Friday, 15 January 2016

Europe - France clinical trial: 90 given drug, one man brain-dead - Volunteers be careful!

French Health Minister Marisol Touraine and Gilles Hedan, professor of clinical neurology, attend a news conference in Rennes, France, January 15, 2016
The chief neuroscientist at the hospital in Rennes said there was no known antidote to the drug.

One man is brain-dead and another five people are in hospital after an experimental drug was administered to 90 people in a French clinical trial.
There is no known antidote to the drug, the chief neuroscientist at the hospital in Rennes said.
Of the six men in hospital, three could have permanent brain damage, Gilles Edan added.
Reports that the drug is a cannabis-based painkiller have been denied by the health ministry.
A fifth man is suffering from neurological problems and a sixth man is being monitored but is not in a critical condition, Mr Edan said.
The trial, which involved taking the drug orally and has now been suspended, was conducted by a private laboratory in Rennes.
The experimental drug was manufactured by the Portuguese company Bial.
All those who volunteered for the trial have been recalled and the Paris prosecutor's office has opened an investigation.
Health Minister Marisol Touraine pledged to "get to the bottom... of this tragic accident".
"I was overwhelmed by their distress" she told reporters. "Their lives have been brutally turned upside down".


By James Gallagher, health editor, BBC News website
This is the bitter price of the new medicines we take for granted. Testing such experimental drugs, at the cutting edge of science, can never be completely risk-free.
The safety and effectiveness of these drugs are rigorously tested in animals. The risks are low but there must still be a leap of faith when they are tried in people for the first time.
This trial has been taking place since July without such major events being reported. Generally in Phase I trials the dose is increased slowly over time, which could be why the side-effects are appearing now.
The hospitalised men started taking the drug regularly on 7 January and began showing severe side-effects three days later.
Three of the volunteers are now facing a lifetime of disability in this "accident of exceptional gravity".
It is a high price to pay, but thousands of people do safely take part in similar trials each year.
The trial was conducted by Biotrial, a French-based company with an international reputation which has carried out thousands of trials since it was set up in 1989.
In a message on its website, the company said that "serious adverse events related to the test drug" had occurred.
The company insisted that "international regulations and Biotrial's procedures were followed at every stage".
According to the health ministry, the adverse effects occurred on Thursday.

Clinical trials

Trials typically have three phases to assess a new medicine for safety and effectiveness
  • Phase I tests for safety. A small number of people, sometimes healthy, and sometimes with a medical condition, are given a tiny dose of the drug under careful supervision, not to test if the drug works, but in order to check for any side effects
  • Phase II sees the drug given to people who have a medical condition to see if it does indeed help them
  • Phase III trials are only for medicines or devices that have already passed the first two stages, and involve them being compared to existing treatments or a placebo. The trials often last a year or more, involving several thousand patients.
  • The study was a Phase I clinical trial, in which healthy volunteers take the medication to evaluate the safety of its use, the ministry said.
    Before any new medicine can be given to patients, detailed information about how it works and how safe it is must be collected.
    Hospital in Rennes, France (file photo)Clinical trials are the key to getting that data - and without volunteers to take part in the trials, there would be no new treatments for serious diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
    Every year around the world thousands of people take part in clinical trials but incidents like this are very rare, the BBC's Hugh Schofield reports from Paris.
    New EU regulations to speed up clinical drug trials and streamline testing procedures across the 28-nation bloc are due to take effect in 2018.

Why are people arguing about 'Black Girl Magic'?

Collection of photos posted using the #BlackGirlsAreMagic hashtag

A hashtag intended to inspire, motivate and celebrate black women has triggered a spate of controversy. But what does "Black Girl Magic" stand for? And why are people arguing about it online?
If you search for the phrase online, you'll see it being used to share messages and images of success, defiance or simply beauty.
"We're using it to celebrate ourselves because historically black women haven't had the type of support that other groups have," explains Cashawn Thompson, a caregiver from Washington DC. "Black Girl Magic tries to counteract the negativity that we sometimes hold within ourselves and is sometimes placed on us by the outside world."
The phrase itself, and a variant - 'Black Girls are Magic' - have been in circulation for some time, but Thompson says she was the first to encourage others to rally around it, around three years ago. Together they have been used more than 150,000 times on Instagram, and hundreds of thousands of times on Twitter.
News article about a black female cancer researcher
Young black ballerinas from Rwanda

So why the controversy? Well there are a few different strands to unpick.
First, a counter hashtag gained traction - "White Girl Magic" - which was used in a variety of ways, sometimes with a positive sense but often with a provocative edge, as if to suggest that "Black Girl Magic" placed a needless focus on race. "I get #blackgirlmagic is meant to be uplifting, and it's cool, but if there was #whitegirlmagic it would be seen as racist," wrote one user. The hashtag gained ground, but many on Twitter said that it missed the point.


Cashawn Thompson explains some of the resistance to the counter hashtag. "I don't think it's necessary because white women haven't had all the problems that black women have."

