AFP/File / by Danny Kemp | A picture taken on September 29, 2015 shows the new twitter account of former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden
AFP | Migrants and refugees cross the Croatian-Hungarian border in the village of Baranjsko Petrovo Selo, near the North-Eastern Croatian town of Beli Manastir, on October 4, 2015
A British man could become the first person in the world to be cured of HIV using a new therapy designed by a team of scientists from five United Kingdom universities.
The unnamed 44-year-old is the first of 50 people to complete a trial of the ambitious treatment, designed by scientists and doctors from five of Britain’s leading universities.
The Managing Director of the National Institute for Health Research Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure, UK, Mark Samuels, said the treatment was the first therapy created to have tracked down and destroyed HIV in every part of the body, including in the dormant cells that evade current treatments.
The scientists told The Sunday Times of London that presently “the virus is completely undetectable in the man’s blood, although that could be as a result of regular drugs.”
However, if the dormant cells are also cleared out it could represent the first complete cure.
Samuels said, “This is one of the first serious attempts at a full cure for HIV. We are exploring the real possibility of curing HIV. This is a huge challenge and it’s still early days but the progress has been remarkable.”
The trial is being undertaken by researchers from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, London, University College, London and King’s College, London.
HIV is so difficult to treat because it targets the immune system, splicing itself into the DNA of T-cells so that they not only ignore the disease, but turn into viral factories which reproduce the virus.
Current treatments, called anti-retroviral therapies, target that process but they cannot spot dormant infected T-cells.
The new therapy works in two stages. Firstly, a vaccine helps the body to recognise the HIV-infected cells so it can clear them out. Secondly, a new drug called Vorinostat activates the dormant T-cells so they can be spotted by the immune system.
A consultant physician at Imperial College, London, Prof. Sarah Fidler, said the new therapy was specifically designed to clear the body of all HIV viruses, including dormant ones.
Fidler said, “It has worked in the laboratory and there is good evidence it will work in humans too, but we must stress we are still a long way from any actual therapy.
“We will continue with medical tests for the next five years and at the moment we are not recommending stopping ART but in the future, depending on the test results, we may explore this.”
Only one person has ever been cured of HIV. He is Timothy Brown, also known as the ‘second’ Berlin patient, who received a stem cell transplant from a patient with natural immunity to HIV in 2008.
The mayor of the northern French port of Calais on Monday failed in her bid to halt construction of a wall aimed at stopping migrants from reaching Britain.
Calais Mayor Natacha Bouchart, who pledged on September 23 to use "all legal weapons in my possession" to fight the controversial barrier, filed an injunction to halt work on the wall.
The mayor argued, "Calais residents are fed up with seeing barriers and barbed wire everywhere. They feel completely hemmed in."
But the local administration immediately overruled the move, allowing the work, which began on September 20, to continue.
The British-funded wall, which will be one kilometre (half-a-mile) long and four metres (13 feet) high, will pass within a few hundred metres of the sprawling migrant camp known as the "Jungle", which holds between 7,000 and 10,000 people. The camp has come to epitomise the European migrant crisis.
The centre-right mayor, who initially favoured a wall, also said there was now no need for it because French President François Hollande had said the sprawling "Jungle" camp must be "completely dismantled... before winter” during a visit to Calais in September.
British truckers association opposes the wall
Most of the migrants -- mainly from Sudan and Afghanistan -- in the infamous camp are hoping to head to the UK by stowing away on tucks heading across the Channel.
Truckers are frustrated by the migrants' often dangerous attempts to board their vehicles illegally, and local businesses say the migrants have become an economic drain on the city. However a major British transport and freight trade association has opposed the wall plan. Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association told AP that the funds "would be much better spent on increasing security along the approach roads".
The wall is meant to prevent migrants from reaching a bypass road in order to board trucks heading through the Channel tunnel.
Britain is paying the 2.7 million euro ($3 million) cost of the wall, which Calais authorities say will be completed by the end of the year.
The wall is part of a £17 million (20 million euros) package of security measures agreed by Britain and France in March to tackle to crisis.
(FRANCE24 , AFP)
The Italian leader resigned following a resounding defeat of his proposed constitutional reforms, opening the door to a financial crisis in the country.
The result is also likely to boost the anti-immigrant Five Star movement, a party that campaigned against the referendum and is nearing Renzi’s Democratic Party in the polls.
The Five Star movement has vowed a referendum on the country’s membership in the euro currency if it captures the prime minister’s office.
This is a developing story. It will be updated.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called Donald Trump “a clever man” who should “quickly understand” his role.
In an interview with state-controlled NTV, he said the US president-elect “is already a statesman”.Mr Putin has previously voiced hopes that the Trump administration will help improve US-Russia relations.
During the election campaign, Mr Trump called Mr Putin a better leader than US President Barack Obama – a remark which drew criticism in the US.
