It may be possible to stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease with exenatide, a drug typically used to treat Type 2 diabetes, a new U.K. clinical trial suggests. Parkinson’s gradually damages the brain as cells that produce dopamine start dying. Currently, drugs can help manage the symptoms, but they do not prevent the progression of the disease. “This is the first clinical trial in actual patients with Parkinson’s where there has been anything like this size of effect,” said Tom Foltynie, a professor who worked on the trial. “It gives us confidence exenatide is not just masking symptoms; it’s doing something to the underlying disease. We have to be excited and encouraged, but also cautious as we need to replicate these findings.”
*North Korea: U.S. Ban on Visiting Is ‘Sordid’
North Korean state media on Friday fired back at the new U.S. ban on visiting Pyongyang, calling it a “sordid” effort to inhibit human exchanges. “Our doors are always open for all Americans who visit our country out of good will and wish to see our reality,” a foreign ministry spokesman said. The U.S. State Department announced this week that the ban will take effect Sept. 1. Humanitarian workers and journalists can apply for exceptions. The travel restriction follows the June death ofOtto Warmbier, an Ohio college student was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea for allegedly stealing a poster.
*Texas Man Admits He Smuggled U.S. Space Technology to China, Russia
A businessman in Plano, Texas, pleaded guilty Thursday to smuggling U.S. space technology to China and Russia by using his companies as a cover. Peter Zuccarelli, 62 years old, said he tried to profit from smuggling the radiation-protected microchips, violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. He reportedly used his eyeglass-lens companies to buy the microchips from U.S. manufacturers and then shipped them to customers in the other countries with incorrect labels. Such microchips are typically used in space probes and satellites, but they can also be used for ballistic missiles in the military.
*Israeli Police: Netanyahu Is Suspect in Fraud Investigation
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the subject of an investigation into allegations of “fraud, breach of trust, and bribes,” Israeli police have confirmed. Meanwhile, news broke early Friday that Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow, reached a deal with prosecutors to become a state’s witness in the corruption cases against Netanyahu. Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing. The accusations were confirmed in police documents provided to a court by detectives Thursday. It marks the first time Netanyahu has been publicly confirmed as a suspect in such a case. Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, was also interviewed by police this week in a separate investigation probing household costs in the PM’s home. “We completely reject the unfounded claims made against the prime minister,” said a statement from Netanyahu’s team. “The campaign to change the government is underway, but it is destined to fail, for a simple reason: There won’t be anything because there was nothing.”
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