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Wednesday, Feb 21st

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FDA approves first cell therapy to treat aggressive forms of melanoma

FDA approves cell treatment for some melanomaThe Food and Drug Administration has approved a novel type of cancer therapy to treat aggressive forms of melanoma using immune system cells from a patient's tumor.

The treatment, called Amtagvi, was developed by Iovance Biotherapeutics, a biotech company based in San Carlos, Calif.

It is intended for patients whose melanoma cannot be removed with surgery or has spread to other parts of the body.

"The approval of Amtagvi represents the culmination of scientific and clinical research efforts leading to a novel T cell immunotherapy for patients with limited treatment options," Dr. Peter Marks, the director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement announcing the approval on Friday.

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Gaza’s health care crisis is horrifying — and getting worse

Gaza food crisis is horrigying

The health care crisis in Gaza is unthinkably grim, even by the standards of war-ravaged regions. Infectious diseases from chickenpox to cholera are sweeping through the population; crucial medical supplies are blocked at the border; and hospitals are overrun with critically wounded patients.

Four months into Israel’s brutal war on Hamas, the situation looks set to get worse.

Israel is poised to launch an invasion into Rafah, endangering more than a million Palestinians who have sought refuge in the southern city, largely women and children. Hope for a humanitarian respite are fading as U.S.-brokered cease-fire talks broke down in Cairo this week. And the U.S. has frozen funding to the main United Nations aid agency in Gaza, further endangering the already tenuous efforts to provide medical aid.

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Palestinian ambassador to UK says eight relatives killed in Israeli strikes in Rafah

Paletinian ambassador to UK loses 10 family members in Gaza

The Palestinian ambassador to the UK has said eight of his relatives who were sheltering in the southern Gaza town of Rafah have been killed in an Israeli strike.

Husam Zomlot identified a girl in a distressing photo that has been widely shared online as his wife’s seven-year-old cousin Sidra Hassouna. In the image that has been posted on social media, Sidra’s body can be seen dangling from the ruins of a building after attacks on Rafah on Monday.

Sharing a blurred version of the image, alongside pictures of his other relatives, Zomlot posted on X on Wednesday: “This is seven-year-old Sidra, the cousin of my wife. The impact of the Israeli missile was so powerful it flung her out, leaving her mutilated body dangling from the ruins of the destroyed building in Rafah 48 hours ago.”

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Over 8,000 student-loan borrowers are getting $10.9 million in payments in the mail

Over 8,000 stuent-lam payments being returned

Payments are on the way for thousands of student-loan borrowers who paid a company accused of illegal behavior.

On Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that 8,571 student-loan borrowers who were charged by Performance SLC — a California-based debt-relief business — would receive a collective $10.9 million in payments.

In 2020, the CFPB first filed a complaint against Performance over accusations that the company charged borrowers about $9.2 million in "illegal upfront fees," according to the press release. The complaint also claimed that the company violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 by using misleading tactics to get borrowers to sign up for debt-relief services the Education Department offered for free.

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US women’s water polo team edge Hungary to reclaim world title

US Women win Water Polo title

The United States held off Hungary 8-7 on Friday to capture the women’s water polo title for the fifth time in the last six championships and eighth time overall.

Rachel Fattal scored three goals and goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson made 10 saves to lead the Americans, who are three-time reigning Olympic champions.

The US bounced back from a quarter-final loss at last year’s world championships in Fukuoka. Rallying from an 8-5 deficit in the final quarter, Hungary came up just short of their first women’s world title since 2005.

Spain defeated Greece 10-9 for the bronze medal.

With the win, Fattal, Maggie Steffens and Maddie Musselman all became five-time world champions.

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Fani Willis hearing focuses on romantic relationship in team leading Donald Trump election fraud case

Fani Willis evidentiary hearing endsPerjury accusations and reports of death threats highlighted a second day of courtroom drama in a Georgia hearing to determine if District Attorney Fani Willis will be disqualified from the trial of Donald Trump on charges of election interference.

At issue are questions about whether Willis and Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor she hired for the case, should be removed because of their romantic relationship. Willis and Wade each took the witness stand to describe their relationship, insisting it had nothing to do with the case against Trump. "These people are on trial for trying to steal an election in 2020,” Willis said, gesturing to the defense table. “I’m not on trial no matter how hard you try to put me on trial.”

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Judge fines Donald Trump more than $350 million, bars him from running businesses in N.Y. for three years

Judge fines Trump

The judge who presided over a civil business fraud trial against Donald Trump and his company has issued his decision in the case.

Judge Arthur Engoron ordered the former president and the Trump Organization to pay over $350 million in damages, and bars Trump "from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in New York for a period of three years."

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Patients dead after power outage amid Israeli raid on Gaza hospital: Live updates

Nasser Hospital patients die in Israeli raidAt least five patients inside the largest functioning hospital in southern Gaza died after the power went out during an Israeli raid on the facility and left them without oxygen, Gaza health officials said Friday.

Troops stormed Nasser Hospital on Thursday after a dayslong siege of the facility in which patients, doctors and humanitarian aid groups described an increasingly dire situation, with dwindling supplies, including food and water as well as reports of snipers shooting civilians trying to leave the area.

The Israeli military says Hamas has used the hospital for military purposes, including to hide some of the 250 hostages who were taken captive on Oct. 7. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, Israel's chief military spokesperson, said the military has intelligence indicating there may be bodies of hostages in the Nasser hospital facility.

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Alexei Navalny, long a thorn in Russian leader Vladimir Putin's side, dies in prison

Alexei Navalny dies in prison

Alexei Navalny, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin who survived a poisoning and spent months in isolation, died in an Arctic Circle maximum-security prison, the country's state media reported Friday.

The Federal Penitentiary Service of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, where he was being held, said Navalny, 47, "felt unwell" after he went on a walk and "almost immediately lost consciousness."

No cause of death was detailed. The prison service said it tried to resuscitate him without success. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had no information about how Navalny died.

Russian dissidents and Western opponents were quick to blame the Kremlin for Navalny's death.

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