Skimming through the latest stories in the news, 5 stories caught my eye that I’d like to discuss with you, ranging from health to education.
Since 1906, when Dr. Alois Alzheimer discovered the difference of the appearance of brain tissue in a woman, along with unusual changes in her characteristics, the fight against Alzheimer’s has been established. 110 years later, a colossal breakthrough has been made, where the “mental decline was halted for 18 months” for some patients. At first, what looked like a failure, but for an incredible 15% of 891 patients that took part in this trial, the drug slowed down the disease. Currently, patients are prescribed drugs which assist in controlling the symptoms for a time, however, they do not stop worsening damage to the brain, as the new drug shows promise of.
For science buffs out there, the drug targets dissolving a protein called tau,and the dye prevents the protein from forming tangles that kill off nerve cells (I don’t know). But what I do know and Dr Gauthier, of McGill University knows, is that this new drug is a large step towards the destruction of Alzheimer’s which is a disease, like many others that effects most people in some form.
To find out more about the progress of Alzheimer’s, here are some helpful websites:
After hearing of an article last week on The Wright Stuff, of a NHS mental-health worker, Faizah Shaheen who was detained for reading a book about Syria and again seeing this article in the Guardian, I have to say something. IT’S MADNESS. For starters: people are entitled to what literature they choose to read and judging someone because of their ethnicity, that is not just labelling someone, that is racism. Surely a terrorist isn’t going to hang about, read a book and strike into action. I thought we had moved passed looking at someone and judging them because of the colour of their skin. It is said that political correctness is out of control but so is stigmatising a race of people.
As said in the article, “focus on terrorism in the media hasn’t helped”, but surely it is also the decision of the public to form their views rather than believing everything they read and hear. The abundance of individuals in this article that have been affected by this issue is startling: people being thrown off their flight because of a single complaint that someone “didn’t feel safe travelling” with them. But, the accusation of being a terrorist, “is enough to silence many”, campaigners say. Just imagine someone calling you something you’re not, looking at you with accusation in their eyes, when you know, and the people close to you know, who you really are. It’s demoralising and it’s not the way society should act if they base their morals on equality, treating people from all walks of life with the same respect.
I would really recommend reading this article.
For quite some time ahead of the Rio Olympics that started last Friday, it was speculated whether or not the Russian team would be allowed to participate. The IOC then made the decision to exclude 30% of the Russian team which were found to be guilty of doping and let the remaining 70% participate in the games.However, the IPC took a much firmer stance and declared that the 267 Russian athletes competing in 18 sports in total will not be allowed to take part in the Paralympic games.
Interestingly and unsurprisingly, Sir Phillip Craven, the IPC president, believes that the doping culture is a result of the pressure from the Russian government because of their “‘medals over morals’ mentality”. But as true as this sounds, Russia cannot possibly be the only country that bends the rules and to jump on the band wagon is not necessarily right. Many athletes, including footballers as latest news suggest, resort to doping because of the pressure they feel upon them. However, in the current Olympics, Russia are prospering with their current 10 medals placing them in the top 7 in the medals table, for sports such as judo and fencing.
(Come on team GB!)
The death penalty… “the US has it, Japan has it, most of the world has it”, now President Erdogan declares that if the people and parliament want it following the failed coup then he will approve such a decision. The death penalty… it’s always a tricky one but in my personal opinion it would be a regression for human rights. It’s not something you introduce, it’s something you abolish and Amnesty International believe it’s a “significant concern”.
For Turkey, who already have very slim chances of joining the EU, if this proposal was to be carried into action it would violate the EU’s laws and also “international human rights treaties” in which Turkey has agreed. However, at the rally in which Erdogan proposed the reintroduction of the death penalty, five million supporters were in attendance. Furthermore, after the reconciliation between Putin and Erdogan, and the sinking Western relations, the path that Turkey is looking to take is an uncertain one.
I have to admit that I had to read this article more than three times because I honestly couldn’t work out whether this writer was being sarcastic. I have come to the conclusion that they were being deadly serious and still I am not quite sure. Moving on swiftly…
Grammar schools. Those that agree with them report that they began to” break open our class system and top universities” as written in the article and the statistics do show that more students were attending the top universities because of grammar schools and their ability to nurture a child’s intelligence. The proof is in bold letters but I still am hesitant to believe that they are the best idea going forward in the education sector. Why should we be investing into new schools, when the ones we already have are low on funds and resources? It is easy to say from an outsiders perspective that this is a brilliant idea and students that are at the top of their subjects need to be in an environment with like minded individuals to make sure they attain the grades they should but…
I attend a comprehensive school and not to toot my own horn but I’ve always been in the highest sets for core subjects such as Maths and I don’t see what difference a grammar school would make. Students that work hard should obtain great results and over the years I have had a mixed bag of teachers. One class where the teacher wasn’t as organised and prepared as they should have been,I obtained an A in that class, the same way I also achieved an A in a class where I had the most enthusiastic, committed teacher. I personally believe that it is the individual that makes the difference rather than outside sources. But Theresa May, you obviously know what the children need best.
Emily Simms: 19:45