1. Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

    Half way to Friday Fluders! Here is today’s news roundup!

    Momentous Day: Today is former South African president, Nelson Mandela’s birthday. Festivities are happening today to celebrate and commemorate the life of a man who inspired many and changed the world. At 94 years old, Mandela has live a life worthy of praise after giving 67 years of that life to bring change to South Africa. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace prize and spent 27 years in a South African prison, but is now the international symbol for ending South African apartheid. #MandelaMeans is trending on twitter as people share what he means to them. Join us on Twitter and share what Mandela means to you! 

    FDA Approval: News from the FDA today as they announced the approval of a new weight loss drug, Qsymia, a combination of two previously approved drugs, phentermine and topiramate. The drug will reduce the appetite and target the loss of extra weight. This will not be an over-the-counter drug and there are strict requirements for someone to be a candidate for this drug. They must have weight-related conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or dyslipidemia and of course, the drug does come with a plethora of potentially negative side effects, leaving a lot of people wondering whether or not it’s worth it. 

    In other health-related news, the number of worldwide AIDS-related deaths fell last year as access to antiretroviral drugs has been more widespread and new drugs are being tested that may bring additional aid to the epidemic. Additionally, a few Alzheimer’s patients have been tested with a new immune system therapy and have seen their disease stabilize for at least three years. Scientists are hoping the new treatment will continue to prove effective, but the study is currently too small. Depending on a number of circumstances, the treatment could cost a patient up to $50,000 a year. 

    Around the World: A suicide bomber in Damascus killed three of the Syrian president’s top military officers today. The death of President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law, the defense minister and a top general has increased fighting across Damascus. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said “This is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control” and is calling for “maximum global pressure on Assad to step down.”

    In North Korea, leader Kim Jong-un has been announced marshal, the top functioning military rank previously held by his father and grandfather. Speculation continues regarding the removal of Ri Yong-ho from his position in the military and whether or not it was an attempt for Kim Jong-un to gain control over an army whose “influence burgeoned under the ‘military first’ policy adopted by his father.” 

    In lighter news from London, Olympic officials insist that the hiccups in the organization of security were minor and will be promptly taken care of. Athletes are arriving and people all over the world are following their teams to stay on top of the “must-follow” athletes. What sports are you most looking forward to watching this summer? 

    Share your favorite stories with us via Twitter @Fludapp !

  2. Flud News Roundup, June 28

    No Choice in the Matter: The Supreme Court upheld Obama’s Affordable Care Act today in a 5-4 decision that will put the act into effect over the next few years. Obama has been investing a lot of his political capital in this health care measure, so the decision is a big win. Critics of the bill say it is an overreach by the federal government; under Obamacare all Americans are required to buy health care. Republicans called this a wake-up call to Americans and what will hopefully be a campaign plus for Romney who says the answer to rising health care costs will never be Big Government. Democrats are sticking by Obama and say Obamacare is a much needed extension of basic health care to those Americans who can’t afford medical attention. Obama’s campaign manager stated a fear of a loss to Romney based on the financial landscape in the race, and this ruling may play a huge role in the race as well. 

    Weapon Against Obesity: The FDA approved a new prescription diet drug on Wednesday for the first time in 13 years. The drug offers an alternative to aid weight loss for the one in three Americans considered obese. Belviq works by controlling the appetite and activating serotonin which triggers feelings of satiety and satisfaction. Clinical data says that almost half the dieters without Type 2 diabetes who used the pill lost at least 5% of their starting weight over a year. There are of course, side effects, and many critics of the drug are saying the pros don’t outweigh the cons especially because the drug is still recommended to be taken together with a healthy diet and exercise program. 

    Big Year for Google: Google’s i/O conference continues today after some big announcements yesterday that would be hard to top. Google Glass may have been the highlight of the day; a technology that has been in the making for years, Google Glass acts as a heads-up display and a video camera that can broadcast exactly what a user is seeing. Today, Google announced that Gmail now has 425 million users and 66 of the top universities in the U.S. and over 5 million businesses have gone Google. What else does Google have up its sleeve?

    image source: Mashable