Rep. Ayanna Pressley Bravely Reveals Alopecia Diagnosis + More News

by Debra Brown

Rep. Ayanna Pressley
Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.


Rep. Ayanna Pressley Bravely Reveals Alopecia Diagnosis

Rep. Ayanna Pressley first became aware of her hair loss last fall while getting her hair retwisted. Very soon afterward, she was waking up every morning to total hair loss across the scalp.

The American Academy of Dermatology refers to alopecia as the official medical term for baldness. According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, the autoimmune disorder alopecia areata makes the body attack its own healthy hair follicles, “causing them to become much smaller and drastically slow down production to the point that hair growth may stop.”

John Hopkins Medicine notes, black women are particularly susceptible to a condition known traction alopecia, which is caused by certain kind of hairstyles that involve pulling the hair tightly at the root.

Pressley lost her final piece of her hair the night before Donald Trump’s impeachment vote in the House of Representatives, and on the anniversary of her mother’s death. “I was missing her. I was mourning my hair. I was mourning the state of our democracy. I was mourning my mentor, Chairman Elijah Cummings,” she said.


New York Times Endorses Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar

Breaking with established tradition, the New York Times has endorsed two Democratic presidential candidates for the party’s 2020 nomination, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

“May the best woman win,” the paper said in an unprecedented two-page editorial with large portraits of the two women. The newspaper said, the endorsement was informed by the “striking” similarity of their election platforms on fundamental issues.


US Senate Approves Impeachment Trial Rules 

After more than 12 hours of debate and several failed Democratic bids for amendments calling for documents and witnesses, the US Senate approved a resolution along party lines outlining the rules that will govern the impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump. Trump is only the third president in the history of the United States to face an impeachment trial.

Mitch McConnell agreed to each side having a total of 24 hours to present, spread across three days, rather than 12 hour days, to give both legal teams more time to lay out their cases and end the days earlier. 

With Republicans having a majority, the Senate is not expected to mount the two-thirds voted needed for conviction. No president has ever been removed from office by the Senate.


More than 300 Infected and 6 Dead From New Virus 

Officials in China are containing the outbreak of a new virus that has left at least six people dead and more than 300 sick, after it was confirmed the infection can be passed between humans.

Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus was first detected, announced a series of new measures, including the cancellation of upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations, expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people.

A study by researchers in the UK estimated that the number of infections in Wuhan is still grossly underestimated, with the real number closer to 1,700, based on the spread of the virus to other cities and countries in a relatively short period of time.

The virus has spread to Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. 

The World Health Organization will convene an emergency meeting to determine whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of “international concern” and what recommendations should be made to help manage its spread.


United Nations Rules Climate Refugees Cannot Be Sent Back Home

Refugees fleeing the effects of the climate crisis cannot be forced to return home by their adoptive countries, a United Nations panel has ruled, in a landmark decision. 

The UN’s Human Rights Committee was making a judgment on the case of Ioane Teitiota, who applied for protection from New Zealand after claiming his life was at risk in his home country of Kiribati. The Pacific island is at risk of becoming the first country to disappear under rising sea levels.

The committee ruled against Teitiota on the basis that his life was not at imminent risk but it also outlined that countries could violate people’s international rights if they force them back to countries where climate change poses an immediate threat.

Droughts, crop failure and rising seas are expected to force tens of millions to move to other areas in the coming years. A 2018 study by the World Bank found that 143 million people across South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America are at risk of becoming climate migrants.


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