News in Brief: AIDS Cure Promises New Avenues, and More

AIDS Cure Promises New Avenues

A group of doctors are believed to have cured a patient with both HIV and leukemia, The Miami Herald reports. If true, this would be the first time a patient had been cured of HIV. “‘Cured’ is a strong word. But this is very encouraging,” said Dr. David Scadden, co-director of the Harvard University Stem Cell Institute. ‘From all indications, there was no residual virus. It’s as good an outcome as one could hope.'”

Pro-Gun Lobby Wields Influence

The pro-gun lobby headed by the National Rifle Association (NRA)
wields considerable power over federal regulators and US politics,
according to The Washington Post. The bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has advanced a plan to fight the smuggling of high-powered assault rifles across the Mexican border to prevent violent drug crime, but the plan was stalled when the NRA opposed an executive order that would require gun dealers to report multiple sales of rifles and shotguns to the ATF. The NRA’s influence stalled the plan in the Justice Department for months, but it has reportedly gained traction in recent days.

Italian Prime Minister Survives No-Confidence Votes, Causing Riots

Protesters burned cars and barricades in the streets of Rome on Tuesday after Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi survived no-confidence votes in the Italian Parliament, according to The Guardian UK. Hooded rioters broke off from peaceful demonstrations organized by leftist groups in response to the news that Berlusconi’s right-wing government survived the votes despite the efforts of opposition politicians. At least 90 people, including 50 police, were injured in the streets, and 41 people were arrested, according to the police.

Twenty-Seven Asylum Seekers Die Off Coast of Australia

Dozens of aslyum seekers have died off the coast of Australia, while 40 were rescued, after their boat was blown by strong winds onto the rocky coast of Australia’s Christmas Island, Democracy Now! reports. The boat, packed with approximately 70 Iraqi and Iranian refugees, was headed to Christmas Island because of its immigration detention center, which, according to The Guardian UK, is “a favoured destination of would-be refugees.”