Follow trending on facebook

But now "Black Girl Magic" has drawn criticism from within the black community too.
Earlier this month black women's magazine Essence published a special edition highlighting "Black Girl Magic", featuring three prominent black women on its covers. Actresses Teyonah Parris and Yara Shahidi, and one of the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, Johnetta "Netta" Elzie all talked to the magazine about the phrase in positive terms.
Days later Elle magazine ran an article by Linda Chavers entitled: "Here's my problem with Black Girl Magic. ​Black girls aren't magical. We're human." She argued that the phrase holds black women to unfeasibly high standards - celebrating them when they achieve it, but ​criticising them when they don't.
"The 'strong, black woman' archetype, which also includes the mourning black woman who suffers in silence, is the idea that we can survive it all, that we can withstand it. That we are, in fact, superhuman. Black girl magic sounds to me like just another way of saying the same thing, and it is smothering and stunting. It is, above all, constricting rather than freeing," Chavers wrote.
The piece whipped up a storm online and thousands have taken her to task.

One of the critics was was Jenn M. Jackson, managing editor of the Black Youth Project, who discussed some of her concerns with BBC Trending.
"I think her point would be valid if the term came form outside the black community. but if it comes from within the community, we are setting that standard ourselves. We are choosing to see something magical in black womanhood, and we're not comparing it to anything else."
On both Instagram and Twitter, use of the phrase shows no signs of slowing down.

UK Politics - Jeremy Corbyn to warn businesses over "unfair" pay

Image result for jeremy corbyn news
Jeremy Corbyn is to say that a Labour government could ban companies from paying dividends to shareholders unless they pay workers the living wage.
He will say in a speech later that too much profit from economic growth has gone to those at the top of society.
The Labour leader will explain his strategy to tackle pay inequality and "institutionalise fairness" in Britain.
The government has already announced a compulsory national living wage of £9 an hour by 2020 for people over 25.
Mr Corbyn will suggest imposing "pay ratios" between those at the top and those at the bottom of a company's pay scale could be another option for creating a fairer society.
"Too much of the proceeds of growth have accumulated to those at the top," he will say.
"Not only is this unfair, it actually holds back growth. A more equal society is not only fairer, it does better in terms of economic stability and wealth creation."

'Fairness over privilege'

Almost six million workers in the UK are currently paid less than the living wage - an informal benchmark promoted by the Living Wage Foundation which is currently £7.85 an hour and £9.15 in London.
Addressing a Fabian Society conference in London, Mr Corbyn is expected to make a scathing attack on the Conservatives, accusing them of "running the state into the ground" for ideological reasons.
"Their concept of fairness is of a very different order to ours," he will say.
"Fairness for only a few is not fairness, but privilege."
The speech by Mr Corbyn - who is also addressing the Unite trade union's Scottish conference later on Saturday - comes days after the turmoil of his shadow cabinet reshuffle over which three of his front-bench team resigned.
Earlier in the week, shadow attorney general Catherine McKinnell also resigned while citing concerns over Labour's direction under Mr Corbyn.

Living wages: How does it add up?

Image result for wages uk

  • The living wage is an informal benchmark, not a legally enforceable minimum level of pay. It is currently set at £7.85 and £9.15 in London
  • The national minimum wage is the compulsory minimum level of pay set by the business secretary each year on the advice of the Low Pay Commission. It stands at £6.70 an hour for adults aged 21 and over, and £5.30 for those aged 18 to 20
  • In the last Budget the government announced a new compulsory National Living Wage would come into force from April 2016. It will be paid to workers aged 25 and above. It will be set initially at £7.20 an hour and is intended to exceed £9 an hour by 2020

Hostages held in Burkina Faso are freed

A view shows vehicles on fire outside Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou
About 30 hostages have been freed at a hotel attacked by suspected Islamist militants in Burkina Faso's capital but at least 20 people are feared dead.
Gunmen stormed Ouagadougou's Splendid Hotel and a nearby cafe in an attack apparently involving car bombs.
Communications Minister Remis Dandjinou said the security forces operation at the hotel was continuing.
Witnesses reported heavy gunfire from the top floors at around 05:00 local time (same as GMT).
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has said it carried out the attack, according to the SITE extremist monitoring group.
A member of the Burkina Faso government, Minister of Public Works Clement Sawadogo, is among those freed at the hotel, Mr Dandjinou said.
Thirty-three people were in hospital receiving treatment, he added.
French special forces and Burkinabe troops were involved in rescuing the hostages from the hotel, which is used by UN staff and Westerners, Mr Dandjinou said.
The total number of those who had lost their lives is not yet known, he added.
Hospital chief Robert Sangare quoted survivors as saying at least 20 people had died in the initial attack, before the security forces began their assault on the hotel.
Later, Interior Minister Simon Compaore said 10 bodies had been found on the terrace of the nearby Cappuccino cafe.
SITE said the al-Murabitoun group, which reportedly merged with AQIM recently, was involved in the attack.
French gendarmes tend to wounded people in the surrounding of the hotel Splendide and the café Cappuccino during the attack on January 15, 2016.
French officers have helped tend to the wounded near the hotel