Mr Putin told the TV channel: “Trump was an entrepreneur and a businessman. He is already a statesman, he is the head of the United States of America, one of the world’s leading countries.
“Because he achieved success in business, it suggests that he is a clever man. And if he is a clever man, then he will fully and quite quickly understand another level of responsibility. We assume that he will be acting from these positions.”
On 1 December, Mr Putin told Russia’s political elite: “We don’t want confrontation with anyone. We don’t need it. We are not seeking and have never sought enemies. We need friends.
“We are ready to co-operate with the new US administration. We have a shared responsibility to ensure international security,” he added.
Addressing Russia’s relations with the West, Mr Putin told NTV that attempts to create a unipolar world – in which one state has economic, military, and cultural dominance – had failed.
Russia’s leader has often used the phrase to accuse the US of trying to dictate global affairs.
Mr Trump’s stance on Russia was heavily scrutinised throughout his presidential campaign, and he has made clear that he respects Russia’s leader.
Speaking in September, he said Mr Putin had “great control over his country” and called him a better leader than President Obama.
Mr Trump noted that the Russian had “an 82% approval rating,” adding: “I think when he calls me brilliant I’ll take the compliment, ok?”
In the run-up to the presidential election, US intelligence officials accused Russia of trying to influence the result by hacking the Democratic National Committee.
The Kremlin has rejected these claims.
PARIS, DECEMBER 5, 2016: (DGW) As elections year draws near in France, French Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls has both indicated and announced that he is standing in 2017 presidential election.
Vall was quoted as saying he would be ''giving everything for France''. He disclosed his plans after President Hollande said he would not be running, our source revealed.
Mr. Valls would, therefore, be facing other contenders next month also in the socialist party primary billed for January 2017. Other things being equal, our source revealed he will be set to face Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen in the first round of the presidential election in April.
French police have arrested the former prime minister of Kosovo based on a Serbian arrest warrant for alleged war crimes.Ramush Haradinaj, 48, served as a rebel commander in the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict, which eventually led to Kosovo declaring independence.
He twice faced war crimes charges at the UN, but was acquitted both times. Kosovo's foreign ministry said his arrest was unacceptable, and that it was working to secure his release. But Serbia said it would seek his extradition.
Mr Haradinaj, now an opposition leader in Kosovo, was arrested by police at Basel Mulhouse Freiburg airport, close to the Swiss and German borders in eastern France. He was due to appear at a court in Colmar on Thursday.
Authorities said they were acting on an arrest warrant from Serbia, apparently dating back to 2004.
French sources told Reuters news agency they would consider whether there were grounds not to act on the extradition request, particularly if it had been made for political reasons.
Serbian Prime Minister Alexander Vucic said on Thursday that there were numerous incriminating pieces of evidence against Mr Haradinaj and he hoped France would put justice ahead of politics.
The former rebel leader was briefly detained by Slovenian police in 2015 but soon released.
He was a commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army during the 1990s conflict, and Serbia alleges he oversaw a campaign of torture and murder against ethnic Serbs.
He has consistently denied the allegations, and stepped down as prime minister after just 100 days to face the charges.
The judge at his most recent trial in 2012 said there was no evidence to support the claims.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but its status is not recognised by Serbia.
Recall, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had issued a statement calling for the speedy arrest of Nigeria's former military ruler, Gen Yakubu Gowon and Nigeria's current President, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari for the alleged genocide committed on the Igbo people during Nigeria-Biafra war that claimed no fewer than 2 million Igbos.
MILAN (AP) — An anti-establishment movement is the favorite as voters head to the polls to pick a new mayor in Rome, among a handful of city hall contests in urban centers across Italy Sunday that will test the prime minister's governing Democratic Party.
A broad corruption scandal and deteriorating public services have soured many voters on traditional parties in Rome, driving support to the grassroots, populist 5-Star movement. Local elections will also be held in Milan, Naples and Bologna.
While Prime Minister Matteo Renzi could emerge weaker from the races, which take into account one-quarter of Italy's voting population, analysts say the real barometer will be a referendum on constitutional changes launched by his government and heading to a vote in the fall.
Run-offs are expected June 19 in most contests, unless candidates manage to win more than 50-percent of the vote, which is rare in the first round.
The capital race is the most volatile. A victory for 5-Star candidate Virginia Raggi would mark the biggest administrative victory for the movement founded by comedian-turned-political leader Beppe Grillo. It would also be the first time a woman would run the eternal city.
Rome has been run by a government-appointed commissioner after the last mayor, a political outsider, lost support of the Democratic Party-dominated city council amid controversy over his expenses.
In Milan, the race pits two centrist managers as the front-runners, with the former manager of Expo 2015, Giuseppe Sala, running as the Democratic Party candidate against former city manager Stefano Parisi with broad center-right backing.