a day earlier tagged the agency’s Commissioner Stephen Hahn in a tweet saying, “the deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics.”

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Trump added that “owbviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!”

Reacting to this, FDA Director Stephen Hahn said Trump had not spoken to him or the agency and did not play a role in its decision to make the announcement on Sunday.

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With no conclusive evidence of the treatment’s benefits, some health experts were sceptical.

According to data by Johns Hopkins University, more than 23.4 million persons have been diagnosed with Coronavirus globally while more than 800,000 have died and 15 million have recovered.

The US has the highest number of infections and fatalities having recorded more than 5.7 million cases and 176,809 deaths.

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North Korea Apologizes For ‘Unfortunate’ Killing Of South Korean Official

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North Korea Apologizes For 'Unfortunate' Killing Of South Korean Official

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has apologized for the killing of a South Korean official, an incident which could have been a disaster for any hopes of rekindling talks between the South and the North.

According to a report by Yonhap news agency on Friday Kim reportedly told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in that the “disgraceful affair” should not have happened.

Earlier on Monday, a South Korean fisheries official disappeared from a fisheries patrol boat when it was about 10km (six miles) south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a disputed line of military control that acts as the de facto maritime boundary between the two Koreas.

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On Thursday, South Korea said on Thursday the 47-year-old man had been shot dead by North Korean troops and his body burned.

In a message to Seoul, Kim said he felt “very sorry” for “disappointing” South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

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News agency reported that the North said it had conducted its own investigation into the incident and found that soldiers near its western sea border had fired at least 10 shots at the South Korean. The border between the Koreas is tightly policed, and the North is thought to have a “shoot-to-kill” policy in place to prevent coronavirus from entering the country.

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However, the North insisted that it had not burned the man’s body but rather the “floating material” that was carrying him.

Also, some experts were skeptical of claims that the man had been trying to defect to a country that has seen more than 30,000 North Koreans fleeing to South Korea in the past two decades, defections from South to North are rare.

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Belarus: Mass Protests After Lukashenko Secretly Sworn In

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Belarus: Mass Protests After Lukashenko Secretly Sworn In

Mass street protests have continued in Belarus’s capital of Minsk, after the unannounced swearing in of president Alexander Lukashenko.

There were reports of beatings and detentions by police, and video footage showed water cannon being used.

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Lukashenko was secretly sworn in for a sixth term, with only a few hundred supporters in attendance. Opposition members call the ceremony, quote: “thieves’ meeting”.

The opposition says last month’s poll was rigged in Lukashenko’s favour.

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Belarus electoral commission announced Lukashenko won more than 80% of the vote, triggering weeks of mass protests across the country.

Several EU countries and the us say they do not recognize Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus.

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Two Louisville Police Officers Shot And Injured Amid Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death

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Two Louisville Police Officers Shot

Protesters took to the streets of Louisville, Kentucky expressing anger hours after a grand jury brought no charges against Louisville police for killing Breonna Taylor.

Authorities confirmed two officers were shot and wounded during the demonstrations over police killings of black people.

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Interim Louisville police chief, Robert Schroeder, said a suspect was in custody but did not offer details on whether that person was participating in the demonstrations. He said both officers are expected to recover.

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The violence comes after prosecutors said two officers who fired their weapons at Taylor, a black woman, were justified in using force to protect themselves after they faced gunfire from her boyfriend.

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The only charges were three counts of wanton endangerment against fired officer Brett Hankison for shooting into a home next to Taylor’s with people inside.

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