Newsbytes: Letter Regarding Kaepernick, Experimental Drug, Paris Climate Agreement, and New Fish Species

By Centerspread Editor Ashley Chang & Staff Writer Amber Lee

Local — Santa Clara police union responds to Colin Kaepernick’s protests
The Santa Clara Police Officers’ Association wrote a letter to the San Francisco 49ers on September 2, expressing anger against quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests of the national anthem and police brutality. The letter, obtained by NBC Bay Area, stated that Kaepernick’s actions may create an unsafe environment for the police. As a result, union members said that they might not work as security guards at Levi’s Stadium during 49ers games. However, Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor clarified on September 7 in a letter to the police union that working at the stadium during football games is voluntary for the police officers, not required. The day afterwards, the police union issued another statement thanking Gillmor for her input and urging its members not to boycott the 49ers games.


National — New Alzheimer’s drug shows promising results
The biotechnology company Biogen reported on September 1 that its experimental drug, Aducanumab, removed toxic plaque in the brains of those with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. These higher levels of plaque in Alzheimer’s patients are what blocks communication between nerve cells and induce the disease’s symptoms. Currently, the disease has no cure, only treatments to slow down the process and prevent some symptoms. During the study, the drug was given to participants monthly for a year, and changes within this brief period are promising considering the amount of time it took for the plaque to build up. Larger trials will take place until at least 2020 in order to further test the drug’s effects.


International — US and China sign the Paris Climate Agreement
President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, leaders of the two countries that account for most of the world’s emissions, officially committed their nations to the Paris Climate Agreement on September 3. The announcement was made right before the commencement of the Group of Twenty Summit in Hangzhou, China a day later. There has been increasing friction between the US and China over the years during Obama’s presidency, but this joint plan is a big step in providing the momentum for future climate change movements.


Quirky — Scientists name fish after President Barack Obama
Marine scientist Richard Pyle and his colleagues plan to name a newly discovered fish species after President Barack Obama to thank him for expanding Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, which is off the coast of Hawaii. Obama added 442,781 square miles to Papahānaumokuākea on August 26, making it the world’s largest marine sanctuary. Pyle first found the fish, a member of genus Tosanoides, during June 2016 in Kure, a coral reef atoll in Papahānaumokuākea. Pyle and his colleagues thought that the male fish’s dorsal fin coloration, a red circle with blue, looked like Obama’s campaign logo—adding the perfect touch to the scientists’ tribute to the president.


Photos Courtesy Daily Mail, Fortune, Financial Times & Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

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