Good morning. Yesterday’s quote was Disclose.tv reporting Twitter’s 180-degree turn on Dr. Anthony Fauci. Today law enforcement seized most of the Bitcoin paid to Colonial Pipeline’s hackers; UK’s Independent shares its take on Matt Walsh; the FDA approves a breakthrough Alzheimer’s drug; and Twitter picks a fight with Nigeria.
Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually, the ability to carry out simple tasks. While the specific causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not fully known, it is characterized by changes in the brain—including amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary, or tau, tangles—that result in loss of neurons and their connections. These changes affect a person’s ability to remember and think.
Law-enforcement officials in the United States recovered most of the 75 Bitcoin paid out to the Colonial Pipeline hackers. On May 7, Colonial was hit with a cyberattack via DarkSide ransomware, causing thousands of gas-station shortages on the East coast. The recovery is wonderful and all, but the 63 recovered Bitcoin are now valued at merely $2.1 million as of 8am this morning; at the time of the attack, those 75 Bitcoin were worth $4.4 million. Still, this recovery effort is the first of its kind under the Biden administration and marks a promising push back against ransomware cybercrimes.
There are attacks on Jewish citizens in New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere around the United States. Such attacks spiraled out of control after the latest Hamas terror attacks in Israel; Jews were actively pondering whether to wear their yarmulkes in public for fear of pro-Palestinian beatings. Now, the UK’s Independent is reporting another attack—that of Matt Walsh’s GoFundMe. The account raised more than $100,000 for AOC’s decrepit Grandmother, which the Independent promptly declared was: “Rightwing blogger launches gofundme for AOC’s Puerto Rico grandmother in latest personal attack.” Certainly those Jewish victims would rather to be attacked with large cash donations, too.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the first-ever Alzheimer’s drug, which can slow the debilitating illness in early-stage patients. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the largest cause of dementia. It builds up amyloid plaques in the brain Aducanumab purports to be the solution. The breakthrough drug created by Biogen Inc. is a major step for the company, which just lost its patent protection for its best-seller Tecfidera, a multiple sclerosis treatment. It is set to cost around $56,000 per year and is the first new treatment since 2003 in the space.
Nigeria outlawed Twitter within its borders. President Muhammadu Buhari posted last week about dealing with the rise in crime in his country’s southeast region, where vandals have attacked critical, public infrastructure. Facebook followed Twitter’s lead by nixing the posts; Buhari responded by ordering his Ministry of Information and Culture to suspend the social media platforms indefinitely. Twitter, which was founded just 15 years ago, responded by calling itself an “essential human right”—an impressive feat in such a short period of time (even if it’s not quite a universal right by its own terms).