Burkina Faso
Burkinabe soldiers are stationed outside the hotel Splendid
Map of West Africa
Witnesses said the gunmen had initially entered the Cappuccino cafe. One employee at the cafe told AFP news agency "several people" had been killed there.
Eyewitnesses reported hearing exchanges of gunfire between the men and security forces, as well as sporadic gunfire from inside the hotel, which is close to the country's international airport.
Mali security personal pick up the lifeless body of a victim inside the Radisson Blu hotel after an attack by gunmen on the hotel in Bamako, Mali, Friday, Nov. 20, 2015
Twenty people died in the attack by al-Murabitoun and al-Qaeda on a Mali hotel in November
The SITE monitoring group, which analyses jihadist networks, reports that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has said it was behind the attack.
The monitoring group specifically stated that those responsible were the al-Murabitoun group, which is based in the Sahara desert in northern Mali and contains fighters loyal to the veteran Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar.
Last month, the group announced it had merged with AQIM. Belmokhtar, a one-eyed commander who fought Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s, was once a member of AQIM but left after a falling-out with its leadership.
Belmokhtar has been declared dead many times, the latest by a US air strike on 14 June last year in Libya - according to Libyan authorities - but his death has not been formally confirmed.
AQIM and al-Murabitoun said they were behind an attack on a hotel in Burkina Faso's neighbour Mali in November, that left 20 people dead.

Burkina Faso had recently held its first presidential election since a coup earlier last year.
That coup toppled long-time leader Blaise Compaore, who had governed for 27 years.
"We are still in a context of political fragility, so I think the timing of this attack is meaningful," Cynthia Ohayon, an analyst with the International Crisis Group, told the BBC from Ouagadougou.
"The country has long borders with Mali and Niger, and we know there are armed groups present on the border, so this was probably something we had coming."

Thinking of what to wear out this weekend to any occasion? Meet Tara Banks on






Meet Tara with her simple fashion tips! Her hair-do compliments her attires, good combination!







                                 This is the look, black and white with this hair-do, perfecto!

                                            Anyone planing to wear Red, this is for you.






best dress outfit... in swanky events


Selena Gomez attended the UNICEF Ball in a slick, leather Louis Vuitton column gown




International Brand Cherished Hair Launches New Wig Collection!

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Taraji P. Henson to host Celebration of Gospel 2016

Empire' character Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) is television's newest fashion star, but her amazing sense of style doesn't happen by accident

Share and tell us what dress you would wear by commenting below.......

Photos: Huge #ZumaMustFall billboard hangs from a building in Cape Town

Residents woke up to a huge #ZumaMustFall billboard hanging from a building at the top of Long Street in Cape Town. So far nobody or group has taken responsibility for it.

Photo of Olisa Metuh in court today

Here's a photo of PDP national publicity secretary Olisa Metuh at the premises of a Federal High Court in Abuja where he was arraigned on a 7-count charge of money laundering and corruption today January 15th.

Netflix cracks down on proxy streaming

Image result for netflix
Netflix has expanded its streaming service to 130 countries, but not all countries have access to the same content
Video-streaming giant Netflix has said it is going to stop subscribers from using internet proxies to view content not available in their home countries.
Due to licensing agreements, Netflix content varies between countries - many users have a virtual private network (VPN) or other proxy to get round this.
The firm said it would increase efforts in the next few weeks to block the use of such proxies.
Netflix expanded streaming services to more than 130 countries last week.
But some countries have more content than others - for example, the Australian Netflix catalogue has only about 10% of the content available to its US subscribers.
David Fullagar, vice president of content delivery architecture, said in a blog poston Thursday that the US firm was in the process of licensing content around the world.
But he said it had a long way to go before it could offer viewers the same films and shows everywhere.
"If all of our content were globally available, there wouldn't be a reason for members to use proxies or 'unblockers' to fool our systems into thinking they're in a different country than they're actually in," he said.
"In the meantime, we will continue to respect and enforce content licensing by geographic location."
Subscribers that currently use proxies to view content outside their countries will only be able to access the service in their own countries in the coming week, the company said.
Those members that do not use VPNs will not be impacted by the crackdown, it added.
The move is a reversal of Netflix's denial last week after reports had surfaced that they would be restricting VPN access to their content

Ebola death in Sierra Leone

Image result for ebola sierra leone
Sierra Leone officials have confirmed a death from Ebola, hours after the World Health Organization declared the latest West Africa outbreak over.
The country was declared free of the virus on 7 November, and the region as a whole was cleared when Liberia was pronounced Ebola-free on Thursday.
Tests on a person who died in northern Sierra Leone proved positive, an Ebola test centre.
The WHO has warned, however, that more flare-ups are expected.
The Sierra Leone death occurred earlier this week.
Reuters news agency is reporting that the victim was a 22-year-old female student.
Reuters also cites a local charity saying that she went to hospital but was treated as an outpatient.