The world this week
The approval granted by America’s Food and Drug Administration to a new drug to combat Alzheimer’s disease was hailed as a breakthrough, even though the FDA conceded that the drug, aducanumab (to be marketed as Aduhelm), is not proven to work. It has shown success in reducing the build-up in the brain of a protein known as beta-amyloid, one of the possible causes of Alzheimer’s. Biogen must now conduct a large-scale clinical trial to determine whether it does also slow memory loss and cognitive decline.
A consortium of private-equity funds, which includes Blackstone, reached an agreement to take a majority stake in Medline, a privately held supplier of medical equipment. At $34bn the deal is one of the biggest ever buy-outs involving private equity.
The American Senate passed a mammoth bill that aims to counter China’s rising expertise in technology. The legislation would, among other things, fund research in artificial intelligence and quantum computing and support the American chip industry. The House of Representatives will soon debate its version of the bill. Separately, Joe Biden ordered a security review of all apps based in countries such as China.
Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority said it was investigating British Airways and Ryanair to see if the airlines broke consumer law by offering vouchers or rebookings instead of refunds to passengers who were unable to fly during lockdowns. The practice is unpopular. In America complaints about airlines refusing to refund were up by 5,500% in 2020.
Facebook extended its suspension of Donald Trump for at least two years. As he is also permanently banned from Twitter, the former president will not have access to the social-media channels for America’s mid-term elections. From now on Facebook will hold material from any politician in the world to the same standards it applies to content from regular users, but will grant a “newsworthiness allowance” to some political posts that breach those standards. Its policy change did little to assuage its critics.
Facebook将特朗普社交账号的封禁时间延长了至少两年。由于他的Twitter账号也被永久拉入黑名单，这位前总统将无法使用社交媒体渠道来参与讨论美国中期选举 。从现在开始，Facebook将按照普通用户的标准来接收来自世界各地的政治家发布的内容，但会对一些违反这些标准的政治帖文给予“新闻价值补贴” 。这一策略变化并没有安抚到批评者的情绪 。
1. medical equipment 医疗设备
A patient sits themselves onto a donor seat and doctor begins adjusting medical equipment.
2. From now on 从现在开始
You should look out for yourself from now on.
3. mid-term elections 中期选举
Mid-term elections will be held on November 2, 2010.
4. reach an agreement 达成一致
Companies have been stymied by the length of time it takes to reach an agreement.