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Scientists are one step closer to an Ebola cure; a Swedish court finds A$AP Rocky guilty of assault, but he won’t serve prison time.


New Ebola drugs give scientists hope for a cure

Kitsa Musayi/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Two Ebola patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been effectively cured with drugs, scientists say, a feat against the disease that was long thought incurable. [AP / Saleh Mwanamilongo]
  • Scientists had been testing four treatments since November, and two of them — REGN-EB3 and mAb114 — proved to be more effective. If treated early, mortality rates drastically dropped, to 6 percent with REGN-EB3 and 11 percent with mAb114. [CNN / Jen Christensen and Jessie Yeung]
  • WHO will now begin a trial comparing the two drugs, which will also be distributed throughout outbreak zones. [Wired / Megan Molteni]
  • This could have huge implications for the current Ebola outbreak in the DRC, which has been declared a public health emergency. There are about 2,800 known patients, and more than 1,800 people have died of the virus since the outbreak began. [NYT / Donald G. McNeil Jr.]
  • Ebola was previously thought of as an incurable disease. While a vaccine had been developed and administered around the DRC and surrounding countries, there had been no effective treatment until now. [USA Today / Morgan Hines]
  • Doctors are hoping that the new success cases will help combat mistrust in communities, as fear and suspicion from locals has led to violence against doctors in the past. As the drugs save more lives, locals may become more willing to seek treatment. [CNN / Jen Christensen and Jessie Yeung]
  • This also supports the idea of researching and testing different drugs amid an outbreak, which was once controversial due to scientific and ethical concerns. Future mid-outbreak studies could help scientists respond to diseases more quickly. [Time / Jamie Ducharme]
  • This is just the beginning of making Ebola a treatable and preventable disease — and ultimately save countless lives. [BBC]

A$AP Rocky’s case in Sweden comes to an end

  • A$AP Rocky’s assault case in Sweden — which somehow ended up involving President Donald Trump — has finally come to an end with a guilty verdict. [CNN / Lauren Said-Moorhouse and Per Nyberg]
  • A brief timeline: Rocky and two associates were arrested on July 3 and charged with assaulting 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari on June 30. The rapper was released on August 2 and returned to the US, and the judges released their verdict on Wednesday. [BBC]
  • Judges ultimately decided that Rocky could not claim self-defense, but ruled that his crime was not of such a “serious nature that a prison sentence must be chosen.” He will instead have to pay a $1,310 fine. [LA Times / Christie D’Zurilla]
  • Rocky’s case had gained international attention because of Trump, who became involved after requests from Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (Kardashian has worked with Trump in the past to pass the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice bill). Several celebrities and even some lawmakers had also spoken out for his release after he had been held for weeks without any charges. [Washington Post / Rick Noack]
  • Trump’s involvement caused brief tension between the two countries as he pressured Sweden to release Rocky and the prime minister had to explain to Trump that the government could not intervene. [NYT / Christina Anderson and Alex Marshall]
  • Trump even sent his top hostage negotiator, who later threatened Swedish prosecutors that there could be “negative consequences” for the US-Sweden relationship if the case wasn’t resolved. [NBC News / Phil Helsel and Linda Givetash]
  • The hostage negotiator’s involvement was seen as especially bizarre given that Sweden already has a robust democratic legal system. There are currently plenty of US citizens being held in other countries who do not have the same access to fair legal rights. [Vox / Jen Kirby]

Miscellaneous

  • New York’s Child Victims Act, which goes into effect today, allows victims of child abuse to bring civil lawsuits for a one-year period against their alleged abusers in cases that are past the statute of limitations. [NPR / Mara Silvers]
  • ”Racism is a national security threat”: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) said the recent El Paso shooting displays the dangers of ignoring racist and white supremacist beliefs. [The Hill / John Bowden]
  • Skip and Ping, a gay penguin couple in Germany, finally have a shot at fatherhood after adopting an egg. [NYT / Liam Stack]
  • Did you know that Ohio State University’s formal name is The Ohio State University? Probably not, which is why the school wants to trademark the word… “THE.” It probably won’t happen. [NBC News / Alex Johnson]
  • The South African company Gourmet Grubb makes ice cream with a dairy alternative derived from insects. The creators are now opening a restaurant featuring insect-based gourmet dishes in an attempt to popularize the idea of eating bugs. [CNN / Marnie Hunter]

Verbatim

“I’m a little sentimental. I had this idea a long time ago, and I’ve waited patiently for it. I’m very happy, and I can’t believe it.” [Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe on the possibility of an Ebola cure, which he has been searching for since the ‘70s. His initial research helped develop the successful trial drugs.]


Listen to this: (Don’t) give me your poor

The Trump administration is about to make it a lot harder for low-income people to get a green card. [Spotify]


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