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FDA Issues Warning For Increased Cancer Risk After Taking Weight Loss Drugs

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A recent clinical trial assessing the safety of weight-loss drugs Beliviq and Belviq XR (lorcaserin) has led to the FDA issuing a public alert, warning that the drug may contribute to cancer risk, according to forbes.com

What We Know:

  • In 2012, Lorcaserin Belviq and Belviq XR were approved by the FDA for assisting weight-loss with a combination of reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity in obese-overweight adults. The drug did in fact work by increasing feelings of fullness to reduce the amount of food eaten and was available in two tablet-based forms, Belviq and Belviq XR.
  • Eisai Inc. is the drug manufacturer who conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the many risks of heart related problems this weight loss drug can cause on an individual. The agency said, “The trial involved around 12,000 participants over a period of five years; towards the end of the study, more patients taking the drug were diagnosed with cancer than those who took a placebo.”
  • According to Forbes, “In one academic study from 2011, the drug did show the propensity to cause several different types of cancer in rat models, albeit at doses larger than the recommended clinical dose in humans. The FDA originally rejected the approval of the drug in 2010 based on these results, but later concluded that the development of these tumors were rodent-specific and unlikely to happen in humans.”
  • Eisai Inc. told Newsweek, “Patient safety is Eisai’s priority and we will continue to work closely with the FDA to evaluate the clinical trial results. We recommend patients speak directly with their health care professional in order to make the best decision about their medical treatment. As indicated in the FDA’s communication, at this time, the FDA and Eisai cannot conclude that BELVIQ increases the risk of cancer.”

The FDA said, “Our evaluation of this potential signal is ongoing, and at this time it is uncertain if lorcaserin increases the risk of cancer.”

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Electronic Billboard in Livonia, Michigan Warns Drivers About Racial Profiling

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An electronic billboard, funded by the Livonia Citizens Caring About Black Lives Facebook group, warns drivers about racial profiling.

What We Know:

  • A new electronic billboard in Livonia, Michigan reads, “Driving while Black? Racial profiling just ahead. Welcome to Livonia”. The billboard can be seen just south of I-96 on Telegraph Road in Redford Township. Many people are not fond of the billboard and accused the Facebook group of making accusations without having evidence on local police racially profiling when conducting traffic stops.
  • “Now we have people born and raised here who are speaking out about witnessing or hearing about this practice in candid discussions with law enforcement friends and family members about DWB, NIL, or Darkey in the Valley,” Dilisha Upshaw, organizer of the Facebook group, said.
  • Livonia Police Chief Curtis Caid said in a Facebook post that he is taking the allegations about the Livonia Police Department racial profiling “very seriously”.

“The Livonia Police Department is a Constitutional law enforcement agency,” Caid said. “Livonia Police officers do not target their enforcement actions to individuals based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, etc. Racial profiling is a serious allegation and is not tolerated. We are proud that Livonia has been consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in the region.”

  • LCCABL believes the answer is to build trust between Livonia law enforcement and its citizens. To gain that trust, they are requesting traffic stop data and created a GoFundMe to raise $13,084.50 to get “all written records of traffic stops conducted by the Livonia Police Department” from July to December of last year.

The campaign was created on July 7, 2020, and the group has only raised a little over $1,645. According to the GoFundMe page, the Mayor and Chief elected a sergeant (Office of Professional Standards) to manage the data being recorded and to provide recommendations.

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Senators File Bill to Keep U.S. on Daylight Saving Time Until Next Fall

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The shift from standard to daylight saving time comes at 2 a.m. local time Sunday across most of the United States. (Source: Pixabay/MGN)

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott from the state of Florida, stated the nation has gone through so much in 2020 that no one should have to deal with changing the clocks this fall.

What We Know:

  • Referring to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott proposed legislation on Wednesday that, if passed, would skip the upcoming time change and keep the country on daylight saving time through November 2021.

  • This proposed legislation on daylight savings time is not intended to be forever, only to stop the changing of the clock for one year. The legislators mentioned it would give one year of stability for the families dealing with enough already along with the virtual learning, working from home, and other interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is now part of our daily lives.
  • In 2018, California approved a ballot measure that was intended to put the Golden State on daylight saving time permanently.
  • Currently, daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. local time on November 1, 2020, and starts again at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 14, 2021.
  • Rubio’s office stated he would result in a rule that would go around the committee to try and get the Senate floor legislation quickly. Although, it’s not too clear how support for the bill is across both houses of Congress.
  • The United States Department of Transportation, which supervises the country’s standardized time zones, states on its website that the daylight saving process saves energy, prevents traffic injuries, and reduces crime.
  • In a news release, Rubio and Scott stated that suspending daylight savings time would achieve the same goals in addition to improving physical fitness, reducing childhood obesity, and benefitting the agricultural economy.
  • This same issue has also been seen recently in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, and several New England states.

Senator Rubio stated in a press release that this is a small step that may ease the load, and more daylight savings means more daylight for afterschool activities and helps with the hardships of the new school year challenges.

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19 Families Buy over 97 Acres in Georgia to Create ‘Safe Haven’ for Black People

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Nineteen Black families bought over 90 acres of land in Wilkinson County, Georgia to create a pro-Black safe haven.

What We Know:

  • The Freedom Georgia Initiative was created in response to the state-sanctioned violence perpetrated upon Black people. The initiative plans to create a safe space for Black people by creating a community in Wilkinson Country Georgia.

  • The initiative is a collective of 19 black families. The goal of the community is to not only foster generational wealth but to provide a place for restoration, recreation, and reformation during this time.
  • The Freedom Georgia Initiative is “black-owned, woman-owned, family-owned, [and] veteran-managed”. Both the president, Renee Walters, and vice president, Ashley Scott have black husbands and black sons; they felt it was only right to form the community following the recent violence.

“When we saw what happened with Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the protests. We both have black husbands, we both have black sons and I was starting to get overwhelmed and having a sense of anxiety when my husband would leave for work.”

Renee Walters (President of The Freedom Georgia Initiative)

  • The land, which is near the town of Toomsboro, lies 130 miles south of Atlanta, Georgia. The creators plan to name the town Freedom, Georgia.

Once fully operational, the town plans to not be exclusively all black but entirely pro-Black.

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