Daily News Roundup

March 5, 2019

Tuesday, March 5

There is no link between autism and the mumps, measles and rubella vaccine, according to Danish researchers who studied more than half a million babies born in Denmark.

The researchers who are connected to the Danish Epidemiology Science Center, Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, studied babies born between January 1991 and December 1998.

Anti-vaxxers have long claimed the MMR vaccine can cause autism but the team of researchers  found there is absolutely no association.

“Childhood vaccine does not increase the risk of autism, does not trigger autism in susceptible children, and isn’t associated with clustering of autism cases after vaccination,” the researchers said.

They said of the 537,303 children in the cohort (representing 2,129,864 person-years), 440,655 (82.0 percent) had received the MMR vaccine.

“We identified 316 children with a diagnosis of autistic disorder and 422 with a diagnosis of other autistic-spectrum disorders,” their report said.

“After adjustment for potential confounders, the relative risk of autistic disorder in the group of vaccinated children, as compared with the unvaccinated group, was 0.92 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.68 to 1.24), and the relative risk of another autistic-spectrum disorder was 0.83 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.65 to 1.07).

There was no association between the age at the time of vaccination, the time since vaccination, or the date of vaccination and the development of autistic disorder.”

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The Vatican is going to open its archives to reveal what then Pope Pius XII knew about the Holocaust during WW2.

Pope Pius XII has been criticised by Jews of staying silent on the Holocaust and not doing enough to save lives.

Describing that criticism as fruit of “some prejudice or exaggeration”, Pope Francis told officials and personnel of the Vatican Secret Archives that the documentation would be open to researchers starting March 2, 2020.

The move could speed up Pius’ path to possible sainthood, a complex process that in Pius’ case bore the weight of questions of what he knew and did about Nazi Germany’s systematic killing of Europe’s Jews.

Pius was elected pope on March 2, 1939, six months before WWII erupted in Europe. He died on October 9, 1958, at the Vatican summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome.

The Vatican usually waits 70 years after the end of a pontificate to open up the relevant archives. But the Holy See has been under pressure to make the Pius XII documentation available sooner and while Holocaust survivors are still alive.

“The church isn’t afraid of history,” Francis told the archive staff.

He said the Pius papacy included “moments of grave difficulties, tormented decisions of human and Christian prudence, that to some could appear as reticence.”

Instead, Francis said, they could be seen as attempts “to keep lit, in the darkest and cruellest periods, the flame of humanitarian initiatives, of hidden but active diplomacy aimed at possibly opening hearts.

Francis words appeared to echo the long-held Vatican defence of Pius which maintains that the Italian pontiff used behind-the-scenes diplomacy to try to save lives.

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American actor Luke Perry, best known as the star of the 1990s show Beverly Hill 90210, has died after suffering a stroke at his Los Angeles home last week.

His publicist, Arnold Robinson, said in a statement that Perry, who was 52,  was surrounded by his close family and friends.

“The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time,” the statement said.

Perry was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital last Wednesday morning (US time) after suffering the stroke at his home.

Since 2016 he has played Fred Andrews, father of Archie Andrews, on the teen television series Riverdale, a dark twist on the Archie comics.

He was better known for his role more than 20 years earlier as Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210, which was set around a group of students living in the upscale southern California city.

Tributes began pouring in on social media soon after news of Perry’s death was announced.

Ian Ziering, a former star of 90210, was the first of his cast mates to pay tribute, saying he would “forever bask in the loving memories we’ve shared”.

“May your journey forward be enriched by the magnificent souls who have passed before you, just like you have done here, for those you leave behind,” he wrote on Twitter.

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