Your Daily Debrief

June 8th, 2022

Good morning, and welcome to your Wednesday! Today is National Best Friends Day, and whether yours is near or far, here’s what we have for you:

Today’s Highlights

  • Experimental drug trial finds every cancer patient treated in remission
  • Matthew McConaughey eulogizes victims of Uvalde shooting at the White House
  • San Francisco voters oust District Attorney Chesa Boudin
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Experimental drug trial finds every cancer patient treated in remission

A small group of people with rectal cancer who received an experimental treatment all went into remission at a 100% success rate, marking a result that some doctors and scientists say has never been seen before in the history of cancer research.

As part of the trial at New York Memorial’s Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 18 patients received doses of a drug called dostarlimab every three weeks for six months. After that period of time, each of those patients saw their tumors disappear.

Dostarlimab–manufactured by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline–is part of a class of drugs called “immune checkpoint inhibitors,” and costs roughly $11,000 per dose. Per a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, none of the patients in the trial have experienced “adverse events of grade 3 or higher” since the trial’s conclusion.

For 6 to 25 months after the trial ended, doctors conducted endoscopies, PET scans, MRI scans and physical exams, and found no trace of cancer in any of the patients’ bodies. According to Dr. Luis A. Diaz, Jr. of the Kettering Cancer Center, it is “the first time this has happened in the history of cancer.”

Matthew McConaughey eulogizes victims of Uvalde shooting at the White House

Actor Matthew McConaughey gave a speech at the White House on Tuesday in which he eulogized victims of the Uvalde mass shooting and urged lawmakers to take action on gun control legislation.

McConaughey was born in Uvalde–the Texas town where nineteen children and two teachers were killed in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24th–and recalled learning "responsible gun ownership” during his childhood as he spoke in the White House briefing room.

After meeting with President Biden and Karine Jean-Pierre, McConaughey said during his speech that gun control legislation should be a “non-partisan issue,” and stated that “people in power have failed to act.” He then remarked that gun control was not a cure-all solution to gun violence in the country, instead acknowledging a need to invest in mental health care systems and making schools safer.

"We need responsible gun ownership. We need background checks. We need to raise the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 rifle to 21. We need a waiting period for those rifles,” the actor said, and added that, “We need red flag laws and consequences for those who abuse them.”

San Francisco voters oust District Attorney Chesa Boudin

After two and a half years in office, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was recalled by voters in Tuesday’s election.

According to the Associated Press, who projected the outcome of Tuesday’s special recall election, 61.3% of San Francisco voters supported the recall after an estimated 45% of votes had been counted.

While serving as San Francisco’s district attorney, Boudin eliminated cash bail, promised to hold police accountable, and worked to reduce the number of people incarcerated through measures like placing nonviolent drug offenders in diversion programs instead of prison. However, in the time since Boudin took office in January 2020, burglaries have risen 45% and homicides have increased 37%; in 2021 alone, hate crimes against Asians in San Francisco rose by 567%.

Boudin’s replacement will be chosen by Mayor London Breed, who has focused on public safety throughout her time in his office, including declaring a state of emergency in the Tenderloin–the neighborhood at the center of San Francisco’s illicit drug activity–in December.

Around the Globe

  • European Union lawmakers reached a deal that will force Apple and other smartphone makers to use uniform USB-C charging ports in all devices sold in the region by 2024
  • Dubai police arrested brothers Atul and Rajesh Gupta, whom South African authorities have accused of paying off senior officials to land lucrative government contracts and leveraging their close ties to former President Jacob Zuma
  • World Bank’s executive board approved an additional $1.49 billion of financing for Ukraine to help pay wages for government and social workers

On the Homefront

  • A Kansas woman pleaded guilty of supporting ISIS and admitted she trained over 100 fighters in an all-female contingent in Syria
  • FDA advisers recommended that Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine be authorized for use in the United States
  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testified before Senators that the U.S. is “dealing with unacceptable levels of inflation” that she expected to remain high, and added that “bringing down inflation should be our number one priority.”

Glitz and Games

  • Tiger Woods withdraws from next week’s U.S. Open, saying, “my body needs more time to get stronger for major championship golf”
  • Tony Award-winning play Dear Evan Hansen will close on Broadway following its performance on September 18th
  • Film director Todd Phillips reveals that the sequel to 2019’s Joker has a script and shares photo of Joaquin Phoenix reading it

Money Moves

  • Major indexes in the stock market traded down after opening bell but rose throughout the day (Dow +0.80%, Nasdaq +0.94%, S&P 500 +0.95%)
  • Shareholders of Shopify stock (NYSE: SHOP) approved a 10-for-1 split and the issuance of a new “founder share” that effectively guarantees CEO Tobias Lütke’s control of the eCommerce software company
  • Lyft CEO and President John Zimmer says the company plans to build a hybrid network of human-operated and autonomous vehicles

Tip & Tricks

  • Binge Watch: We’re celebrating National Best Friends Day by watching ’90s baseball flick The Sandlot on Prime Video
  • Bump This: Check out MUNA’s cover of Normani’s “Motivation” exclusively on Spotify to keep you…well, motivated on hump day
  • Chow Down: Taco Bell opens “Defy” restaurant concept in Minnesota that delivers food to drive-thru customers through vertical lifts akin to tubes used at banks
  • Nerd Out: Scientists have mapped the mountains, canyons and plains that make up the floor of Antarctica's encircling Southern Ocean in its most precise detail yet
  • Say What: Arizona-based Republican candidate for Senate Blake Masters said on a podcast this year that “We do have a gun violence problem in this country, and it's gang violence… It's people in Chicago, St. Louis shooting each other. Very often, you know, Black people, frankly.”
  • Hot Goss: Burger King’s new ‘Pride Whopper’ campaign in Austria has stirred some controversy across the Internet
  • Life Hack: You can store lengthy pasta noodles in an empty Pringles can to save space and keep your pasta from breaking

Question of the day

What subject should be taught in high school but currently isn't? Let us know what you think here:

Looking Back…

On June 8th, 1949, British author George Orwell published his dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-four, a warning against totalitarianism that introduced concepts like Big Brother and the Thought Police.

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